Thursday, June 30, 2011

So Long! And Thanks for All the Fish!

This post seems long overdue, but for those who didn't already know through family grapevines, new and exciting things have been going on in my world. Firstly, after 60 weeks of counting down, I am done classes forever! Or at least until I have a midlife crisis and go back to school, but for now, formal education is done.

Secondly, and most significantly, I moved! Again! This has been my third move this year and tragically will not be my last, but it is still exciting because I changed cities. A whole three hours away from home too. I live in Edmonton, and have for the past two weeks! I am here doing my practicum and the plan is just to stick around after and find a job here.

My departure was bittersweet and slightly surreal. I admit, even now I sometimes forget I don't live in Calgary. There are many things I miss, but many more I look forward to. In commemoration of my time spent in Cowtown (also known as my entire life minus the past two weeks) here is just a sampling of the things I love and miss about my hometown:

-my library! Yes, obviously they have one of those here, but my library was always Nose Hill. It's where I grew up going. It's where I learned to love books. Plus I don't have a library card here and I'm feeling deprived.

-my regular jaunts around the Bow River, and the Bow in general. Did you know the North Saskatchewan River is actually a disgusting body of water? The Bow is beautiful and clean.

-playing ultimate in Bowness Park. One of my favourite things to do in the summer.

-Shakespeare in the Park. I was religious about going to this every summer, usually to all the shows and sometimes to the same one more than once. It's outside, it's Shakespeare, and you can bring a picnic. What more do you want?

-My places to eat. Spicy Hut, Diner Deluxe, Tandoori Hut, Sate Sub and Thai Boat. Also, other special little places like I Appeal. I miss my niche.

-Going for downtown lunches with Neen! My sister e-mailed me the other day to inform me she was going to Sunterra for lunch, our favourite place to meet up and grab a salad. I had done the same thing the day before at the Sunterra here, and we both mourned the loss of a tradition we now have to live alone.

-Knowing how to get places. I can drive to work, and home again. I consider it a major accomplishment when I can get there without taking a single wrong turn. I miss knowing where I am going.

-my institute teachers. They were all fantastic.

-my ward! I was in Foothills Ward for four years. My last Sunday there felt so strange and people kept hugging me. I was devastated and exhilarated all at the same time.

And most of all:
-my people! Family, friends, inside jokes. I miss Leah saying she's just peachy every time I ask how she is and then I say I'm splenda. I miss random dance parties with Colleen, or outings with Neen where I convince her to drive me places, I miss Lou and her magical brownies, I miss being weirded out by my brother as he races into the ravine dressed as a ninja. I miss my people niche.

And yet, don't feel blue, because life is fantastic! It has been only two weeks and I still don't have my feet on the ground, but here is what I love about Edmonton so far:

-living with the Fixsens. Being witness to brilliant moments in their kid's childhoods like the brilliant dinner conversation Jaima mentioned.

-my job. I love my job. Suddenly, all the tearing of hair and frustrations of school seem like not such a big deal.

-exploring a new city. I have the opportunity to find new places: new things to do every summer, new places to eat and shop, new places to go for walks and play ultimate, new people to meet and have inside jokes with. I get to create a whole new niche!

And something else truly terrific:
-I now live in the same city as the hat store.

So, so long Calgary! It's been fun, but I have found somebody else. But thanks for all the fish!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Secret Man Classes

Last November, I went to Preference (the church dance where girls ask guys). The night of the dance was cold, icy, and very snowy, so it should come as no surprise that when I went to pick up my date, my car got stuck in the snow outside his house.

Without missing a beat, he jumped out of the car and told me he would push me out. He then proceeded to lean against the right side of my car just in front of the passenger side door and push from the side. I was so surprised I just stared at him for a moment before I remembered I was supposed to be driving the car out of the pile of snow. His bizarre technique worked like a charm.

When he got back in the car, I asked him how he'd known to push from the side. After all, if it had been me I would have pushed from the back, the front, and than the back again before maybe guessing to push from somewhere else. He didn't even have to look at my car to know where to push. What was his secret?

Sadly, he could offer no explanation. At least not one that I could follow. He merely shrugged and said he'd done this a lot. Well so have I! I live in Calgary, have been driving in snow as long as I have been driving, and get stuck on a routine basis. How had I not acquired his mad skills? I was more than a little jealous.

A few months passed, and I didn't think much of it. Then one evening in January, Janine's car got stuck in front of our house, sticking out into the road. She called me out from the house to help her push it. We pushed that car away from the curb from all possible angles on the hood, but it wouldn't budge from that one little icy patch it had created. We then decided to take the wisest course of action; we called Neen's fiance and asked him to come over and fix it.

No sooner had Ben arrived than he nonchalantly walked up to the car, pushed it from the back over the curb and out of the tricky spot. WHAT?! How did he know that? Again, didn't even look at it.

It was then that I realized what was going on. Both Ben and my date had acquired the same skill that neither my sister nor I could achieve. This must be a lesson from secret man classes!

For those of you who aren't in the know, secret man class is where guys go to learn those skills we assume are so easily acquired by the male population such as pushing cars out of snow, matching the correct nuts and bolts together without having to dig through every drawer and try every one, and how to cook meat with fire.

There are also of course, secret women classes. Here we learn how to tell the difference between chartreuse and emerald green, how to tell what fruit is good quality at the grocery store, and how to tell precisely how many more bay leaves are needed to make a pot of stew taste just right.

In my research on these two under the table institutions, I have begun to accumulate a thesis on their possible curriculums. So my question to the blogosphere is:

What skills come naturally to you from secret man/woman classes? What have you noticed your spouse it naturally good at that you simply cannot fathom?

Perhaps one day I will understand this phenomenon, but in the mean time, I will just collect stories, call my brother-in-law when my car is stuck, and advise guy friends on which are the good oranges to buy at Superstore.