Friday, December 29, 2006

The Swing of Things

I'm having trouble getting back into the swing of things. For instance, yesterday I actually had to work. My supervisor had sent out an email a while back offering Christmas hours. Part of the email said, "Its quiet, so bring a book." It was not quiet. And even though I brought a book, there was no reading to be done. There was real work to be done, people to help, UTORdial accounts to troubleshoot, and I did not like it one single bit. I had expected a semi-quiet day and I hate not getting what I expect.

I love breaks. I love not knowing what day of the week it is, even if it means that I miss garbage day. I love sleeping in. And reading three books in three days. And big breakfasts with eggs and toast and sausage and coffee because there's time to enjoy it. I love staying up late and watching the James Bond movies that Jarrod downloaded.

There was a time when I would have said that I needed something to keep me busy and productive. And while I know that I would start feeling like that after a month or so of breaking, that I would get a bit antsy, right now, a week into the world of relax, I would say that I could live like this forever and not worry about being productive again.

I'm going to go eat breakfast at one o'clock, read a book, and visit my dog. Maybe work out. Maybe not. Because, hey, I'm on break.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Dear Aunt Lynn and Uncle Doug,

I just thought I'd take a second to thank you for my Christmas present. I know that the tickets weren't given in the best of circumstances, but, we did have a wonderful time.

We got all dressed up, which meant that Jarrod wore his really nice suit. And Jarrod even gave me my Christmas present early so that I could wear it (you can see it when we get to Windsor). Dad gave us a lift down there, so we almost arrived in style. I have a bit (read: a lot) of a cough left over, so I was afraid of being kicked out. But, things all went well, seeing as how I was full of cough medicine and brought a bottle of water.

We loved the show. Okay, there are some things that I would improve. But really, have I ever seen a movie or read a book that there wasn't something I would change? The dynamic between the two women was fantastic, but, if Galinda kicked up her leg one more time...

Thank you thank you thank you for giving us an evening we otherwise would not have had.

Merry Christmas!



Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Alli's Method of Beating the Hell out of the Common Cold:

  1. Mope around for a few days, so that it thinks it is getting the better of you. Extra points if you fake it so well that you start to believe yourself that it is getting the better of you.
  2. Make friends with Buckley's. When you start to like the taste, you're know you're getting better.
  3. Learn to sleep sitting up. Not only will you cough less, you'll also freak out anyone who walks into the room during the night. Yesterday, Jarrod started a conversation with me because he thought I was awake. In his defense, not only was I sleeping sitting up, I also had my Nalgene bottle on my lap.
  4. Water. Lots of water. When you feel that damned cough coming on, drink it.
  5. Tylenol with codeine, over the counter from the friendly neighbourhood pharmacist. No, seriously, codeine is a cough suppressant, and when combined with the wonderful DM, it almost makes you feel human again.
  6. Rolling up kleenex into a little sausage and sticking it in your nose. Prevents the nasal drip and is uber hot.
Now, I can't guarantee this method, seeing as how, well, I'm still rather coughey. But I will mention that this is the best that I've felt in a week, so, I think I'm on to something.

Monday, December 18, 2006

There are very few things that could make a girl like me (and by that I mean one who is sick even though its been FIVE days) feel better right now: soup or ice cream. I'm working tonight, because I figured the only thing worse than writing a paper while ill is to be writing a paper while ill when you could be getting paid to write it. So, at work, after suffering through a few short but cough filled calls, its finally my break. And I go upstairs to grab, oh, I don't know, maybe some soup? Lo and behold (that's for you!), the whole cafeteria is torn apart. Not only is there no chance of me getting soup, there's no chance of my fracking getting anything.

I realize though, that there are vending machines. And, there's ice cream in them. The thought of smooth cold ice cream on my sore tender throat was enough to get this gal a salivating. But, I only had a new Canadian five, and of course, the machines just kept rejecting it. I am telling you, after a day like this (and the previous five sicky ones), I was about ready to burst into tears. You know that feeling you get when things are just too beyond your control but something really simple would have made it all better? That was how I felt, standing there, looking at the ice cream, with a stupid new fiver in my hand.

You had better believe that if the convenience store by my apartment doesn't have the ice cream that I want, I am going to go absolutely postal.

On the upside, my paper is officially seventeen pages. That is so much closer to eighteen than I ever expected to get. And my foot notes are done. I'm not sure its English, but, hey, they can't fail me. Knock on wood.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Things that make me

Things that make me miserable:

  1. A sore throat that I thought was getting better but was really only going into hiding to execute a sneak attack at four am this morning, wherein I was awake and trying not to swallow for over an hour.
  2. Not knowing where my Knowledge Ontario book/pamphlet is, which is terribly important to reducing the number of hours that I have to spend on my stupid advocacy paper.
  3. The thought of cleaning my room. No, seriously, its really really bad right now.

Things that make me Not miserable:

  1. Having friends come into town, who I don't have to entertain and don't seem to think it is anything out of the ordinary for me to be writing a paper two days before its due.
  2. Jeff flying in from Halifax, and remarking, within ten minutes, that he thinks he might be stupid.** Which leads me onto the running joke, entitled: "Proving to my guidance counselor that I should recieve special compensation in academic matters because I was born stupid."
  3. The opening scene of Troy where Brad Pitt kills the shit out of that big guy.

** I do not mean to insinuate in any way that I actually do think Jeff is stupid. We all know that I make the jokes about the hockey, but, really, he's a very smart kid.

Friday, December 15, 2006

I went to an SLA (Special Libraries Association) Christmas Party munchies thing last night. I won my ticket by correctly answering who was going to be the president-elect in the upcoming know, because I can google with the best of them. I won this weeks ago, long before I knew just exactly how busy these middle days of December were going to be. But, after the auction, Mike Mac was going, and that terrible sense of responsibility (I mean, someone else who wanted to could have gone, right, if I didn't?) would not just let me go home to watch the second part of The Lost Room. Actually, I'm really glad I went. My practicum supervisor, Frank, was there, and it was really nice to see him in a social situation. Also, he turns out to have a wicked wit. I spent my time observing the general meeting, barely retraining myself from laughing. See, this very large, very brightly dressed woman, started the meeting standing up against the wall. Everyone was sorta leaning up against a wall, or sitting in one of the few chairs, because, for some reason, the middle of the room was empty. Just carpet, no chairs. (Yes, I just sat down at the back. Being young and all.) But this one woman, who was already blocking the view of the people behind her, kept, I don't know...spreading out as the meeting went on. First, I could see three quarters of the front. Then, half, and then...yeah, I just nursed my water. But after, Frank just said, "would it have been rude to offer her my seat?" Sometimes you never know what you're going to get when you see your supervisors outside of work...I wish I had known earlier!

The auction went surprisingly well. Although the turn out was probably not what they were hoping for, we did manage to raise over $500. Which is nice for the kids and all, but really, I was fine with it after my book sold for $15.00. Mom had to go and rain on my parade and mention that really, it took longer than 3/4 of an hour to make, and considering my wage at my real job...all in all, it means I won't be quitting the commons any time soon.

Also, I'm sick. So if you see me today and happen to notice that I clearly slept on this ponytail and am talking like a deaf person, please blame it on the sore throat.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Whenever I post something and then have second thoughts about it, I add another post really quickly. See, about the below, I like the stocking idea (because unlike some people I don't hate joy and love and Christmas and snow and hot chocolate...I'm talking to you Tasha), because its cute. And there seems to be something about the holidays that make me feel like, for a week or two, maybe its okay to be a little sentimental and maybe a little more friendly than normal. A lot of the time I just feel like, well, I'm mean to people. Or judgmental. Or, at least, not the way that I wish I could be. Not that, say Jesus or Santa Claus are particularly my behavioural icons, but maybe we can still take a few things nice from it all.

Are we surprised at the fact that I can be so ridiculously sappy? I am a girl, you know.

By the way, I did watch some kind of crap holiday special for 7Th Heaven. Holy mother of God. That was probably supposed to inspire some kind of nice feelings, but really, it just makes me want to kill people.

Also, I am donating a hand made book for the auction tomorrow and I'm a little nervous that no one is going to want to buy it. Or that it will go for, thirty cents. In which case I am bidding thirty five and taking it home with me. However, the thought of not donating something for want of my stupid fears, seemed entirely at odds with the Christmas spirit I am clearly trying so hard to embrace.

Besides, embarrassment only makes us stronger, right?

Monday, December 11, 2006

We all know I cannot resist pyscho-analysis. I am wonderfully self-absorbed, so, of course, I love seeing how much tests "get me." However, after taking Alex's The Colour Quiz, I refuse to post my results.

This is because, well, I'm a baby and its my blog. But dude, this test is harsh. I mean, basically, it said...wait, should I quote from it? That would make my case more substantial, right? Let me grab something.

First result:
Sensitive; needs esthetic surroundings, or an equally sensitive and understanding partner with whom to share a warm intimacy. Well, that sounds fine enough. I mean, sure, I'm a crier, and yeah, I'd like a partner who does make fun of me when I'm being touchy.

Second result: The existing situation is disagreeable. Feels lonely and uncertain as she has an unsatisfied need to ally herself with others whose standards are as high as her own, and wants to stand out from the rank and file. This sense of isolation magnifies the need into a compelling urge, all the more upsetting to her self-sufficiency because of the restraint she normally imposes on herself. Since she wants to demonstrate the unique quality of her own character, she tries to suppress this need for others and affects an attitude of unconcerned self-reliance to conceal her fear of inadequacy, treating those who criticize her behavior with contempt. However, beneath this assumption of indifference she really longs for the approval and esteem of others. Okay, Okay, I'll admit it. This strikes close to home. Fine, I make fun of people to make myself feel better. I'm a big bully. Happy? But really, come on, for the most part, I think I'm a pretty understanding and non-judgemental person. I mean, sure, I bitch, but my bark is much louder than my bite. And really? I admit my faults. Some of them are: I whine a lot, I'm bitchy when I don't get my way, and I expect people to know what I am thinking without me having to tell them. I think this makes me...human. And what existing situation? My life? In general? We were talking about relationships previously, is that what they mean? Can I get some clarity here?

Third Result: Disappointment and the fear that there is no point in formulating fresh goals have led to anxiety. Desires recognition and position, but is worried about her prospects. Reacts to this by protecting at any criticism and resisting any attempt to influence her. Tries to assert herself by meticulous control of detail in an effort to strengthen her position. Oh, frack off. Seriously? Do people buy this crap? Its not even English. "reacts to this by protecting at any criticism" Huh? What? I mean, I think I can take the spirit behind the words, but you lose all credibility with me when you publish something with grammatical errors. (Blogs, excluded of course) And I'm easily influenced. I offer these examples: I wanted a Mac and was talked out of it in one conversation. I never gave money to the homeless, but then was told that these are often the people that have been mistreated at homeless shelters, so now I've been known to. I never played poker till I dated a guy who did. I also never ate big breakfasts, till my current boyfriend got me onto it. I can't make a single decision on my own! Or apparently, I just do what my boyfriend's do. Which, I hope, if you know me, will realize is absolute bunk and I'm just being overdramatic.

Lame. I much prefer the IQ tests that tell me I'm a genius. So what if I've memorized the answers. That just means I'm smart and savvy. And have a great memory.

For the record, if you want the test, its at The Colour Quiz. Let me know if it ruins your day too.

Monday, December 04, 2006

so, seeing as how my new hobby is book binding, I though I had better start attending the shows. Absolutely I spent part of my Sunday wandering around OCAD, looking at various books as art. Now, see, the thing is, I like books first and art second. What this means is that the book needs to be first an excellent example of technical skills (ex. excellent sewing, symmetry, solid construction) and less about, oh, odd materials and bizarre lay outs. For example, I love Robert Wu's work. The man says that it takes him about three months to make a single volume. Now, that is skill and dedication and it shows in the incredible works that he creates. And I would still consider his works works of art, despite not being made of plastic, or having weird cut outs, or oddly stitched spines. I did however come across several neat ideas, which I hope to put to use ASAP.

Actually, this weekend was great. Mike and Ciara are home for the holidays, and, after not seeing them for over a year, well, it felt really great to wander around Toronto with them. There is nothing like having good friends see where you exist to a) make it seem like no time has passed at all and b) excite you about your own life again. Several things that I have begun to take for granted were all made new with their enthusiasm. Plus, after a good afternoon chat, we headed down to Queen St. for some shopping, and, of course, ran into another good friend from undergrad. What are the chances? So, Becky, if you're reading this, send me a fricking email, cause you sure didn't call like you said you would. Besides, you can't show up with a handsome man and expect me not to ask questions and want answers, two years having passed or not.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

a belgian secret

Okay, so, after showing Court the other day my buttonhole book, and to very little praise, might I add, I've decided to post pictures of the second type of binding that I learned a few weekends ago. Above are two examples of "Secret Belgian Binding" that I've made at home the past week. I've pretty much created a monster, and if you ask, I will not admit the total monetary investment that I have made in my new hobby.

Now, the story behind the name is much less elusive than the name suggests (some librarian at some large library found an example of this type of binding in some basement box and, realizing it was from Belgium, said something along the lines of 'oh, you know those Belgians and their secrets,' as if this is some kind of known fact), this binding produces a simple and sturdy little book. I used chiogami paper for the cover of the smaller book and Japanese tissue paper for the cover of the larger. Both are bound with waxed linen thread. Each has eight leaves, are blank, and would be good for writing. Well, that's just my opinion.

I'm pretty proud of these little mofos. Please act surprised on Christmas.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Amazing Race 11? Best Season Ever?

Okay, okay, I'll admit it. I watch Reality TV. I watch Survivor. In residence, I watched Temptation Island. With a dedication that was much greater than that turned towards my education. I even like The Apprentice, well, the first couple of seasons anyway.

But the show I really like is Amazing Race. Last season, I gave my heart to the Hippies. I love love love them. And I was so glad that they won $1 million. But, they aren't my favourite team. My favourite team was...ready?...Rob and Amber. Damn, they were awesome. Rob was just so good at the game. And Amber, well, she's pretty. But the thing is: they actually communicated like a couple. They never fought, they encouraged each other, they were partners. Unlike some teams that made me cringe in my comfy sofa chair when watching.

What is the point of this? That there's going to be an All Star edition of Amazing Race. Next Spring. And Rob and Amber are confirmed. No word on my hippies yet, but I have not given up hope. I promise you, I will be watching every single second.

Also, I just watched the preview for the next episode of Veronica Mars. (Thanks a lot Alex, you tease!) Better than Christmas.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Talent, Lifer or Mandarin?

I'm a Mandarin!

You're an intellectual, and you've worked hard to get where you are now. You're a strong believer in education, and you think many of the world's problems could be solved if people were more informed and more rational. You have no tolerance for sloppy or lazy thinking. It frustrates you when people who are ignorant or dishonest rise to positions of power. You believe that people can make a difference in the world, and you're determined to try.

Talent: 46%
Lifer: 44%
Mandarin: 54%

Take the Talent, Lifer, or Mandarin quiz.

of course, the problem with all of this is the simple fact that I still don't really know what a Mandarin is. The orange? The language? Some juicy language drink?

Al Schmore

I think we might be getting suckered. By Al Gore. Whom everyone seems to think is some kind of hero because he's the star of the supposedly eco-friendly documentary "An Inconvienient Truth." I hate this movie. Not because its boring (which it is) or because it lacks flashing editing (which it does), but because it just doesn't make sense.

Al Gore drives around in an SUV. He jetsets across the world. Talk about two polluting forms of travel. Heck, his family money comes tabacco and cattle farming, two of the most environmentally invasive crops (well, if cattle are grown) known to the world. hello methane! Although he talks the talk, he does very little walking. What I would have loved to see is him jumping in his hybrid, or, heaven forbid, taking public transit. If he's going to set an example, he could at least do so for the span of the movie. Now, I know you are going to say that's he's been involved with this cause (cause?) for decades. I don't care. It means even less to me if someone preaches and then keeps on sinning.

Also, dude, what's with those graphs? They don't even have axis labels! It means nothing without values! Please. I've taken intro to statistics. I know my shit. Also, its lovely to present temperature graphs for the last millenium (which is, I know, all we've got) but seriously. The world is what? Billions of years old? Its a little difficult to conclusively prove anything with such limited scale. I get it, its the best we can do. But still. I know, I am making myself sound like a sceptic. I am not. I truly believe that human beings are doing terrible things to the planet. I really do think that we need to lessen the impact of our foot prints. I do think that we are going to end up killing our species and probably take along a lot of other species with us. Deep down, I'm even terrified that this is going to happen within the next couple of generations. Or our generation. Or tomorrow. What I dislike are silly graphs that don't really reflect anything. Graphs are just too easy to manipulate.

But I am really sick that Al Gore gets all the credit for being some kind of environmental advocacy genius when there's tonnes of hardworking Americans/Canadians who have spent lifetimes dedicated to actually living what they believe. They are the examples. Not the man who "used to be the next president of the United States." Which is a line that should have been absolutely hilarious and which he couldn't even pull off. I know I was supposed to laugh, but I just couldn't.

Now, all that being said, at least this movie has gotten people talking. Which is so much better than nothing at all, especially if it leads to greater awareness and to more action towards reduction. Even more so if it leads to cleaner energy sources. I mean, we aren't all bad. Life expectancy is high, diseases are being cured, technology is rampant...we just need to work on creating more balance. And no, I have no idea how that will actually happen.

Monday, November 20, 2006

My faculty is having an auction for charity this year. I actually think its a great idea. We are all asked to donate things to be auctionned off. for myself, having just learned to bind books (okay, only two styles), I am going to donate one of those. They are homemade, yes, but they look great. My room mate is donating view master slides of the Library of Congress. She bought them on ebay. After hearing about the auction, our book binding session leader offered us a spot in one of her workshops. I really love the idea, especially at Christmas, of giving a little something to people who do not have so much.

But what I do not like is the choice of charity that the faculty made. We are donating the profits to Sick Kids. I get it: no one likes a sick child. i know. but. they are a huge corporation with a huge budget for fundraising and for raising public awareness of the funds they need. And, they often pay their fundraisers. what, you think those people with the binders on every street corner are doing it out of the goodness of their hearts? I think not. My point is this. They have fundraisers. Could we not have chosen a charity that perhaps needed the assistance a little more? A local charity? Perhaps even one related to libraries? I would even feel better if we were donating a collection of books to the Sick Kids library. Or, we could subscribe to an electronic database on behalf of one of the public libraries. Or we could donate to Librarians Without Borders, a venture launched by students at the Western. We could have done something that was a little more in tune with, well, us. It would be nice to see library students raising awareness , and advocating for, library needs and library users. who knew I was so keen, hey?

That being said, Sick Kids is a better charity than no charity, and I am happy to help out.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

we lost our semi-finals volleyball game last night. we got beat pretty bad. they were so good, it was like not only were they hitting the ball back to us, hard, they were placing it as well. see, you can be okay volleyball (me), very good at volleyball (half our team), and excellent at volleyball (michelle and chris). I just pray the ball goes back over to the other side. Michelle and Chris make it look very very easy. and pretty. I am so so jealous. the other team, last night, was of this caliber. meh, maybe not. they had this one guy who spiked it so hard, I had to be impressed. and one guy, you in the red shirt I am looking at you...he could just see it and place it wherever. that kind of skill requires admiration. it was funny too, cause he wasn't tall or super athletic. he was just smart. which, really, is the most dangerous kind of athlete of all.

Tonight, Jarrod and I are meeting my parents for Korean Barbecue. It is perhaps the most delicious experience on the planet. well, other than gorging one's self at mandarin, but my recent clothes shopping experience has pretty much kiboshed that for the near future. basically, you sit at a table with a grill in the middle of it. and then you proceed to cook your own meat. its all you can eat, its delicious, and its fresh. now, you can upgrade to lamb and shrimp, however, really, all you want is the chicken and beef. so don't do it. you'll be stuffed. and somehow, since it isn't carbs, you don't feel to stuffed. just that heavy kind of full that isn't all that bad.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

We recieved in our inbox today an email about a new decision: the admissions committee for the Faculty of Information Studies, University of Toronto is debating whether or not to add a student to the "deciding who gets in" mix. We were asked to, informally, choose whethe we were yay or nay on having a student representative on the committee.

I do not think that there should be a student on the admissions committee. At first glance, there seems to many reasons why a student should be on the committee. They are the ones who are experiencing the process--they are fresh out of school, they are living the challenges of applications, they know how difficult it is to attain a certain academic schedule while maintaining other aspects of life. Having been there, and quite recently, it seems to make sense that a student would be a welcome addition to the admissions committee.

Unfortunately, it is for precisely those reasons that a student would be a terrible idea. My fellow students are no more qualified to choose who enters our program than I am. I am quite happy to leave it to professors (who are interested in being on the committee, but that's a whole other can of worms) with experience, both in life and in education, to choose who enters the program. I have to think they might know a little something more than us.

Also, the point was suggested that perhaps we should get used to peer to peer evaluation. Which is absolutely true. If we were evaluating professional articles set to paper with the intention of being reviewed. This is personal character that we are talking about, private things that need not be made public and that need not be known by peers. There is a difference between personal scholarship and private reference letters, private appeals for acceptance, and of course, personal grade transcripts (especially from that year in res where no school work was done!). The committee is not around for Pub Nights, or study groups, the committee is a professional group, not of peers, but of superiors.

Someone suggested that the acceptance process was akin to the hiring process and that this would be good experience for one's future professional life. However, there are a few major differences. 1) You are not hired by your fellow level one employees. You are hired by someone who is ahead of you, who's been through it before. 2) The manager who does the hiring, or the department, is trained to do so. Plus, they have their own professional reputation to maintain. Their employees are a reflection of themselves and they could be putting their own reputation on the line when hiring. This is also exactly why I hate group work as students. There is no chain of command, no "boss," no "project manager," there is no one to ensure someone stays on track because it will be their butt if someone does not. If we want to talk about the real world, let's talk about professional reputation, being called on bullshit, and being fired. Okay, I can't talk about group work anymore without, oh, still wanting to kill members of previous groups for being so unbelievably selfish. Christmas, this year, you will be enjoyed.

The word 'authority' is extremely important in these situations. This whole situation is about authority and responsibility. A student does not have the right qualifications or the right distance or the right standing in the hierarchy of education to make these decisions. And everyone in the room will know it: Do we honestly think that student's voice is going to outweigh a professor's? A long time administrator's? It will not. Now, that's the real world for you. What are we imagining: sending in some charismatic twenty something to defend our rights to personality? Seriously.

What could be more powerful in this situation is a statement prepared by students that details what exactly they are looking for in fellow students. Bright, dynamic personalities, whose heads filled with practical know how and dedication to studies. But, also, someone who will make a trustworthy and informed information professional. How do you tell all of that from paper? You can't. And that is the real issue here. Not who does the choosing, but how we apply. Why not have an interview process? Why not submit something a little bit more creative? Why don't we get to show ourselves a little bit more?

Isn't this the root of the problem? That we want the people in power to know that there is more to us than transcripts or job experience. If we want change, we need it where it matters. Not a superficial band aid that causes more controversy than any one program needs.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Hallowe'en, Part Deux

These pictures, of course, should have been added a week ago. However, it never seemed to work out that I had my memory card and a lap top at the same time. now though, sitting at my parents place, doing laundry and waiting for them to get back from their walk, i not only have the card, access to a computer, but, and get this, i actually have the time to write a little something. i know, its crazy shocking.

see, now, when I first saw Heather in her costume, I got it totally wrong. Well, I mean, I got the fifties prim and proper housewife part right, but see, I thought she cut off her own hand and just proceeded to bake it, because, well, baking is what good wives do. But, in truth, it was a slightly more sinister. See, she had cut off someone else's hand and baked it. This is obviously a much better story. She won for the best costume, which, of course, is excellent.

This is robin being entirely unimpressed with her boyfriend, kirk, who's resting a glass on her head. She's dressed as Dorothy, which is entirely appropriate for her cute little self. Of course, she had to compete with another Dorothy, who was called, rather appropriately "Whore-thy" for the evening due to the shortness of the skirt and the prescence of garters. At a library party. I am not sure I will ever understand the notion of "sexy" hallowe'en costumes. The whole point is to dress up as something other than one's self, and well, if you dress up as a whore, I think it might be because, and this is a shocker, you're a whore. Just because its Hallowe'en, you aren't tricking anyone else into thinking anything other, so, really, you little slutty girls, you're just a treat and no trick at all. Which is just so terribly boring. I think that's why it bugs me so much. You have this opprotunity to do something funny or clever or different...and so many people just march to the beat of average.

This is, of course, Jarrod as a "space banker." The pictures of this costume really turn out excellently, even if no one else knew what he was. As far as costumes go, his was certainly unique. Thank heavens. If Jarrod had pulled "sexy space banker" I am not really sure what I would have done.

This is me as a zombie prom queen. I'm clearly attaching two people, who, instead of looking frightening, just look like they are humouring. Do they not understand that I'm a zombie? That I suck the life out of people and spit them out just wandering shells of their previous selves? That's some scary shit and they just aren't feeling it.

Hallowe'en was actually a pretty good time this year. As always, I left the costumes till the last minute. And I spent more money than I had expected to. (So if you see me with a plastic cup and coffee from home, you now know why.) But, we got two nights out of our costumes, which seems to make it a better bargain. I do not have any pictures from the second night, at The Sean Ward Show, because, although I brought my camera, I forgot the memory card. Story of my life.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

okay, i am considering something. that something is more school. are you shocked? you know, seeing as how i'm twenty five and haven't really not been in school yet. but, for a while there, i really thought that this year was it.

but, well, i've decided that i want to be a "digital services librarian." this means that i'll be taking on the responsibility of maintaining and developing the technologies that my library uses, everything from webpages to learning sessions to implementing new services and products. I want to be "that guy" who knows what she's doing. and to get there, to be self-sufficient, i am simply going to need more skills. its like i'm a skills junkie: i got my first taste with cataloguing, then with SQL, now...its all about the web. so, this is what i am thinking: Humber College, six months, $5900, Web Development Certificate.

Is this ridiculous? Can't I learn the skills on my own? and the answer, sadly, is no, i cannot. sure, i can do the basics, case in point, the header on this blog. but, i don't really 'get it.' and i want to. i'd like to. and i think that might be my real motivation. i would like to do it. it would make me feel pleased and proud of myself.

plus, i have all of these dreams of freelancing and pulling in some extra moola. and learning how to use a mac. for the real reasons: graphic design.

i am weighing ups and downs, worrying about job prospects, wondering what it is that i actually want to do with that whole thing called life.

pretty much, i have no idea.

Friday, October 27, 2006

You know what I hate about hallowe’en? The costumes. Yep, I hate them. Not because I think its silly or because I’m a adult, but, because, the good ones are so damn expensive. I mean, last year, jarrod and I went out as hicks. I was pregnant with a magnum of wine, he wore a beater and a flip flops with socks. We both wore mullet wigs. And talked in southern drawl. (it got worse as the night went on) but the wigs were each twenty bucks. For wigs! And the rest of the costume we made ourselves. And by made, I mean, were shocked when we discovered how easily our wardrobes suited being trailer trash. And this was our “cheap” costume. Originally, we had ideas about renting costumes from Malabar. Which is just stupid. If you could even get in the door, who would want to pay a hundred bucks for one night of costume renting?

I blame this on my new thrifty side. I will admit it. This summer was pretty rough. Financially. In every other way, it was great. But, having no money coming in, and worse, no savings to fall back on (education shmeducation), really meant that I was pinching the proverbial pennies. And suddenly, all the Larsh went out of me and I was filled with the McIntosh spirit. Its like I am possessed. I can feel myself being miserly. I’ll debate on whether to buy a really great book. In the past, I’d have bought the good book, the book beside it, and another, just to make sure I had my tastes covered. Its certainly a shock, let me tell you.

And this year, come hallowe’en, it’s the same all over again. I love the though of dressing up and I hate the thought of doing it. I remember during my undergrad, dressing up as a baby and my girlfriends killing themselves laughing at me because I hadn’t spent a cent on the costume. I mean, what’s the point? I am going to get drunk and fall down. I might as well be doing it in old pyjamas rather than some slutty dress that I want my deposit back on.

So, tonight, when it comes to dressing up, I guarantee I will be one of these things: a gypsy, a hippie, an old lady, or a baby. I hate all of these costumes equally. Maybe that’s why I am driven to the drink.

And damn it, I know I can’t compete with a tyranawhorus sex.

oh, and i just thought the shark was funny.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

i am always surprised to find where hate shows up. see, i moved into this apartment thinking i would hate lee's palace. i don't hate lee's palace. the other night, robin was in here, and after about an hour of chatting she looked at me and was like, "hey, when did the music start?" neither of us had noticed. but, it turns out, the people that i hate are the tenants upstairs. they are jocks. they are loud. they play music at all hours of the day. and night. the other day, while reading in my room, i heard one guy go, "yeah, dude, let's watch some porn. what channel is it again?" and then three or four other male voices all yelled, "39!" glad to know there is some self love going on upstairs cause i sure ain't hearing the ladies very often.

i finally feel like i have my room organized. i moved the closet bar waaaay up high (i can barely hang things on it) and i can get right into my closet. this has served to open up the room immeasurably. I was not inclinded to give my sliding-over-the-bed table, and, in order to still be able to, oh, i don't know, walk around the room, i had to move the dresser. we're not living in a big space here, jarrod and i, but it sure is feeling a lot bigger now.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

i've had a very excitign couple of days. yesterday, at my practicum, i made a shocking discovery. the almanac that i was cataloguing was not actually missing pages. no, indeed, the pages were complete, they were just, get this, mis-numbered. and me, being the sleuth that i am, figured out that the pagination was just fine if you counted, but not if you actually looked at the number printers. fortunately, i had another copy with which to compare and to prove my shocking results.
i am being completely serious. this totally made my day.
see, i feel like there might be people out there who might question my dedication to this profession or my natural inclination. even though i detest school, and lectures, and papers, and discussion, i do truly love this profession. i just need days like yesterday every once in a while to remember it.
lest you think i've totally changed stripes, i did spend the day chatting on gmail with my favourite online compatriots, kristen and tasha, who, of course kept me abreast of the fact that lindsay lohan is corrupting rumer willis (is anyone else surprised that she isn't more good lookin'?) and that some paramour's are just not worth the effort. or the email.
right now, this second, i am taking a brief pause from my advocacy report. or powerpoint. i'm working with a partner from western, which has actually turned out pretty well despite my worries, and its her turn to look things over. when she sends it back, i have to do a audio recording.
i am afraid i am going say either "god mother fucking damn this course is terrible" or "like*" (in a valley girl type tone). these two fears are equal, because, well, i don't have control over my mouth when i say either of those things.
i will maintain that it was not my fault.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

i know, i know, its been a while. and you've missed me terribly. i know. i promise to be better in the future. see, the great thing about this blog is that i can make promises like that. and then not keep them. with no repercussions, except that i feel mildly bad.

so, these past few weeks have been busy. busy to the point where i feel like if one more thing falls on my plate then i will just start crying. its been a stressful time for the whole family, with dad's illness, with moving, with everything...there just don't seem to be enough hours in the day. this is how i know that i am all grown up, because i say things like, "there just aren't enough hours in a day." i also offer this example of grown upness. yesterday, a friend mentionned that she got stuck in a corridor without a pass card and could not get out. all the doors required security clearance, which she did not have. i, of course, was shocked and said, "well, that's such a safety hazard!" yes, that is what i said. i went on about how unsafe it was to have a situation wherein people get stuck. fortunately, someone else came through the door. with a pass. otherwise maybe there'd be a party in there by now. (hey! party...maybe i am young still!)

i have managed to hurt my thumbs. one of the guys at work roped (and by roped i mean, mentionned, and i jumped at the chance) into playing intermural co-ed volleyball. its a total blast. its not too serious, but serious enough that you are excited when you win or when you make a good play. just my level. it also feels good to get out and do something physical, something other than just solo running. which actually i should be doing as well. i've pulled out of the race, but annetta is running in my spot. i think i might still tell people i am running so that they'll be uber impressed with my time. i am still going to go out and cheer for her! go annetta go! i don't know what she's been eating for breakfast to have all her motivation, but i give her a lot of credit for it. we're playing ultimate frisbee intramurally as well, and i am going to bust out my carleton ultimate show for intimidation. but then they'll expect some skill from me.

the new place is alright. actually, its great. there was a while there when i could not even write about it. i was upset with the moving process, i felt so bad for robin (who kinda got swept up in the tide of alli-planning, which is never a good place to be), i was adjusting to the noise (thank you lee's palace), there were so many other things to just "get done." but now, it feels like home. both robin and jarrod have put so much time and effort into our place that, although it is not perfect, it is the best home. i have never seen jarrod so much in his element, and that is pretty priceless to me. especially since i plan on dragging him across the country next year, wherever my employment takes me. thank you tasha for making me think way too much about that!

also, that jacket that i invested in at lululemon. totally worth it. i've been caught riding my bike in the rain no less than five times since i bought it.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

its here. today, it came. i've been waiting all week for the packages to complete jarrod's birthday present, but, unfortunately (i am smiling inside because i'm a terrible person), it was my little present to myself that came first. and by present, i mean, classic switcheroo. dad wanted to be able to listen to some music to pass the time, and since the new ipods were only available online and he'd have to wait, so, i gave him mine. now, i'm sticking my bazillions of gigs back onto my itunes. please don't ask me why i have to do this. oh, okay, since you begged. i moved my folders around. and of course, itunes can't keep up, so i have to add everything again. and its taking a long long time.

we've booked movers for this weekend. i have to admit, the thought of moving all of this stuff, again, keeps me up at night. i wasn't sure how to get it done, i wasn't sure who i could impose on to help me, it just...stressed me out. and frankly, i have enough to worry about without worrying about moving. so, i booked movers. seriously. oh, we're still doing a lot of grunt work on sunday, moving boxes) but we're leaving the beds and the book shelves and the couches for the men. yes, i said it. the men. who have man strength. for lifting. and i will watch them, with a coffee, and think to myself about how this is the best money that i have ever possibly spent. especially since it is being split four ways.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

censoring myself

bowing to friendly pressure, i've removed my address from my resume. see, both my mother and my aunt has previously pointed this out to me. i, stubborn wench that i am, shot back that, well, you could also find me in the phone book. after a fellow blogger commented that i was just tempting fate (actually that's completely putting words in his mouth but i think the message remains the same), i've removed the more personal of the personal information on this blog.

it brings up though issues of false familiarity for me. this blog is read almost exclusively by my friends and family and i suppose this makes me feel very safe. i completely forget the anonymity that the web provides, and really, the number of lurkers that love the blogosphere. i suppose its just about playing safe. i would hate it if something bad came out of this.

on an up note, both of my classes finished early today, i got my first choice for my practicum (at the library in the archives of ontario), and i even treated myself to some french fries and a hot dog for dinner. oh sure, the running ain't happening, but, with jarrod's new shift, canada's wonderland (does anyone want to go? there's discount tickets at pharma plus! come!) this saturday, and other things looking up, i feel pretty okay about perhaps backing out. if i did, it would only serve to give me even more motivation to run one in the spring. so, we'll see.

grease monkey

there are a few things that i have been meaning to blog about. but, you know, life is busy and my down time, which was work, is now busy as bees, and i just don't have the time to blog. time like i would like to. time to talk about things such as how i have decided that shampoo and i must end our twenty five year relationship. see, it started when i got back from scotland. somehow, most of the shampoo was gone. and you know how it is, you squeeze out the last couple days a wee bit longer than you should. and then, you make the dramatic announcement that maybe, well, maybe you don't need shampoo at all.

and then your cousin mentions that you are far from the first person to do such a thing. indeed, read this for background. basically, its a few different women who have experimented with not washing their hair. i guess the basic idea is that we strip our hair's natural oils and then replace them with conditioner. so, if you remove the shampoo, your hair should regulate itself. the below pictures were taken about three weeks in (its been over four now) and i use them to demonstrate that yes, my hair did increase in curliness. it also increased in greasiness, but, fortunately that seems to be subsiding. for a while there, i could barely stand to touch my roots and i admit that on a few occasions i wore headscarves. but, there is something about this dirty experiment that appealed to a very weird part of me: the same part that was appealed when jeanetta challenged me, while camping, to go without brushing my teeth. i dunno. i guess i just ain't a lady.

i don't think it looks dirty...i think it actually looks a lot less frizzy. even thicker. for the record, i hate my hair. i think its mousy, its going grey but not enough to be attractive, and, well, its terribly thin. i used to be paranoid that i was balding, but, it doesn't seem to be getting any worse. so, basically, i was willing to try just about anything to make it look prettier. i am actually quite happy with it. my dirty little secret, is, of course, that somewhere along the line i've stopped brushing it too. oops.

Monday, September 18, 2006

le weekend de le "party"

its monday and i feel more tired than i usually do on fridays. i think i need a weekend to recover from my weekend.

first of all, kristen visited. now, i was expecting a fun time. of course i was. but i was not expecting such a busy fun time! on friday, i worked till eight, and then met tasha, annetta, alex, lorien and dave. you can judge by the number of highlighted names that it was a bit of a mini-blogging conference. there was a whole lot of "!" and "princess awesome" (which refere to, of course, our blogging personas. it was nerdy. and it was hella fun. the night just kept on getting better. a great pub night, where jarrod joined us, and, dare i say it, i think he actually had a really fun time out with us. kristen has a gift for drawing out the quiet folk. i remember looking in the mirror, after a pint or two, i'll admit, thinking what a great time i was having because all the people i love were around, in great moods, and at the start of a weekend.

on saturday, the girls and i spent the day at the clothing sale, held at the automotive building at exhibition place. of course, i thought it was at the convention centre, so i dragged kristen there and left a message for stephanie and eddy saying that was where it was. there are times, truly, when i get my lines crossed. however, we made up for lost time (some of us more than others!) and each scored, i do believe, deals of the year. for instance, i got:

now, i have been looking for a vintage-y beaded purse for years. my mom has this beautiful one that was her grandmother's. actually, she let me use it once, for mike and ciara's wedding. and i was so worried about it that i could barely use it. and then i even worried about it while it was just sitting up in my hotel room. sometimes i take responsibility very seriously.

i also got:
a pink hat and a gold beaded necklace. now, i am not sure how it is that i ended up with two beaded and gold things, but i love love love them.

of course, this post could not end without mention of kristen and her mink. her exact words, as she shrugged into the beast were, breathlessly, "oh, tell me how much this is and give me a fantastic price because i am just dying to buy it!" and the lady gave her a great price and boy did she buy it. as she ran to the ATM, i just smiled, looked the lady in the eye and said, "you should see her with men!" i think we made her day. but, its only fair, because she made ours.

i think she's trying to show canadian spirit, with the flag and all. i am not sure robin knows what to make of her, but truly, that is a very significant part of her charm. thank you for visiting kristen, and for being hilarious and fun, and of course, for inviting me to the big city. which i will one day take her up on. and by one day, i mean very soon.

**and we did pee in a field, but only because we really really had to and it was a long long walk.

Friday, September 08, 2006

dear drivers in toronto,

i realize that your morning commute is stressful. its busy and you're late and you're trying to drink your coffee. there's one way streets and pedestrians, not to mention other drivers. but, in all the business of the morning, please take the time to remember you are sharing the road: with cyclists. i know, i know, you have all the power. you're big, you're motorized, and you have the protection of your windows. my little bell is nothing compared to your horn. i know all of this, but still, i am asking for a little condsideration.

for instance, on select roads, there are bike paths. these bike paths are just like your roads: but for bikes. can you imagine if you were driving down the street and your road was blocked? how angry and irate would you be? but, this happens all the time. a bike path is not a convienient place to pull over while you drop your grandmother off. it is not the place to pick up a fare if you are a cab driver. and fedex, damn it, get smaller trucks or get off toronto streets. what all of you drivers seem to forget is that you are going to win in a fight. you'll cream us. this is why we need that little bit of space. after all, we're commuting too. and we're also late. and we've left an extra ten minutes to grab a coffee but that isn't going to happen if i have to keep dodging cars.

also, when turning corners: please remember to leave room for a bike to pass you. don't hug the curb so tightly that we have to jump the curb and scare pedestrians. just think a head a little, check your rear view. cyclists are a part of the culture in downtown toronto. whether you like us or not, you should be grateful that we aren't also driving cars and making your commute even longer and more stressful. if you'd like an experiment, try riding your bike yourself one day and experience the fear and stress of riding alongside unpredicatable drivers.

i understand that we have made different commuting choices and that, indeed, we feel quite a bit of animosity towards the other. however, i promise to obey all the traffic laws i can, if you simply try to grant us a little space. hopefully, you can stop complaining about how ridiculous cyclists can be and i'll stop bitching about how oblivious drivers are. it'll be perfect.

thank you for your time!


ps to all of you pedestrians who keep putting garbage in my bike basket: you'll get your letter soon. you mofos. its still littering! if i see you, i will sterilize you. yes, that is a threat. i think you're pathetic lazy scum. (maybe i don't need a whole letter.)

Thursday, September 07, 2006

dude, hold the coffee

it is a standard rule of libraries, i do believe, worldwide, that you are not allowed to either eat or drink within spilling or crumb distance of the materials. of course, this rule is entirely not binding of library staff. this is because we like to flaunt our obvious superiority. not only do we know the methodolgy behind dewey, we also get to drink our coffee and eat our muffins.
the cafeteria is located on a different floor than the helpdesk. so, some traveling occurs. i always, always (well, most of the time) obey the rule to use the stairs rather than the escalator. its a rule, i don't know, librarians aren't always understandable. i headed for the stairs, while my walking partner headed the opposite way around the median in the middle of the hallway. i remarked to him, in a normal speaking voice, that i was surprised he wasn't told to take the stairs, as, usually, i was told to. he laughed and we proceeded down the stairs.
chatting, we walked towards our place of work. about twenty feet away, in front of us, i heard a girl go "where do you think you are going?" (and in a rather snide and snippy voice.) i didn't answer, in fact, i looked behind me to see if she was talking to someone else. when i realized she was indeed looking at us, i looked at jamal, thinking that she must know her. when i finally realized that she was talking to us and that neither of us knew her, i kinda gave her that shrug, and went, "uh, over there." (pointing to the help desk) she replied, "you're not allowed to have drinks in here, so..." and i looked at her and went, "we work here." she said, "well, i heard you two plotting about sneaking drinks down here." and so i said, "look, we were work here. i was joking because they always tell us to take the stairs." bitch. it was one of those times where i could tell that she was looking at us, wishing she could say something the whole way down the escalator (which she could take since she didn't have a coffee, which was probably the whole problem), and promising herself that if she did see us, she'd damn well say something because the sanctity of robart's library rests on her shoulders.
the best part: helping with registration today, she registered as a first year student. i think she even blushed when she saw me. you know, when she saw who i was. an upper year student. with friends. so intimidating. i might laugh about it with her later, but for now, i think a simple "excuse me, but drinks aren't allowed in the library" would have sufficed. clearly, i'm still bitter that i got yelled at.

Monday, September 04, 2006

when counting sheep fails

i am a chronic sleeper. if i have an hour or two off, chances are, you can find me napping. sometimes i'll give the pretense of reading, but mostly, its sleeping that i'm up to. so, its very unusual to find me not sleeping at two in the morning. i am never stuck by insomnia. i am asleep, usually, by the time my head hits the pillow. its rather disconcerting that right now, i am still awake. coming back from the cottage, i expected to be asleep, oh, about four hours ago. but, i'm not.

i realize that there are a lot of things going on right now. work, school, moving, illness, at the best of times september means business, and now, for me, this year, its even more than busy. i feel like there are nine million things for me to do and i want to do everything so well and yet i just feel tired all of the time (which makes it even worse that i am not asleep right now). i am not used to stress. i am usually such a good planner that well, i don't plan for any stress time.

we came home a day early from the cottage and i am beginning to regret that decision. i love the cottage. but the weather was terrible. and i am sore all over from pathetic attempts to wakeboard. jeff makes it look easy peasy, but for this old girl, it cause nothing but incredibly sore back muscles. fortunately, i beat jeff where it counts: on the scrabble board. and he did boost my spirits by saying that i was a great wakeboard boat driver (take that uncle john!). but all i really wanted was to get up on that damn board. maybe next summer. i say next summer rather than next time, because, well, because the motor on our boat caught on fire today. yep, it was smoking. literally. we had to have two old rugged fishermen to tow us back to our dock. i say rugged because at least three times, the older one said, "in my forty three years on this lake..." and i figure that anyone who has been in one place for forty three years, and if that one place is a lake, that qualifies you are rugged. the man was so informed that when my dad warned him of a dangerous rock near our dock, he uttered his catch phrase. apparently, he knows intimately all the rocks on our rather large lake. i wasn't going to insult him though, he saved us a whole heck of a lot of paddling. and for that, i am grateful.

the visit was seriously spiced up by the quinn family. i don't know what it is, but as we get older, our family because exponentially funnier. i don't think i have laughed so hard at some many different things in a long time. i wasn't even drinking. much. i know they made mom's birthday extra special, and in times like these, well, making good memories seems even more important. that was extremely sentimental, but well, like i said, i don't do well with insomnia and so i think i should be able to multiply mine. you know, for a normal person this is nothing, but for me, its like i've been awake for weeks. i am simply not in my right mind. i just love everyone.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

down to the wire

i don't like to be busy. some people seem to thrive on it. they get nine million things accomplished in one day, whereas i get done about one thing a month. i like to have my weekends off. this means sleeping in, without guilt, cooking a nice breakfast (well, jarrod cooks it but i eat it), maybe doing some reading or running some errands (such as going to the book store or getting a coffee). i loooove lazy days. therefore, the past couple weeks, which have been extremely busy for me, aren't sitting all that well. in fact, i would even call them contrary to my nature. like petting hair the wrong way.

i've got quite a bit of work to do in the next 48 hours. for example, i have two hundred images left to index, out of a thousand. how is that possible you ask? what have i been doing for the last month? honestly, i am not sure why it has taken me this long. each image is about ten minutes of work, with all the copying and pasting and checking and verifying. and, if i find a mistake, or i need to add another key word, well, that just sets the whole process back. i did as much planning as i possibly could...and for a while there, i couldn't see the end. but, now i can. and i have a goal of doing the indexing for seventy five images before my head hits the pillow tonight. the boys will be watching back episodes of BSG, so i'll have company and background noise. its like paper writing season--its crunch time. and boy, do i ever do well in a crunch. you need someone in a high pressure situation, i am your girl.

so, if you're looking for me, you can limit your search to places with wireless internet, extra large coffees, and some sort of ginger cookie. i'll be there all day.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

books that....

1. A book that changed your life.
i would have to go with sofie's world by jostein gaarder. i was sixteen and amazed and thought philosophy would be the way that i could finally figure out my place in the world. i was wrong, but i didn't realize that until after completing a four year philosophy degree at carleton.

2. A book you've read more than once.
i have read several books more than once. my mom doesn't get it...she thinks that it is like a movie, once you know the ending, what's the point? but, i'm a last page first kinda girl, and i love getting there just as much as the ending itself. the book that i read most often will already be featured on this list as the book that makes me cry out loud, so, others that i've been caught reading more than once is the discovery of heaven by harry muslisch, for the male banter, the fantasty trilogies by melanie rawn (i don't even know why, i'm a sucker for a love story) and books by gabriel garcia marquez, because, well, i can barely keep the characters straight at any time, let alone months after i've read them (and i'm usually really good at that!).

3. A book you'd want on a desert island.
this one is tough. do i want something big and bulky? short and sweet? a whole series, perhaps? honestly, i'd take steven erikson's series. its big, its complex, its stimulating, it has a wide range of characters and emotions, it has it all. i'd like to say i'd take nietzsche or something suitably thought provoking, but, if i'm going to be on a desert island, i think i'd like to enjoy myself a little.

4. A book that made you giddy.
giddy? has a book made me giddy? if one has, i can't remember it.

5. A book that you wish had been written.
i wish i had written the adventures of kavalier and clay. its not my favourite book of all time, though it is up there, but, it is what i think a book should be. incredibly human characters that make lives for themselves, who make good and bad choices, who redeem and are redeemed, and then who fall all over again. it has an intriguing story, its set within one of the most interesting times of the modern era (WWII). i think it a book written for other writers. sometimes you get books that are written beautifully, but which you cannot read more than twenty pages at a time (i am thinking of you anne michaels and michael ondaatje). the stories pass from your mind, much the way that poetry is hard to remember. its the phrasing, the expression that is important. these books are beautiful, but they do not satisfy my urge to read. kavalier and clay, however, has the potent combination of beautiful writing with a story that is almost tangible. i mean, i am pretty sure these characters were real people. and that i've met them.

6. A book that wracked you with sobs.
hands down, the lions of al rassan by guy gavriel kay. i remember being at the cottage, reading this book for about the sixth time, coming outside, tears streaming, and my mom asking me what was wrong. nothing was wrong, except that one of the best men the book world has ever seen...well, i won't ruin the ending for you, but i am sure you can see where this is going.

7. A book you wish had never been written.
i am not sure if i wish any books had not been written. i mean, even if its not my taste, i don't believe that any books are inherently bad. i mean, i have whole genres of literature that i cannot read (for instance, i do not think virginia wolff is great writer, nor have i ever been able to read a full novel of hers, despite multiple tries), but i am glad they exist. i could take the easy route and go mein kampf or something, but i still think that censorship is more damaging than the book itself.

8. A book you are currently reading.
what am i currently reading? charlotte gray, by sebastian faulks. the mineral palace, by an author i cannot remember. reader's digest, because i like the jokes and the articles infuriate me to the point that i feel like i do actually care about what happens to the world. on beauty, by sadie something or other. that one's really good, too. i like books that a) are about the stuggles of emigration (usually concerning the indian disapora, british colonialism, or african genocide...very cheerful, but the stories are so powerful) or b) dysfunctional families that somehow make it work (more cheerful, but less poignant).

9. A book you've been meaning to read.
there are several. freakonomics. suite francaise (but it may be too much like virginia wolff for me). persian fire. i have several books that i've ordered form that i just haven't had a chance to read yet. but i have time.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

this is turning out to be a terribly sporadic series of postings. see, i can only post pictures when i am at a computer that hold my memory card. oh yes, my digital camera has one of those damn port/cable thingies, but, that was the first thing i lost. i also have an mp3 player that i cannot use, a phone that has no power source (and therefore makes this really annoying beeping sound for a ring) and a printer that is rigged with a motley spectacle of usb cables. every time i plug my ipod in with my special apple cable, i am thankful i haven't lost it. that isn't to say that i have not misplaced it, i have, but i haven't permanently lost it. just wait till i move. my apartment will be a museum of out of commission electronic goods. but, right now, i am at home, and i am able to post. i've grabbed a few more pictures, and while they are in an accurate order for this post, they are, of course, interspersed with the pictures from the last post. i promise to improve. just give me time.

i believe i already mentionned the older gentleman we met in troon. my mother thought his meeting just as serendipitous as i, and indeed, expressed it much more clearly here. actually, she writes about our whole trip, but, she's much too nice. you'll find all the dirt here. mom decided to surprise grammy with the trip to troon. it was her first trip back in fifty years and grammy had a bit of a tough time figuring out which house exactly it was that she and her sister, my auntie moira, stayed in during WWII. i think that is pretty excusable. with the help of the aforementionned man, we were able to discover which house it was. i love love love the houses here. (and by here, i mean europe.) they are beautiful. they demonstrate craftsmanship. now, of course, you'll find the burbs in Scotland just like here, but, there are many many beautiful houses.We headed to Inverness as the home base for a few day trips. mom, having entertained several sets of guests over the past few, was understandably exhausted by tours of the highlands leaving by way of Edinburgh. so, we tried further north. our tour guide was a rather annoying young man. of course, i didn't decide he was annoying until he publicly embarrassed me in front of our whole tour group. and that was after he dressed me in a kilt. (not exactly flattering, but i'll take it. why you ask? because for once it looks like i have an ass.)

seriously though, i almost came to blows with our tour guide. sarah, my cousin, is a runner. i like to jog. our tour group was mostly adults, middle aged and upwards. at one stop, we had scheduled a leisurely walk to a waterfall. the path was clearly marked. so, sarah and i decided to jog it. you know, get our heart rates going. well, apparently, this was unacceptable, and we were told to stop acting like children and to never run off on a tour group. dude, my mother was on the tour. if anyone, anyone, was going to reprimand me for any of my actions ever, it'd be her. i let him say his piece, and then i approached him to discuss the proper treatment of people paying to ride a bus. dad thinks i should have just said, "well, there's goes your tip, idiot." which, frankly, i wish i had said. next time. i'll get your tour guide! i'll get you!
one of my favourite parts of the day trip was a stop in culloden. my mom and grammy mentionned that the last time they stopped in culloden, the tour guide stressed that the battlefield where many highland clans lost many members was sacred space. our idiot tour guide stressed nothing except that we were already behind schedule and we'd better get our butts in gear. we had only enough time to find the macintosh stone (there were quite a few of them). i wanted to find the cameron stone (i'm dating a cameron) and had almost given up, when, lo and behold, directly beside one of the macintosh stones was the cameron one. i am not one for shivers, but, this one got me. somehow, deep inside, it is extremely moving to think of our ancestors fighting side by side in the last major battle for the Scottish throne and the last time the clans mounted a formidable force.
okay, you can't really see that it says cameron, so you'll just have to trust me.

on our last saturday night in Edinburgh, we went to the tattoo. i live the bagpipes. always have, always will. i loved that part of the tattoo. i also loved the marching bands. about halfway through, the mood and tone of the show changed. it became less about the music and more about...the army. i did not love the tribute to military might, the march of tanks, the...'army-ness' of it all. now, you say to me, alli, its a military tattoo, of course its pro-military! to which i say, you are right. in hindsight, i should have seen what was coming. but at the time, i was sitting in the stands, more than a little uncomfortable, physically and mentally, as i watched people cheer and cheer this...spectacle of military prowess. it was a truly bizarre experience. i heard talk of people shedding tears because it was so moving. i have to admit that i did not exprience that sense of comraderie.

there are still more pictures that i wish i had time to write about. i am feeling a little overwhelmed with life right now. both my jobs have picked up, courses are starting soon, i am neglecting my student council responsibilities, my eating habits have been less than stellar...all of this contributes to a rather blah sense of self. i have a long run planned for tomorrow afternoon, but after running in scotland, i find it difficult to rev myself up for a run on the treadmill or through this busy polluted city. but, running always always makes me feel better--prouder, stronger--and i am looking forward to that high.

good night!

Monday, August 21, 2006

i have to admit that the thought of moving made me want to curl up into a tight little ball and ball my eyes out. i hate it. its hard work, its time consuming, things get broken and lost, you always have to buy different things, you have to rearrange your room, i have to reorganize my books, hang pictures, clean, clean, clean, well, you get the idea. so, clearly, it wasn't my idea to move, but, as it often happens, moving it is.

today, we signed the lease at the new place. as we walked off the bathurst subway, jarrod and i spent some time pointing out the things that were going to be "ours." the record store, the movie theatre, any of three coffee shops, the grocery store, the sushi restaurant. we had a quick breakfast at mel's, the best diner in the city, which is now located a block from our house. i love love love this area. its bright and eclectic and its much much more my style that the condo. (not that i didn't love the condo.) jarrod observed that the condo is a very private way of living. you go home, you don't say hi to your neighbours. the condo itself exists separate from the community in which it is situated. the apartment, though, is right smack dab in the middle of things. i think i just might like being in the middle of things.

i will always be grateful to mom and dad for the opprotunity to live here. it saved me a lot of stress finding a place last year in a city i did not know. this year, knowing the city, having met people who also live here, the task was not as daunting. and this will be our place. its the first time my dad didn't co-sign the lease (though he did front my the last months can people afford that?).

did i mention we're near a used book store as well?

Friday, August 18, 2006

another doppelganger

although i have recovered from the shock of seeing another couple that looks eerily a like to my boyfriend and i, i am still recovering from the shock of seeing another girl who be me.
a friend sent me a link to this blog: tales of a travelling librarian. its startling and alarming. we're both librarians. we've both traveled. we've both called our blogs titles that are practically the same. (though i will note that i have had this blog for over a year, while her's is much less aged.) let me state for the record that i am not angry about this whatsoever...i just think its incredibly neat. i mean, here we are, living lives that we think are so wonderfully unique and personal, when, lo and behold, there's another person out there who chooses to live their life a lot like the way you choose to live yours. its awfully humbling. i hate and love the internet for this. what are the chances that we both blog? and robin, shouldn't you be doing work at work?

yesterday jarrod and i went to see the sixth of our apartments during house search 2006. i was getting discouraged, i have to admit, with all the dingy basements we have been seeing. i might have gotten so upset that i cried and picked a fight with jarrod over it, which goes to show how weak my character can really be. however, i bounced back as soon as i saw a cute three bedroom apartment on bloor/bathurst. its within our price range, all inclusive, great location, walk to school, big deck out back, an actual kitchen and an actual living room...the only problem being that three groups of people were filling out the application at the same time. i gave the guy two hundred bucks as a deposit...or we'll see. jeff promised to be my enforcer if the guy got shady. i told him i'd punch him in the face myself. but even if it doesn't work out, i have hopes for a place on bloor/high park as well. both robin and i like to run and to be so near to high park, well, its a runner's heaven. and its much much cheaper. damn it, i am almost regretting the deposit. crap. i love the apartment we are trying to get, so i am going to stop worrying about it. i say that like i can help it.

last night, chris, jenny, jarrod and i tried to go out for mexican food. i say try because we went to the restaurant, we sat down, we ordered, but we never got our food. we sat there for over an hour. just waiting. laughing with the couple at the next table who also never got there food. and then we took off. and ordered a pizza. damn you margaritas! i think we might try for sushi tonight, but we'll see. we'll see if i get my two hundred bucks back!

also, if anyone is looking for hours and hours to kill, might i recommend downloading battle star galactica. your procrastinator self will be oh so fulfilled.

Monday, August 14, 2006

let me first state for the record that i think that people should have to pass an etiquette test before stepping a single toe on an airplane. these would be the main lessons: do NOT recline your seat unless you are sleeping. if you are chatting with a neighbour, watching the film, or reading a book, you do not get to put the seat down. its invasive, its uncomfortable and its inconsiderate. i think i had some more lessons, but pretty much, that is the one that pisses me off the most. i can't sleep on a plane worth beans, but apparently sarah can.

the day after we arrived, the whole group of us piled in the car and headed to york. the drive was about two hours. i would describe it like this: "pretty" i remember when i first started traveling. every church seemed full of sacred space, each town seemed to be the epitome of town, get the idea. now though, i find myself falling into the trap of just being blah about it all. i mean, every once in a while, i get that 'wow' feeling, but, it comes less often and i miss it.
the following house i just thought was hilarious. it looks like its moving.

since my passion for architecture is waning, i am concentrating on more natural sights. they still take my breath away. this one is of the sunset in Troon, the town my grandmother vacationned in and the town to which she was evacuated to during the second world war. we wandered around troon and managed to find the very houses she lived in. we also met an interesting character, a ninety-one year old neighbour who remembered the families in the area.

on the last trip my grandparents, my mom, and my aunt kathy took, they toured around the highlands. (you can't really go to scotland without touring the highlands.) apparently, they passed a castle called Eilean Donan several times without ever entering the grounds. so, we made up for it this time by visiting twice. the one below is of sarah and i out behind the castle. quite the view, no? (see, nature still does it for me.)

during the last hour on the bus, day two, we encountered the most amazing rainbow. anyone who knows me knows i like rainbows. i took about ten pictures. i think this one is the best. (if anyone would like to see the others, i'd be happy to share. there are enough rainbows for everyone.)

now, this is not a great post about the trip...but i was looking through my photos and these popped out at me. tomorrow, i will post such gems as "alli dressed as ancient male scottish highlander," "sarah being frightened, a series of ten" and "scottish pipers, blurred."

Sunday, August 06, 2006

well, i'm in glasgow. tasha, you are, and usually are, right. its beautiful!

tomorrow, sarah and i have planned a nice scenic run through the botanical gardens. we scoped it out today and were pleasantly surprised to find a book fair. okay, mom and i were pleasantly surprised, grammy and sarah i don't think really felt too strongly one way or another.

the hotel we are staying at happens to have free internet, but, the keyboard is a little wonky and, so growing more and more frustrated, i am going to keep this short and to the point.

i wish i could add some photos because then i could just add those and they'd speak for themselves. and i wouldn't have to type. well, it'll have to wait. soon, maybe.

things i learned today:
  1. ipod chargers have a built in converter, so yay, we can charge them!
  2. not all english people are polite, nor do they know how to respect "reserved seats." you'd think mom had asked him for his, his...his something really valuable.
  3. scottish fare is not always haggis and meat pies. sometimes it is incredibly varied, and delicious, indian, morroccan, french, etc. food, all locally grown. (we asked for a typical scottish restaurant and that was the recommendation)
  4. i am glad i bought a rechargeable battery with my camera...sarah's going through 'em like a hot knife through butter.
  5. condos, in what used to be a hospital (the one in which grammy was born) go for about $700 000. i bought two.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

gone fishin'

i set off to work at the information commons today quite happily. the pay is great, the job is cushy, and i had decided to do a bit of extra work on my indexing because the server was down for a few days this week. plus, i really really like the idea of making over thirty dollars an hour. but when i got here, i realized that i forgot my power cord. there are few things that i dislike more than having the desire (well, at least the plan) to get some work done and not to be able to do. it really gets my goat.

one of the things that could have circumvented my annonyance would have been a nice giant sized cup of coffee. but, of course, our cafetaria service on campus is switching contracts, so everything is closed. in my opinion, to withhold coffee from the poor saps that have to work on sundays is absolutley medieval. there are very few things i can't handle without my extra cuppa joe.

so, instead of getting work done while comfortably enjoying a nice hot drink, i am a bit bitchy and a bit bored. on the upside, i've made a few dinner and lunch plans this week. and, for the most part, i am all set to head off to scotland on thursday. tasha sent me an excellent email of things to do in glasglow (she lived there for a few months) and i am looking forward to seeing the things she recommends for a couple of reasons: a) i am sure they'll be worth seeing and b) its a neat kinda time warp thing whenever you send someone to some place that is special to you.

it is true that i do have a paper to write tomorrow (thought...should i start that now? maybe i will, maybe i just will!), but i am, for all intents and purposes, already on vacation. that might not be a good thing, but only when it comes to the paper.

Friday, July 28, 2006

the little brown dress

my mom sent me this link this morning:

The Little Brown Dress

Check it out before you continue reading, otherwise you'll have no idea what i am taking about for the rest of this post. i can give you a brief synopsis, but it won't be the same. a woman decides to make and wear only one brown dress for 365 days. she adds on sweaters or layers as needed, but the core of the outfit is only the brown dress. she maintains that most of her co-workers did not even notice that she was wearing the same dress day after day (asserting that our own self-absorbed-ness prevents us from seeing other people.) the whole experiment can be summed up by her saying, " made one small, personal attempt to confront consumerism by refusing to change my dress for 365 days." (Alex Martin)

now, i was expecting to see one dress, 365 times. but she spruces up her outfit daily (in nice traditional granola wear), to the point that i now understand why she said that her colleagues did not even notice that she was duplicating her outfit. now, the woman seems to be some kind of creative force, also transforming this experiment into a dance. the whole experiment seems intriguing to me: the idea that we are not what we wear, no matter how hard i'd like to justify the goodness of what not to wear. i think it also fits perfectly into our national tendency to over-produce and over-use. not only did wearing, gasp, one article of clothing not stifle the spirit of this woman, it inspired her.

when i was in grade 12, our high school decided to embark on the path of uniforms. active in student government, i have to admit, i was prepared to put all my student influence towards rejecting the uniform (or clothing simply existing to turn us into clones, whatever you'd like to call it.) and i wasn't the one you'd think would protest: i was overweight, friends with the artsy types (who have all turned out to be wonderful interesting people, just like they were then), and heck, i was on student council. i was the poster girl of why there should be uniforms. but i hated the very idea of them. but that hate lasted about one second after my mom bought me mine. not only could i roll over and practically be dressed, i also looked like everyone else. and because everyone looked the same, all of a sudden, people had to listen to what other people said to distinguish them. i don't really have to words to describe this process. was it because we were teenagers? because we didn't really know who we were yet (but do we now?)? did clothes really make for class disctinctions? i don't know. but i do remember a vastly different environment when we did have uniforms. one that i was quite thankful for. and i do remember that people words meant more than they had mattered before.

now, ms. martin isn't promoting uniforms by any means. i would hate to put words in her mouth. but, i still like the message. and i think the message is rather pertinent to us, overconsumers and mass wasters, and that we should listen.