Sunday, May 28, 2006

I want to be on Whyte Ave right now.

Monique is sitting on my bed right now. "I want to read Jess' first hockey blog post ever," she said.

Which is why I am writing this.

(However, this is actually my second hockey blog post ever. Let's not forget the memorable day when Monique and I went to the Hockey Hall of Fame, and wanted to have our picture taken in front of the Oilers display, but they didn't have an Oilers display, despite the fact that the Oilers won the cup in 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988 and 1990. . .so we decided to create our own "Oilers display" in the gift shop, much to the amusement of the on-looking crowd. And by "crowd", what I actually mean is "a couple of guys who were laughing at us.")

Recap of watching the Oilers game tonight:

- I asked a lot of questions, because I'm a hockey fan, not a hockey follower.* Unlike some enlongated explanation guys have tried to give me in the past about the way the series play-offs work, Mon explained it all so that I understood in five sentences or less. There is now so much more clarity in my life.

-Monique cried when we won. I was happy. Sasha was even happy. We were proud.

-And then we debated creating a mini-old school Oilers jersey for the kitten.

Monique just said, "I think when you and I touched the Stanley Cup, we brought amazing luck."

I have to concur with Monique's logic on this matter. Two northern Alberta girls both randomly move to Ontario, stroke the cup, and the Oilers make the Finals for the first time in 16 years?

Coincidence? I think not.

And on a closing note: I'm a big fan of the play-off beards. (Best. Superstition. Ever.)

*My hockey-watching habits are much to my mother's disdain; she does not encourage me to watch sports, particularly hockey, under any circumstances. Questions were necessary because I did not grow up in a hockey household, and have never even seen my Dad even watch more than 2 minutes of a hockey game at a time. It is somewhat embarassing, because at this point in my life, it seems as though the way the playoffs work should be knowledge that is just innately ingrained into my brain, upon being born in Canada. Sort of like Canada's Wonderland. (Which, by the way, no one outside of Ontario knows about. Just so you all know. it's not "Canada's" Wonderland. It's actually "Ontario's" Wonderland.)

Friday, May 26, 2006

Anger Management

This morning, I woke up angry.

My first instinct was to spill all my personal shit on the Internet in a full disclosure sort of rampage. But then I realized that wasn't a positive solution. I racked my mind for positive activities that would make me feel better, and came up with the most awesome solution.

First, I would write a blog post completely devoid of any sort of eloquent writing skillz and use phrases like "most awesome." Then, I would spell words in the given post with "z"s for emphasis of lack of writing skillz. And finally, I would write a list, because that's hands-down my favourite activity. And since my second favourite activity is talking about myself, I decided to combine the two concepts.

(I promise to sporadically add to the list over the next 4 hours, which is when I get to leave work. If you are also bored at work, I'm sure you'll enjoy this.)

Reasons Why I'm Awesome*

1. I invited my blogging friend to come and stay with me for a week in my house. We had only met once before.

2. On my first night in Toronto, I went out with strangers, then proceeded to break into a hotel swimming pool and take off all my clothes before jumping in.

3. I once instigated a late night skinny dipping session at Kinosoo Beach. With 6 guys. My clothing was later stolen and I had to walk down Lakeshore Drive completely naked.

4. I think spending $2.75 to take the TTC anywhere is way too expensive, but the other day I went to Pages and spent $80 on books.

5. I've been walking around the office all day, rolling up my pant leg and making my co-workers look at my bruises.

6. I plan on naming any future children after common household products via acronyms. For instance, Lloyd Yanni Steven Oliver Lockhart. LYSOL. I will then seek sponsorship for their existance.

(I'm now home from work, but I'm still incrediably upset and irritated. Therefore, the list will continue.)

7. I just found this business card for some guy in my wallet, that I must have acquired during the gong show of affairs on Wednesday night. I was going to throw it out, but opted to instead e-mail the guy. "Hi, who are you? And why is your business card in my wallet?" I figured it would give the guy a laugh. Either that, or offend him. Either way, this also makes me awesome.

8. Chloe found a coupon in her wallet, but she didn't know what it was good for. We decided that it must be good for something, so now I carry it everywhere with me, and try to use it at random intervals. So far, I have discovered it is not good for train tickets, drinks on trains, drinks at bars, and/or free piercings. But someday, somewhere, it must be good for something.

9. The other night, Mark saw this poster he really wanted, so I stole it for him. Oh, and did I mention we were at a Douglas Coupland reading for his new book, JPod? I'm such a badass- stealing a poster from a book signing!

Jack's awesome too.

*Much like the "Things I Hate List" there are rules in order here. First, I can't list any obvious reasons why I'm awesome. Like, for instance, "I'm really pretty," isn't on the list, because that's just obvious and we can all agree on that. That would be too easy.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Happy Birthday Jess!!

I hijacked your blog to wish you a happy birthday! Hope you had a great day!

The Birthday Celebrations Started A Little Early

The point in the night when I knew things were going downhill, happened at the precise moment when Melissa stood up, and accused a guy with dreadlocks and a bandanna, "You don't even know the difference between analog and digital, DO YOU?!"

Or maybe it was when Melissa said, "I'm famous," and I said, "I'm an International Blogging Sensation," and neither of us were saying it in an ironic tone.

Or maybe it was when we asked a TV news crew guy if we could, "hang out in his van and play with his knobs."

No, no, no. It was way earlier than that, actually. It had to have been when Melissa said, "Come hither," loudly and suggestively to a guy across a patio, more than three tables away.

We made lots of new friends last night.

Either way, the first order of my birthday today was curling up under a cubby at work, in the fetal position, on the floor, and taking a nap.

And in case you missed the memo: 751 Queen St. W. 11 PM.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

I'm going straight to hell.

Included on a Social Work student's resume:

"help[ed] in organizing panic and events"

Apparently, he helped organize panic at a children's centre. Awesome.

"teaching mathematics and physics to students during studding at university"

I could imagine that studding could be relatively distracting to university students trying to learn mathematics. It's a good thing this guy is willing to help out by tutoring.

Also, I'm beginning to notice a prevelance of lazy eyes amongst engineering students. If someone could please explain this to me, I'd be grateful. (Or better yet, could you just tell me which eye I'm supposed to look at?)

Saturday, May 20, 2006

With Some Luck

I feel too much like myself lately.

I want to say that I feel lonely.

But I keep thinking that if I say the words, they will be completely unwarranted and selfish.

I'm not sure if I know any other words, though. I just feel too much like myself lately.

The Seensters

Fear not, I've taken Brie's camera hostage while mine is being fixed. Now if only I can figure out how to work it. . .

Last night, Brie and I spent a good hour on the TTC in the rain, heading to Spin Gallery to see Mstrkrft deejay. And by "see," what I really mean is "partially pay attention to them while we danced harder than I've danced since 2002." (2002 being the year that I occassionally went out to Edmonton's now defunct token rave club night, Lush Wednesdays with my brother and his girlfriend, Sara.)

We ran into the other Jess (who is hereby know as Jessex, from the County of Jessex- I'm also a citizen) on the streetcar and her friend, whose name started with a "D" and ended with an "L". I think. She was quite nice though, this I know.

It was my first time going to Spin Gallery. I liked it. Between buying drink tickets, the ghetto makeshift bar consisting of 2-litre pop bottles and plastic cups, and the community-hall-esque atmosphere, it reminded me of going to a third cousin's wedding. Except with skulls.

And hipsters. Some of whom, to quote Jess, were "train-wrecks." That's really a shame. Even more shameful was this girl who was dressed distinctly like Six, Blossom's best friend. I wanted to take a picture of her, but she kept moving around too quickly. (I love the scene, I love the music, I love the atmosphere, but the Toronto scenesters really do take it too far sometimes.)

I guess the difference is that we weren't there to be seen, we were there to dance and have a good time. Which we did. By the end of the night, my dress was literally soaking wet, and Brie's hair was sticking to her face with sweat.

And when we stopped dancing and left, we had to catch a cab because we realized that we couldn't even walk anymore our feet hurt so much.

The only thing that could have made the night better would have been Courtney.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

China Updates

I am pleased to finally introduce Karen, our new roomate.

Karen is 23 years-old, not in Fashion, and really like pizza pops. Either that, or she's just like me and way too lazy to cook. Karen dislikes bus rides with smelly people, and the fact that her room (formely Courtney's) is fuschia pink. Karen also owns a surplus of appliances, including a George Foreman grill, a sandwich maker and the largest and most high-tech coffee maker you've ever seen in your life. (I have yet to master the said devices, except for the most basic functions on the coffee maker, but only because coffee is my life force.)

In other news, we no longer own George and Sadaam, the black bunnies. I could give you the lengthy explanation, but in short, I have commitment issues. (I haven't had a boyfriend in three years, but I thought I could deal with owning a rabbit for 10 years? There is serious fallacy in my logic these days. But what can I say? I'm impulsive.)

Instead, Sasha has become a foster parent for the Humane Society, and we're currently taking care of the cutest kitten EVER. (I'm sure I'll say this about all subsequent animals that we'll foster, but seriously, this kitten is ridiculously cute.)

I'm also pleased to introduce Sasha's cleavage.

Oh, wait. You've already met.

This post is Scientology Free.

What's that? Did you really think I didn't go out this weekend?

Well, you my friend, are sadly mistaken. On Saturday night, we packed 6 people in a car and headed up to some random location to go to some random house-warming party, where we were actually the only guests there.

We met Adam there, who had chosen Ginger Ale of his beverage container of choice.

Sarah and Scott opted for the much classier, and the much healthier orange juice option. (Personally, I drank a bottle of red wine.)

Jess and Adam, using his Mission Impossible face. (For those not in the know, Adam is acting as the Tom Cruise stuntman up at Canada's Wonderland for the summer. He has his own theme music and everything.)

But this is really the story of how we went home. First, I put on my shoes.

Then, Adam demonstrated some of his Cruise-esque stealthy stunts by trying to hide amidst the dandelions.

He also demonstrated the proper Mission Impossible facial gesture.

Next, we walked down the street, and Jess apparently yelled at some onlookers.

Then Jess skipped a bit. (Walking was the preferred option of most parties involved, though.)

Sarah quickly realized exactly what I meant when I said I take a lot of pictures.

After that, we walked down some stairs into a subway station.

When the train came, we got on it.

And then we annoyed everyone on the subway. (This is, after all, an intergral part of getting home.)

Finally, Adam performed some subway acrobatics.

And that was how we got home.

Compelling shit, hey?

In two weeks, I could be dead. (Or suddenly boring.)

He took my camera away. He put it in a plastic bag and sealed it, giving me only my memory card and a piece of yellow paper as proof that it is mine.

He took off his round glasses, shook his head in dismay, and re-adjusted his grey ponytail.

"Unfortunatly, there's a $50 estimate fee," I was told. I gulped. Some sacrifices, even monetary ones, need to be made. I have a credit card. It would be okay.

But then he continued, "I'll call you on Thursday with an estimate."

"Thursday? As in next week?" I asked, in complete disbelief. Monetary setbacks are one thing, but I can't deal with stolen time. Didn't he understand? I have drunken debauchery to photograph here! I'm going out this weekend! I have a birthday coming up! And most importantly, my hero, Douglas Coupland, is doing a reading at the U of T next week! This can't be happening!*

"Yah, but that's just for the estimate. You won't get your camera back until the following Thursday. In two weeks," he added, clarifying.

"Well, uh, maybe I'll just continue using it as is?" I suggested, weakly, hopefully.

"Sweetie, it's only going to get worse."

All this for a slightly dislodged piece of plastic and a zoom that won't work quite properly. I'm distraught, to say the least.

*This is a dire situation that fully warrants the use of excessive exclaimation marks.

Monday, May 15, 2006

I'm Not Dead. Yet.

Jess' 22nd Birthday- Because I'm Not Dead (Yet)

Thursday, May 25th, 2006

"751" @ 751 Queen St. W. 11:00 p.m.

Pre-drinks @ China at 9:00 p.m.

If you are reading this, you are invited!* Feel free to bring friends, since I don't think I have enough yet. (I'm still collecting.) I will wear my red dress. It will be wonderful.

*Unless of course, you are some creepy old man with the intentions of stealing my kidneys. In which case, you are only invited if you buy me a shot.

Also, the lovely flyer was designed by Brie.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Fields of Numbers Streaming Past

It’s like that moment when you have the irrefutable urge to become a farmer.

Maybe it’s wanting to become part of the soil, become part of the last thing that’s whole and sacred and real again.

“I met this girl before I left,” Evan told us, as we wiped the sweat from our brows and gazed out across Athens, “and all I want to do when I get home is fall off the edge of the world with her and pick mangoes.” (To this day, Evan’s words about some phantom girl remain solidified in my mind as the only proof that love exists.)

Maybe it’s the need to create something, to grow something of your own. Courtney told she’d have animals on her farm. (She’d probably have two of each, like Noah’s ark, but there’d always be calves, foals and colts in the spring. There’d be chicks and kids and lambs and kits and enough baby animals to constitute a children’s secretly educational bedtime story.)

I told her that on my farm I would grow crops. I like the idea of dirt under my fingernails, and fresh green curls of life peeking out of the top of black, moist soil.

When I was a kid, I used to hope that whenever I swallowed a watermelon seed, it would take root and the tendrils would clasp into my stomach, until I could open my mouth and feel the rustle of the leaves in my throat. (I started swallowing the thick, black seeds on purpose.)

When that didn’t work, I used to plant apple seeds. (I’m the only kid I know who actually grew an apple tree from seeds that I saved from a school lunch.) Two leafs appeared on the top of a bark-like stem, and I had great aspirations for it.

It died.

I feel like swallowing watermelon seeds, throwing breadcrumbs to pigeons and ducks. I feel like planting apple seeds, and having dirt under my nails and rough soles on my feet.

But more than anything, I feel like falling off the edge of the world and picking mangoes.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Would you like fries to go with your sex?

I have to leave for work in exactly 8 minutes, but I'm still eating breakfast, have to blow-dry and curl my hair (this likely won't happen in the allotted time period, but I like to think that I'm the kind of girl who would do her hair before going to work. . . which I'm definitely not), brush my teeth, and put some shoes on. Oh, yah, and for some reason I feel like I have time to blog in this time period.

Oh well, at least I'm consistantly late for work.

Last night after I finished with my appointments, I went out drinking with the other kids from my office. I think I threw them offguard.

"What are you thinking about Jessica? You don't look like you're quite with us right now?"

"I was actually thinking it'd be fun to date someone who has access to an x-ray machine. Then I could get random parts of my body x-rayed. Y'know, just for fun! It'd be kind of romantic, don't you think?"

One of the guys almost spit out his beer in laughter. I don't think they saw it coming, although I couldn't understand why. I've worked there for a year now.

"We always thought you were really quiet," they told me, laughing.

Not only did they discover I'm not quiet (shocking, but true fact!), they also learned about the list of funny things people write on their resumes that I keep. My favourites from this week include:

"serviced customers efficiently and within a timely manner" [I really wish I had gone into this guy's workplace. I wouldn't mind being serviced in an efficient and timely manner.]

"pursing BS in civil engineering"

"I enjoy working with people as I believe human capital is one of the most important things in life." ["I'm sure this is an actual business term," I told the guy, "but when I read it, it makes me think you have slaves in your basement."]

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Things I Really Hate: A List You've All Heard Before

Things I Really Hate: The Revised (yet still incomplete) Official List*

1. stand-up comedians, specifically those on television and the comedy network
2. paddle boats
3. cold sandwiches
4. snorkelling
5. tuna
6. leather seats in cars/leather couches
7. the LCBO
8. celery
9. pennies
10. MySpace
11. Dr. Phil
12. emoticons

* In order for an item or activity to be included on this very exclusive list, they must be something that is debatably hateable. For example, Hitler doesn't make the list, because most people hate the guy. Or, for instance, I'm also not a huge fan of STDs, but again, they don't make the list because genital herpes never has been a very popular kid on the block.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

We don't drink from milk bags, y'all.


This is the longest post in this blogs history. And that's after I cut photos out. The problem with picking and choosing photos to post is that people tend to save photos off the blog for their personal albums, and since we went out with so many different people during this week, I didn't want to exclude too many pictures. My apologies if it took forever for your browser to load, or if you think I'm being self-indulgent here. Which, really, in a way, I am.


I just finished posting all these photos, and I've come to the conclusion that I must have "Trouble: Buy Me a Drink" stamped on my forehead. I think this is all that is necessary in terms of a prologue for the the Alberta Roadtrip 2006.

This is what 4:30 a.m. with no sleep looks like, in a cab on the way to the airport. (But you all read about that already.)

The airport was relatively deserted on Thursday morning. It was mainly business people hoping to catch a few hours of sleep before they made it to Calgary.

Little did they know that they had to share a plane with us. We were over-tired and couldn't stop gigging and discussing inappropriate topics that should never be discussed at 7 am in a public place. Loudly. (First topic on the agenda: the loudness of beds. "Your bed is pretty quiet," Brie told me, "I've never heard you having sex before." I shot her a dirty look. "Oh. . ." she trailed off, laughing and realizing what she had just said. "Yah, there's a reason you've never heard my bed," I said bitterly.)

As we boarded the plane an exhausted looking woman asked us where we were sitting, "I want to get some sleep," she said sounding irritated. Luckily, we half-passed out right away.

"There's no trees here!" Courtney and Brie told me as the plane descended. The list began. (The list being "Differences Between Alberta and Southern Ontario.")

After getting my car at the airport and checking into Chateau Christine (who had graciously begged to let her host us) we headed to Cochrane for dinner at Brie's aunt and uncle's acreage.

They had a house on a hill over-looking the mountains, with their horses in their backyard. We started working on compiling the list of differences between Alberta and southern Ontario.

Difference #2: "I can breathe!" Brie said when we got into the country. "I can feel the air hitting every last bronchile!" I agreed with her.

After dinner, we drove quickly back into the city to meet up with Christine, who had arranged a limo package for us. We made it just in time. (Elyse, Christine, Brie, Kate, Court and I).

Since the other girls had already been drinking for a few hours, we had to catch up with them by drinking straight vodka with very little chaser.

It suddenly hit us that this situation was all very out of context. Here we were, in the back of a limo, drinking straight vodka, surrounded by the Prairies and headed to a club.

Not that we were complaining.

There was a game playing at Roadhouse when we got there, and Brie helped out one of the waitresses by slut-ifying her shirt. The Flames won that night.

We got caught up in the energy, despite the fact we hadn't slept in well over a day (or in Courtney's case, almost two days).

I have no idea how we were still functioning, but we spent the entire night dancing. Unfortunately, we lost Christine and her friends almost immediatly.

But quickly made new ones.

We saw the other girsl in the bathroom for roughly 5 minutes.

They were excited to see us.

Again, I don't know how we were functioning. Personally, I hadn't really slept in roughly 40 hours at the point in time that we took this picture.

Okay, so maybe we weren't quite functioning. (I love comparing this picture to the one we took at 4 am when we were leaving China.)

The next day, we went to pick up my car. Brie only had these shoes to wear since the rest of them were in the car. As we passed by Mount Royal College Brie had a blonde moment and asked, "Is that UBC?"

We drove to Banff for the day.

Since it was Courtney's first time in the mountains, we had a mini-photo shoot session.

Feel free to use this as wallpaper.

Afterwards, we headed up to the Banff hot springs to enjoy the +20 degree weather.

After we got out of the pool, we all felt really weird. "I feel like I'm tired, but I'm not," I said confused. "Me too," agreed Brie and Court. And then suddenly one of us figured it out. "Holy shit. We're relaxed guys! That's what this feeling is!" Alberta may not have been an exotic vacation choice, but it did the trick.

The Bow Falls.

The Banff Springs Hotel.

The obligatory beautiful scenery shot.

The next day, we got up early to drive to Drumheller. Brie had her second blonde moment. "Jess, are the Rocky Mountains in Alberta?"

On the way to Drumheller, we picked up a hitchiker. Court protested as we slowed down the car, "We don't have enough room!" she yelled at me. (Yes, she was talking about the same car that comfortably seats 4 people in the backseat. The same car that we later in the trip shoved 7 girls into. We had room.) Apparently Court didn't notice that the hitchiker was the least intimidating guy possible and had a suitcase on wheels. Brie and Court were okay with my decision to pick him up though, because it turned out he works for a Children's Theatre company.

"What kind of people usually pick you up when you are hitchiking?" I asked him. "Actually, this is my first time," he admitted. Awww.

Driving into Drumheller is crazy. One second you're driving across the flat nothingness of the Prairies. . .

. . .and then next second you drive into this desert-like valley. These two pictures were only taken a few kilometers apart.

The Horseshoe Canyon.

Brie had been so excited to go to the Tyrell Dinosaur Museum that she bounded into our room all chipper that morning at 9 a.m. to wake us up. We suspect that she had Christmas morning syndrome and probably hadn't slept a second the night before in anticipation of all the dinosaurs.

Brie wanted to bring this home for her dad.

Haha, check out the guy standing behind me. He's all like, "My 4-year-old is better behaved than you."

Which is probably true. We stopped to play a quick game of "Get Off That Thing: The Official Game of Cool Kids Everywhere!" (Speaking of which, Mark created a blog for the game. Check is out later this week for a critique of GOTT: Alberta Edition).

Another one for good measure. (The black plaque beside the dinosaur definitely said, "Stay off dinosaur" which indicates to me this was a completely legitimate round.)

Roar! (Oh, c'mon now, you try and think of a better caption for this picture!)

We had a picnic lunch that Christine's mom made for us (I seriously gained like 10 lbs this week, I ate so well). .

. . .before we climbed into the mouth of the dinosaur to wish Sasha a Happy Birthday!

Get Off That Dinosaur!

We drove down to the Hoodoo Trail.

It was +26 degrees out.

I think this should gain bonus points for being the most picturesque GOTT photo ever. (Also, we were risking a $50, 000 fine or imprisonment for straying off paths in a National Park area. Oops.)

We followed what we thought were trails up the side of the valley.

Turns out they weren't trails at all, but the view at the top was amazing.

I haven't been to Drumheller since I was a kid, but I remember trying to cross the suspension bridge and nearly pissing myself. This time wasn't any different.

I let Brie drive for a bit on the way to Edmonton.

"Alberta drivers are so polite," she said, pointing out difference #3. "This would never happen in Ontario," she said, as a driver pulled over to the shoulder of the highway so she could safely pass, and she exchanged a friendly wave with them.

Court mananged to avoid driving the entire trip.

And I took more pictures of the Prairies/myself. (Yup, that's me in the side mirror.)

That night, after eating a french onion soup Mike made for us, we took a trip to the liquor store before we went to the Druid. (Difference #5, liquor stores everywhere! Steve told us that in between his house and Whyte Avenue he counted 29 liquor stores. Alberta is awesome.)

Erica and my cousin Katherine were there, but they had to leave right away.

So we went to Stonehouse.

And then began "The Longest 6-Block Walk Home Ever!" I think this is an attempt at Get Off That Bull, but perhaps Brie missed the point. I can't remember, because I am solely responsible for "The Longest 6-Block Walk Home Ever!"

Courtney took a self-portrait of her and Brie.

I couldn't take the picture because I was too busy trying to sleep on the sidewalk.

This is one of those, "I love Mike and he's my best friend because he carries me home!" type pictures.

Brie has a hot ass.

It makes me feel better about myself that Mike has beer all over his shirt, though.

Longest walk ever. (Just to clarify, because its pretty self-depricating to post these photos and I think clarification is necessary, I was fine until we left the bar, and I definitely didn't drink more than I usually do. The determining factor in my behaviour was the fact we had been drinking cider, which is difference #4, since you can't get it in Ontario, and it hit me pretty hard at the last second. I had actually been drinking water at the bar.)

We met these random guys in the alley who were apparently also from Toronto.

And we had a mini-dance party with them in the alley on a dirty old mattress. Court and Brie later told me it was exceptionally bouncy.

This photo was actually taken two nights later, down on Whyte Avenue. The Oilers won the series, and the whole street was a gong show. Brie took it upon herself to show some Edmonton pride and pop out of my sunroof to give people high-fives. I participated in synchronized car honking and it took us nearly 45 minutes to drive 2 block.

Then we picked up Steve (who sadly, is not pictured) and went to Red's to play pool. (Also not pictured: a Sunday night BBQ at Chloe's with the Gateway folk.)

On Tuesday, before going to my auntie's house, Brie and Court plotted to make me cry.

They made me go on my first ever rollercoaster at West Edmonton Mall. That's me looking all pitiful in the bottom right-hand corner.

And this is Court and Brie laughing at me after we got off the rollercoaster.

I think we deserve bonus points for the sign in the picture.

Another for good measure.

That night, we crammed 7 girls into my car with roughly 4 mickeys of alcohol to head to Esmerelda's. (Amy was also in the backseat, but you can't see her in this photo.)

Erica and Leah.

It was my cousin Katherine's 23rd Birthday.

Katherine, Adam, Leah and Erica.

Yes, we're actually related. (First cousins, to be exact.)

I finally got to meet Ryan, whom I've been talking to for a few months and who designed my blog for me. Luckily, I didn't creep him out too much.

Dave organized the whole night for Katherine's birthday, and also got Brie into the bar for us despite her expired liscense. Thanks Dave! We had an awesome time! (Speaking of which, if I forget to e-mail you, I can't marry you and Jess. It turns out they don't allow liscensing for that sort of thing anymore. But I'm still all over a Vegas wedding!)

Court, Amy, Erica, Leah and Katherine.

Check out the cowboys in their flannel in the background. Ah, I love Alberta! Oh, okay, and I love Katherine too.

Rob, Adam, Mike, Court, Brie and Rob. (I also was meeting Rob for the first time. I met Rob on an online community about 2 years ago. He introduced Ryan to me, all via the Internet, but this is the first time we've met as well.)

Rob tried to play Get Off That Thing, but I'm not quite sure he understood.

Check out Courtney's hand. The girl has serious problems, in between cutting off her knuckle and slicing open her finger with a razor. You're awesome Court!

Team Road Trip Alberta!

Court and Brie, I think I know what's going on in this photo! I'm on a thing, and you're pointing at me to get off it?!

Brie, why is your hand on my thigh?

Rob and I.

When Katherine left the bar, I started to cry. I'm not a crier, but it's hard not to cry when you know you won't see this girl again until Christmas.

Katherine, Court, Rob and Brie.

Ryan, Brie and Mike.

"This is how I got kicked out of the Madison on my birthday," Brie demonstrated.

Courtney will never be kicked out of the bar for attempting this stunt.

We thought we were being so sneaky with this Get Off That Thing. But there were two problems. First, you couldn't see what we were on. Second, there was a security camera directly behind us. Yup, we're sleuthy and indiscreet all right.

We went in for round two so that you could see what we were on. The ride shirt in the background in the bouncer coming over and telling us to behave ourselves.

So we left. And in the process, we accidentally left Rob at the bar. Um, oops. Sorry about that Rob.

The next morning, I drove a hungover Team Alberta to Cold Lake.

We stopped in St. Paul to see the UFO landing pad. (Court in the background, is clearly being an alien as Brie tells her to Get Off That Thing!)

And we stopped in Glendon to tell Brie to Get Off That Giant Perogy!

As we were taking this picture, we noticed two guys standing across the street from us, laughing. They were obviously local boys, as they were driving a pick up truck and hauling farm machinery. Excitedly, they ran across the street to join us. "You're not from around here, are you?" they asked. They probably hadn't seen girls in a long time, because after asking us that question, they just awkwardly stared at us until we were like, "Uh, we should go now. . ."

And then we were in Cold Lake. (Driving up, Brie and Courtney told me that they finally understood what I meant when I said my town is isolated. Maybe it was the guys in Glendon that tipped them off.)

On Friday night, Tyler set up beersbi in his backyard and all the regulars came over: Brad (aka the second half of Team Couch circa 2004, the other half being Mike), Danny and two of his friends, Bonnie and Kevin Alessio and Tee Jay were just a few.

Court, Tee Jay and I on the way to Legends.

Brie conned Tyler into coming out even though he had to work the next day, for the sole reason that she needed someone to two-step with. If my memory serves me correctly, Chris and Scott (Danny's friends) also had to be up the next day to work at 5:30 am. They were troopers, though.

Danny, Court and random old guy.

At the start of the night, when I walked in, Harley (my friend who was DJing) started playing Lady Sovereign and M.I.A. for us to dance to. Brie and Court weren't in the dancing mood at the time though, and I ended up dancing with red shirt guy. We had the whole dance floor to ourselves!

Aaron and Tee Jay.

Tyler and Naomi.

The Kasper Clan (well, a very small portion of it) and Tee Jay.

Court's face in this photo is priceless.

I'm not going to lie. We didn't entirely fit in at Legends.

Court adjusting Mike's shirt.

Nomes and me.

Brandi and Brie.

Courtney busting a move.

In between the stolen hat and the drink all over the front of my shirt, I am one classy girl.

On Saturday morning, we were in rough shape.

Brie and Court slept while my Dad and I had a sing-a-long on the way back to Edmonton. (I generally speaking don't sleep in moving vehicles.)

Papa Bruce felt so bad for us that he got a room for us at Sutton Place, which according to Court is "where all the stars stay!" including the time her mom stayed at the one in Toronto and ran into the Backstreet Boys. (Wow, exciting, hey?)

We temporarily rolled out of bed to meet Steve, Natalie and Chloe for dinner at the Sugarbowl, but spent our final night in Alberta, here, in the comfort of our beds.

Other Highlights of the trip included:

-people recognizing me from the calendar

-people recognizing Court and Brie from the blog

-arguing about milk bags vs. milk cartons, horizontal traffic lights, the colour of snow plow lights, and all the other idiosyncratic differences between the two provinces

-people asking me, "So how's that beard thing going for you?"*

And now I'm going to go work on de-toxifying my body before I start work tomorrow. The first step? A nice, long shower. The second step? Hopefully, it involves a beard. (A specific beard, to be exact.) But first, the shower.

*Speaking of which, Leah's New Year's Resolution was 2006: Year of the Ring. At the time, she was single. As of now, she has a "promise ring". Katherine's was Year of the Free Ride. She hasn't paid for a date all year. I kid you not, this is the power of the resolution. Erica still has yet to achieve Year of the Million, though. (In which she gets a million dollars by the end of the year.)