Thursday, 30 September 2010

Overheard At Ryerson

While I'm standing in an elevator...
Guy #1 - Hey, you lied, you said this building had a 5th floor
(The buttons only went to 4)
Guy #2 - No it does, I will show you how to get there tomorrow
Guy #1 - Ahhh, Hogwarts
Guy #2 just nods in quiet agreement.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Let's Give It A Few Days

I took a train home on Monday, trying to prepare myself for the possibility of having to put Binx down. (Note: There is no way to prepare for that, I just found myself crying a lot.) Sure enough when I arrived she was in rough shape. She could move her back legs, in that she would stretch them and pull them up if I tried to tickle them, but she had no control of her back legs or any strength in them. She had to drag herself places, which she did often because she hates being made to stay in one place. Trying to get her to stay in her bed turned out to be quite a chore. She slept a lot. She also recognized me and stretched out to me when I arrived, always so nice and so cute when that happens!

Tuesday morning my Dad and I headed into Port Dover to see the vet. I wanted to have a consult in the morning and then if she needed to be put down we would arrange for that to happen in the afternoon, I wanted a little more time with her. (So much crying.) The vet told us that it is very rare for a cat to have a stroke, as we had thought she had, since they don't get blood clots the same way as humans. After giving us a couple of options, I decided to have her X-rayed to help with a diagnosis. It was the right decision, as the X-ray showed that she had fractured her pelvis.

That is crazy, who has a cat that breaks their pelvis? Oh yeah, me.

The vet did say it was not very usual to see a cat with a broken pelvis who hadn't been in some sort of accident. Binx just jumped off a bed and did it, we guess. (She has never been all that graceful.) The vet was also surprised that Binx was not in more pain, she seems very unhappy and uncomfortable, but not in as much pain as would be expected from the fracture that she has. The good thing about it is that it isn't displaced much, meaning the bone can grow a bridge, over time, and heal itself, in theory. The way to do this with a cat is cage rest, and basically not let them move for 6 weeks. Fat chance with Binx, but it is worth a try.

I have left her with my parents at The Cottage and she is being given pain medication twice a day. (Note: So far this has been less than successful, anyone who has tried to give medicine to cat knows that it is near impossible.) She is staying in the walk-in shower, which restricts her movement. Though at any possible chance she frantically dives to get out and tries to escape, and it is only a matter of time before she figures out how to open the doors. In with her is a small tray of litter, which she hasn't been using. She just pees wherever she is at the time, usually in her bed. (This is quite gross as it gets all over her, and she obviously can't clean herself.) There isn't really a reason why she doesn't use the litterbox, she has enough maneuverability and it is just as close to her as her food.

If by Friday she is not showing improvements that suggest the fracture is on its way to healing itself, and if she is still not using the litter box, I don't want to put her through anymore time like this. I will take the train home this weekend and have her put down on Saturday. I hate this, obviously it is horrible. Sadly, I don't have a lot of hope that she will start using it, she has always been bad about the litter box and I think she has just given up on it. BUT, please keep your fingers crossed, pray, send karma etc. because I'm still hoping for a miracle.

Monday, 27 September 2010


My parents called last night - Binx is not well. It sounds like she probably had a stroke. She has lost the use of her back legs. (Very suddenly, at noon she is running around yelling to be fed, and two hours later she has to move by dragging herself places.) I called for updates a couple of times last night and a few more times today. No improvements. I had my mom take her to the litterbox before heading to bed, after being placed in it she pulled herself forward and then did a somersault out. This was probably pretty amusing to see, as Binx has never been a graceful cat. I am pretty shaken up by the news and had a horrible nights sleep, interspersed with bouts of crying. I'm heading home on the train this evening and will be taking her into the vet tomorrow to have her put down.

My parents say she seems very unhappy at the moment and her quality of life has taken a nose dive. She was a fairly happy blind cat, but she now can't really move anywhere and has possibly lost control of her bladder (or just can't get to the litterbox because she can't really move.) I don't want her to be unhappy. I am going to spend tonight and tomorrow morning with her before taking her in. It isn't a tough decision, it is the only option. While they may theoretically make kitty-wheelchairs, Binx is too old and too dumb to ever use one. It is her time. (She is 18! Which is 88 in human years.) What makes it more difficult is that she isn't in pain particularly, and if it is a stroke she won't really deteriorate much past this until something else happens. However, I feel like this is the right thing to do. I hope that upon seeing her, this feeling will be confirmed.

I am just so sad. I don't want to live without her. (There is no way to write that without it sounding melodramatic and suicidal, which isn't what I mean. I mean, I love living with Binx! I only didn't live with her for one year when I was in residence and for the last couple of months while I was travelling and painting the apartment here.) I hate the idea that she isn't going to be coming to live with me here in Toronto.

I love her.

Sunday, 26 September 2010

In A Cocoon

Taylor came to visit this weekend and she came baring gifts. First off she brought Raspberry Squares, which are to die for! Secondly, she gave us two plants and a tree for our apartment and I feel like greenery inside will add to the adult feel. Lastly, for my housewarming gift she got me a set of really good sheets. I will be warm indeed! Bamboo-Blend Sheet Set - 60% Rayon from bamboo and 40% cotton, 320 thread count linens. Bamboo-blend fibers are soft as silk, breathable and come from a sustainable resource. They are cool in the summer and cosy warm in the winter. I have never had a really great set of sheets before, and trust me, there is a difference. They are actually pretty hard to find, since my bed is an Extra-Long Twin and you have to get a special fitted sheet so as to fit it. I slept in them last night and they were amazing. I may go and enjoy them again with a little bit of a nap.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Samberg vs. Johnson

I had seen the preview for this and couldn't wait for the full music video to come out. (Especially because I am not that big on Jack Johnson.) Every time Andy Samburg parodies him on SNL, it is just hilarious. Sadly, I can't find any of the clips of it. Here Jack gets his revenge... or does he.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Oh, There It Is

I was on the phone with JennB. I forget what we were talking about but for some reason I needed to find my cell. I can't remember if I needed to look at a text message or find a number or something. Anyway, I searched for maybe 10 to 15 minutes for the thing, all the while complaining to JennB on the phone that I lost it. I have made a mess of the living room couch which is covered in my school stuff, so I thought it might be under all the papers and books. Then I thought it might have fallen under the cushions on the other couch, we have lost the remotes there many times. Finally I realised, I was on my cell phone!! I had called JennB from it instead of the house phone. Also the land line doesn't even have a cordless yet, so of course I was on my cell.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

So Far

What I love about Toronto so far...
-Rrunuv Bayit, our huge and crazy cheap apartment
-Grocery shopping and cooking with Kristen
-The big TV in the beautiful IKEA stand
-Being a TA and experiencing 1st year from the other side
-Playing games with Teri and her Toronto friends
-Amazing readings for school, though never enough time
-Having a cell phone and texting friends in Ottawa
-Having so much to see the I will never be able to get to it all

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

And So It Is Named

I like to name my houses. It tends to happen naturally, when you listen to people talk about places they live they tend to have a name for the house, though it is often related to the address. I find that a tad boring and in Ottawa, stepped it up a notch. Especially moving into my second house, which was an epic mansion (may it rest in peace) that was falling apart but totally worthy of a great name. So far in my life, these have been my houses...

1984 - 1985 - Cambridge - I was born in Cambridge, Ontario. I lived with my parents in a small house until I was one and a half. I obviously don't remember it, though they have shown it to me a few times since.
1985 - 2003 - Paris - So, the first two are named for the towns. I only lived in one house in Paris so instead of calling it by the street, I always just say Paris. The house was sold this past summer.
2003 - 2004 - Rez - While I was living in residence, Glengarry House, at Carleton Steph, Em, and I called it Glen, to distinguish it from the other residences on campus. However, after moving out it just gets referred to as Rez.
2004 - 2006 - Glen - This house is named after the street and even though it could get confused with my residence house, especially as I was living with the same people, it never was.
2006 - 2008 - Le Manoir - It was this mansion that inspired the need for awesome house names. I wanted to make it sound ostentatious, so picked to name it in French. It means The Mansion, however we have always pronounced it so horribly that it would make anyone who speaks French cringe in pain. It seemed like an ever revolving door of roommates there (including Ami, Em, Anna, Wes, Jake, Jer, and a few others) but they all called it Le Manoir.
2008 - 2010 - Die Höhle - Following in the foreign languages vein, Jer, Em, and I decided to name the next apartment in German. This was because the outside of it was very ugly, a big grey 1960's box of a house in a beautiful Victorian neighbourhood. It look like a German war bunker. Translated it means The Cave and again we mispronounced it terribly, much to the dismay of the one friend I have who speaks German. During the second year Linds lived with us and later on JennB, they both called it Die Höhle.
2010 - 2010 - The Cottage - We got the cottage when I was 16, so sometime around 2000. About 4 or 5 years back my parents tore down the original building and set about building a house on the beach that they could eventually live in full time. Well, the time has come. They sold the other house and live at The Cottage, though the name remains. I have never really lived there, but I would consider it an important residence in my life.

"So what about the new Toronto apartment?" you ask. After about a week, Kristen and I set about coming up with a name. Our landlord is Jewish and we live in a fairly Jewish neighbourhood. (Though there is a Catholic Church right down the street from us that plays its bells all the time and I have seen actual nuns there. However, I don't know where our closest Synagogue is.) We are basing this assumption about our neighbourhood on the number of people we see in yarmulkes walking on the streets, that the local grocery store has a huge kosher section, and the ice cream parlor sells kosher brownies. It seemed fitting that the language we pick for naming this one be Hebrew. This was easier said than done!

Hebrew uses different letters, not just some fancy two dots above the 'o' like in Die Höhle but a totally different thing all together. Hebrew does not have an Alphabet it is instead considered an Abjad. (This means it is a segmental script containing symbols for consonants only, and the vowels are optionally written with diacritics or 'pointing'). We decided that we wanted to called it Grown-Up Apartment. We are working hard on this place to make it nice and to avoid that student feel. But, even with all the online translating sites out there, we couldn't find out how to say that in Hebrew. We had to settle for Adult House (which has some funny connotations on its own). I'm sure, like the other houses I have named in languages other than English, I am screwing this up horribly, but we have called our place...Which seems to be spelt in the Latin (or Roman) Alphabet, which English uses, as something close to Rrunuv Bayit. Obviously pronouncing it is also challenging. The 'Rr' is rolled but then the rest of Rrunuv sounds like it is spelt and Bayit is more like 'buy-it'. Though I'm sure this is wrong. When in a rush, we will sometimes refer to it as just Bayit, and that is currently our wifi name. Now, I need to go and finish painting, unpacking, cleaning, and in general settling in, so that Rrunuv Bayit can live up to its name and truly be a Grown-up Apartment.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

A Tiger Photo Series

And so the story goes...
Some tigers are in the water. Ya know, just chillin'.

Then an SUV arrives...

The tigers are intrigued...

They throw a duck into the water with the tigers.
People pay for this, $30 US for a duck. ($200 US for a full cow.)
I did not pay for it, but someone did, so I got to watch.

So, the duck gets attacked.
One tiger doesn't really care, he already has a duck.

He got the duck. Now there are two tigers with ducks!

But wait. Oh, oh, Duck is getting away!!

Duck doesn't stand a chance, everyone is coming over!

There is a tussle...

And a tiger grabs the duck and runs up the hill away from the others.

The remaining tigers look inquisitively at the SUV.
"More duck? Why no duck? Maybe little duck?"

End it off with a sleeping baby tiger...

--All photos by Christine Sweeton
Siberian Tiger Preserve, Harbin, China
July 30, 2010


Blogger has a new Template Designer thing that is really fun to use. My old template, that I had gotten from a third party and had to do a lot of HTML messing about with, was starting to cause some problems. So, it was time to fix it and maybe do another blog make-over. I decided to go a completely new way, I hope you still feel it honours the older versions, it is pink-ish. Welcome to the new Always Standing!!

Monday, 20 September 2010

Not Again

So, I'm up late writing up a presentation for school. (I will be speaking on Modernity and the Museum.) As I was reading the paper I am to discuss, I decided to play a little game with myself to find the most pretentious sentence so as to share it on Always Standing. There were so many to choose from. However, I think this will do the trick and give you an idea of the great stuff that critical theory is made of:

From The Birth of the Museum: History, Theory, Politics
by Tony Bennett
"Furthermore, while these comprised of an intersecting set of institutional and disciplinary relations which might be productively analysed as particular articulations of power and knowledge, the suggestion that they should be construed as institutions of confinement is curious."

Yes, curious indeed Mr. Bennett. The sentence before this one was three times as long and equally as ridiculously wordy, but I decided to spare you. Also, the author is trying to 'synthesize' a theorist named Gramsci with Foucault. And you know that I think? Fuck Foucault!

Friday, 17 September 2010

I Guess It's A Good Thing

It is always nice to be at a point in your weight loss when pants are too big and belts are needed. (I say this like it has happened before and I lose weight all the time, it hasn't and I don't.) JennB told me, "Just wait until you pull out your winter clothes, none of them will fit." I don't really have winter clothes, I just have clothes and then a few things that I only wear in the summer. I don't own many clothes. However, she was right. I returned from the trip and all of my pants are too big. It was great! I have to wear a belt with literally everything. Seriously, if I could find a way to wear a belt with my yoga pants so they would stay up and I could keep wearing them I would rock that style, since I'm cheap/poor and it is scary how many new clothes I need to buy. The scarier thing is that now, I'm starting to be too small for my belts. All through the trip and even before I left, I was dancing on the line of the last belt hole, it wasn't quite working anymore, I needed to punch a new one. I have since punched a few new ones in one of my belts and that will do for now. However, the thick fashion belt that I wear with my red dress, and some other things, is now too big. I can't punch a new hole in that, I don't even think that it came in other sizes. Now I'm going to have to go hunting for one, and for some reason they are insanely expensive. I know that on the one hand it is a good thing that while walking down the street the belt that is supposed to be sitting just under my chest, keeps falling down. But on the other hand, the slight embarrassment and annoyance with that happening, the whole loss of wardrobe, and need to replace it when things are financially tight, is really a pain.

It Was Time

I have never owned a cell phone. It isn't that I don't like them, they are so useful. It is that I don't like what they have done to people and society as a whole. The idea of setting up times and locations to meet is gone, since the cell phone arranges that easier with less commitment. People text and talk at inappropriate times and rarely excuse themselves to do it. Less people walk alone quietly looking around at the world, less books are read on public transit, and less face to face (and with texting, voice to voice) communication occurs and the conversations are often so empty and meaningless "Yo, are we still on for ..." (with cell phones there seems to be this constant double-checking and recommitting to plans.) I wish I could have lasted longer without one, but I literally caved to peer-pressure as my not owning one has been driving my friends crazy for years now. I bought one today. I have an HTC Snap and a great monthly rate. I'm happy but I hope it doesn't destroy me. I fear who I will become.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Missing The Moments

I am currently without a camera and that just sucks for so many reasons! Firstly, we are completely repainting our apartment and some Before & After shots would have been amazing. I am unable to document my adventures in the big city of Toronto! Times out with friends will be photo-less. And, I just love having a little camera!!

The saddest thing is something that Kristen brought up, the Roommate Moments. It would be great to have some pictures of the apartment, our work on the apartment, and each other in general. We have had so many Roommate Moments; first meal, setting up the TV, grocery shopping, etc. But no pictures.

I figured I would just throw some old ones up for fun. So here is a shot of Kristen yelling at me and another of me yelling at Kristen, both for apparently no reason...

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

My Sloth

So here is a lazy post... Go read Steph's post about SINS. Seriously, I was planning on talking about the Seven Deadly Sins and had even started drafting a post about it a few months ago. (This consisted of making a draft post entitled, Do Post On Seven Sins, and that is about it.) I love what Steph has done with this piece as she has pushed it much further than I had been planning as I think I was just going to list them and give a brief descriptor. I also think it is great that there is a small shout out to ANTM. Kristen and I are already planning on continuing the ANTM nights, and the current cycle started last week - How I love Tyra! My Links (on the Left) need a bit of review and update, but as usual I would suggest giving them a click every now and then, there is some great stuff there.

Monday, 13 September 2010

If I Can Make It There

New York City has been on my mind lately, I don't really know why. I thought I would post a bit of this article about the World's Rudest Cities, that speaks about NYC. "It's where the best of the best come from all over the world, clamouring over each other in a mad dash to get to their respective top - be it acting, writing, finance or worldwide domination. So New Yorkers can be forgiven for being a rough and tumble crowd. At anytime, you're walking amongst the most competitive, cut throat species in the world, and the most dejected, dispirited failures who've been repeatedly told they're crap. It's natural selection at its most brutal." I would love to live there for a little while at some point in my life. However, besides the fact that the cost is insane, I don't know how I would handle that need to be at the top of your respective field. (Not that I even know what my 'field' currently is.)

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Times In Toronto

I have been in Toronto for a few days now. Kristen and I now have internet and a land line. We are hopefully getting our TV and cable set up tomorrow. We have been painting the apartment and, of course, are no where near done unpacking all our boxes. I am loving Toronto! I have been riding the subway, I bought tokens and everything. I spent a couple of days wandering around Ryerson Campus, it feels great to be a student again. School starts on Monday.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

I'm In A Parking Lot

So, as aforementioned, I am not doing so well internet wise. The dial-up at the cottage is terrible, I was able to get on Facebook a few days ago to update my status and send a couple of messages. I also was able to bang out a quick Always Standing post. However, after waiting 2 hours, my yahoo email still hadn't loaded. Which is a problem because I not only am missing important emails from friends, but also from Ryerson about my TA stuff and the start of my program. I took a drive into Brantford and brought the little netbook in hopes of grabbing some decent wifi somewhere. I met up with Jeska for lunch and mentioned my predicament. She said, "Oh, go to William's Coffee pub and sit in the parking lot." This is genius!! I was planning on going there anyway since it is one of the places in Brantford that has free internet access but I didn't really want to order anything because it is a bit expensive and I wasn't in the mood for coffee. So here I sit in the parking lot with decent enough wifi and I can't wait to see what the 17 emails in my inbox are!!

Saturday, 4 September 2010

And Home

Yes, I am now home. Though internet wise I am a little worse off since I haven't moved into my new Toronto place yet, and I don't know if Kristen has sorted out internet there, and the cottage has dial-up. Yes, dail-up, and it is killer. However, I'm very glad to be back on Canadian soil. It was an AMAZING trip!! I haven't yet reviewed my pictures, but I hope they are good. I'm very excited to move to Toronto, the new apartment that Kristen found us is so awesome. My program at Ryerson is already gearing up so it is all falling into place for the Fall.

Friday, 3 September 2010

Itinerary Update - Home

Pre-Scheduled Post:
As per my trip itinerary (bar any issues/changes/complications etc.)
I should be ....

Flying to Home!!
From Keflavik Airport in Iceland to Toronto on flight FI603. I leave at 3:55pm and get in at 6:55pm, however there is a time difference so despite what it looks like, it is a long flight. My parents are picking JennB and I up at the airport. So now, sadly, this big trip is over.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Guest Writer - Iceland - Steph

From Steph, Stephanie Beach Photography:


I know Iceland isn’t that icy at all, but the image is still cool and I am super happy with how it turned out.
Original map image from Wikipedia