Big bird

There were problems, it wasn’t perfect, but on the whole I think turkey day was a success. The turkey was nice and juicy. The company was good. I had a wide variety of sides.
The problems however were twofold.
Not enough people and too much bird. There were supposed to be nine of us around the table. There were, in practice, only six. Some cancelled because the Grey Cup was on. Others because of family juggling issues. I am not proud that I tried to use guilt to get them to show up. But if you can’t use guilt on loved ones on American Thanksgiving, then when can you?
The gravy didn’t go so well. I messed up a bit, and let it reduce too much. And then after adding the powders, I wasn’t keeping it heated so it got a bit jelly-like. (I was under a lot of pressure in the kitchen. Give me a break.) With the mountains of leftovers at my disposal, I have found that adding water and heating it again pretty much solves that problem.
I’m going to be eating this thing for months.

Caloric outtake

I went for a Sunday run today. Sixteen kilometers. I haven’t run that far since, well… the run that injured me. My ankle feels mostly good right now, so I guess I can continue ramping up. Unfortunately, my leg muscles don’t feel the same way. I was actually getting tired at times.
But it was important to do the run. Today is turkey day for me. There will be a lot of food flowing through this place. It is important to get some calories burned.
Which would explain why I’m already hungry.

Patrolling the environment

Today was an interesting day at work. And I use the term “work” in its loosest sense. It was a team building day. The focus was on the environment. We bussed downtown and were then given a series of pictures that we had to find the origins of, all vaguely related to greenness. Take a picture of us at each place for the points.
I really think we should have checked the books on biodiversity out from the library so no one else could get a picture of them. Or is that not team building?
DId you know that at Canada Place, they really don’t approve of pictures being taken? Especially not of the upper levels.
In the end, my team came in first place. Appropriate really; We were the green team. The prize was to have first pick of the environmentally friendly loot on the table. Surprisingly, beer made locally is considered environmentally friendly.
I hate buying beer. It’s not cheap, and I never drink it. So the opportunity to get some free was too much to resist. I did get complaints from others who thought it was a waste for me to have it.
Actually another non-drinker took the other case of beer.

Presents and accounted for

CostCo understands me.
I went there looking for chocolate to sate the people who come for movie nights. There I saw the book I wanted. Happiness and joy. A birthday present for myself.
The chocolate part could have gone better. I couldn’t get the kind I wanted. I hope it will show up later. (The people demand it.) I did get something that will hopefully be a good stopover.

Annual gorge day

I have turkey.
I am celebrating American Thanksgiving next week. I could say that it is because I missed Canadian Thanksgiving, but that excuse isn’t going to hold water after I have been consistently celebrating it for the past few years. It is more of an excuse to prove that I can actually cook. I invite a select few people over, give them a (hopefully) good meal, and show that I am a good provider.
The turkey I got is a little bigger than I would have liked. More expensive too. Usually I buy the turkey in early October when everyone else is buying them and they are cheap. Now, only the desperate buy turkeys, so they are priced to match.
I got a Butterball. They have served me well in the past. If I was feeling ambitious I would have instead gone for the Hutterite turkeys at the Farmer’s Market. Those ones are very good, and my mother swears by them. (I should know. I have to buy them here, and then drive them down to Calgary for her.) But I don’t think I could do such a turkey justice.
I’m not that good a cook.

Birthday party

It is my birthday today. (Technically yesterday at this moment.) I wanted to buy myself a present, but Best Buy has chosen to thwart me. I went in looking for something, but there was nothing. No DVDs that looked good. No games that I could justify without already playing the ones I have. Nothing that had a pressing need to be purchased.
They drove the final nail in the coffin when they started playing a Christmas carol. I fled.
I had an idea to buy the final book in the Sword of Truth series. But I couldn’t find that where I usually buy them from.
So, no presents for myself.
My friends were great and I got two from them. A box of chocolates, and another book I wanted to read. Still, I would have liked to get myself something bigger.

Despite complaints, the weather was better in Jamaica

I am now back in Edmonton.
The flight from Toronto was okay. It had those video terminal screens in it. And there were lots of movies I would have liked to have seen, available to be watched. Instead I slept. Which will probably let me be functional today.
I had no problem with security in Toronto. Even though I was asking for trouble. As soon as we passed through customs there was a huge amount of armed border security guards milling about. I asked one why, and she took it as an opportunity to ask me a lot of questions about my trip. I didn’t have anything to hide, so there was no problem. I guess the Jamaica flight is a little more closely watched. The drug sniffing dog that romped around our baggage did look like he was having a great time. Puppy-like.
Even though I was well over the limit on alcohol that I should be allowed to bring in they didn’t fine me a duty on it. I was honest, and they didn’t care that much. Of course, I am examining by liquor cupboard and I’m beginning to think I might not have room for all the booze I keep bringing back from my vacations. I won two bottles at the resort, and purchased a good bottle at the airport. They are all variations of rum.


The flight from Montego Bay to Toronto. Nothing exciting to report. It is more computer friendly because we don’t have those video monitors to cater our own personal entertainment. That said, I did watch the in-flight movie and take a nap.
No Reservations was a good movie. Not much more to say.
Is it wrong that most of the movies I see these days are on airplane flights? I have a big screen TV at home, but I keep watching the same movies on it. Usually ones that I have already seen. Action movies with surround sound are great on it! But on flights I see movies I wouldn’t normally see, but have an interest in. I don’t usually see dramas. I probably should, but there are other movies I want to see more.

Lies and the resorts who tell them

The sunshine guarantee is a lie!
According to the woman at the guest services there was an hour and a half of sun yesterday starting at 1:17. I was not blind at that time, and I did not see the clouds disappear. It wasn’t raining and the clouds may have been thinner. But the sun was not present.
I will give them credit for not saying it was only five minutes. That would have been an obvious convenient falsehood. Instead they took the time to change the conditions of the promise to match what was in there best interests.
And today, more rain. I’m beginning to regret not leaving yesterday. There wasn’t much at the resort that was worth staying for. It actually isn’t that nice of a place. It is the people I see regularly that make it worth coming to.

Come another day

It was cloudy and overcast all day. At least I thought it was. I’ve been hearing rumors that the resort thinks it was sunny between 1:00 and 1:05. That would be enough to wreck the comp day. I would prefer the resort just tell the truth, that they don’t have a sunshine guarantee, instead of lie about it being sunny (for a given value of sunny) for a brief time.
So not much happened today. No sunning. I did get around to my book and reading it around the resort. But that is hardly what caribbean memories are made of.

Scuba diving in the dining area

I went to bed early last night. The last three nights had caught up to me. I would have liked to stay up, because things were still happening. And the last few of the people I know are leaving today. There are a very small number who leave tomorrow, but I don’t know them as well.
But, because I got good sleep, I could get up early and go scuba diving. It was cloudy, but that doesn’t matter beneath the surface. We did the airplane wreck. So I was down 80 feet for about 25 minutes. At least that is what they told us. And yes, there was the wreck of an airplane. Possibly two, it was hard to tell. I didn’t see them close up because I still have trouble equalizing so it takes me a long time to get down. I did eventually, but that was after the wrecks. I did get to see a turtle.
It is easy to get lost underwater. There are fewer objects to orient yourself to. If you try turning around 360 degrees, it takes longer than you expect.
When we came up it was raining. And it got harder. I would say monsoon, but I’m sure the locals will say it can get worse. Water was everywhere. I had breakfast and everyone around was wet. We huddled under the shelter.
If there is no sunshine at all today, I can get a comp day. So my plan of sunning today is pretty much tanked. But now I’m hoping the sun does not show at all. It would make packing early easier to justify.


I didn’t think I could, but apparently you can sign up for excursions at the last possible minute. So, an hour before it started, I signed up to go horseback riding. They would send a bus to pick me up. While wandering through the resort, I mentioned to three other people my plan. They signed up and came with me fifteen minutes before the bus.
It’s much nicer to go with other people.
The key to this horse riding experience was at the halfway point everyone got off their horses. The saddles were changed, we remounted, and went into the water. The horses splashed around and, at times, swam. Loads of fun. Even when the occasional horse patty came floating by, I rode Moonshine.
And they had the most reasonable price for photos that I’ve ever seen. Still not cheap, but they did burn them to a DVD instead of printing them out. Makes it a lot easier because I don’t want to scan them back in. Digital is easier. Our pictures were easy to find in the batch; We were the only white people.

Drunk, noun

I am so wasted.
And I actually mean that now. I had five drinks (some of them girly) in the span of about an hour. I am very lightheaded. The only reason I’m back in my room is to make sure my roommate, who is leaving at this hour, isn’t stealing my laptop. A stupid paranoia, but better not to worry than to have it gnawing at you.
So, let’s see what this drunkenness can do.
If only there were more single women here who weren’t scary.The people I’ve been hanging around are mostly in couples. And the lone single women that I know of doesn’t seem that interested in me. But a new crop of people arrived today. Hope springs eternal.
Back to the party.

Do I slur when I type? Be honest.

Low-key day

I tried to go scuba diving today. But the rough water of yesterday had churned up too much silt so that there would be too little visibility. So I had another low key day.
The weather here has finally become good. The sky has been sunny, so I went to the nude pool and sunned myself. Well, actually I read a good book because otherwise I wouldn’t be able to sun for long.
Tonight I plan to get drunk. I girl has offered to help me along by selecting good girl drinks to try. Hopefully I can get them down quickly. Speed seems to be the key.

Drunk, verb or noun?

I am so wasted.
That’s what I would like to say, but it would be a lie. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t drink alcohol. Definitely not in the quantities I would need to.
I drank some absinthe. It tastes horrible, but then it isn’t for everyone. (The bottle will make a nice souvenir.) At the hot tub I was given a few drinks to try. Kahlua and cream tastes vile. Vodka and cranberry was a bit better. But that was diluted so I would need to drink a lot to get that drunk feeling again. I miss it. I liked being one of the cool kids.
In this motif of dryness I did two things this evening. I hung out with the body-painter as he painted pretty women. (A word of advice: Be careful of the smart-alec comments you make when the painter is applying glitter to the model. It tends to linger all over the body. They do bring out my eyes though.) I also did some karaoke. I dislike how they are doing it this year. They have a more professional person in charge of it, but he loves to hear himself sing. So he is singing every third song, sometimes ones no one else knows. In other words, he is hogging the fun. I only got to sing one song. I’m a little bitter.
And it was much more fun when it was a SHE in charge. They look nicer.

Living in a commercial world

On Tuesday I got drunk for the second time in my life. I was more confident and people liked me. I am not making this up, but it sounds like a beer commercial. Or technically a Merlot commercial. However I would be a bad spokesperson.
And today someone here, who has known me for several years, says I should be drinking more. I am apparently more popular when I have had alcohol in my system.
Peer pressure. And I think it is working.
I still don’t like to drink, but I’m beginning to think I should.

One of the seven deadly sins

Yesterday was a day of relaxation. And yet I still didn’t get to bed at a decent hour. Thankfully it hasn’t hurt me too much. The number one reason to get up is to go do the watersports in the morning. Scuba diving and water-skiing lessons only happen at 9:00. But today the water was too rough so I didn’t miss anything.
Guilt free laziness.

Is it an insult that when passing the chef next day and he asks if you enjoyed the meal, you answer that the food wasn’t big enough portions?


This morning I successfully water-skied. There were a few false starts, but the lessons I learned last year still seemed to be in my brain. Everything clicked together properly and I stood up and was out of the water. The boat turned a total of four times before I lost control and sank. I think it was more that my arms were getting tired than me forgetting what to do.
But I did it. Better than the three seconds previously.
I’ll try and do it again, but the one critical lesson I learned last year was that after water-skiing for the first time, your arms hurt for a week. A whole week. I was lucky I did it at the end of my vacation last year. This might be a problem this year.
Other than that I spent the day helping people who were organizing events. There is a fashion show tomorrow that had a dress rehearsal and fitting today. I would have liked to be in it, but I think I was gone at a critical point trying to find a tray for the show and someone else volunteered in my absence. However, he probably wants it more. He says if he is in it, then he can’t be asked to film it. He is the media guy around here and I think he is tired.
I think I lost my paper journal. I remember using it to transcribe some information, but now it has disappeared. My best guess is that it was hidden on my bed when the maid came and cleaned up. So it went with the sheets and may have been laundered. I don’t believe it was intentionally stolen because I can’t see it being worth anything.

Painted people

I went to the beach party dressed in part of a gladiator’s outfit. I had a kilt-like thing for it. The only thing is that my chest looked somewhat empty. A complete outfit would have something there.
On the way to the party though, I ran across the body painter and he agreed to paint a harness on me. That will look cool. It shouldn’t take long. Half an hour?
Three hours later he was done. There was a harness. I also had chest muscles and various tribal tattoos. And he had experimented with a new painting technique. Pictures were taken and much was learned about photography.
Of course, the party was long over. In fact it had only really lasted for twenty minutes before rain sent people to the main dining area. The place where my body painting was being done. So I sort of got to attend the party. There were some performers as well. A man with a bed of nails and some sedated snakes. The contortionist was also good.
Now it is quite early in the morning and I’m going to get some sleep. And see how much of this paint rubs off into the bed.