Adventures in Getting Settled…and Zombies.

Have you moved recently? Are you planning to move soon? Are you comfortable where you are and are just reading this post to kill time while your coffee is brewing? Don’t worry peeps. I’ve got you covered.

Now that I’m about 3/4 settled in Calgary, I have some very practical learned-from-real-life-experience relocation tips for you.

1. Run from the Undead.

Does your new city have a Zombie Survival Race? If so, sign up and run for your life. If not, you’ve clearly moved to the wrong city. Pack everything up right now and try again.

Here’s why it’s a good idea. When you’re making new friends, you’ll want to know right off the bat who’s going to leave you in the dust, who’s going to stick with you, and who you’re going to want on your team during the apocalypse. You can take months to figure that out on your own, or you can do it over 5 kilometres in one zombie infested afternoon.

You’re also going to totally impress the cute guy in the elevator when you get home covered in mud. When he looks startled by your appearance, just shrug nonchalantly and casually explain, “I was running from zombies.” Because that’s not strange or geeky at all.

Hopefully zombies are allergic to mud. If so, I'm totally safe.

Hopefully zombies are allergic to mud. If so, I’m totally safe.

2. Join Amazon Prime for Free Delivery (but make sure you’ve updated your address first)

Nobody wants to lug bulky stuff like a toaster, a dish rack, a laundry hamper and a blow dryer home on the bus all at once. And nobody wants to make 4 separate trips to the store and buy them one at a time.

And by nobody, I mean me. I don’t want to do those things.

So, I joined Amazon Prime and got most of those things delivered to my door. Except for my printer, which I accidentally had shipped to my parent’s old house. When I discovered my error, parts of the following conversation may or may not have happened…

“Hi parents. I bought a printer, but it was delivered to your old address. Do you think you could knock on a stranger’s door and convince her to hand over the goods? … Yes, I know it’s embarrassing, but you probably shouldn’t wear a mask when you go, she might get the wrong idea … No, I’m not going to ‘accidentally’ have the next order delivered to the handsome guy on the 12th floor … Because my next order is 48 rolls of toilet paper. That’s why … No, it didn’t snow today … Yes, I love you too.”

As an added bonus, each order comes wrapped in a free feline amusement device. My cat now has more furniture than I do. On the upside, I hear cardboard boxes are making a fashionable comeback. Or so Catticus tells me.

3. Make a Plan.

Not just about how to survive a zombie apocalypse. You’re also going to need to put some effort into real plans too. Why? Because you’re going to wake up every day and think that you need to do all the things at once. Your to-do list will be 100 pages long, and you won’t know where the right stores are or how to get to them, and instead of making a plan, you’ll become paralyzed with indecision and watch Netflix.

Or maybe that’s just me.

Unless you own a 16-wheeler, and your days are magically 68 hours longer than mine, you’re not going to get everything you need all at once. (Even IKEA can’t make that happen. I know, I’ve tried.) So, as some hip-hoppity rap lyrics suggest: Break It Down (down down. Ooh Ah. Break it Down. Yeah.)

Don’t go out and stock your pantry in one giant swoop. Plan your meals for the week, then just buy the ingredients and spices you’ll need for those recipes. Eventually, you’ll have all the cumin and olives and bay leaves that all respectable kitchens should have. Also, don’t forget to buy the hardware you’ll need to make the recipes. Otherwise this will happen:

Me vs. Corn - we'll fight it out until one of use needs a bandaid.

Me vs. Corn – with no can opener to intervene, we’ll just fight it out until one of us needs a bandaid.

Also, don’t put up your pictures and decorations yet. Wait until you have all your furniture in order, then figure out where your hideous green ceramic lizard from Mexico will look the most appealing. Haha, just kidding. Hideous green ceramic lizards look great anywhere. Put that little fella up as soon as you move in.

Basically, pick one or two things a day to accomplish for your home, and one or two things to accomplish for life. Go outside. Scout out a new park or library or cafe. Talk to real live people in your neighbourhood. Volunteer for something once a week. Buy a can opener.

Start making your new city feel like home. Because it’s where you’re going to be living for a long time…at least until the zombies come.

Do you have any great re-location tips? Share them in the comments!

Adventures in Mud, Floods & Buds

I stink.

I smell like I doused myself with some kind of swampy, muddy, sweaty, buggy, mysterious eau de drainpipe.

… Sigh, okay, I can’t lie to you…

I did smell that way – about 1/2 an hour ago, before I took a shower. But really, who starts a story by saying, “So, I smell kinda normal”?

I also didn’t want you to go on reading this entire post thinking that my blog is more important to me than things like personal hygiene or basic cleanliness. I mean, I really like you and all, but first things first, okay folks?

To re-cap:

1. I don’t actually stink (at the moment).

2. I can’t maintain a convincing lie for more than 2 sentences.

3. My blog ranks somewhere below soap but above dignity on my personal priority scale.

Now, back to my story. You might still be wondering why I was smelly to begin with. If you are actually still wondering that, then you didn’t read the title of this post very carefully. It’s kind of a big clue. So is this picture:

Slip'n'Slide anyone?

Anyone up for some living room Slip’n’Slide?

It’s prime travel time around here, so some people are Eleventy Thousand kilometres away (that’s about Eighteen Billionty miles for those of you who have trouble converting imaginary numbers). Meanwhile, it’s been raining pretty heavily, and the canal has also decided to take a holiday, and made itself at home in a friend’s vacant house. And really, a canal is a messy house-guest to begin with, but when it invites the shady friends it met in the Ditch & Drain to join the party, things get pretty gross pretty quickly. Especially when they get the munchies and raid the fridge:


Canals will eat anything…except honey & ketchup

You may remember a few weeks ago, I posted about the downsides of living in a transient community far from home. This week, I was reminded of the upsides. Within a matter of hours after the flooding was discovered, a group of people hailing from at least 4 different countries descended on our absent friend’s empty, squishy, soggy, smelly house. Everyone armed themselves with hoses, mops, squeegees, and ridiculously huge smiles.

It's always a party when mud's involved

Is there mud? Then it’s a party.

As we all worked together, it was great to see that being part of a supportive community isn’t dependent on geography, nationality, or even close proximity. It was also really great to eventually see a clean floor:


A job well done

It was a long, dirty day – and I was glad to be a part of it. I might smell awful, but being surrounded by people who care for and support each other in practical ways is pretty sweet.