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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Take A Picture - It Lasts Longer!

Ok, so sometimes, I get a little out of control. And by 'a little out of control' I mean I want to throw my computer out the window.

First, my stupid computer is making all these little clickety-click noises, as if it is actually working hard in there. Seriously, man. It isn't working, working. Tiny bits of info are passing from one point to another. What is clicking in there? That makes me wanna smash the whole dang thing to pieces.

It makes me wanna smash it BECAUSE.... that clickety-click thing slows down the whole computer. Maybe I have a virus. It's a Mac - there shouldn't be a virus. And I know what you're thinking - stop doing stuff on the computer that I shouldn't be doing, right? Well, I don't, smartie pants. SOOOOO, this whole thing is going to get slung across the floor.

Meanwhile, all I am trying to do is register for a ding-dang Continuing Education course. That's it. One measly course. But can I? Noooooooo!

Between the clickety-clack computer and the AWOL Wizard, I can't get anything going on here.

For two nights now, I have tried to register for this course online. I suppose I could just go to the college and register but apparently it closes at 4, and I get off at 3:40 so it would be a rip-roaring drive down there to see if I could get in the doors before they locked 'em up tight.

Plus, I like doing things online. It suits my lazy lifestyle.


Then, I have to take a nap to calm down.

So, here I am, looking at the 'Self Service' page, except by myself, I can't get any service happening. I followed all the steps, right up until I hit a wall on Step 2 and a half. 

Yeah, 2.5.

It also says the 'Wizard' would help me.

It says, Register and get a login & password. So I did.

It says, go to Register and then to Continuing Education. So I did.

It says, Look up your course and Add it to your cart. SO I **T-R-I-E-D** TO DO THAT.


I couldn't add a thing. There is no 'ADD' button. 

I looked everywhere. I even tried the Search Bar. No Add button.

Where is this random Wizard? Did he leave? Is he on supper break? Stupid Wizard.

Also, if you are just farting around, you can find courses - no problem. You can do anything you want. You can dance, draw pictures, build houses, tame snakes, whatever you want.

But just try to register for them, and all of a sudden all of those courses disappear, even if you have the exact course code. And by 'exact course code' I mean I copied & pasted it, so I didn't make any mistakes, especially since I did it repeatedly because I am OCD.

So here I am, I found the course in the preview area, took 900 years to find it in the right area, but then can I add it? No sir. Forget about it. No course for me.

I just want to give them some money so I can go to this course on Monday nights and not get kicked out. That's it.

Sweet Lord Almighty. If it's this difficult to register, I don't know if I want to take the actual course. I might have to get a tutor and bring an Educational Assistant for classroom support.

Seriously, b'yes, I'm just saying... I gotta rethink this.

The course I want to take is digital photography. I'm trying to broaden my horizons. I like to do that, so I'll try it. I may also try an art course and a cooking course, eventually. But, one at a time.

I was going to buy a camera first and already garnered some input from friends. However, I have since decided to hold off on that until the time comes that I know what I am doing.

I have now borrowed two types of cameras (neither of which I know anything about), and I have my iPhone which has its own camera and a bunch of different apps with editing software. I like the editing part, too.

I'm looking forward to the summer, as I am going to NL and I am going to take pictures of everything that moves. If it has a fin, fur, a tail, a branch, has any colour, is watery, has eyeballs, is made of wood, has any rock formation, or breathes, I am going to take a picture of it.

I'm going to have to stock up on those little memory card doohickies or buy stock in online photo storage.

Obviously, this little guy is from

Because I do not want to be completely brainless when I start the course, I bought the Digital SLR Photography All-in-One For Dummies text and I already started reading it last night. That, with my tutor and EA (can't count on the Wizard), should enable me to make it through the course, because I am starting early. The course itself doesn't start until May (that is, if I am EVER able to register for it).

I don't want to be the person who can't even turn on the camera. I have to be prepared to, at the very least, know what the teacher is talking about when he says stuff. Otherwise, the first blog about photography in May is going to start with, "So I got kicked out of Photography tonite..."

No. Not after all this registration business.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Vomit, Ice Water & Snots

Convention Time: all us teachers getting ready to hit the road in an effort to be developed professionally to make us better at what we do.

I left Harley at home. Last year was a sh!tshow.

Melanie the Maniac was driving us to the airport. She managed to get lost, lock her trunk on the dog cage, nearly take out a few cars on my street and make a dog barf, all before we even got to the airport. That's talent.

On the way to the airport, Jax vomited on me - she was all shaken up from excitement and car sickness. Basically, Jax is a Pez Dispenser - open her mouth and stuff comes out easily and quickly. No fuss, lots of muss.

She has such long legs, she would have to be an Inspector Gadget Pez Dispenser.

But... the vomiting wasn't Harley's fault and really, that is all that matters. Last year, Harley was the Poop Factory. This year, Jax was the Vomit Factory. I wish I had the good sense to take a picture for show-n-tell.

That warm, flowing lava of vomit shocked me so much - it felt like a warm dog belly on bare skin. When I realized, "Oh wait, it's winter and I am wearing pants so there is no way her belly could possibly be that warm," it was too late - the yellow and white vomit was there, soaking into my pants and making itself at home.

It's all good... Jenny & I are now even in the Dog Bodily Functions Department. Maybe she planned the whole thing.

Both dogs were left home this year. Thankfully, we had none of their bodily functions to deal with after the airport, as my pants were cleaned as soon as possible. And by that, I mean we washed them in the airport sink and dried them over the airport hand drier thingie. I felt like a ninja because I had to drape my leg over that thing, and I am short.

There were no other options at the time, unless I wanted my bare arse hanging out. And really? No. We were almost late for the flight as it was. I didn't want to be arrested, too.

Thanks for the vomit, Jaxipoo!

* * *

On the plane, the contrariest, oldest stewardess of life decided to make our lives difficult. We didn't even need anything but our seat mate needed to use the bathroom, and of course she was by the window so both Jenny and I had to get out to let her out. The stewardess was super rude to her. She huffed and puffed and sighed while she waited for the girl to go down the aisle, and to get back to her seat. Quite the aggravation it is to let someone go pee.

She also told the guy next to us to make sure he 'powered down' his 'book reader' for takeoff. He said, "It's a Kobo." In no uncertain terms, she said, "Turn it off."  He was vicious.

No screwing around with her, i.e., do not have a screen in front of your face.

When we were taking off, Jenny had fallen asleep and just as the wheels were going up, she turned toward me in her sleep and snorted so loud, I feared the Devil was coming after me. I nearly died from fright. Nothing like a roaring snort to get your adrenalin going!

* * *

Driving to and from the hotel was one of those life-changing experiences, where you see the judiciousness of always being prepared in case of any emergency. In this case, I felt the need to wear a 6 point shoulder harness plus a helmet, as these were a couple of the wildest rides of my life.

all we can do is laugh

Jenny said she was worried she was going to have a concussion by the end of these rides. At one point, the already-broken windshield started cracking further and the man in the front seat started questioning the driver about it. At every point, I was always riding the white line in the road, and I was a passenger! I should have been on the SIDE of the white line - either side would have been great!! Slamming on the brakes sent me swaying from side to side and careening forward. At least Jenny had the window and a seat to knock her head against, as a way of catching herself.

I put on music and started playing a game just in case the world came to an end - I figured I would go out while being entertained, at the very least. I also hoped the man behind me would catch me if things really took a turn for the worse and I started to fly out the windshield. I figured, he would fly forward and try to grab onto something in his fear. That something would be me (natural conclusion, since I am ahead of him). It would work out for everyone.

* * *

In Edmonton, we were exhausted. A few of the convention sessions looked interesting. After the wild rides getting there (Melanie the Maniac who almost killed us getting to the airport because we were running late, the angry airline lady, and the breakneck bus driver), we just wanted to settle in and be entertained in a safe manner.

Of course, when you are this tired, you become giggly and stupid. Being this way led us to doing stupid things. Jenny didn't pay attention to her clothes and zipped herself together all wrong

Jenny's warm-up gear

and I'm so inattentive I didn't notice, but then again, neither did she. Her jacket was zipped to her hoodie, with the other end of her jacket flapping in the wind. Stylin'. God knows how long she was walking around like that.

* * *

Later, we ended up going to West Ed Mall and Mr Mike's for supper (fantastic food!). However, unbeknownst to me, Jenny decided that she wanted to do a remake of Titanic and slung a glass of ice water at me across the table. She says she doesn't know how it happened, but I think it's simple - she slung a glass of ice water at me.

All I saw was this huge glass of water swinging around and crashing, then all this icy water flowing toward me. I thought, "Stop the water."

I didn't think, "Get out of the seat."

I thought, "Stop the water." 

So I built a little dam with the menu.

I know, I know - who does that? But I was tired and I didn't want to move. The menu was made out of some kind of weird plastic stuff so it wasn't damaged. I kept damming the water back to the table rather than on me. I did get a bit wet but I was far from soaked.

Jenny said I was weird - most people would get up. 

I know I am weird. But in my defense, I was tired and I am lazy. If it was really the Titanic, I would have removed myself from the situation.

Anyway, we ate and at one point, I was telling a story and a young guy thought I winked at him so we hightailed it out of there pretty quick after that. If I'm old enough to be your mom, I ain't winking at you. Just sayin'.

* * *

We got to see our friend, Eva, her husband and their beautiful baby. What a great family. Jenny read to, and played with Eva's daughter.

Jenny reading to Lena

It took us awhile to get to the Olive Garden for lunch with them because our driver kept getting lost. We had to direct him to the right place, and we don't even live there. First, he brought us to Earl's and before I realized it, I had snottily (is that word? snot-like... snotty-like... snotty) asked in an Elvis voice if that was the Olive Garden (while I obviously knew it wasn't), then Jenny 'snottily' suggested he call someone for directions and he abruptly refused, and it turned into a big crapola.

Sometimes I sound snotty when I don't mean to be. When I try to sound snotty, people think I am funny. I can't win on that count. Jenny wasn't being snotty but after the way I sounded like Elvis, it was all going downhill from there. We didn't try to be snots, it just happened.

Eventually we made it (as I directed him to the right place while trying not to sound like Elvis, which happens for some weird reason), and lunch was lovely.

* * *

We ordered pizza from some place called Furry Pickles (or something), which really doesn't sound appetizing but is actually quite good. Jenny and I both snore, sleep-talk and stay up late. However, Jenny gets up at the crack of dawn with the roosters and at that point my eyeballs have just barely closed. When I wake up, my hair makes me look like a rooster so that's about where the similarities end.

Also, I had to look at the words "ATB Financial" in glowing blue neon all night because our curtains wouldn't close. What is up with that?

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Stating the Facts

I was taught this lesson by a Junior High student in my high school - a young girl whose name I don't know, a girl I probably won't recognize if I see her, again.

It isn't a funny story, it isn't sad and it isn't a story of poetic justice.

It's just a reminder that 'fighting back' doesn't necessarily have to be a gesture of grandeur; it can simply be an agreement to disagree, and to walk away.

Catholics observe Ash Wednesday as the first day of Lent, and we did so this year, on February 22. At our school, we celebrated with the traditional distribution of ashes.

On my way to my room after lunch, I heard one young boy tell the girl that she should 'wipe that stupid stuff off her head.'

She replied, "No, I shouldn't, because I am Christian and it means something to me."

He didn't say anything else. Neither did she. They just stood and looked at each other a moment before she went to the bathroom.

There were no terse words. There was no anger. She explained her feelings and that was the end of it.

I had stopped in the event that she needed help and that I might need to step in, although neither of them saw me. I did not need to do so, since she handled the situation well.

If only we all had the courage to stand up for our beliefs like that: no fear, just a simple stating of fact, and moving on.

I hope she carries those lessons onward through her life. I hope she teaches others on her path. I hope she doesn't forget her core beliefs. I hope she is always that strong and unwavering in her faith, both in herself and her God. I hope she continues to inspire others to have the same strength and courage.