Playoffs versus Sleep

Few things can make me stay up past my bed time.

Let me list a few:

  1. Call.
  2. Caring for a very sick relative or friend.
  3. Seeing a very special relative or friend for the first time in a while.
  4. A playoff hockey game.

It is the playoffs.  And my team… The Montreal Canadiens are still in it.  As a result, every Montreal game means that it is hockey night in the M household (during the regular season, I generally only stay up for whole games on the weekends).  That means I have to stay up late every other night for the last almost week.  It also means that I eat more junk food (not good given I can’t run).

Image from the Montreal Gazette.

Yes, I have to.  It is not an option.

Tonight, we cleaned the house.  I did an assignment for my Molecular Genetics rotation and worked a wee bit on my manuscript (almost done the submission for research day).  We are now watching the hockey game and it is around that time I would normally be hitting the hay.

I’ll be sleepy in the morning (and I have to leave extra early because my half crutch/half walk thing I have going on means it takes me about triple the time to get to the bus stop).

And yet, I don’t want this to end.  I will deal with the sleep deprivation of a good long playoff run (I would like to thank residency for training me for this kind of thing).  Preferably Stanley Cup kind of long.

I am a hockey fan.  What can I say?

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Layers

This week’s photo challenge with the Daily Post is entitled “Layers.”

When I was in Ottawa on the CaRMS tour, I happened to be there on the weekend of the NHL All-Stars event.  Too bad I couldn’t actually go see the game.  I, however, partook in some of the free outdoor stuff by myself.

It was a snowy day and they had all kinds of ice sculptures, but the most interesting thing to me were the jerseys that were frozen as a layer in a block of ice.  Since they had been frozen, it was clear that there was a bit of a thaw and now snow, so that increased the layered effect.

IMG_0599 IMG_0600

Saturday Summary

Today has been a day of adventure.

I cleaned like a mad dog this morning.

We watched the newest episode of The Big Bang Theory and I could totally relate to Sheldon’s angst with being unable to complete something.  It pretty much was my life.

Image from gifsoup.com

I made fudge.  Said fudge boiled over in the microwave creating a giant sticky fudgey mess.  The fudge bowl then soldified onto our countertop.  While retrieving the beaters to mix up my fudge that was not coating half of my kitchen, I somehow knocked my rice cooker out of the cupboard leading to the lid shattering all over the place.

The fudge turned out.

We do have to buy a new rice cooker.

I made guacamole and impaled myself with a fork.  Try to figure out how that happened… I can’t.

We went on a field trip for coffee and went to a pub for supper.  We found a used bookstore dangerously close to our apartment and I finally bought Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.  I would have considered the trip a success solely on the fact I didn’t destroy anything else en route.

We hosted resident fun night of awesomeness, which included games and much food.  My evening highlight was playing Quelf, although I am sure the same can’t be said for everyone.  Patrick, however, was pleased to finally win his first game of Apples To Apples.

To top things off, the Habs won their last game of the season against the Leafs.

Oh, and I found this fabulous series of YouTube videos of people from a nursing home dancing to various pop songs. I want to be that awesome when I get old.

 

BED TIME!

Image from weheartit.com.

Random Bits

Some random bits of my week without any rhyme or reason (no apologies for disjointedness)…

Hockey is back.  And I believe it now that I see it.  I am not one of those fans who was so ticked off I refuse to watch.  I really did miss it when it was gone.   Last night, I watched the first period of the Habs game in broken-up slow motion thanks to poor streaming from a sketchy website.  I thought now that we have cable and a nice TV things would be better this year… The problem is we still don’t have every game televised.  And we can’t afford the NHL channels.  The Habs won, though.  Very good news to wake up to in the morning.

I am on Hepatology right now.  It is a learning curve.  My attending is awesome and loves to grill with questions.  I see it as a personal challenge; even though this is the most stunned I have felt since starting Cardiology last month.  Livers are interesting, I must say.  It has been slow clinically, but I have been making up for that with all sorts of required reading assignments.  I am such a geek.

Yesterday, I decided to fix our vacuum cleaner.  If you don’t know, I am the handy one in the family.  I just have some mad scientist in me.  Also, I am terrified of the vacuum cleaner.  So is the cat.  But, Patrick has been noting for the past number of weeks that the actual vacuum has no suck, even though the hose still works, despite him emptying the bin.  Turns out the rubber belt thingie (technical term) is broken. I disassembled the whole thing to figure that out.  He was going to go buy the part today and tomorrow I will put it all back together again (hopefully).  The poor cat nearly had a stroke with the vacuum being out long enough for me to mangle it.

Patrick gave me a cold.  Who says I work in a germy place?  I am pretty sure  kids are sicker than most of my liver patients, at least from an airborne contagious perspective.

On a related note, my tonsils hate me.  They are huge and whenever I get sick they get huger (not a word, but fitting in this case).  Swallowing is a challenge.  I really should consider getting them resected.  But, they will only do that multiple documented episodes of tonsillitis in a year.  And I will only get them documented if my own documentation counts.    I don’t think it does.  So, like my wisdom teeth, I will procrastinate until I develop a real problem.

Secondary to the whole tonsil issue… Soup and tea are wonderful inventions.

I finally finished reading The Circle by Ted Dekker last night.  It took me over a month.  It was awesome.  I recommend it.  I am also excited to start reading a book that fits in my purse and doesn’t weigh more than some of my textbooks again.

Sometimes, when I am on call and have down time, I start to read my fun book and then I get angry inside when someone pages and “rudely” interrupts my fun reading.  I do not quite have the same reaction if I am studying.

I met a random lady on the hospital shuttle.  She told me her entire life story and all about books she has written and how she decided to go back to university after retiring to get her B.A. and how she intends to travel across Canada after she graduates, just because.  She didn’t tell me her name.  She looked to be at least in her mid 60s.  Good for her.

I have a single white hair in my bangs.  I keep trying to pull it out even though some people say you shouldn’t do that.  I can’t seem to get to it because whenever I notice it, I am in a rush to do something else.

We have friends from the Rock visiting this weekend.  And friends from home moving to town.  Yay.

What randomness is occurring during your week?

Prayer and your local sports team

Celebrating the first goal of the 5-0 win last night. Image via cbc.ca

The Montreal Canadiens have had what is now a four game winning streak.  Now, to people who are non-Habs fans this is not exciting.  But, this is the worst season in a very long time.  And the much beloved (and/or hated) Montreal Canadiens are in danger of missing the playoffs.  Okay, really, odds are they won’t make the playoffs.  Because they have really sucked this year.  At everything except penalty killing (woot, number one on the PK).

Anyway, they one 5-0 against Toronto which gives two points that are much needed, another two kind of figurative points, as they are in the same conference and a moral victory.  Plus, it is a four game winning streak.  And Gomez finally scored.  Pretty huge for this year.

Earlier this week, the Catholic Diocese in Montreal put out newspaper ads asking people to pray for the Montreal Canadiens.  It seems to be working.

The ad from the gazette. Image via the Toronto Star.

The whole premise is fairly interesting.  The two big religions of Montreal, Catholicism and the Habs combining.  Patrick told me that he heard when he was in Montreal, he heard of someone writing a thesis or doing a course on how religion is similar to the local hockey fandom.  I would say that is fairly true.  The following, routine, and ritual is similar to that of many traditional religions.  Except the deity is hockey (aka the so-called hockey gods) as opposed to God.  So, asking people to pray for the team to God is interesting.

If God cares about us and what happens, then He must care about hockey.  But does He care enough to intervene to make a team win? A team that people follow more closely than Him?  Could the whole thing change how people see God?  God answers all of our prayers, but how do we interpret his answers to these prayers?   Could He use this for greater good?

Well, it is God, so anything is possible, but the whole notion is just wild to me.  Sure, it would be great to see the Habs win and sure God could make it happen, but the whole newspaper ad thing cracks me up.

The response to this has been mixed.  I read a few articles that have described the whole thing as an antic to get people back in church, or that it shows that people who pray are crazy.  I have also heard people say that this is something that could show the power of God or that it might be something to plant a seed to get people truly back in a relationship with God.

I think it is cool.  I also think that the Habs need all of the help they can get.  And it is an interesting depiction of society and how religions, media and sports impact our lives today.

But yay for winning streaks.  There are more important games to come.  I guess we will wait and see what comes of the team, and the prayer ads.

Interviews en revue

I promise that this will hopefully be the last post about CaRMS interviews for a really long time.  I have been thinking about my recent experiences and how they all play together.  And I had an interview nightmare last night.  You think those would be done by now.

Last night was by far the most fun I have had on the CaRMS tour (minus when I actually got home).  We went to the social, at which most of the staff and residents came.  It was very East Coast.  We ate at a pub, you know, fish and chips, lobster rolls, burgers.  It was very relaxed and fun.  After that, a core group of us went to this fabulous Halifax spot called My Father’s Moustache where we basically sat around and had drinks whilst discussing our adventures in interviewing, sports, TV and life, as well as where we all actually want to match.  All the while watching the Habs game where Gomez FINALLY got a goal after a 365 day dry spell.

It is funny, but I am really going to miss those people.  At least the cool part is that we will all be colleagues in the future and we will see each other at conferences and all that fun stuff.  I was right when I said earlier on in the tour that we will likely get along because of the whole premorbid personality for the specialty.  We are all a bit different, but we just seemed to work well together.  It felt normal to be hanging out like that and we have only known one another for a few weeks.

So, all that to say… Here is my version of the tour in revue.

Prettiest Hospital:  It’s a tie between the Juravinski in Hamilton and CancerCare Manitoba.

Ugliest Hospital:  McGill University Hospital.

Best interview day meal in Hospital: London… Pasta of all kinds.  Ottawa came in a close second with Greek food.

Best interview day meal outside of Hospital: Well, Calgary wins this by default, but it was ridiculously good.

Best social:  This is a tough call, I liked a few for differing reasons.  If I had to go with food alone, I would pick either the Thai place in Ottawa or Italian in Edmonton.  They were all good.

Longest and most expensive cab ride: Edmonton and Toronto tied.  Halifax would have won, but we all knew better and took a shuttle.

Most fun in a city non-interview related:  Ottawa… You just can’t beat the All-Stars.

Best museum-like place (because Patrick claims this was more of a museum/sushi tour for me): Vancouver Aquarium, hands down.

Best sushi: Halifax.  This is not a reflection of overall sushi quality in any one city.  Everyone says Vancouver has the best sushi.  Its just the sushi I had there was sub-par.  The sushi in Halifax, however was the best in my tour.

Best other food place: Pakistani/Indian restaurant in Kingston.  Any place where you have the choice of mild, medium, Canadian hot or Pakistani hot has to be a winner.

Best hotel:  Atlantica in Halifax.

Scariest interview: Vancouver.  Giant man-eating panel and the first interview… Eep.

Most relaxed interview: Hamilton.  Only a couple scripted questions and more conversation about hockey than anything else.

Most shocking question for me:  Why didn’t you do your Masters?

Most shocking question for others: Getting grilled about doing their USMLEs.

Strangest question for me (not scripted):  Name your favorite hockey team and where and what you did when Sidney Crosby scored the “golden goal” in the Vancouver Olympics.

Strangest question for others (not scripted): What do you think about fighting in hockey?

Strangest question (scripted): First place- Rorschach Ink Blot.  Second place- Name a fictional character that would make a good radiation oncologist.  Third place- What is your favorite word?

Most challenging question of a technical/knowledge variety:  Define statistical significance.

Most awkward moment: Walking into the Vancouver interview room and seeing the giant panel at the giant table and feeling terrified.  Then someone saying, “yes, it is rather intimidating.”  Then, realizing that I actually did have a “deer caught in head lights look.”  Second place is when I got asked if I could speak French and answered yes, then was told that I should have answered in French, so I did and the person asking told me never mind.

Stupidest thing I said in an interview:  “We really just want to get out of Newfoundland.  Its nice and all, but anywhere on the mainland is better than there for us.”  Interviewer: “I’m from Newfoundland.  And are you saying that we are just anywhere?”  Annnd commence digging self out of hole.

Craziest thing I saw:  In the Toronto airport… There was this woman who sat across from me waiting for my flight to Kingston and she seemed to be talking to herself.  Then out popped a small dog from her bag.  She was talking about herself in the third person saying things like, “Get out and walk around for a bit, it is going to be a long flight and Mommy doesn’t want you to get blood clots in your legs.”  She then proceeded to take out what she called the dog’s suitcase… A large purse… And got some kibble telling the dog, “You need to eat something, Mommy really thinks you need some food.”  She gave the dog a drink from a water bottle she just drank from.  She also offered the dog a clementine saying, “Do you want an orange?” When the dog sniffed it and carried on sniffing the floor… Like a dog should, she concluded, “I guess you don’t want an orange, so Mommy will have it, but you still need to eat.”  This was unreal.  I tried so hard not to laugh out loud.  And failed a bit.  I know people love their dogs.  But really?  This was ridiculous.  Especially when I was so sleep deprived.

Coolest God moment:  If I am just going for the most random God moment, then hearing “Your Love” in the elevator on he way to the BC interview.  For an overall God is awesome moment, it was knowing that I had friends and family praying for me over this entire journey and truly felt a peace that I think only God (and excessive repetition) can bring during the interview process.

And… That’s a wrap.  I am headed home-home for a few days with family and friends and our church’s famed winter carnival.  Something that I have missed so much since I have been away… Potlucks, bad variety shows and my church family.  What a way to relax and rejuvenate post-interviews.

Stick a fork in me, I’m done!

Well, it’s a wrap!

Yes, at long last, my CaRMS interview tour has come to a close.  Actually, there is a social tonight, but nonetheless the interview, which is the most important part, is done.

12 interviews

11 cities

6 provinces (plus the pending visit home-home and then back home makes it 8)

It legitimately felt as crazy as it seems to look on paper.  And now it is done.

Today’s interview is at a program where I have done electives and where I knew I would know the majority of people on the interviewing panel.  Such a comfort.  And yet, I think because I knew so many of them, I was more nervous because the last thing one wants to do is look like a tool in interviews, especially in front of people you know and respect.

I wasn’t scheduled to interview until 3:30, but we were all invited to attend Oncology Grand Rounds and get lunch there, so I went in for 12:30… Free food and education, what a bargain.  The topic was breast reconstruction post-lumpectomy and mastectomy.  It was fascinating.  I know, you may not agree.  But, I didn’t know there were so many options available and the thought process behind when and how to do the reconstruction.

Most of the people interviewed in the morning.  Only three of us were scheduled for the afternoon.  There were 5, but two cancelled.  So, thankfully, the interviewers agreed to move our times up, so we wouldn’t be stuck loitering in the department for hours and also so they could finish early… Win-win.

We went on a tour of the department.  They are currently expanding and getting some new machines in the next few months but construction was not yet complete for us to see it.  Nothing else has changed since my time there.  It is an older facility… No real natural light in the rad onc department.  Clinics are decent, but somewhat crowded.  The resident room is nice… Everyone has their own desk and computer and there are two windows (epic!!).  They have 10 rad onc dedicated inpatient beds… And new floors (yes, he pointed out the new flooring).  The floor is shared with gyne onc and palliative medicine.  It felt pleasant.

It was so nice to be back at interviews with the people I have gotten to know.  Chatting before the interview.  Sharing plans for the afternoon.  Planning for the post-social fun to come.

The interview itself was great.  The panel was big.  Not UBC big, but the next largest for sure.  Semi-overwhelming.  At least I knew 5/6 of them and knew of the other person.  It makes things a lot easier.  But nonetheless, the first chunk of the interview I spent glancing around as if I had a nervous tick in an attempt to make eye contact with everyone.  So weird.  It got more relaxed and I felt very comfortable.  It was definitely more of a get to know you type interview with only a couple standardized questions and then others about me as a person and about my CV.

Most unusual question: This is a two part question… What is your favorite hockey team (this was prefaced with the fact that this answer could make or break my residency career)?  Part two was where were you and how did you react to Sidney Crosby’s OT goal in the Vancouver Olympics.  I answered honestly and told them the Montreal Canadiens to which I got two high fives and two loud groans saying they will beat that out of me later.  They then asked if I was brainwashed as a child.  I said yes.  As for the Olympics question, we watched the game on Patrick’s laptop with his parents and we were somewhat time delayed, so I had received a text alluding to the fact we had won before the goal happened.  So I cheered and followed it up with a “I knew it!”  They thought that was pretty funny.

Question that took me most by surprise: Obviously the above questions won this as well.  If I had to pick another question unique to this, it would be the why are you interested in teaching question, which was followed up with a how would you feel about doing something like a medical education elective or masters in medical education.  All of which are appealing to me.

I rewarded myself on the walk back to the hotel with a tiramisu cake pop and a latte.  I also took a stroll through the medical school campus and took a few pictures.

Welcome to Dalhousie.

The Cancer Centre building.

The new research building, mainly for cancer research.

Clinical research building.

The medical school.

This building was in the medical/dentistry area... I don't know what it is but it is cool.

Interview in Habsland

My language insecurity persisted today.  50% of the candidates are legitimately Quebec French, so of course I felt like my French was a little substandard.  The good part is that I can at least carry on some semblance of a conversation and for that I am truly grateful.   It even came up in 2/3 interview stations, despite the school being Anglophone, as the patient population is in its majority bilingual, but a portion is unilingual French.

On pulling up to the hospital I noted one major factor… One, it was huge and two it was not pretty.  This hospital is what East Coast hospitals are like… Older ones.  Very different than those out west and even in Ontario.  I learned that the health care funding in Quebec is not as good as in some other provinces and that there are problems with aging facilities.  I also learned that the Jewish Hospital is significantly more aesthetically pleasing and that they are currently building a new hospital that is the typical classy modern slated to open in 2014… So, if I were to go there, I would benefit from said hospital.

The hospital has an interesting build to it.  I entered on the 6th floor.  The radiation oncology department is on the 5th and built into the side of the hill and under the parking lot.  Good use of natural rock for shielding.  Unfortunately, not good for natural light.  There is one skylight at the front of the department and apparently, this needs to be removed and a crane drops in the new linear accelerators, as the doors and elevators are not wide enough to accommodate.  That I would want to see.

The department itself is well equipped and at the forefront of research in several aspects.  All of the cool toys are there or coming, including an MRI simulator, tomotherapy and a ton of brachytherapy.

I was really impressed with the friendliness of the residents and how well they all get along.  It says a lot about the program.  The two chief residents were ridiculously enthusiastic about selling the program to us.  One of them said, and I quote, “This program is legend… Wait for it… Dary!”  The same one also informed the women in the group that Quebec has the best maternity leave plan in Canada for residents and thus the female residents “pop out babies like machines.”  Made my day.

The interview had a similar feel to many of the others.  Three panels of two for twenty minutes each.  The questions were generally straightforward.  No big technical curveballs, but lots of very standardized questions that repeated somewhat between stations.  The first station I went to was especially chatty and I had to be extracted from the room by my next interviewer.  Too funny.

Most unusual question:  What is your favorite word?  After much deliberation, I answered fabulous… It sounds dramatic and it is a fun word that can be used in a number of situations to describe great things.  Also, that is what I thought very sarcastically when the question was asked.  In retrospect, there are other significantly more awesome words like cacophony and scintigraphy.

Question that took me most by surprise:  This one is a toss-up.  One interviewer asked me why did I choose Radiation Oncology when I have such a strong Palliative Medicine background.  I was expecting the imaging one, but not that.  The same guy asked me why I didn’t do further education?  I was kind of confused, I mean, I am in med school for goodness sakes.  But, he is an MD-PhD, so I get it.  He wanted to know why if I had a high GPA and do well academically I chose to go to med school and not do a Masters and such.  The answer is easy… I got in to med school.  Why prolong things?  I can do a Masters in residency if I so desire.  I would consider it if it doesn’t interfere too much with life and school and my finish date.

By the time all of that was over, we had lunch… Baguette sandwiches… So good.  I was disappointed that I didn’t get to have a Montreal bagel, though.  I may try to find some in the airport.  I was sharing a cab with someone and didn’t even get a chance to take pictures of the hospital, though I did get a few pictures of McGill at night (on my way home from the social).   I did, however, find a Montreal Canadiens parapanalia store and got Patrick a surprise.  Pretty neat what one can find in an airport.

Welcome to McGill!

Pillars at McGill entrance.

Building.

Main McGill campus area with delightful lighting.

Chiac, questionable bilingualism and a musical interlude

Day one in Montreal.  I left St. John’s after only being there for approximately 30 hours… I have worked longer call shifts… Just saying.  At least I got home and did laundry and saw Patrick and most of my non-school friends.  Plus I got to go to church.  It was quite lovely.  And exhausting!

This will be a short one as I have to get sleep pre-interview.  It had no general theme or flow, as I just wanted to recap a few thoughts before I forgot again.  I had an hour an a half nap this afternoon because I was so tired I felt ill.  Pretty impressive for someone who generally doesn’t nap.

Since arriving in Montreal, I have realized that my French is very rusty.  I am self-conscious of my French, given that despite my Francophone roots, I have a very English accent, as my primary language is English.  I took the equivalent of university French in High School and did very well.  Problem is that since high school, beyond the odd conversation with family and a french patient, I don’t use my French, and when I do it is definitely maritime slang French, aka chiac.  So, I realized that simple things like ordering from restaurants or hanging out with bilingual residents draws attention to my underused French and unusual dialect of choice.

I want to improve on this.  I’d like to take a course in medical French and maybe get speaking it more, so that I wouldn’t feel so self-conscious and nervous about using what French I have.

I drove past the Bell Center today… It was epic.  Too bad I didn’t have my trusty camera available.  One day I will go in and see the Montreal Canadiens play… One day… And hopefully they will win.

Supper was great… We went to a trendy restaurant with delicious food.  The majority of residents came out… Always impressive.  There are 8 of us interviewing tomorrow.  Problem was that this restaurant is loud… It has music that, throughout the course of the night grew progressively louder… And louder.  You couldn’t carry on conversations beyond the person beside you.  Made me want to scream and flap, though, I refrained and just looked semi-distressed.

Lastly on an awesome music note, OK Go has a new video out on YouTube that is quite awesome with regards to the use of random things for music, including a car!   I love their style in general and the use of instruments and original sound.  We don’t always get a lot of this these days with our modern sound mixers and electronics.  

They also have a fabulous music video… And my favourite all time song of theirs that involves a marching band.  Given I played and taught a marching band for a ton of years, this is near and dear to my heart (feel free to judge).  

The weekend in our nation’s capital

I’ve been in Ottawa for a day and a half now.  Thank goodness for breaks.  I am not looking forward to another full week of interviews and related festivities.  So tiring.  At least we are driving to a few places this week.  That will be a nice change of pace.

Also, heads up… This post contains a lot of pictures.  And for those family and friends who have me on Facebook, heads up, there will be many more in my CaRMS album once I get around to doing that (likely after CaRMS).

I arrived in Ottawa yesterday afternoon, just as it was starting to snow.  Despite this, I decided to go out on a food hunt (I had yet to have lunch) and then do some touristy stuff.  I found a Harvey’s and excitedly went in and ordered a burger with lots of hot peppers, onions and pickles, my favorite.  Harvey’s is significantly more exciting for me than your average Canadian because there is not one where I live or anywhere within a reasonable distance.  Thus, I ate as if I was starving and ordered with the excitement of a four-year-old getting cake.

With a belly full of stinky products, I proceeded to head toward the Rideau Canal.  This was actually more interesting for me because of the debate between Winnipeg and Ottawa and who has the longer ice skating trail.  Due to the warm weather, the Rideau Canal was closed (likely good because I would be risking broken limbs if I ventured onto it), so I instead walked along the canal and enjoyed the beauty of Ottawa with the lightly falling snow (and rather slushy foot paths).  I could see the parliament buildings and got it in my head that I would go to see those.

Rideau Canal, sans skaters.

Trail along the canal.

As I got closer to parliament, I saw large gaggles of people and police.  Then I remembered… It is NHL All-Star weekend.  And thus, there are festivities!  Sweet!  There were ice sculptures of all of the team logos, an ice sculpting demonstration and jerseys frozen into blocks of ice.  So cool.  I took excessive volumes of pictures.

NHL All-Star weekend. Instant something to do.

Ice sculptures.

Montreal Canadiens sculpture.

More ice sculpture awesomeness.

Habs jersey in ice.

Jerseys in ice.

It was snowing harder, but I chose to continue on my journey to parliament.  It was neat to be there and actually get to admire things (I was in Ottawa on a cadet trip when I was in high school, but it was so cold out, we couldn’t really do anything outdoors).  I found that this journey helped me to appreciate the history of this country more.  We are so fortunate to be free and to have so much.  Seeing these magnificent buildings and scenery really helped to remind me of this.

Further down the walk along the Rideau canal.

Looking up the hill.

Parliament.

The flame.

Parliament buildings and the flame. Oh, and random guy posing for picture, whoops.

World War I memorial.

Post-parliament, I hiked back to the hotel (stopping for bubble tea, without the slimy balls) and stayed there for the rest of the night.  There was an Italian restaurant in the hotel, so I ventured down for supper.  It was apparently a couples’ type place.  Whoops.  So, socially awkwardly, I sat alone and read a book and ate my pasta, which was appropriately called Torino (Patrick and I are going there this spring to see a Coldplay concert).

This morning, I went to church in the University of Ottawa… It is a church somewhere in the suburbs that wants to reach more of the students and downtown core.  Cool.  It was a nice service, lots of young people.  The message was about how good God is and how we should worship with joy even in times of trouble.  If God is good sometimes and He is never changing, then He is always good.  It really hit home for me, especially given how ridiculous this past week has been.  For being a visitor, I also got a free book, The Case for Christ.  Sweet.  I love free books… and this is one I actually wanted to look into.

University of Ottawa building.

My favourite of the University of Ottawa buildings.

Post-church, I went to the Canadian Museum of Nature.  Such a good choice.  The museum building itself is over 100 years old and housed parliament for a few years when the original parliament was being repaired post-fire.  It was recently renovated.  So, I wandered around with all of the young families and took a ton of pictures of everything.   This museum had everything.  Lots of stuff for kids to touch and interact with.  Fossils, dinosaurs, mammals, birds, fish and water life, “supernatural” things (like ufo sightings and phospholuminescence) and lots of rocks.  I was quite impressed.

The museum.

There was all kinds of beautiful stained glass in the old section on the museum.

T-Rex... Heyyyy!

Sea turtle.

Whale!

This was probably my favourite diorama. You could also see the rest of the seal under the ice and in the water. So cool.

Birds! The bird exhibit was actually ridiculous. It compared beaks and feathers and genders. If you had a bird phobia, this would be a nightmare.

Rocks, lots of rocks.

I napped and ironed this afternoon.  Had fantastic café mocha from a local coffee shop.  Social number 4 tonight.  We are going out for Thai (oh boy!).  Interview number 5 tomorrow.