Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Oh, He Is Back

We saw it before and it was wonderful, now here is the follow up...

Done With All The Embassies

I am finally finished with the month long drama that has been getting my visas! Foreign bureaucracy is the worst, and hardest to figure out. Now my passport is all pretty and I'm getting more and more excited for my trip. (My parents just bought a netbook that I might end up taking with me. If I do it will mean that I can post more on Always Standing and write better/faster/more than by hand in a journal.)

Monday, 28 June 2010

Via Showing Up Greyhound

Normally the bus is much much cheaper than the train. From Ottawa sometimes flying to Hamilton or Toronto is a better deal than taking Via. This has been the case for so long that I sometimes don't even check their website when I'm planning a trip. I needed to get into Toronto either late Sunday or early Monday so figured I might as well see what the train and bus prices were from Brantford. Well, it turns out for this short a trip, the train is a great deal and much much faster. (I am on the train right now actually.) It used to be that only the first class area, Via 1, had wifi but now it seems that the whole train, and all the stations, have free access. This is great since I have been at the cottage and unable to check the internet. Via is winning my favour and when I move to Toronto I will remember to always check out their website when planning a trip home!

Three Roommates

Even though I have moved away from Ottawa, we still have the apartment until the end of the month. So technically JennB, Jerrica, and I are roommates until June 30th. This is the three of us hanging out on Friday night. (Girls Night!) Yes, I am the phone, which doesn't have speaker so they had to sit like this on the chair to talk with me. I was sent this from one of their iPhones. Jenn once convinced me that to email her on her iPhone I was to send it to which I totally believed, and tried. Obviously, iPhone just connects to the internet, so you email to their normal address. I'm cell phone challenged.

Friday, 25 June 2010

That Was Dumb

The Situation
(No, not that guy with the abs.)
I packed up my laptop to bring it down to the cottage. It isn't like our brand new construction and fully winterized HOME (for lack of a better word since Mom and Dad have sold the house in Paris and will be moving to Long Point full time) is rustic or behind the times. Actually, I think it gets more TV channels than my Ottawa apartment and the Paris house combined, since the bunny ears pick up a bunch of stations from the US. However, they haven't moved down the computer, and they haven't figured out what they are doing for internet.

The Dream
(Martin Luther King would be proud.)
Lack of internet at the cottage doesn't matter, I have my trusty laptop with wireless and I believe one of the cafes in town has wifi. So I began to spin great plans of ordering a salad, sipping on lattes, scheduling blog posts for the next two months. I also brought along some language CDs for the computer that I borrowed from JennD and Sims 3 since neither required internet. I was going to spend my evenings learning more Russian and Mandarin or tormenting my little Sims.

The Reality
(The dark bitch that she is.)
Well, it turns out that Port Rowan is flourishing this summer, the booming metropolis that it is. It seems like every little boutique, restaurant, and hardware store (there are more than one, even though the population is not large enough to grant them a Tim Horton's) are doing swimmingly, busy and expanding. However, despite all this business growth, and the looming tourist season, the only closed business in downtown, by this I mean the half block that contains the pharmacy and grocery story, is the cafe that had the wireless. Dreams shattered! I head over to the public library in hopes that there is better news there, all the while trying to shift my plans to make sitting at a desk in the library fun and cool. (This was a challenge and I had yet to finish spinning this new situation in my mind before the second issue hit.) The library had wireless and I was on my way. Reaching into my bag for my powercord and it is no where to be found! I must have left it on my floor in the bedroom of the Paris house. So now I have just under 2 hours of power for the entire weekend. I know it is my own dumb fault for forgetting the cord (who packs a laptop without the cord?) but now my dreams are totally shattered!

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Interesting Wednesday

--I didn't feel the earthquake because I was sleeping. (Napping in fact.)
--Raced on the sailboat in the evening and it beat me up like a kid looking for lunch money. I was railmeat. (A job that involves moving from one side of the boat to the other to help balance it out when it is up high on a edge. Basically a glorified weight, but fun and necessary in high winds, which we had in spades.) I have bruises all over my body! Can't wait to go out again, love to race.

My Baby Girl

She is probably about 18 now, which is 88 in human years. (So maybe Binx isn't quite a baby anymore.) I love my little Binxer and here Steph has captured exactly what it is like when you walk into a room and see her sitting somewhere (on the couch, a chair, your bed, your pillow, etc.)...

First she looks up
with her big cataract filled eyes...Then she glares at you
for disturbing her sleep and/or solitude...Then she pretends she doesn't know you
or care that you are in the room...
The photos are purrrfect!!
By Stephanie Beach Photography

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Goals For The Next Few Weeks

Before I leave for my big trip on July 14th, I would like too...
-Work out at Curves everyday that I can
-Do a long walk/run at least 2km/play on Wii Fit everyday
-Stick to my diet and lose a few more pounds
-Finish watching Glee with my mom
-Organize the huge pile of stuff I have sitting in the living room
-Learn some more Russian and Mandarin
-Have my legs waxed
-Get a nice tan while wearing sunscreen, aka go outside a lot
-Race on the sailboat a couple of times
-Buy a one piece swimsuit
-Schedule blog postings for when I'm away

Monday, 21 June 2010

A Morning In Paris

*Compare with this previous post which could have been given the same title... though is not the same place at all....

Normally I really don't like being home, Paris makes me feel very uneasy. However, since I am here for the next month I have decided to make the most of it. I have been at the cottage all weekend so this was really my first morning back in town. It was awesome!! My dad woke me up on his way to work and I lay in bed reading for an hour or so - didn't really have anywhere I needed to be, except meeting Teri at 10am for a run.

Went to go and check the time and sure enough it was almost 10am. I called Teri to tell her I was coming over then dug through all my stuff looking for my running shoes. Put my contacts in, put sunscreen on, and headed out the backdoor onto the deck. During the 5 second walk that it takes to go across the backyard and up the side of the house to the street, I encountered 6 different types of birds hopping around the small pond we have, and about 12 very fat squirrels running, or should I say waddling, around. I then started the walk to Teri's house.

Teri and I have lived on opposite sides of the main street in Paris, the not-even-double-lane Grand River Street North, for the entire length of our almost 20 year friendship. I have always thought the walk over to her place was very long. When I was young I would beg my parents to drive me or come pick me up. I would often bike or rollerblade. In high school I would take my car. Teri lives about 4 blocks away, and these are not city blocks, I swear this is about a 2 minute walk. A very nice, very pretty, 2 minute walk.

Teri and I took another 2 minute walk to our old high school. We both live ridiculously close to PDHS but when we were in high school sometimes we drove, it is just crazy. The tennis courts have all be redone, which is very nice, and Ter informed me that a family membership with 24 hour key access to them is only $10 for the year! We made our way down to the weed-overgrown sand track around the football/soccer field.

Then we ran. I made it 5 times around the track, which is a total of 2km!! I only had to stop occasionally for a quick drink of water. It was a beautiful sunny day with a light breeze that kept the heat from being unbearable. Teri is much better runner, so was able to chat a bit during our jog, which makes things much more fun and interesting. Panting heavily we walked back together for a while in the shade before splitting in different directions to go to our houses.

Once home I did some cool down stretches on the grass in the back yard, underneath my mom's very impressive vine archway. It felt very work-out video like. I finished up the stretches inside on the living room carpet. Sitting in the sun coming through the large lead windows, since I hadn't wanted to sit down in the grass as it was a tad damp.

I hadn't eaten yet so went into the kitchen to see if I could find something that fit with my diet. I did up an egg in the frying pan and had it with cheese on a whole wheat english muffin. Just delicious!! I cooked two more eggs to have in the chicken friend rice that I'm making for dinner and pulled some chicken out of the freezer to defrost. I guess it is time to figure out what I'm doing this afternoon...

Goal Achieved

We had a party. We had a goal. We had to drink all of the alcohol in The Closet. Afterwords, this was the final product;
And, I don't mind bringing home a 40 of vodka and some very nice gin! Please see previous post for the before shot. We did well!!

Friday, 18 June 2010

Drink The Closet

We are having a party tonight and we have one goal in mind - Drink The Closet!! Over the past 6 years I have been gradually building up a bar but now I'm moving and I don't think it is a good idea to pack up a bunch of half drunk bottles of alcohol and liquors. I hope we can make it through them all!

From The Future

As Jer noted in the comments of a couple posts back - The post had been published in "the future" since it said June 10, 2017. The publishing feature on Blogspot is pretty cool, and it is what will help me with keeping postings up while I'm away on my big trip. However, sometimes I mess it up. In that case I changed the year instead of the day. Fixed it - now it reads June 17, 2010.

Thursday, 17 June 2010


My purse broke this morning.

Random Thought Of The Day

Drinking Starbucks makes me feel very urban.

Tim Horton's makes me feel patriotic.

Second Cup makes me feel poor.

However, Second Cup is also a Canadian company and is equally as urban as Starbucks (as it too is trendy, fancy, expensive, and only available in cities.)

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Monday, 14 June 2010

One Cab In June

I had made an oath to myself at the end of May - No Cabs (to work) in June! However, this morning after a particularly long sleep-in, I thought I might have a early meeting scheduled that I would miss or be late for if I took the bus, so I cabbed. But it will be the only one!!

Friday, 11 June 2010

More Than A Few Years Later

The Senate of Carleton University
herby admits
Christine Sweeton
who has fulfilled all the requirements and completed the
perscriped course of study to the degree of
Bachelor of Arts
Highest Honours
Minor in Mass Comminication
with all its rights and privileges in witness whereof
the Seal of the University is hereunto affixed.
Given at Ottawa, Canada, this 12th day of February, 2010.

Convocation: June 11th, 2010

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Celebrity Sighting

This morning I saw Jack Layton, again!! The first time was many years ago; I was on a bus and saw him and his wife (Olivia Chow, also a politician) biking together in the Glebe. The bus went past them, and vice versa, many times up Bank Street and I really wanted to jump out and tell him how awesome I think he is. The second time was last summer on a run with Ottawa Erin, a group of three guys biking, in spandex, went past us. After which I confirmed with Erin, one had been Jack Layton. So, yes, this is the third time I have seen him in Ottawa. I never see celebrities randomly on the street, accept for Jack. This morning he was walking down Spark Street with a young women and he was talking on a cell phone. I passed him on my way into work. I told JennD as soon as I got in and she said she had seen him too on her way in. It made my day, what a perfect thing to happen during my last month in Ottawa. I love Jack Layton, and he was looking good!!

Way To Go Anne!!

She may be three provinces west of here and more than 3,300km away but I couldn't be more proud of her!! In her own words, Anne convocated yesterday...

Anne Rhoda Farineau

B.SS - Bachelor of Social Sciences

Honours Geography Major

University of Calgary

Onwards and upwards Anne!
I'm so happy for you, and miss you so much.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

The Many Meanings Of UP

From an email forward...
It's easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP ? At a meeting, why does a topic come UP ? Why do we speak UP and why are the officers UP for election and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report ?

We call UP our friends. And we use it to brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver; we warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen. We lock UP the house and some guys fix UP the old car. At other times the little word has real special meaning. People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses.. To be dressed is one thing, but to be dressed UP is special.

And this UP is confusing: A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP. We open UP a store in the morning but we close it UP at night.

We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP. To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP, look the word UP in the dictionary. In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4th of the page and can add UP to about thirty definitions. If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used. It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don't give UP, you may wind UP with a hundred or more. When it threatens to rain , we say it is clouding UP .. When the sun comes out we say it is clearing UP ...

When it rains, it wets the earth and often messes things UP. Then it doesn't rain for awhile, things dry UP. One could go on and on, but I'll wrap it UP , for now my time is UP , is time to shut UP!

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Working My Way Through

I have been doing well with my Ottawa Mini Bucket List and was able to check off a bunch of things this past weekend. Also, it was Doors Open Ottawa so things had free admission which is a nice bonus. I have added more things to the list but at the same time recognize that there are so many things that I just won't get to, which makes me sad! This weekend I went to market and got Beavertails with the girls - Check that off the list!
Myself, Steph, & JennB
Enjoying an Ottawa Beavertail
Bywood Market
Photo by Kate

Not A Good Morning

-Slept in
-Bus was late
-Forgot my pass
-Elevator was broken
Not the greatest start to my day!

Monday, 7 June 2010

A Little Late

I got notice in the mail the other day from the Carleton University Awards Office, the letter said the following:
I am please to inform you that your academic standing allows us to add your name to the Deans' Honour List, available for viewing on the Awards Office website. This honour will appear on your official transcript.

I don't think I ever made the list before, though I remember looking up my name on there for something but I bet it was for my Entrance Scholarship 7 years ago now. Why I say that it is a little late is that students named to the Deans' Honour List, who are returning to an undergraduate program, are given priority access to the Registration System. This would have been super helpful any and every other year!! At least it will go on my transcript.

Friday, 4 June 2010

When A Computer Breaks

"My video card gave out a few days ago, a 9800 GX2 that had served me well during its brief time on this Earth, right up until the point where it refused to render anything higher than 640x480. I'm hard on technology, so my equipment is always finding ways to leave my service... Our dialectic is entirely different from that of a single purpose device. There is so much surface area (psychologically speaking) between the enthusiast user and the machine that the loss of it feels... I box it up and ship it out. This is the closing of a single circuit, encapsulated in an act that feels like punishment: I'm literally banishing the machine from my home. Get the fuck out of here. Come back when you lose the sassmouth. When the computer - a device I have named - turns on a person, there's nothing else to call it but betrayal. This is the betrayal of the father by the son."
- Jerry Holkins (writer, Penny Arcade)

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Just Lovely

I met Kate through Teri. They were in university together and recently Kate moved to Ottawa for work. She has started to become part of the Friday Night Girls Night and other such activities. Since moving to Ottawa she started to blog, which is more like a website, and just wrote a very sweet post about our recent trip to Billings Estate for tea. The English Major in me quite enjoys that the post is a poem! I have added her blog to my links (Currently on the Left.) So, Kate's Blog, actually called 2010 - My Year In Ottawa, is now up for your browsing pleasure.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Geek Girls Unite Award

Heather gave me another blog forward-chain-award thing. This time it was a Geek Girls Unite Award which she won and then awarded to three people including... The Chris from Always Standing, who plays WOW, among other geeky things... Heather is proud of her geek status, myself not as much so. Mind you, while I hate e-mail forwards, the blog ones are pretty cool, so I'm going to try to befriend my geeky side at the moment.

So Here I Am!
Geek Girls Unite
List ten geeky facts about yourself
Pass this award onto your favorite female geeks

Ten geeky facts about me...
1. WoW - I play World of Warcraft. Come on, world's most-subscribed MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game) people! I think it is awesome and so much fun, but definitely geeky.
2. Settlers - I love all games, especially card and boardgames. My favorite being Settlers Of Catan, which is a strategy game similar to Risk. It is a bit complex and very geeky, always hard to find people who will play with me.
3. Trivia - I love trivia, both in question or random fact form. Useless facts are super interesting and fun for me, which I guess is geeky. I also really enjoy Jeopardy.
4. Engineering - While I didn't stay in it, I did start my university career in Mechanical Engineering so I enjoy and have a basic understanding of advanced math and science.
5. Reading - I have always loved to read. I learnt at a very young age and have been reading ever since. This is what lead to English after Engineering fell through. I carry a book in my purse at all time.
6. XCKD - I enjoy a few online comics, my favourite being xkcd. I also regularly read Penny Arcade and Ctrl+Alt+Del.
7. Glasses - I wear glasses. I own contacts but rarely wear them, only putting them in once or twice a month for special occasions.
8. Museums - I absolutely love museums, of any variety. I can stay in a museum from open to close, the only thing slowing me down would be sore feet. I love to read everything in every display. I like to learn.
9. Russia - I have a thing for Russia and will be going on a big trip to visit it. Seeing Russia has been a dream of mine for more than 15 years. This might not be a geeky thing but it is strange.
10. Blog - I blog. Lastly, I figure that blogging is pretty geeky and I have been writing Always Standing for years now, posting regularly.

Pass this award onto your favorite female geeks...
1. Steph writer of The Great Abyss
--Engineer who has way to many personal Excel sheets
2. Anne writer of Four Litre Chocolate Milk
--Geographer who can rock The 80's look
3. Erin writer of Always A Mess
--Neopets Addict who has a thing for Anime
Honourable Mentions
1. Teri
--Who I'm sure does math for fun
2. ERin
--Who is both a geographer and Trekkie
3. JennD
--Who is big into the video games

The H-Scary-T

Over the last few months people have been quietly freaking out about the upcoming change in Ontario to the HST sales tax system. I was never bothered by it. Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) is basically the Ontario Provincial Government combining the Provincial Sales Tax (PST) which confusingly they sometimes call RST which is 8% which the Federal Sales Tax, Goods and Services Tax (GST) of 5% into one 'tax' of 13%. If you look at the math, nothing really changes. There as some changes to what gets taxed and what doesn't. Some things that used to be exempt aren't anymore after July 1st when this comes into effect but the changes are slight. I am still not in the least bit worried about this whole HST thing, if anything I'm still a little bummed that sales tax was lowered from 15% to 13% - I prefer it to income tax since it is much more visible (less confusing and sneaky.)

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Now With Tags

Finally! All of my posts (at the moment there are over 1,100 of them) have been tagged. It took forever and I'm not kidding. I started mid-January so have been working on it off and on for months now. I was worried about not having enough tags or having too many or them being grossly uneven but I love how it turned out! One small thing, it scares me how big the 'Drinking' tag is.
Most of my friends have their own tags and depending on how often they are mentioned in Always Standing the tags are of various sizes. (This is not a reflection of our friendship.) Also note, tags will evolve and change over time. I have been blogging for more than 4 years now and plan to keep going. Enjoy flipping through the tags and posts they bring you to as it will bring you back to some really old ones.

Now I Have Everything

I just found out this morning that I can access my Yahoo email at work! This is the final thing. I could always see my blog and quickly got access somehow to post and edit it. I could also log into my online banking too. Then all of Communications got access to social media (since it is the future and we need the government to be more on top of these things - great way to reach the public.) So, that meant Facebook. However, the final element was that I could not get my email, Yahoo Mail was always blocked. When JennD started she could get into her Hotmail which was strange, but I still couldn't get into my personal email. (I was always ok with this, I can understand blocking personal sites like that.) Today a co-worker told me that Yahoo was unblocked and sure enough, it was! The final frontier!