Thursday, February 28, 2013

Age and Library Programs

Over the past few days I've had to deal with quite a few library patrons who have been, or will be, mad at me. My offence? Not allowing their underage children into programs.

When our program staff members come up with ideas for programs, they set the age range of the program themselves. They have an extremely good idea of the attention span and general knowledge required for the program, and their experience gives them a good idea of what an average child of a given age is capable of. The people I work with are talented and experienced, and I know they extend the lower limit of the age range down to an age that likely will require a fair bit of assistance.

Nonetheless, we have been overwhelmed with attempted registrations and requests for special treatment made for younger children over the past few days. I cannot (and would not anyway) go into specific details, but each of the parents involved read the program description, and felt that the age range, for whatever reason, should not apply to their child. I found myself wondering today if these same parents will argue with the government to let their children start driving a year early, or if they would expect a teacher to allow an underage student into a class simply because an older sibling is already there.

Maybe I'm being over-sensitive, but it seems like a real lack of respect for the library and its staff -- almost as if these parents feel we're stupid and randomly pick the age range for our programs. *sigh*

Again though, if this is my biggest complaint of the day, my life is going pretty darned well.

Oh, Amanda and I met with our wedding photographer tonight. She impressed me, and I think we'll be very happy with her!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Tomorrow our fate will be sealed. We'll be meeting with our photographer for our wedding for the first time. It's so weird to think that we'll be hiring someone to immortalize us on the most important day of our life... tomorrow.

Well, at least we're meeting her in a coffee shop so we can be heavily caffeinated when we sign the contract.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


I just got off the phone a few minutes ago. I was talking with a friend in Tumbler Ridge and am very glad I'm not there.

Let me be clear -- I'm very glad to be here in Grande Prairie with Amanda. I love being able to wake up next to her in the morning, see her smiling face right after work, and fall asleep cuddling her. But above and beyond *all* of that, she got me away from the insanity.

Thank you Amanda. I love you lots!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Going Postal

These blog posts usually start with me telling Amanda "I guess I should do a blog post." Then a half hour passes and I repeated the statement, amended only to include the word "really."

I often have ideas to write about, but they mostly fade away by the time I'm ready to write, and I end up babbling about something different. For instance, I considered writing about the program I led today at the library that went so poorly. But I decided it sounded kind of whiny and abandoned the idea.

Instead, I choose to focus on the positive: it was even more wonderful than normal to see Amanda's smiling face tonight. She's currently recovering from her thwarted attempt to make peanut butter chocolate chip cookies tonight. Neither of us knew/remembered that the recipe called for the dough to be refrigerated for two hours...

Anyway, tomorrow night will be cookie night in our apartment. And with that, I wish all readers a good night.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Books and Reading

Amanda and I both do a lot of reading. Lately she's been reading away with her iPad Mini or Kobo Mini while I've been working my way through the library's collection. I'm reading the Legacy of the Force Star Wars series and just finished a fantastic non-fiction book. It was Instant: the story of Polaroid by Christopher Bonanos. I can't recommend the book enough. I was an incredibly fast read, and I learned a lot about Polaroid in the process.

I love books that teach me about the major companies of the world, particularly those that have fallen on hard times or disappeared entirely. I've read books on Apple, Microsoft, Ford, Lehman Brothers, Bear Sterns, and Southwest Airlines. I've devoured books about the origin and development of the 747, Windows NT, and the Volkwagen Beetle. I love books about these topics, and I'm always happy to find a new one. What's next on my list? I'm not sure, but if it's good, I might write about it.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Irony and Illness

I was sick all week. From Monday night when I had a sore throat to yesterday after work when my stomach was churning away, I was sick. I tried to get extra sleep and take it easy, but the bug stuck with me.

Last night I had lots of trouble sleeping. I finally dozed off (on the couch) after 5am, and was woken up when Amanda came out to the living room around 8. I was really tired, and somewhat cranky, for a large chunk of the day, but guess what?

I'm feeling better. I'm not back to 100% yet, but I feel the best I have in a week. I can't believe it happened after a night like last night, but somehow it happened, and I'm very happy about it. With that, I'm off to bed, hopefully for a full night of sleep this time around.

Friday, February 22, 2013


Amanda and I watched Tangled tonight for the very first time. First off, we loved it. It had a fun story, good characters, and we spent a lot of time laughing or saying "awwww". It was great. But we do have one question:

Disney, what was with the music?

The only half-memorable song in the entire movie was when the tavern full of ruffians sang about having dreams. The rest were completely forgettable. I still get songs like "Under the Sea", "Part of Your World", "Be our Guest", and *everything* from The Lion King stuck in my head on a fairly regular basis, and I know that's never going to happen with the songs from Tangled. Good job on Tangled, Disney, but the music could've used more time.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Still Sick

I'm still sick. I'm very grateful Amanda hasn't caught what I have. I've been feeling fine in the morning, and start feeling lousy again in the afternoon. Blehhhhhhhhh.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Sick Again

I hate being sick. I hate it, I hate it, I hate it!

It's not just the illness itself -- I can handle a few days of feeling lousy. It's everything around being sick that bugs me. I don't like that I may be getting others sick, and everything related to work and being sick makes life much harder.

If I call in sick, I make my voice sound worse until it matches how badly I feel -- not to mislead anyone, but to try to convey how I'm feeling by sound alone.

I dislike having to go to my boss after I've been at work an hour to say I'm feeling lousy. I feel stupid, and worry that my boss will wonder if I'm too dumb to just stay home.

Here's the thing. I hate being sick so much, yet I have sick days at my job, and even if I didn't, Amanda and I would be able to manage well enough financially. In other words, I have two safety nets, and even with them, I still hate being sick.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Family Day (the holiday)

We didn't do much other than a lot of laundry, dishes, and grocery shopping, but Amanda and I enjoyed our Family Day together thoroughly. Among other things, we finished off a game of iPad Monopoly (I won) and played another to completion (Amanda won), leaving us all set for a tiebreaker at some point this week.

...yeah, we lead boring lives. :-)

Sunday, February 17, 2013

On Life and Marriage

I once had someone tell me that even at the seven year mark of her marriage, she sometimes looked at her husband and wondered who he was. It was very weird to hear that spoken aloud. I always assumed that by the time two people were married, they knew nearly everything about each other, so after seven years of living together and raising children together, there would never be a moment like this.

Now that I'm a little older and have been with Amanda for over a year and a half, I understand a little better. I love Amanda dearly. At this point, we seldom run into "what were you thinking?" moments. There are many days when I feel so close to her and it feels like we've been with each other for a lifetime.

But then there are also isolated moments when the opposite happens. I looked up from a game of Monopoly we were playing on our iPads, and for a brief instant, it seemed incredibly strange that I was less than six months away from marrying this cute woman on the couch. It happened earlier today, too, when we were on a walk and talking about whether we'd get our bank accounts joined once we're married. I know marriage won't change day-to-day things between us -- we'll still go for walks, still sit together to watch tv shows on Netflix, and still play games together. But in that moment, it felt like *everything* would change the moment she puts a ring on my finger on our wedding day. It was a weird moment. It was a moment that made me consciously aware that I'm not a kid anymore.

But then I saw the sun shine on her hair, and the smile on her face, and things were normal again. I was walking next to Amanda, the woman I love so much and will be marrying in five months. And all was right with the world! :-)

I'm a little scruffy in today's photo. I cut myself shaving badly on Friday and am letting it heal entirely before I pass a razor over that section again. The alternative was me growing a soul patch, and that is something nobody wants.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Family Day (not the holiday)

Amanda and I spent the day with her sister and her children. We went swimming at the multiplex, had supper, and spent some time at our place playing games. It was lots of fun!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Long Weekend

So it's officially the long weekend for us, and we have very little on the way of plans... Yay! Amanda and I talked about a few things we might do this weekend, but there isn't anything too pressing or important that we absolutely have to accomplish. As a result, I predict a weekend with a small amount of running around, maybe some light cleaning, and at least one trip to the Multiplex to go swimming.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Mid-week Photo

Amanda and I took this photo together yesterday while we were walking after our appointments were over.  It was incredibly nice out, and we thoroughly enjoyed our day together.

I'm really happy how this photo turned out.  The colours are great, the trees behind us look neat, and Amanda looks amazing in this photo!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Valentine's Day Part 2

Amanda and I took today off due to some appointments that were spaced out over the course of the day. When we finished up, we decided to go to the mall briefly to pick some floss up. While we were there, we each took the opportunity to expand on our Valentine's gifts. Both of us found inexpensive things we had really been hoping to get each other. It was fun, the new stuffed toys are sitting on our bookshelves, and life is good.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Early Valentine's Day

Amanda and I both have tomorrow off due to dentist appointments, so I suggested that we celebrate Valentine's Day early. Originally the plan was to go out for supper tomorrow night. However, tomorrow night is the last Scrabble night we'll have for a while because her parents will be away. As a result, we celebrated tonight.

Amanda gave me some really cool yarn from Blue Moon Fiber Arts, and I gave her a necklace. We had supper at Mr. Mike's and had a really good early Valentine's Day! So far we're two for two with good Valentine's Days. Hopefully we can keep the streak going for many more years.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Sunny Sunset Photo

Note: I originally tried to post this on Saturday, and just found out it didn't post correctly.

Amanda and I took this photo together just before sunset today. The weather was amazing, and the only problem with the day was that it wasn't long enough!

We're hoping to get out and about some more tomorrow if the weather is nice. It'd do us both good to do some wandering. The wedding is less than 6 months away, after all.

Oh, and in wedding news, we mailed out most of our save the date cards this afternoon. They turned out fairly nice, and I'm glad we decided to do them ourselves.


As I type this, Amanda is e-mailing her photographer of choice to see if she's available for our wedding day. I'm very glad about this -- as official photographer of this blog, I'd be much harder on the potential photographers than Amanda would be. No doubt I'd scare a whole bunch of them off. ;-)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Flowers... Oh God, the flowers...

So, I spent most of today on the couch beside Amanda while she researched, pondered, looked at, and talked about floral arrangements for the wedding.  If I'm being honest, I completely lost track of the converstaion at times as to the merits of one kind of centerpiece vase over another, whether silk orchids would work okay with real flowers, and how many and what size of peacock feathers would be needed for Amanda's bouquet and the other arrangements.

In there was also a brief discussion about the boutonnieres.  I figured my brother and I would just be wearing simple white carnations (Amanda's favourite flower).  Done.  But other options have presented themselves, making what I thought would be a very simple decision into a more complicated one.

So we were on the couch for hours while images of orchids, carnations, and assorted feathers flashed by on an iPad's screen.  Then after our (really great afternoon walk), we returned for more of the same.

This morning, I had two people telling me to quit stressing out about the wedding.  Since then, I've been brought further into the flower loop -- something that, while I know it's our wedding and we decide stuff together, I sort of thought Amanda would figure out and I would say "Yes dear." :-)

*sigh* How long until I'm married and our wedding day is past?

(I'm mostly kidding)

Friday, February 8, 2013

Real Estate Matters

I am still waiting for my condo to sell. Once it sells, things will be a little simpler. I can finally finish dealing with my old bank, and no longer pay hydro bills for a place I'm not living in. That's the plan anyway. Then once it's sold, Amanda and I can plan our amazing honeymoon which may or may not require us to learn Italian.

Thursday, February 7, 2013


It's silly, but Amanda and I were incredibly excited when Community started its (sadly, probably final) season a few minutes ago. My brother convinced us to try the series on Netflix, and we watched the first three seasons twice in a row. So we're hopeful that ratings will be high so they will find a way to continue the show #sixseasonsandamovie

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Mission

The mission prior to our wedding in July is for me to lose some weight. I managed pretty well when I worked at it in 2009 -- I lost 40 pounds in 5 months. I eventually gained it back indirectly due to the stress of being Interim Head Librarian and then because it was hard to fit in my normal hour long walk *and* have time to chat with Amanda in the evening.

Grande Prairie isn't as walker friendly as Tumbler Ridge, so my exercise has been of the indoor variety. For instance, tonight I did an hour of basic step while Amanda and I played Nintendoland together. It was lots of fun and made the hour go by incredibly quickly.

I need to check my weight, but I believe I'm around 260 right now, and want to be around 220 by our wedding day. ...It's time to get to work.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


Amanda has very different needs than me when it comes to pillows. I have a stack of three pillows: a thin, firm one on the bottom, a fluffier, semi-soft one in the middle and finally a fairly soft pillow on top. That pillow stack gives my head and neck lots of support, and it's easy to rearrange if I need something firmer to sleep on.

Amanda, on the other hand, has two pillows: one soft, and another super soft, and she usually only sleeps on one at a time. It works fine most of the time, but if we're cuddling, it can be kind of interesting having our pillows at different heights...

Monday, February 4, 2013

Repairman Jack

I've started re-reading one of my favourite novel series. It's the Repairman Jack series by F. Paul Wilson. I stumbled into it while working at the Tumbler Ridge Public Library when By the Sword, the fifth-last book in the series, arrived there and looked interesting.

For those of you who haven't read any of the books, they're about a man named Jack who doesn't fix cars or furniture -- he fixes broken contracts and promises. Nobody can find him because he doesn't officially exist. Eventually he gets caught up in a large supernatural conflict that has existed on Earth for ages and becomes the tip of the spear for the battle.

Anyway, I highly recommend the series. Pick up (or download for your favourite eReader) The Tomb, and go from there!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Winter Wandering

The weather was nice today, so when Amanda and I were done with dishes, laundry, vacuuming, and such, we walked to do our running around. We stopped while walking on one of the paths though Muskoseepi Park to do something we haven't done in a while: take a photo.

I was worried it wouldn't turn out because I haven't taken many photos of us lately, but I was very happy with the results!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

On the Cola Non-War

We don't have an ongoing cola war in our apartment. Amanda generally prefers Coke, and I'm nominally more fond of Pepsi. When we go out for supper, we never have a problem with servers at restaurants that say "Is X okay?" when offering the other major cola if our first choice isn't available.

So to celebrate our cola all-inclusive attitudes, I did some sketching in Paper tonight.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Plans, plans, plans

It's finally time for the weekend after a long seven day week for me. Amanda's weekend doesn't start for another 14 hours or so, but we'll have a whole day and a half off together!

...which is time we'd better use to finalize more of our wedding plans, like the caterer, photographer, and florist.

It bugs me that we have to spend so much money on these things that I'm capable of doing, but am not able to do while I'm busy being the groom. Who takes all the photos for this blog, after all? ;-)

Anyway, with any luck we'll get a few more things finalized, and we'll be in really good shape with 5 1/2 months left before the wedding.