Sunday, 29 April 2012

On exercise

Let me begin this post by saying that I rarely, if ever, exercise.  I enjoy a brisk walk often, but it's really not enough to get the blood going.

The Victoria Conservatory of Music takes part in the Times Colonist 10k run/walk nearly every year and has a team.  I participated last year in the walk portion and had a riot, and this year I ended up helping organize our team.  Last year I had been living in James Bay, which is about 3km from my work, and walking to the Conservatory every day.  I at least had a wee bit of training and could make good time.  This year I've been busing because I moved too far out to walk every day and had NO training whatsoever before this race.

My mum did the walk with me again this year, which is a nice little mama/daughter event for us to look forward too.  She was worried about busing from my place to the start, which is right by the water, so she got us a super nice hotel room at the Chateau Victoria, five minutes from the start line!

I indulged in a little popcorn before bed :D

It was an early start, but not too bad.  We were at the finish line right as the race started at 8am.  Because the walkers get put at the back of the line we didn't actually cross the start line until about 8:15.

And off we went!  The route goes through downtown and then beside the water and around back to the start.  I'd explain it further but it's a bit boring if you're not actually on the route.  There were TONS of people and it took about the first two kilometers for everything to spread out so we weren't just maneuvering around the really slow folk.  Mum and I walked with my coworker, Susan, and at about 4km we decided to jam headphones into our respective ears and just motor.  I really wanted to beat my time last year of 1:38.  Mum and I decided that if we split up, that was ok - I thought for sure she would beat me because she walks like freaking lightening.  But out of nowhere I was just overcome with the desire to run, so I did!  I would jog 250m or so, then walk, then jog, then walk.  I think I probably jogged nearly 2km all together!

This guy had the right idea.

I beat last year's time by about five minutes.  Last year my pace was way more consistent and we motored the whole way.  Still, I'm pretty proud of myself!


Now excuse me while I go nap for the rest of eternity.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

On sleep deprivation and wine tastings


This is what happens when I attempt to function on very little sleep.

I work at the Victoria Conservatory of Music as a receptionist.  My job is the bomb diggity.  Just under 50% of our revenue comes from donations, so we have oodles of fundraisers every year to stay in business.  This year, one of the events was Uncork Your Palate - a wine tasting at the Victoria Conservatory of Music.  The past four months have been completely taken over by planning and making sure that we were going to have a ton of people there and get lots and lots of money.  I didn't have much to do with it besides the odd task here and there but I was corralled into working the event itself, which I was excited about because I like to be involved in big events.  So exciting!

It was my birthday on Wednesday, too, so with all of the excitement and stress I really didn't get much sleep.  I even worked about eight combined hours on my days off because my coworker/friend Erin was freaking and I wanted to help her.  On Wednesday night, the night before the event, I think I slept about five hours.  

April 26th was a 14 hour day on five hours of sleep when I'd also been getting an average of six hours a night for the past week.  NO FREAKIN' BUENO.

Regardless, it was a pretty fun adventure.  My feet are swollen, I hurt all over, and I'm absolutely exhausted, but it was a riot.  I got to taste some pretty wicked wines and we raised a ton of money for the Conservatory!

 I was pretty much a "do whatever is needed" girl.  This involved setting up a table with 150 wine glasses in a perfect grid.  Thanks, OCD!

Blaine said that if I got him a chocolate chip cookie he'd do a happy dance.  I needed photographic evidence of the follow through.

Bid sheets.  I made 35 of these stupid things and they were the bane of my existence for thirty six hours.  BUT DON'T THEY LOOK GRAND?

VCM signage, just before we opened the doors for the trade event.

From 1:30pm-3:30pm, people in the wine industry were invited to come to a special tasting just for them.  We had 15 wineries, all from the Naramata Bench.  It was pretty cool to observe.  Only thing was, fancy wine tasty people don't always swallow their wine.  They swish it around in their mouths so it covers the palate and then spit it out into these spit buckets that were set up at each winery table.  We were busing during the trade tasting which mean emptying the buckets so they didn't get too full.  Yurg.

Philomena, one of my coworkers and the main organizer from the VCM, invited us to taste as much as we could during the trade event because the public tasting in the evening was bound to be busy.  I got to try four different wines before I had to get back to work.  My favourite was a sparkling wine from Elephant Island Winery.  So delicious and fruity and the most bubbly sparkling wine I have ever had!  Apparently it's sold locally in Victoria :)

Erin and Philomena at the trade tasting.  Pretty ladies!

Brian, Blaine, Erin, Bethany, and Philomena.  I have the best coworkers in the world!

After the trades event we were all absolutely exhausted but only halfway through our day.  We bused the rest of the tables and got rid of the leftover food and then Philomena sent us off to relax for a bit.  It was a gorgeous day so we headed to the patio at Browns.  Delicious sunshine!

 "I stole a bottle of wine!  It's THIS big!"

After about an hour we shuffled back to the venue and set up the dessert trades.  Then it was time to don our best evening finery and get ready for the onslaught!  The event went so well.  Lots of happy people and the live and silent auctions raised a good amount of money for the Conservatory.  When both auctions were over we raced to get everything organized so people could come upstairs and start paying for their prizes.  I was in charge of writing the winners names on this huge board with the corresponding lot numbers.  When that was done I was a runner, fetching prizes and bringing them to the bankers.  By that time, my feet were so sore that I wanted to cry but the night was almost over.  Thank god.

Banking!  I am in LOVE with Bethany's dress.

My pretty lady date and me.

In the mean time, the wineries started to pack up and get the hell out of there.  Erin and I were very disappointed that we hadn't tasted more wine, so we went around to some of the tables and just yoinked half finished bottles.  HATERS GONNA HATE.  I think I guzzled a quarter bottle of that Elephant Island goodness before moving onto some white wine.

We thought that all of the winners would come up pretty quick and pay for their prizes, but in the end we had about five to ten left.  We waited around until 10pm and then had to leave, as per licensing rules.  I was SO HAPPY to be going home.  Erin offered to drive me because she is amazing, but first we had to take the long walk up to the Conservatory where her car was parked.  We limped.  And ranted.  I half cried.  It wasn't cute.

Hoodies and dress.  Booyeah.

Erin stopped at the liquor store for herself and bought me a bottle of wine too because she's an angel sent from heaven.  Then the first photo in this post happened.

I have no regrets.

I'm still tired.

Events are tough, yo.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

No touchy. This is not a request.

Yesterday, something happened to me that I am not a happy camper about.  NOT AT ALL.

Many tattooed people that I know have told me horror stories about people grabbing them in the street, pulling at their clothing, touching them, all in the name of getting a better look at their tattooed skin.  Until very recently I was lucky enough not to have experienced this.  But then I did.  And it was not ok.

I'm not a stranger to people asking me about my tattoos.  When I'm wearing short sleeves you can see four of them quite easily.  People are curious.  I get that.  I'm lucky that 99% of inquiring minds just ask me about them, or ask to take a closer look.  This is totally fine.  This is what I don't like:

A creepy douchecanoe sitting down next to me on the bus WAY to close for comfort.  STARING at my arm.  STARING at my wrist.  We're talking for thirty seconds at a time, then looking away, then staring AGAIN.  Disturbing as hell as it was, and then he GRABBED my arm and twisted it around so he could get a better look and had the gall to ask me who the portrait was of as he manhandled me.

I was really, really startled and upset.  I pulled my arm away and stuttered, "Uh.  Queen Elizabeth I."  He actually seemed surprised at my freaked out reaction, which just made me even more angry.  I sat and seethed for the remainder of the ride, angry at him and annoyed at myself for not saying something.

This brings me to the main point of this rant.  DO NOT TOUCH TATTOOED PEOPLE WITHOUT ASKING.  Just because we have art on our bodies does not make us a fucking petting zoo.

Since we're on the topic, I'm also going to list some other tattoo related grievances of mine. 

1) I know other tattooed lovelies feel differently about this one, but I don't mind people asking what my tattoos mean.  What I DO mind is people giving me a "look" or making an ignorant comment because they don't approve of the meaning of them.  I have a wedge of cheese tattooed on the back of my left arm.  Don't like it?  Think it's silly?  I don't give a shit.  It's MY arm.  Not all tattoos have to have meaning.

2) Don't ask me how much my tattoos cost.  That's just plain rude.

3) Don't stare.  So rude.  And they're just tattoos. 

4) Don't assume that because I have tattoos and you have tattoos we're bros.  This happens a lot.  Plus, guys will think they have an amazing and immediate connection with me because we have both had someone stab needles into our skin.  So not the case, brah.  Plus, your work looks like it was done in a back alley with a dull knife and some rotten ink.

5) DON'T CALL THEM "TATS" OR "TATZ."  IT'S NOT A TATTOO "GUN."  I will punch you.  I am not afraid.

6) And most of all, don't touch me.  Just don't.  You wouldn't think twice about grabbing at an un-tattooed person (well, maybe you would, but then you're a super creep and there's no hope for you anyway), so don't grab me or anyone else with tattoos just because our skin is all colourful.


See this arm?  It ain't public property.

*This has been a public service announcement.*

*For further info, please see Nova's blog of awesome.  She's got tons of great posts about not being an asshat to tattooed people and has great links, too!*

Friday, 20 April 2012

Very appropriate that my first post is about delicious food.

Anyone who is a restaurant connoisseur (oh ho ho, Kolina, you kidder) like myself will know that Foo, at the Corner of Yates and Blanshard in Victoria, is absolutely fantastic.  It's an Asian fusion joint that is great for a well priced, quick lunch on the go or a satisfying sit down dinner with a cold beer.  I've been lucky enough to become acquainted with the front of house manager in the last little while and he encouraged me to come back (I hadn't been in ages) and try out the tuna tataki salad.

He might as well have said that I would receive a loaded pension and a manatee (these are the things on my mind, folks) upon entrance to the restaurant.  Tuna is my THING.  I could eat tuna in varying forms of raw all day, every day and be a happy woman until the day I died.

The tataki did not disappoint.  The tuna is served on a bed of cold soba noodles and cucumber slices and is drizzled in a delicious miso broth.  Lots of ginger and cilantro.  Yum.  White wine would have a been a lovely addition, but I was on my way to work at the time.

Foo also serves up some amazing curries and these amazing deep fried cheese ball concoctions that have my mouth watering even as I type.  Check it out!


In other news, Victoria has decided to get with the program and offer up some pretty sweet spring weather.  I didn't have to wear a coat on my way to work and I was very, very pleased.


Actually, that's not a very good example of my pleased face.  I'll try harder next time, I promise. :)