Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Gentleman's Game

I remember golfing as a little girl with Grandpa at the Lee Creek golf course in Cardston every summer and fighting with my siblings over who was going to drive the golf cart. And when I say "golfing" I really mean driving the cart and putting every green, maybe once in a while trying to play a par 3. I did the same with Daddy a few times at Elbow Springs.

I even worked at a golf course for three summers in high school and was entitled to free golf, but never used it. I think I went to the driving range a few times with my employee free discount, but everyone was always shocked when they heard that I had the option of free golf and didn't take advantage of it. I've always enjoyed the driving range and mini golf, and even took a golf unit in high school phys ed, but had never played a full nine holes until a few weeks ago.

When my boyfriend Benjamin asked me if I wanted to go golfing to the par 3 course on a Friday night, I wasn't super excited right away. I thought it would be fun, but was kind of nervous since I'm not much of a golfer. Imagine my surprise when my first drive was right down the middle of the fairway (what little of a fairway there was on a par 3) and within two shots, I was on the green. I managed to do pretty well, even keeping my score always three strokes below Benjamin's until the last hole, when I got stranded in a sand trap that added those three strokes on and tied our scores. Sad day. I got this close to beating him at golf. It was really quite a surprise–I never knew I was passable at golf.

We're headed out to the same course again this Thursday, I'll let you know how I do this time around.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Dark Side

Ahhh! I keep reaching for the control key! Anytime I want to cut, copy, or paste anything on my home computer, my finger keeps reaching way too far to the left for the PC's apostate control key! I'm constantly looking for the right delete key!

My work computer had seduced me to the dark side.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A Summer of Concerts

Since I have friends that go to concerts fairly regularly (as in a few times a year or more) I always thought that I hadn't been to that many concerts. I went to a Great Big Sea concert in Grade 11 and then during my country music phase I went a few more: Aaron Pritchett & Chris Cummings, Rascal Flatts, and Emerson Drive. In total, before this summer, I'd been to four concerts.

This spring, I heard on the radio that one of mu favourite bands, the Barenaked Ladies, was coming to town. I was so excited that I bought four tickets that very day. Elena and I took some friends and we had an amazing night. The Barenaked Ladies exceeded all my expectations by playing all my old favourites. We sang along to "If I Had a Million Dollars", "Lovers in a Dangerous Time", "Testing, 1, 2, 3", and "One Week".

Playing my favourite song from their new cd, "Ordinary"

The this past weekend, two of my roommates and I went to see the Backstreet Boys in concert at the Saddledome. Funnily enough, I was never one of their screaming teenage girl fans back in the nineties when they were bigger than Twilight, but when I was in high school and they had become a bit passe, I latched onto them. They were now kind of retro and cool. I loved singing along to "Shape of My Heart" at the youth dances. Seeing them was a sort of unfulfilled dream that I never knew I had. The three of us had a riot at the BSB concert. Instead of the twelve-year-olds that monopolized their concerts in the nineties, this concert was swarming with twenty-something women who needed a throwback to junior high. When Howie, Nick, AJ, and Brian burst out of the screen singing "Backstreet's Back", the screaming was deafening. And there I was, screaming along at the chance to see Brian in real life. They sang all my old favourites and I loved their dance routines.

Jess and I show the shape of our hearts... for Brian...

Now I only wish that I had bought those Michael Buble tickets for next week after all...

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Janine the Felon

Today I discovered that there is a warrant for my arrest.

It all started back in my second week of work. It was still May, and my U of C bus pass ran out at the end of April. I didn’t want to buy a May bus pass when I’d only be using it for a week and a half of work, so I found some bus tickets around the house, and when those ran out after a day or two, I bought another book. I had exactly enough to get me through to the end of the month, when I’d buy a June bus pass. It was all organized and perfect. Then, unexpectedly, I had to use two of my bus tickets on the weekend and didn’t give it much thought. BIG MISTAKE.

On May 31, I was running to the ticket validation machine and scrambling through my pockets when I realized—I had no tickets left. Running quickly through my options left me no better off than before. Since I also had no money on me, my only choice would have been to take an extra 5 minutes to run to the bank across the street. But wait, unless I wanted to pay $20 for a single ticket worth $2.75 (the ticket machines don’t give change) I would have to find a store willing to give me change for a twenty. Did I mention that this is all taking place at 7:20 am? I’d have to walk quite a way to get change.

This all puts me in quite the dilemma. You see, I’m an honest person. I don’t like riding the train without a ticket. In fact, on the days where I’ve forgotten my ticket, I’ve been known to buy an extra ticket on the way home to pay for the morning’s free ride. One time I even got to my destination, bought a ticket, and threw it in the garbage. Today, my choice is either take half an hour to somehow get a stupid ticket and be late on my 5th day of work, or else ride without one, get some cash at lunch, and buy two tickets for the way home. I naively picked the latter option.

Just as I passed University station, three ticket-inspectors revealed themselves and started making their way down the train. They came in from all the entrances and I was trapped. Dang. They gave me a ticket despite all my protestations.

Now, foolishly, I totally forgot about the ticket until I saw it in my wallet early this week. It was due on Tuesday. I read over the back of that smug little pink piece of paper and I saw the words “deadline”, “court appearance”, “overdue” and “warrant for arrest”. Dang, dang, dang! All I could picture was transit cops busting in to my office, looking like the characters from Flashpoint (although I wouldn’t mind Spike or Sam coming to visit…) yelling things like, “Everyone on the ground! Nobody move!” I was suddenly glad that I haven’t officially changed my address yet. If they tried to bust me at home, they’d find Mum and Dad but I’d have flown the coop to my new place. I decided that it was high time I paid my fine and so I headed over to the courthouse at lunchtime. It was surprisingly easy, they didn’t even blink when I handed them my late and unpaid ticket. Perhaps the real surprise and/or miracle, though, was that they didn’t even slap on a late fee. It was still just the original $150 (still a difficult sum to part with). Feeling a little gypped and let down (why weren’t they reading me my Miranda rights and slapping on the cuffs?) I asked about this warrant. “Oh, there’s probably one” the girl replied. “It’ll take 2-3 months for this payment to show up in the police and RCMP databases, though, so keep this proof of payment on you at all times in case you get arrested.” That’s what I’m talking about!

Then the thought occurred to me, “Wait a second… I’m leaving the country in just a few weeks. When they scan my passport, I’ll come up as a wanted fugitive.” I’ve been planning my trip to Boston and Washington DC since, well, June when I impulsively went online and bought myself a ticket on my lunch break. And NO ONE is going to take that trip away from me. So I googled “Calgary Police” on my iPhone and headed over to get things taken care of.

Ten minutes later, and thanks to the nice semi-retired cop who mans the front desk at the Police administration building (apparently where the police go to do union stuff, not issue arrest warrants) I was eventually on my way to the right spot. The kind man acting as both receptionist and security guard wrote me the information I’d need: “316 – 7th Ave SE, 3rd floor, Arrest Process Unit”. Yikes. They wouldn’t really arrest me, would they? I decided to chance it.

The Arrest Process Unit was decidedly less intimidating than it sounds. I showed up, talked to a lady behind glass, showed her my ID and the receipt of payment from the courthouse, and then she delivered the verdict: the warrant hasn’t even been officially issued yet! Here I was cowering in fear that the Flashpoint team would be busting into my office any second, and I’m not even officially a wanted person! Unfortunately, she tells me, the warrant is in the process of being issued, so if I don’t want to get arrested whilst returning from vacation, I’ll have to come back when the warrant actually exists to get it cancelled. Until then, she says, “Hold on to that proof of payment for dear life.” Apparently, if I don’t have it on me and I get pulled over for speeding or something, the cops can take me in.

Guess I’ll be driving carefully the next few weeks.

Overall, my brush with the law was exciting, but not everything I ever imagined. I probably watch too much Flashpoint, CSI, Law and Order, Criminal Minds, and Monk for my own good—be warned: real crime is not like tv!