William Matheson (nova_one) wrote,
William Matheson

6. More Memories; My Life as a Medical Courier

(Written Laund- Saturday night.)

Another thing I did here as a kid was take swimming lessons. There's a teeny-tiny outdoor pool along the Sonora Road that's part of a campground business. It has a deep(er) end and a slide that might count as a waterslide if you rig up a garden hose just so. But I have many fond memories of this pool. One thing that sticks out is the "Welcome to our ool" sign, which I'll leave to you to figure out.

I guess I learned something valuable from the lessons. I remember how there were seemingly endless color levels, but I only got as far as Maroon. Just like Grade 10 Math, I took it three times and never passed. In this case I was just refusing to learn how to dive. I could jump in the pool just fine, but I had to learn how to go head first in off the edge of the pool. For some reason I was petrified of making this movement. I think I could do it today, but getting through to the end of the Red Cross swimming system is no longer one of my life goals.

With math the problem was that I was quite impossible to teach since my survival strategy was self-deceit, including feigning understanding. But I also don't think math is something you can (easily) lecture. And some teachers of it have horrible attitudes, and some are lost space cadets. If math worries you, try going to Khan Academy, which probably has enough stuff to get you through high school.

We also played Nintendo up at the cottage - one summer it was on a black & white TV. It was kind of anachronistically odd that you could do that. And while we were playing Super Mario Bros., one of my cousins' cousins would be lecturing us on how in Japan they were already on Super Mario Bros. 5 or 6. I didn't believe her, but there was a grain of truth - the Japanese Super Mario Bros. 2 was a straight-up sequel to Super Mario Bros. that we didn't officially get until its inclusion in Super Mario All-Stars.

* * *

What counts for news around here? I am kind of getting bored - funny thing, my friend doesn't invite me to hang out while his girlfriend is visiting on the weekends. j/k But he doesn't have the responsibility of entertaining me, and subconsciously believing otherwise is a trap I've fallen into before (with other friends in the past). I need to find myself something to do in Sherbrooke on Saturday nights besides my laundry.

Well, last Saturday night there was a dance at the Lions Club. It was alright - the band leader would say things like "We don't know any good country songs because there aren't any", which was kind of tone-deaf if not downright aggressively ignorant. But he sang well.

I met a few people there, but you could only really socialize when the band was between sets. I DON'T KNOW WHY THEY HAVE TO HAVE THE MUSIC SO FRIGGING LOUD. I DON'T GO TO BARS THAT HAVE BANDS BECAUSE OF THIS. Fortunately, I saw some people I already knew right away, so I hung out with them. We had a pretty good time.

Sunday was Canada Day, and I was hoping it would be a big party night again, but most of the excitement was in the afternoon with an extended-family birthday and the Canada Day parade. We sat in the shade of my aunt's sister's house and sipped beers. My aunt's brothers-in-law blew bubbles. It was that kind of sunny summer day.

The fireworks happened at dusk, and they were long enough to be a sitcom episode. Then my buddy went looking for every place we could possibly go besides back to the patio at his place where we might at least stand a chance of seeing some girls go by. This became a running joke as I'd get restless and he'd open another beer. But it was a lovely night just the same.

On Thursday my grandmother was supposed to go to Halifax for a procedure, but she only got a bit past Sheet Harbour before they had to turn the ambulance around. Apparently they need a blood test to be done on a sample taken almost exactly 24 hours before they operate. It was a bit of a farce. Now tomorrow [Sunday] they'll have someone in to take the sample and since there is no courier on Sunday, I'll be driving it to Antigonish to be tested there. I'd be happy to go just for this, but it works out very well because I was going to be going up anyway to get groceries and for a little social outing. And then on Monday, she'll finally go to Halifax. The plan is that she's going to come back the same day, which is kind of interesting. Ordinarily I wouldn't blog this sort of thing but the ins-and-outs are a little bit intriguing.

Anyway, better get to bed - long day tomorrow! I've been enjoying watching Wimbledon in the mornings. I'm also really excited for the Open. It's also easier to watch TV when the only distractions are books and newspapers (and, from this warped point of view, fixing breakfast).

* * *

(Written Sunday night.)

I am a hot and sweaty mess, but it feels good. I have had quite a day.

First I went to the hospital to wait for my grandmother's sample to be ready. Then I was given a little cooler marked "Human Specimens" (cue mad-scientist maniacal laughter) and instructions to deliver the contents to the lab in Antigonish. I felt important.

The hospital in Antigonish was very quiet, it being Sunday. I first followed the directions I was given in Sherbrooke and took the elevator to the lower level, but I couldn't find the signs for the lab. I was in a hurry (I'd parked right out front - I didn't have anything smaller than $2 ready for the meters), so I went back to the reception desk and explained myself. She said, "You might try Emergency." So I went there, and they said, "Go to the lab." But the "lab collection" area I just walked past was closed.

"No, the downstairs lab. Ask at the front desk."

"But she sent me to you!" I called as I walked away.

Anyway, I went downstairs and found the custodian I'd shared the same elevator with minutes ago when I came in.

"Can you help me find the lab?"

"Yes, down the hall, turn left, then... and ring the doorbell."

Following her directions, I finally found a sign saying "Laboratory". I think in Antigonish you're just kind of expected to know things. Anyway, I got there but there was no doorbell I could find. I went in but nobody was out in the main area. I went back out and found someone to ask about a doorbell.

She didn't know of one either, but she led me inside and she went into the break room for me to alert the techs that I'd left behind the sample. Mission accomplished. Now, was the car being towed away?

No. So I poked back inside and gave the receptionist a friendly FYI, and then she went back to reading her book.

Next: Groceries. And stuff. I went to Sobeys, NSLC, Lawtons, Canadian Tire, Superstore, Walmart, and Shoppers Drug Mart.

At 4pm, I met someone in front of The Townhouse, a new independent brewpub. Sadly, it was closed. Friends of the proprietors even left a handwritten "Oh no! You're not even open!" note complete with frowny face. It was cute. Anyway, we found another pub on College Street and had a pleasant time there.

We went to the Capitol Theatre, which is kind of like The Oxford in Halifax but without all the independent films. It wasn't bad. We saw The Amazing Spider-Man. I'd give it a good 8 out of 10. The effects were very good, though some of the computer UI really pushed believability. The story was a little bit predictable but not to the point of being tedious. I laughed out loud a few times, too. It also has a much more satisfying ending than the, uh, last first one - the last first one begs for a sequel where this one doesn't, although there probably will be some.

I wouldn't have done a reboot on this franchise (after only ten years?!) - Batman I understood, but on the other hand maybe they wanted to make this one a little more subdued and human and character-driven like the new Batman series. So given that they've done this, they did really well. There'll probably be folks who'll like one franchise more than another (among the present and the immediately previous). And that's cool; you can go either way.

And then I drove home. It took me an hour to unload the car and put everything away, and then I sat down to write this. Early morning again tomorrow - my grandmother's sister (so she's a grand aunt* to me) is going to Halifax with her, so I need to take her and the cooler back to the (Sherbrooke) hospital. My grand aunt is very thoughtful - she put out the dishes for breakfast tonight to save time tomorrow.

* - Why not "great aunt"? Well, I want the greats and grands to match up with each generation. It makes more sense if your grandparents' siblings are your grand aunts and uncles, your great grandparents' siblings are your great grand aunts and uncles, etc..

Witty closing paragraph that thanks the reader and promises more updates as events warrant. It might be a one-or-two sentence wonder.

Addendum: Someone said to me, "I read you went on a date. How'd you meet her?"

Well, she found my online dating profile and said, "Thought I'd say hi, because I'm fascinated by the fact that someone from Sherbrooke has such progressive notions about life. Unless you're not actually FROM Sherbrooke... which would explain a lot." Yep. Anyway, while it was a good time, I don't think either of us saw sparks. And that's OK.
Tags: antigonish, family, sherbrooke

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