Wednesday, April 29, 2015


Heather and I had tickets to attend The 22nd Public Salon in Vancouver last Thursday night plus she had a free night's stay at The Sandman Hotel. So a plan was hatched.

I was going to work from home on Thursday morning, and then at noon we were going to head into Vancouver were the sun always shines.

At 9 am I got a text from Clint: Mom. My tonsils are way worse.
Me: Uh.
Him: Can you call the doctor?
Me: OK

I call our doctor, explain how swollen the tonsils are, mention the hospital visit earlier this week, discuss the fact that he's been plagued with tonsillitis every 4 weeks for the past 5 months... and am told the absolute earliest the doctor can see him is next Thursday. It is suggested that I set up camp at VGH again if he needs immediate attention.

Me: Guess we should go back to emergency.
Him: Give me a few minutes. I want to shower first.
Me: Give me a few hours. I need to do some work, then pack, because I'm staying in Vancouver overnight.
Him: It's really painful.  And they are bigger than they were on Tuesday.
Me, emailing my friends, asking them to pray for my boy and his huge tonsils: I'll bring some T3's. Keep taking your penicillin. Rest. Gargle with salt water. Drink something cool. Or warm. Have some jello or applesauce. I'll be there after lunch.

Minutes later it's obvious that I'm going to have to go to Langley. My plan to work from home in my pajamas is not going to happen. Proofs need attention, plus I received some crappy news about my Income Tax return, so I'd have to go to the accountants. And? It was raining.

This day? Was not going as planned.


Fast forward to 10:00 pm in room 824 at the Sandman Hotel ... We'd just watched the last five minutes of Game 5 of the 1st Round of the Stanley Cup playoffs where the Canucks had won against the Flames.

Her, looking out our window at the intersection below: Look at all the happy people down there.
Me: I know. I love this.

Her: Which speaker would you want to listen to again? 
Me: Oh, good question. Let's talk about this.

And so, with her on her bed, and me on mine, we talked about our evening at The Public Salon. 
(The Public Salon is an evening at the Vancouver Playhouse, hosted by Sam Sullivan (former mayor of Vancouver) who invited 8 - 10 Vancouverites to share something they're passionate about. They each are given 7 minutes of stage time. It. Was. Fascinating.)

The line up included:
  • Ned Bell, Executive Chef at Four Seasons Hotel who talked about sustainable seafood. (Farmed vs wild fish.)
  • Jay DeMerit, former Captain of the White Caps talked about the concept of nurturing well rounded leaders first and elite athletes second has fallen by the wayside.  
  • Adrian Glynn, a singer/songwriter, performed for us.
  • JJ Lee, author of The Measure of A Man, talked about the importance of revisiting childhood memories, and looking at them through the eyes of an adult. "The act of writing brings you to insights that can't be reached otherwise."
  • Gary Stephen Ross, a communications consultant, shared The Ross Rules: 10 Ways to Communicate More Effectively.
  • Jonathan Tippett, an artist/mechanical engineer, cartwheeled onto the stage in red coveralls and definitely caught our attention. His passion was the relationship between humans and machines. "Don't let technology seduce us into allowing it to take our experiences."
  • Carolyn Tuckwell is the fundraiser for Boys and Girls Clubs of BC. She talked stats: 84% of Canadians polled say they give to charities. But in reality, based on CRA findings, only 22% of Canadians submit receipts of charitable giving with their income tax returns. She had us imagining what it would look like if even 10% more of the population gave to a cause they were passionate about. 
  • Etienne Van Eck was Nelson Mandela's personal body guard. Nothing he said was note worthy, and now, 5 days later, I have no memory of what he said. Haha. 

(My biggest take-away from this evening?
Was Gary Ross's challenge:
There are 1,000,000 words in the English language. The average person only uses 10,000 of them. And we all over-use about a dozen words. 
Identify the words you say too often and challenge yourself to find good alternative words. Do this for one week. 

What words do you repeat?
Mine, at work, are: awesome, great, well-done.
On twitter, it's: Haha, :)
Not sure about real life conversations. I'm going to listen to myself very carefully this week.)

Anyway, we sat on our beds and chatted. We rated the speakers on a scale of 1 - 10. We wondered if we had other friends who might be interested in joining us for the next Salon (Oct 28). We listened to the hockey fans cheering in the hallway, the room beside, the street below. 

And I heard from Clint. He was feeling better. Tonsils were still hella-big, but he wasn't in pain. (Oh T-3's. You were a wonderful invention.) 

The next morning, (Friday), we walked. It would have been nice if it hadn't been raining. Because walking in the rain, wearing boots with a hole in the sole and holding an umbrella with an exposed spike? Was wearying. We needed to dress appropriately for the wet and cold. (So, jackets and scarves, etc) But as soon as we stopped in a store (Downtown Chapters. Closing forever in a few weeks...) we were uncomfortably HOT. 

We may have been a bit whine-y. THIS was not what we had envisioned. 

At noon we checked out of the hotel and drove over to South Granville. Where it was still raining. And were my feet were still wet. And my umbrella was still broked. 

We stopped in at Meinhardt's where she bought some organic, exotic foods. And where I bought these, because they reminded me of my childhood and I knew that Val would completely understand:

Meringue cookies. Just like Woodward's (and that bakery on Fraser street) used to make. SO delish. I was 5 years old again...

By 2 pm, we looked at each other and unanimously agreed that we were done. Haha. My big day off work, our big adventure in the city. And we were soggy and tired by 2. 

As we drove east, we entered blue skies and sunshine. And by the time we got to Surrey, the option of sitting in the yard to catch some sun was a possibility. GO FIGURE. 

Instead, I went downstairs to my cave, plopped onto my bed and slept til 6. Way to live fully on a vacation day from work, Jane. 

Determined not to waste the entire day, I drove over to the Coquitlam Chapters, (because why shop at just one bookstore, when you can do two in the same day?) and picked up these books because my friend wrote them and her local Chapters was featuring them:

(The second one? May have a main character named Jayne, who has intimacy issues. So her therapist suggests she write it out. Like, write out some intimate scenarios. Get comfortable with the whole sex thing.) Haha. A fun read.)

Also, in the mail? Was this book I ordered:

Which was written by Steve (Brown) my former boss (for a few minutes) at Arrow. It. Is. Excellent. (So far. I've only read the first chapter.) As I work my way through it, I'll post some quotes on a future blog post. SO much wisdom in that man.

And that was kinda it.

Jane's Big City Adventure. Living It Up in Vancouver.

Three things I'm thankful for:

1. I still have many vacation days left for future excursions.

2. I have more! books! to read!

3. Friends.



Unknown said...

LOL, thank you, Janey. I came for photos of your staycation and got to see Eliza Gordon too. What a treat. You're such a loving, supportive friend. Thank you for infinity. <3

Tricia said...

I'm going to Amazon now to buy the kindle version of Neurotica.