Thursday, 31 December 2009

The Beginning of The End - Mark

I was waiting as my marks showed up one by one, a little worried since I need good marks to get into grad school, and now they are all in. I was stressing over getting a B+ or lower but luckily the courses that could have meant that I sneaked into the A range and got my usual A-. I'm actually borderline disappointed when I get A-'s now since I seem to always get them in English. Anyway, now everything is in and it is just one more step towards feeling like I'm finished this BA. I'm spending the next little while working on my Ryerson application for grad school, it is going to make me wish I was starting it all sooner than September.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

So I'm Home

I don't know if I really have anything to say about being home, especially as I have only been here for about 5 hours. But Paris is Paris is Paris is always Paris. All day I have felt like crying, I don't know what this town does to me, though maybe it is just a final hit from the shock of being done my undergrad. I had an amazing little ski trip with Teri and my dad, it is one of my favourite traditions. It was great to chat with Ter, I love her perspective on everything. Obviously I don't always agree with her, if you have met me you would know that most of the time I just don't agree with anyone. However, Ter is so awesome to talk to and everything is just a little better when in person and not phone or skype. Today I have been pottering around the house with my dad, which has been really nice. We don't get a lot of time together just the two of us, so it has been fun. Christmas is coming and it is great to be home.

Monday, 21 December 2009


Thanks to Tyra Banks, the world has a new verb "smizing" which means "to smile with your eyes." This was on the last season of ANTM and everyone thought it was hilarious, Tyra is awesome. Yes, I am smizing in this picture, taken by Steph as part of her Algonquin assignment.

Friday, 18 December 2009

A Table For Twelve

Last night Jerrica cooked a Christmas dinner, complete with a huge turkey. We piled 12 people into our apartment and made a long table so everyone could sit together. She had us come dressed up, since she had recently noticed that there really aren’t any events that we dress up for. It was amazing, everyone looked so good. The food was obviously the best part, and I got to have more of it for lunch today. The company would be the second best thing about the evening and I’m sad that we didn’t take a picture of everyone sitting at the table. Steph was taking pictures throughout the night so we did document it. I’m sure they will show up on one of her blogs but I wish I had remembered to ask her to setup a big table shot with a timer so as to have one with everyone in it. Really was a great night.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Talk Radio

In general I’m not a huge fan of radio. (Though I enjoy the commercials, which is the part that everyone else seems to hate.) If music is on I find it distracts me from thinking or if there are other people around it distracts from conversation, and I like both thinking and talking. I really don’t like news radio and talk radio is the worst of all. However, this morning in the cab (yes, on occasion I take a cab to work, please don’t focus on this detail) talk radio was on. Some interesting topics were being discussed, both related to the City of Ottawa, so I thought I would share the issues and my opinions on them.

Larry O’Brien & The Lockout
For those that don’t live in Ottawa, O’Brien is our mayor. I truly feel that he embodies all that is corrupt and terrible about politics in a single person. Even before the legal scandals that have overshadowed his term I didn’t like him or his ideas for running the city. The latest drama surrounding him is a discussion he had on a local television station about transit strikes. Last year's winter OC Transpo strike was terrible, so so awful. On TV, he said something along the lines of “If it looks like we are going to be in a situation like that again, then I think we need to lock them out during the summer, so as to avoid a strike in the winter. If they are in position to strike, we are in a position to lock out.” People are very unhappy with his statement. While I don’t know if this tough talk is the best approach, he is right, legally the city could lock out their employees if there is no contract. That is the employer part of the whole strike thing, they have certain rights as well. Unions have the right to strike, their employers have the right to lock them out. What I think is important about what he said is that he reminded everyone of a very key component that is often forgotten.

Bilingualism & The Olympic Torch
The Olympic Torch ceremony held at City Hall over the past weekend was conducted solely in English. There is an uproar over this which has lead to the city working on clarify their bilingualism policies to ensure that French is not forgotten again in the future. (Ironically the memo that went out about this was only in English and it wasn’t until an hour and a half later that a bilingual notice was sent around, along with more apologies for forgetting, again.) I can not believe the ceremony wasn’t bilingual. We are an officially bilingual city, policies should be so solidly in place that official languages are always considered. I don’t understand how it wasn’t caught earlier on in the planning. I definitely think that it should have been in both languages and that it was a huge error on the city’s part.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

The Beginning of The End - Exam

I really only had one exam this year. (In the upper years, especially in English, they don't do exams as much.) I had an end of year test in one course, which was held on the final day of class, which seems like ages ago now. I had one exam during the exam period and it was yesterday, it went alright. So, now I'm done!!! I just have to wait for marks, which I have been checking daily....

Saturday, 12 December 2009

The Beginning of The End - Essay

Handed in my last essay yesterday. I was getting really sick of writing them. I really wanted to try something new, so this one was written in a very casual style which I think is very readable but I might lose marks for not being professional. Also, the number of all-nighters I have had to do recently has really started to take a toll, it was a rough night for sure and the essay ended up being a little shorter than I would have liked. I hope I do well though, on it and all the others I have handed in over the last couple of weeks.

Friday, 11 December 2009

Our Wrecked Planet

"A lot of people on the wrecked planet were Communists. They had a theory that what was left of the planet should be shared more or less equally among all the people, who hadn’t asked to come to a wrecked planet in the first place . . . Dwayne Hoover’s and Kilgore Trout’s country, where there was still plenty of everything, was opposed to Communism. It didn’t think that Earthlings who had a lot should share it with others unless they really wanted to, and most of them didn’t want to. So they didn’t have to."
--Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Put My Arm Where My Mouth Is

I finally got around to getting my H1N1 flu shot today. I actually got both it and the seasonal flu vaccine, one in each arm. I have been lecturing everyone who doesn't want to get it - you know who you are - so decided I should get mine before I lost the chance to. I don't want to do a long post about my pro-vaccination stance because I think I have written one already a previous year. I don't seem to really be reacting to it negatively, which is good since I have an essay to write tonight, fingers crossed things stay that way.

Also, today was the first big snowfall. I'm sure tons of people are talking about it, signals the start to excellent winter office small talk. I also didn't want to do a big post about snow since I do that every year. However, I love it and it is beautiful. I can't wait for more. I live in Canada, we get snow. I live in Ottawa, we get alot of snow!

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

So Sweet

Sweet and maybe just a little bit sappy.

(Unless you think at the end that the baby comes pretty quickly and it isn't really love but a hasty move and marriage of necessity.) The mass communications part of me thinks that this is a really genius google ad (which isn't even presented as an ad), like the search engine wasn't already taking over our lives...

Monday, 7 December 2009

Postmodern Art

Postmodern art often focuses on everyday subjects from consumer and popular culture. (Like the Campbell’s soup cans depicted by Warhol.) This burrs the line between high and low culture.

"In postmodernism, the effacement in it of some key boundaries or separations, most notable the erosion of the older distinction between high culture and so-called mass or popular culture. This is perhaps the most distressing development of all from an academic standpoint, which has traditionally had a vested interest in preserving a realm of high or elite culture against the surrounding environment of philistinism."
- Fredric Jameson

Throughout university, when studying English and Mass Communication, I have watched the elitism of 'good art' dissolve and have taken classes where I studied, in depth, Science Fiction, Television, Comic Books, etc.

"It's a way, above all, to justify oneself in preferring less demanding art without being called reactionary or retarded (which is the greatest fear of the newfangled philistines of advancedness)."
- Clement Greenberg

Dang, looks like academics are starting to catch on to my lazy philistine ways.

"Philistine - 1) A person who is lacking in, hostile, or smugly indifferent to cultural values, intellectual pursuits, aesthetic refinement, etc. 2) A person who is contentedly commonplace in ideas and tastes."
- Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Christmas List - 2009

So I'm A Big Kid Now
-nice winter coat
-pretty but warm winter hat
-leather gloves
-warm socks
-external hard drive, compact in size
-Moleskine 2010 Large Weekly Planner Horizontal
-a set of 2 or 3 connected cordless phones
-Rickie's GC
-anything to with learning/speaking French

But Still Feel/Live Like A Student
-Sims 3
-pouch for bike handlebars
-tea towels
-cream corn
-french cut green beans
-Chef Boyardee with tab on top
-foaming hand soap

-small travel umbrella
-wheelie luggage
-SD memory cards for camera
-plug adaptors (Europe, Russia, Mongolia, China)
-pre-paid picture printing, Blacks
-Backpacking backpack
-Eyewitness Top Ten for Beijing, St. Petersburg, Moscow
-Trans-Siberian Handbook by Bryn Thomas, 7th Ed
-anything to with learning/speaking Russian or Chinese

-Mighty Ducks Trilogy
-Boondocks Saints
-The Saint
-HIMYM Season 4
-Cutthroat Island
-10 Things I Hate About You

Doesn't Need To Be New
(Used Would Be Awesome)
-good quality vacuum

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Avoiding Bad Luck

I hate writing in books. I just can't do it. (This is actually part of my Love-Hate list, since some people love it. They write all over their novels and textbooks and others go so far as to collect used books that they find writing in.) I think my problem with it stems from the fact that I was a big library kid when I was younger. We would go to the Paris Public Library about once a week and take out tons of books. You can't write in library books and I think I was also instructed by a librarian at my Elementary School to never 'dog ear' a book by turning a corner down to mark a page. My whole life I have respected books in this way. In other ways though I'm very bad to books. I wear them out with use very quickly, reading them in the bath, at the beach, breaking the spine, etc. I just don't ever write in them and I always use a bookmark of some type, usually a ghetto version where I just throw a peace of scrap paper or old receipt in to hold my spot. However, I found out this year that it is bad luck to give someone a book that you haven't written in. So despite how much it pains me, I now write on the inside cover whenever I'm giving someone a book as a gift. Some times it is a simple To: and From: thing with the date, other times I will actually write a little bit, like I would in a card. I like the tradition aspect of this rule but at the same time it is just so horrid to write in a book.This Christmas I think I will be giving a few books and I will write in them but it will pain me to do it every time.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

The Beginning of The End - Class

Today is my last day of classes, for my undergrad. Actually, I had my last traditional class this afternoon, I still have one to go to tonight though. However, it is for my Fiction Workshop so was never traditional, and tonight we are at someone's house having a end of term party so it really doesn't feel like class. Today was a pretty solid end of classes experience, really was symbolic of my university career at Carleton. It started very early in the morning, so I didn't really get time to look good, my hair has been a mess all day. I'm wearing my Carleton hoodie in honour of the occasion. I was late to my first class, but not super late. Handed in an assignment. Went to see a couple of different professors. Talked about my grad school applications with the career centre. Spent quick bits of time in the library working on other assignments. So basically my day was spent rushing from class, to class, to professors, to the library to work last minute on something, to some other random campus chore. Normal day of classes, busy, busy, busy!!

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Things I Hate

I hate that the commercials are always louder than the TV show, even when when watching TV online. This is one of the oldest marketing tricks in the book, everyone knows they are doing it and notices it. Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure it still works, time tested and true. I hate it though, absolutely hate it!

Tuesday, 1 December 2009


Started on 1st December 1988, today is World AIDS Day. According to UNAIDS estimates, there are now 33.4 million people living with HIV, including 2.1 million children. During 2008 some 2.7 million people became newly infected with the virus and an estimated 2 million people died from AIDS. Around half of all people who become infected with HIV do so before they are 25 and are killed by AIDS before they are 35. The vast majority of people with HIV and AIDS live in lower- and middle-income countries.

But HIV today is a threat to men, women and children on all continents around the world.