Monday, January 31, 2011

In the Middle of the Night

I probably shouldn't be posting near the end of a long night shift (the fatigue could have me nearly as impaired as if I'd been drinking...), but there isn't anyone on facebook, and I certainly can't text anyone at this God-forsaken hour, so this is what I'm left with.

Been up all night.

I've got two more nights to go this week, though hopefully I'll get more sleep today to give me a boost. For those not working shift work, Night shifts usually go like this:

1. I try to wake up at a decent hour the morning before the night shift. This gives me sufficient time to do enough that I'll be able to...

2. Nap in the afternoon before the shift. I generally aim to be laying in bed by 2:30 or 3pm, though this can be a toughie when you're hustling around, or just don't feel like laying in bed again. Whatever time it is I start to nap, I always

3. wake up at 6pm. My shift doesn't start until 730pm, but I've developed a readying routine that takes about an hour (showering, packing 'lunch,' getting dressed) which is followed by the 30 minute commute. (the bus ride is really only 13 minutes, but what with standing and waiting for the bus, and then walking to work, I'm always waiting at the bus stop at 7 for a 730shift)

4. Work. I've got a host of paperwork duties that need completion, and from 730-9pm, I also have a couple of kids to look after and tuck into bed (which isn't always a smooth task...) Duties generally get done by about 2, though that can vary depending on the kids, and the day of the week, or the lunar cycle....

5. I most often have "free time" of sorts from that time until about 6am, when I recheck to make sure I've done all of the night shift duties, and generally try to look busy for when the admin's arrive on the unit. (free time is when I get caught up on missed episodes of Mad Men, Jersey shore, or do knitting, and check on the kids periodically to make sure they're all still alive...)

6. Get the heck out of there at 7:30am sharp.

7. I go to bed almost immediately (about 8:10am), exhausted from staying up all night on only a few hours' napping time from the afternoon before. On a good day, I'll sleep until 3. Usually, on the first day of a nigth shift set, I'll only geta bout 5 hours of sleep in, but at least I'm more rested for night #2 than I was for #1. Whatever the time is, I'll start the routine again at 6pm....and the next night shift begins.

And so go an average 24 hours in a nurse's night shift where I work. At least, that's my routine. They're nice in that they're much quieter and less busy than a regular day shift, but they can be hella tiring, and if the company isn't good, you're in for a lonely night (and day, if you wake up in the middle of the day when M's at work....) From what I hear, nurses live shorter lives because they live their lives on this crazy day/night shedule for decades. I'll tell you how it all turns out.

Good morning, everyone....

Friday, January 28, 2011

In my humble Opinion

I'll say that sometimes being a nurse really blows. Everyone else you know works a regular 9-5 mon-fri job, and you're stuck being alone all week on your days off and getting up at 6am on a Saturday morning to get to your shift at the hospital when your friends are all out partying on a Friday night.

That blows. I wish I could trade that part in.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


It's my friend D's birthday today, and he asked to have a rainbow cake like unto the one I made a few weeks ago (minus the coconut). At the last second before adding the rainbow food colouring, I decided to make him a cake with the layers tinted to the colours of his favourite hockey team, the Calgary Flames!

Unfortunately, despite my best efforts, the red food dye turned out D's gonna get a black, yellow, and pink cake. But maybe I'll make up for it by making the icing chocolate....

Saturday, January 22, 2011

While Others Play

While others play, I play too...

M and his friends had planned a ski day at Cypress Mountain today. While I would definitely have liked to go, too, I had to stay back in order to give me time to sleep before a night shift tonight.

At first I was a little bummed. I watered my plants and stared out the window trying hard to come up with something fun to do. too hard I thought. I don't need anything from Granville Island. I shouldn't go shopping. I already biked to Stanley park this week.

Tv was my first option, though for some reason The Real Housewives of Orange County/Atlanta/NYC didn't capture me as it usually does.

Screw it. I'm going for a walk. And so I got dressed up - though I didn't get dressed up in the usual sense. I donned black doc marten-style shoes, jeans with the bottoms rolled up a bit, checkered shirt, green sweater from Ireland, par-combed hair daintilly pulled by with two flowered bobby pins, and the little new leather-esque purse I bought last week. Chez 1996. I imagined Blossom wearing almost the same thing. It was definitely an out-dated look, but I felt pretty cute in it.

As I walked around downtown, wondering what others thought of my look. Usually I'm dressed pretty preppy, so this almost-hipster look was different for me...I liked how it affected the way I walked, and the mood it put me in. It's funny how fashion can affect your mindset - like putting on costumes. I wonder if you made an emo-kid wear banana republic for a week that they would change their thinking patterns.

I had a good time walking around, and I was sad to have to return to the apartment at 2 to come and nap (which I haven't started doing yet). Maybe I'll do it again sometime...who should I dress up as next?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


So I learned today that you may only bicycle around the seawall of Stanley Park counter clockwise. Try to go clockwise, and you're headed for trouble. I just wish that there were better route markers for that.

I'd come about 1/5 around the park when I realized that I was going the wrong way along a one-way path...but the "wrong way" signs didn't help me much. I found a park worked who gave me some instructions, but after about 10 minutes, they weren't very helpful anymore. I attempted to bike along the road, but soon discovered that tha road was one-way too...what the hell? How am I supposed to get around this stinkin' island?

Eventually, I decided just to cycle carefully on the bike path going the wrong way. I didn't go very fast, and I gave the oncoming traffic plenty of space. Most people were ok. And then I had this one jerk who gave me the in-person counterpart to cyber-bullying (you's easier to say something mean when there's no chance you'll have to see them face-to-face). As this dude sped past me, he called "wrong way, stupid!" Jerk. Of course I get that I'm not abiding by the rules of the path, and of course he didn't know that I'd already asked for assistance, but it felt really sucky - and I couldn't say anything to him, because he was long gone in the other direction - and I certainly don't have people calling me stupid - seriously - to my face very often.

It makes me wonder how kids feel when they're bullied like that all the time. Kids like the ones I see at work. It stings. ouch.

So cyclists - bike only counter-clockwise.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

See Ya Later, Roger

I terminated my business with Rogers Communications just a few minutes ago. Now I've got 30 days to find a new cellular services provider....Three long years over, thank goodness!

Monday, January 17, 2011

sewing sewing sewing

I'm having a serious squee! moment! I've been setting aside 1 of my five days off from work each rotation to work on sewing my wedding dress. Today, I finished the muslin copy of the bodice...and it's perfect!

I even sewed twelve buttons on the I know it'll work if I use buttons rather than a zipper!

I spent probably 10 hours working on making sure all of the pieces of the bodice were tailored just to fit me. I added extra boning so it'll be strong enough to hold the skirt I want to make.

Wish me luck!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Dear Sarah,

Stuart McLean asked me to drop you a line on his behalf to thank you for your letter and for your submission to the Vinyl Café Story Exchange. He was glad to hear that you enjoyed your first live Vinyl Café concert and tickled pink that you came to find him at the stage door. He's pretty confident that the police cruisers that you saw were not there to manage rowdy hoards of Vinyl Café fans...but you never know! By the way, Robert Munsch happens to be a friend of Stuart's too. I thought you might be interested to know that.

Thanks for the story about your dad. That is indeed inspiring. As you can imagine, we receive thousands of submissions for the story exchange so we can't guarantee that they will be read on air, but if we do decide to read yours we promise to let you know in advance.

All the best for the New Year.


Louise Curtis
The Vinyl Café

I got that letter in the mail today, totally unexpected! What I didn't write about in my Holiday re-cap was that in late November I went to see the Vinyl Café live. It was a great show, and perfect for the Holidays. I won't go into much detail about how nerdy I was afterwards, but I did try to see him at the stage door (fail. There were two cop cars hanging out right in front of the door in the alley, and I didn't want to stand there like an idiot.), but I was inspired enough to write him a letter for their Story Exchange, and amongst other things, I wrote to him about how awesome I think it is that my dad started snowboarding at age 52, and has been pretty hardcore about it ever since (he's 60 now, and I'm pretty damn proud about it!)

It was a really nice thing to come home to - that letter. It was all personalized and everything. They actually read the story...and then replied uniquely! That's better than Santa Claus!

In other news - I'm going to make my first lasagne (from scratch - thanks mom) today, and I walked down Main street, where I purchased yarn for a friend's custom knitting order, and (something similar to) this:

It's a moustache cup! The insert at the top of the cup is to make sure that your moustache doesn't get full of tea! I bought it at a little antique shop on Main that also featured a "museum" of pictures, masks and oddities from the south pacific islands! A little quirky, but that's the way I roll.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Wedding Website

Me and M in Amsterdam in 2009

M was kind enough to create our wedding website a few weeks ago. He did most of the work (including adding the photos, and much of the colourful descriptions) and I'm very proud of it!

take a peek, if you like!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The (start of the) Update

Well hello there!

Long time no see!

So, where should I start? Though I haven't been blogging much, I've been journalling with some frequency. I'll have an account of many of my adventures within the last month or so.

December 2: waited outside of the CBC builing for three hours waiting for rush seats to see a taping of Jian Gomeshi's show "Q." And it was cold. But the company was pretty good! The show was plenty of fun, and Sarah MacLachlan was one of the guests. She played a couple of songs, including Adia. Musical Guest also was a great Vancouver band called Black Mountain After the show, I waited in the lobby with a few dozen other fans for the Jian meet-and-greet. Attempting to avoid the rush, I waited until most people had left to approach, and it turned out that I was the last person to meet Jian. I passed him my journal to sign in, and he mentioned that he loves writing in peoples' journals. cool. His inscription was:

dear Sarah Ball...
by hook or by crook
i ended up in your book.
Thank you for afforing me a spot.
Here's to wishing you magical days
Yours, Jian

And then by luck, I got to ride the elevator with Jian!

me and Jian in the elevator

I told my parents about the visit with Jian, and the elevator ride, my dad told me "you've got a knack for riding in elevators with CBC personalities! Do you remember riding the elevator at CBC Toronto with Wayne Rostad?" No, I actually didn't remember...until I spent some time jogging my memory from 15 years ago...Wayne hosted a show on CBC for 20 years called On the Road Again.

Wayne Rostad, mid-1990's

December 3rd: Went to the CBC Vancouver open house and food bank day. Swung by the CBC for a tour, and some more meet-and-greets!

I (very briefly) met George Strombolopoulos!

I missed pressing the "record" button on my phone, but before the video starts, the conversation went like this:

Sarah(from across a room while George was about to leave): George! Tell my mom "I love you!"
George crosses tent towards me
eorge: Hi mom! Where are you? Where are you? I miss you...
Sarah: She's in Kamloops...
video starts
George: In Kamloops? Oh no! I did a show there a while ago and I missed you? I'm sorry I missed you!
George blows my mom a kiss
Sarah has her day made. Awesome.

And then a few hours later, I met Peter Mansbridge, who apparently isnt' all that tech savy despite being Peter Mansbridge. I wrote his "teleprompt" for him (Merry Christmas J & S [my parents]) to say into my cameraphone, but somehow the video came out like this:

December 10th: my friends and I celebrated our friend C's birthday a week late. We made up for forgetting his birthday when I made him this cake:

(I know. It's effing awesome. And it was delicious.)

December 17th: Left Vancouver to drive to 108Mile House for a friend's wedding on the Greyhound bus. The trip was brutal because I'd been up till 3am the night before in an attempt to finish sewing my party dress for the occasion. I had a small mental breakdown because the silk was just not working for me, and I'd gotten into a rut where absolutely every seam I sewed had a mistake. Thankfully, M helped me out, and sewed the sash for me. Nice guy!

The wedding in 108n Mile house was held at The Hills Health Ranch. On a scale of 1-10, I'd give this place a 7. The setting was beautiful, the cabin we'd rented was cute and comfortable (and twice the size of our apartment), the Nordic Skiing was delicious, and the massage was heavenly, but the food was just o.k for the price we were paying, and I came down with Norwalk on the day we were leaving. I suppose the Norwalk thing wasn't their fault, but another wedding guest had come down with it two days earlier at the resort, and I wasn't happy with the ranch's response (essentially telling the girl that she couldn't cancel her spa appointments because nobody else was sick, and inferring that perhaps she was just hungover). And when I was sick too, I had M tell the front desk, but I severe doubts that the housekeeping staff would do anything different in their usual cleaning routine, despite the fact that I'm sure my Norwalk-y germs were all over everything in that cabin.

The wedding itself was plenty of fun. Pretty low-key and was fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants. But I liked it because it was proof that you don't have to micro-manage everything in order to throw a great party! Somehow, the lady bartender allowed one of the wedding guests ( a bartender in Kamloops) behind the bar, and few people had to pay for drinks at all! Even when someone threw down $30 for shots to the lady bartender, she poured 15 shots! Lots of people got crazy drunk. I didn't...which was probably a good idea, because the next morning was the morning I got sick. I won't go into that much because many of you are probably snacking while reading this (really long) blog post and I don't want to ruin your appetite.

That's about all the blog I've got in me for now. I've got plenty more to write about, but my friends are starting to feel like I'm ignoring them...Me and Sami Salo of the Vancouver Canucks. A bunch of the canucks visited the Children's Hospital where I work in mid December. I asked if Sami would pose as The Hulk, and then demo'd what I wanted, and instead he gave me this. Yeesh. I look meaner than he does in this picture....

Monday, January 3, 2011


Thought you'd like to know...

Since the start of my blog, I've have 1,017 page views (cool!). I've had just over 600 page views from Canadians (as expected), and over 200 views from Americans (not expected!) Who are these Americans scouring my idle musings? That's one quarter of my readers! There are also apparently a few people in Latvia and South America who've stumbled upon me...


New Post

This post is just to let you know that I'm horribly sorry for not posting. I'm working nights this week, so I'll get you all nice and caught up on all of myadventures since November...

Happy New year!