Thursday, July 30, 2009

Four years ago, I was in the middle of my biggest project at work. Not only were we changing the name, logo and look of the station (from The New PL to A Channel) we were also launching a new graphic system at the same time. I had to go to Toronto for some training for a few days. It was a steep learning curve as we had a short time to have everything completely re-designed and up & running. Lots of long hours and over time, of course over the holiday weekend.

At the height of all this, my sister called me (at work) to tell me she was in labour and they were heading to the hospital. I had been anticipating this moment for a long time and didn't want to miss out on the excitement, but it really wasn't a good time for me!! After I confirmed she wasn't kidding, I somehow weasled my way out of the building until the next day.

I hit the hospital waiting room with Mom & Connie for a L-O-N-G night of waiting. In fact...I think that is the first post I made on this blog. After many hours of labour, Jesse Harding Koiter was born. I can't believe the little peanut is four years old today!!

Living in the same city, I've been able to spend lots of time with Jesse and watch him grow into the incredible kid that he is. Very curious, fearless, huge vocabulary, and LOVES Lightning McQueen. When he was learning to talk, he called me Ya-Ya. These days he is sure to point out the TV tower when out & about and calls it "Auntie Janice's tower". So cute.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Originally I sat down to write a blog post about the hassles of filing an insurance claim and all the little things that added up over the past two weeks. However, I think I've complained enough about that whole fiasco. So, instead, I'd like to comment on music.

You probably know if you're reading this blog that I am a big fan of music. Most times I'm listening and not creating it, but I've been known to belt out a few tunes. :) But, in the past few weeks, I've particularly noticed how some music can have such a comforting and calming effect.

Music surrounds us every day ...filling our ears in the grocery store, on an elevator, even while you're sitting in the dentist's chair. But, this music is not the type I'm talking about. Some music is great and you enjoy listening to it, but not particularly heart-warming. I'm talking about that feeling you get when you can sing every word to the song and it takes you back to a time or place with fond memories.

A few weeks ago I popped in a Paul McCartney DVD to have on while I was doing some house work. It had been a rough couple of weeks while my sister Jo-Anne was in the hospital for colon cancer surgery. As the familiar songs filled the air, I realized how much I was enjoying the music. It really made me happy listening to it. A few days after that, a Don McLean song (Vincent) came on the radio on my way home from work. Again, I had that enjoying-it-to-the-fullest feeling. Certain artists usually stir up this emotion in me. Johnny Cash, The Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel...and usually any old country song that I remember singing along with as a kid with my dad.

What about you? Do you have an artist or a song that hits your sweet spot?

Friday, July 17, 2009

I forgot to mention that the other driver was issued a breathalyzer test at the scene. He blew in the "warning" zone and had his license suspended for 3 days. He was also charged with careless driving. When I got the police report, it said he was going 70km/h and I was going zero. So, as you can imagine, quite a jolt. I never did see him or talk to him, but my one question for him is..."how do you not see a red light AND a YELLOW beetle stopped at that red light???"

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The impact of being rear-ended goes far beyond the shattering glass and mangled metal. It takes over a little space in your mind and is like a movie on a loop. This can get emotionally exhausting.

On Saturday night, Jason & I were on our way home from my friend Sue's house. We were stopped at a red light when a pick up truck slammed into the back of us. But, there was no warning! No headlights in my mirror, no tires squealing, horn blaring... I had no idea what happened. In fact, I thought some type of explosion had gone off behind us. The first thing I remember was the exploding sound and my face planted in the steering wheel. The next thing I remember, the car was down the street on the opposing side and Jason was telling me to stop the car. I still had no idea what was happening. Neither of us had ever been in an accident before and were in shock.

I remember a girl appearing at the door, insisting I get out before the air bag went off. Jason was hesitant to move me in case I had injuries, but she seemed to think it might go off any time and it would injure me more. So, I was helped out of the car and onto the sidewalk. It was then that I realized we were hit by something...someone and that I had blood all over me. The "airbag" girl gave me her jacket to stop the bleeding. She was convinced that I had broken my nose. I think she was in an accident herself...she seemed to be quite helpful.

Very soon the ambulance, police & fire arrived. During this time I was still confused as to what had happened. Jason confirmed that the truck that hit us was still there, but back at the intersection, so I never did see the driver or the truck. In fact, I didn't see the damage to my car until the next day. (probably a good thing) Jason & I were both strapped to boards and loaded into 2 ambulances.

It was such a surreal experience going in the ambulance. I always assumed it would be a smooth trip, but it was really jostly and seemed to take forever. It's really strange when you can't see anything peripherally...just the ceiling. Especially once we got to the hospital. We were wheeled into a curtained corner and waited for a while. (seemed like a long time, but maybe it wasn't) When you're the one that is in the is a totally different experience. I was wondering where all the people were that were going to help me??? I could just hear voices of people that were putting in a regular night at work, talking about vacation, kids, etc. We were just a number.

We were finally checked out by a doctor. Jason had a few stitches in his head and I had a broken nose and a black eye. I was a little surprised when the nurse gave me a package of warm wet wipes and said I could clean myself up. I knew we weren't at the spa, but come on? She couldn't even clean the blood off my face for me? I had no mirror and no idea what I looked like. It was strange. In the process of treating me, my shirt was cut off. When it was time to leave...I realized I had no shirt to wear home!! I ended up zipping my hoodie up to the top. Ironically, our cabbie for the ride home had seen the accident! Strange.

So, the last few days have been filled with phone calls, faxes, appointments, etc. My car, unfortunately, is a goner. I have to admit I got a little teary-eyed when I saw it on Sunday. I hadn't seen the crunched-in side on Saturday night. It was strange to see my little bug all twisted up like that. The truly annoying thing is that I just had it detailed - inside & out - ONE WEEK before the crash. It was a strange contrast to see the freshly shampooed seats & floor mats covered in glass and a little of my blood!

I will finish this post for now as I have so many things still to take care of. Thanks to all of you for your encouraging notes & phone calls.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

I count myself lucky to have seen Tony Bennett not once, but twice in my life! On Sunday, Jason & I set out for Toronto to see the man, the legend, Tony.

I was keen on getting his autograph so we wandered around the Canon Theatre around 3:30, hoping to catch him on his way in to sound check. Several years of stalking celebrities at the Toronto Film Festival seems to have paid off. [Let me clarify that I use the term "stalking" very lightly...we don't actually stalk celebrities. We wait patiently at pre-determined locations where celebrities will be appearing.]

After checking out both entrances to the Canon, we decided to check down a dark & scary alleyway filled with stinking garbage left from the striking city workers. Ok, maybe it wasn't dark & scary but the garbage was real! We saw a sign that said "Stage Door" ...which I took as a good sign! We also saw 3 others hovering about with LP's and cameras in hand.

Less than 10 minutes later...the door opened and Tony walked out! I have to admit I was a little flaberghasted at first, but quickly composed myself and asked Mr. Bennett for an autograph. I had one page left in my autograph book for Tony to sign. At first, he ALMOST signed on the back of Jennifer Aniston's autograph. This wouldn't have been good since sharpies have some bleedthrough on the page. However, I didn't want to TELL Tony Bennett where to sign!! He quickly caught on and actually thumbed through my book! I was ecstatic to get an autograph. Jason, however, wasn't as lucky. We were both so enthralled that we didn't manage to snap any photos until the SUV had rolled away.

We returned for the concert and were treated to such an amazing performance. At 82 he still belts it out with such passion & finesse. I also think it's so adorable when he does his little dance moves during the musical interludes. During Shadow of Your Smile...he asked them to kill all the mics and sang "unplugged". Amazing!

After the show, we returned to the stage door to see if Jason could get an autograph. This time there were about 25 people waiting for Tony. When he came out, he was just great and signed everything that people had for him. This time, I was more together and was able to snap a few photos. I also was able to form words into sentences and told him I really enjoyed the show and he did an amazing job. (or something to that effect)

We left, 2 happy campers!

Saturday, July 04, 2009