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Wednesday, 31 March 2010

101 in 1001 update

In March I accomplished:


86. Finish making this list. Yup, it now actually has 101 items!

That's only two things, and I'm supposed to accomplish 3 per month. Since I was ahead already in the first two months, it still works out to three per month and one extra. Also, it turns out I accomplished enough parts of things to make up almost one full item.

Parts of things: I went to 3 new restaurants (Pilot's Pub, Curry Village, and Sushi Nami). I went to see a bunch of short plays as part of the Dal New Play Festival, which, as with Fringe Festival before, I will count as one play. I watched two Disney movies (Pinocchio and The Princess and the Frog). I spent an afternoon at Point Pleasant Park. And, oh yeah, I did NaBloPoMo. All of which add up to ~0.97 items, which is darn close to one. So I basically did 3 things this month.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

I think I might be having an existential crisis.

Existential doubts, at least.

Nothing much to say for the time being.

Check back tomorrow for the last post of this painful NaBloPoMo.

Monday, 29 March 2010

Home Stretch

Four papers
Three written exams
Two presentations
One oral exam
One test
One project
Then I will be done.
Also seventeen more hours of research for my prof-assistant job.
And at some point finding a job for the summer would be nice too.
The next three weeks will be the most fun.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

I've got nothin'.

I just started writing three different posts, but got sick of each of them after about two sentences. I just don't have it in me today.

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Tricot Machine - Defier les rites

This is such a fun and adorable video. I'm really enjoying Tricot Machine - more of their music here.



Lesson to be learned: don't turn your cat into yarn or it will eat you. You can have a sweet dance party inside it, though, so I guess things even out.

Friday, 26 March 2010

The Cruellest Month

March was perhaps not the best month for NaBloPoMo. I had forgotten how busy March can be. I promise I really did start out the month with things to say, I just haven't had time to elaborate upon them here. Blech.

Oh well, at least March isn't as bad as April. I guess T.S. Eliot had one thing right, at any rate.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

"Return to nature, to humanity, to thyself! Strew flowers over the road of life: cease to contemplate the future; live to thine own happiness; exist for they fellow-creatures; retire into thyself, examine thine own heart, then consider the sensitive beings by whom thou art surrounded, and leave those Gods who can effect nothing towards they felicity."
-Baron d'Holbach, from The System of Nature

It's a very pretty philosophy, if nothing else.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Weekend

I know it's way late, but how about the weekend, yeah?

Friday evening I went to see some plays in the Dal New Play Festival, or whatever it was called. They were for the most part enjoyable. I came home and read for a while, then stayed up late watching 500 Days of Summer with roomie J and her two sisters who were visiting for the night.

Saturday I laid outside in the sun for 5 hours while doing homework. Twenty degrees in March, absolutely unbelievable. Hurrah for global warming? Our friend T., who is away doing Katimavik, brought his group to Halifax for a visit this weekend, so Saturday evening we went out to dinner with them and then chilled for a while and then played Rock Band.

Sunday afternoon I went to the shortest KSU Council meeting of the year, and then in the evening went to hang out with MM, DC, PS, and TE, and watched a couple episodes of a very messed up show, and then Paris, je t'aime. Which was just as good as the first time, except with less crying (less crying from me, anyway).

All in all, a wonderful weekend.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Rainy Days

There's something about days like this that are just the right amount of rainy.

The smell of rain this morning made me wish I was at Keji, cosied up in one of their picnic shelter houses with a wood stove and picnic tables and playing cards over tomato soup and crackers.

I spent the late morning and early afternoon in the King's library, which is about the most beautiful, elegant, no-rain-will-enter-here place that I know. I listened to the rain while perusing art books about science (and got paid to do it!).

I am wearing my cosiest sweater and listening to gentle rainy day music (more Rose Cousins, later maybe The Weepies or Pete Yorn or Sufjan Stevens).

Happy rain times!

Monday, 22 March 2010

People Watching

I think one of my favourite things about the city is restaurants that have big windows right on the street. I like to see the people sitting in those tables and catch a little glimpse into their lives.

What is that table laughing about? Why does that girl look so angry? Does that couple look so uncomfortable because this is a first date, or because one of them made an awkward comment?

There's just something fascinating about seeing people when they don't realize they're putting on a performance for you. Getting to know just the tiniest bit about them while they're in a separate, silent world which I am not a part of.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Dance if you want to

People I love: Rose Cousins. It's a 'this kind of music' day today, I think.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Blah.

I am sick.

I am tired.

I have work to do.

I am discontent in general.

This is all I can manage today.

Better things tomorrow, perhaps.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Happier Things

On Tuesday, my afternoon class took a short field trip to a local cemetery. I had a class with the same prof earlier in the day, so she told me that I could just meet them there if that was easier. I was walking through the cemetery to get to the entrance where they would be arriving. On my way through, a man on a bench started talking to me.

Two things about me: I don't like strangers. But I am polite. So I replied to him. It actually turned out to be a very interesting conversation. He told me all about his adventures. He's a drifter and hitchhikes all over the country. He squeegees windows to make money, although he used to pick berries in the Okanagan Valley. He told me about how there's an osprey living in the city that ate all of the goldfish out of the pond in the Public Gardens. And that one time he saw a sparrow hawk catch a grackle, but then four crows came and tried to steal it. This little tiny sparrow hawk held onto its dinner with one foot and fought off four great big crows with the other. He also told me about how once when he was in Banff, he was sleeping under a bridge, and this great big elk wandered over and woke him up by honking in his face. Very interesting man.

Anyway, so I carried on and met up with the rest of my class. Our assignment was to find a grave stone and write whatever story it inspired us to. The only caveat was that, since we've been studying temporality lately, there had to be at least one flashback. The grave I found was for two brothers. One had died in 1845, the other in 1847, both at the age of 8. That lent itself very nicely to story-making with a flashback.

I happened to finish at the same time as another girl in my class, so we walked back to campus together. I didn't know her at all before that, but we talked the whole time and she seemed very nice.

Also, fresh air and sunshine.

It was a good day.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Oh, what I wouldn't give for a freeze ray...



With my freeze ray, I will stop the world
With my freeze ray, I will find the time to find the words to...

Oh, me.

I think I'm broken.

Things I did tonight:

Read Facebook messages from May when things were wonderful.

Watched videos from first year when things were good.

Read sad emails from the boy I should have dated in high school.

Read MSN chat logs with the boy I never gave the chance he deserved.

Read MSN chat logs with the one I passed him over for.

All of these made me feel almost nothing. Maybe this is a good thing. Maybe it's good that I don't miss the past. But I wanted to make them fill the emptiness I felt today.

In one of those chat logs, a year and a half ago I told someone that "everything's a huge mess, but it's kind of okay." I think the only thing that's changed is that I would take out the "huge."

Nice to know I've made some progress.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

250th Post

Today marks post number 250. It's hard to believe I've written that many. It seems like an awfully large volume of posts for the amount of things I feel like I've actually said around here.

I suppose it's almost three years that this little blog and I have been together now. It has been three very long years. It feels as though I started this blog in a whole different life. In some ways I suppose I did.

Happy 250th, blog!

(and Happy St. Patrick's Day to everyone else!)

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Sunny Days

It's another beautiful day here. My french class on "written expression" is going on a field trip today. Only to the graveyard, but hey, if it gets me outside in the fresh air and the sunshine, I'm a happy kid. Just sayin'.


Monday, 15 March 2010

Pie Success!

So my pie turned out alright. I screwed up the crust a little, and it cracked like crazy. So it looks awful. But it tastes delicious, which is the important part. Did not ruin all pie everywhere forever. No mobs coming for my head.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Happy Pi Day!

Today is March 14 (3.14), known to all nerds as Pi Day. Generally celebrated by eating pie.

So yesterday I made pie crust in preparation for the festivities.

Last night, however, I had pie nightmares. Three times in a row, I dreamt that I baked a pie. But I screwed it up somehow. I'm not sure what I did, but I screwed that pie up really really badly. I messed that pie up so much that I ruined all pie, everywhere, forever. Seriously. My pie was so bad that it corrupted the essence of pie-ness and no one anywhere would ever be able to bake a decent pie again.

Then mobs started coming after me. They were very, very angry that I had deprived them of their pie-eating pleasures. This woke me up.

Three times.

This pie had better turn out well. Just sayin'.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Spring Fever

I'm being an utterly terrible student lately. Drinking on a Wednesday? Staying out past 2 just to watch a movie? (mind you, it was Jumanji, and therefore slightly more okay, but still!) Possibly making plans this afternoon as well? Oh my!

I have a lot to do in the next five and a half weeks. I don't know how it's all going to be done. But something about an early spring makes me find it hard to care.

Friday, 12 March 2010

This Too Shall Pass

I don't really know any of OK Go's other music. I think this song is alright, but not great. This video however? Probably the coolest music video I have ever ever seen.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

When it's the only tool you have...

Ask just about any university what skills students are supposed to get out of their program, and I bet you'll get the same responses. Problem solving. Critical thinking. Analysis and argumentation.

That's all well and good, I suppose. These are useful skills to have; I do not argue that point. I do take issue, however, with the be-all end-all status that they seem to have taken within our society.

We all know the saying that when the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. when the only tool you have is problem solving... suddenly everything looks like a problem. With critical thinking, it looks like something that needs to be deliberated. Something to be analyzed. Something to argue about.

Yes, it's good to have these skills when you need them. When there is a problem, I like being able to solve it. But maybe if we didn't see everything through these lenses we wouldn't have to solve quite so many problems.

Example: One of my roommates happens to be an engineering student and therefore all about the problem solving. This girl can turn anything into a problem. Like, you know in A Charlie Brown Christmas, when Linus says "Charlie Brown, you are the only person I know who can take a wonderful season like Christmas and turn it into a problem!" ? Yeah, she makes me feel like that. Cookies are a problem because if you bake a number not divisible by three we can't divide them evenly. No friend, cookies are never a problem.

Another example: As anyone who knows me is well aware, I have the worst kind of trouble with making decisions. Because I always way overthink the issue, and see the pros and cons of both sides of the matter. I could (and sometimes do) deliberate what to make for dinner forever. This is what your critical thinking skills have done for me, education system. Thanks a lot.

If only university would teach us kindness and love and compassion instead...

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Things I Should Have Figured Out By Now

Everything always, always, always takes longer than expected.

Cupcakes are pretty much always worth it.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

The sky'd be so big that it broke my soul



I don't know what it is about the sky that gets to me, but I am just madly in love with it. I am in a constant state of not being able to get over how great the sky is.




I try and try to capture that perfect picture of the sky that will encapsulate my feelings for it, but it just never works out for me.




The sky makes me feel like I could burst with feelings too big for me to understand.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Time, time!

Not enough time. Never enough time. I rather expect that this weekend will be the last time for quite some time that there is any time to be had. After that everything will be one big rush until after exams.

But then there will be lots of time. In the summertime.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

It's a beautiful day, don't let it get away.

Yesterday was the most beautiful day we've had around here in quite some time. And today is shaping up to be more of the same!

I love these early early spring days. I like being able to open my window to get some fresh air in here. Yesterday just felt like such a spring cleaning day, I dusted and swept and mopped and everything feels so much better now.

I went for a walk down around Point Pleasant Park yesterday. I love that park. It's like a little corner of home that got tacked onto the edge of the city. I love to be surrounded by trees rather than buildings, and to have something other than pavement and cement under my feet. I sat by the ocean for a while, just to see it, just to hear it. I realized that my apartment is the farthest I have ever lived from moving water (either ocean or river) and that is sort of sad. I know it's only about a half hour walk, but it still seems far. Anyway, I had a lovely time at the park (and +1 to 101/1001 goal #88).

It was also one of those days when it was just too nice out to sit down and eat a full meal, so I spent all day snacking. On Friday, roomie J's mom brought us banana bread, and I had cooked falafel (+1 to #30) and baked bread, so there was lots of snackable food. And then I had a strawberry-banana-chocolate smoothie, which was pretty much the most delicious thing imaginable.

I tried to do a little homework in the early evening, but then friends called me up. We went out for dinner and then hung out at their place and watched Hook, which is a fantastic movie. Walking home at 1 am wearing a dress wasn't too cold. I think spring must be on its way.

Sadly, this beautiful day will mostly be spent in a meeting, but I guess that at least guarantees me being outside long enough to walk there and back.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

My ideal mate would:

1. Dance around the kitchen with me while I was doing the baking.
2. Share my taste in food and music.
3. Take me out for breakfast. Or rather, go out for breakfast with me. Of his own volition.

Friday, 5 March 2010

Memoir

Back in October/November, I participated in the King's Memoir Project. This group paired up students interested in writing with seniors who wanted to tell their stories. It was a very interesting and, for me, somewhat difficult project, though I'm very glad I took part in it.

They took the sixteen short memoirs that were completed and printed them in a small book simply titled Anthology. Last night there was a small release party for it. All of the seniors came to King's, and a few of the students read from the completed works. It was a really nice little get-together.

When I got home from it, I immediately settled in and read straight through the little book. All of them were so interesting. It seems like they all moved across the world several times, and fall madly wildly in love, and went off to war or had their husband go to the war, and raised a family through incredible hardship, and just did all sorts of amazing things. I know that maybe none of those things were easy to do or to live through, but dang. It makes for a good story.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Finding a voice

When I was a kid, I thought it would be easy to be a writer. What could possibly be simpler than telling stories and letting your imagination run wild?

The more I grow up, the harder it seems to come. Now I feel as though you can't just tell a story; you have to say something, and you have to say it in your own special way. To write, you need to know which stories you want to tell, and how you're going to tell them.

I think this is at least part of the reason why I've been so blocked for so (soooooo) long. I need to get these things sorted out first. I think I'm starting to get an idea of which stories to tell.

I'm having a hard time figuring out the other part, though. I'm just not sure how I should go about saying things. I'm not sure which angle I'm coming from. I don't know how to say things and have them sound good but still sound like me.

I need to find my voice. Funny to think that I'm a stranger to myself.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Ingrid Michaelson

Ingrid Michaelson is music you should be listening to. I actually discovered her about a month ago but have been too lazy/busy to make a post about it. Apparently I have been on a bit of a female indie-pop sort of kick lately; I don't know. Anyway, I really enjoy all of her music; there is actually not a single song of hers that I dislike, which is a rare thing.

Her website is here, if you click Music and then Launch Music Player, there are 5 or 6 songs there that you can listen to. Or they are all on grooveshark. I would especially recommend Far Away, You and I, The Chain, and Morning Lullabies.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

NaBloPoMo, Round 2

I've decided to take part in National Blog Posting Month again, and I'm gonna do it now! I have things to say. It's grand.

The theme for this month is strange(r), which is something that I'm pretty sure I can pull out at least a few posts about. So that's pretty cool.

Anyway, that's it for today due to lack of time, but check back tomorrow! (and the next 28 days after that)

Monday, 1 March 2010

But now that the Olympics are over, what will I do?

I really can't say that I'm a sports fan. But once every two years (or, to be more precise, alternating intervals of a year-and-a-half and two-and-a-half years), the Olympics just take over. This year, they were incredible. A-ma-zing. I cannot even write a coherent post on my feelings, so here's a list-thing!

LIKES:

The opening ceremonies. All of them. They were super-cool.

Alexandre Bilodeau's medal. When the announcer says "this great nation has finally won gold on home soil!" (Yes I know we've only had two other chances. But winning zero golds is still not a thing we should do, ever, regardless of where we are.)

Jon Montgomery jumping onto the gold medal podium with both feet. That made me laugh all of the twelve thousand times they replayed it.

Clara Hughes' interview after she won bronze. She was asked if she considered herself the greatest Canadian athlete. Which was a ridiculous question. If she'd said "yes", she would have instantly proven herself wrong by being immodest and therefore un-Canadian. But anyway. Her answer about how there were so many wonderful people in Canada and she just considered herself a Canadian maybe brought tears to my eyes a little bit.

Canada taking gold and silver in women's bobsleigh.

Joannie Rochette's bronze medal. Well-deserved.

Charles and Francois Hamelin being on the podium together for their gold medal in the relay.

The men's curling team being undefeated.

Sidney Crosby with the game-winning goal.

Walking around downtown after the hockey game last night. The yelling. The screaming. High-fiving everyone else who was out wandering around. The car horns honking. Cheering Ca-na-da! Ca-na-da! Singing the national anthem. Spring Garden Road CLOSED OFF because there were just so many people in the streets. That was one of the more crazy-awesome things I've ever experienced.

Canada winning more gold medals than any country has won in the Winter Games ever before!

Joannie Rochette being the flag-bearer for the closing ceremonies.

Fixing the cauldron so that Catriona Le May Doan would finally get her chance to light it. That was well done.

Sochi's performance with the conductor in Vancouver and the Orchestra in Moscow and the skaters in Sochi. That was really neat. Technology is cool sometimes.

This feeling of national pride that I'm finding everywhere I turn...


DISLIKES:

The fact that all the sports are men's sports, but some are women's and others are ladies'. Dear IOC: Grow up already. Either make them all women's, or change the ones that are ladies' to also be gentlemen's.

The over-competitive country-bashing negativity on some of the facebook status chat-things at vancouver2010.com. Totally inappropriate. Not at all what the games are about.

The attitude a lot of people had that if we didn't win a hockey game it didn't matter how many other medals we had. That is so belittling to all the other athletes, and again, so not what the games are about.

The VANOC guy's French pronunciation in his closing speech. Yikes. Sorry pal, but you were sort of an embarrassment to the country.


UNSURES:

The choice of music for the closing ceremony concert. I'm fine with the people who sang in the actual ceremony; Neil Young and Michael Buble and all those cats are pretty great. I mean the afterward thing with Nickelback, Avril Lavigne, Simple Plan, Hedley, K-os, etc. What was that? As one of my roommates said, it's almost as if they chose the band line-up when it was announced that Vancouver would be host. On the one hand I like to think that this was going along with the whole "having a sense of humour thing" with the giant beavers and the floating moose, but then they're making fun of those artists. Which is fine when I do it, but I'm not sure it's appropriate in a venue like that? But if they were for reals with them being appropriate representatives of Canadian music, then yikes. Not good.


Overall though. A lot more likes than dislikes. Really, really, really good. I am proud of our country right now. Really proud.