Why must I get ‘the sick’ as my vacation ends?

[Composed on Jan. 8, 2017; 21:33 EST, in an airplane]

Being sick while travelling is just about the worst thing there is.

Picture it: you’re away from work, enjoying a leisurely time when and where you have very few cares, and suddenly you feel your throats getting sore, your nose start to stuff up or run, and fatigue hits you like a flaming sack of crap.

And the worst part is, you often feel yourself getting sicker.

This is what I’ve had to endure the last three days. And it’s honestly a mix of emotions.

On the one hand, I’m getting sick at the very end of my time off work, so my time off hasn’t been ruined.

On the other hand, I’m getting sick, which is never fun.

I’m feeling fairly decent, all things considered, however. This sick is feeling like it could clear up with lots of sleep and keeping hydrated. And that’s a good thing, because my stupid body has treated me to some doozies over the years.

There was that time I had to cover a rodeo and a triathlon on the same day, and that day saw me feeling tired, achy all over and slightly chilled – it’s highly likely I had a high fever.

Thankfully my only experiences (that I can recall) with vomiting have been the result of excessive alcohol and not something like the flu.

Anyway, I survived my 17 days off without really getting sick.

Time to commence the countdown to a trip to Europe. When am I going? Absolutely no concrete idea yet. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Vacation at an end

It’s Jan. 7, and while I don’t leave the GTA to return to Alberta until tomorrow, this vacation is pretty much over.

Today is my 31th birthday, so I’m apparently doing something right. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I have to say this is probably one of the best vacations I’ve taken since I started working like a mature, responsible adult.

What did I do? Heck, what didn’t I do?

I went to seven WJHC games at the ACC.

I went to the Centennial Classic at BMO Field.

I went to Ottawa for the first time since early 2010 (at least I think that was the last time).

I nearly achieved a gyarados, but did achieve several other top-level pokemon (if anyone even still plays that game).

And today, I’m holding a mini birthday party, since I haven’t been in the T.Dot on my birthday since 2010. So I thought, “why not?”

It’s going to feel weird going back to Edmonton, to an office that will be different (well, more different) than I left. To a job where I am a one-person department. We’ll have to see how that goes.

Hopefully I can get picked up from the airport. I don’t really want to take the bus.

Changes…

Or not.

It’s 2017, and while I have often tried to make resolutions of some shape or form, I have not always been too successful. Sure, like always, I start out with the best of intentions, but things always tend to get in the way.

This year will be different. Or so I keep telling myself.

I have actual goals this year. I want to take a two-week trip to Europe. I want to take control of my burgeoning mass. I want to profane my body with the Dark Mark (because the mudbloods and halfblooded need to know they’re inferior!). I want to live a more wholesome life, W/eTF that means.

I think what might make achieving some of those goals easier is linking them together. Except for the Europe trip — that’s happening regardless.

Will I succeed? Hopefully.

I won’t keep you posted, because I think I read somewhere that regular updates to friends/family makes the chances of success less likely because you feel like you’ve achieved something before you’ve actually achieved anything.

Merry Christmas

Or something like that…

Christmas in your 30s, which is apparently where I find myself, is a strange thing.

You’re no longer super excited about what you’re going to get, so there’s no rush to wake up early and start ripping into your presents. Instead, you’re often more excited about getting friends and family the quote-unquote perfect present.

Really, it’s the experiences that become more meaningful than the actual items you’ll receive.

Heck, for me, I had a brief list that was pretty much essentials (e.g. grocery store gift cards) or something I would plan to get for myself anyway, but would rather wait to see if Christmas or birthday would produce it for me (e.g. wearable GPS).

So, as this, the 30th Christmas of my life is ready to happen (as I’m only barely waking up), I look more forward to the time spend with family (and friends in the coming days) than I am to what I will get.

The only thing I could get that would actually be disappointing would be socks and skivvies — I explicitly told people not to get me any because I have too many to begin with.

Home for the holidays

I’m still kicking myself for passing up the chance to go to Euro 2016 in France this summer. Tickets were still available when I bailed, so my regret is even stronger. Yes, I had a strong reason not to go, but that reason never materialized, so… yeah.

So, in a vain attempt to make up for that choice, I decided to go to the IIHF World U20 (WJHC) tournament in Toronto. I figure if I passed up international football, I may as well go to an international hockey tournament instead.

Adding in the fact my family is in Toronto, and it’s actually a much cheaper experience than Euro 2016 would have been. That said, I still would have preferred Euro 2016 to the WJHC.

I don’t know why I started this off with that mini treatise on my life choices in the past year, since I’m planning to discuss that closer to Dec. 31 (or on Dec. 31, I don’t know).

This year I will be home for Christmas for the first time since 2014, and only the second time since 2009. And it’s only the second time I will have headed back east to the GTA *not* for a wedding since I moved out here to Alberta back in 2010. Yes, you read that right – I had only ever flown into or out of Edmonton for weddings until this past September when I went home for a weekend to see a Blue Jays game, and watch my brother get recognized for his work as a Blue Jays physiotherapist.

Anyway. Yes. It’s going to be nice to be home for Christmas again this year. While pretty much every year I have been out here I have been invited somewhere for Christmas, there is still nothing like being with family and friends whom I have known for a long time – a.k.a. people I actually know.

It’s going to be a busy two weeks, too. I have seven WJHC games to attend, as well as the Centennial Classic (outdoor) game on Jan. 1. I hadn’t really planned on attending that game, but I decided I’m going to be in town, so why not? The only thing I worry about is that it’s outdoors, so I’m at the mercy of the weather, be it snowing and cold, or raining (it is Toronto, after all).

Carrie

Carrie, by Stephen King

I watched both film adaptations of this book first. Each of the movies has its own merits, and each does different things better. On the whole, I would have to say the original, 1976 version is the better one, because it sticks to the source material better. Also because Sissy Spacek.

But this is more about the book and less about the movie. So let’s get on with it…

Having seen the movies before, I had a preconception of what the book would be like. The book mostly blew me away. It’s so much better.

Well, there were the little asides throughout that threw my reading a bit out of whack. The asides in the text, splitting paragraphs and thoughts in two did take a little getting used to. They were basically jump cuts, which I don’t feel work too well in text.

One of my biggest beefs with the book, which is completely unfair when factoring in how I saw the movies first, is there description of the deaths Carrie wrought upon her classmates is scant at best. I wanted to read descriptions of how Carrie tortured the ringleaders of her mistreatment. Nope.

Now, the aforementioned beef is based on the idea books are more descriptive than the movies. And the movies didn’t really show too much individual torture, so I was hoping the book would. Nope.

On the flip side, I loved King’s descriptions of Carrie’s destructive walk back home.

On another flip side, Margaret’s death was so anti-climactic. The 1976 movie does it so much better — Carrie uses here telekinesis to stab her mom. That’s so much more emphatic than having Carrie stop her mother’s heart. Then again, it’s actually kind of more terrifying to have one’s heart stopped by an outside force with no physical contact. It’s the avada kedavra without wands.

This is making me want to read more Stephen King. I’ve already read The Shining, which was also much more different from the movie.

The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz

This wasn’t quite what I was expecting.

Then again, I don’t know what I was expecting when I started reading it.

When I started reading this, I thought it would go in a completely different direction than it actually did. See, the opening ‘montage’ or storyline is about a teacher who is trying to deal with rowdy and rebellious students, one of whom is the eventual protagonist Duddy Kravitz.

It was this opening storyline, with the teacher’s wife dying after an apparent prank phone call, that led me to think the teacher would be the actual protagonist and Duddy would be more of an object undergoing an education in life.

This is not how things played out.

Instead, the story progresses to follow Duddy through his late teens (and early 20s?) as he seemingly matures and grows up and tries to achieve his life goal of being a landowner and becoming a “someone.”

We watch Duddy: suffer from antisemitism (real and perceived), get unknowingly (and knowlingly in the later stages) involved in the drug trade, become a mini movie mogul, use a woman for her being of legal age, and several other things that are slipping my mind at the moment.

I’m not sure whether I consider Duddy to be amoral, or a complete twat.

On the one hand, he is steadfast and obsessive towards achieving his dream of owning land, which is admirable. But it’s how he does it.

He’s clearly uncaring when it comes to the feelings and wellbeing of those around him. He gets into a relationship with Yvette, and because she’s of age and he’s not (I wish I knew how old Duddy was and what age is considered of age) the land he buys is in her name. This makes how he treats her so surprising, because if she wasn’t as stand-up a woman as she is, she could have screwed Duddy over and made the land hers.

Then there’s what Duddy does to Virgil. Uses him to get the pinball machines (although I have my suspicions he wasn’t entirely sure Virgil would come through), virtually abandons him post-crash, and then robs him to get the land. It’s at this point I wish Yvette had chosen to take the land and make it her own, because Duddy became total scum in my eyes by robbing Virgil.

And apparently this book is also a movie. I am intrigued to watch it now.