Saturday, May 31, 2008

Another Big City

Well, I've been going strong working since I got back from Chicago, so haven't had time to blog. Now it's Saturday though and I have a bit of time :-). These are just a few selections of my pictures from the trip that feel the most "big city" and "Chicago" to me. I have an awful lot of pictures of buildings! This was one of the highlights of the trip - the architecture and sculpture in Chicago was unbelievable. Often there would be an old old building, right next to a crazy fangled new building. So much to see just walking down the street.
This "jelly bean" as we came to call it was another highlight. I have a total of 10 pictures of it I think! It's a giant sculpture inspired by liquid mercury. You can see it's enormous and reflects the whole city. If you walk inside it (underneath it) it's this crazy windy reflective thing.
More buildings above. Below is a picture of the area across Michigan avenue, towards Michigan Lake, near the Art Institute. It turned out to be such a beautiful picture I had to share.
Other highlights of the trip included a brief trip to Old Town. The picture below is one of a neat old building in Old Town. Sadly we didn't spend as much time there as we'd hoped. There were so many neat buildings, shops, and nooks and crannies.
There was so much in such a short time. One thing that will stick with me was going to the Chicago Institute of Art. It's one of the best collections in North America (or so the tour guide book said). I saw Picasso, Degas, Monet, Rembrandt, Dali, so many amazing paintings in person! I've never been to a big gallery before. I also wrote down the names of a bunch of artists I hadn't seen before but really want to learn some more about.

We also went to an amazing blues club. I haven't been so excited by music since I was playing in orchestras years ago. It was fabulous!! It was classic - we arrived at 12:30 am and stayed till 3:30 am. Other highlights were a champagne bar called "pops" (yummy elderberry champagne drinks, oysters and other nibbles), a wine bar (very nice wine and cheese), window shopping on the Magnificent Mile (Tiffany, Sacks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale's etc), discovering the store H&M (finally found TWO cardigans!), Rockin' it out in the hotel room with my super roomies, Rockin' it out at the Irish bar in the hotel (nearly loosing my voice trying to talk over the loud music), meeting a number of people I go to school with and my thesis supervisor, and as with every year partying it up at the ABA social, and seeing various random people I've met over the last few years and don't see often.

I'm sure there's more I'm forgetting, but needless to say, this was a good trip. No drama, not even any adventures crossing the boarder in either direction (a first for us). The flights were even relatively painless, including the one home in which I was sandwiched in between two random strangers. Turned out to be okay though. The man on my right was on his way home from the Bahamas and owns a restaurant in Whistler, and the one on the left though a bit overly talkative was nice and was originally from the east coast. Neither were arm rest hogs and both were very respectful of my space :-)

Ohhh one last thing - Chicago is the LOUDEST city ever. Louder than Boston, Louder than New York. Honking, nonstop honking (I'm sure it's actually a secret Chicago language), very loud sirens (I'm sure to compensate for the honking), all hours of the day. Insane!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Getting there

Okay, I leave the day after tomorrow. Here is my to-do list:
- Purchase travel insurance online at blue cross
- Plan my outfits/wardrobe
- Put on laundry for the things I still need.
- Finish presentation revisions and do another one or two run throughs to get myself off the notes.
- Make one last ditch effort at finding the 1-2 pieces I need (i.e. cardigan); probably a VV boutique run or Joe.
- Finalize packing list and start packing everything I can now.
- Ensure everything is copesetic with client work
- Arrange pick-ups and drop-offs for travel.

I think that's it. Oi!

Friday, May 16, 2008

One day done!

Okay, today was okay.

I had a phone meeting with my supervisor this morning, then replayed my ABA presentation over and over to myself, then did my presentation for my prof on the phone, and went to work.

The presentation went okay. Some updates and modifications to make, but overall, not as horrific as it could have been.

Then I decided I wanted a night with my DH. I emailed him at work and convinced him to cancel plans and have a date with me.

I stopped and bought these pre-marinated "boneless Maui ribs" and we had that with veggies from our spud order (okay, I also got some organic unsalted butter to make garlic mashed potatoes with, and to have on bread :-), and wine and we had dinner on the patio (YAY summer weather)!!!

Prior to this, after work, I also went for my haircut with a new stylist. I think it looks almost identical to the one my London-bound stylist gave me. Which is a GOOD thing. I'm happy with it!

The dinner was great, patio talk was great :-). I love summer weather in Victoria!!

Lots of work tomorrow, and presentation revisions. Still haven't figured out the wardrobe.

Okay, I need to discuss - the black cardigan. I had the perfect black cardigan. About 6 years ago. It finally got so stretched out and old that i had to pitch it. I have been looking for a good black cardigan since then. Literally, for 5-6 years. Probably I've been looking with concentration for the last 3. I have never found it. Every where I go, every store I enter I check out their cardigans. Never have I found one.

I see women wearing stylish cardigans all the time. Where do they get them? Where does the elusive black cardigan hide out? Clearly not in any store in Victoria.

DH suggested maybe I should plan to buy the wardrobe pieces I still need when I got to Chicago. Since the dollar is strong, shopping is good there, and likely it may be cheaper. I don't think he realizes the Pandora's box that would open. I am currently in "Buy nothing" mode for my trip. Planning to shop while there puts me in "Buy anything" mode. Lol. Really, I can do it.

I will make a trip to Joe as I have gone everywhere else and had no luck. We'll see where my wardrobe is after that :-).

4 more sleeps then I'm off!

Thursday, May 15, 2008


I'm anxious. I woke up this morning and felt like I'd been run over by a sore and tired and groggy. I couldn't figure out why, as I'd gone to bed early, because I was tired, and had had an unusual amount of sleep. I realized tonight when I went to work for a meeting and felt an insatible urge to yell at everyone for nothing that maybe I was a little tense!

So, I've been setting up contingencies for myself all day, and into the weekend. What I'm stressed about is my ABA presentation, and presenting it by phone to my prof tomorrow, and about what to pack, the cost of the trip, etc etc.

I woke up and D. told me as he was leaving that we were out of coffee...there was none to make. So, that made getting out of bed feeling like I was, a challange.

Contingency # 1:
Get out of bed, get dressed and go buy coffee = then, I can buy a cranberry custard danish from Cobbs, come home and have coffee and danish.

Still groggy and stressed after the coffee...

Contingency #2:
Finish presentation notes and shower = then, I can go look for a black cardigan and buy travel toiletries.

Following a very stressful shopping experience (i know, i know..poor me), and impending long meeting:

Contingency # 3:
Go to meeting, be nice, then come home and have beer and see husband.

Now, need to do a dry-run of my presentation for my DH to prepare for tomorrow

Contingency # 4:
Do presentation practice = then I can dye my hair and do my nails.

Tomorrow is the big stressful day, with a phone meeting in the morning, presenting my presentation to my prof by phone, and a training at one of my teams in the afternoon along with other out of the house work. So, I scheduled it such that:

Contingency # 5:
Get through day, then go get hair cut.

Now it remains to be seen whether the haircut will be a reinforcer or a punisher (see previous post). But, I'm looking at it as a reinforcer for now :-).

Okay. Now to the presentation and then I can dye my hair (don't worry, it's a color I've used before and know will turn out right. Just in case though, i always do it BEFORE going to get my hair done).

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


My Hairdresser. The best one I've ever found. Who GETS my hair, who does it perfectly. Is gone. Moved to London since my last cut (okay, it's been a couple of months). Seriously. So, now, I have to brave a new hairdresser at the same Salon 4 days before I leave for the conference. LAME. Okay, I know on a relative scale, this is not a travesty. But. You know.

T-minus 7 days

Okay, it's Tuesday. One week exactly till I leave for Chicago! Holy Moly!

I'm excited about:

M. just informed me we are close to a trader joes, and to a whole foods. TJ's is one of the things I miss most about living in the US. This is good, as it will greatly aid our now well-refined cost-saving, health-helping grocery plan. Here it is: We order a minifridge for our room, (it started with us using ice buckets, then bringing a soft cooler in our suitcases, then realizing we could just ask for a fridge and they'd give it to us), on the first or second day, we go grocery shopping. We buy all we'll need for breakfasts and lunches, yogurt, veggies, fruit, sandwich stuff etc., snacks (last year we OD'd on the luna bars), energy drinks, and wine. We even have a plan for the wine. We buy wine at the store, then "order" wine glasses from room service (again, initially, we ordered glasses of wine from room service to get the glasses...until we realized we could just order the glasses), then we use and wash the glasses throughout the trip, fill up our glasses in our room and take them down to the events downstairs. Its genius.

I get a whole week to hand with M. and C.

I get to meet my theisis supervisor, and fellow classmates I've been in contact with over the last while.

I'm stressed about:

- My wardrobe
- Packing
- my presentation

I need to make a hair appointment and spend more time on my wardrobe/packing plan. Yes there's a plan. It's a whole Word document. I've been researching packing for Chicago, and thankfully just realized someone I went to highschool with lives there and can give me a heads up (thank-you face book).

Sunday, May 11, 2008


I am no good at blog titles...clearly.

Well, here are my favorite things about today:

1) I woke up this morning to get ready for Church, actually feeling awake, not exhausted and wishing I was still in bed.
2) Today, someone who I've recently started to get to know, and really enjoy spending time with walked up to me and said "Tyla. I want to be friends! We have to hang out!" Excellent :-)
3) I worked 1:1 today for 4 hours with a client I have known for a long time. I don't do as much 1:1 work now, and usually it is only for an hour or so. I was training someone today, but did much of the work. I really enjoyed spending so much time with this client. I've known them for a long time, and am so proud of how far they've come. It was a very good night.
4) I feel caught up. For the first time in a long time. I feel caught up.
5) I think...though I'm afraid to type it incase it turns out not to be true, that for the first time in years, I may actually be getting better from a cold without it turning into a) a sinus infection, b) bronchitis or c) pneumonia. I'm not totally there yet, but am feeling a lot better today. Still congested a bit and coughing a bit, but much better.

I should really go to bed though :-)

Saturday, May 10, 2008


Today was a gooooood day. I did lot of out of the house work last week, and have been sick and so all the other stuff I needed to get done fell by the wayside.

But, today I
  • Slept in
  • Had waffles for breakfast with my DH
  • Finished everything I can for the moment for my ABA presentation
  • Sorted out a mad training schedule for one of my teams for next week
  • Finished off work for one client
  • Organized all my internship supervision documentation
  • FINISHED preparing everything for my taxes. I do have an accountant do them, and no, they're not late, as I'm self-employed and have till June 14. But, getting everything together seems a garganutan task. Just adding up income totals, kms driven for work, etc etc etc. Finding reciepts.
Every year I vow I will get more organized and I think I do, just still not quite there yet. Maybe when we stop moving around it will be easier :-)

Anyhoo, getting the tax stuff, internship stuff and scheduling sorted out is a big big accomplishment. Whew.

But it's now almost 9pm at night and I haven't been out of the house and am going squirrly.

Also need to figure out what to take to a potluck tomorrow after Church as we are on the "main course" list this week. I'm thinking large cold pasta dish.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

More bits and pieces.

"More" because I'm sure I've titled at least two other blog posts with "bits and pieces."

Sick again. Hopefully getting better !?!

M.'s blog just reminded me there are only 14 days till we leave for Chicago for a conference. Holy moly! Where did the time go?!? I guess that's why my prof has been on me about getting the next revision of my presentation to him. Lol. Need to get healthy before Chicago! Do NOT need a re-live of the nasty "airborne" drink concoction (see below).

I bought new shoes. Cheap shoes, but good. Both pairs I can wear my arch supports in. It's not glamorous...but I do have horrible feet and knees etc., and currently have no shoes except my runners (like, work out runners) that I can wear my arch supports with. So, this is a good thing. one pair are a nice-looking (I think) more supportive good walking-(i.e. sightseeing) type shoe, and the other pair are a casual ballet-slipper/Mary Jane type shoe. Both pairs were purchased for slightly over 40.00 dollars. Good deal :-).

My soon-to-be sister in law gave me a sweet jacket and the most comfortable pair of shorts I've ever owned. Long enough not to be self-conscious, and this amazing stretchy material. So good. Love the give-away clothes.

Working. Lots, trying to earn the money to pay for the Chicago trip. And to pay for being away from work for over a week. This is the downside to being self-employed. You don't get vacation pay!

Happy my prof relented and gave me a decent mark on the double-length with no reason exam. All exams had been 2.5 hours up to this last one. I scheduled accordingly. No where in the syllabus or anything did it say the last one was longer. I logged in, and it was a 4 hour exam. Yep. And my testing centre closed two hours after I started writing the exam. I emailed him gently suggesting that for future students it may be useful to know this, and explaining my situation. He never replied, but my score on the exam was much higher than expected. I won't ask any questions.

Looking SO forward to the weekend. I have Saturday off, and am dreaming of sleeping in with DH and maybe even making waffles for breakfast. Need sleep. Cough and work have kept me from sleep. Need snuggle time with DH. Aforementioned cough and work have kept me from this as well :-). to bed, so that I can work and accomplish amazing things tomorrow (that's my plan anyways) so that I can take Saturday off!

Monday, May 05, 2008


Wow...I just read M.'s facebook status saying she is annoyed it's Monday. I second that. 100%!

This weekend whizzed by. I am sick again...not sure what- some sort of chest cold. Started up only 5 days after I finished my antibiotics for the last one! It seems everyone is getting sick repeatedly this year. The viruses are gaining strength!

I headed over to the mainland on the 7am ferry on Saturday and worked all day Sat. I then spent Sat night with my brother and his fiance (she'll love reading that if she sees this!). It was his birthday on Sat, and we had a great night. We had a glass of wine and just relaxed at their place for a while, and then went out for dinner at their favorite restaurant. It was SOOOOO good. We had the most amazing bruschetta I've ever tasted, and i had a yummy Ahi Tuna open face sandwich with salad. We then had a couple of excellent rounds of Mad Gab, which I've never played before, but was hilarious! Overall it was a great night. I'm so happy my brother is marrying C.! I have so much fun with them together!

The next morning, I slept in a bit, then hung out with C. for while before showering and heading out (J. left early for work). I took the 2pm ferry back home, and then worked from 6-10 over here. So...the weekend went really fast.

Last night I was coughing SOOOO bad! Poor DH had to go sleep upstairs on the couch....It took a long time to go to sleep and I woke up dreary and with a tired body.

So, I've now finally showered and I went out to get a Cobb's bakery cranberry custard danish for breakfast (I'm addicted - they are surprisingly low calorie), and I'm thinking today will be a work-from-home catch up day. Hopefully I can recoup a bit and get better!!

Some good news - I have lost a total of 14lbs since starting to track my stuff on Sparkpeople back in ...ah I think it was Feb I started. Slower weight loss than I experienced on Weight watchers when I did that, but I don't feel at all deprived, I don't really feel like I'm trying to loose I'm okay with the slower loss, as I think in the long run it's more maintainable.

Need to get back to the gym, but am waiting till I'm healthy. For now I'll just keep watching what I eat.