Monday, December 31, 2007

I Don't Particularly Like Getting Shot(s)

Thursday night I started a book, foolishly. My aunt gave me several books by the same author and praising his books. I began one and unfortunately I started getting quite into it. Forty Words for Sorrow by Giles Blunt. I had no idea what to expect when I began it, starting it solely due to the recommendation from my aunt and uncle. It turned out to be a murder mystery, a gruesome one at that. Once began though, I couldn't put it down. At midnight I thought about leaving the remainder for the following day but with only a hundred pages to go I was approaching the climax and so I continued on.
I finished the book a little after one but I was quite wound up so it was closer to two before I fell asleep again. I got up early the following day to go to work. I had a short nap after work and then I began another of his books. History apparently repeats itself for I didn't put the book down until after midnight. The next day I woke up fairly early, 8:20, and this is where my blog actually starts.
Skipping breakfast due to time restraints I headed out to Bowness Travel Clinic for nine to get some shots before my trip. The two important facts to remember are my sleep deficit and my lack of breakfast.
Eventually I found myself sitting in a chair waiting for with the nurse who was to administer my shots. She asked me if I've ever passed out after a having a shot.
I remember getting my Hepatitis B shots in grade six. It was a series of three shots and after each one I always had to stick around afterwards with my head between my knees while I waited for the faint feeling to end. The plus side was being in the room listening to the other kids get their shots.
Nurse. "Are you ready now?"
Deana "Um... Are you sure it won't hurt?"
Nurse "You'll barely feel a thing. Are you ready?"
Deana "OK." Brief pause. "NO WAIT! I'm not ready. OK, I'm ready. NO!"
Nurse "Just breathe deep, you'll be alright."
Deana, hyperventilating, "OK I'm ready."
Nurse "It's done."
Deana "Oh."

I thought back to a Saturday morning when I was thirteen. Another day started without breakfast or enough sleep. My mom and I brought my dog to the vet for a booster shot. I stood in the small, stuffy room while the vet prepped the needle. I watched as he waved the needle around carelessy and the room grew warmer and warmer. Shortly afterwards the vet asked if I was feeling OK. I looked up to see my mom and the vet looking down at me lying on the floor.
I remember watching the climatic scene of Requiem for a Dream. I remember trying to deny to the people I watched it with that I had actually fainted but why else was I suddenly resting my head on my cousin's shoulder and twitching?
I remember going to get stitches in my pinkie finger after an accident at work. Despite the freezing I could feel the needle prodding inside my finger. I remember feeling lightheaded and the room growing warm. I remember the nurse asking me what happened. I mumbled "I think I passed out."
Saturday morning I sat in the chair and replied to the nurse, "I have passed out after having a shot before."
I don't like needles but I'm not afraid of them. The nurse gave me the two shots and they were probably the gentlest that I've ever had. I thought that I was probably fine this time. I didn't feel bad at all, for at least five seconds. Then as the nurse was explaining some things to me I felt the room grow stuffy and my head get light. I suddenly had a rush of strange dreams and then the nurse was snapping and asking if I was back. I nodded yes and she put my feet up and gave me an ice pack to put behind my neck.
I felt a little bit better and thought about sitting up but then I think I might have fainted again. I felt better and put my feet down, then later put them up again. The nurse went to give some other people their shots. It was over an hour before I felt well enough to get up to go. Miraculously, I managed to not faint when I paid the $300. bill.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

One Fine Morning

The homeowners of the house we're building have started putting the push on for an occupation date. The builder made a surprising promise of June 1st so now the tradesmen (us) are really feeling the pressure to get things done. What's more, one of my coworkers quit/was fired, another will be taking time off in late January for a honeymoon, and my boss will be taking time off to get an operation. So I didn't choose the best time to give my notice.
If I had no other options, I could choose to make carpentry my career and I could enjoy it. There are definitely things that I like doing with my job, and there are plenty of challenges to make the days more interesting but I've always had a nagging doubt that it wasn't really for me. Compound that with the fact that the dusty environment aggravates my asthma and I really wonder how long I should carry on swinging a hammer. So when the option of a extended South American road trip came up, I really had no choice but to accept.
Here's the plan. I work through January 2008 and then drive to Vancouver leaving my car at my mom's. I fly with my friend Luis to Brazil, attend a friend's wedding and then make our way North by land, perhaps with a dip into Argentina first, visiting as many interesting sites along the way as possible. I will work this summer; I'm hoping to find some sort of job that involves physical activity, interaction with good people, and the possibility of making big money. In the fall I plan on, though I haven't yet applied, attending university. The problem now lies with what courses I should take. And this question, hard enough already, poses another question somewhat more difficult. If I'm quitting carpentry to go to university, it means that I believe there to be a more satisfying life road to travel even though I don't know what it is. The question then, "Is there a career for me where I won't have constant doubts as to whether or not I should be doing something else?" I am wondering if I'm suffering from youthful idealism. Perhaps no matter what I do I will have these nagging doubts. I just feel that I should be able to find a career that I can be passionate about. Is that naive?
So, off to South America I run. Perhaps I can find some sort of epiphany on the foreign roads. In any case, it should be fun.

Friday, December 14, 2007

I'm About to Lose My Worried Mind

I never entered so I can't really complain about not winning, but I sure would have loved to won Q-107's prize of tickets to Led Zeppelin's reunion concert in London on Monday. I confess that at first I didn't appreciate Led Zeppelin all that much. I instantly liked Going to California but on their other songs I didn't like Plant's singing. However, I've since come to my senses and now Led Zeppelin is my second favourite band, in times of honestly perhaps my favourite band. I also consider Robert Plant to be the most talented rock singer that I've heard.
Some of their great songs include, Going to California, Good Times Bad Times, Babe I'm Going to Leave You, Dazed and Confused, Your Time is Going to Come, How Many More Times, Whole Lotta Love, What is and What Should Never Be, The Lemon Song, Thank You, Heartbreaker, Living Loving Maid (Alimony alimony paying your bills, when your conscience hits you knock it back with pills), Ramble On, Immigrant Song, Friends, Since I've Been Loving You, Gallows Pull, Bron-Y-Aur-Stomp, Black Dog, Rock and Roll, Battle of Evermore, Stairway to Heaven, Misty Mountain Hop, When the Levee Breaks, D'yer Maker, The Crunge, Dancing Days, No Quarter, The Ocean, Kashmir, In My Time of Dying, Trampled under Foot, and several other songs that I didn't get around to listing.
I don't know if the members of Led Zeppelin had terrible luck with unfaithful girlfriends or if there was merely one spectacular split that became the fodder for almost every other song that thy wrote because most of their material deals with how women mistreat them. I think that if I ever experience a tragic breakup, especially if I'm wronged, I will listen to Led Zeppelin for a year straight. I might just do it anyhow; they're that good that I don't want to wait until some girl breaks my heart.
Although I didn't get to go to the concert, I can take consolation in the fact that the radio station has been playing more than the usual amount of Led Zeppelin. I woke up this morning to In My Time of Dying and before noon I had also heard Dazed And Confused, Stairway To Heaven, The Song Remains The Same, Misty Mountain Hop, Kashmir, Whole Lotta Love, and Rock And Roll.
I imagine that those who don't like Led Zeppelin will not like this blog and are probably deaf or something. Really I don't understand how anyone couldn't enjoy Led Zeppelin.
People who care to leave comments could name their favourite Led Zeppelin song and if they don't like Led Zeppelin they could name what songs they do like.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Musician 1. "Can you play the Hallelujah Chorus?"

Musician 2. "I think I can Handel it!"
That's an old, widely under appreciated joke from Peanuts that even I was too embarrassed to tell last night despite the many opportune times that arose to tell it. I went with some friends to see Handel's Messiah performed by the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Calgary Philharmonic Chorus and four soloist that you likely haven't heard of but are nonetheless extremely talented.
The performance took place at the Jack Singer Concert Hall, and it was my first time there. I certainly saw a different side to Calgary. The redneck side of Calgary is of course blatantly obvious, especially during Stampede as is the greedy oil industry side. Never before had I seen its cultural side so clearly. It was quite refreshing.
We were seated almost at the very back of the highest balcony yet the acoustics were such that it didn't matter too much. It would have been nice to be able to see the performers better yet I stilled enjoyed it immensely and I was close enough to observe several things that I enjoyed.
For one thing, I really enjoyed watching the Conductor. Ivars Taurins certainly gets involved in the music. I think I could have watched him the whole time and not be bored. Meghan said she actually saw him jump. I missed it but I don't doubt it for a second. I also enjoyed watching the counter tenor sing. It was strange to see a man singing yet in the high notes he sounded like a woman. I never knew that someone could have such a powerful falsetto with such an amazing range. But then again, I never listened to much of the Bee Gees. I liked how after each of the three parts the Conductor and Concertmaster, the first violinist, shook hands. I also liked how the Concertmaster's name is Cenek Vrba. I don't think there could be a more stereotypical name for a virtuoso violinist. There was another portly violinist that I enjoyed watching as well. With his long beard, and white hair he looked like I think professional classical musicians should look.
However, I think that my favourite person to watch was the oboist. He also had white hair and a moustache. He had a bit of a comb over but the tuft of hair that should be combed over was drifting off to the side in a rakish sort of Einstein-ish, eccentric genius look. He probably had at least as many bars of rest as actually playing time and while not playing it looked as though he was drifting off to sleep or would become otherwise engaged in activities that normally would be reserved for offstage. For example, I saw him checking his fingernails. I imagined in my head that all of the other members would be annoyed at him and always hoping that he would give some reason to be ejected from the symphony yet he happened to be such a musical genius, such an oboe virtuoso that he position was always guaranteed despite his offbeat mannerisms.
All in all it was definitely worthwhile. I would like to go to performances much more regularly and would encourage others to do so as well.

And that my friends, is a classic example on how one concludes a blog quickly due to dwindling interest in said blog.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


For whatever reason I haven't felt the urge to blog for awhile. I had a few ideas for blog subjects but they didn't catch my imagination the way I hoped and so I didn't even bother trying to write. Now I begin, without a clear objective in mind; this means there is a very real danger of writing a lousy blog. I feel forced however, due to the constant demands from my enormous fan base. Or something.
Tonight I went to the mall for the first time in a long time. And it sucked. If there's anything depressing, it's going to the mall before Christmas. I don't know if the mall planers purposely set out to showcase everything that is wrong with the North American consumerist attitude or whether it just happened but I have quite a few complaints.
First let me justify my reason for going to the mall. I went with a friend to look for a wedding gift. Unfortunately everything on the registry in our price range was taken except for a wok. Now I'm sure that a wok is an excellent thing to have but I really don't want to buy such a lame gift. So we looked for something else.
Back to my blog though. Does anyone else notice how much of the stuff for sale is absolute garbage? Example: I saw a hand held game of poker. Pretty common except for the fact that this particular version had about six attachments so that several people can play simultaneously. Granted there are a few situations where this would be preferable to actual cards but this situations are definitely limited. I imagine that people buy this gift without any thought to how useful the game is. So many of the products cater to this type of mindless consumerism. Merely package the product well and convince the consumer that it's a good idea.
Or the toy store. Don't even get me started here. Does every single toy really need to be battery operated? Not only are batteries a huge strain on the environment with the dangerous chemicals and energy inefficiency, they take all the imagination out of a toy. Previously the toy would encourage a child to his his imagination but now that's no longer necessary with toys making sound effects, moving, and lighting up. And once the battery is dead the toy sucks. I don't even think that these toys are more fun.
The other big problem I have with the toys of today is that so many are based on popular movies, tv shows and video games. Once again, imagination is put aside because kids can reenact their favourite movie without even thinking. Instead of the customer thinking, "will this toy be fun?" he can think, "Oh! it's a Sponge Bob doll that says six different things, Jane loves Sponge Bob, I'll buy it." forgetting the fact that a talking doll is fun for five minutes and then it is garbage. Toxic, non-biodegradable garbage.
The only thing that I saw that seemed somewhat worthwhile was that massage chair I tried out. INCREDIBLE. I want one so bad.