Thursday, 31 March 2011

A Hollow Victory

I just finished my last grad school presentation today. (It went alright.) I am tempted to say that it was the last presentation of my academic career because this year has nearly ruined me, however I have hope that at somepoint in some fashion I will be a student again in the future. The strange thing is I don't feel happy or even relief, just hollow.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

The Most Supportive Person Ever

"You just have an assortment of disabilities starting with clinical depression and ADD, along with nice selection of learning disabilities, all of which you try to manage with a cocktail of medication."
-How my mother suggests I explain my issues to people

She is honestly though the most supportive person ever, which sadly still gets proven time and time again. Toronto has seen probably my longest bout of depression ever and strangely, as this was recently pointed out, my most hidden. So I think I'm at the point of talking and telling if asked but I'm not yet forthcoming about it like I have been in the past. It is sad that I have gone so underground with this - I used to be the poster girl for depression. (Not literally, though I would be willing, ANTM has taught me well.)

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Hipster Little Mermaid

I live in Toronto - Hipsters are everywhere.
See more Hipster Ariel HERE.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Phase 1

I'm back on the diet. It is good; it worked last time and I'm sure it will work again. Over the years of trying various diets this is the only one that has ever really done anything. The main problem with it though is that it takes all the joy out of eating and food becomes almost a chore. It takes me a long time to eat because food becomes nothing to me, just fuel. It isn't that I don't like the food I need to eat it is more that I don't particularly enjoy it. I need more things in my life that make me happy and the choice to get back on the diet is robbing me of one of those things. I have to remember a quote from a friend, "Nothing tastes as good as being thin feels." (I don't know how true that is but it is worth another go at this.)

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

He Is Back Again

Oh the Old Spice Man is back... with puppies!!

Let's Talk

From an email forward ---

In an evening class at Stanford the last lecture was on the mind-body connection - the relationship between stress and disease.The speaker (head of psychiatry at Stanford) said, among other things, that one of the best things that a man could do for his health is to be married to a woman whereas for a woman, one of the best things she could do for her health was to nurture her relationships with her girlfriends. At first everyone laughed, but he was serious.

Women connect with each other differently and provide support systems that help each other to deal with stress and difficult life experiences. Physically this quality *girlfriend time" helps us to create more serotonin - a neurotransmitter that helps combat depression and can create a general feeling of well being. Women share feelings whereas men often form relationships around activities. They rarely sit down with a buddy and talk about how they feel about certain things or how their personal lives are going. Jobs? Yes. Sports? Yes. Cars? Yes. Fishing, hunting, golf? Yes. But their feelings? Rarely.

Women do it all of the time. We share from our souls with our sisters/mothers, and evidently that is very good for our health. He said that spending time with a friend is just as important to our general health as jogging or working out at a gym.

There's a tendency to think that when we are "exercising" we are doing something good for our bodies, but when we are hanging out with friends, we are wasting our time and should be more productively engaged-not true. In fact, he said that failure to create and maintain quality personal relationships with other humans is as dangerous to our physical health as smoking!

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Always Hating

From How I Met Your Mother, "Robin 101", Season 5 Episode 3
Written by Craig Thomas and Carter Bays

Ted: It's funny, when you date someone it's like you're taking one long course in who that person is and then when you break up all that stuff becomes useless. It's the emotional equivalent of an English degree.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Strange Offer

I got a text message from my cell phone carrier, Mobilicity. (They send me texts occasionally, which is usually fairly annoying. Also, interestingly even if I have my phone on silent the texts sent from them make a sound; I guess they are special and the rules don't apply for them.) Anyway, the message today said that they would offer free calls to Japan until April 2nd. Not that I have anyone to call there but it is nice to know that they have done this to make it easier for people worried about friends and family in Japan after the recent earthquake. Though Kristen had a good point; "I think most of the phone lines over there are down and not working anyway."

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

MRP Topic

I have a topic for my Major Research Paper. I'm going to look into Travel Blogs, using the theoretical base of Travel as Life Writing. I think this is a good topic for me - looking forward to it!!

Tuesday, 15 March 2011


This is from a school primer, it puts the English beside Latin to help students learn. I am not going to type out the Latin part since only Heather and a select few others would be able to read it. I have a hard time reading the English, which I am going to say is probably Middle English - 1600s or 1700s. I have turned the strange letter they use into the "s" that it is now. This is the punctuation that is there though, it really hasn't changed much. I can't remember how old the professor said this was, but it is old!

A School is a shop, in which Young Wits are fashtion'o to vertue, and it is distinguished into Forms. The Master, sitteth in a Chair; the Scholars, in Forms; he teacheth, they learn. Some things are writ down before them with Chalk on a Table. Some sit at a Table and write: he mendeth their Faults. Some stand and rehearse things committed to memory. Some talk together, and behave themselves wantonly, and carelessly; these are ravished with a Ferula and a Rod.

On one side of the page is the title "Schola." followed by a picture (wood engraving) of the inside of a school, followed by the English title "A School." The opposite page is split in two with the above passage appearing as the left column and the Latin next to it on the right. Next to some of the words or lines are numbers and these match little numbers included in the image. For example. beside the bad kids is a little "10" and the same number appears next to the part of the text that refers to them. The talkative children section is cute, but it is a toss up for my favourite line, either "he teacheth, they learn" or "he mendeth their Faults."

Monday, 14 March 2011

Why I Can't Spell

propose, proposed, proposing, proposes - verb - to put forward for consideration, discussion, or adoption; to suggest; to nominate; to offer a toast; to make known intention or purpose; to form or make a proposal - My friends proposed we all go on a ski trip; The Toronto mayor proposed a plan to destroy the TTC; Dave proposed to Steph; I proposed hypertext as my thesis topic; How do you propose I learn to spell?

proposal - noun - the act of proposing; something that is proposed; an offer of marriage - Everyone thought my proposal needed more research; The Toronto National Yacht Club is reviewing my proposal for membership; I just finished writing a proposal for another essay.

purposal - not a word

purpose - noun - an aim or a goal; a result or effect that is intended or desired; an intention - The purpose of my move to Toronto was to get my Masters in English; My OSAP loans are small but they serve a good purpose; Sometimes my life seems to lack purpose or meaning; I have started work again with a renewed sense of purpose.

purposed, purposing, purposes - verb - to intend or resolve to perform or accomplish; to propose as an aim to oneself - I've been purposing to work harder at school some time now; I have not purposed to misrepresent my life on Always Standing any way.

Friday, 11 March 2011

The House That Jack Built

This nursery rhyme was in one of my children's books growing up. I ran across it the other day in class, we were studying a nineteenth-century children's primer. The primer didn't have it in it but alluded to it. I had no idea that it was so old and wikipedia search shows that it was first published in 1755!! It is a cumulative tale style of nursery rhyme, so like The 12 Days of Christmas, it builds upon it each verse. I'm just putting the final verse here:

This is the horse and the hound and the horn
That belonged to the farmer sowing his corn
That kept the cock that crowed in the morn
That wole the priest all shaven and shorn
That married the man all tattered and torn
That kissed the maiden all forlorn
That milked the cow with the crumpled horn
That tossed the dog that worried the cat
That killed the rat that ate the cheese
That lay in the house that Jack built.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Found It

Item Lost: House keys
Time Lost: Yesterday afternoon
Last Place I Remember: Coat pocket
Place Found: By Kristen, under an envelope on the coffee table

3am Update

Amount of sleep last night: 2 hours
Anticipated sleep tonight: 3.5 hours
Number of 5 Hour Energy Shots: 3 in 2 days
Number of cups of coffee: 2
Roll-up-the-Rim wins: 0
Units of chocolate: 5
Units of starch: 1
Texts tonight with Taylor: 67
Books out of the Ryerson Library: 18
Books out of the UofT Robarts Library: 14
Books out of the UofT Scarborough Library: 1
Number of assignments finished: 2.5

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

A Light From The Heavens

You know in the movies when the clouds part and light shines down on the item that the hero is looking for and there is always that "aaaaaaaaaa" sound that accompanies it? Well, I had a moment exactly like that today. On my way back from campus I was trying to figure out how I was going to get all these little chores done that I had to do on my way home. My biggest concern was picking up some 5 Hour Energy Shots, but I was struggling to figure out where to find them and how to get there. I don't like the taste of coffee and it makes me feel sick, so when I need to stay awake I have always struggled, until JennB showed me these little things. I have always enjoyed the alertness that comes with energy drinks, but often they are large and taste terrible, these are tiny and taste fine. It is like a miracle drink, note the devine theme here, and I need some for this week. Anyway, as the escalator took me down into the AMC building at Young and Dundas I was pondering the question as to which store on my way home would sell them: Shoppers, Loblaws, Busy Bee... When suddenly the clutter of urban infrastructure dissipated as I descended screens, advertising, pipes, ducts, stairways, banners.... Then, lo and behold, right in my line of sight was a huge display in front of the small newspaper stand on my way to the subway, bright and orange and featuring all the flavours, including a new Extra Strength one that I'm excited to try. Cue the music, "aaaaaaaaaaa," the heroine has found what she was looking for.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

A Snow Effigy

Snow-Binx By The Birdfeeders Sitting In The Sand

I needed a break from marking and writing so decided to go for a walk, I'm at the cottage and it is nice to get out and wander along the road or beach. It had snowed last night, making some nice packing-snow. Instead of going for a walk my parents and I ended up making a snowcat - in honour of Binx. JennB is correct, there is no wrong way to grieve.

My family hasn't made a snow sculpture in years, I can remember being really young and making snowbunnies, a snowdragon, and at one point I think some Flintstone characters. We make things in the sand more often, sometimes together sometimes just me. Our work in sand is much better. When I was little our sandcastles were always epic, my mom was amazing at designing them which may come from her being British and having seen a number in real life, and my dad would bring piles of sand with the big shovel and dig huge moats. Working in sand is much easier than snow, as we discovered with this attempt to make a cat, it is not so good.

Still missing Binx but I'm trying to find ways to deal with it.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Bye Bye Baby Girl

After a tough week for a number of reasons, I had to drive home this weekend with Binx to have her put down. It was a bit of a dejavu. There has been so much kitty drama in the fall - from thinking she had had a stroke and would never walk again and we needed to put her down - to learning that cats don't have strokes and that she had broken her pelvis - then having her slowly get better - to having her confined in my parents enclosed shower so she could heal - to finally having her move to Toronto - to having a few more weird cat medical issues within the first few weeks she was at Rrunuv Bayit - to finally having her healthy.

However, I don't really know how it started but over the last month she has just started to fall apart. For the last few weeks she had been losing weight rapidly and I don't know if that has put strain on her pelvis or if she re-injured it but she was having difficulties walking. She spent all her time next to the radiator in the bathroom, didn't want to visit with people, wasn't eating very much, and just looked uncomfortable all the time.

In the fall I had been distraught at the idea of losing her but this time it was much better. After her pelvis injury she just seemed mad that she was unable to walk and she really did heal quite quickly from it and became a very happy kitty afterwards. This time she seemed unhappy, uncomfortable, and very much like she had given up. It was a much easier decision to make. Other events over the last couple of weeks have helped to keep it in perspective as well. She had a good life, was 18-19 and had been with me since I was 10, but she was in pain. It was very sad, but still a timely and necessary death.

I definitely cried a lot - before, during, and after. (Yes, I stayed with her when it happened.) I have kept her collar which I plan to put in a shadow box with some photos. I keep thinking, "Who am I going to use as the excuse for talking to myself now?" and "What will I blame scary nosies in the night on?" I'm trying not to let myself think about the other, more legitimate, ways I will miss her because it upsets me too much. She has been a part of my life for so long and I loved her so much. It was time but it was still so hard to let her go.

I miss you Binx, love you Baby Girl. RIP.

Photo by Stephanie Beach Photography

Friday, 4 March 2011

The Week

I have been gone for the week from Always Standing and probably will continue to be so over the weekend. (Ironically, I posted more when I was away for a week in Texas than I have since I have returned.) --- Currently there are no words. --- I am struggling to write and any chance I am able to I will spend on writing for school and not here. But, I promise to return, so please don't leave me, check back often and I will be posting again soon. (Or you could choose to 'follow' and it notifies you when I put a post up or something, I don't know how that works.)