what a day.

Boy, am I glad to be home. Today was filled with errands surrounding the theft of my wallet at the usual Tuesday night salsa venue. New driver’s license, new bank card, phone calls to all the financial institutions, and cancelling appointments that I couldn’t keep until I had access to our funds again. It was a right pain. The woman who issued me the replacement driver’s license even gave a 15-minute lecture on why I should also update my maiden name on my citizenship card. I was going to let her speak until she ran out of steam, but it soon became apparent that she needed my agreement before she’d re-issue the license. So began my oft-rehearsed story of how I’ve had three surnames in my life, and no actual record of my name change to Clement, yadda yadda. 30 minutes later, she decided that it was the right decision to keep my citizenship papers under Clement. Sigh.

Have you ever had your wallet stolen before? It can be gut-wrenching. The last time it happened to me was on the first day of my first ever job, at the McDonald’s by Science World. I didn’t know that one needed a padlock to stow away your street clothes, so my trainer suggested that I just throw my bag into a random locker. What’s the worst that could happen during a 4-hour shift? Well, your wallet could be stolen, apparently. Not that it held anything of value to others. Just a long-hoarded stash of cherished schoolmate portraits, the personal messages of friendship forever lost to me and whose meaning would be forever lost on the thief.

In the case of last night’s theft, I will miss the wallet itself, which was a souvenir of my first visit to my in-laws’ cottage in Gimli. It held the Octopus Card from Hong Kong that I always show to my techie friends as one of the marvels of Asia. The business cards of newly forged acquaintances that I will sadly not be able to reach. And most sorely lamented, the last wallet-sized photo of Kurt and I from the year that we first moved in together.

So long, Volcom wallet. You will be missed. I hope whoever took you from me gets bitten in the ass quite unabashedly by karma.

free ladies night skiing on mount seymour.

Anyone want to go skiing tonight at Seymour? Lift ticket is free for women after 6pm on Monday evenings, if you pick up a voucher from the following locations (one voucher per person per trip). This promo is on till March 24th if you can’t make it today.

So far, Lorne, Irene and I will hopefully be meeting up with Nancy and Dawn at around 6:30-7pm by the Lodge Chairlift. My cell phone has terrible call reception on the mountain so if you need to reach me, email me on my work account and your message should still send over the Blackberry network.

Joanne, I lost your email address after removing it from your comments, so please email me again if you’d like to join us tonight or in the future.

And the photos from the final lessons have been posted to Flickr. View the photoset for now…I’ll need a few more days to post the videos to my YouTube channel.

Hope to see you on the mountain!

my first sports heartbreak.

Sports is surprisingly emotional. I learned it the hard way when the New England Patriots didn’t make their perfect season. Why did everyone want so badly to see them crash and burn? It would’ve been one for the history books! We were soooo close! Arrrgh.

Needless to say, post-Superbowl Sunday for me was a jumble of dejection, disappointment, and ire. The last mostly directed at the Manning brothers for winning the past two Superbowls.

Now I understand the agony of having to wait 7 whole months before the next season begins.

Upset about the upset.

a bumpy road to ski mastery.

Kurt hails from a family of excellent skiers. No mean feat considering they resided in one of the flattest provinces in Canada. And I, living next door to Whistler, can only vaguely attest to having fallen up a bunny hill during a sixth grade field trip.

This Christmas, we decided that it was high time to get on the mountain and teach me how to ski. Kurt considered teaching me himself, but with his current knee injury, we instead signed me up for proper lessons at one of the local hills. It is somewhat of a blessing in disguise. Kurt as ski instructor + my fear of heights + his impatience and recklessness = me zooming down the runs in hysteria and giving up all hope of ever going down a mountain again.

The ladies-only instruction at Mount Seymour has been a blast. Nine of us were assigned to the absolute-beginners group during Lesson #1. We learned how to fall down and get up as the first order of business. After familiarizing ourselves with cross-country and uphill skiing (and getting terribly out of breath in the process), we tackled the bunny hill. It surprises me now how gentle the slope is. My body remembers it differently. The hill had yawned in front of me like an abyss. Liquid fear coursed through my veins at the thought of going down. I yelped with terror every time my elevation dropped faster than a centimetre per second. But by the end of the night, the nerves started to lesson and I actually began to enjoy the swoosh of the skis and the softness of the snow underfoot.

The bunny hill on Mount Seymour. Click here to see full photo album

The second lesson built upon the first. We left the bunny hill after the first hour and took turns getting videotaped going down a section of the adjacent run. Took a moment to take shots of the hill and a quick clip of Trisha during her video analysis. Was a little worried about the chairlift, as I am afraid of heights and easily hit with vertigo, but it was a lot easier to sit in that chair than it was to traverse those terrifying floating escalators on Victoria Peak in Hong Kong!

Chuck's Place run during Lesson #2. Click here to see full photo album

Alas, the third time up Mount Seymour was not without its trials and tribulations. Three of us were relegated to the intermediate-beginners section. It was a sudden switch that must have gotten me apprehensive, since I proceeded to fall all over the same slope that I skied so confidently down the week before. One fall was particularly nasty. Must have caught an edge while going too fast over a steep bit. Before I knew it, my face hit the ground in front of me and I felt my brain jiggle into the back of my skull…not the most pleasant of sensations. Goggles and toque were buried in the snow a few metres away. One ski had disconnected with my boot and was in the hands of my concerned instructor. (Later I would discover all the tiny scrapes on my face and a gigantic purply-red bruise on my left bum cheek that is the likely source of my limp.) The fall was certainly a blow to the ego, but it was only 15 minutes into the lesson! Dusted the snow off, reminded myself not to be such a giant wuss, and steeled myself for the next hour and 45 minutes to go.

Already feeling bad for dragging the rest of the group behind, I refused to be the one to say no to trying a new run. So off we went up the Mystery Chair to the peak. We spent the first half along the green Manning run (I fell somewhere there too, trying to avoid a snowboarder!) and opted to go down the treacherously named Elevator Shaft for the rest of the journey down. It wasn’t as bad as it sounded. By the time we got to the bottom, the accomplishment of having conquered a long run re-established some of the confidence that was wiped out by the lovely face wash earlier in the night.

Thank goodness for the instructor and fellow students! They were all so encouraging despite my frequent falls. We took pictures after the lesson and a bunch of us wound down with a bit of apres-ski.

Karen and Joanne with our instructor, Kathy. Click here to see full photo album

Much-needed apres ski. Click here to see full photo album

What a journey…and sadly, it is nearly over. Only one more lesson left before we are left to our own devices. Hopefully I can report happy tidings next week and deliver some DSLR-quality shots of Mount Seymour for your viewing pleasure!

gone over to the dark side.

Yes, it’s true. It’s goodbye PC; hello iMac.

our new baby

Our toy came home yesterday evening while I was out on my harrowing skiing adventure–more on that in a separate post. Within 10 minutes of opening the box, what’s-a-computer Kurtis had created his profile, created an avatar using the built-in webcam, and reacquainted himself with PokerStars.net (now for Mac). Very impressive.

My priorities were a little different. Fiddled with iPhoto, installed Adium, and tested iChat’s video capabilities with Jason into the wee hours of the night. Next installations include Adobe CS3 and MS Office 2008.

But someone please teach me keyboard shortcuts! I am lost without them…

good for a geeky chuckle.

While doing some light reading this lunch hour from Camera RAW with Adobe Photoshop CS, I came across this bit of techie humour:

There are 10 kinds of people in this world: those who understand binary math and those who don’t.

Admit it, you laughed. You know who you are.