Author Archive: JenBetweenDots

In Which I Explain Why I’ve Never Had The Homesickness. Sidenote: Waterfalls Are My Favorite .

I have a confession.

I’ve never been away from Calgary for longer then 3 weeks at a time. I know it sounds insane but I guess between school, then being a working stiff, I’ve just never taken a long vacation. Or moved anywhere else.

This next year is going to be a giant leap out of my comfort zone; in a fabulous way. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’m scared. Nervous, excited, scared, thrilled – all of it.

This year will also be my very first Christmas away from my family. After doing some research, I discovered that here’s where I will be instead:

Granada, Nicaragua

Tequendama Falls Near Bogota New Granada
by Frederic Edwin Church

So you know, I think I’ll be okay.

I’m Starting a Business (Send Money)

I gave my friend’s dog a haircut today. It looks pretty awesome (read: as if the dog ran through a lawnmower and halfway through tilted her head sideways). Her eyebrows were starting to look like an old Grampa’s and her mustache was reminiscent of the batty women who come into my work wearing tracksuits, order Bud and drink it as quickly as it hits the table. Go go gadget gag reflex!

Photo courtesy of Leading Edge Pet Care
Not that I got permission…(please don’t sue me)
I guess that could be my art project for the day. Stylized dog grooming – coming to a doggy salon near you.

I did try to take a picture of downtown today but there’s still some residual smoke in the air from all the fires in B.C. so it’s a bit foggy. Either that or I haven’t figured out the de-fogifying feature yet.

Hey camera buffs, have any tips on how to do wicked things with point and shoot cameras? I also have manual setting capabilities, I’m hoping it lightnings one of these days so I can play around with the shutter speed and uh, other camera stuff I guess.

Another fun activity we did today was move my sisters furniture into her new house. Her and her hubby are in Hawaii getting lei’d (oh terrible joke, I’m sorry) so we thought it would be nice for them to come home to a set-up house. I refrained from putting cornflakes between their sheets.

I know, I’m a super awesome sister.

Swearing in Spanish, Art and a "Royal" Wedding

These last few months have been ridiculous. I’m planning my adventures in Central America (I’m even doing a 32 day tour to get myself acquainted with the culture), trying to get a job in Costa Rica (which apparently they don’t do online anymore because too many “gringos” flake out) and hyperventilating over money (do I or don’t I have enough? How cheap is “cheap”?).

As I’m preparing, I got a few books on tape out of the library to brush up on my Spanish. One of the books is called “Speak-in-a-Week” and is supposed to be a good book to learn Mexican slang.

On my way to work the other day, I pop my CD in, roll down the windows (my air conditioning is broken) and head off. Next thing I know I hear: “Pinche, literally “an assistant cook”, means nasty and is used where Americans would say fucking, shitty etc. That fucking asshole would be pinche cabron in Mexico”.

I look over and there are 2 middle-age women staring at me with their mouths wide-open. I rolled my window up pretty quick. On the plus side, I now know if someone lips me off I’ll have a good response.

I bought a new camera yesterday and after buying a spare battery, 2 memory cards and a carrying case I spent about $550 but I love my camera (it’s a Sony-HX5 for anyone who knows anything about cameras). Coincidentally the theme for NaBloPoMo for September is Art so in honour of the theme I’m going to learn how to use my new camera and TRY to post every day this month.

I wouldn’t call this art per say but here’s the first picture I’ve taken with my camera, my little crazy miniature husky (actually called a klee kai) and the big fluffy one (called a keeshond):

On top of all my preparations for travel, we’ve also been organizing my younger sisters wedding. Last Friday she married a real live French Count who is an engineer, a youth group leader and saves orphans in his spare time (I know, right?). They’ve been together for 7 1/2 years, and are perfect together but really, thanks a lot because now I have to find a Prince who is a doctor and builds orphanages in Peru while volunteering as a fireman.

Wish me luck

Maybe I Could Sell The Gum I Collect to Pay My Outrageous Phone Bill

I finally got my May phone bill. I’ve been waiting in anticipation for this bill because this was the bill for while I was on vacation. My long-distance and usage charges weren’t as awful as I’d anticipated but did add another $264 on top of my standard $102 bill. Try going to a social-media meet-up and not using your phone. Impossible.

The feeling I got when I saw the bill was the same as the feeling I get when I’m doing the best, most fun server duty of all: gum scraping. You know the nastiness is coming but it still hits you hard (TWSS). See, some people still think putting their wad of chewed up, disgusting, spit-encrusted gum under the table is socially acceptable.

I say “still” as if it were ever socially acceptable. I mean, how does an adult decide that the best place for their nasty gum is under the table where strangers have to sit and eat? Really though, you can learn a lot by observing the patterns of the gum.

For instance, there are obviously groups of people who come to the conclusion that asking for a napkin is really far too difficult and under these tables you will find four matching blobs, one at each place. Group consensus: random gum attack!

I have also learned that white is by far the most popular color choice, with green as a runner-up, followed by red or pink and finally blue. This says a lot about people because I mean really, that light blue gum is so obviously the most delicious gum out there, yet it’s the least often randomly discarded under a table.

I feel like I should write a thesis on this: less blue gum under the table because it’s not as popular or because people who chew light blue are more sophisticated?

On that same note, I actually watched a 40-ish year old woman take her gum out and put it under the table yesterday. I was sitting a few tables over waiting for some friends to be done work and had notice this woman earlier because she was wearing a very, incredibly tight shirt that was too short and a tiny frilly skirt that looked borrowed from her 14 year old daughter.

I’m all for showing off your body and being proud of what your mama gave you but if you can’t feel your ass cheeks as two separate entities that is probably a good indication that your bottoms are too tight.

It’s also probably good to consider a wardrobe change if you find you look as though you have four boobs instead of two (fondly referred to as “quadra-boob” in some circles, also known as “you need to go get fitted for a new bra”); or when you show up to your kids friend’s party and your outfit more closely resembles the pre-pubescent kids outfits then it does the other parents.

Her worse crime however wasn’t one of fashion (though seriously? Really? Tough call here), it was one of basic human etiquette. Because we all know there is nothing worse then settling in at a restaurant for a night of drunken debauchery and getting surprise gum attacked.

Joy, Green Cards and How Calgary Has Officially Turned into Seattle

I haven’t really written anything since Vegas because compared to that, life seems pretty tame these days. It’s been raining here for about 8 years straight, I’m not sure when I moved to Seattle but apparently I have. The problem with this is that I only work when it’s nice outside so I’ve worked maybe 6 shifts total in the last 2 week. 6 shifts does not a millionaire make.

Instead of being productive with all my free time, I spent some time when I got back uploading LOST episodes and other illegal things.

At one point, when I was waiting for my mesozoic computer to load, a flashy sign came up and told me I won a real live American Green Card! I mean, that’s pretty much like Christmas, Labor Day and Halloween all rolled into one. So basically if Jesus dressed up as a resurrected cheerleader vampire and gave birth to himself (side note – what the hell is Labor Day?) it would be almost as awesome as my Green Card.

Now I can travel to Arizona!

(Too soon?)

Top things I would do if I was American:

3. Call the washroom a bathroom
2. Laugh when people call us “the States” because obviously we are America (even though technically so is Canada…and Mexico…and all of South and Central AMERICA but whatevs I mean details here people)
1. Make fun of Canadians

I guess that’s really all that would change.

For now though, I’ll be content being Canadian and saying eh! and drinking piss water Molson Canadian.

The other good part about not working a lot this month is that I have plenty of time to do The Joy Equation. I was lucky enough to meet Molly in person and trust me, she is every bit as bubbly and optimistic as she seems.

If you haven’t heard of Molly’s program or her amazing website, go check it out. I got my Joy Equation in the mail super quick and am so excited to get started. If you’ve ever thought you need to recenter, refocus, regroup and figure out what you want from life – which is exactly where I’m at these days – you should definitely look into it.

I have 3 months to go until I start traveling, first to the US and then down to Central America, my life has never been so up in the air. Well except maybe that time when I realized my 3rd grade boyfriend didn’t want to marry me on the playground…


Not to Mention the Pool, The Parties, The Gambling and I Mean Too Much Awesome to Fit Into A Suitcase

Like, I mean, here’s what I looked like at the start of Vegas:
(@lelandstrott and @Jennbizzle – I effing heart you ladies like, pink elevator, rainbow heart you)

And here’s basically what I look like now:
Except for that bump looks more like @ihatesomuch‘s concussed head.
Well, ok – maybe I look more like this:

I lay by the pool for about 6 billion hours on Monday and have the burn to prove it. See the red/white line? Representing Canada – hollaaaaa (@Lbluca77 – that’s actually Hallaa to us Canadians, right?) and ya I’m totally in a washroom – and I didn’t bathe in it.

Some favorite memories?

I picked up so many Americanisms – @ChelsTalksSmack put it best when she said: “I mean, I need to stop saying I mean before everything. Especially since I’m talking to myself. #BiSC has changed me” – because yes, I KEEP saying it.

may have made fun of my accent, but in a way that made me laugh-cry. I miss your face!

Discovering that @manderzmusings roommate is a guy I used to work with, how small are you world?

@RSub27‘s dance moves – let’s just say I will be posting a video re-cap interpretive dance style in the very near future

The awesome eyeliner face that was @bboudreau for like 3 days. If your guyliner doesn’t want to be removed it won’t be removed. Trust.

Real! Vegas! Strippers! with @mandymooreblogr – girl you are a character. PS – I dare you to ask her about Chat Roulette.

Lunch at Margaritaville with awesome amazing bloggers while debating doing the scavenger hunt because we were all rainbow hungover. (I did and it was fabulous)

Also, my bikini bottom for sure fell off in front of a random guy on my way to the bathroom. So I did what any normal person would do, I nonchalantly scooped it up and said “That’s mine”

I mean, thanks Captain Obvious.

My beautiful roommates who packed my suitcase for me and were all around amazing. Even though we didn’t spend that much time together, I adore you all.

The awesome hilarious fake retweet shenanigans, and when @RSub27 stole @LivItLuvIt‘s phone to post this: “@RSub27 is so hot. If I didn’t have a bf I would sex him”

Walking through the Bellagio and New York, New York with @nicolerelyea on the last day. Honestly I’m so glad I got to hang out with you, even if I started feeling particularly stabby when you left, I recovered nicely I think.

Shots with Ali (do you twitter Ali?!) and @kathleenparkerb while she tried to keep her mustache on

The Sex Toy Closet in @nicoleisbetter and group’s room. One word: Sextastic (thanks Toy With Me!)

Meeting @Lelandstrott on the very first day, enjoying a delicious drink (or two with her before the shenanigans began. You are amazing and your deliriously excited disposition is contagious. You saved my life mama!

Laugh-crying at the Princess story (Just ask Leland to tell you her favorite/least favorite childhood/adult story) and how @jamievaron and I managed to turn this map:

into a story about a clitoris. Because, I mean, who wouldn’t see a vagina there? “And THIS huge area – that’s where men THINK the clit is” Story-time WIN.

Also when the security at the airport randomly checked my purse and found the stripper cards @RSub27 and I meticulously organized into most hot to least hot, and then security pulled out my brand new We-Vibe (ummm thanks again @ToyWithMe!) and raised an eyebrow at me while asking: “Have fun in Vegas?”

Um yes, yes I did…

PS – This post was brought to you by my left index (AND middle) finger, so not one finger, but two and also with a little help from my right index finger – you know to hit the shift key. And the Enter key, FTW!

Camping, Long-Johns and The Dumb Laws "They" Think Up

In Calgary there’s this great little tradition that happens every May long weekend. Almost everyone young and lots of people who aren’t, go camping.

I’m sure this is a common theme pretty much everywhere.

The difference is that in Calgary, for May-long, it snows. It is pretty much almost guaranteed to snow or at least rain. Not the pretty sunshiny frolicking in the fields and weaving daisies in your hair rain.

No, it’s wet, heavy, gross rain. The kind that makes you wonder if maybe the apocalypse is coming and then you thank the sweet baby jebus that you said grace that one time when Aunt Mildred had the bubonic plague or laryngitis or whatever and so couldn’t say it herself and forced you to think of stuff to say although you’re pretty sure your family already thinks you’re the anti-christ so really what does it matter if you botch up saying thank-you?


Most people are prepared for this and bring all their best winter-preparation tools: hats, gloves, down-filled sleeping bags, matches, long-johns (ladies, you’re going to want to click that link – that dude makes even something as dorky as long wool underpants look hot), wool socks (one for the boys), flares, a portable generator, 6 gallons of whiskey and a few flashlights. You know, standard camping gear.

I’ve for sure gone camping with girls who have been all “ohemgee, look at my adorable little pink sleeping bag – it rolls into a neat little ball and fits in my pocket! Let me just put it in my teensy suitcase beside my tiny string bikini!” only to have her ending up zippering my sleeping bag together with hers so she could get a modicum of heat.

Guys? Where were you on that trip?!

Apparently the Provincial and National parks here – like Banff National Park, Kootenay Park, Castle Mountain, Yoho, Tunnel Mountain, basically all the good places to go camping – have banned liquor this year.



Seriously, what the shit? I’m not even sure that’s legal. How can you take away something as life-sustaining, especially during cold days, as booze?

I mean sure, it’s all sunny and good now but just you wait People-Who-Made-This-Dumb-Law, when that snow inevitably falls on May long this year, when those people out enjoying hooliganism and tom-foolery realize that they can’t have a beer while camping?!

You’ll all be in big trouble. I mean, that’s like outlawing winter tires.

Getting Rid of Junk

So, for some reason I started to feel all Spring-cleany yesterday, which is a really good thing because I haven’t done a thorough clean since I moved in, in January. Meaning I’ve been living out of suitcases – one with shirts, one with skirts and one with random junk all thrown in together.

Because I’m organized like that

Then I realized I need my suitcase next week, and thus began my maniacal cleaning. I think I did at least 8 loads of laundry – the plus side being that I finally cleaned out my closet and the clothes that I never wear will finally get a new home.

Of course I still have entirely too many clothes but I went from having two normal sized closets at my old place, to having one small-ish closet here so I had to be creative with where I put my clothes.

My main closet holds my dresses and the jeans/pants that I opted to keep.

I have skirts in the front entrance closet and all my jackets and blouses, skirt suits and blazers at the back door, like where guests are supposed to hang their shiz.

Luckily I found this wire rack that manages to hold my sweaters well (note my makeshift bookshelf beside it – that’s because I use my actual bookshelves for an entirely different purpose):

I’m going to have to either give these all away or plan on letting them collect dust, I don’t think I’ll need a hundred sweaters in Costa Rica.

Do you ever go through your closet and have a conversation that goes somewhat like this?:

“Self, do you really need to keep this {random article of clothing} that you haven’t worn since {like seriously sometimes High School which is 8 YEARS ago}”

“But self! Wouldn’t it be perfect for {some dumb thing that happens once a year}?!”

Then you throw it back in the closet, never to be worn or even thought of until the next time you try to clean your closet. Well this time I said “Eff it! If I haven’t worn it in a year, I’m giving it away.”

And this is what I ended up putting in the donation pile:

Well actually, these are just the jeans and pants.

I also threw out 12 pairs of old shoes, they were all old and in a state of disrepair, but it was still sad.

And speaking of shoes, here’s what I use my bookshelves for:

I love me some shoes

Kinky Turkey Sex, Wine Tasting and The Reason(s) I’m Still Single

I have a tendency to put my foot in my mouth.

A lot.

I also say completely inappropriate things at totally inappropriate times.

For example, at a hauty- toity wine tasting at the Petroleum Club here the other day, the wine rep at one of the fancy wine booths said “this one will hit you hard…” and before he even finished I said (louder than intended) “that’s what he said!”

As the rep finished:”…with jammy raspberry and plum”

And everyone looked at me awkwardly while I swallowed a huge gulp of wine. Mmm jammy. The end.

So I started texting this boy recently and we were talking about our respective jobs:

Alice: “bla bla something about security guards”
Boy: “Actually I’m undercover, like a secret shopper”
Alice: “So you follow people around all non-chalantly making sure they don’t shove a turkey in their pants?”
Boy: “Haha ya exactly, you sound like an expert”
Alice: “No, I just try to get away with shoving turkey in my pants every now and then”

Wait, what!?

Alice: “I mean in a not sexual way. I’m not into that kinky turkey sex”
Boy: “…just the regular kind?”

Yes. I enjoy regular turkey sex. Good lord I’m an idiot.

How Travel Agents Get Their Rocks Off

Ahhh!! I never Squee but I feel like squeee-ing because I did it! I booked my flight to Bloggers in Sin City! I had to change my travel dates (I arrive on Wednesday – anyone else be there yet? I also don’t leave until Monday night – after the party there’s the AFTER party baby) because I’m broke/cheap.

I want as much cash for being there as possible and for the extra 2 nights I can stay at my Dad’s place down there for free so it just saves me money all around.

The other problem is the crazy, fly around the entire US of A flight path that these people put me on.

I’m pretty sure they were laughing at me as they booked it.

See, the way there isn’t SO bad. I mean Calgary to Salt Lake City to San Francisco to Vegas.


Ok, it takes about 7 hours total travel time and 3 plane changes:

Can we say large carry-on and no checked baggage?

On the way home?

Yeah, this is priceless. I mean Wow.

Just Wow:

Yep, they have me flying from Las Vegas to Fort Lauderdale to Houston and back to Calgary.

14 hours travel time and 3 MORE plane changes in the most random places ever!

It cost me less then $500 and NOW? Now I know why.

Oh well, the extra $400 I would have spent on direct or less ridiculous flights is now going towards booze.

You’re Welcome!

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