Monday, 30 June 2008

Sims 2

I'm addicted again to Sims 2 University. I don't think I have played it in years, since residence maybe. I made Die Höhle Household with Jer, Em, and I. If you know us, you know that the above is a fairly accurate depiction.

Sunday, 29 June 2008

The Dudes

"Hey pretty girl, did you go to college?
Did you get your BA with all that knowledge?"
--From the song 'Bing Bong Brothers' by Incredibad

Friday, 27 June 2008

Bell Canada Quote

Our home phone line is broken again and I'm so angry about it. So enraged because it was supposed to be fixed last week, I actually told the Bell guy I was talking to that, "I am so close to hell I can feel the burning."

Rat or Mouse?

The issue discussed in the previous post escalated the second day. The co-worker was very condescending and made a comment to me that was actually mean and hurtful. I gathered myself and after informing my own boss of the incident I decided to bring it up with the co-workers boss. For the most part I was supported in this, it is the mature, professional, and decent thing to do. Part of me felt like a rat going behind their back and tattling. Also what good would it do? It could lead to more pain and mistreatment further down the line too. I also felt meek and pathetic, running to a superior I felt comfortable with instead of handling the issue with my peer. For someone who prides myself in good conflict resolution, I shirked away from this challenge. Going to their boss was very difficult, I was nervous and uncomfortable. It went really well though. I feel relived and happy to have done something about it.

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Not My Job

I don’t really believe in the whole ‘Not My Job’ type attitude in the workplace. I think that everyone should focus on being a team, friendly and efficient. If asked to do something or to help out in someway you should always try to lend a hand to others and do what your told. Today I fell away from that principle when I got a call from a co-worker. They immediately asked if they could request help from me or if they needed to go through my boss first. For the past few months my boss has been instructing the rest of the team to direct all requests for my help through her, so as to keep me on track with the tasks I have been assigned and to weed out inappropriate or unnecessary demands on my time. This protection of sorts is both a good and bad thing. I responded to the co-worker by saying it depended on the task at hand. I help many people in the program on a whole number of things, without first checking with my boss, because the tasks are part of what I do. Help with travel, catering, location hunting and booking, general events and travel logistics. I was hoping that they were calling for something along these lines. It turns out it is a stupid and mindless task that I had helped out with last year, when I was in a different position within the program. I politely explained that I would be able to help with some aspects of it, but that I no longer have the equipment or computer program to do the first half of the work and suggested a more appropriate person. Not only is there a more appropriate and more obvious person for this job, but there are a number of other people that could have been called upon to help out that make more sense than asking me. I thought I had diplomatically dodged the bullet. I brought over some supplies and explained again to the co-worker that I was available for the second half of the task. I was then informed that they had not approached the correct person for the first part and then started to instruct me on what needed to be done. I tried to politely deflect again, though was slightly less successful. I returned to my desk annoyed. I just received another call from them saying that they themselves had done most of the first part and were ready for my help to finish it. Seriously, it is not my job!! Oh well, I need to be a friendly team player.

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Trash and Treasure

I'm in a little break between the two summer semesters at school, which means that I don't have any readings. My nights are also empty without the three hour lectures on Tuesday and Thursday. It all starts again after the long weekend but I will enjoy the break while I have it. Part of me enjoying this break is being able to read for pleasure. For my birthday Ter gave me The Time Traveller's Wife which is an amazing book I read over the weekend. Complex, moving, emotional, interesting, riveting, and thought provoking I would suggest it to anyone. It is a great novel which is science fiction, philosophy, and romance. I am now reading Women's World Weekly which is this terrible American tabloid magazine focused on weight-loss, relationships, emotional health, and cooking. I love it because it is so cheap to buy and such a cheesy read. I can't get enough of the articles on Fourth of July crafts, berries that melt fat, and people who have experienced true miracles. I am going to have to head to the library this afternoon to pick up something a little more intellectual.

Friday, 20 June 2008

Birthday Boy

It is my dad's birthday tomorrow. I'm away camping for the weekend with Kristen and Taylor so won't get to talk to him but I'm sure he will have a great day, though he might have to work. He was born on June 21st which is the first day of summer and the summer solstice. The new boat is called Equinox partly because of this. So when everyone is having a lazy Saturday tomorrow I wish you a great start to the summer and a happy birthday to my dad.

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Your Inarticulate

There have been a number of presentations done in the class I'm taking this summer. This one girl did hers the other day and I was shocked at how annoying I found her. I also quickly judged her are being a little dumb, but her presentation and the information she was sharing was just as good as the others. It was the way she talked. She constantly used the following words/phrases:
-such as
-you know
-kind of
-sort of
I am known for a number of these, but the sheer extent she used them was unbelievable. To see that extreme an example and feel my horrified reaction to it has inspired me to really clean up the way I talk.

Monday, 16 June 2008

Summer Sacrifice

Taking a course in the summer is so depressing. You have to sacrifice so much. I feel the I didn’t really put the effort in on the project and presentation that I did already so am trying really hard to prepare for the exam. I had to leave a BBQ at Kristin’s early Saturday night so I would be able to wake up and study all Sunday. I haven’t even started to read the book that Teri gave me for my birthday because I have class readings to get through. I’m still really pale and really want to work on a tan. Where is my fun in the sun?

Friday, 13 June 2008

Ivy League

I had the impression that an Ivy League school in America meant a certain academic excellence classification. It turns out to be the name used for private schools in an area. It is just an athletic conference in the Northeaster United States. They are all very old universities and have connotations of elitism. I was shocked to find out that it wasn't a scholarly distinction, and that all these schools are so close together, and so close to here. Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania, and Yale. So it means that other great schools like Duke or Stanford aren't actually Ivy League.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Cool Webcams

I don't really frequent Live Webcams, but here are some I enjoy:
Canadian Parliament
-Good for seeing is a protest is happening
Eiffel Tower in Paris
-A little boring, but so beautiful and nice to see it in real time
Live Cub Cam
-Just found this on CuteOverload, mother lion and four cubs
London Webcam
-I checked this all the time in the weeks before my trip

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

A Canadian Morning

The red and white beacon attached to an overhang signals not only a haven, but another new location; continually expanding with the hopes of efficiency and profit. Blurry eyed, I shuffle forward, only to quickly remember that some forms are not accepted. Cash is needed. I will visit a different locale along my morning journey. Not accustom to worshiping the morning fix, on my turn it is hard to know how much to have, and when to stop. Sweet soft rock sings from above and there is time to read the days news while sipping and drifting into a light daze. Upon leaving to further the commute I see a cup in every hand and the quiet pace that comes from early morning travel. More prestigious options are available and frequented, the main one hailing from the south, but is the fancy option worth the price? I will stay with my Canadian icon, as I love its universality. From the laborer to the executive, few feel too poor to purchase and yet the opulent still enjoy. I feel bonded to all and connected to our quiet national pride, through a coffee shop.

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Four Girls, Four Bags

I finally got around to seeing the Sex And The City Movie, which was so very very good. I went with some girls from work. Two of us spent the dinner before explaining the back stories for the characters to the other two, who hadn't really watched the show. We tried to peg down which City girl we each represented but nothing seem to fit. Looking at each specific life, style, attitude, and career it was hard to say 'I am her' or 'I want to be her.' They are blatant stereotypes of four very different women but it is hard to peg yourself and your friends that way. Right when I thought I had nailed it, further thought showed that the previous actions or morals of that character didn't quite click. At the end of the movie is a small speech about leaving some labels behind; I decided to stop trying to pigeon-hole myself and my friends. We are each so unique and so very different from each other. Beyond differences in our education, interests, style, attitudes, principles, personalities, as the list goes on, the four of us walked out of the theatre each holding a different bag. A metaphor for beautiful differences. One sporting a chic new designer label purse headed towards her car. Another, with a trendy canvas bag slung over her shoulder waited for her boyfriend to pick her up. Erin, while wearing a skirt and a killer black sleeveless blouse, headed with me to the bus stop carrying a backpack with tomorrows clothes and running stuff. I, of course, had my basic brown purse with the green and white pocka-dot lining from Harrods, reminding me of travels abroad.

Sunday, 8 June 2008

Guilty Pleasure

Anna got me the third season of The Girls Next Door for my birthday. I only watch two reality TV shows and it is one of them. The competition style one I like is America's Next Top Model but the celebrity life one is The Girls Next Door. I guess I enjoy watching sexy glamorous women, I just so want to be them. The money, the fame, the frivolous activities, always looking so thin and beautiful.;I would love to be a model. The Girls Next Door follows around Hugh Hefners three girlfriends, who all live at the Playboy Mansion. The show is so addictive, I could watch it all day. The tagline on the DVD is 'We call it a fantasy. They call it home." So true, all they do it play, which is fitting seeing as they are 'Playmates'. It is just huge party after huge party, massive celebrations for all the holidays, and little costumes worn for everything. I think I want that life, I would even enjoy the odd nude photoshoot.

Friday, 6 June 2008

Beginning and End

My two roommates are at totally opposite stages of their university careers, as I sit in the middle looking both ways. Emily just received official notification that she has graduated with her B.A. in Geography and is having her degree mailed to her. She says she isn't going to attend her convocation but I hope she changes her mind since it truly is a monumental event that should be celebrated. She is done her undergrad and should be proud. On the same day, Jerrica got into Carleton. I'm so proud of her and she is so very excited, pouring over the admissions and registrations info that was sent. Such a fresh faced start to it all as she heads off to university for the first time in September. My best wishes and love to both of them.

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Oh Ellen

I went searching for a quote on procrastination to put here or maybe on my white board at work and I ran across one from Ellen DeGeneres; "Procrastination isn't the problem, it's the solution. So procrastinate now, don't put it off." It is a cute quote and I love her so much. I think with her daytime show she has really come into her own. She is really fun, her show is interesting and she is a good type of funny for the early afternoon, light comedy. After the overturn of the same-sex marriage ban in California, she announced on her May 16, 2008 show, that she and Portia de Rossi are engaged to be married. You can see the clip of it on YouTube and it is just so sweet. They are an adorable couple.

Quote Of The Day

"If you are not a lawyer you don't think about law. People only really think about it afterwards, often when it is too late." - My Boss

Tuesday, 3 June 2008


(Photo: Edward Burtynsky -- Shipbreaking No. 9a, Bangladesh 2000)
I watched 'Manufactured Landscapes' at work today, a documentary that follows Canadian photographer, Edward Burtynsky, on a tour of Asia as he takes large-scale photographs of giant industrial landscapes. A number of different subjects are covered but that part I found most moving was the section about Shipbreaking. Burtynsky's photo's covering this are breathtaking (found under Works-Ships-Shipbreaking.) I immediately wanted to learn more about the process, history, and effects. With large metal ships, after 25-30 years there is so much wear that refitting and repair becomes uneconomic. They are then sold and dismantled to recover and recycle the steel which makes up about 95% of the ship. In the 1970s shipbreaking was concentrated in Europe, mainly the UK. Performed at docks, it was a highly mechanised industrial operation. As the costs of upholding environmental, health and safety standards increased this industry moved to less developed nations. Now most shipbreaking is done in Pakistan, Bangladesh and India due to lower labor costs and less stringent environmental regulations dealing with the disposal of lead paint and other toxic substances. Shipbreaking activities pollute the soil, sea and rivers. The ships currently being dismantled contain many toxic substances like asbestos, lead, mercury, chromium, and arsenic. The chemicals and general work conditions are horrible for the underpaid workers. The death toll is high and most are expected to contract cancer due to being unprotected from asbestos dust and heavy metals. Despite the environmentally positive nature of recycling these huge ships, there are many issues surrounding the lack of regulation for toxic chemicals in these countries and the human rights violations occurring with the general labourers.

Monday, 2 June 2008

Endorphin High

I am trying to get into running for the summer. This is made easier by the fact that Erin runs after work. She jogs from 3:30-4:30 everyday. Since I have class on Tuesday and Thursdays, I have vowed to join her on Mondays, Wednesdays and possibly Fridays. I am also going to try to run on my own on weekends. This is all working towards the goal of doing a 5K in October. The first few runs with Erin have been death, I also ran with my mom on Saturday and it too nearly killed me. My mom explained that it will take a few weeks to push through the terrible pain that comes from running when you are ridiculously out of shape but that soon after it starts to feel great and I will experience the endorphin high that I'm used to. I have never suffered this much from small simple jogs, I think that this is possibly because I'm in the worst shape of my life, and I haven't jogged outside in years. Usually I get my cardiovascular workouts from dance classes or work-out machines. Unfortunately the machines do not translate to real life, what I can do on a treadmill is no where close to what actually happens when I run outside along a bike path. I can get the endorphin high from the machines though, but in the summer I don't want to be stuck running inside on a treadmill at the Carleton Gym. I want to feel the flush on my cheeks cooled by an actual breeze, the pain in my shins quelled by running on grass, the sharpness of breath stopped by inhaling fresh air, the beauty of the canal and river, feeling inspired by the great expanse of the sky, urban and connected to the city.