Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Time Traveler's Wife

Today's post is only a little bit about Fort McMurray, and a lot about the latest book I have just finished. It's called The Time Traveler's Wife and it is one of the most stunning books I have ever read.

This book, while lengthy and a little confusing to first get into, was a page turner once you hit about a quarter or a third of the way through. Today I am sad that it's over. It was the kind of book you just wanted to keep reading - one that you hoped would never end. And, one that shouldn't end when you're sitting on a bus en route to work with about 50 other people. I couldn't read the last pages because I would not let myself start crying on the bus - haha. Instead, I just sat there with tear drops teetering on the ends of my eye lashes, staring at the bus's roof.

One of the girls I work with didn't like the book, but she's the first bad review I've come across. This book touches all your senses and is a must read for any love story enthusiast.

I miss it already.

Speaking of missing, I'm still missin the people at home, but I'm so excited because tomorrow morning I'm heading to Calgary for work. I have meetings on Wednesday and Thursday and then, because Friday is a Personal Time Off (PTO) day, I get to enjoy the entire weekend in Calgary. This means I get to have dinner and a sleepover with Erin tomorrow night and then stay with Brodie on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. yay!

In other news, I went to look at the condo we're thinking of buying (http://www.liveateagleridge.ca/). It's nice, but god I'm going to hate that $400,000 mortgage...

Anyhow, hope all is well in your worlds.

Miss you.

PS - oh sweet Lord! I just looked up this book online and it turns out they have made it a movie. It'll be out in December and Rachel McAdams is playing Clare Abshire. She is perfect. It will be perfect. See you at the theatre on December 25!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Good news!

I have excellent news to report: we have received, negotiated and accepted an offer on our condo - after only 7 days on the market!

Yes, a lawyer and his fiancee from Alberta will soon be the proud owners of unit #209, so long as no unforeseen obstacles get in the way. While we accepted the bare minimum of what we were willing to accept, having the peace of mind knowing the condo is done and our student loans are gone, will all be worth it. The best part is that the new people take possession on May 15 as long as all the subjects are removed by May 7.

It's a little bittersweet though. It was our first home together. So many memories have been made at that little red condo on Allenby Way....I bought it without Brodie knowing, we got our first puppy there, we had our first "go" at renovations and updates there, we purchased our first major appliances, we dealt with our first leaky hot water tank and cranky neighbours, and we made it our own together.

I'm glad I've already said goodbye to the place because I'd probably cry just as much as I did the night before I left to come up there, although I'm thinking I may have to make a trip back when the movers are there doing their thing....just to make sure it all goes smoothly.

In other news, I've purchased a membership to the YMCA and actually had a chance to go out driving around the town today (in the sun!). Next on the list of things to do is check out the condo complex where I'm thinking of buying and purchasing a vehicle. Simple-dee-dimple? I think not.

Miss you all so much.



Wednesday, April 23, 2008

New peeps

I finally had a chance to venture out of the condo tonight (for the second night in a row even!)...Kristen got a call from a girl named Jill at work today who was asking if Kristen played volleyball. She didn't, but she asked me if I was interested in playing and since I need to take all the opportunities I can to interact with some people my own age, I said yes.

Even though I got lost on the way to the YMCA, I made it in time and met six new people. I will likely see very little of them from here on in, but that's okay - at least I interacted with some other forms of human life.

Work today was good. It was just an introduction day so I spent most of it reading and learning about the projects I"d be working on. It turns out I'm a communications advisor whose biggest client is a group called "Site Wide Services". There are some really challenging communications opportunities with the group and I'll be responsible for implementing a section of the communications strategy that's already been created. I'll know more details about the actual work next week. So far, so good though.

I don't really have any other exciting news to report. The water pressure is still terrible, but that's my only complaint....except of course I miss everyone at home! On a good note, my mummy booked a plane ticket to come up on May long weekend, so I'm super excited about that. I'm not quite sure what we're going to do, but I'll figure it out before then!


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Second day of work, first snow day

I've been on the job for one day and already I am "working from home" on a snow day.

The weather here is so completely insane, I can't describe it. So, I decided i would show it to you.
This was taken at about 7:45 this morning. Since then, the weather has warmed up so much that now all that's falling from the sky are big giant flakes. Aah...lovely! More snow to accumulate.
The drifts here from the wind are crazy - that's what you see in front and alongside this nice fellow's truck. As you can see, the snow is nearly up to the hood of he truck. THe same went for that SUV that's parked beside the truck.
Anyhow, I am going stir crazy in the apartment, so luckily one of the ladies who travels here from Calgary each week invited me to go to Superstore (well, Extra foods, but same difference). The fresh air was lovely.
I am really sad that I haven't been able to get out for any kind of run since Saturday. Hopefully that all changes in the next week or so. This really sucks.
Well, I think I've pretty much surfed every page of the Internet and have watched a lot of terrible day time TV, so now I think I'll do my nails...

Monday, April 21, 2008


Both literally and figuratively.

That's right. As of today I bet we've received about 30 cm of snow since Sunday morning and the -17 temperatures (with wind chill...and windy and chilly it is), are the icing on the cake.

It is frigging freezing here, the roads are terrible and I got stuck twice outside of my condo complex. Two entrances to the complex, two stucks.

THe first time, a newfie and his girlfriend got out to help me and Patricia (a lady who works in communications and who gave me a drive from the site today so I could pick up my rental vehicle). Well, that wasn't enough so about five minutes later a jeep full of guys pulled over and had to push me out on to the road. Ah yes, mission accomplished. So, I drove around the corner and tried to go into the second entrance to the condo complex. Well, I got in, but that was as far as I got. I then got stuck for a second time. This time, a friendly fella came out of the complex and helped. We needed one more guy to finally push me out, though. THis is so brutal.

I said to Patricia: I wanna go home!!!

I don't, but this is bloody ridiculous. I mean, I do, but I don't. You get the drift (pardon the pun!!).

Anyways, as I sit here on the couch looking out my window, I see a bunch of snow on the ground and a bunch of snow still falling from the sky. When is it going to end?

So, to those of you who have said "Fort McMurray isn't so bad": you should really try April in the spring.

Miss you all.


PS - today's brightest spot came when I picked up my rental vehicle: a shiny black Pontiac G6. It's pretty! :)

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Day two...hot water and groceries

Well it's Sunday and I've run into a few minor snags since arriving, but nothing that can't be fixed.

My internet wasn't working properly until just recently, I can't access the voicemail on the telephone because the last tenants changed the password, and...most importantly, I have no hot water in the showers. I've got hot water in all the sinks, but nada in the shower. That means I"ll be looking super hot for my first day of work tomorrow. Ugh!

The weather is still crappy, but I figure it's just the Fort McMurray Welcome Wagon doing its thing.


Okay, I have now just returned from grocery shopping (hence the dots) and am absolutely ecstatic to report that the prices are exactly the same at home!! A loaf of bread - $4.49 (okay, I buy the expensive stuff....but that's what it costs me at home). Individual yogurts - $. 41 cents a piece if you buy 12. Bagged broccoli florets - $1.98. Milk - $3.58 a gallon. YAY!

Before I made the trek up here, someone told me "someone they know" said it cost $17 for a loaf of bread! As you can imagine, I was a bit apprehensive when I entered the SuperStore today. But, to my delight, the prices were good and the produce was decent. Sure, there were somethings I wouldn't have eaten, but all of the things I needed, looked good.

Just thought I'd throw out another update.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Moving Day

I wrote this in the Calgary airport and just as I went to post, my one hour of internet ran out. I've now made it to Fort McMurray and am living in a great condo....more on part three later. For now, here's part two:

Today is the big day and so far it hasn't been all that pleasant...although I guess that's to be expected. Here's what's happened so far:

Crying. Driving. Paying. Snowing. Waiting.

Crying when I said goodbye to my mom and dad at about 10 o'clock last night...when I said goodbye to my bed...my shower...my dog...my house...my Brodie. Whew, just typing that made my tear up.

Driving in crappy roads to the Kelowna airport. We woke up to three inches of snow - a fitting send off I say. As Brodie says, it's Jesus's way of saying: What the hell are you thinking?!!!

Paying $131.25 to flippin' Air Canada because they obviously have no compassion for a crying 26-year-old. Yes, that is what it cost me to take an extra bag to Fort McMurray. And that was before the agent even put it on the scale. Jerk.

Snowing here in Calgary. It's -11, blustery and definitely not spring. Well, it's springtime weather for Calgary, but not for me.

And finally, waiting. I'm not sure why there's a four hour layover to get from Kelowna to Fort McMurray via Calgary, but that's the way it goes. I had a yummy breakfast at Montana's when I got here, but since then, I've just been waiting, waiting, waiting.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Starting Block

My journey to Fort McMurray officially started today with the purchase of my brand new blackberry.

Of course, on my last day of work yesterday, I had to turn in my beloved, but archaic, BB. Yes, the tarnished, and holster-free, 7250 model had served me well, but it was time to move on.

It was an anti-climactic event. I made my way down to the IT department only to find one of 'the boys' there.

Lanette: "Chris. It's time to turn in my BlackBerry; where should it go?"
Chris: "Just throw it on mine or Trevor's desk."

That was it. No serenade, no nothin'. Nice knowin' ya!

Anyway, today Brodie and I went for breakfast and then headed to FutureShop to prepare for the purchase of my new BB. Mike-"G-is-for-great"-Grandbois helped us through the process.

I picked a phone, spent an hour humming and hawing over which carrier I should choose (I eventually chose Telus) and then selected a phone (The Curve...per the advice of 'The Boys').

Then, it came time to select my number. I think I had a physical reaction to the '780' area code, but I eventually got over it and ended up with a satisfactory number (I forfeited the chance to pay $25 to select a custom phone number).

So, that marked my official start to my journey to the oil sands. My first '780' phone number. Lucky me.