Wednesday, September 30, 2009

My Z Visa has arrived!!

This afternoon I was out picking up all sorts of pharmaceuticals and personal items to bring with me to China.  There was a pleasant surprise waiting for me when I returned home.  I saw it as soon as I came in the door- a letter size Purolator package on the ledge where Mom puts my mail. I knew it could only mean one thing- yes- my Chinese Working Visa has finally arrived!!

My flight is booked, my e-ticket has been emailed to me by the travel agent, and the last piece of the puzzle (my visa) has finally arrived.  I will be leaving from Moncton, NB Monday at 10:00 am to Toronto, leave Toronto Monday at 2:55 pm, and after a total of about 15 hours in the air, arrive in Beijing on Tuesday around 4 in the afternoon - yes... I will be travelling through space AND time!  But don't worry, when I return I will get my day back!

Once I arrive I will be met at the airport by someone from the school.  I have supper plans already for that evening and I am also booked for a tour of the Great Wall and Ming Tombs for Thursday, Oct. 8th.  China here I come!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

For the love of Hunter

I want to introduce you, my blog readers and whomever else stumbles across my little piece of the web, to one of the great loves of my life, our family dog Hunter.  I love him and I will miss him very, very much while I am in China.  We saved Hunter from the local SPCA two years ago around this time of year.  He was healthy, rambunctious, completely untrained, six months of puppy, and a ton of work (you did wonders with him mom!) and is a wonderful addition to our family. If only he could fit into my suitcase! I would go on about how beautiful he is, but I thought it better to let you see for yourself.   

This is Hunter:

He loves to swim:

He loves to play fetch and will often catch the ball mid-air:

He loves the beach:

And he loves me!

...Or at least tolerates me and all the pictures I take of him :)

Love you Hunter!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Hanging onto summer

Even though the fall season has officially arrived, I found myself buying lime flavoured beer today.  Lime flavoured you say? But that's a summer flavour! I guess I'm just not ready to give up summer and the flavours that go with it.  I have always taken the adjustment out of summer and the progression into fall and winter a bit hard.  There are many things I love about this time of year, the changing leaves and the moderate temperatures for example, then the first snow and all the fun outdoor winter sports (snow shoeing anyone?). But I hate waking up in the dark; I hate having to close my window at night; I hate feeling tired at 8pm because the sun is already set.  

The fall season also means a cold. It happens almost the same time every year, and happens the same way almost every time.  For a minimum of a solid week every September I find it almost impossible to breath through my nose.  I am miserable to the people around me and I hate getting out of bed.  The only thing that makes it tolerable, or maybe the only that makes me tolerable is a good dose of night time medicine. The nighttime sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, fever, so you can feel better the next morning kind of medicine to be exact.  I know there are way worse things in the world than the common cold, but I can't help complaining. I think it makes me crazy because I don't feel bad enough to stay home, but I don't really feel like working or going out in public either. I take it as a good sign that my seasonal cold has caught up to me now because this (hopefully) means I will have lots of time to re-cooperate before my big move.

This is probably my tenth attempt at editing/posting to this blog entry, but during my comment about how much I dislike this season, I forgot how much I love Halloween.  It is my favourite holiday after Christmas.  From the time I was very, very young, to my late high school years, my mom made me an amazing home-made costume.  Sometimes she wouldn't make what I wanted (Halloween is about being ugly and scary or at least original she would tell me), but always was the costume outstanding and a thousand times better than anything that could be purchased in a store.  The costumes that make my most memorable list:

A ninja turtle (the one with the nun chucks)
Marvin the Martian (I won first place at the middle school dance) 
A monarch butterfly (still amazed she pulled this one off, I was about 5 and very insistent) 
Lunette the Clown (Big Comfy Couch anyone?)
Frankenstein (originally made for my brother, re-used by me the next year)

I can only hope to live up to my mom's Halloween costumes with my own (future) children.  Or maybe I will just enlist her to do the job : )

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Modern Dating

My cell phone bleeps,
For a moment I hold my breath.
Is it a text from you?
Just a friend
Wondering what I am up to.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Shop Class

If you read the 'about me' section, you would know that I am a teacher, and that I will be moving to China to teach very soon.  What you might not know (at least from reading my blog) is that I decided to stay on the supply teaching list to make a few bucks and get back into the groove of working before heading out into the big unknown. Supply teaching is one of the craziest jobs in the world.

I got my first call on Monday. It was at 7 in the morning and I couldn't figure out why the phone was ringing, and ringing, and ringing. That was when I remembered that I was on the supply list and it might be work.  They asked if I could fill in for the shop teacher.  I said yes, because I never say no to work.  I hung up the phone and wondered if that was a mistake.  I don't know anything about shop class; I never took shop class; I certainly do not know how to handle a room full of bored teenage boys.  I think being young, female, and having a sense of humour about the situation worked to my advantage because both days (yes, I even went back a second time) the kids were all in all pretty great.  They didn't get very much work done, but at least they were nice about it.  Most of them even humoured me by opening up their books to look like they were working. Some of them even did the assignment. I came home exhausted but happy enough to do it again the next day.

Supplying at the high school is an interesting experience for me overall now that I think about it.  I would say that Monday was fairly successful as I was only mistaken for a student twice (once by a teacher, once by students). And it is much better than the time I was mistaken for a student at the middle school (I know I look young...but middle school?!)  I heard my younger cousin's friend say "she can't be a teacher, she's too pretty to be a teacher" and while that was a nice boost to my already inflated ego, it made me wonder what that implies.  Is it because she just thinks [women] teachers should be frumpy middle aged women? Or does she think that young, pretty women couldn't possibly be qualified to teach?  Coincedentally I went to parent/teacher open house the other day with my mom (for my brother) and she noted that all the teachers seem to be in very good physical condition. I thought about it for a moment and she is right.  At the high school the teachers are, as a general rule, in great shape.  I also noted that many of the women teachers are quite pretty, so I came to the conclusion that the comment had a lot more to do with how young I look than anything else.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

If only I would have known

If only I would have known how difficult it is to stay unattached! I started dating someone about a week ago and I am so totally a wreck about it. I'm a wreck for no other reason than because I'm leaving so soon.  We have so many things in common and get along so well it's like a dream. I don't even know if I've ever dreamed up someone who fits with me so well.  I don't want to count my chickens before they hatch, but I think there could be  something really solid here.  I don't know if or how things will change after going away for nine months (re: China) so soon after things began, but for right now, its perfect. If I knew you weren't reading this I'd probably go on a bit more, but for the sake of things I will leave it at this.

p.s. I can't believe how lucky I am lately!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Time to leave is fast approaching!

I got my travel itinerary for China a couple of days ago.  This is still going to depend on my Visa, but right now I am scheduled to leave October 5.   Unfortunately this will not be in time for the big Military Parade/Celebrations, but maybe that's a good thing?  On the other hand, this means I will be arriving during a holiday and will have a few days to settle/explore/prepare before jumping into the classroom.  I received a very enthusiastic email from the school principal yesterday with a few details and some very welcoming remarks.  Starting this week the supply teacher should be emailing me and keeping me updated on the class- on what will soon be my class!  I think the hardest part will be joining a class already a month into the school year.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Musical words of wisdom

In middle school and high school I didn't want to admit this, but I am and always will be a band geek.  Over the years I have learned to play french horn (well technically called the double horn), bass clarinet and clarinet.  I also took piano lessons for a short period of time, and tried to teach myself the guitar (with no success whatsoever).  This may sound impressive, but I am ashamed to admit that I was really lazy about practicing so I never really became accomplished with any of these instruments.

Lately I find myself playing the horn a lot.  From the first time I heard it in grade 7 I was in love. I am trying very hard to find the words to explain how I feel when I hear the horns playing in music without sounding cheesy or cliché, but I think that would be impossible because it is cheesy and cliché. And I'm okay with that.  I know that I am really going to miss the local community band that I played in all last year.

Because I am struggling a bit with a new piece, I had a conversation with my extremely musically talented and knowledgeable friend  the other day.  I am trying to learn the song Romance by Camille Saint-Saens.  It is a very beautiful piece and so I'm trying very hard to do it justice.  I was having trouble understanding what the composer wanted me to do with the music.  This is exactly how the conversation went:

Me:  I have a music question for you - on a song Ive been learning they have a half note tied to a quarter note, the notes are both in the same measure and both have a staccato. Also in the same song there are slurred staccato eight notes- which seems to be contradicting. So what on earth should I do? lol

Friend: Play with your heart

Maybe he was just avoiding the question- but his answer made more sense than I think anything else would have.

Monday, September 7, 2009


Holy smokes a follower! I am surprised to admit that I was actually a bit excited when I noticed someone bothered to click the little "follow" button at the end of my blog.   Thanks!

What I Want

I took a solo drive to the beach the other afternoon to enjoy the last bits of summer.  For companionship, I brought along Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.  I don't usually re-read books, but this one seemed to be just what I need after my break up and with my up and coming move to Beijing.  I was reading the part where the author realized that for the first time in her life she was able to ask herself what she wanted, and not only able to ask herself that but listen.  So I tried it out. I ended up writing this list in the back of the book:

What I Want
I want to write
I want people to read what I write and like it
I want to be part of a spiritual group of people who share my beliefs and doubts
I want my life to be full of love
I want to travel
I want to be passionate about life
I want to teach and share my passion for reading and writing
I want to be a positive influence
I want positive people to be drawn to me
I want a partner who makes me want to be a better person
I want to experience everything!

The very last thing on my list was: I want to swim.  After this thought came to me I had a short conversation with myself that went something like this:

"What do you mean you want to swim? The water is cold- you never want to swim when the water is cold"
"I just want to swim"
"Well go swim then"
"But its cold"
"Maybe I will"

And so I did.  And it was cold, but it was great.  And it was what I wanted.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

My life In the meantime

Lately I've been thinking a lot about my life, who I am, who I want to be and it's led me to make a few big changes.  I think that leaving my longterm relationship was the best thing I could have done for myself, even it that was hard to see at the time. It's like a huge weight has been lifted and I feel better than I have ever felt in my life. It even seems to have affected me physically as I have been told a lot lately by people of both genders that I look really good.  It seems like many of my conversations have been going something like the one I had with an old girl friend I ran into the other night "you look really good! Not that you didn't look good before, but now you look, like,  REALLY good."  I never really understood how much how you feel on the inside can affect how you look on the outside until now.  It's like happiness is oozing out of my orifices. And yes, I did just use the word orifice; I couldn't help myself.

It also brought me the opportunity to leave for China guilt and (somewhat) attachment free.  I say somewhat attachment free because not so long ago I realized that I am completely smitten with on an old friend, and as luck would have it he seems to be equally interested.  Normally I wouldn't be brave enough to admit my feelings for someone, but since I am leaving for China and I didn't want to go without expressing myself, I told him.  I will reluctantly admit that a little bit of liquid courage and instant messaging may have played a part in my gutsy move.  To my utter disbelief, (because really, how much better can things get??) he reciprocated by telling me that I'm the most beautiful girl he ever met and he can't live without me.  Okay, maybe I'm stretching the truth the tiniest bit, but he did say that he likes me too <3.