Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Happy Christmas!

I sent out my pretty Christmas e-card today. I had too many people to send it to, and the third email I sent out failed to attach the picture properly. So I'm posting it here, along with my "fabulous" poem.

The Christmas Tree

Every year it is up to me
to fetch the MacPhail Christmas tree.

Having been a lumberjack for several months
I will admit to being kind of pumped.

I went deep into the woods
As far as I could!

First I headed East
Thinking about the impending Christmas feast.

I eventually turned South
Catching snowflakes in my mouth.

Soon a beaver was tagging along,
And a bluebird followed me singing a song.

I got a bit worried when the wolf appeared,
But I just winked at him and tossed him a beer.

Suddenly a fabulous tree stood right in my path
I estimated its height using some math.

A physics calculation determined the angle of my swing,
And the axe hit the tree with a rather subtle ping.

I dragged the tree to the homestead with a proud trot
Only to discover it was filled with termite rot.

So please, come to Charlottetown and see
My fabulous fake Christmas tree.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

So Christmas is fast approaching. It doesn't feel very Christmas-y though, I'm not sure why. Maybe now that we have snow again I'll feel a bit more of the holiday spirit.

Yesterday I went on a shopping trip to the Charlottetown Mall yesterday for the first time in probably two years. I have been there twice since I've been home but both times just kind of to run in quickly or waiting for my mum, who had run in quickly. Oh, and to The Spa once. Quite the mall. "My" mall in Florida, i.e., the one closest to my home, was fantastic and I miss it. I didn't go there that much, (except to walk through on the way to the grocery store,) but it was lovely. Good deals on, well, everything, and they HAD everything, minus a department store. The mall was almost like a strip mall in the way the stores were connected by their walls, but you had to walk outside to get store to store. There was a fountain, an outdoor coffee/beer place, seating, etc. So nice!

It's been two-and-a-half months since I have worked. By the time I start my job it will have easily been three months. I was thinking to myself, "What have I done with my time?! Nothing," but that's not true. I spent almost five weeks on vacation!

When shopping on PEI, in the back of my mind I wonder if the cost of living on PEI really is that cheap. Our wages are lower than those of many provinces/cities and that argument is that our cost of living is lower. Perhaps my problem is that I generally shop only at the liquor store and grocery store, but I really don't notice things being excessively cheaper here. Rent/housing and gas are the big things, and it is quite cheaper here than many places. But with so many stores being chain stores where the price tag is put on a garmet before it's decided where it will be sold, lots of things are the same price as they would be in, for example, Toronto. I think a bit of it has to do with options. In big cities, you have the choice of going to a restaurant where you spend $35 on an entree. On the top of my head, we don't have restaurants in that price range in Charlottetown.

I know my mind is a little skewed from having spent almost fourteen months in the States, as it was skewed when I returned to Canada after being in Edinburgh. I thought Edinburgh was so expensive. However, a lot of that was due to the miserable exchange rate when we first arrived there. It improved a lot over the course of sixteen months, but by that time I didn't want it to improve as I wanted to get more dollars when I exchanged my pounds. Rent was definitely more expensive there, but the pay was higher to compensate. In retrospect, it was not as expensive as I initially thought. You could get a good meal in a restaurant for about $12CAD including tax, and no tip as tipping was not the norm there. I don't remember the price of milk, but it was normal. You could get a loaf of bread for 20p, (about 48 cents,). I remember cereal could go both ways... The sugary, American-inspired stuff was a bit pricey. The healthier or store-brand stuff was a pretty good deal though, perhaps $2.50 a box. The price of alcohol was pretty decent, you could get a pint for about 2.00GBP depending on the bar. I don't remember ever getting beer from a bottle in a bar... Except at Belushi's where Foster's Ice was buy one, get one free.

Random: any fellow deported Canucks remember Reef coolers? Ooooh, they were GOOD. They had great flavours! I like the red one and the tourquoise one. The purple, (black currant and grape, I believe,) was, umm, different. Definitely British ;) i don't remember what the red one was, but I believe the tourquoise was Green Apple and Pear. Different, but delicious. The red one makes me think of The Standing Order on George Street.

Oooh, or WKD Blue! That was like drinking a blue, melted popsicle.

You know what? I should really get into the import business. Introduce Islanders to the great things they are missing in other parts of the world. Sure we already import lots, and lots, and lots of stuff... but what's wrong with adding a little WKD Blue to our lives? Or Chomp bars. Or Tesco Fruit and Fiber cereal!

Keri is in Scotland right now. Hmm, kind of jealous.

Well, this was intended to be an educationed post about economics, but as usual, it ended with me rambling about Disney or Scotland.


Thursday, December 07, 2006

Pictures pictures pictures.

I have pictures everywhere as I'm attempting to make a scrapbook.

And I'm relapsing. I miss the Commons sooooo much that I cried and now I have a headache.


I'm looking at old pictures on our computer. I used to have really long hair. That's because getting your hair cut in Edinburgh was expensive. Not related, but when I left there I threw out a lot of clothing. Specifically, there is a blue shirt that I really miss. WHY DID I NOT TAKE IT WITH ME??!! Probably because I wore it all the time and it was getting soooo fuzzy, not to mention the 20-kg weight limit. But why? Sad. And I'm wearing these random mitts in France and I have no idea whose they are. Were they mine? Did I borrow them from Keri?


Okay, I just remembered that I'm quite sure they ARE mine. I bought them at Internationale because I didn't have any mitts. I also almost lost them quite a bit. If it weren't for strangers tapping me on shoulders and me running back to the toilet minutes before a flight I would have had some rather cold hands by the time I left Finland! (Speaking of Finald, I have a fantastic photo of Patrick and I eating the most stupid backpackers supper EVER. I have a box of cereal, and he has a PICKLE, among other things. Hee hee...!) I did eventually lose a mitt, but I'll have to continue looking through pictures to determine when.

You know, I was soooo sad earlier but after looking at the THOUSANDS of pictures I have taken the past few years I really have no reason to be sad. Honestly, I think I had more fun these past few years than some people have in their whole lives. So how on Earth can I be sad?! Yes, I don't get to see people as much as I would like to, I have no idea when I'll see the majority of my friends again (come visit "The Gentle Island" please!) but I'm lucky to have met them. I've been to numerous fabulous places, had the job that I dreamed of since I was eleven-years old, have a brilliant family, etc. Despite throwing out my fabulous blue shirt, at least I got my 7GBP out of it.

So this wasn't supposed to be a birthday post, but the clock is inching towards 1:00am on December 8th and I'm cheering up. I survived another year, and somehow, despite living at the Commons for thirteen months, my liver still functions. THAT is something to be proud of! I've also managed to have a great tan through most of it, despite being stuck in Scotland's rainiest summer on record ;)

On my happy note, I think I'll go to bed. Tomorrow night, I think I need an adventure. Looking at my pictures, I had lots of random adventures that don't happen unless you are willing to "put yourself out there". Hard sometimes, but I haven't had a REAL adventure in Charlottetown yet and I know there is one out there waiting for me, waiting to wish me a Happy Birthday and welcome me "home".

Happy 24th Birthday!
Today I did very things that tested my patience.

I downloaded stuff from youtube with DIAL-UP.


I was kind of a nerd and watching British commercials/"adverts". Okay, so they were Irn Bru commercials. For anyone who has seen them, I guess around World Cup time (Juneish? I remember because we, in pure class, had a World Cup of Drinking marathon at the Commons) Irn Bru released commercials celebrating Scotland going to the World Cup! HUUUUUGE deal, eh? Well, turns out the Trinidad and Tobago team has a player with the last name Scotland. Hilarious! I was then inspired to watch Orange Wednesday adverts. Dear Lord - those are the funniest things EVER. Really, I don't understand why the cinemas here don't show them. (Actually, I do completely understand - Orange mobile service doesn't exist here so their customers can't take advantage of the Orange Wednesday promotion. DUH.) But I love them.

This is one with Carrie Fisher that I had never seen.

Spike Lee. Also new to me!

Roy Scheider.

Steven Seagal.

I haven't actually watched these all yet, (note the dial-up,) so apologies if they aren't great. And I NEED to find the original one and the Patrick Swayze one. And Ewan McGregor just so I can listen to his fabulous accent.

Note to prospective British or American (I need citizenship) husband: Linking to these proves I have a lovely sense of humour. This is very desirable in a mate.

I watched some of Elf tonight. Good Lord that movie in HILARIOUS.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Woohoo! So I got home from Florida this evening. Yes, I did just leave it the sunshine state on Oct 20th, but I really didn't have a good reason NOT to go back as I scored myself a job for the new year!

The job is on PEI.

This has shocked a few people. However, I really just didn't feel like moving again. Do you realise how many times I have packed up my junk in the past years? In Jan 2003 I moved to Ottawa for two work terms, came back to Charlottetown in August. In May 2004 mere DAYS after graduation I hopped over to Edinburgh with Shan and Keri. (RIP our adventures in one of the world's most fabulous cities.) In mid July we packed up our stuff and moved flats. It wasn't a hard move as the flat was in walking distance, however it still sucked. And I have faint memories of a hungover Keri and I taking a dresser that we stole from a neighbour's pile of rubbish through the George V Park. A shopping trolley from Tesco was used at one point. I'm tired just thinking about it! In August 2005 I came back to Charlottetown for ten days. Unpacked the Scottish stuff (that which I had not thrown out) and packed up summer clothes to head to Florida. In October 2006 I left Florida and lugged my crap with me on a cruise ship, in Ottawa and in Toronto. So yes, the idea of packing up again made me want to hide deep under my bed. Like, halfway-to-China deep. Even more bizarre than the "I'm staying on PEI!" thing, is the fact I actually FOUND a job on PEI. Scientists are studying this as we speak.

Starting in January, I will be working at the PEI Tourism Research Council. I will be polishing the Bridge with a toothbrush and examining the tourists' reactions to see if they have a sense of humour. If PEI tourists have at least a 6.45/10 on the sense-of-humour scale we will be tearing down Gateway Village to make room for the world's third-largest comedy club.

No, not really, obviously. I'm actually the Team Leader of the Data Collection Team. See my left arm? The iron fist there? That is what I shall rule with. That and a little bit of pixy dust because WDW habits are impossible to break. Anyone want to wear piercings while working under me? Reprimand! Ha ha. (Yes, I realise my nose is pierced. However, I took it out EVERY DAY AT WORK for over a year. Except two days that I forgot. Whoops. Point is that it made people less scared of me. Not that I'm scary, but you know...)

So PEI for a year, eh? I'm kind of worried, to be honest. Considering on my four-week anniversary of being home I hightailed it to Orlando, went out pretty much every night, was surrounded by people my own age, etc. Charlottetown needs a club. It needs either, (I can't believe I'm saying this...) Motions (gasp!), House of Blues, Destiny, or a Chillers. Actually, we need all of them, but let's be realistic. But the market really can't support it. Myrons has closed again, the Page (all the rage during second/third year uni) closed it's club, Peake's is seasonal, and the VUG is just... well, has that stigma attached to it. Eww. A bit of the problem is that people are meant to feel kind of old once they hit, like, 21. I used to live at Myrons twice-weekly when I was 19. However, by the time you hit 21 you have to laugh when you go there because the place was filled with under-agers that you used to BABY-SIT. I don't know what the solution is. As much as I enjoy the Old Dublin, I can't go there all the time. I like going out frquently and I can barely bother going there once a week. And ODP won't be playing techno anytime soon. Only if a dj plays the wrong song.

My left ear is still throbbing from my flight so I think it's best I head off to bed. Before 1:00am. I am SHOCKED. But I did get in last night at about 3:00am, and then got up for the airport about 45 mins later. I think that explains it ;)

So to everyone I saw in Florida, thank you so much! It was absolutely fantastic seeing everyone again and it shatters my heart knowing I'm not there anymore. =(

Oh yes, and Friday is my birthdays. Cheers to Hannah for the reminder! So if anyone I know is on PEI ( :P ) I want to hang out. Go out. Maybe have a little techno. Maybe drink a martini. Perhaps a glass of wine. (Dear PEI - Start selling ice wine. I need it. Canadian or German, I really don't care. I will even settle for a late-harvest riesling. Love Jen.

Bonne soiree