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


"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.


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 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


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)
---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.