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Thursday, 31 December 2009

Goodbye, 2009!

Well, there you have it. Another year very soon to be gone.

2009 was a pretty good year, all in all. I haven't done anything too exciting, I don't feel like anything really earth-shattering or soul-stirring has happened. But I was generally happy most of the time, and that's about all that matters.

I really feel like I should have more to say about 2009. It was a year that started with excitement and hope and change, and that actually happened to a certain extent. I guess I already wrote about that here, so I just don't want to repeat myself.

How's about this: here is my year in blog posts. Probably not really an accurate representation of the year, but the best I'm going to give you.

January:

February:

March:

April:

May:
(The good parts of May didn't get blogged. It was actually one of the better months!)

June:
(and employment!)

July:

August:

September:

October:

November:

December:

And that's that. Tomorrow: Resolutions!

I'm having some friends in tonight to ring in the new year, and since they're arriving in about an hour, I should start getting myself ready.

Happy New Year!

Monday, 28 December 2009

Best of 2009: Movie

So you may have noticed that I haven't done any of the Best of 2009s lately. To be honest, the list kind of fizzled out after a while - I mean, stationery of the year? Really? I understand that it's difficult to come up with something for every day. I'm sure I couldn't come up with a good list of 31 things to reflect upon over the past year. But stationery? Really? I was astonished, however, to find that 'movie' was omitted from the list. This one seems like a no-brainer to me. So I'm going to post about it anyway, because hey, this is my blog, and I don't have to follow someone else's list.

I have two best movies this year: one is the best new movie of 2009, the other is the best new-to-me movie of 2009.


Best new movie of 2009: Up

I saw this delightful animated picture with a couple friends to celebrate one of their birthdays. It was a humourous and adorable watch, and the story was absolutely wonderful. It was such a happy movie. The message really struck a chord with me: life is an adventure, and we ought to celebrate it as such.


Best new-to-movie of 2009: Harold and Maude

My roommate in first year recommended this 1971 film to me, but I never got around to seeing it until this summer. I am very glad that I did watch it, and I think that I appreciated it far more now than I would have two years ago. Another movie reminding me to really live and to enjoy life. Also, the soundtrack is exquisite: 9 wonderful tracks by Cat Stevens, a few of which really resonated with me, most particularly "Don't Be Shy" (imagine that!).


I would recommend either of these movies to anyone. They are both excellent, and well worth the time to watch them.
Received for Christmas: a copy of the newest issue of World Literature Today.

Realization: I will never, never, be a poet.

I want to do something big and crazy. I want to hop on a plane and go somewhere, just go, with no plans or worries or cares. It would be so un-me. I would probably have 12 panic attacks before I even got to the airport. But I just wanna be outta here. I want the world.

Sunday, 27 December 2009

The Sound of Music

The Sound of Music is one of my absolute favourite movies. I always forget this from one year to the next. Every December when it's on TV I watch it with my mother and remember why I love it.



What will this day be like? I wonder.
What will my future be? I wonder.
It could be so exciting to be out in the world, to be free
My heart should be wildly rejoicing
Oh, what's the matter with me?

I've always longed for adventure
To do the things I've never dared
And here I'm facing adventure
Then why am I so scared

A captain with seven children
What's so fearsome about that?

Oh, I must stop these doubts, all these worries
If I don't I just know I'll turn back
I must dream of the things I am seeking
I am seeking the courage I lack

The courage to serve them with reliance
Face my mistakes without defiance
Show them I'm worthy
And while I show them
I'll show me

So, let them bring on all their problems
I'll do better than my best
I have confidence they'll put me to the test
But I'll make them see I have confidence in me

Somehow I will impress them
I will be firm but kind
And all those children (Heaven bless them!)
They will look up to me

And mind me with each step I am more certain
Everything will turn out fine
I have confidence the world can all be mine
They'll have to agree I have confidence in me

I have confidence in sunshine
I have confidence in rain
I have confidence that spring will come again
Besides which you see I have confidence in me

Strength doesn't lie in numbers
Strength doesn't lie in wealth
Strength lies in nights of peaceful slumbers
When you wake up -- Wake Up!

It tells me all I trust I lead my heart to
All I trust becomes my own
I have confidence in confidence alone
(Oh help!)

I have confidence in confidence alone
Besides which you see I have confidence in me!

Friday, 18 December 2009

Christmas Canon - Trans-Siberian Orchestra

It makes me so happy that this was on the radio today.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Every year, it's the same thing...

Come Christmas break I'm going to go home and get sooo much stuff done that I want to do! I'll write a million stories and read thousands of books and spend time with friends and play piano and clarinet every day! And then I get home and watch tv and play computer games until my brain runs out my ears. I just don't understand me sometimes.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Allow me to elaborate...

I love my parents' cooking. I love baking all day. I love electric blankets. I love the smell of the wood room. I love the eleven and a half foot tall Christmas tree. I love the millions of Christmas decorations that we have. I love my advent calendar. I love snuggling with my cat. I love playing with my cat. I love the skylight. I love seeing trees, and I really love seeing stars. I love driving. I love not hearing traffic all day long. I love the smell of the air. I love worrying less about eating a specific thing before it goes bad, and not eating the same leftovers three days in a row, and having all the food I'm used to in the fridge. I love the Christmas dishes. I love snuggling up on the couch with a blanket. I love the large picture window.

I love home.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

I love home.

<3

Monday, 14 December 2009

In the home stretch

Christmas party went really well! I am so pleased. Definitely worth the amount of effort that went into it.

Could not get to sleep until really late last night.

Need to finish writing a paper in the next 7 hours.

Don't really want to.

But then I'll be done with this semester!

And am going to Clay Cafe afterward! :D

And home tomorrow. Yay home!

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Best of 2009: Change to the place I live

I have to say, the best change I made was living in a different place.

I loved living in res in first year. It was the best.

But last year? All my friends moved out, I got left behind, and I was too shy and anti-social to make new friends until it was getting close to the end of the year.

My floormates were less than ideal, and the people on the floor below me were mostly bros. Um, yuck.

The toilet on our floor broke about once every week or so.

And dealing with dining hall food two years in a row is more than should be asked of anyone, really.

But, come May, I moved into an apartment with two of my best friends. I love it here. This is a good place. I like the happy colours, I like having our own kitchen and our own furniture and eating what I want when I want. I even sort of enjoy walking to campus, exercise and fresh air are good things! I like barely being able to hear the neighbours, I like not having to follow campus rules, I like all of it.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Best of 2009: New Food

My favourite new food is definitely falafel.

A friend of mine had a falafel party for their birthday this summer. It was my first experience of it, and it was super-tasty. Sadly, I have only eaten it a few times since then.

Perhaps, a New Year's resolution: eat more falafel.

Friday, 11 December 2009

(

I have a bad habit, when I'm taking notes, of forgetting to close my parentheses.

I sort of worry that someday I'll forget to close an important set of parentheses and then I'll just live the whole rest of my life in a parenthetical aside without even realizing what I've done.

)

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Best of 2009: Album of the Year

What's rocking your world?


The Hazards of Love by The Decemberists.

I love everything about this album, and I'm going to leave it at that.


Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Best of 2009: Challenge

Something that really made you grow this year. That made you go to your edge and then some. What made it the best challenge of the year for you?


The real challenge I set for myself this year was to re-become someone I like being. I think this was a challenge at which I succeeded. Not to say there isn't still room for improvement, but I have come leaps and bounds from this time last year.

I like myself in high school. I wasn't perfect, nor was my life, but perfection is an impossibility. I was in general happy, and that is what counts. I was academically stimulated; I had two amazing groups of friends, who I saw every day; I participated in a variety of activities, all of which I loved; I was physically active; and so on.

Then I came to university. I never stopped being academically stimulated, but the rest certainly changed. First year, everything just stopped. I stopped doing anything extracurricular. I stopped getting any exercise or eating food that could possibly fall within the realm of "healthy," and as a result felt tired and gross all the time. On the one hand, I made another amazing group of friends. On the other hand, the majority of both my high school groups were in the city too, and one group I saw occasionally, the other... well, we made pretenses of keeping in touch, but that's about it. And there was the drinking. Every time we got bored, we defaulted to getting drunk. Or because it was a Monday/Friday and we always get drunk on Monday/Friday, so we had to get drunk on Monday/Friday. I do not like that lifestyle, and never want to live it again.

So I came home and had that one amazing summer. Then back to university, and first semester of second year was when things got really bad. I was the only one of my friends to stay in residence, and I a) am bad at making friends and b) didn't want new friends, I wanted my old friends back. It took me a very long time before I got to know anyone well enough to even feel comfortable sitting with them at meals on a regular basis. Of course, there was also the problem where I was a horrible friend and never made time to spend with my old friends. I still wasn't doing anything extracurricular, still wasn't taking care of myself physically. I got involved in bad relationship situations. I was absolutely miserable.

And then over Christmas break I decided that I was sick of it, and I was just going to make things better.

In 2009, I:

-wrote and directed a play in Fringe Festival
-performed a piece of music (with a friend) in front of a crowd. Twice!
-started work as my student union's council scribe
-moved out of residence into a house with two of my best friends, where I no longer eat things like "tater tot casserole" and have to walk a good 25 minutes to and from school now (and about the same for work over the summer)
-had a summer job that I loved, for an organization that I feel like does good work in the world, and even became friends with my coworkers
-learned to see the good parts of living in the city, instead of just the bad ones
-took swing dancing lessons ("learn to dance" is an item on my list of things to do in life, so this is more significant than one might think)
-wrote a senior's memoir
-took a workshop to help me get better at something I find difficult
-am slowly improving at being a good friend
-learned how to be happy

It hasn't always been easy. You know that anxiety I was talking about? It was hard for me not to quit swing dancing, or the memoir project, or Fringe, after the first meeting, because the first time is always so scary. But I convinced myself that it wouldn't be as bad the second time, and I made myself go back. In all cases, I am very glad I did.

It's been a good year. A hard year, at times. But a happy one.

In a daydream on a hill

I think I've become addicted to blogging. When I was doing NaBloPoMo, by the end I was tired of it and didn't bother with real posts. I was going to take a break, but then I found the Best of 2009 challenge. So I was going to only write on days that I liked the prompt. But I still feel compelled to write here. It's as though as soon as I didn't have to post every day, the idea of posting every day became a lot more interesting.

Anyway, things that are going on/coming up soon around here:

Two exams this week. The first, calculus, should be really easy. I love that I'm an arts student and by far my easiest course is my math class. But the other one (Witchcraft in early modern Europe) is going to be difficult - apparently this prof writes really hard exams, and there's just SO MUCH information. Blech.

A paper due next Monday that I have not started yet, have no interest in starting, don't even feel like reading through the topic list again because they're all going to sound just as lame the 5th time as they did the first.

We've got a Christmas tree! One of my roommates and I went out looking for one the last weekend of November, with no luck. We were pretty disappointed. It's one thing that's super weird about living in the city. Coming from the Christmas tree capital of the world, we're used to driving down the road until you find a tree farm, and have your pick of them. Not exactly an option within the city. So we figured that the grocery stores would have them, since they do at home (you don't buy them there, mind you, but they have them). Sobeys didn't have any, wasn't getting any, and suggested we go to the Forum. The Forum is way across town. Fine if you have a car. We are poor starving students. We do not have a car. Carrying a Christmas tree for what Google Maps says is a 45 minutes walk? Possible, but far from ideal. So we went to Superstore. They had four Christmas trees, all of which were too big and too expensive for us. We asked inside if they were getting any more and they said no, but told us that most years someone sets up to sell trees in their parking lot, so maybe check back the following week. This past Friday, we went back, and sure enough, there were trees for sale! We were so happy. The guy showed us one, and it was just right, and he said "this one's $20, but I'll give it to you for $15." Perfect! We carried it home, singing Christmas carols, and got wished an emphatic Merry Christmas by one fellow we passed. It's the prettiest little tree, and I love it.

A Christmas party on Sunday! I'm so excited. We're hoping to have a whole house full of people, and there's going to be food and music and cider and everything Christmassy. I'm heading out in a little bit to pick up gingerbread decorations, candy canes, and other food-like necessities. I love Christmas.

Also, if you don't already, go listen to A Fine Frenzy. I am in love. Haven't listened to anything else in about a week, no joke.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Om nom nom nom!

I don't have an eating problem.

...until I get stressed out or upset. Then I'm out to the kitchen to get a snack every hour or so.

My head aches, I should get a snack.

I feel tired, I should get a snack.

I'm crying, I deserve a snack.

I hate studying, I should have a snack.

Writing papers is dumb, I should have a snack.

And so on. Any excuse at all will do. I just have this need to constantly consume food, and I do not understand it. Food will not solve any of those problems, except on the rare occasion that I actually am tired because I need to consume some energy. So why do I continue to believe that stuffing my face with empty calories will somehow make me feel better?

I don't know. But my roommate just made cookies, and there's one out there calling my name, so if you'll excuse me...

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Best of 2009: Workshop or Conference

Was there a conference or workshop you attended that was especially beneficial? Where was it? What did you learn?


My small, cozy, everyone-knows-everyone university is very closely affiliated with a large, you're-a-number university. I like this system, because I get the community of the small school with the services of the large school.

One of these services is their Counselling Centre, which offers a variety of workshops each semester. They email out a list of them every time, but I've never really given it more than a cursory glance before. This year, something prompted me to actually read through it. Am I ever glad that I did!

I noticed they were offering a workshop to help people who had difficulty with public speaking. Boy oh boy, does that ever describe me. I am shy. I am nervous. I experience a lot of social anxiety. I find it difficult to speak to anyone who is not a fairly close friend, no matter what the context, so speaking to a group of relative strangers when there is nothing else to distract them is not something I am comfortable with. Normally, signing up for a workshop is not the kind of thing I would do; mostly because it would cause me too much anxiety. Which is what made this one such a good idea. Not to mention I was more than a little concerned about the 5 upcoming presentations I had...

So I signed myself up for it, figuring that the worst that could happen is it wouldn't be helpful and would be a waste of my time. The worst did not happen. It was probably one of the best uses of my time in recent memory.

Although it was advertised as being geared towards public speaking, it was mostly about anxiety reduction in general, with a little bit of work on public speaking skills thrown in. I use those anxiety reduction techniques all the time now. They helped me get through one presentation that I was particularly nervous about. They help me keep my heart from pounding every time I have to make a phone call. Heck, I use the relaxation techniques to help me get to sleep at night!

What was even more important than these techniques, though, were the connections I made with other people. There were eight of us in the workshop, and by the end of 5 workshops of an hour and a half each, I felt comfortable talking to these people and laughing and joking around. It never happens that quickly for me. That alone was a really good experience.

The workshop also reminded me that I am not alone. Everyone gets anxious sometimes. Those other 7 people? They get nervous too. We had to give a 2 minute presentation at each workshop session, and if I hadn't already known that they had public speaking anxiety, I would not have guessed it from watching them. Which made me realize that other people who seem confident are probably nervous about it too, an idea which was reinforced by talking about the workshop with other people. Someone who I perceive as extremely confident told me they get terrified when they have to do presentations. And my dad, MY DAD, who is, you know... father-like, and grown-up and unwavering and a semi-important government worker and has done a million presentations in his life, my dad told me that last year he had to give an important presentation and he got so nervous he thought he was going throw up. Knowing that other people get just as nervous when they have to do presentations makes me worry a little less about them judging me when I give a presentation, you know?

All in all, it was a wonderful workshop. I'm slowly reducing anxiety in my life, I met some new people, and I realized I'm not totally abnormal. These are all positive moves forward.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Best of 2009: Night Out

Did you have a night out with friends or a loved one that rocked your world? Who was there? What was the highlight of the night?


I don't do nights out very often. I'm just more of a stay-in sort of person. Going out tends to be loud, and expensive, and crowded; and then at the end of the night you always have that cold and tired walk home (probably in uncomfortable shoes, too!).

However, I am occasionally persuaded to go out, and sometimes it ends up being a pretty good time. This Halloween, one of my roommates and I went out to a pub just down the road. We saw the Mellotones play - a local jazz/funk cover band. They are absolutely excellent. We had the most wonderful time dancing the night away. It was an absolutely stellar night.

Friday, 4 December 2009

Best of 2009: Book

What book - fiction or non - touched you? Where were you when you read it? Have you bought and given away multiple copies?


Strangely, this is actually a difficult topic for me. Any other year of my life I'd have been like "Books?! I love books! I've read so many books this year I can't even count all the books I've read this year! How am I ever going to choose just one? Or even cut the list down to a reasonable length?"

This year? Kind of the opposite, actually. I barely read any books. I mean there were plenty of books I read for school. Most of those were okay, but none were stellar enough to be a favourite. In the winter semester I'm not sure I read any books that were purely for pleasure. This semester it's only been the ones for book club, most of which were re-reads, and the two that were new to me were not good enough to make "best book of the year."

So that leaves the summer. I know I read books this summer. I made good use of the library. But I can hardly remember any of what I read.

I remember bawling my eyes out over PS, I love you. I liked Sense and Sensibility, and the copy of The Undead and Philosophy that one of my roommates picked up for me was pretty neat.

The only one that really stands out for me at all is The Graveyard Book. And not that it struck some chord with me or made me see things differently or anything. It was just a) cute, and b) well-written. Which go a long way in a book's favour, but usually it takes something more than that to become a favourite.

2009: The year of bookfail.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Some cheese with that whine?

No interest in today's Best of 2009 topic (It's "article," I don't really read a lot of articles, and have neither the time nor the energy to write a satirical post about how important and influential the article "the" was for me this year. For the record, I did consider it, so I get some points, yeah?). Anyway, so instead of that, I'm whining. Yay.

I want:

-freshly-baked gingerbread cookies
-apple cider
-chocolate mint sticks
-a decadent breakfast
-to go dancing
-to be done this bloody semester already
-for today to be as quick and painless as possible (I have a paper due first class, three in-class exams, then finishing another paper that's due tomorrow)
-a pillow that is less flat
-hugs, lots of hugs. Not enough hugs going on in my life lately.
-ideas of what to give people for Christmas
-a Christmas tree!
-the abillty to transcribe piano music from listening to it
-singing skillz

Best of 2009: Restaurant Moment

Today's Topic: Share the best restaurant experience you had this year. Who was there? What made it amazing? What taste stands out in your mind?


To be honest, I'm not sure there is one single restaurant experience this year that stands out far and ahead of all the others. How about a slew of honourable mentions instead? Yes. Order is chronological, not win-ical.

Honourable Mention 1: One of my now-roommates, then out-of-town-friends came to visit for a weekend. We decided we should go out for brinner (breakfast for dinner), because breakfast is the best meal, after all (breakfast: kind of a theme for this post). I invited along some of my other friends, and during a Facebook chat conversation, spur-of-the-moment invited a co-worker that I didn't know that well, and he brought along his roommate too. We went out to the local Smitty's, but got there about 15 minutes before they closed and stayed anyway because we're sort of jerks. This makes the list because: a) throwing together a random mishmash of people worked out surprisingly well for me, and b) there's this hilarious cake story... (cake stories: also a recurring theme in this post). My co-worker had already eaten, so he mostly just came along for the trip. But when we walked in, he saw the waitress walk by taking a dessert to another table. He decided he wanted that, so when we were seated, he looked through the dessert menu and figured out which one it was. When his dessert arrived, however, it was not at all the thing he saw when we first came in! Upon further examination of the menu, someone else found a picture of what he had wanted. What was it called? Chocolate Confusion.

Honourable Mention 2: This year my school hosted an improv competition. By virtue of being friends with most of our improv team, my friends and I ended up tagging along to the party they had afterwards. Since I stuck around until way too late to walk home, my friends MM and DC lent me their couch for the night. The next morning we went out for breakfast at the Ardmore. This one makes the list because: a) I like those two! and b) I like the Ardmore. It's just this laid back breakfast-diner place that feels cozy and homey. And they serve pancakes the size of my head.

Honourable Mention 3: So I have these friends that are kind of... insane, for lack of a better word. Two of them are in my year at university, and one's a year behind us. The two in my year were always talking about this local Turkish restaurant that they sometimes go to, and how good the food is, and how attractive the waitresses are. The third friend, who is equally as attractive-women obsessed, had been wanting to go to this place all year, so one day during the exam period, he finally convinced the other two that they should all go. I happened to be there at the time, I was invited along as well, and in fact it was hinted that they wouldn't go if I didn't go (they're just sane enough to recognize the fact that they can't be trusted to behave themselves in public; they recognize the need for my calming influence). Anyway, while three of us were waiting for the fourth to show up, the (then-)enemy happened along and got invited as well. There was a serious lack of attractive waitresses, but no shortage of ridiculousness. One of the friends convinced me that it would be a good idea to buy a whole cake because it would be cheaper than by the slice. He managed to bargain it down from $60 to the low price of just thirty-five dollars! Still a bad, though. Did not need that much cake. Fortunately, that issue resolved itself with him paying for the cake and me not paying for the cake, which was really the ideal outcome. This makes the list because: It was absolutely hilarious. No written words can do justice to the comedy of that night. (also, it holds a special place for me because it set the wheels in motion for the then-enemy to become the now-boyfriend).

Honourable Mention 4: My dad is kind of important in the government. Not, like, super-important, certainly not elected-official important, but, ya know, manager-level, been-in-charge-of-some-rather-important-projects kind of important. Anyway, when he finished his last project and moved to a different position, the people who had worked on the project with him got together and gave him a gift certificate for a family meal to a super-classy restaurant down home (super-classy by rural kid standards; I'm sure I don't mean the same thing that rich city folk would mean by super-classy). This was made use of over the summer, when my brother and his girlfriend were home. It was the first and only time I've ever eaten in an upscale restaurant, so it was an interesting experience. The food was delicious and abundant. This makes the list because: a) It was really neat to live the rich and famous lifestyle for a couple of hours. I could not in good conscious live the life of luxury all the time, even if it were an option financially, but for one night, it was nice; and b) sometimes I forget just how much I like my family, and it's nights like that one where we all really come together that I remember how great they are.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Best of 2009: Trip

I know, I know, I promised a break, and here I am back already. But the 20something blog posted this Best of 2009 Challenge, and I could not resist. I don't see myself doing all the prompts, but I'll post something up for the most interesting ones, anyway.

So the topic for December first is the best trip of 2009. For me, this has to be the secondish annual backwoods camping.

Four friends and I packed ourselves off to Kejimkujik National Park for three days. The hour plus drive involved the usual "funmobile" dance party, plus a stop at the General Store for the boys to buy beef jerky and the girls to sort through the shelf of trashy romance novels, hopefing to find a gem of good reading amongst them (alas, no such luck). Upon our arrival at the park, we hiked the three kilometers into the woods to get to our lovely isolated campsite.

We spent Friday and Saturday setting up camp, cooking corn on the cob and ridiculous amounts of crazy stirfry, swimming across the lake (sort of a habit of ours), and taking twenty questions to new levels of meta-ness (I had them stumped on "Tuesday" for hours).

We also suffocated in our ridiculously stuffy tent, and wrote a long and random entry in the campsite log (a journal stored in the outhouse for every site visitor to add to). We did not get eaten by any bears, or see any live turtles crossing the road (it only takes two years to stock up a whole host of backwoods camping in-jokes).

Sunday, however, was a whole other kettle of fish. See, there was this hurricane coming our way... I believe that by the time it hit us, it was downgraded to a tropical storm, but it was still pretty intense. Unfortunately, the rain started before we had quite managed to get everything packed up, so we had to deal with wet gear. And by the time we hiked the whole way out, we were very soaked ourselves!

Already being wet, we decided that it was an ideal time to go for an afternoon swim, which we followed up with a meal of bannock, fruit, and cheese. We also got some tourists to take a group photo of us all looking like drowned rats.

So, why was it the best trip of the year? A whole bunch of reasons. It was one of the few times this summer that I got out of the city, and not only did I escape to the rural area of home, but got all the way to the peace and beauty of the backwoods. Hiking 3 km while carrying 30-35 pounds of gear on your back is a serious ego boost (If I can do this, I can do anything!). I loved the pure adventure of the weekend: I love roughing it, I love challenging myself, I love being able to say that I went backwoods camping in a hurricane. I love everything about camping; tents and swimming and campfires and camp food and actually being able to see the stars and just EVERYTHING. But the main reason why it was the best trip: I love those kids. No one could ask for better friends, and having a whole weekend together all to ourselves is just the best thing. :)

Monday, 30 November 2009

Day the Last

Today is the final day of NaBloPoMo. I did it! Huzzah.

So the quality of posts wasn't consistently great, but, on the other hand, I did write a few good ones. And if I hadn't been posting every day I probably would have posted about 5 pieces of filler and no good ones, so probably a win over all?

I wish the people who run these monthly challenge things would smarten up and do them during the summer. Like, the first year of ScriptFrenzy, when it was in June, that was so ideal. And then they changed it to April. And this is in November. And NaNoWriMo is in November. What the heck? Even September and January would be decent months, if you absolutely couldn't do summer. The world is just so anti-student.

Also, apparently grocery stores in the city don't sell Christmas trees. Um, what? At home, all the grocery stores sell Christmas trees. You don't buy them there, mind you, but they sure as heck sell them. But our local Sobeys doesn't have any, and Superstore had four that were too big an "weren't getting any more, we're amazed we even have those ones, we never sell real trees." Boo, hiss. So where does one buy a tree in the city, then? Hmph.

Ah well, we've still got two weeks to figure it out.

Anyway, now that I don't have to post every day, I'll be taking a break for a bit - two papers due and three exams to write, all on Thursday, so I'm going to go panic and freak out, because I am nowhere near being prepared for such a thing.

Much love, more soon(ish).

Sunday, 29 November 2009

ChristmasChristmasChristmas

I like Christmas. I like Christmas a lot.

Friday night was the third annual Christmas Miracle potluck. Christmas Miracles are the best kind of miracles.

Yesterday one of my roommates returned from a visit home with Christmas decorations. We now have garland on top of our counters. Which feels like home.

We're hopefully getting a tree today. I can't wait.

Christmas party two weeks from today.

Also, Christmas music? The best.

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Only 3 more days of me making cop-out filler posts!

Dislike: rain

Like: friends

Dislike: not getting anything done

Like: sleeping

Dislike: the internet

Like: the internet

Friday, 27 November 2009

Today was going to be the day I made a real post again, but alas it is not to be. Perhaps tomorrow.

Dishwasher is still broken.

Homework is still largely unfinished.

Christmas party plans are coming along nicely.

Too much rain. I think we'll soon be washed away if this continues.

Nothing else to report.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

One step forward...

I finally feel remotivated. I'm not sure whether it was that I got bored enough to start working again, stressed enough to start working again, or if finally giving in to my cravings for greasy food was just the kick start I needed, but one way or another I'm starting to make some progress on one of the many papers due in the very near future.

In other news, our dishwasher has stopped working. I know that I lived most of my life in a house that didn't have a dishwasher, and I know that many many many people in the world have way worse problems. But damn, it sucks. Doesn't it know that it's installed in an apartment full of university students with exams around the corner? We've got no time for dishwashing, dear machine, that's supposed to be your job!

A week from today I have two papers due and write three exams. Freakin' out.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

This week is not going so well. You can probably tell from my posting habits.

This blogging every day thing is not going so well for me any more. It's becoming a chore. However, since there are only five days left in November after this, I will persevere a little longer. And I guess it's still better than not posting ever, because at least a few times this month I have put something up that is actually something I wanted to write about and get out there. So I guess a bonus over all.

Plus, blogging gives me an excuse to put off things like essay-writing just a little bit longer. Woohoo!

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

November Blahs

I have felt so unmotivated to do anything remotely productive the last few days.

It's that November slump that seems to hit every year.

I'm gonna break out of it; starting today I'm going to get stuff done.

No more putzing around on the internet.

No more staying up late without a good reason.

Homework, friends, or sleep. Those are the options.

On the bright side, only 3 more weeks...

Monday, 23 November 2009

This is all I've got for you...

Someday soon, I'll write a real post, I promise.

In the meantime, go listen to this cover of Katy Perry's "Hot'n'Cold" by Los Colorados.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

:)

Yesterday, I spent FIVE HOURS shopping. This is unheard of. Normally I hate shopping. However, it's a lot better when I just wander around with one of my BFFs and mostly go to stores that look fun and spend way more time walking than actually shopping and end the day with a stop for delicious pastry-type things.

Then, we went to the Christmas parade with a couple of our other friends, followed by dinner at our favourite Chinese restaurant, followed by boardgames.

Very good day. Very good.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

The Things on My Walls

A little glimpse of the world in which I live...


The poster in the middle is something I won. In grade 10 my school had a Wellness Day, and at the women's version, everyone attended three workshops of their choice. At the end of each workshop, they drew names to give away a couple small prizes. I won something at each of my workshops: this poster, what quickly became favourite book, and a t-shirt. The images around it are from National Geographic. They're actually pictures my mom had up in her room when she was in university. We moved the summer before I started university, and in the process of packing she came across them, and I decided to keep some of them for my walls.



These guys were here when we moved in. I thought it was pretty neat, so I left them up.


These were a present for my birthday last year. They glow in the dark! And it makes me so happy that they include Pluto.



This is a sword. It came from the dollar store, and has been the cause for several sword fights. It didn't fit in the storage spaces under my bed, so it got put on the wall.


A town near home holds a Scarecrow Festival every year. My friends and I went all throughout junior high and high school, and always in costume, just for the heck of it. There were little kidgames there, and in grade 8 or 9 I won this from the fish pond.



This is my organizing wall, right above my desk. Four months of calendars; yearly, semesterly, monthly, and weekly to do lists; class schedule; sticky note reminders; and a fortune from a fortune cookie that says "you'll accomplish more if you start now" (advice every university student needs!).

Friday, 20 November 2009

Faster, Higher, Stronger

So remember the other day when I said I might be going to see the Olympic Torch that night? Yeah, that didn't happen; there was too much homework to be done. It came back through this morning though, so I got up bright and early to go check it out.

I'm not quite sure how I feel about the Olympics. Sure, I like internationalism and the feeling of community and togetherness and being part of something bigger. And I like rooting for the underdog, so being form Canada this works out well for me.

I just can't help but feel that there might be something better that those billions of dollars could be going toward? I think that feeding the hungry or something like that might make an even bigger feeling of worldwide community and togetherness.

I know this has been said by many people many times before me, and it will likely never change, but it still irks me.

Seeing the torch was still pretty awesome.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Growing Up

I hate growing up.

It's funny, when you're a kid, you just want to grow up so you can be in charge and not have to listen to adults anymore. But the older I get, the more I wish there was still some adult telling me the right thing to do.

Growing up is hard. I always expected life would get easier as you got older and figured things out, but I'm starting to realize that's not true. At work this summer, the two ladies I worked with told me that the 20s were a hard age, and that so far the 30s were even harder. I don't think it ever gets easier, or at least not for a long time. And that stinks.

So far, they've been right. Twenty only happened to me not long very ago, but so far, it's been hard. Nineteen was pretty tough for me too, but this twenty thing is sorta lame. I'd take last year's problems any day.

Ah well. Not much I can do about it.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Another Cop-Out Post!

Okay, so:

Yesterday was the best day I've had in a while: email form a muchly missed friend who is away, went on a field trip, had one class cancelled, another prof prof brought cookies and and a picture book for us, went to a lecture followed by a reception which resulted in going to class drunk, then had a wonderful visit.

Today, decent, I don't know, sorta lame in comparison.

Maybe going to see the Olympic Torch tonight, I think that would be fairly neat.

Have a presentation tomorrow that I'm nowhere near ready for, so I'm gonna go do that.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Didn't have time to post this morning, am otherwise occupied now. Sorry!

Monday, 16 November 2009

Addictions

Ones I currently have:

Chocolate, of any variety.


Those first two are currently eating dangerously into my homework time. And my blogging time. Sigh. I'm two hours behind where I meant to be today, and also intended to produce a more substantial post today. Whoops.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Blog Swap: Deuce Baggins, Private Eye - Chapter 3

As part of NaBloPoMo, I'm taking part in a blog swap today. This post comes from Johnny Pez, and is the third chapter of his story "Deuce Baggins, Private Eye." Links to the first two chapters can be found at the bottom of the post, I would recommend checking them out! My post for today can be found over at his blog (a story I wrote some time ago that never made it on here), and a list of all the participants can be found here.




When Miss Rushlight's box had mostly burned away I reached into the fireplace with a pair of tongs and pulled out the small metallic object shining in the fire. I set it down on the flagstone in front of the fireplace and knelt down to have a good look.

It was a gold ring.

I picked away the smouldering, blackened bits of the box and threw them back into the fire. When I noticed some glowing red lines etched into the ring I leaned close to get a good look and got my first surprise. I expected the ring to radiate heat after being in the fireplace for an hour, but it didn't. I gingerly reached out to touch it and found it as cold as ice. I picked it up and studied the glowing lines.

Someone who had studied calligraphy under a master had etched words into the inner and outer surfaces of the ring in gorgeous, flowing Fëanorian script. The language was unfamiliar, but it was an ugly one. Trying to speak it would be like trying to gargle brier thorns.

Surprise number two came quickly. While I was staring at it, the glowing red words faded away, and I was left with what looked like a plain gold ring. I proceeded to utter the most vile curse word in my formidable arsenal of profanity:
"Magic."
Varda's crown, but I hated magic. It was guaranteed to make a simple case complicated and a complicated case impossible. If' I'd known what Miss Rushlight was getting me mixed up in, I would have told her what she could do with her "parcel".

And the worst thing about magic is that it's sticky. Now that I had accepted Miss Rushlight's money and taken possession of her "parcel", I was bound to it. I could leave it here on the floor in this room in the Green Dragon and walk away, and as sure as Yavanna made little green apples, within a week it would find its way back into my life, bringing ten times as much trouble as before.

I was trapped, but good. The only thing to do was to deal with the mess I had been handed the best way I could. With a sigh, I picked up the ring and slipped it into the pocket of my vest. The damned thing already seemed as heavy as a horseshoe; I could feel it weighing me down as I stood up.

I grabbed my trenchcoat where it had been drying by the fire and put it on. It was time to go see Bywater's resident expert on magic.

It was time to see Doc Gandalf.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Not sure quite what to post today.

I'm at home for the weekend. Doing homework, snuggling with my cat, eating delicious food my parents keep feeding me.

Plans for the day: Go for a walk; do more homework; play with cat; maybe go see 2012 tonight. Pretty chill day, I'm thinking.

Tomorrow I'm doing a blog swap, so get excited, yay!

Friday, 13 November 2009

Things I Hate About the Education System

1. University is really not supposed to be about getting a job, yet that's what it's turned into. It's supposed to be about learning and acquiring knowledge, not skills. So many people go around saying "ugh, I can't believe I have to take this stupid required course, this has nothing to do with my degree, this won't get me a job, wah wah wah." Shut up. That's not the point. If you want a job, go to community college (Disclaimer: I don't have anything against community college or anything. I think it's great. I'm just saying that community college and university have different purposes). If you're not at university to learn and broaden your understanding of life/the world/things in general, you're in the wrong place. Get out.

2. It's too stressful. And no, that's not just me being a pansy. One of my profs was just talking about this yesterday, actually. Even she said that since we are there to learn, learning should be interesting and fun. And honestly, I find the knowledge is more likely to stick with me if, like she's doing, we have the exam questions a week in advance and can think about them over that time; rather than studying for a day and writing a 2-hour test. Less stress = happier students = better learning environment.

3. It's too focused. You have to limit yourself to studying at most two main subject areas, and then you can get about 4 credits-worth of brief glimpses of other sorts of things. I want to know about everything. We study and study and study so in-depth and so narrowly that we have no context of how it relates to anything else. There needs to be some breadth there too. And I hate hate hate that you have to be an "arts student" or a "science student" or a "commerce student" or whatever else. Why? What would be so bad about mingling them and letting someone major in, say, Physics and French? Why can't we do that? It's a stupid rule. Just stupid.

4. Research and teaching should not necessarily go hand in hand. I've heard stories, from both students and profs, about profs who actually told their classes that they hate students and only taught because they had to in order to get the research position. Yeah, I'm sure students will be learning a lot from profs like that. I understand that it's difficult for research to be done outside of the university setting, but I think the universities should have different positions. Research profs, and teaching profs. They can hire a certain amount of each, and if someone wants to do both, fine, they can apply for both and get hired maybe for one or the other, or maybe for both. And if someone wants to do one but not the other, they just apply for that position, and you don't end up with profs who hate students.

5. It's too expensive. But so are most things.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Oh, my love, it was a funny little thing

Another quick post today, sorry. I just don't have the time or the energy or the focus for anything more substantial. Something better tomorrow, I PROMISE.

If it makes you feel any better, I started to write out something funny that happened today, but by the time I gave all the context, and it was sort of one of those things that you need to be able to hear the expressions in the voice... just wasn't funny in that format. Sorry.

So that I'm not leaving you with nothing, though, here's a youtube video of a song I like. It's called "Bridges and Balloons" by the Decemberists. It is apparently a cover, and the original was done by Joanna Newson, but I've never heard her version or even heard of her, and I love the Decemberists, so this is the version you're getting. Enjoy!

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Remembrance.

It amazes me how disrespectful people have been towards Remembrance Day this year.

I'm not sure if it's a "this year" thing, or if it's a city thing, but either way: It's awful.

Hardly anyone has been wearing a poppy lately. One of my roommates has been keeping a rough count, and estimates that only about 1 in 6 people off-campus wear poppies, and on-campus the number is more like 1 in 10. At home, there would be more like 1 in 10 NOT wearing poppies, if the number was even that big.

My peers disappoint me. The majority of my friends wouldn't come to the Remembrance Day ceremony this morning because they had other things to do. Like sleeping, or homework. I'm sorry, but thousands of people your age gave up their LIVES for this country, and thus for YOU. I'm pretty sure you can give up AN HOUR to go honour them. In the words of Terry Kelly, it's a pittance of time.

The worst, though, is the amount of people that use it as an excuse to go party. "Oh, we don't have class on Wednesday, it won't matter if I'm hungover, let's get trashed Tuesday night!" No, no, no, no, NO! That is not appropriate. That is disrespectful. That is disgusting.

At the ceremony this morning, no one sang. I can understand not singing the hymns. I personally do not know all the words to "Oh God our help in ages past" off the top of my head, so I can sympathize with you on that one. HOWEVER. O Canada. The national anthem. Not one voice raised in song. Not one mouth opened in support of this nation. Not one. What?

I've been trying and trying to come up with explanations for this phenomenon. I have a few, but none of them seem like justification to me.

So Halifax is a university town. There's a young population. Our generation is further removed from the realities of war, don't know people who gave their lives, blah blah blah. I can see where you're coming from on that one, but no. I don't think a separation of time lessens the sacrifice.

I was thinking that maybe it's because there's less of a community connection to the legion in Halifax? Around home, I could tell you where just about any of the legion halls are. Community events and that sort of thing frequently list the legion as a sponsor. Halifax? Legion hall? No clue! And everything is sponsored by The Bounce and The Chronicle Herald. So maybe that's part of it? I don't know.

And the other thing I was thinking of is the current wars: Afghanistan and Iraq. Normally you would expect the fact that there's a war going to make people more thankful for veterans. But I know hardly anyone that supports those two wars. So maybe that's somehow skewing their view on the World Wars? I think you'd have to be severely uninformed to not be able to see the difference between the two situations, though.

Whatever the reason, I think it's a terrible state of affairs.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

10000 words

Tuesdays are loooooong days. I leave home at 9:30 a.m. to walk to campus. I have class from 10-11:30, workshop from 11:30-1:00, class from 1:00-4:00, go to the library to do homework from 4:00-6:30, have class from 6:30-9:30, and get home around 10:00. I am tired. So, today, I'm posting some photos. I took these around my neighbourhood yesterday. Cities are dumb in that you can't get a decent photo for all the cars and power lines. But a few of them turned out alright, I suppose.


This is, more or less, what you see when you leave my apartment.


A view of the neighbours' back yard. I love it when the sky is blue blue blue like that. It makes me feel like the line in Regina Spektor's song Oedipus - "The sky'd be so big that it broke my soul."

Some berries in our yard.


This Bubble Tea Shop is just around the corner from us, and I think it's cute. I've never actually had bubble tea. I keep meaning to go, but, I don't know, I just don't. Maybe "first experience of bubble tea" would make for good NaBloPoMo fodder. :)

The mailbox of the people who live a few doors down from us. I had never noticed this before - but to be fair, I very very rarely go in that direction.


Exactly my point about the power lines. Otherwise a very pretty church, just up the road.

The view from our back yard into some neighbours' back yards.

And again.

A berry. Not sure what kind of tree these are from (some kind of coniferous), but they always remind me of our Lunenburg house. There was an enormous tree like this by the corner of the house. We decorated it with outdoor Christmas lights every year. It had these kinds of berries, and when we were kids my brother and I would mix them into our "Indian paint" to give it a reddish colour. Until mom found out and told us to be careful with strange berries...


Monday, 9 November 2009

My problem.

So here it is. My problem with blogging. It's not that I don't have ideas. It' not that I don't have things to talk about. It's (usually) not that I can't find the right words to express them. Nope.

The problem is, all of my ideas are too interrelated. When I start thinking about what to write, my thoughts on education pass through a rant about politics to end up at a discussion of religion. And maybe that's not such a bad thing; but if I wrote everything I wanted to say about all of that, I would be churning out blog posts 12 pages long!

As frustrating as that can be when it comes to blogging, in other areas of life I'm really glad that's how things work. I love it when things I learn in math relate to things I learned in Foundation Year, and when what we talk about in French Lit is just like that other thing we talked about last week in my Canadian Studies class. I think that's the best.

My grade 10 history teacher (coincidentally my favourite teacher ever) had murals covering the walls of his classroom - Napoleon and Marie-Antoinette, to name a few. The door, however, was the best of all. It was was divided off by thick black lines into smaller sections of random shape and size. These sections were painted in all different colours. Over top of this was painted a tree, spreading its branches through these different sections. At the top was the title "Consilience."

Consilience is the idea that all areas of knowledge are interrelated, and dependent on one another. They're not separated out into these different blocks of knowledge where you can know everything about one subject with absolutely no knowledge of the others. It just doesn't work that way. Everything, everything is connected in some way or another.

This would be an ideal springboard to jump into some of my thoughts on education, but I think I'll leave it at this for now, and try to separate education into an independent post for another day.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Seasonal

I love fall. I love everything about fall. I love the look of leaves coating the ground, and the delightful crunchy noise of stepping on them. I love the colours. I love orange and red and yellow and brown. I love pumpkins. I love Halloween and Thanksgiving. I love the temperature of fall. I love the way the air smells. I love it.

But I kind of like this in-betweeny period as fall changes to winter too. I like the first morning that you get up and see snow outside your window. As soon as it hits, Christmas music is playing pretty much constantly. As I mentioned yesterday, my roommates and I have already started planning a Christmas party over a month in advance. Yesterday, I had a Secret Santa draw with another group of friends, and our gracious hostess served Christmas cookies.

I'm still sad to see fall go, though... my crunchy leaves are all wet and soggy now.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

It's been a bit of a rough week, actually not just for me but for a lot of the other people I know, which made it even worse. Yesterday was just the sort of day I needed to get cheered up and back in the swing of things.

I woke up to find that the first snow of the year had fallen. I'm not ready for snow that lasts just yet, but I do like the first snow, because it's so pretty! Plus then it's okay to listen to Christmas music. :)

I got quite a bit of work done in the morning/afternoon, so this week coming is looking like it won't be too bad.

Between getting work done, I went to math class, which was excellent. My prof tends to give us some "life advice" on occasion. Yesterday this was "take care of yourselves and don't die because it will be upsetting to other people" and "it's important to keep up with the news." I love that first one; I was considering writing it in my day planner with the rest of my math homework.

After my productive afternoon in the library, I headed to the Wardroom for Early Happy Hour. I saw quite a few friends that I haven't seen in some time, which was great. I realized that I hadn't really seen non-roommate friends in over a week, and had barely even seen my roommates, since we'd all been shut in our rooms studying. So it was really nice to relax and talk and catch up and laugh.

Then I came home and cooked up the fajitas that my mother had sent in to us (I love my parents!). And then had cupcakes, and happened to start talking about Christmas, and decided to have a Christmas party and spent all evening planning it and playing Christmas music on keyboard/guitar.

Plans for today: reprise of pancake day Saturday, clean room, see more friends I haven't seen lately, go swing dancing, chill for the evening, get another good night's sleep. This is the first weekend in three weeks that I haven't been crazy-busy, so I intend to appreciate the down-time while it lasts.

Friday, 6 November 2009

How do you know someone?

How do you know when you know someone? How do you tell? There are just so many ways of knowing people.

Sometimes I feel like I barely know some of my friends. I know nothing about their past, or in some cases (actually, more cases than is probably right) even what they've been up to lately. But I can tell you pretty much everything they like and dislike, their opinions on many matters, or predict what their response will be in just about any situation.

Other people are the exact opposite. I can tell you everything about their life, but I feel like I barely know them.

And then there's that whole other issue of feelings. I can hardly ever figure out how people are feeling, unless of course they are displaying strong signs of emotion. I can totally figure out really excited or really happy or really sad or really angry. But for the more subtle things, I just can't seem to get in their heads and figure it out. Maybe this has something to do with the fact that everyone tells me they have a hard time reading me? I don't know.

Anyway. My point is. How do you know when you know someone? What is it? What defines "Yes, I know this person well and we are close friends!" (or very well-known enemies, as the case may be) as opposed to "I know some stuff about this person but we are really just acquaintances!" Sometimes I have a hard time telling.

And then I guess there are also other times, where it's like "I know nothing about this person's life and I don't really know anything about their thoughts or feelings, but we've had some shared experiences that were a pretty good time, so I feel like I know them anyway." What's the deal?

I'm involved with a society at King's called the Memoir Project (mayhaps I will write more about that later). Part of it involved a writing workshop from a couple of the Journalism professors. One of them was talking about the way we know people in different contexts, which I found a very interesting idea. That we only know someone in their context as "so-and-so the friend" or "so-and-so the student" or "so-and-so the shy person at the back of the room," but they all have these other contexts that we don't know them in, like "so-and-so the daughter" or "so-and-so the employee" or "so-and-so the soccer player" or whatever the case may be. You know?

How can you possibly know someone in all of their contexts? It seems like you would have to be awfully involved in their life to know all the facets of them. And once you know them in one context, how can you break out of that to be able to see them in all those other, different contexts, without having that one interfere? I guess ideally you would want to merge all those different contexts and know them as one complete whole, from all the different angles. But I have to question the extent to which that is even possible.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

NaBloPoMo!

So I discovered, after a very tiny bit of looking (yeah, one google search, whatevs), that there is indeed a thing called NaBloPoMo (national blog posting month) and that although you can do it whenever, November is a common time to do it. Apparently I am on top of these fads without even knowing it!

On a related note to things that happen in the month of November and have acronyms and involve writing... if this blog post/day thing works out for me, I'm going to have to do a word count on all of them and see what it is. Maybe I could actually handle NaNoWriMo or ScriptFrenzy during university. Maybe? I would like to.

Anyway, today's post is more of a post for the sake of posting than a post for the sake of saying something. I have things to say, I swear! It's just... I'm so tired. I'm done. The past three weeks have been crazy busy for me, and my personal life is getting pretty stressful lately and yesterday was just the end of my energy. I am burnt out.

So a boring post for tonight. I think I need to get into the habit of posting in the morning, when I usually feel a) more energetic and b) more positive. And then you can actually read some of my more interesting and coherent thoughts instead of just this jumble of mess I usually force on you. Huzzah!

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Ici, on parle français... parfois.

Sometimes I struggle with expressing myself in English. Oh, sure, I know how grammar works (most of the time), and my syntax is good (usually) and my vocabulary is larger than the average bear's (although I rarely demonstrate that fact). But the language can seem so cold sometimes. Our idiomatic expressions just don't do it for me, I guess.

French, now... there's a language! I struggle and stumble, but some of the expressions just make me smile every time I hear/read them. For example:

Il pleut comme une vache qui pisse (It's raining like a pissing cow) - You just don't get that in English, ya know? Much better descriptor than "raining cats and dogs."

Heureux comme un poisson dans l'eau/comme un oiseau dans l'air (Happy like a fish in water/like a bird in the air) - I guess I just never saw what was so happy about clams. This works so much better for me.

La vie me sourit (life is smiling at me) - What a lovely way to say that all is going well for you! This is exactly how I feel on good days.

Avoir le coeur gros (to have a large heart) - And this is exactly how I feel on bad days. It means "to be sad, real sad" and that's just how I feel... like everything's all stored up in my heart and it's gotten too big and it might burst. I know that we say things like "with a heavy heart" which is sort of the same but, I don't know, for me the feeling is more volume than mass.

Loin des yeux, loin du coeur (far from eyes, far from heart) - Equivalent to our "out of sight, out of mind" but just so much more poetic. Heart > mind. Oh snap, mind.

And, a personal favourite of mine: Peigner la girafe (paint the giraffe) - It means you're doing useless work. I don't know, it just makes me so happy to think that painting a giraffe is considered the epitome of uselessness. Also the image makes me laugh every time. :)

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

I am an albatross

So my search for new music has ended successfully.

I feel almost guilty for liking music that is apparently 'in' at the moment, but Owl City. Really really good. Happiest music ever. I love happy things. :)

Very quick post tonight because it's been a very long day and I'm very tired, but something more substantial should be coming at you tomorrow.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Things I Learned About Nightlife This Weekend

1. Do not take jackets. Freeze on the way there/home. It will be worth it to not have them hinder your dancing.

2. Do not take purses. Wear something with pockets instead. Purses, like jackets, get in the way.

3. Do not where strapless dresses if you intend to dance. No matter how well they fit and how certain you are that they won't actually fall down, they are not worth the bother of worrying about them falling down anyway.

4. Age differences of about twenty years will not necessarily deter someone from persistently trying to dance with you. Even after you've said no several times.

5. Learn to live with the reality of people being in your personal space.

6. Don't worry about being in other people's way; they're not worried about being in your way.

7. Talking to strangers sometimes goes pretty alright. Don't be so scared of it.

8. The best way to learn effective and socially accepted techniques for crowd-maneuvering, stranger-talking, etc. is to observe how others do it.

9. Going out can be fun. Maybe don't spend so much time at home.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Halloween

Halloween is sort of a weird holiday, you know?

I think because it changes so much as you grow up. Christmas, for me, has always been about togetherness and about traditions - there has to be certain music and certain food and certain activities, and they're always the same. It was never about presents for me, at least not since I was very very young. Thanksgiving, always a nice meal with the family. Doesn't change. Easter, same deal, plus the added bonus of chocolate.

Halloween, though? Different all the time. As a kid, you've got to have the perfect costume. You hope for perfect weather to go trick-or-treating, which of course hardly ever happens, and suddenly your perfect costume is ruined by those mittens you have to wear... You have the obligatory 'dump out all your candy and trade with your friends.' It's such a happy holiday, but can be so easily ruined - rainstorm on the wrong night, you get all orange suckers and no one wants to trade their reds and purples for them - and bam, you're in tears.

Then you hit junior high, and all of a sudden you've got to deal with the preteen angst of being way too cool for this shit. Of course, if you're my friends and I, you don't care and go out anyway, and listen to all the adults say "aren't you a little old for this?"

By the time you get to high school, costumes are cool again, and you can totally have Halloween parties instead of trick-or-treating. But there's still the issue of finding the right costume - original, but not too difficult to make/find, and recognizable - nothing worse than having everyone ask what you're supposed to be. And then you need to either get invited to a party or host a party - so complicated.

And then you hit university, and everyone uses Halloween as an excuse to get trashed and wear as little clothing as possible. Which is sort of awful. The past two years, I haven't been such a big fan of the holiday. Last year, for example. I went to a really awkward Halloween party, which is another story altogether, but then had to work overnight. This involved rescuing about 20 scantily-clad girls who had, in their drunken stupor, locked themselves out of their rooms, and almost needing to clean up puke. Not cool.

This year, I decided I didn't care that much about Halloween and wasn't going out just for the sake of it. My original plans were to stay in and watch a couple Halloween movies. But I ended up going out to a bar with my roommate to hear a jazz/funk band that we adore (the Mello-tones), and had a fabulous time dancing our hearts out. It was the first time in a while that I actually really enjoyed Halloween.

And from our observations last night, it seems like the 30-40 crowd is stuck taking their kids out trick-or-treating, and then when you hit 50ish, you get to go back to going out and dancing like crazy.

So why is Halloween this way? What's its deal? Why is it so volatile? I guess maybe partly because it's not as family-oriented as most holidays but more of a social affair? I don't know, but it's strange.

Saturday, 31 October 2009

Oh, hey.

Dear blog,

Hi. How are you? I've missed you.

I feel as though I've neglected you lately. Only two posts in the past month, and both whiny? And nothing of substance for ages before that? Oh, dear. I'm sorry.

However. I'm going to remedy that. I'm thinking... November, I might do the "one post every single day" thing. I think there might be a specific month you're supposed to do that in; I don't know. I'm going to do it in November, since I definitely won't have time for writing a novel.

Today, however? Not November. So I'm not gonna worry about making this a real post. I'm going to go watch Hocus Pocus, and then go see the Mellotones play!

Much love, more soon!

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Can I ask a favour?

Send me something that will either make me laugh or make me cry.

I want to feel something definite; not this vague uneasy awful filling that just keeps building inside me.

I don't want to explode.

Thank you.



(Edit: Also, any music suggestions. I've lately gotten sick of all the things I had been listening to, and so I went back to my defaults. But I've already gotten sick of the Trews and Great Big Sea, and am paring down my Decemberists playlist daily. This means I will soon run out, and then I don't know what I'll do.)