Monday, March 31, 2008

March 2008 Books and Movies

The Subtle Knife
Philip Pullman

The second book in this trilogy was even better than the first one! The story keeps getting more and more intriguing and the allegory and philosophical discussions are very profound. The addition of the new character of Will and the doorways between worlds added an extra demension (no pun intended) made this book impossible to put down. I immediately reached for the Amber Spyglass (the third book in the series) just as soon as I had finished the last page!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

4 Months

I was wondering why I felt so restless today, and then I realised what day it was. I was listening to my iPod today in the subway when Emilie-Claire Barlow's version of Blame It On My Youth came on. I was fine at first, but as the song played on, I got a distinct twinge of pain in my heart. It's a different kind of pain than before, because of what I've discovered through my process. Listening to the lyrics, they symbolise a growth spurt, which may be the reason for the pain. Here's hoping that tomorrow brings an ease of pain and more peace of mind.

New Hair!

It's been a long while since I've had my hair cut. After loosing much of it when I was on the Areva, it was hard to feel good about my hair. The good news is that it's growing back slowly but surely. I thought that if I cut it shorter, it would mask the regrowth process a bit. I like the cut a lot and have been getting lots of compliments as well!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

2nd Annual QOR Band Mess Dinner

Big improvement from last year. Not to say that last year's dinner was bad (although the food poisoning wasn't so fun - apparently another person from the band also got sick!) but this year's was closer to a traditional mess dinner. It was held in the 48th Sargeant's Mess and was table service instead of buffet.

Our guest speaker was some big general dude from the Air Force. He was no Bobby Harriett, but he was pretty funny.

Teddy O'Halloran (the only WWII vet left in our band) and I.

He landed on Juno Beach, June 6th, 1944, and was one of the few lucky enough to survive. An amazing gentleman, he loves to call us all his "girlfriends". :)

The band has decided to make this dinner an annual event. I'm looking forward to next year!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Great News!

I've just returned from a very positive rheumatologist's appointment where my doctors told me that I was pretty much in drug related remission! The only way to measure progress is through how you're feeling, and I know I've been feeling better for a while now, but it's great to hear it from a professional. They have given me liscense to play with my drug dosages a bit to try and reduce some of the more harmful ones, to lessen the side effects. The no drinking hasn't caused much of a problem, as I don't drink excessively normally, but being at an all inclusive resort and not being able to drink was really a shame! I'm hopeful that one day I'll be able to to achieve drug free remission. Fingers crossed!

Monday, March 17, 2008


Having never been to the Caribbean before, let alone to an all inclusive resort, I had no idea what to expect when I took off for a 7 day, 7 night trip to Cayo Santa Maria on Cuba's north coast.

What a trip!

Pictures say more than words, so I'll let them do the talking.

The beach is on the Atlantic side so a smidge colder than the Caribbean side, but still amazing. I love salt water! Well, except when it gets in your eyes.

The resort was quite nice.

Our poco hacienda was called:

Each "bungalow" (that's what they called it) had 16 rooms on two floors.

The rooms were quite big.

The swim up bar was cool!

There were shows every night featuring really wonderful dancers. I was amazed at the sheer amount of talent giving it their all every night at a resort for tourists.

My favorite dancer was Roberto. He was gay as gay can be (a risky business in Cuba) but danced with such passion and integrity I was drawn in. I got to dance salsa with him at the club later, and he actually picked me up in a lift! That was a highlight of my trip for sure!

Roberto on the stage:

Roberto off the stage:

My trip to Havana was another absolute highlight.

I took a day trip by plane.

Varadero by air!

Old Havana

I was amazed at the amount of propaganda everywhere. There is no advertising in Cuba, the billboards laud state policy instead.

Che Guevera is a national hero, and figures heavily in the rampant propaganda.

Havana is an amazing city. It's so old and rich with architecture and historic places to visit.


The National Theatre:

Revolution Square:

Castro's tank! (In front of the Museum of the Revolution...of course!)

The University:

Hemingway's Bar, the Floridita:

Me with the great man himself! :)

I'm looking forward to exploring some of the other great cities in Cuba. Santa Clara, which is where the remains of Che Guevera are buried, Trinidad, which is apparently a great example of baroque architecture, Cienfuegos, Holguin, they all sound fantastic.

There were cats everywhere at the resort, including some really cute kittens. Feeding them was not a good idea, because then they wouldn't leave you alone, but I took some pictures.

All in all, it was a good trip. I highly recommend staying all inclusive if your main goal is to relax. I found that one excursion was enough for the week.

Viva Cuba, Cuba Si!