How is my vacation progressing? Let me provide an update!
At 8:30 this morning I went to a nearby medical lab (one of the perks of living near a hospital, these things are more omnipresent than Starbucks) and submitted myself to the tests my doctor wanted. This involved collecting urine, blood and poop (ew). The urine was the ol’ “pee in a jar” routine, though it was actually a small bottle. I’m still surprised at how easy it is to pee on demand, as if our ancient ancestors needed the ability for survival and we still carry the trait today.
The blood was a bit of a concern. The last time I had blood taken a few years ago I fasted a lot longer than necessary. They recommend 8-10 hours and I fasted something like 16-18 because I went later in the morning. The net result was partway through the blood collection I went very pale and felt like my blood was being literally drained away–which it was, but it felt more like all my blood was being drained away, not just a sample of it. The person taking the sample asked if I wanted to lie down. I did, but not there, as it seemed too much like admitting defeat to a simple medical procedure to lie down right there in the lab. Plus my place is only two blocks away, I could crawl back if I had to. I felt weird and gross for a few hours after. Tip: don’t fast for hours more than you need to before giving blood.
This time I had fasted appropriately and the whole thing finished quickly and without incident.
The poop needs to be applied to a small stick. They give you paper to poop on and a sheet of instructions on how to poop (I’m not sure if you can also poop on the instructions, but it wouldn’t surprise me). Pooping on demand is harder than peeing. I felt weirdly self-conscious even though I was alone (you poop at home, not at the lab). When I was done, I put the stick in the provided container and the Biohazard-labeled baggie. Could my poop kill someone? Maybe, I’m no expert. As instructed, the sample is in the fridge until I take it to the lab tomorrow. I’m pretty sure this is the only time I will have my poop in the fridge.
After donating nearly every form of liquid and solid my body can produce to science, I thought, “What else would be fun to do on vacation?” and it came to me: sweeping and mopping. Yay! Here’s a typical vacation list as proof:
Things to Do on Vacation
Relax in the sun or shade
I swept the kitchen and then got out the Swiffer WetJet®™ to mop. After a few majestic strokes, the floor was looking cleaner, but I heard a distressing crack from the handle of the Swiffer. Just as I was finishing the top of the handle broke off. This made the last bit of mopping–or swiffing, if you prefer–rather tricky. I was bummed, partly because I’d have to spend money on a replacement, but mostly because it meant I’d have to go out and actually get the replacement.
In checking the price online for said replacement, I noticed in some customer reviews that the handle breaking is apparently a common issue. I guess I should feel lucky ours lasted as long as it did. Maybe some duct tape will fix it? I could get duct tape instead. It’s cheaper than a new mop and more versatile, to boot.
Now you’re thinking, you donated blood, urine, poop, swept and, with some effort, mopped. Surely this vacation day is done.
But no, there was more!
I thought a nice walk around Central Park would be nice (the logic is infallible), followed by a trip to Metrotown for some window-shopping (not actually shopping for windows, more like books and stuff). I took the SkyTrain to Patterson station, tapped out like a good little Compass card tapping-person, and sauntered off into Central Park, where I zigzagged through the many trails, utterly failing to navigate the “Terry Fox 5K walk”, despite numerous signs pointing the way. I swear the signs have arrows actually pointing at each other.
After about 45 minutes of quiet contemplation (well, except for the regular rumble of the nearby SkyTrain) I headed over to Metrotown. I scoped out Indigo and spotted the book Aurora by Kim Stanley Robinson. I’d heard some good things about it so I pulled out my phone to note the title in my OneNote app (I have a section for books). It was when I put the phone back in my pocket that I noticed something was wrong.
To be more precise, something was missing.
To be even more precise, my wallet was missing.
Little alarms went off in my head.
I had not taken my wallet out since tapping out at Patterson so I was puzzled as to how it escaped. I keep it in a front pocket so if someone tried to pick the pocket there’s a decent chance I’d see or feel something (“Is your hand in my pocket or are you just happy to see me?”) but perhaps pickpockets have stepped up their game. More likely I failed to put the wallet all the way back in the admittedly shallow pocket and it shimmied up and out as I strolled about.
Thinking there was a chance I had accidentally pulled the wallet out along with my phone in the bookstore, I scanned the immediate area. No sign of it. I had a staff member check to see if some Good Samaritan had already turned it in. Nope. I left, retracing my steps.
About fifteen minutes in I get a phone call from an unknown number.
“Is this Stan James?”
“Did you recently lose a wallet?”
“In fact, I did.”
“Were you in Central Park?”
“About twenty minutes ago.”
“Your wallet has been turned in here at the community police office [gives directions].”
“I’ll be there in five minutes.” I was literally two blocks away from the office when the staffer called.
I didn’t find out who turned my wallet in, other than it was a pair of women the community police office staffer thought were “GVRD workers” based on their dress. Anyway, I can’t thank them in person but I can thank them here so thank you, nice ladies!
The wallet was untouched, including the $10 in relatively worthless Canadian money stuffed in it. Ironically I started putting bills back in my wallet after I was pretty sure I’d lost a $10 bill from the same pair of shorts with the same shallow pockets. I shall now call them Devil Shorts, for that is what they are. Tomorrow I may go looking for cargo shorts or anything with a zipper on it. Maybe a chastity belt than can also hold ID and some keys. Something.
Finally, my partner came home, complained about how the long commute to and from his new workplace is, claiming it leaves him no time in the evening to do anything except go to bed and start the whole thing over, like some kind of Groundhog Day thing. This apparently renders life as not worth living, though he loves the actual new job. He then went to bed two hours earlier than he needed to as an ironic twist. People are weird.
And that was my vacation day today. Technically there’s still time for a mongoose to attack me, so I’m staying on my guard until I go to bed. Hopefully there is no mongoose in the bed.