Mars or Bust

Marvin_the_Martian_by_raelynn36I’m not really sure why I just heard about this, but it has recently made it onto my radar that a company in the Netherlands is recruiting volunteers to help colonize Mars.  I gather they made some kind of announcement in January and then started actively advertising that they wanted volunteers in April.  And thousands of people have already applied.

Whoa.

First those little robot vacuums and now this?  I think we can safely say we live in the future, my friends. Continue reading

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Solo travel and confirming that not everyone on the internet is a serial killer

I went traveling again, chickens.  And I went alone.

One of many gorgeous buildings in Charleston

One of many gorgeous buildings in Charleston

I haven’t traveled alone in quite a while, to be honest.  My husband is my usual travel partner and I intersperse that with occasional short trips with a friend or my mother.  A ten-day trip by myself though, it’s been a while.  And it’s a whole other kettle of fish.  But there’s something to be said for that kettle.

When you are alone, there is no one to consider but yourself.  You don’t have to make any compromises whatsoever.  You can make plans for the day and then break them for no other reason than that you just don’t feel like it anymore.  And you don’t have to feel bad that someone is going to be disappointed about that.  You can unilaterally decide where and when to eat, what side of the street to walk on, and when to have naps.  (I love my naps.)  It’s kind of wonderful.

When you are in a long-term relationship, there is also the side benefit of having a chance to miss your partner.  I don’t think the loveliness of a reunion after a week or two apart can be overstated.

In case you’re wondering, I went to Charleston and Savannah.  I understand that these are major tourist destinations for Americans, but here on the West coast of Canada, when I told people where I was going, they all said something along the perplexed lines of, “Huh.  I don’t know anything about those places.  Do you have family there?  No?  How did you pick that?”  And I can’t say I even had a satisfactory answer.  The truth is that I thought Charleston sounded like an interesting name and when I looked it up on the internet, it looked pretty.  And I figured that while I was in that neck of the woods, I might as well go to Savannah too, because it was close and I had also heard of it. Continue reading

What happens when I’m cooped up at home for a week and a half on medical leave

So, my evil gallbladder has been annihilated, and good riddance.  I survived the terror that was surgery and learned that being stabbed by a doctor does not change the fact that you have been stabbed.  It still hurts and your body still has new holes.   (I did not ask to keep the gallstone.  For some reason, this is a question that I have been asked several times.  Only by guys though.  Odd.)

I'm pretty sure these guys don't have gallbladders either.

I’m pretty sure these guys don’t have gallbladders either.

Another surprise was that when they told me I’d be able to go back to work after a week and a half, I somehow took that to mean that I would be completely healed and better after a week and a half, but I was wrong (which, in retrospect, I should have known, considering I’ve had paper cuts that took more than ten days to heal.)  It just means I am well enough to go back to my desk job.  I am going back to work tomorrow, but I am still being held together with tape, which is a disturbing thing for me to look at in the mirror.  I am also still very slow-moving and if I bend to the floor to pick something up, my belly button feels like someone stabbed me again, which is irritating.  But I improve every day, so I’ll not complain about that any more.

I really thought I would be writing a lot of blog posts for you while I was on leave.  All that extra time without anything else to do – my expectations were high, I tell you.  But the thing is, I was on pain killers.  I was napping a lot.  Also, when you aren’t doing anything, it’s awfully hard to think of things to write about.  For me anyway, since my blog is mostly just show and tell.  And being confined to a small apartment meant I didn’t have much to show or tell.

Also, laziness begets laziness.  Continue reading

Did I Mention I’m Going to Mexico?

So.  I don’t think I told you that I’m going to Mexico.

Tomorrow morning.  Bright and early.  Or, actually, dark and early, because I have to be at the airport by 4:30 am at the latest.  But who cares; I’m going to Mexico.  In November, which everyone knows is the second most depressing month of the year.  I suppose it’s patting myself on the back, but it’s also honest to say that this was excellent planning, time-wise.

Mexico is a home of my heart. Continue reading

Summer Fun Near the Bridgeport Skytrain Station

Ok, ever since I moved to Vancouver about six years ago, I’ve been hearing about the Richmond Chinese Night Market.  Now the name alone was enough to provoke my curiosity.  I love Chinatowns, and I love open-air markets, and I love the idea of having such a thing in the evening instead of 10 am on a Sunday or whenever they usually happen.

Also, a bit of background for those of you who aren’t familiar with Vancouver: Chinatown here isn’t all that big.  Yes, it has Chinese people, but it’s nothing compared to Richmond.  Richmond is out in the suburbs and it seems to be where a large part of our Chinese population has chosen to settle.  It has entire areas you can drive through that don’t have any signs in English.  It’s kind of awesome.  So presumably a Chinese night market in Richmond would be the real deal. Continue reading

Spain for the Short of Attention Span – Part 7 – Granada

Granada is very photogenic, as evidenced by the fact that I took about six bazillion photos there.  (You are getting a brutally edited version, partly because I don’t want to bore you with all my holiday snaps and partly because I do not have the patience to wait for them all to upload.)

Image Continue reading