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Monday, 31 May 2010

May 101 in 1001 Update

On my trip to Newfoundland I was finally on a plane, completing #5. Travel somewhere by plane OR by train (Yes, this was technically in April, I have been lax in updating). On Victoria Day I conquered #83. Find a swimable lake/beach in the Halifax area (and go there!). And then this weekend I accomplished #72. Spend an afternoon in a coffee shop.

I also made some progress on a few other goals, such as #60. Buy flowers just because 3 times, and #27. Read/listen to 30 (non-school) books, as well as a couple of others.

This brings me to a total of 13 completed. The 101 tasks in 1001 days works out to 3/month + 2 extra. I've realized that I have 5 that can't be considered done until the end anyway, so that covers the 2 extra, so I just need to do 3/month. Since May is my 5th month, I am a little bit behind, yes. I have well over a quarter of the remaining items in progress though, plus some that are so vaguely in progress that I'm not even counting them as being officially in progress yet. Which makes up for more than 2 complete things, I'm pretty sure.

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Recipe for a perfect day

Yesterday was a perfect beautiful wonderful day.

I got up in the morning and went to market. At 8:30 it was already warm enough to be outside in just a skirt and a t shirt. The sky was blue blue blue and there wasn't a cloud to be seen anywhere. I got there just at the mid-morning lull between the intense early morning market crowd and the late morning sleepyhead market crowd. I know a lot of people who like to be there with the crowd and see all the people, but I prefer it when it's quieter - when I can just drift around aimlessly and look and smell and touch without being trampled, or feeling like I'm in the way if I stop to look at something, or getting pushed along in the flow of the crowd without being able to see what I want to. I passed on my usual market tradition of having a crêpe for breakfast, instead opting for a soft pretzel. I also bought flowers just because they were pretty and I like pretty things.

When I had wandered to my heart's content, I meandered my way up to Cabin Coffee. Downtown was busy in a quiet sort of way. There were lots of people out, and parked cars lining the streets, but everyone was walking or biking or just sitting on benches. A nice kind of morning-y quiet busy.

Cabin Coffee was busy, but wonderful. They make some of the best baked goods; I think the chocolate chip muffin I had yesterday was possibly the most delicious one I've ever eaten, no joke. I also had an iced chai latte, which is basically a mug full of joy. I occupied one of their big comfy armchairs for well over an hour, just nibbling and sipping and appreciating. The people watching was particularly good. I think I could easily become a regular there. Perhaps it will be my thesis-writing haunt next year. Sitting at the back, only being able to see sunlight, sky, and the tips of a few trees through the window, combined with the decor, I could almost believe I actually was in a cabin on a mountainside.

I eventually finished my food, finished emptying my mind into the pages of my journal, and got antsy to be back out in the sunshine, so I moved along back home. After a few minutes conversation with roomie J, I went out to the cement pad at the back of our house and ate cherries and read until I got too hot and had to come inside. I sprawled on the couch and talked and laughed with both the roomies until we all went off to our separate things. I laid on my bed and read until I fell asleep, which is one of my absolute favourite things. Shortly after I woke up, we went out to get a propane cylinder for our new barbecue. Roomie J and I also got lemonade while we were out - I have been craving lemonade every sunny day for the past two weeks, so finally having it was an especially good treat - and it was really good lemonade (although it would have to be, at the price we paid for it).

Then we came home and prepared burgers and potatoes and mixed up a salad and sat outside on the cement and barbecued and ate and drank and listened to music and enjoyed the sun and the breeze and the beautiful day. Roomie C went out to watch the game while roomie J and I putzed around inside.

It was a wonderful perfect beautiful day. It was a day filled with little pleasures, but like all of the simple pleasures I could possibly want.

Today was good too. I wrote a practice LSAT in the morning, which was less than stellar, but not bad. I ventured out into the rain briefly because I wanted chai tea and didn't have any - but then also ended up with a box of chocolate mint oolong, and two bars of dark chocolate. I spent the afternoon curled up on the couch with a blanket and a book and a mug of tea and mellow music. Then my parents came in and we went out to supper, and when I got back I realized that I could smell our neighbours' lilacs from our yard (lilacs are the happiest smell of life).

Now it is time for bed. Goodnight. :)

Friday, 28 May 2010

Yes.

I feel better about life than I have in quite a while, for no concrete/tangible/actualized reason.

That's all.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Beachin'

Monday of this week was Victoria Day. I kind of love random holidays that don't really have any special meaning or traditions, like Civic Holiday, Labour Day, and of course, Victoria Day (That said, I do intend to go see the queen while she's in town later this summer. Wearing a fancy hat. I am clearly such a monarchist.) (... me wearing the fancy hat, not the queen. Well she might be too. But that wasn't my point there)

Getting out of the parentheses, my actual point is that since Monday was a holiday, meaning I didn't have to work, and there were no particular holiday things that needed doing, AND it was the most absolutely gorgeous day, we went to the beach!

Well. For a rough approximation of beach, at any rate. We were at Chocolate Lake, which is really more like a very small, probably artificial stretch of rough sand, with some grass around the edges, and a small part of the sand goes down to the lake. It's no Risser's or Hirtle's, but I guess I'll take what I can get.

Anyway, it was a lovely day. The water was FREEZING, but we stayed in for like an hour anyway (by "in" I mean the boys were in and I went as far as my waist and that was all my pansy-ness could take. I do not like cold.) We tossed around a football for a while, and little kids followed me around for some odd reason, and then we sat on the beach and warmed up and ate licorice until we decided it was time to go.

All in all, it was a marvelous time, even if the beach was fake and over-crowded and non-ocean and freezing. I would do it again, for sure.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Alive

Yesterday afternoon, roomie J came home from a run and said "do you want to go get a popsicle?" So we went down to the corner store to get some popsicles. On the way back, roomie C says, "let's go to Point Pleasant." So we went down to Point Pleasant and walked the whole way around the park.

We read all of the signs and plaques and things and crawled around on the rocks on the shore. We sang and danced and laughed. There was a big hollow tree which I climbed inside (I WAS INSIDE A TREE). And, at one point, we stood on a hill by the the water and let the wind buffet us and that moment right there was the most alive I have felt in a very long time.

Basically I want to spend my whole life standing on hills by the ocean and feeling the wind.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Future

So the point about my job is that I hate it. A lot.

I've never really had a job I liked. I've had lots that were okay and I didn't mind too much. This is the first one I've actually hated. But I've never had one that I really liked and found absolutely great. I kind of had hoped that by the time I was one year away from graduating I would have at least an inkling of an idea of some things I like doing, rather than just eliminating options I don't like. Office assistant, not so much; accounting, no thanks; research is alright but not the best; library was the best of them but still not super duper awesomest.

I wonder if I'll ever find anything that I both enjoy doing and am good at. /whine.

In related news, LSAT day is coming up in just over two weeks, which is mildly terrifying when I can be bothered to think about it. I know I need to study (need to need to need to neeeeeeeeed to) but it's summerrrr and I don't wannaaaaaa! Sigh. My most recent practice test scores are good enough to get me in at Dal, which is the most important part, but a higher LSAT score means increased scholarship chances, and it would nice to not be in debt for the entire rest of my life. Therefore, I need to study. Which is not easy when it's a long weekend and a bajillion degrees outside. And no rain in the forecast.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Working Adventures

Okay, so, this is my job. The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal (TIR) has a division called Acquisitions and Disposals, which buys land from people so they can put in highways and stuff. They used to send a copy of all the deeds and maps and things to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). But now the Public Records Centre (PRC) is like "screw you guys, we're not keeping two copies of everything." So there are duplicates of every deed that has ever been signed with TIR. But sometimes they kept the original and sent DNR a duplicate, and other times the kept the duplicate and sent DNR the original, so they can't just get rid of all of one set.

So my job, along with another student, is to go through all of their files and make sure that TIR keeps the originals, and send the duplicates back to the PRC for destruction.

Basically, the PRC sends us boxes of files from DNR. Each box has a list of all the files that are in it. We take that list, and go to TIR's file room and get the matching files. Then we sift through the masses of memos and letters and other correspondence and junk filling the TIR files to find the deeds/maps, compare them to the documents from DNR, put the original in the TIR file and the duplicate in the DNR file. Then we take the TIR files back to the file room. We put the DNR files back in the box. We send the boxes back to the PRC be DESTRUCTIFIED. Rinse and repeat. And repeat and repeat and repeat and repeat and repeat and repeat.

It has been two weeks, and I already want to kill myself from boredom.

Fortunately, since there are 70 000 files in total and they're pretty sure that two students working full time for 16 weeks won't be able to get through all of them anyway, we get to take a break in the middle to clean out a storage room in the basement and get all of the maps in there ready to be scanned, or something like that. So at least there's that to look forward to. Whoop-dee-doo.

I still haven't decided how I feel about the other girl I work with. To be honest, at first I was a little offended that a first year SMU student was hired to do the same job as me. Now, I'm just offended that they hired anyone smarter than a trained monkey to do this job. Seriously though, I don't know about her. A couple times a day, one of us tries to make conversation, but it never seems to get farther than a few sentences. I guess she's nice enough though. Doesn't even communicate much about what she's doing workwise, though, like ordering more boxes and things like that, which actually affect me. Argh.

Also she listens to The Bounce. All day. Every day. I like Lady Gaga, really I do, but I would actually be okay with only hearing "Telephone" and "Bad Romance" once or maybe twice a day each, rather than five times a day each. Not to mention Timbaland feat. Katie Perry's wretched "If We Ever Meet Again." If the boredom doesn't drive me to suicide, that song sure will.

It's not all bad though. I mean, it pays well, and it's close, and I like the hours, and they're pretty good about time off and stuff, and the people are nice, and there's a free gym in the basement, and getting a foot in the door for government work is never a bad thing. Just, those things, as good as they are, never seem quite as important when I'm ready to gouge my eyes out just to be doing something different.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Randomness from the Internet

Baby sloths are THE CUTEST EVER. Proof. (from The Amphibian Avenger, found via EPBOT). Baby sloth with giraffe toy = squeeeeee! And I am not a girl who squees frequently.

Neato picture of Atlantis and the ISS in front of the sun (via thinkgeek's Twitter feed).

Controversial-ish thing in my city these days: Roundabouts! Lots of them! In like, downtown, populated areas! Agh! I was outraged about this at first. Roundabouts are not pedestrian friendly. Are not. But I guess my only real experience with roundabouts is the Armdale rotary-turned-roundabout which is just a nightmare for everyone, I think. This article convinced me to accept that perhaps this will be alright. As long as they make nice friendly roundabouts like the one in their picture, and not nightmares like the Armdale thinger. (side note: spacingatlantic is a super interesting blog. They have a podcast too. I approve of this whole dealie)

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Newfondland trip, in brief

Thursday:

Up very early. Lost my planeginity. Flying into St. John's is beautiful - highly recommend it. My brother's house is also beautiful. Saw some seals (not wild ones, though). Seals are silly and make me smile. Went to Signal, Quidi Vidi, and other St. John's landmarks. Went to see Disneynature's Oceans in the evening - filmography amazing, narration awful, blue whales are fucking huge. Brother's couch not comfortable for sleeping.

Friday:

Lazy morning. Big breakfast. Drove around one loop of Avalon Peninsula (the Cupids, Carbonear, Harbour Grace, Heart's Content/Delight/Desire, Dildo, etc. loop). Saw the tunnel at Brigus. Saw a huge eagle - we speculate it was perhaps a golden eagle, despite the unlikelihood of one being in Newfoundland at this time of year. Were planning to eat at the heavily-advertised 'Dildo Dory Grill,' but arrived only to find it closed. Instead stopped at the first place we found - Blue Whale Eatery. Their buffet looked super sketchy, so we ordered off the menu and hoped for the best - food turned out to be amazing. Pleasantly surprised.

Saturday:

Lazy morning. Big breakfast. Afternoon spent shopping, evening spent reading/playing the New Wii Mario game with mom.

Sunday:

Woke up with a cold. Lazy morning. Big breakfast. Early afternoon trip to Dollarama while trying to unclog my sinuses. Parents/brother spent rest of afternoon cleaning out brother's office room and making it functional (I read). Out to dinner at a gastropub - delicious. Ran into a girl I know from King's who is also not from St. John's - weird coincidence! Drove around St. John's and looked at the row houses, then more Mario.

Monday:

Big breakfast, shower, pack, mall, plane. Very turbulent flight. Porter serves delicious food. Flying into Halifax much less beautiful than St. John's. Home again home again, jiggity jig.