Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Funny Stuff

This one is my favourite, but there a bunch of other great ones. See them here: Musical Stats

Monday, 29 June 2009

BC Videos

I still haven't worked my way through all the photos from BC but when I was last home Teri gave me these videos from our whale watching trip. Video was a way better idea than trying to take pictures!!

The first video, which is 2 minutes long, is part of the half hour long sealion kill we watched. You can't see the sealion in it and actually during the kill we didn't see it very often either. I was glad for that because it was very sad.
video
In the second video, which is after they killed the sealion, the male leader does this really cool tale flapping thing. The whole experience was just really intense and I'm so glad that we went. video

Blank Stare

After a night out, Ottawa Erin always finds a ton of pictures like this on her camera. She doesn't take them, I do. When I get all dressed up, contacts in, and make-up on, I like to photograph myself, incessantly. Which is so horribly narcissistic, who does that? I like to think that I only do it once I am well into a night of drinking, but this one was taken while I was still pretty sober. They also all look fairly similar and are usually taken from the side because I like the shape line that angle gives me along my jaw bone, neck, and nose. I also smile in less than half of them and always have my eyes open really wide. I don't know quite what I look like here, bitchy or dumb or annoyed or something.

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Quotes

My Birthday Present From Anna
On A T-Shirt: I'm only in it for the money (Department of English)

Classic Erin
Me: Uhh, he just needs to grow some balls!
Ottawa Erin: Ladies first

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
Jon Stewart: Just another politician with a conservative mind and a liberal penis.

Overdue Congratulations - Part 3

Taylor - B.J.
Graduated with Highest Honours
Bachelor of Journalism
Taylor kept her scholarship, every year! That is a very impressive feat, especially as she learned pretty early on that she hated her program. Taylor's true passion is helping kids. She wants to work in Children's Aid and currently has a contract with them. It is hard to have her gone from Ottawa. However, she has promised to look after my piano in her house and I love visiting her there. I'm so proud of her and can't wait to see what she will get up to over the next couple of years.

Friday, 26 June 2009

Overdue Congratulations - Part 2

Kristen - B.J.
Graduated with High Honours
Bachelor of Journalism

Kristen was the master of the all-nighter. There may have been some occasional tears but her assignments always made it on time and got great marks. She worked for the university newspaper one year and seemed to always be taking me to see strange things because she had articles to write on them. She is a book lover to end all book lovers and is taking a Post Graduate Book and Magazine Publishing program at Centennial College in Toronto starting in the fall. Last I heard, after she finishes, she wants to go and work for one of the big publishing houses in England.

Overdue Congratulations - Part 1

Heather - B.J.
Graduated with High Honours
Bachelor of Journalism in Journalism and Greek and Roman Studies
After much trial and tribulation, which would have beaten a weaker women, Heather has finished her Journalism degree at Carleton. Heather is also one of the few people I know who actually looks good in a Grad cap, totally working it! She hasn't left the city yet, so is around to keep me company this summer. However, come September she is starting her Masters at the University of Newcastle. Yes, that is in England. She will be working on getting an MA in Greek and Roman Archaeology which I believe she wants to use in the future towards a career working in and for museums. I'm super proud of her, crazy excited for her, and really sad she is leaving.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Traveller Vs. Tourist

I think that there is a danger in viewing travel attitudes as a dichotomy. I do not think that a binary exist between the “traveller” and “tourist.” I used to think that the concept of travel was as straightforward as this. However, I now try to consider different peoples travel experiences as a range, allowing for many shades of grey between the extremes of black and white.

The one difference I could still latch on to was that tourists went on holidays while travellers did something else. They travelled. –The Beach, by Alex Garland

Growing up I travelled a lot. This “travel” was always explained by my parents to be different than “going on vacation.” With “travel,” thinking and education was expected but on a “vacation” a person merely relaxed. My parents put a heavy emphasis on the learning potential in travel. Leading up to a trip it was expected that, as a family, we learn as much of the native language of our destination as possible. My mother would read about the history of the area and teach us about it before we left. While we were away, on top of whatever homework had been assigned by teachers from school, we were expected to spend time each day on travel homework as well. My brother and I, dependant on the nature of the trip and our respective grade level in school, would work on a daily travel journal, sketching, financial tracking and budgeting of the trip, planning and researching activities, mapping and calculating distances driven, and in general reflecting and talking as a family about our experiences, thoughts, and emotions of the culture we were experiencing each day. Once we returned from a trip my family would make scrapbooks and photo albums. I often had to make a presentation to my class at school about my experience. With all of this work I could definitely see the difference between this “travel” and the relaxing times in the summer, when I played on the beach at the cottage my family often rented.

Of course this is more than a beach resort. But at the same time, it is just a beach resort. We come here to relax by a beautiful beach, but it isn’t a beach resort because we’re trying to get away from beach resorts. Or we’re trying to make a place that won’t turn into a beach resort. See? –The Beach, by Alex Garland

When I was young I thought that the difference between a “traveller” and a “tourist” stemmed from the locations they visited. Some people went on “vacation” to beaches, cottages, resorts, and theme parks while in contrast others “travelled” to places to see things of historical and cultural importance like ruins, castles, monuments, churches, and museums. By this logic, I could understand my parents having my brother and I attempt to learn basic greetings and nouns in Spanish before our trip to Mexico. We spent our time there visiting old cathedrals, archaeological sites, and local markets. The opportunity for education seemed to surround us. However, the trip before this we had visited Florida to go to Disney World. That trip had just as much homework and was filled with education based activities as well. I remember learning to read a map and helping to navigate on the drive down and back. We made a point to stop at important places of interest along the way like waterfalls, caves, and at least one museum. The trip seemed to be very historically focused and we went to a number of heritage and cultural centres, on the drive and in Florida. Despite merely driving down south to spend time somewhere warm and have fun at this “tourist” destination, we considered it “travelling.”

I had ambiguous feelings about the differences between tourists and travellers – the problem being that the more I travelled, the smaller the differences became. –The Beach, by Alex Garland

As my family continued to travel over the years, I still struggled with identifying why our trips were so learning focused and not considered “vacations.” I thought that perhaps the distinction was based on the time of year. Since my brother and I were often pulled from school for our various family trips, I considered that this emphasis on education must stem from that. Trips taken over the holidays or in the summer were supposed to be relaxing but those during the school year had to be educational. Even a trip to Toronto where we missed only a few days of school was an opportunity for learning. My brother and I did assigned homework from school and further activities given to us from our parents. I believe I wrote reviews of the hotel and different tourist destinations we visited instead of doing a travel journal. We grew older and it became harder to miss school for family trips so my parents bought a camper trailer and started taking us places in the summer. During these long road trips, I noticed that the format did not change and we still made everything educational. We still did the same activities. In these cases the summer trips were much longer, which made budget tracking and navigation more of a challenge. This, therefore, was “travel” and a different experience than a usual family camping “vacation.”

I want to do something different, and everybody wants to do something different. But we all do the same thing. –The Beach, by Alex Garland

I realise now that travel cannot be measured in such finite terms and that saying there are only two ways to take a trip, to “travel” or “vacation,” denies the range of experiences different people have. A trip has so many layers. Each person or family experiences locations differently and puts emphasis on different things while travelling. It is unfair to make such bold distinctions and impossible to rank one persons experience as superior to another.

Hot

Today will be hot. I feel that is almost an understatement. It is early and already hot and humid. The weather report is saying that tonight humidity will be 83%, I don't even know what that means but it can't be good. This afternoon the temperature will climb to 30 degrees Celsius though will feel like an even hotter 34. It all reminds me of Robin Williams in Good Morning Vietnam: "Hey, uh, hi, can you help me? -- What's your name? -- My name's Roosevelt E. Roosevelt. -- Roosevelt, what town are you stationed in? -- I'm stationed in Poontang. -- Well, thank you, Roosevelt. What's the weather like out there? -- It's hot. Damn hot! Real hot! Hottest things is my shorts. I could cook things in it. A little crotch pot cooking. -- Well, can you tell me what it feels like? -- Fool, it's hot! I told you, damn! Were you born on the sun? It's damn hot! I saw... It's so damn hot, I saw little guys, their orange robes burst into flames. It's that hot! Do you know what I'm talking about?"

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Spreading The Word

I don't really follow the news as much as I would like. Also, I'm not on Twitter. However, I'm shocked and upset at the different things that the following implies; censorship, that Twitter is that powerful, that access to internet is denied. At the same time I don't know the whole story...
But this is from James and was her Facebook status today:
If you're on Twitter, set your location to Tehran & your time zone to GMT +3.30. Iranian security forces are hunting for bloggers using location/timezone searches. The more people at this location, the more of a logjam it creates for forces trying to shut down Iranians' access to the internet. Cut & paste & pass it on.

Goth

While not as awesome as Emo Bun, the saga continues:
Text and photo from Cute Overload (See Link to Right)

Nobody Understands Goth Guinea, Either
Oh, kindred soul — while others mock you, I too have faced the abyss, stared into the swirling vortex of despair from which no ray of hope escapes, in which we all are doomed to… to… sa-a-a-ay, that’s a really cute top in that ad there…Nothing says “soul-crushing angst” like the name “Darklord Nibbles.”

Photoshop Photocopy

Monday, 22 June 2009

Changed The Book

I looked up what classes I wanted to take for the summer a long long time ago. I wrote it all down so Steph could register for me since I was on my BC trip. I also wrote down and tried to get as many books as possible ahead of time so as to get a start on the reading. English as a major is pretty reading heavy. Anyway, I got three done while I was out west with K and Teri. Two for one of the classes in the first half and the third for my Science Fiction course which doesn't start until next month. The one I read for that was Pattern Recognition by William Gibson. It was a really awesome book, I loved it. However, this weekend when I went to go and check the course outline again for a friend and the book list had changed. We are now going to be reading Neuromancer instead, by the same author. So I'm not as ahead for the second summer semester as I thought I would be.

Insightful Social Commentary

When I'm at work I read the news from two sites. I get important news from CBC and then I catch up on celebrity gossip at Perez Hilton. I don't particularly like everything about Perez's site but he is very accurate, rarely ever posting something that isn't true and if by mistake he does he quickly corrects it and admits to errors. The site is also well organized and easy to read, however it is basically totally trash. This video is a good satire of Perez and the 'celebrity industry' as a whole...

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Big Day For Dad

Today is the first day of summer, the longest day of the year and both Father's Day and my dad's birthday. Normally Father's Day is near his birthday but it doesn't actually fall on the same day but this year it does so extra love to my dad!!

Saturday, 20 June 2009

I Want It!!!

Ottawa Erin and Steph (as noted on her blog) have purchased the new Sims 3. I'm very jealous, it looks pretty damn good. I so love The Sims, the first two were wicked and I have been waiting for the third with baited breath. For all those other Sims lovers out there (and lovers of Sims lovers) these Ctr Alt Del comics say it all. One, Two, Three, & Four! The third one makes me laugh so much, not that I would ever put my Sims through social torture, I'm very nice to my likenesses. The last one is so true, as I have used that technique a number of times on boyfriends in the past and while it would normally work for me too, probably not while playing The Sims. The game is seriously that awesome!! In my current state of procrastinating from a pile of essays that are due, I have actually been wondering what to do for PC Gaming over the summer. I currently don't have anything on My New Pet after reformatting it a few weeks ago. I have a couple of options;
1 - I could load back on my old trusted copy of The Sims 2. This is a pretty basic option, easy to do, I know I love it, it wouldn't consume too much of my time, and it is a pretty rocking game.
2 - I could start playing WoW again. This is a more complex option. It would take forever to start up again since there would be days of patches, there has been two expansion packs since I last played so there might be some adjustment, and it tends to consume a good chuck of my time. However, Steph and Dave did get me a 60-day game card for my birthday so it wouldn't cost me anything to start playing again.
3 - I could buy The Sims 3. This is the expensive option. I would want the Collectors Edition (come on, go good or go home) which is $70, it looks intense so would take a whole bunch of my time, but I know I would love it, oh so much.

Weekends

Somehow I already have most of my weekends booked for almost the rest of the summer. I also can't believe how small the summer is, when you split it down to just weekends it feels so tiny. Weekdays are often such a write off with work and school that at times it really does feel like I live for Saturdays and Sundays.
June 20 - 21 ---- Vet for Binx, Movie at Mayfair, 3 Essays to write
June 27 - 28 ---- Tea at Billings with Jer, 1 huge Essay to write
July 4 - 5 ---- Probably J's birthday
July 11 - 12 ---- Anne comes and we go to Erin's wedding (WICKED!!)
July 18 - 19 ---- Green Day concert, Jer's birthday
July 25 - 26 ---- Blank (for now)
Aug 1 - 2 ---- Jer, Steph, Dave and I at the cottage
Aug 8 - 9 ---- Still at the cottage chilling with my parents

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Emo

Text and photo from Cute Overload (See Link to Right)

Nobody Understands Emo Bun
Emo Bun is going to put on his skinny jeans and play guitar in the garage. Emo Bun doesn’t expect you fascists to understand his art. Emo Bun is destined to travel through the misty and cold fog of existence alone and cold. Life is hard for Emo Bun.
Don’t cut yourself, Emo Bun! Don’t do eet!

Portfolio

I want to take this Fiction Workshop at Carleton next semester. They tell me that: "You must submit a portfolio with a brief biographical sketch, a statement on why you want to take the workshop, and include about 15 pages of prose - stories, coherent parts of novels, or literary non-fiction that might include memoir, travel writing, personal essays or magazine pieces. No poetry, journaling, or academic writing." I can maybe think of 3 or 4 things to include, and they wouldn't add up to 15 pages. I have over 800 posts on my blog, I am hoping to mine writing I have already done but I can't think of anything that would count. Also I have a hard time figuring out the difference between 'travel writing' and 'journaling' is, maybe this is because my writing when I travel is done in the style of a journal. I really can't use my actual travel journals because they are crazy point form notes, but I have some prose pieces about Paris on my blog. I think I need to try my hand at doing a short story over the next month to see how that goes, but I have no idea how to do that or even how to begin.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Almost Grown Up

I spent the weekend at my cottage with a bunch of girlfriends; Kristen, Heather, Taylor, Teri, Jeska, and then an old friend from high school even showed up. My parents let us have the place all to ourselves, they visited for dinner one night but were away for the rest. The trip really made me realised just how grown up we are in someways but in others not so much.
Reasons why we are all grown up now....
-cooking portabello mushrooms and making chickpea salad for dinner
-drinking beer casually in the afternoon
-being a good enough driver to react and honk at a bad one
-talking about post-grad and masters programs
-planning a wedding that is actually going to happen in March
-four nice cars in the driveway, none of which was over 4 years old
-making coffee every morning
-complaining about jobs in government, heath care, and big corporations
Reasons why we still aren't really adults...
-having boiled hot dogs for lunch
-doing shots by the campfire
-going off and on the express lane in Toronto traffic confusion
-being grossed out and terrified by birth stories
-forgetting to water the plants
-doing an essay last minute
-eating cotton candy and birthday cake flavoured ice cream
-jumping in the waves, doing headstands and somersaults in the water
-playing drinking games
Maybe I actually have but I really just don't want to grow up and be an adult yet, even if I am already 25. I don't know if it is an age, lifestyle, situation, or state of mind but I hope adulthood stays away for now.

Still Alive

I'm still around, I just haven't had the chance to post in a while. I went to my cottage this past weekend and school has been pretty busy. I wish work didn't block my blog, actually it doesn't totally block it, I can read it, I just can post or comment. Even if it wasn't blocked, work has been so insane lately I would have time there either.

Friday, 12 June 2009

3 Men In A Bar

'As good as this is,' said the Scotsman, 'I still prefer the pubs back home. In Glasgow, there's a wee place called McTavish's. The landlord goes out of his way for the locals. When you buy four drinks, he'll buy the fifth drink.' 'Well, Angus,' said the Englishman, 'At my local in London, the Red Lion, the barman will buy you your third drink after you buy the first two.'

'Ahhh, dat's nothin',' said the Newfie. 'Back home in Sin Jahn's, there's the Codfish Bar. The moment you set foot in the place, they'll buy you a drink, then another, all the drinks you like, actually. Then, when you've had enough drinks, they'll take you upstairs and see dat you gets laid, all on the house!'

The Englishman and Scotsman immediately shout down the Newfie's claims, but he swears every word is true. 'Well,' said the Englishman, still suspicious. 'Did this actually happen to you?' Not meself, personally, no,' admitted the Newfie. 'But it did happen to me sister quite a few times.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Breaking The Curse

When I went home last weekend I dropped my laptop off at Acer head office to get it fixed. Until now I had kept my screen background as the green bamboo sticks that comes with Windows Vista. I think that picture cursed my computer. I was so freaked out by that idea that I thought, when I get my laptop back from getting repaired I would not keep using it. Well, it took me forever to pick a new one. I don't like to have personal pictures up, or pictures of people because I would get bored of them and want to change them all the time. (I'm a fan of consistency.) I like to think of my screen as a table or kind of surface and the windows and icons sitting on top of it. It seems strange to have things floating in space in front of a nature scene or picture of a beach. There weren't a lot of options but I ended up picking the blue stones. I needed something bright. It is pretty, but I miss the green.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Great Link

A girl in class showed me this link and I quite enjoy it. (It can also be found by searching 'Cute and Cuter.') It is basically cute guys posed with cute things. Every now and then they are with a baby, which I'm really not that big a fan of, but I will deal with it for the pictures of boys with kittens.

Monday, 8 June 2009

Good And Bad

For the first few years of elementary school we said The Lord's Prayer every day:
The Lord's Prayer
Our Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy Name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
The power, and the glory,
For ever and ever.
--Amen
I can remember them saying every morning; "Please stand for O'Canada and remain standing for The Lord's Prayer." For kindergarten I went in the afternoon, so never heard the morning announcements. On the first day of Grade One I remember being so upset at not knowing the words. I barely knew the national anthem and definitely not the prayer. Half the class had it down pat, they obviously went to kindergarten in the morning the previous year. The teacher assured us that we would learn it quickly, and we did. Soon, I had it memorised and can recite it to this day, thanks to having to say it every day in school until maybe about Grade 3 or 4, I can't remember when we stopped. The strange thing, I went to a public school! While I have nothing against prayer, or this prayer in general. (Actually I find parts of it really beautiful.) However, it has absolutely no place in a public school!! I can't believe they did that, I can't believe they were allowed to do that. That was not that long ago either.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Set In A Plan

I went for a tour of Ryerson University in Toronto on Friday morning. The campus is tiny, even smaller than Carleton. It is right downtown, next to the Eaton Center. I had been before as I went to a camp there once and have had friends go to school there. I'm really excited about the MA program there and the idea of living in Toronto, I love the feel of that city. I'm pretty happy about my plan to go in September 2010, if I can get in.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Vodka Salad

This is one awesome cocktail, and really unique too.
A guy at a party in Vancouver had it and I have since tried it at home.
-Vodka
-Water
-Ice
-Cucumber slices
My friends tried it and they all said the same thing:
"Well, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be."
Trust me it is good, I really like it.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Love Seduces Innocence

"Love Seducing Innocence, Pleasure Leading Her On, Remorse Following"
An engraving by Barthélemy Joseph Fuleran Roger (1767/80 - 1841).

Monday, 1 June 2009

Heartbroken

I spent all Saturday reformatting my laptop to try to fix this problem I have been having with the screen. I have been having issues with the screen since I got it in November, and the manufacturer (Acer) said that reformatting was pretty much my final hope before sending it in to be repaired. It took a long long time to do and I had to pull all my files onto our subleter's external hard drive to back them up. I then put them back on afterwards, as well as, started to load back on the programs I needed, mainly Microsoft Office. Yesterday, Steph helped me with a bunch of Photoshop stuff, which was complicated and way over my head. Things looked good. Everything was working smoothly, I kept getting a strange error message every time I turned it on but I could live with that. Then late last night, right as I was deciding it was probably time to go to bed, the screen dyed. Proving - that the reformat didn't work and now I need to send it in to them for sure. I'm so heartbroken at this. I have put so much time into trying to fix this, my friends have worked on it to help me through it, and it is pretty much brand new. This company does not have a good reputation in general, and even worse for its repair centres. I am not looking forward to this last last last ditch effort to get my laptop working properly.

Wow!

Today on the aforementioned diet, along with the soup, I get to drink milk and eat bananas. I can't believe how sweet bananas taste after three days of soup, fruit, and vegetables. I am actually almost sickened by how sweet they are. I'm also not really having cravings for anything anymore. I'm hungry sometimes but never looking to eat something specific. Don't really want carbs or sugar or something salty. This diet rocks! Bananas are too sweet for me now, how crazy is that?