Monday, 29 December 2008

The 'C' In Broken

Teri was typing conversations for me on MSN. I was wrapping presents and she was on my laptop when people started talking to me over Messenger. I asked her what they were saying and she typed my responses. I soon realized that people would know that while it was my words it was probably not me typing, as everything would have puncuation, capitals, and be spelled correctly. I started telling her to purposally put errors in the messages so it looked more authentic. At one point I asked her to type a sentance that had the word 'broken' in it and I said "Now go back and take the 'c' out of 'broken' so that it's spelled wrong," and she responded with, "Chris, it doesn't have a 'c'."

Thursday, 25 December 2008

Night Devine

Christmas Day is drawing to a close. It was a really nice day. We went in the early evening to go and see the Simcoe Light Display. I think it is officially called 'Simcoe Panorama.' A long time ago, whenever we celebrated Christmas in London at my Grandmothers house we would go to Victoria Park to see the lights and stuff there. It was always really fun as a kid. Big industrial paper-mache reindeer, wisemen, and such. There are even pictures of my and Mike as babies bundled up in a sled and being pulled around the displays in Victoria Park. The Simcoe Display is obviously closer to home as it is only a half hour drive away. Not ever on Christmas Day but sometimes during the season we would go and visit it. Sometimes we went with our family friends, The Smiths. We have also seen the Christmas Lights at Niagara Falls but they are more something to drive around looking at than walk. Also I think a few years we saw something in Orangeville where my Aunt, Uncle, and cousins live. It was cool to do a light display thing again on actual Christmas, like we used to in London.

Monday, 22 December 2008

Time Off

I have just under two whole weeks off. (I'm going back to Paris to spend them with my family.) No school! No work! I'm super excited. It is time for a little R&R, and I don't mean rap and reggae.

And Obsession

Ok, it is official. Jerrica and I are obsessed with The Lonely Island again. We never stopped liking them, but meeting The Dudes in New York City really upped the love. Also they just came out with another great music video that compares to the awesomeness that is 'Dick in a Box', 'Lazy Sunday', and all the classics from their old website. This song is on repeat in our apartment pretty much constantly now. (Look at me embedding YouTube videos!! Also customized to be pink.)

Photoshop

Steph loaded Photoshop onto The LittlePet (my laptop) and taught me the very basics. I really miss Kodax Easy Share, which is a photo editing program that I swear is designed for 4 year olds. I got it when I got my first digital camera. After that first one was stolen at a party and I got my current one I still used Easy Share. Right now, all I do to my photos is rotate them, crop them, take the red eye out, and sometimes turn them into black and white. On rare occasions I might mess with the lightness or saturation, but not often. My current camera is a Canon so it came with PictureProject, which I hate as a editing program. I use it to get the photos off my camera and that is it. Despite wishing Photoshop was easier, I am really excited to learn how to use its more advanced features. I have a Media Photography class coming up next semester and I hope I learn something about it there. Once I get really good I may post some Before and After shots.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

New York City Highlights

I still haven't had a chance to go through my many pictures from New York but I thought I would share some thoughts on the trip:
-Jerrica and I can only recognize three buildings: Rockefeller, Chrysler, and Empire State
-free New York bagels for breakfast at the hostel really hits the spot in the morning
-the Staten Island Ferry is a free way to see the Statue of Liberty and New York skyline
-at night people play Beatles music at the Imagine Circle in Strawberry Fields
-Trump Tower is huge, he is definitely compensating for something
-the Village is so clean is actually smells like bleach
-standing outside all night in the cold is worth it for SNL tickets
-Central Park is truly a haven
-the frozen hot chocolate at Serendipity is really as good as all the rave reviews say, and we stayed at the table used in the movie
-I love art deco architecture
-saw a real New York rat, both a live one and a dead one
-Brooklyn is a ways from the island of Manhattan
-waiting to see if our #16 and #17 stand-by tickets were good enough to get into the dress rehearsal of SNL was the longest 30 minutes of my life
-it was really good to have stayed with Matt for the first few days, nice to have a familiar face in a big city
-from Top Of The Rock the city is beautiful and romantic at night but more impressive during the day
-you have to pay to get on most ice rinks and no one owns skates, they pretty much all rent them
-there was a creepy man at the When Harry Met Sally table in the famous Katz's Deli
-American money looks weird
-we met Andy, Jorma, and Akiva from The Lonely Island!!!!
-the Chrysler building is my favorite and Jerrica got me a model of it for Christmas
-4:30 to 6:30 in the afternoon is worst time period for trying to take pictures
-got to go through the Lincoln Tunnel
-if you go to Canal St. to haggle for a purse be sure to take small bills as it makes the entire process easier
-the Statue of Liberty is really small
-when I told someone that I lived in the capital of Canada and they asked me if Ontario was the capital
-saw the Friends apartment building
-Ground Zero isn't very moving but the memorial to the servicemen that is beside it is heartbreaking
-the Christmas window displays are breathtaking, super intricate and move
-I forgot how many toll booth there are in the States
-spent so much time at Rockefeller Centre we started calling it "our 'hood"
-train had to stop in Albany because of trees down on the tracks and we took a bus the rest of the way
-Matt may have made fun of us for our pop culture location visits but he has been to a lot of the Seinfeld ones
-the southern Financial District isn't very recognizable and reminds me a little bit of Toronto
-truly "the city that never sleeps" and we spent our days from 2:00 in the afternoon to usually about 4:00 in the morning
-I look super awkward when posing for pictures with celebrities
-10 hours is a long time on a train
-Jerrica and I split a potato skins appetizer at T.G.I.Fridays as a meal and couldn't finish it
-skated on Wollman Rink in Central Park and the rink at Rockefeller Centre
-you have to be very very rich to live in Manhattan
-there was so much to see and we barely scratched the surface, I can't wait to go back and visit again

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Back From The NYC

I just got in after after a whirlwind trip to New York City with Jerrica. We left our apartment at 2am Friday and didn't get to New York until 11:30pm that night. We then promptly spent all night on the street, waiting in line for Saturday Night Live tickets. Things are pretty interesting at 4am on New York City sidewalk outside NBC Studios at Rockefeller Centre and the trip just grew in intensity from there. I will be posting some pictures and highlights later, as well as putting all pictures with commentary on Facebook. Stay Tuned!

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Homonyms

--Antonyms are word pairs with opposite meanings. They can be words differentiated by a prefix (original/unoriginal, respect/disrespect) or can comprise two completely different words (old/young, big/small).
--Synonyms are words that have the same or nearly the same meaning. Some words have more than one group of synonyms. For example: big - large(extensive, huge, substantial), grown-up (adult, elder, grown).
--Homophones are groups of words that are pronounced the same way but which differ in meaning or spelling or both. For example: bare/bear,to/too/two.
--Homographs are groups of words that are spelt the same way but which have different meanings. They may or may not be pronounced differently.For example: sow (female pig) and sow (plant seeds), nail (as in finger nail) and nail (used with a hammer).

Monday, 8 December 2008

NHL Coalition

I really like the idea of a Liberal-NDP coalition in government. I have been following it on the news (CBC's website actually, along with the daily bus paper The Metro.) What I really love though is satire. The following was sent to me in an office forward and I think it is hilarious!! (Go Leafs!)

Canada was stunned Monday when it was announced that The Stanley Cup will be awarded to the Toronto Maple Leafs, possibly as early as December 6th. The cup will be stripped from the 2008 playoff champions the Detroit Red Wings and be awarded to the Leafs, who didn't even make the playoffs. How is this possible, Canadians ask? Well, the Leafs have formed a coalition with eastern conference semifinalists the Montreal Canadians, and conference quarter finalists the Ottawa Senators, now outnumbering the Red Wings. According to current Leaf coach Ron Wilson "the Red Wings have lost the confidence of the league and should hand the cup over immediately to our coalition". The new head coach of the coalition team has begun his PR campaign (with photo ops) to bring Canadians on side. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman is cutting short a European trip to try to resolve the unprecedented hockey crisis that could force a second playoff series, or see an opposing team coalition take the cup.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

A Christmas Tradition

Anna and I took each other to see The Nutcracker tonight for Christmas. I hadn't seen it in a really long time but am very familiar with the ballet and story. I had seen it performed in Oakville by a friends dance company a few times and done at The Sanderson Centre in Brantford as well, probably by The National Ballet Company. I even danced in it one year, I was a little clown that runs out of the skirt. I have also read children's books of the story and seen cartoon versions on TV. Up until this show they had all been very consistent. The choreography was often different but the story always the same. The version we saw tonight was a little different than what I'm used to, which turns out to be the 1954 Balanchine ballet. The Winnipeg National Ballet Company used instead the American Ballet Theatre version by Baryshnikov which premiered in 1976. Baryshnikov omits the roles of the Sugar Plum Fairy and Prince Orgeat, and gives their dances to Clara and the Nutcracker/Prince; so that in his version, the two do not merely sit out most of the entire second act as they do in other productions (notably Balanchine's). In addition, although the Mother Ginger and her Clowns music is heard, we never see Mother Ginger herself. The one Anna always saw in Halifax actually had Clara as an orphan at a boarding school and a friendly janitor as the Nutcracker Prince. It just goes to show that holiday classics can contain a myriad of versions and interpretations making it impossible to determine what is traditional. The production we saw tonight was incredible. It was a fantastic performance.

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Bring It All Back

Around this time last year I talked about bringing back the word 'league' as a measurement and in February of this year I mentioned wanting to start using long speeches to curse people instead of swearing. Jerrica has been joining me as I stalk Shakespeare lately and we just came back from a production of Twelfth Night done at a local community centre. I could watch Shakespearean plays every day, I just love them so much. Jer and I have been talking for a while about using the phrase 'go to' more and have starting saying it to each other when trying to remind of the need to study. "Want to do such and such" gets responded with "No, we/you should really study, go to." Now, I also want to use the word 'knave' to mean a person who is a jerk. The actual definition is as follows:
knave -noun
1. an unprincipled, untrustworthy, or dishonest person
2. a Jack, in a deck of cards
3. a male servant, a man of humble position
I think it is best used with a good adjective in front of it like, "That dirty knave" or "He was such a foolish knave" or "She is an arrant knave" but then I guess we would would have to bring 'arrant' back too, which means unmitigated or notorious. Maybe we should just bring it all back.

Friday, 5 December 2008

NeoPets

I have finished my exams. Besides work and short essay due Monday I am looking at a nice long month of free time. I'm going to go to New York City, study for the LSATs, do some Christmas shopping, visit with family and friends, relax and party, but mainly play alot of guilt free NeoPets. I have had a NeoPet account since first year, when I notice Steph and Em playing and wanted to join. It is free, and designed for 12 year old girls. (I figure at least I have the gender right.) Basically you have these little virtual pets and you play games to get points which you can use to feed them and get them presents. You can even get a pet for your pet, known as a petpet. I always 'rediscover' the site right around exams, this time thanks to Erin, and it tends to provide a lot of distraction from studying. I didn't have the luxury of any wiggle room for procrastination this time so tried to avoid playing as much as possible. But now, I'm going to NeoAway to my hearts content. Feel free to join me (my user name is Chrisbinx) we can be NeoFriends.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

I'm Overheard

Because Taylor, Kristen, and Heather have been involved with The Charlatan, I am occasionally in it. I also occasionally write for it but here I'm talking about when I, myself, am mentioned. Sometimes one of them needs a quote for an article but a few times I have appeared anonymously in the Overheard At Carleton section. This is a fairly new part of the school paper and contains submitted sections of conversations that have been overheard on campus. I always know when they have submitted something I have said because they tell me. "Oh, your in Overheard this week, remember when you said such and such." Usually something sex related and funny said at a party. Well unbeknowest to me, I was submitted by someone in my English class.

The student in the following is me:
Prof: And so they had Napoleon but they couldn’t bring him to England because of all these laws and they couldn’t bring him to France because the government didn’t really exist, so they put him in a ship in the harbour. . .
Student: Didn’t they put him in a bucket?
Prof: A bucket? This has been the weirdest class!


I got totally confused. I remember some kind of war hero being put in a pickle or rum or wine barrel to transport home for burial instead being thrown into the see. I thought it was Napoleon, it definitely wasn't. It looked really stupid and super random. So I showed up in The Charlatan a week or so later.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Not An Overload

I thought that perhaps my insane exam schedule was an overload. Even if it was I was still going to power through it since doing deferred exams later on really sucks. Out of curiosity I checked today to see if it was and turns out it actually isn't. Carleton defines an exam overload as:
3 or more examinations scheduled in 3 consecutive periods,
4 or more examinations scheduled in 5 consecutive periods,
5 or more examinations scheduled in 7 consecutive periods.
Well it turns out that I am 3 in 5 which is considered acceptable so it isn't an overload situation. I'm actually glad because if it was I would be really really tempted right now to bump one off until later since I'm super stressed about all of them. Each one is really demanding in its own way and while I have been fairly good about keeping up with my classes I don't feel prepared at all. It is all happening so fast but it will all be over soon.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Stupid Carleton

Seeing as this debacle attracted national media attention, I'm sure this is old news for everyone. I just hadn't really wrapped my head around how I felt about it. The Carleton University Student Association (CUSA) had voted to cancel our annual Shinerama campaign for cystic fibrosis, saying the disease mostly affects “white people, and primarily men,” and isn’t “diverse” enough for Carleton's continued support. This was badly researched and factually incorrect information. It obviously led to an outcry from students, alumni, and the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, all of which was reported by the local and national media. Carleton is not looking very good in the public eye right now. CUSA has since overturned the motion and decided to continue running Shinerama but some are calling for the member who brought the idea forward and the CUSA president to be impeached. I have always been a little weary of CUSA, coming into Carleton through engineering 'CUSA Sucks' is ingrained into my brain. Now, in light of recent events, I really think that they do 'suck' so impeach away.

Sunday, 30 November 2008

Christmas List

Work Stuff
-Black flats (7)
-Nice Boots (7)
-Pretty Red Sweaters (M-L)
-GC---Smart Set, Le Chateau, Aldo, Sears
School Stuff
-Pens
-Backpack, not too big
-Microsoft Office 2007 (Word, PowerPoint, Excel)
-Laptop screen cleaner
House Stuff
-Good Vacuum Cleaner, used is fine
-Cordless Drill
-Ikea GC
-Pots with lids, used is fine
-Hand soap
-Extra-Long Twin, Flannel Sheets
-Nice Frames, with wall mount
Life Stuff
-Pyjamas (L)
-Ear Muffs
-Work-out pants (L)
-GC ---- La Senza, La Vie En Rose
-Canned corn
-Canned french cut green beans
-Microwave popcorn
-$ for British Citizenship
-Pepto-Bismol
-Stamps (mailing Canada local)
-$5 long distance cards (calling Canada)
Fun Stuff-Movies, DVDs
---Love Actually, 10 Things I Hate About You, Aladdin, Waiting (Ryan Reynolds), Wet Hot American Summer, Any James Bond, Any Eddie Izzard Stand-Up,
-TV Series, DVD
--Friends (anything but 2), Sex and the City,
-CD’s, burned is fine
--Beatles, Gone In 60 Seconds Soundtrack, Best of Louis Armstrong
-Books, used is fine
--Narnia Set (not from movie),
-Messenger Bag that can hold laptop (15” screen)
-World of Warcraft Game Time Card
-Chocolate bars
-Going out ‘Bar tops’ (M-L)
-American Apparel Cotton Spandex Jersey Bandeau Dress, any and all colours (XL)
-American Apparel Cotton Spandex Placket Legging, Black, (L)
-Hard Alcohol and Liqueurs

Saturday, 29 November 2008

41 Texts

Above is a list that I have compiled of the texts I need to know for my British Literature II course mid-term exam. (Click on the image to see the list more clearly.) There are FORTY ONE different poems, essays, and novels. I need to know them all well enough to be able to identify an excerpt from them and give the title, author and a page of written analysis of the passage's significance. Also, this is just one of three exams that I have in two days at the end of this coming week. Not fun.

Party With The Newfies

I went with Jer to the Christmas Dinner and Dance for the Newfoundland Society of Ottawa. They recently became a 'Have' province and since Ontario is now a 'Have Not' I thought I should party with the new big shots. It was so much fun. The food was amazing and there was so much of it. I have been to a lot of banquets and Christmas parties where they try too hard to make the food fancy. They served turkey which was great since I didn't have it at Thanksgiving. Then there was dancing. So much dancing. The music was perfect, a good mix of oldies and classics, obviously a few Newfoundland ones thrown in. It actually made me miss my parents, I think it was the type of music they played or that there were a wide range of generations there. A really good time. I'm such a poser, but I really want to go again next year.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

D-E-F-I-N-I-T-E-L-Y

The correct spelling is definitely.
Not definately.
Not definatly.
Not definantly.
Not definetly.
Not definently.
And certainly not defiantly.
The correct spelling is definitely.
-From http://www.d-e-f-i-n-i-t-e-l-y.com/ (Buy the mug)

Obviously I don't know the right spelling. Jerrica pointed this site out to me, as a very good speller she found it hilarious, though admits to having difficulties with 'definitely'. Interestingly, they didn't mention my usual way of spelling it, 'defninitly'. Goes to show you that I'm always unique, even in my flaws, and again proves that my issue is usually with the vowels.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Best Thing Ever

It is my turn to bring dessert to Girls Night tomorrow. We actually don't have any type of formal rotation, it is really just who ever calls it. Dessert is usually brownies or cookies. I decided to change it up a bit and wanted to make Rice Krispie Squares. When I was out grocery shopping yesterday I picked up supplies but I forgot to get marshmallows, which are a pretty key ingredient, so this basically means I went and picked up a box of cereal. I got marshmallows on the way home today and made a batch of squares. They are awesome. It makes a big full pan, was really fast and easy, tastes great, and was really cheap. They are also surprisingly low in calories and fat compared to other desserts. Seriously, they are the best thing ever and I want to make them all the time.

Monday, 24 November 2008

Twilight's Opening Weekend

Harry Potter > Lord Voldermort
Voldermort > Cedric Diggory
Cedric = Edward Cullen
∴ Harry > Edward
It is just simple math!
The movie Twilight just came out this weekend. It based on the first in a series of books about a vampire. Basically this teenage girl falls in love with a hot vampire boy. The books were the latest in pop-literature (think: The Da Vinci Code, The Time Traveller's Wife, Stephen King, Tom Clancy, Michael Crichton, or John Grisham) crossed with chick-lit (think: Shopaholic, Bridget Jones's Diary, Sex and the City, Marianne Keyes). I don't have a problem with either of these types of books and a combo of them would be really cool, I just haven't read it yet so don't understand the big fuss. What shocks me is that it keeps being compared to Harry Potter. I don't yet understand the comparison, whether it is in reference to the hype around the books or the movie or that both are fantasy like. I have a soft spot for Harry Potter and would be sad if the boy wizard was over shadowed by a vampire. The above math/logic comparison only works because the actor, Robert Pattinson, plays both Cedric in Harry Potter and Edward, the main vampire, in Twilight. Cedric is killed by Voldermort in the forth book and of course Harry finally beats Voldermort in the final book, so logically Harry is better than Cedric who can be equated to Edward since they are played by the same guy in the movies. Math proves it, Harry Potter rocks.

The Army Life

My parents went to Gage Town (yes that is in New Brunswick, tiny cities, lots of trees) to visit Little Brother Mike. He is out there training for another few months, then he gets posted to a base and starts his 5 year contract with the Army. He is hoping that he will get to stay in NB because he is really liking it there. I didn't get to go and visit him this time but am going to try to do a road trip during spring break. I don't know if he in this picture or not. My mom didn't say, so it could just be a random group of people at the base that they saw while visiting Mike.
If he is in it, there should be a little white arrow pointing to him, since they all look the same. Maybe that is the point. So how about a close up of him to get the full effect...Much better.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

The Slow Climb

I haven't been doing very well with my school assignments this year, especially in my MCOM class. There were three over this semester and it started off really badly. I got a 6.75 out of 10, on a paper I thought was really well written. It was filled with comments about how much I sucked. I tried to use the comments to make the next one better and pulled off a 7.5. Still not happy, I went and talked to the TA that marks them to see what I could change before writing the third. I just got the third back and have finally pulled it up to an A, barely. 8/10 for the last of the three this semester. It was a slow climb up and has really pulled down my chances of doing well in this class. I don't know how the next semester of it will be set up but if it is the same with three written assignments worth 10% of our course mark each I hope I don't drop down again and can just move up from the 80%. It is a slow climb to greatness, and I'm not there yet.

Sucker For Shakespeare

I don't know how it happens but I fall for them everytime. Guy dancers, guy actors, guy actors doing Shakespeare. It sometimes even starts out with me thinking that their are no attractive male actors in the play but by the end I will always have some sort of crush on at least one of them. The cute members of the cast are not the only good thing in Sock 'n' Buskin's Shakespeare play this year. As usual the set was well done, direction near professional, and the acting was pretty good. Again, my usual complaint is that the costumes are never up to the quality of the rest of the performance. Their performance's are good, really good. Shakespeare is hard to do and they always do it well. The company tends to start off the season with one of his plays before doing a musical and Canadian play later in the year. I have been to three of the Shakespeare ones and loved it every time. This year's Much Ado About Nothing was no exception.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Flu Shot - Get It

It seems to be that time of year again. Flu Shot clinics are popping up everywhere. A lot of people are against vaccinations but I'm the total opposite. I get the Flu Shot every year, I got the Measles one in Elementary School, and Hepatitis C in Grade 8. I also got the HPV Vaccine last year which was fairly expensive, compared to the free Flu Shot. I have actually been thinking about getting the vaccine for Hepatitis A & B. I like disease prevention, if that means a needle with some chemicals every now and then I'm for it. People will talk about how they weakens us, cause allergic reactions, are unsafe, cause autism in children, and are solely used to further provide profit to the pharmaceutical companies. To that I look to my grandparents. I have a grandparent on each side on my family that had polio. Luckily it wasn't fatal for either of them but it did have quite a negative impact on their childhood and to a certain extent the rest of their lives. We don't have polio anymore, because we are vaccinated as children. The Flu Shot doesn't really even protect me that much, as I still tend to get sick, though it is usually a cold. It just stops me from getting sick from last years flu viruses but beyond that stops me from getting sick with last years flu and passing it onto someone vulnerable. I won't die from the flu, I won't even get really that sick from it, I hate the flu and it sucks when you have it, but I won't die. People do though, and I don't want to have been the person that gave it to them. So I'm getting it, good karma. You can get it everywhere: school, work, doctors or clinics in the community.

And Again

Piles of research:
Novels, textbooks, notes, post-its
Layers on the computer:
Document, reference, communication, clock
A cocktail of stimulants:
Coffee, chocolate, sugar, amphetamine
Pain building:
Back, neck, head, eyes
Physical reaction:
Fog, stress, terror, nausea
Reason for repetition:
Stupidity, habit, fear, procrastination
How am I here, again?

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Top 10 Movies

The American Film Institute has created a number of Top 100 lists for movies. You can see the Top 10 for each genre on their website. I'm not doing very well with them, but I have seen all 10 of the Animation ones. I want to see all of the Romantic Comedies so am going to start working through them.

Monday, 17 November 2008

Sister Universities

I have discovered the secret to university research. -Get your books out at another university's library.- I'm always a little behind on my essays so when I go to get information on a topic everything is already taken out of the Carleton library because other people are writing on the same thing. At Ottawa U however, they probably aren't. I was able to get tons of books on my topic there today. I was also told by the very cute and bilingual check-out guy there that I can return the books to Carleton's library instead of trekking back downtown, since we are "Sister Universities." That is so handy! I also enjoy that the two universities are considered sisters and personified as female. Higher education depicted as a women, I don't know what I can read into that but I'm sure there is something to it.

Meh

According to The Ottawa Citizen:
"Meh", a word which indicates a lack of interest or enthusiasm, became the latest addition to the Collins English Dictionary in England. Though the word apparently originates from North America, Collins said it was now widely used on the Internet, and was increasingly seen in British spoken English. The dictionary entry for "meh" will say it can be used as an interjection to indicate indifference or boredom, as an adjective to describe something as boring or mediocre, or to show an individual is apathetic or unimpressed.

I use this word all the time, I both say it and type it. Though I don't think that it should be in the dictionary, now people will use it in Boggle and it so shouldn't be allowed.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

6 Laptops

Die Höhle currently has six laptops. It is ridiculous they are everywhere and the powercords crisscross around the living room. What happened is My School Pet died (seen in the middle of the coffee table) and I got My Little Pet (the one where you can see what is on the screen). Jerrica was shocked at how cheap a decent laptop could be and was jealous of the webcam that came on mine. I don't know why because I have yet to use it. She had a super old computer last year but the powercord broke on it so she ended up getting a better one from a friend. That one is now with Emily who wasn't happy with her old one and Jerrica ended up buy a band new one. It is madness.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

The Slow Fall

I'm slowly falling in love with my new laptop. It has been a gradual thing as I customize it and get used to everything. Now my heart is just so filled with joy and I'm glowing with love for My Little Pet (the name of the new laptop). It is so light. I have school books that are heavier. At first I thought that it made it feel cheap since My School Pet (the name of my old laptop) was so heavy and solid. Now I think that its weight is a huge advantage. I can take it anywhere, it is only 6.5 pounds!! It is black too which is strange for me because the other one was silver (alright, it was more like grey). Vista is going alright for now but I'm still not very comfortable with it. It doesn't really feel any faster or slower than the last one but the internet is a bit sluggish. I realise that this is because I'm in a cement block room in the basement of a building on campus and the internet connection is at only 2 bars of 5. What makes me happy is that it does have wireless which means I can get the internet anywhere now. I'm sure it will be just as fast if not faster when it is at my desk and plugged into the internet at home. So it is good, things with me and My Little Pet are good. I'm happy and in love.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Venti

I have always had an issue with Starbucks. This may stem from the fact that I once worked at a Second Cup, their Canadian competitor, or that I have always found it ridiculous to pay more than $1.50 on coffee. (I say this mere hours after getting a Caramel Macchiato on campus to help me get through my late night essay writing, so I obviously still buy drinks at Starbucks occasionally and am quite a hypocrite.) I just feel that the whole thing feeds into this snobby rich yuppy lifestyle that I don't like. On a side note - Anne and Erin used to call it *$ in e-mail as a short form when we all worked together this past summer, so cute. Anyway, I saw a clip for the movie Role Models with Paul Rudd and it had a scene in a Starbucks that made me laugh--
Paul: A large black coffee.
Barista: Do you mean a venti?
Paul: I mean a large.
Barista: Venti is large.
Paul: No, venti is twenty. In fact, tall is large. Grande is spanish for large. Venti is twenty. It's the only one that DOESN'T mean large. It's also the only one that's Italian. Congratulations. You're stupid in three languages.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Remembrance Day

Today is Remembrance Day. Each year, Canada marks Veterans' Week from November 5 to 11. It is a time to honour and remember all those who served Canada in times of war, military conflict and peace.

Yesterday one of my English professors was wearing a white poppy and someone asked what it meant. He explained and later I looked it up for myself. I am surprised how political the holiday and the poppy can be. According to the Peace Pledge Union, the organization behind the White Poppy, the red poppy conveys a specific political standpoint. The Peace Pledge Union is the oldest secular pacifist organisation in Britain. Since 1934 it has been campaigning for a warless world. They choose the white poppy over the red because they wish to disassociate themselves from the militaristic aspects of Remembrance Day, rather than the commemoration itself.

I don't understand the complete opposition to war and the military. I liken this to the strange difference in connotation between a firefighter and a policeman. There is a universal love and appreciation for the work of a firefighter. They are brave heroes who save us from terrible, and natural, disaster. While that is not the same for a policeman. People are annoyed by them, they get angry about speeding tickets and focus on police corruption. This stems from the idea that police deal with criminals and that crime is unnatural. Fire can start from lightening, something that we can do nothing about. While crime is evil and presumed be avoidable. This is not the case, crime is natural. Criminals have always and will always exist, it is part of human nature. I don't understand the perceived difference between a brave police officer who save us from danger, than a firefighter who does the same. This extends to soldiers.

There is this distaste by some against the Canadian military. The anti-war movement and desire to abolished the military is ridiculous. War is also, unfortunately, a part of human nature. There has not been a time in our history where the world has been free of war. It is just not possible. While I promote peace and believe that war is a horrible thing, I also recognize that it is a fact of life and am thankful for the soldiers who are willing to fight when necessary. So I wear a red poppy to remember and reflect on those who served and died protecting Canadian values. I not only pay tribute to all Canadian Veterans, but I also honour those who continue to serve our country in Afghanistan and other areas of conflict.

Born For The 80's



Photos by Stephanie Beach
(See Link on Right for more of her photography)

Steph has an assignment for a photography class where she needs seven different shots with the same person. Different lighting, poses, clothes, setting, etc. I agreed to be her model and I swear posed for over 500 photos on Sunday. I got to delete any that I hated and I left her with 143 pictures of me, I hope she gets seven good ones. These are three from a series taken of me with lipstick, hair down, wearing a white sweater, sitting in an open door frame, therefore with natural light. Most were taken either at the park near my house or in her basement studio. This series though (which was significantly larger, but these are the ones I like best) reminds me so much of the 80's with the big hair, bright lip colour, and cream cashmere sweater. (Canada's Next Top Model here I come!! Too bad I'm too old and too short - To enter, you must be between the ages of 18-23 and at least 5'8")

Monday, 10 November 2008

Marching In A Line

Gradually all of my friends are graduating. Anna just graduated for Carleton with Highest Honours and got her bachelors degree with a Major in Political Science and a Minor in Film Studies. Besides her amazing varsity fencing record, Anna has done alot of awesome things over the past four years at Carleton. Some of them are (not in any order): Getting a job working with statistical information at the Data Centre in the library. Meeting Wes, they started dating, and now they live together down the street with a puppy and kitty. She went to France to study at Sciences Po - Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris. She has travelled across Canada in both directions, across Europe and into the States. She was on the executive for the Exchange Students Society. She went and worked on Hilary Clinton's campaign and met her. She was Maid of Honour for her sisters wedding. Last, but not least, she lived with me for a while at Le Manior.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Mayfair Closing

It is really sad but the movie theatre that is just down the street is closing at the end of this month. I have been to it a bunch of times, even once for Rocky Horror Picture Show. It always shows double features and is independently owned, which is nice. I love the Mayfair Theatre, it is a beautiful old movie house. Supposedly the city granted the theatre a heritage building classification, but it is still closing as of November 30th.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

History Is Broken

Proposition 8 was a Ballot Measure in California during this Tuesday's presidential election. Its approval resulted in an immediate change to California law, requiring the government to restrict marriage rights to opposite-sex couples only. While working families and the people as a whole scored a major victory by electing Barack Obama on Nov. 4, several states hammered the rights and equality of LGBT people. Voters in three states appear to have passed bans on gay marriage. California, Florida, and Arizona saw such bans put in place. In California this took away marriage equality rights already provided to California residents by a state court decision last summer. California and a number of other states will continue to allow civil unions, which is not the same, and there is no longer any states that preform same-sax marriages. This is sad and unfair. When is the States going to step up and truly be the land of the free?

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

History Is Made

No matter how the vote ended up in the US yesterday, history would have been made. A victory for one ticket would have given the United States its oldest first-term president (McCain, who is 72) and first female vice president (Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin). The other would see the first African-American (Obama) moving into the White House and the first Roman Catholic (Senator Joseph Biden) to win the vice presidency. I didn't know that old rich white men and Roman Catholics really felt like minorities that were underrepresented in power but I guess it has never been done before. It is the female and the African-American that are much more impressive, even if Palin is batshit crazy, and she is. Hilary was much more of a woman to be proud of. I would like to add that Canada has had a female leader, Kim Campbell. I know that she wasn't put in power from a nation wide election and that she was only Prime Minister for 5 or so months, but still!! It seems as though The States have voted for Barack Obama, which is awesome, but I won't believe it until I see him sworn in. I totally don't understand their political system down there and it always seems like things get switched around at the last minute.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Encore

This is the poem I recited last week at the Literary Society Recitathon:

Forgiven
By A.A.Milne
I found a little beetle, so that beetle was his name,
And I called him Alexander and he answered just the same.
I put him in a matchbox, and I kept him all the day...
And Nanny let my beetle out
Yes, Nanny let my beetle out
She went and let my beetle out
And beetle ran away.

She said she didn't mean it, and I never said she did,
She said she wanted matches, and she just took off the lid
She said that she was sorry, but it's difficult to catch
An excited sort of beetle you've mistaken for a match.

She said that she was sorry, and I really mustn't mind
As there's lots and lots of beetles which she's certain we could find
If we looked about the garden for the holes where beetles hid
And we'd get another matchbox, and write BEETLE on the lid.

We went to all the places which a beetle might be near,
And we made the sort of noises which a beetle likes to hear,
And I saw a kind of something, and I gave a sort of shout:
"A beetle-house and Alexander Beetle coming out!"

It was Alexander Beetle I'm as certain as can be
And he had a sort of look as if he thought it might be ME,
And he had a kind of look as if he thought he ought to say:
"I'm very, very sorry that I tried to run away."

And Nanny's very sorry too, for you know what she did,
And she's writing ALEXANDER very blackly on the lid,
So Nan and me are friends, because it's difficult to catch
An excited Alexander you've mistaken for a match.

Monday, 3 November 2008

The Slutty/Sexy Costume

What are you sapossed to be?
I'm a MOUSE. DUH!
Halloween was this past weekend and it always surprises me how slutty girls can make their costumes. Luckily most of my friends are way more caught up in the creative and fun side of dressing up and don't use it as an excuse to be super sexy. This year I found it even more shocking as a party store in town was advertising pretty heavily on campus and I ran into their flyers everywhere. All the costumes they sold for girls were slutty. Most of them literally had 'sexy' in the title; sexy nurse, sexy cat, sexy vampire, sexy cop, sexy parole officer (I'm not making that up.) There was even a Wizard costume if you wanted to look like a character from Harry Potter, but it was midriff bearing and had an insanely short skirt. I think it was said best in Mean Girls: "In the real world Halloween was a time for little kids to dress up in scary costumes and get candy. In girl world it was the one night a year a girl could dress like a total slut and no other girls could say anything about it. The hard core girls just wore lingerie and some form of animal ears." I don't even really consider myself a feminist but this bothers me. At the same time I'm not totally immune to it. While my costume is rarely slutty, I tend to choose to dress up as something pretty, even my Zombie costume this year was more pretty than scary.

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Diseased!!

My computer is in the shop and I'm waiting with bated breath to find out what is wrong with it. I have done some research into laptops on the market right now in case I have to replace it and I really haven't found one that is right for me yet. I really miss my laptop. I hope everything works out and I get it back soon.

Saturday, 1 November 2008

A New Graduate

Teri is pretty much the smartest person I know. When we finished high school she got into this really amazing university program, it is a double degree from University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University with co-op. I never really realised it, but this meant that she had two commencement ceremonies. Over the last week she has graduated from both universities. She now has a Honours Bachelors of Business Administration (BBA) from Laurier and a Honours Bachelors of Math (BMath) with Co-Op from Waterloo. It really is as impressive as it sounds!! She is now working for Research In Motion (RIM) the company that makes Blackberries. I'm so proud of her and can't imagine how hard it must have been. My best friend the genius.

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Reinfected!!

I spoke too soon. Now I can't even start my computer it is so messed up. I'm taking it in to get fixed tomorrow and I hope to be back online soon.

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Cured!!

I downloaded AVG like tons of people suggested. It saved my life. The first scan took forever but it caught whatever it was plaguing my computer. I can't believe that such good, free anti-virus software is out there. I don't understand why people still pay money for McAfee or Norton. So I'm back and running with the computer, though the keyboard is typing strange, there is a bit of a lag sometimes. I'm going to get it cleaned over Christmas since I'm sure that it is filled with dust and hair (both cat and human.) I found out today that my work blocks both Facebook and my blog so I won't be posting from there. But if all goes well I will be able to keep posting from home on My School Pet (my laptop).

Monday, 27 October 2008

Infected!!

My computer has a virus and I can't seem to get it to go away. I have tried downloading a number of free anti-virus, anti-spyware type things but they don't seem to be working. My laptop is running super slow, programs are freezing, it's shutting down randomly, and I'm getting tons of pop-ups, some of which are really gross porn ads. I'm so upset, I want to cry. I'm really tired and stressed. I need to work on a bunch of school stuff, which is obviously on the computer, but it is not cooperating. I could go to campus to work on a computer in the library, but I just came from a really long day at school and don't want to go back. All the solutions to this problem are just making me more upset and stressed. I want to crawl into my bed and sleep. My poor sick laptop.

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Hiccups

I get them all the time, after almost every time I eat and drink. Everyone has really random cures for the hiccups, here is my brief summary:
-Well Known: Hold your breath
-Well Known: Someone scares you
-Mine: Bend over and drink water upside down
-Erik from IGA: Drink the brine from a jar of olives
-Jerrica: Turn a glass upside down on the counter
-Girl from NRCan: Take a deep breath and push on your stomach
-Kristen: Blow out all your air and swallow 7 times
-Mom's Client: Massage the middle of your middle finger on your left hand
Feel free to add more in the comments...

Thrill The World

Thrill The World is an annual organized worldwide simultaneous dance of "Thriller!" From one event in Toronto in 2006 to 1,722 people in 52 cities on 5 continents in 2007 dancing at exactly the same time. These set two new world records for Largest Simultaneous Thriller Dance. On Sunday, October 29th, 2006, Thrill Toronto's 62 zombies officially set the first Guinness World Record for “Largest Thriller Dance!” (in one location) and the second was set on October 27th and 28th, 2007 for “Largest Simultaneous Thriller Dance” (multiple locations). Today I stumbled across part of the 2008 event when I was on Ottawa U campus. This year's Thrill the World was bigger and better than ever before! The date was set for Saturday October 25th at 6pm UTC / GMT, which meant 2pm for Ottawa. There were 93 events in 91 cities across 12 countries this year. There isn't an exact number of participants yet but they might have broken record for Largest Simultaneous Dance. The current record is 197,569 elementary school students doing the Hokey-Pokey in 681 locations across Canada in April 2002. If they didn't break it this year, there is always the 2009 event.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Cheesy But True

Find a guy, who calls you beautiful instead of hot.
Who calls you back when you hang up on him.
Who will stay awake just to watch you sleep.
Wait for the guy who kisses your forehead.
Who holds your hand in front of his friends.
Who wants to show you off to the world when you are in your sweats.
Wait for the one who is constantly reminding you of how much he cares about you and how lucky he is to have you.
--Found on Facebook

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Asking For Money

I hate asking for money. I never liked fund-raising as a kid. For the most part my parents would help out by taking it to work and getting people there to sponsor me. Now I'm too old for that, I'm also too new at my job to use my own work to raise money. The Literary Society is running a 'Recite-a-thon' next Wednesday to raise money for Pen Canada. We will be charging a small entrance fee to get into the cafe style event but also people who will be performing are supposed to raise money through pledges. Pen Canada is a charity that works towards 'freedom of expression' they have programs that work against censorship in Canada and they support writers in prison or exile in other countries. I am going to be reciting, from memory, a poem at the event so please feel free to both come and to sponsor me. Anyone want to give me money? $$$?

Monday, 20 October 2008

No Credit

I found out today in class that Sara Jeannette Duncan was from Brantford. Duncan is an amazing women writer around the time of Pauline Johnson, also from Brantford. While growing up we hear about Johnson all the time, I had never heard of Duncan. As a female novelist and political journalist at the turn of the century she is pretty impressive. Best known for her novel, The Imperialist, but she wrote a vast number of novels and articles. I think she is way more impressive than Johnson, who I have never really enjoyed. Brantford needs to start spreading their pride around instead of focusing on Johnson and Wayne Gretzky.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Zombie Walk

There is an annual zombie walk in Ottawa every year around Halloween. This year Jerrica wanted to do it so I thought I would dress up and tag along. It was insane, there were so many people. Everyone just dresses up like a zombie, meets up and then walks through town on a Sunday afternoon, acting like zombies of course. Here I am resting after walking for about 2 hours, the steps of Parliament are surprisingly comfortable for the undead.

Friday, 17 October 2008

Lucky

I have started to realise that I just might be a lucky person. At first I thought that it was just having a positive outlook that helped my life progress smoothly, but now I'm seeing that good things tend to happen to me when I need them to. (Though I'm sure that having a positive outlook is still a good thing. ) I have been feeling a little tight on cash lately, since my job hasn't started and it will be a while until I get paid. I came home today to a letter from the provincial government that said "The Textbook and Technology Grant is part of the Ontario Government's efforts to make sure students like you have the support you need to succeed. I wish you all the best in your studies. Sincerely, John Milloy, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities." Then there was a $150 cheque. Perfect timing!

Pavlov's Cat

"I want to talk about a guy called Pavlov, who was Eastern European, I think Russian, and did the famous experiment, 'Pavlov’s Dog.' You probably heard of, ring bells and dogs eating food, response times, Pavlovian kind of response. And he wrote these experiments. Day One – Pavlov’s Dog – Rang bell, dog ate food, very excited - Very excited… terribly excited here in Russia. Day two – rang bell, dog ate two loads of food, very excited. Day Three – rang three bells, dog ate a whole bunch of food and my leg, too. Very excited, win Nobel Prize. So he did this, he won the prize… Nobel, whatever he won, and Pavlov’s dog, we all know that, but you never heard his cat results, did you? You probably thought he was finished! Pavlov’s Cat Results – Day One – rang bell… cat fucked off. Damn… Day Two – rang bell, cat went and answered dog. Day Three – rang bell, cat said he’d eaten earlier. Day Four – went to ring bell on day four, but cat had stolen batteries. Final day – Day Five – went to ring bell with new batteries, but cat put his paw on bell, so it only made a ‘thunk!’ noise. Then cat rang his own bell! I ate food…”
-Eddie Izzard
SEE CLIP

Thursday, 16 October 2008

It Could Be Worse

You could have wasted tens of thousands dollars on the wrong program.
You could feel like a failure.
You could have spent the last five years paying rent.
You could own nothing, no house, no car.
You could have little to nothing to show for your life thus far.
You could be living in a city that your tired of.
You could have whittled away money on travel.
You could be planning to use your inheritance paying back OSAP.
You could have no plans for the future.
You could still be searching for the right dream.
You could have ruined your chance at some of them.
You could be out of shape and overweight.
You could have to take pills every morning to function in society.
You could be alone.

It could be worse.
You have shown me how it could.
It could be much worse.

I have found things I'm good at.
I have my whole life ahead of me.
I have an adorable apartment and an affectionate cat.
I have a passion for learning, from school, from others, from experience.
I have the best family who gave me an amazing life thus far.
I have the greatest friends who love and support me.
I have plans to visit new and exciting places.
I have some inheritance left.
I have time to try new things and learn about myself.
I have never been without.
I have worked hard to overcome obstacles I encounter.
I have learned to run, dance, snowboard, and play piano.
I have medicine that stops illness from holding me back.
I have total and utter freedom to live life to its fullest.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Happier Times

-Photo by Work Erin or maybe Anne, I'm not sure.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Real Estate

I have a bit of a 'House Bug.' It happens every now and then, when I get the urge to buy property. I would love to own a house or condo. Taylor is a new homeowner of a beautiful house on a huge lot in Castleton. My brother bought a house in Brantford just over a year ago. My parents also bought a second property when I was 16, our cottage, and have spent the last few years gradually building a new house on it. I find all of this so exciting that I tend to get a little jealous and want to buy real estate of my own. The big problem is that there is no way I can afford it, especially in Ottawa, and definitely not in the area of Ottawa I would want to live in. I have found a solution though. A company called PFNC makes houses out of shipping containers, the big metal boxes that you see on trucks and trains (See Above). Each unit goes for a price of less than $10,000 US (about $11,600 CAN). They look cosy!! (See Below). Currently they are being marketed to developing countries, but I think that I could put one on a lot in Old Ottawa South and be perfectly comfortable. It might not be made to last a Canadian winter though.

In School Too Long

I am in the process of writing an essay for one of my English classes. When I went to save what I have done so far I found another essay already there with a similar name. Turns out, while I'm comparing two texts for this essay which is a totally different assignment, a few years ago I wrote an essay on one of the texts already. I did not remember at all, and it isn't even a short one. I went to go look for the hard copy to see how I did and what the prof had written about it. I went searching through all my saved notes but couldn't find it. (Turns out, now that I'm looking at the saved copy on my computer, I wrote it at the end of the year so probably never got it back.) In the process of hunting I came across a bunch of other essays that I didn't remember writing, a few even for a course I don't remember taking, with a professor's name on it that I don't remember having. This really freaked me out, so I started to look into this mysterious SOCI1010 that I guess I took at some point. I had no idea that I had taken a sociology course. It took me a while in the undergraduate calender to figure out that it was a first year Human Rights course I had taken a few years back, that I do remember. Also we were supposed to put our TA's name on the papers, so it wasn't that I had forgotten the prof, just I didn't recognize the TA. I really think I have been in school too long when I have written so many essay I can't keep them straight or even remember them but I guess that happens to everyone in the upper years.

Monday, 13 October 2008

DVD

The best special feature on a DVD is always the 'Gag Reel'. If there is an 'Alternate Ending', which is very rare, than that is good too. The rest of the special features are always stupid and usually have to many clips of the movie you just watched. The DVDs I have for Willow and Labyrinth though have these 'Original Making-Off Featurette' which are from the 1980's so really get into all the strange things they did for special effects. Since it is before computer graphics they were really creative.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Learning With The Berenstain Bears

There was a Berenstain Bears book when I was younger about kids having temper tantrums, especially in public when shopping. When I go grocery shopping, while I don't have temper tantrums, I always tend to buy more then I need/should/want/thought/can afford. The solution in the book was that ahead of time the kids got told that they were allowed to pick one treat. If they made a fuss before the check-out then they didn't get their chosen treat, and if they had a tantrum later on it got taken away. Well I worked in the book for Brother and Sister Bear, I thought it might work for me too. When I last went shopping I got everything on my list, but I was allowed one extra thing that wasn't written down. Even though I saw a number of things that I wanted, I only got one. You are never too old to learn from children's books.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

Exam Schedule

I have the worst exam schedule ever!! Because I had planned my trip to New York City and The Daily Show around the two day break between classes and exams, in the hopes that I would not have an early exam, fate called my gamble. The trip would have been a go as long as I did not get an exam in the very first timeslot on the very first exam day. The bus home from NYC overnight would not get me back in time to make it. I admit that I would have been stupid to take the trip if I had any exams on the first two days but I probably would have done it anyway. Turns out that not only did I get an exam in the very first time slot, 9am the day after the taping, but also the following day I have two exams back to back, 9am and 2pm. So none in my favored 7pm timeslot, no time to study for my three exams, and no Jon Stewart!

Not Ready For Third Year

Carleton has this new policy where professors are supposed to have a small assignment due early in the year. That way students get early feedback on how they are doing and what is expected. They are usually really small assignments, for my English courses they are a page or a paragraph. I have started to get some back and I'm doing terribly. I used to be very flippant with my assignments and not put much care into my writing, usually doing it the night before. I would get great marks and think to myself, "Yea, I'm great, I pulled that out of nowhere." This year I'm not being nearly as cocky and have been trying to put thought and effort into my work. The marks coming back are telling me I have to put even more effort in. I don't like to improve or work towards good marks, I like to get good marks at the start and then just continue them.

Back To The Gov

The golden rule for employment at the government is that nothing is final until you have signed the letter of offer. So until you have signed something, you don't have the job. I just got phone confirmation though and I'm taking it as I GOT THE JOB!! It is an FSWEP position with the Department of Justice that I was really excited about and waiting to hear back from. I start in a few weeks, if all the paperwork goes through.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Spelling Counts

For the first time in my university career, spelling is important on a handwritten exam. I have a midterm in one of my English courses tomorrow and I'm really worried that I'm going to bomb it because of my terrible spelling issues. I was freaking out about this and what I could do about it to my parents on the phone yesterday. My mom suggested writing down all the words I spell wrong when typing on a piece of paper beside my computer. Every time spell check identified a word, I would look carefully at it, try to fix it, and write down the correct spelling on the paper. I have spent the day typing up notes in preparation for the test and have spelt a ridiculous number of words wrong. They are all longer words and when I misspell them I screw up the vowel sounds because I have no idea how the whole vowel thing works. This list has not comforted me at all, it just made me realise how terrible my spelling really is and I fill a little hopeless faced with it. Here is a list of the words (the * are when I misspelled it more than once): decided, conservative*, defeatist, Fascism, rhythms, hypocrite, ridiculous*, doesn't, coherent*, vacation, tragedy*, strangely, voyeuristic, necessary, conscious, simultaneous, separation, conciseness**, tongue, decipher, explicitly, stupor, ambivalent, mechanization, prophetic, disastrous, impasse, caricatures, fascinated, pursuit, frustration*, diseases, philosophic, and controversy.

Link Change

Steph has three blogs. How she keeps up with them all, I have no idea, I can barely handle this one. I had chosen to not feature her third blog on my site and instead had given a link to her Deviant Art page. I decided to change it up and instead of that, I now have a link to Stephanie Beach Photography to the right. Check it out. She is an amazing photographer and just got a wicked camera. She took the picture below of my favorite bird, a chickadee, isn't he adorable.

Monday, 6 October 2008

The Big Apple - Not NY

Kristen, Taylor, Heather, and I went away this weekend. We went to Taylor's hometown and had a relaxing country weekend. I feel that the best event of the trip was Karaoke at the local bar on Friday night. We had such a blast. It was also great to just hang around and laugh with the girls. Kristen and Heather had never been to The Big Apple which was one of the area's attractions. I always used to want to go there whenever we passed it on the highway. I think it was in Grade 10 on a French Trip to Quebec City that I first went there. Since that point I always begged my parents to stop when we passed it, to see the bunnies and get an apple dumpling. I have stopped asking to go there because it never lives up to what I think it is going to be, as it is a very lame attraction with very expensive apple treats. This was confirmed on this visit as there were no bunnies and no apple dumplings. We still had a great time, for sure, with these girls you can't help but have fun. For the first time we went up inside the apple which I had never done before. The picture above is of Kristen biting it, Heather holding it up like Atlas, and me trying to push it over. Despite the fact that the scenery, forest, and general area around The Big Apple and other places Taylor took us is amazingly beautiful, the view from the top doesn't do it all justice. You can see a bit of it behind the picture of Taylor on the right. The changing colours of the trees are nice. To sum up: The Big Apple, a bit of a disappointment, The Trip, an amazingly good time.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Makes No Sense

I had a dream last night in which someone said to me, 'You remind me of when my father was a child.' It reminds me of a famous quote by my dad, said to his euchre partner after playing badly, 'If I was you I would be hitting me right now.'

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Maybe A Masters

I was thinking that a Masters Program wouldn't be that bad on the walk into campus the other day. It was confirmed by some loving banter between one my prof's and his TA, the prof is also his thesis advisor for the TA's doctorate. I have never really been a fan of an Art's Masters as I thought they were fairly pointless. Having a M.A. is almost as useless as having a B.A. Obviously some masters programs make sense, like for social work or architecture where you can't become a professional in the field without the masters, or for people on the track to become a professor. Still, it isn't a horrible idea. For degrees like English, the masters programs can be course based, so you don't even need to write a huge thesis. It is only two years. An M.A. in English is offered everywhere so if I wanted to I could go somewhere else. Also it doesn't have to cost anything as you can be a TA while your doing it, which I think would be really fun. I obviously have no idea what to do with my life!

Monday, 29 September 2008

Travel

"But he found that a traveller’s life is one that includes much pain amidst its enjoyments. His feelings are for ever on the stretch; and when he begins to sink into repose, he finds himself obliged to quit that on which he rests in pleasure for something new, which again engages his attention, and which also he forsakes for other novelties."
--Mary Shelley from Frankenstein
This rushed and culturally greedy attitude towards travelling is accurate. I have felt it occasionally myself. I think it is something many of us try to fight when visiting another country, as this attitude tends to turn culture and travel into a commodity.

Saturday, 27 September 2008

O To The Ezzle

This weekend Erin is moving to Alberta. She is heading off to Edmonton to start the next volume of her life. I guess the first would have been her growing up near Prescott. Then the second volume of her life would be university in St. Catharine's at Brock. She just graduated with an Honours B.A. in Geography. I think in this volume I would appear in a few chapters. I met Erin last summer because we worked on the same floor at Natural Resources. She came back this summer after graduation and I got to work with her again. She taught me to run and was a tough coach. We had a few sleep overs, ate some chips, watched movies. It is sad to have her moving away as I feel we got really close these past few months and staying in touch long distance is always hard. Her next and third volume is going to be so exciting though. She already has a job lined up, still with Natural Resources. Her fiance and her are moving into an amazing apartment, so beautiful it makes me more than a little jealous. I'm sure Anne will visit her and show her the ropes, tell her what it takes to be a Westerner. It is supposedly gorgeous, booming, and exciting out there. I need to visit the two of them (Anne and Erin) and it gives me a great excuse to fly out to Alberta to see if it lives up to all the hype.

Lousy

The only way I have ever really used the word 'lousy' was to describe how I was feeling. If I'm sick and someone ask how I'm doing I often say 'I'm feeling lousy.' I also pronounce it with more of an 'ow' sound in the centre, making it sound good and whiny. (I actually took a class a few years ago called The History Of The English Language and part of that was to learn the International Phonetic Alphabet which is used to show how things are pronounced, mind you I have forgotten it all by now.) I only just realised, by reading a book with the word in it used another way, that it stems from the idea of 'lice'. To be 'lousy' is to be infested with lice and therefore would probably be pronounced like 'louse' with an 'e' sound at the end. I feel a little dumb for not knowing that until this point in my life.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Two Cities

"Such a healthy, simple, approving glance, as if he were saying to himself: 'Ah, spring is coming!' And God knows, when spring comes to Paris the humblest mortal alive must feel that he dwells in paradise. But it was not only this - it was the intimacy with which his eye rested upon the scene. It was his Paris. A man does not need to be rich, nor even a citizen, to feel this way about Paris. Paris is filled with poor people - the proudest and filthiest lot of beggars that ever walked the earth, it seems to me. And yet they give the illusion of being at home. It is that which distinguishes the Parisian from all other metropolitan souls. When I think of New York I have a very different feeling. New York makes even a rich man feel his unimportance. New York is cold, glittering, malign. The buildings dominate. There is a sort of atomic frenzy to the activity going on; the more furious the pace, the more diminished the spirit."
-- Henry Miller from Tropic of Cancer
I will let you know if Miller's descriptions from 1934 are accurate after my trip to New York in December. While I agree with the Paris one, so far I think Miller is a little bit of an insane writer, pretty intense guy.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Pro Batteries

I saw a banner at an auto shop for 'Acdelco Batteries'. The tag line for the brand is 'The Professional Battery' and I think that is just a horrible slogan. What car batteries are considered amateurs? All car batteries are professional by definition, you have to buy them, therefore they are being paid to do their job, which I guess is start and help run your car. Maybe they don't mean professional as compared to amateur, maybe it is more along the lines of 'the battery chosen by those who drive professionally.' I guess that would be race car drivers, truck drivers, and pizza delivery boys. That makes more sense and is a better selling point, but I still think it is really dumb.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Back At It

I used to be the treasurer of the PDHS Students Council. I did it for the last 3 years of high school and it was alot of hard work. I was also involved in a number of other teams, clubs, groups, and committees. In university I started out small in terms of my extracurricular. I did a few volunteer shifts at Leo's, a student run shop in the engineering building. Then the next year I was a leader for Frosh Week, which was a ton of work, but just really for that one week. Soon after I joined the Carleton Cheerleaders which took the most time and effort of any other single activity I had done. Practice six nights a week is pretty intense. Since the cheerleaders I haven't really been involved at Carleton. Until today! I am now officially the Treasure of the Carleton Literary Society.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Long Finger Nails

I can tell that I no longer spend 9-5 in an office, my finger nails are super long. I have never bitten my nails and they grow out quite nicely. Mind you they are so long now it is past the length that is in style and edging on gross-trashy. What helped me keep them trim was that it is really hard to type with long nails. Now that I don't spend much time typing, I don't notice that I'm growing talons.

Army Run

I ran the First Annual Canadian Army Run today. I have been trying to train for the 5k for most of the summer. My mom and Erin joined me and we all did really well. Erin wanted to run it in under half an hour and her time was 28:28.7. It was hard to tell our times since results were calculated using a chip sensor worn on our shoes. We had to wait until we got home and checked a website to know for sure. Mom wanted to be under 35min and she was pretty much exactly even, coming in at 35:00.9, and not stopping once. Unlike Erin and Mom, I did have to walk some bits, but ran the entire first and last kilometer, then intermittently in between. I was hoping to do it in less than an hour, but was actually wanting do to it in less then 45mins. I got 44:22.0, which I'm really proud of. There were over 7000 people registered for the event, about 3500 in the 5k. Running with that many people was strange, and waiting at the starting line in such a big crowd was intense. I want to do it again next year, but it is getting cold so I'm going to switch to swimming instead of running until spring.

Friday, 19 September 2008

The Fall Sun

Sun light in autumn seems sharper. It cuts through the crisp mornings bringing hope of warmth later in the day. I wake up to see white strips of light across the end of my bed and the sun comes in from the small window. Sitting up, its intensity is so strong I can seen the dust particles suspended and dancing in the air. Thousands of tiny stars, in the day time, in my room, reminding me of minuscule fireflies. I want to keep gazing at them, or the patterns of light and shadow on the blankets around my feet but I lie back down. My head on the cool pillow, nose under the sheet. Planning to doze until the afternoon, a luxury that is new to me and not yet taken advantage of. The life of a student, no routine and inverted sleep patterns. I feel the weight of the blankets against my body and the weight of the world lifting away. In bed, asleep, under the fall sun.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Webers

Webers is a Canadian institution. It is a hamburger stand on Highway 11 which leads into the largest cottaging area in Ontario. It is on the way to Teri's cottage, which I visited at the end of this summer. We stopped there both on the way up and the way back. The burgers are really good!! When I was younger we had a family friend that had a cottage up in this area and we would stop at Webers then too. I don't know how I comprehended how special it was when I was so little, but I know I was always sad that the route up to my grandparents northern house didn't pass Webers. Maybe it was because my parents would tell me about how unique it was and how they had stopped there when they themselves were younger. It opened in July of 1963, so really has been a pivotal stop for the areas cottage commuters for over 40 years. Most northern cottagers know it, love it, and eat there regularly. So regularly in fact that on the way back from her cottage Ter didn't even get food there, she went to the nearby Subway. Because of the barrier in the center of the highway installed in the 1980's, Webers bought a bridge. They got a section from the paths that lead to the CN Tower and installed it so that travellers going in the opposite direction could park and walk safely over the highway to eat. (The picture is of me, K, Ter, and C after our cottage trip heading over the bridge to Webers for lunch on our way home.) It is the first and only privately owned bridge built over a public highway in Ontario. Besides the great food and cool bridge, the area around the hamburger stand is really interesting. It is a large park and they have a collection of CN Railway cars. On the business side, they are amazingly efficient. People come out to take your order when you are standing in line and give you a card with it written down on. They then bring you a bill and have the change ready for you. By the time you are in the little cooking area, they put together your order really fast. I hope Webers is still going strong years from now so that I can continue to visit it and maybe bring my kids someday.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Maybe I Do

I went to a panel discussion tonight called "So You Want To Be A Lawyer" and it did not reassure me that I could write the LSATs well, get into a law school, be successful in law school, or even be a good lawyer. I actually went to learn more about what a lawyer does but the focus seemed to be more on preparing for and writing the LSAT or preparing for and applying to law school. Obviously I'm interesting in knowing about those things but I'm more concerned with what being a lawyer is like, what sort of specific things do they spend the day doing, what types of skills are needed to be good in law, and what type of people enjoy this job. I don't feel any better informed on whether this is something I should pursue, actually I feel a little discouraged because my marks are probably too low. Stupid engineering ruining everything.

Monday, 15 September 2008

A Star In The City

I got to spend most of this past weekend in Toronto. Each and every time I visit it I fall deeper and deeper in love with the city. I spent the first night with James. I hadn't seen her new place yet, which is literally across the street from Casa Loma in a beautiful neighbourhood. The key thing though is that she is super close to the subway, the subway is part of what makes Toronto so great. It was so good to catch up with her and hear that she is doing so well. Besides the awesome apartment, she also has a wicked job and really seems to be enjoying life. I also got to catch up with James's Little Brother, we all hung out at this amazing bar near U of T. The student life in Toronto is really cranked up a notch. I spent the next day wandering the area around Young and Dundas while I waited for Teri and her crew to show up to start the birthday celebrations. Ter's plan for her birthday was to go to a movie at the Toronto Film Festival but it didn't really pan out, mainly because of the rain and us not wanting to wait outside in lines. The group of us ended up having a quiet dinner and then some drinks at a pub. We stayed over at a big hotel downtown, 5 of us piled into a pretty small room with two double beds. Myself, Teri, and Teri's Little Brother spent some time the next morning in the hotel pool which had the coolest and scariest waterslide I have ever been on. Toronto tops it all, I have decided that at some point in my life I will have to live there, it is calling to me.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Classic Vid

Jer and I are spending the evening singing along to old boy band music videos on YouTube. Backstreet Boys, N'SYNC, 98Degrees, Hanson, O-Town, and 5ive, so far. They are just all so pretty!! We have been pointing out to each other which ones were our favorites when we were young and which ones are our favorites now, because we still love them. We went looking for some video that showed nipple and used to make Jer blush when she was 9. Turns out it was Backstreet Boys "Quite Playing Games With My Heart" where they dance in the rain, and it isn't just nipple, it is undulating man breasts.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Whirlwind

The last few weeks have been crazy. I have still not adjusted to student life. I'm so rusty with the whole academia thing that profs keep saying all these big words (that I have forgotten the definitions for) and I get totally lost. I have so much free time but still feel stressed and behind, already! I'm disappearing again this weekend to head back down to Southern Ontario. It is Teri's Birthday, the plan is to go to a show at The Toronto International Film Festival and than stay at a hotel afterwards. I have been so bad about her birthday the last few years, I even forgot it all together a couple of times, that I would like to be there for this one. I'm going to hang out with my parents for a little bit too. They have been searching the used bookstores in Brantford and I gather have found a bunch of books off my list. I will also be reading, always with the reading.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

The Hunt

Thanks to everyone who commented below, we have almost beat the post about Cora's weight loss. And to anyone and everyone who has any of the books, of course I would like to borrow and I promise to very careful with them. Thank you so much for offering. Keep in mind though for the full year courses I would need to keep them until April. I thought I had a bunch of the Canlit ones since I have taken and dropped the class so many times before, but I can't find them. I hope I didn't lose them in the move. I am going to spend today tidying my room and unpacking the last of my boxes looking for them.

Monday, 8 September 2008

The Book List

I am stressing out now after having a day of English courses. Not only will it cost me a small fortune to buy all the books I have to get for these classes but it will take forever to read them all. Each text is a novel and they range from 200 to 1200 pages. Check it out.

ENGL3603 - 20th Century Fiction (half year)
-Lady Chatterley's Lover by D.H. Lawrence
-Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller
-Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
-Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs
-Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
-The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie

ENGL3502 - British Lit II (full year)
-Longman Anthology of British Literature edited by David Damrosch
---we will study about 65 poems, short stories, and essays from it
-Expedition of Humphrey Clinker by Tobias Smollett
-Frankenstein by Mark Shelley
-Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
-The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James

ENGL2802 - Canadian Lit (full year)
-Course Pack
---we will study the 12 poems, short stories, and essays included in it
-Canadian Literature Anthology edited by Cynthia Sugars and Laura Moss
---we will study 10 poems, short stories, essays, and journals from it
-Execution Poems by George Elliott Clarke
-The Imperialist by S. J. Duncan
-A Coyote Columbus Story by Thomas King
---admittedly a children's book and not of novel length
-Civil Elegies by Dennis Lee
-Disappearing Moon Cafe by Lee Sky
-Brebeuf's Ghost by D. D. Moses
-In The Skin Of A Lion by Micheal Ondaatje
-The Komagata Maru Incident by S. Pollock
-The Tin Flute by G. Roy
-The Double Hook by Sheila Watson

ENGL290A - Culture and Society (half year)
-Handouts
---we will study 3 short stories, given out in class
-National Art Gallery
---at least 1 visit on our own time
-Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
---see above, I get to read this for two classes
-Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by F. Douglass
-The Scarlet Letter by N. Hawthorne
-The Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde
-Dora by Sigmund Freud

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Mouse Crisis, Part Seven

I haven't had to deal with mice in a long time. Die Höhle is pretty good and we haven't seen a mouse yet, many large and creepy basement bugs mind you. I am terrible with mice, it is totally an irrational fear, I know they can't hurt me but I just can't handle them. I spent a few days a Teri's cottage and they are having a bit of a mouse issue. Ter and her friends regaled me with stories of a previous guest supposedly waking up with mice on her in the middle of the night. I think the person was either lying or dreaming, but it still freaked me out. No drama the first night, though Ter said that she didn't sleep well because she could hear mice all night in her room. The second night, Ter's friend K and I heard one in ours. We freaked out and woke everyone up. Sure enough it ran out of the room a short time later, I watched it go from my perch standing on a couch. There was this sonic mouse repeller thing that we plugged in, in hopes of keeping K and my room free of mice for the rest of the stay and there were no further issues. But the damage had already been done, I was too scared to sleep well.

Old School

I took the train home from Toronto last night. It took forever because it made alot of stops, way more than on the way down last weekend. At the start of the trip they welcomed us to Train648 to Ottawa and Train45 to Montreal, I didn't think anything of it at the time. Then at Brockville they announced that they would be turning off the power for a bit to disconnect the trains since half of the train was going up to Ottawa and the other part was carrying on to Montreal. I know they used to do this alot in the olden days, think pioneers and stem equines, but I had never experienced it on VIA before. It makes tons of sense, lower your environmental footprint, save costs and use just one equine to get most of the way then split off. I feel connected to the past and future.

Friday, 29 August 2008

Final Thoughts On The Gov

As I sit here after my final day, I feel the need to pass on some wisdom to any public servants who will come after me. Take my advice with a grain of salt though, since I have decided that a future in government is really not for me. I had a great year. Here are some things I have learned about working for the Government of Canada:
**Everything takes forever, plan for at least ten times longer than you think to get anything done
**Computer solitaire can save your sanity
**Things need to get approved, probably by multiple levels above you
**You can really only count on yourself and other who you know well to do an efficient and effective job
**It takes forever to get in and it is hard to leave
**Competition for jobs is very official in the effort to be impartial, meaning it takes a long time and is often very intense and more than a little stupid
**Once your in you can move around to literally thousands of different positions
**The pay, benefits, hours, and time off is amazing, it is hard to walk away from such a great union
**There is a big focus towards career development, lots of money is put into training, always take advantage of this
**People get jaded quickly, many are bitter and unmotivated
**There are people who care about tax payers money, they work hard, manage budgets, and care about Canada
**There are meetings about meetings
**Policies, processes, and definitions are discussed, documented, and approved, only to be reopened and changed a few months later
**No one gets fired
**Like any job there will be people you love and people you hate, those you don't like aren't going anywhere anytime fast, so just deal with them
**While it is idealistic, it is important to always remember that Public Servants serve the public, government workers work for Canadians

Thursday, 28 August 2008

Not An Expert

I don't think that I have enough directed passion or specific enough education, so as to contribute to most of the everyday discussions around me. I have gradually noticed this over the past couple of years, it is especially prevalent at family gatherings where people spend long periods of time talking about Jazz, Canadian Theatre, Financial Matters, Sailing, Retirement, or Travelling. I am not informed enough to give very good opinions on these topics, and when I try, I end up looking like an idiot because everyone knows I don't know what I'm talking about. When I try to ask questions to get clarification about the more obscure references, everyone seems a little annoyed to be teaching said idiot and not just talking amongst each other. As I can't seem to successfully play the role of Respected Contributor or Keen Learner, I end up just being an Avid Listener, which slows my learning about the topics. It isn't even just the topics that crop up at these family gatherings, it is most conversations with people who are over the age of 12. I just don't know enough about Music, Cars, Politics, Science, Current Issues (the list goes on) to really add much to a conversation. I can pretty much hold my own when talking about Movies, but even then I haven't seen that many, and can never remember actors names. My degree isn't helping me become as well read as I had hoped. It is hard to have a literary discussion because I just haven't read enough. I feel I am just not knowledgeable enough about anything. For the most part, any conversation I'm having, I'm the person who knows less about what we are talking about. How did I become such an idiot? I know people care about me and love me, but how can they stand to listen to me talk about stuff I just don't know anything about?