Wednesday, April 26, 2006

top five

while traveling, i often find myself reminiscing about travels past. and so, i find that i would like to illuminate the cities of my travels that i have enjoyed visiting most.

1) Prague, Czech Republic
I visited prague in the spring of 2003 with my friend john. unlike most of my ventures on my exchange year, i was not surrounded by a gaggle of friends (we usually traveled in groups). after a rather difficult time getting visas (we had to travel from leuven to brussels several times), i was simply hoping that it would prove to be worth the trouble. it did. first of all, prague is extremely scenic. as with most cities that have rivers, it was beautiful. lots of hills and lots of archectural adaptions to fit these hills. being ex-communist bloc, it has an extremely interesting history. the hostel was nothing to write home about. except for perhaps the location. very central. we were there shortly after easter, and in the main square, there were the remnants of a very festive spring holiday. think streamers in trees, many stalls of goods, lots of people. i took some of my favourite pictures from atop the church beside the castle. i would remember names, except that, unfortunately, it was a long time ago. usually there is at least once drunken story that comes out of a weekend away. however, with prague, i don't believe there are any. which means i liked the city for the city itself. bizarre. i do remember spending hours looking for a flea market which turned out to be simply a market of junk. i am always disappointed when the shopping i expected does not pan out. i loved prague. it was cheaper than many other cities. it was full of attractive, friendly people. it has interesting legends (i couldn't get enough of the golem), many levels of old city and new city, and it was bright. i remember that. there was colour there.

2) London, England
I loved london when i was here in 2002. my dad was working and i tagged along. he was staying at a hotel out by the airport, so i had to take the tube in each day. i felt like a commuter. i know which tube to take, which tunnel. i had enough time in london that it felt familiar. i did most of the touristy things: british museum (rosetta stone), sherlock holmes museum (i still have the photo of me in the get up), the beatles store, tate modern, the millenium bridge, the london tower, buckinghamd palace, big ben, i did it all. i even saw a show. i shopped, i bought, i coffee'ed. i loved the archetecture, the style of the people, the random streets. this time, i did not play the tourist game very much. i still loved london for all the above reasons. but i now doubt whether i would choose to live there. if not for the people, i would.

3) Budapest, Hungary
okay, new year's 2002-03. jane, john, mike t, heather and i had been traveling for a few weeks now. after a terrible debacle wherein john and i were separated from the others in some no name town in hungary, we finally found the other three at the main station. in the company of the infamous zig. and they had all been drinking. but we had the most random fun. we stayed at zig's flat. i never really figured out what the deal with zig was. apparently, he maintained his rent by catching backpackers at keletti station. all he seemed to do was drink and get high. but he was warm and friendly and took us to little pubs and let us warm up in his friends kiosks at the station. we even watched him get into a fight. okay, looking bad, that seems like more good than bad. but somehow, it aboslutely wasn't. budapest is hands down the most beautiful city in europe. i don't care what anyone says. it simply isn't reproduced anywhere. its amazing. this is the only city in europe where i was ticketed on the subway. which is terribly ironic, because it is the only city where i bought a ticket. (the reasoning: who knows what the punishment would be) but, apparently, we took the wrong ticket for the wrong connection, and sure enough, got busted. it was seven euros as a fine. at the time, it was a real pain. all of us were running out of money. budapest was one of the poorer cities that i visited. there seemed to be a culture of alcohol, but, i might have been exposed to that because of who we were staying with. there were more homeless people in the train station, and a general sense of seediness, than anywhere else. but, the people were friendly. they even allowed a restaurant to run a buffet which, along with food, included alcohol. i am rather proud to admit that i, and john, got kicked out. apparently there was a time limit.

4) Berlin, Germany
spring 2003. this was my only girls trip with stef and saskia. perhaps that is why it remains one of my favourite places. my year abroad was largely charged with testosterone. i didn't make any close female friends until spring time, which is a real shame, especially because i have since learned that i missed out on a lot of fun. we took a walking tour of berlin to help us acquaint ourselves with the city. and then we drank ourselves silly in the hostel bar. i remember having a great deal of fun in that city. despite the history, it was an exciting vibrant place. hitler's bunker no longer exists, the wall has been torn down (though you can still buy pieces) has a whole new future. i bought a pair of birkenstocks, direct from their home. why don't i remember more about berlin? i'll simply have to go back. i remember expecting so much from this city. how could it not possibly be incredible? i wondered if you could feel the history. if somehow, the people reflected it. i was disappointed. like most places, people forget. they adapt. but some moments, it felt very real. the remnants of the berlin wall are rather terrifying. there is no marker over the bunker of hitler for fear that someone would want to turn it into some kind of shrine. i did not find any visible marker of nazism in berlin. but, for the most part, people were willing to talk about it. they just didn't want to honour it.

5) lagos, Portugal
spring 2004. i visited this rather random little portugese town. there is more english spoken here that portugese. it is almost entirely populatd by tourists of university age. and it is a complete blast. beautiful beaches, beautiful water, beautiful cliffs. kids would tell stories of coming to europe for three months and spending two and a half in lagos. they'd make money handing out flyers for bars, getting extra for the number of people they brought in. this was my european victory lap, the summer after i returned from belgium. julia and i, who quickly partnered up with katie and april, beached and swam and went out. i even won a drinking contest. no joke. i have the t-shirt to prove it. sagres was a break from europe: it was a break from hours of walking and touring, of seeing everything you had to see, of forcing yourself into old churches, into museums. you have to earn sagres.
are there others that i enjoyed? absolutlely. and i didn't put on this list the cities that i lived in--leuven, of course, will always have a special place. but the places that i love most are ottawa and bowmanville. places that i grew up, that i loved, that i learned. those other cities, though incredible, are not home to me. and for the first time, perhaps in my whole life, i am realizing how important that sense of home is. and i think you might find it with family, friends, and love, rather than with archetecture, history, and bars. although i love to visit, i love to do so for more than one reason: to see and experience to what i have never seen or experienced before, but also, to remind me, that home is a wonderful thing. (isn't it so much harder when pieces of it are spread out, across the country, across the world?)

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

i think they hate americans in britain. maybe canadians too. but i do know that attitudes change when people hear our accents, the friendliness lowers, the smile disappears. this is not me being paranoid: others have noticed it as well. on my first morning there, before i could check into the room, before my parents arrived, i was sitting on a couch. i was sitting on a couch because i had been up for a long long time, i had already gone out for breakfast and wondered around for two hours, and all i wanted was to sit and to sleep. the waiter didn't offer me anything at all. not once. everyone else, coffee sir? tea ma'am? but not me. i am also going to blame it on me looking poor. it was a pretty ritzy place. i hate that i feel that way because it is certainly not the way i felt the last time i was here. perhaps i am simply being too sensitive.

however, once inside the room, oh, the sleeping was soooo good. mom and dad arrived a few hours later and we headed out for indian food. on my last visit, dad forced me to wander for ages looking for an indian restaurant. we finally found a place that is still the best indian food i have ever eaten. it was the only meal i could eat my first night back. it was no match for the dinner of my memory, but it was pretty good.

dad headed off to work in the morning, and mom and i wandered around. of course, this wandering was hampered by my own stupidity: i have very sensitive skin. change my laundry detergent, and i rash. well, i was wearing a band aid. for a day. when i took it off, it wasn't pretty. turns out, i am allergic to band aids. its not pretty. blistered, rashy, a terrible mix of itch and pain. of course, limping around all day killed my poor calf muscle. thankfully, taveling with the folks is different than traveling with friends: mom could afford to buy us metro passes. and i am happy to report that we still managed to walk (gimp) around for hours. and i bought a pair of wonderful green golas.

these are them:

i have a love affair with golas. you might remember that i have an extremely difficult relationship with converse. also, with addidas. but gola has been nothing but loyal and true. no pain, no blisters, and long lasting. this is my third pair. the attraction is multi-fold: they come in bright colours, they aren't terribly ridiculously expensive, and i have never seen them for sale in north america. so, when people comment on them, i get to say, "oh, i got these in europe." please don't think that i am not concious of being a snob.

today, mom and i did the typical bus tour. seriously, i was in pain. it was freezing and rainy and pretty miserable. we pretended it was all okay. but i did have to buy a scarf, even with all the pretending.

there were some highlights:

1) M:I III is opening in london today and outside our hotel, in leicester square, there was a some kind of premiere going on. so, i had the chance to see tom cruise. i didn't take it, but the opprotunity was there. now, how many people can say that?

2) we went to a pub today called 'ye olde cheshire cheese.' it dates from something ridiculous like the 16th C. which always makes me wonder how people could have been sitting in these rooms, laughing, drinking, being, before the country which my grandparents grew up was even discovered.

3) i am in lytham for the first time tonight. it was exactly what i expected and, of course, not what i expected. i am looking forward to having my own room tonight. both dad and i seemed to have bouts of insomnia last night (i blame the trundle bed and jet lag). and the thought "hearing people sleeping right now is not making this any easier." but, the house, and its space, are wonderful and beautiful and homey and i am amazed and how nicely my parents have settled in here. i am looking very forward to exploring the little town (and library!) tomorrow.

4) we took the first class train back to lytham. swanky. i already said that traveling with parents is vastly different right? let me emphasize that point again. we relaxed in a cushy lounge beforehand (mind you, it took some prodding for my mom to remember there was such a lounge..."is there somewhere we can relax and have coffee?" "just take away coffee alli, no where to sit" "oh really?" "oh wait, the lounge!" we had a good laugh. she'd even been in the lounger before.) and had a table with service for the two and a half hour ride. very relaxing.

the next few days shall be rather relaxing. i plan on reading at least nine books.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

i apologize if this isn't english

there was a period of time there where i almost felt that i was lying about having "traveling" as part of my blog name. fortunately, that time has passed because i write this from an internet cafe (paying for the internet makes me feel dirty) in england. rainy, dreary, foggy england.

its about six in the morning my time, so i am running on fumes. of course, there was not a wink of sleep to be had on the flight over. first of all, although it was a large plane, apparently it was not as large as was expected. evidently, 747's come in different sizes. and ours had fifty less seats than expected. which means that fifty people had to stay home (i am sure with a nice bribe...once, a friend was checking into a flight which was overbooked and they offered him $500.00 in air canada money). which also means that not a single seat was empty. lovely. i was seated beside a mom and son. they were french. and nice. and the kid was silent and slept most of the way. the people who were idiots were the swedish hockey team flying home. three of whom were in the row in front of us. now, i don't mean to make generalizations about a whole nation, however, it seems to me that there needs to be some airplane etiquette taught here: you don't recline your seat unless you are sleeping. this is the ONLY time it is permitted. why? because it makes the person behind you completely and totally uncomfortable. there is not much space to begin with and the recline takes away any sense of personal space that one was left with. now, the french lady with the little boy, at the beginning of the flight, asked me if i wanted to switch her for the window because she'd be getting up and down. i said, hell yes, because i ain't getting up and down. thing is, no sooner had we done that that jackass in front of her (in my original seat) reclines. asshole. and, i think it was a broken seat, because it was a good three inches lower that the one beside it. (also reclined. damn swedes.) she actually complained to the stewardess, but really, her english was not great. so, being the ass i am, i took over. the stewardess refused to do anything because it was a "sleeper" flight. but the point was: it was still light out. the man was not sleeping. the seat was broken. i was pissed and i felt bad for her and i was just blown away that some people are complete idiots. the stewardess said that i would have to ask the man to move his chair myself. so i did. and he did. but last time i checked, it is okay for the stewards to make polite iquiry's on their patrons behalves. now i remember why i hate flying so much. but, after all that, i think i feel better.

the rest of the flights was pretty uneventful. some movies, some food, and then i was here. of course, the hotel, which said it would do its best to get us a room early, had nothing. so, i am wandering around. without a map. in a city i don't really remember because the last time i was here was four years ago. holy moly. so i grabbed some breakfast (i can never remember where to tip and where not to...britain? tipping? yes/no? i left a pound just in case...). i passed a library (always a welcome place for vagabonds such as myself to spend time without molestation) but it doesn't open till eleven. it seems i picked the wrong day of the week to show up in london.

i think i just felt the room move. am i still on the plane?

i am certainly needing some sleep right now.

i will say though, wandering around trafalgar square, around charing cross road, well, i just love london. still and forever, it will remain my favourite city. i cannot wait to walk around with my mom this time (last time it was just dad and me, and i was left mostly to my own devices because he was working). there are some great places that i cannot wait to see again. and i am sure that there are so many new places yet to be explored.

i'll post some pictures later...

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

slowly going crazy am i

these are things that make me feel like i am losing my mind:

1) I have forgotten whether i have finished the last two books i have read. seriously. oftentimes, when i know i will have a long stretch of time to read, and i only have a few pages left, i will grab a brand new book. i mean, why risk having nothing to do? but the thing is, i cannot remember if i finished the other two. i tried to remember what happened at the end (one was promised to be worth reading because the ending was a big pay off...and i cannot remember said big ending and yet i would swear that i finished it)...and i can't. so the question is, did i read it and forget it? or did i not go back and read them? seriously.

2) i lost my cell phone yesterday. i had it. and then i didn't. i went to use it...and it was gone. did i just put it down somewhere? did it fall out of my bad? these are things i will never know.

3) way back in september, i was assigned an inforum binder with policies and procedures. i was returning it to FIS yesterday, after a nice lunch with tasha, when i realized that i did not have it. i just simply did not have it. did i leave it on the rock i was waiting on? did i leave it at the restaurant? when? i have no idea.

4) i didn't pick up my passport. i knew i wanted to head to oshawa to finish up my final paper, so i wanted to pick it up before i left. and then, i was on the train, and i realized that i had not. how could i forget the one thing i need to get on a plane this saturday? clothes, i can buy. blankie, i'd miss but i'd get over it. money, hey, i am going to visit my folks, remember? but my passport? damn it! (don't worry mom, i am going to pick it up tomorrow, its not too big a deal, i just wanted it sooner rather than later)

now, please keep in mind that this all happened in one day. see, i told you i was going crazy.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

a librarian's love story

Graduate School. Library Science. The University of Iowa. Cataloguing class. The first three items in this series were no trouble for me; i had chosen them with anticipation. after two years of teaching junior high school English, i was finally back in school to become a schoo librarian. life seemed to be progressing nicely except for one thing--cataloguing class. why did i have to learn cataloguing? school libraries bought their cards (there were cards in those days). and weren't the people who prodeuced them in places like the library of congress? didn't they check their work? why would i have to check cards before they were filed? would someone justify this waste of time? surely there were classes more pertinent to my professional growth and development.

anyone who has worked in any professional setting can see the underlying cause of my anguish. i was not doing well with cataloging. my reasoning was not synchronized with the reasoning of the instructor (who was quite effective in teaching everyone but me, it seemed). while i could live with the knowledge that i wouldn't make my career as a cataloger, i couldn't live with the knowledge that my hard-won D was in jeopardy as i approached the final exam. that would mean repeating cataloguing class.

one evening in a study carrel, i arranged the dewey volumes like a stone wall. i gloomily started work on the sample text sets provided by the instructor, complete with a list of the correct dewey numbers to be consulted after i finished my own list. how remarkably different our lists consistently were. my goal of raising my D to even a C (let's forget about a B) eroded with every page turned in the dewed volumes. i hardly looked up when another student looked over the top of the carrel. when i finally realized that my facade of busyness wasn't credible, i looked up to see one of the third-semester students looking curiously at me. i scowled inwardly. outwardly, i have a noncommitatal half smile that said, "hi, i see you. now go away. i'm busy."

"It must be the dewey exam."

Boy, you couldn't fool those third-semester students. they'd seem it all.

"how's it going?"

I leaped out of my chair, grasped the lapels of his jacket, leaned over and scremed, "How's it going? HOW'S IT GOING? how do you THINK its going?"

This is what i did mentally.

"OK," I said.

"Are you having trouble?" he said. bright, this one was. i felt like i'd been pulled through a keyhole and must have looked the same. Time to 'fess up.

"I'm not getting this and i'm working very hard at maintaining a grade that is on par with a beginning tennis class i took during my freshman year at college. not that they are the same, but darn it, i really don't see why i can't get it, and if you have any suggestions as to how i might begin to get it, I'm open to them. otherwise, i really have to get back to work."

That last sentence was spoken in my head. he didn't deserve quite that much.

"I remember the dewey test."


"there's another way to do it, you know."

There was, and he showed me. it wasn't a radically different approach, just another way of thinking about the rules, the subject materials, and the logic (now there was a new thought) of cataloguing. and gradually, it began to work for me.

The rest, as the cliche goes, is history. we went out for coffee after i finished studying, he continued regular tutoring sessions, there was more coffee, and thirty years later, my husband is still offering the same observation, which i have come to respect greatly.

"there's another way to do it."

There is always another way to do anything if we choose to see it. i found that that third semester student always had another way of seeing anything. each way involved thinking not about the materials, policies and budgetary constraints that shape services, but rather about the people for whom those services exist, whether those are young people who can barely see over the school library circulation desk, university students who don't know how badly they need the library, or physicians researching vital topics in a medical library. can we borrow ideas from business, art, engineering, science, politics, music or literature? of course. bicycle mechanics? why not? cooking? certainly. it works because there is another way to do it. always.

by the way, i got a B in cataloguing.

Nancy L. Chu


Chu, Felix T. (2005) There's Another Way to Do It: Reflections on Librarianship. Toronto: The Scarecrow Press.

where have all the bloggers gone?

well, today, i was slightly bored at work so i figured i would head over to the FIS1311 web site where the blogs of all of my classmates were listed. rememeber? we were all supposed to make one at the beginning of the semester? i am pleased to report that excluding yours truly, there are about three active bloggers. out of a class of probably seventy. there is no real reason for this observation, i just thought it was interesting. apparently blogging isn't for everyone. but why? why aren't people, without any control of their own, drawn to the web, forced to write down rather incoherent ramblings for others to read?

also, today ian has done a pretty good job of ruining hybrids for me. fortunately, it has not destroyed my belief in fairies, mermaids. and elves. or any other kind of creature that has a secret eco-system completely devoted to their own race that co-exists with our own, invisibly and without conflict. and who only appear to believers. like me.

another confession: i have herpes. okay, well, i have a cold sore on my lip. i find myself being shockingly horrified of myself every time i look in the mirror, despite the contstant reassurances of boyfriend, friend, and family, that "it's not that bad." and that, you know, 50-80% of the population suffers from cold sores. and other such statistics. i don't think a girl knows how vain she is until something goes wrong with her face. i am going to go sit at the clinic tomorrow and hope for some super expensive magic medicine that will both make me better and erase the stigma of said affliction.

i just had to go make myself feel better by eating some laura secord easter egg. which, for the first time in my life, were not bought for me by my loving mother but were purchased by myself. she's in england, so she has an excuse, but easter ain't easter without those creme eggs. cadbury? for the peasants. i need the high class shit.

on the up side, i leave for england on saturday. i am very very excited. it is going to be a real vacation. which i haven't had in what feels like forever but is really probably only nine months or so. i have a very selective memory which leads me to feel more hard done by than perhaps i really am.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

its all coming up alli

for once, i feel like i have a plan.

its been a while since i have felt that way.

i have been struggling over the decision of whether or not to live/work in england this summer, have been stressing out over whether i will survive this week of papers/exams, and worried that i will not find a job, in either toronto or lytham.


i partnered up for research methods and that has worked out fabulously. its eleven o'clock the night before the paper is due and we're pretty much finished. we even editted.

and, i interviewed for a job this morning. i think it may well have been one of the most difficult job interviews i have ever survived. after managing to answer, at least satisfactorily, several technical questions, today there was role play. fortunately, i have been on the spot at bell. had i not, i am not sure i would have had a successful interview.

fortunately, things seem to have gone well and i was offered the position this afternoon.

so, all in all, the summer is coming together and is lucking absolutly wonderful. i am visiting my parents for two weeks, jarrod is moving in soon, i have a job, i signed up for a course.

seriously. things are looking up.

late night, numero uno

its 3:15 am.

i have written six pages of my literature review. i am pretty sure its crap but i am holding onto hope that it might be brilliant. the good news is that although this mofo (sorry love, but i had to prove myself right) is due on thursday, now that i have a partner, i have half the work. so instead of handing in a paper that i did not even proofread, i can focus on creating one six page decent paper. and by decent i mean more editing will be done than simply running spell check.

please note: every thirty seconds or so, the boys' toilet makes some kind of sighing noise. seriously. i stood there and watched it for a little while. it doesn't really flush, it kind of just, refreshes. i think it sad because it has gone unfixed for so long. (you have to pull on the innards to make it flush. i don't really care because i never do my business in there.)

in other news, jeff cleaned the kitchen tonight. i know. seriously.

yes, i know i should go to bed. but see, i drank this really big cup of coffee before...and i should not have. i know this now. because i am still pretty wide awake. although, sometimes, i do get the urge to just fall asleep. you know, without cleaning up any of the many articles that are floating around my bed currently.

hey tasha, how many articles do you have in your lit review?

also, i have an interview tomorrow morning. i am a little bit nervous. first of all, the woman, very friendly, called me based not on my graduate student status but based on the fact that i had worked at bell. yes, its for the help desk at U of T. i never thought of the help desk as being the family business, but apparently, in a weird way, it is. she has given me two phone interviews and tomorrow is the role playing exercise. i have given up hoping that i do well and have begun hoping that i don't have giant bags under my eyes.

my mom just sent me an email. how bad is it that she's already up for the day when i haven't gone to bed yet?

Monday, April 10, 2006

shoots from the roof

feeling rather serious...but just for a minute

was watching the view today. yes, i admit it. i have a strange fascination with the cattiness of five rather unintelligent women debating "the issues that affect us all." barf. today, they had a panel of three young men, all of whom were debating whether or not to enter the catholic (is that imlied? i put it in just in case it wasn't) priesthood. (apparently, there is a special on this sunday.) while genuinely admiring, it was barabara walters who finally asked the question that we all wanted to know the answer to: before choosing a life of celibacy (or, "a life of joy," as one boy put it), have they had sex?

i loved this moment.

one boy said: "well, i have done everything but have intercourse."

uh, in my books, that's a sin. i mean, there's not procreation there. why, that's just all! sinner! kids today are so loose and easy. if i had a stone for every time i saw someone sinning...this whole town would be bruised and broken.

Walters pointed out that before discarding such a large part of being human, they should at least try it. one boy's pointed rebuttal was "barbara, if i wanted to marry you, would i have to have sex with elizabeth and meredith first?" (uh, hell yes, i know everyone's names)

i love that their answers were all rehearsed. and had been said many times previous. probably by an authority figure. i have this image of them being "taught" what to say.

does this even answer the question? no, it is pointed avoidance. barbara wasn't telling you to stick it to every women you see: she is asking whether you would have sex with the woman you are to marry. so no, before marrying me, you don't have to have sex with my friends or the other women who happen to be cohabitating in a room with me. actually, i'd prefer if you don't. that would only make for rather awkward dinner parties.

before you marry me, the only person you have to worry about "experimenting" it with is me. apparently, these priest boys don't realize that sex happens in different ways and manifests itself differently in different people. what do couples fight about? i would argue: money, housekeeping, sex. and maybe not in that order. modern girl that i am, I simply cannot imagine starting a life with someone before figuring out if we match in the bedroom. apparently, they haven't suffered the (unfortunately) lasting shame of rejection, the frustration of unmatched moods, the oddness of things that "turn people on," and just how important a healthy sex life is to a healthy mental and emotional life. i don't mean to make it all about sex: this is also about love and commitment and trust. to jump into something blindly, on any front, seems to just be asking for trouble. a marriage is enough work and compromise without making it harder than it need be. thankfully, birth control and condoms have reduced the risk for pregnancy and STI's, thus removing the danger of something unwanted. in this day and age, it seems almost ridiculous to jump to buying the movie when you can simply download it before you invest.

When the boys were asked about whether a priest should be celibate, they all agreed that yes, they should. because "you can't have two spouses." one boy said. "people always think of what you are giving up, not what you are gaining." "choosing christ is choosing a life of joy." wow. that christ love is some powerful drug. and fortunately, the church has a wonderful track record about how successful repressing sexual urges are.

"the catholic church educates, feeds, clothes, and saves more people daily than any other organization." another quote. unfortunately, i would also argue that it represses, ignores, fakes, shames, and disrespects more people than any other organization. all three of these boys proudly claim to have participated in demonstrations outside abortion clinics, that they do not believe women should take birth control, and that homosexuality is a sin. i fear this.

belief and faith are wonderful things. there are so so many positive examples of spiritual (of all faiths), people who use their lives as powerful examples of decency and charity. these are not people who turn their backs on whole elements of their personalities, they are people who choose their own truths and live by them as best they can while respecting the truths of others. they try and they fall and they fail and they succeed, like all of us do. and their examples are so much more powerful than those from simply preach from a top a high horse, who don't seem to see human fallibility. i learn much more about myself from falling off my bike than i do from cruising downhill.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

the horse is hoarse

i am sick. my throat is sore, i have a terribly snotty nose, my voice is hoarse. its pretty awesome. and this is because when i feel sick i feel less bad about not doing school work. whereas most other people would probably be upset and stressed out, i had no problems enjoying a whole day of sleeping yesterday. seriously. i was in bed by eight. and i didn't wake up till eleven this morning.

a few ottawa friends were down for a visit this weekend. i love love love having visitors. its just a nice break from a routine. and i find that as i get older, guests are more understanding that, as a guest, even as a good friend, the person that they are visiting still has a life. for instance, yesterday, john, theresa, and heather wanted to walk around. i wanted to die. and the three of them, kind hearted souls that they are, mercifully left me to moan and groan in peace, with jarrod. when i was younger, it would have been expected, come anything, that i would have spent every second of every day with them. and probably would have been expected to be endlessly entertaining. it was nice to wake up and have them sitting in the living room.

it was nice to joke around with john. honestly, i am not sure if ever in my whole life, i have ever laughed as much as when living in beligum and could watch, any time i wanted, the incredible exuberant antics of mike, john, geoff, bill, oli, and drew. seriously. if i had five bucks for every time i felt like i was going to pee my pants, i'd have, like a nine thousand bucks. this weekend, theresa was mentionning that she worked on a ranch for a few summers and somehow that got us to the subject of how horses travel. Theresa mentionned that they did, of course, i mean, how else would there be equestrian sports in the olympics? or big world cup races? or movies like hidalgo? we all agreed that horse travel was common. and then john said, "wow, i mean, if flying on airplanes is difficult for me, it must be absolute hell on the horses." I looked at him. and then said, "well, john, its not like they are flying coach." at which point we looked at each other and burst out laughing, not being able to get the idea of a horse sitting in coach out of my head, you know, sitting up right, snorting, hooves clacking, but acting like a human being. "um, stewardess? i don't think i can lower my tray for supper...whinney." you know, reading the paper, getting up to go to the bathroom, etc. i am thinking glasses, some kind of vest, and a newspaper..."these seats are hell on my back!"

i do miss ottawa and so i think this might be especially why i enjoy having people from there visit me. its just a little tiny glimpse of that old town and that seems to satisfy me. i can't have ottawa all the time, but i can have it one weekend every couple of months. why does undergrad seem so long ago? i am not sure i will ever get over not having the people who were in my life every day for four years not being in my life every seems like one of those things, like selling the family home in Bowmanville, that if you (I) think (thought) about too long or too hard, you will just cry and cry and be sad and sad. but if you don't think about it, if you just glaze over it, you can deal with it and carry on and be happy. so i try not to think about it and i try to enjoy the moments that i do get with those people: over email, on the phone, or sometimes, wonderfully, in person. and sometimes, when i am in bowmanville, i drive by the old house and i remember it. and although it makes me sad, it always makes me happy too. the times that house housed (i loooove puns!) will always be there. not in the house, but in me. and dang it, i might even be a better person because of the pain of losing, than the ease of keeping.

they are leaving this afternoon, and seeing as how i am working today, i gave them the run of the place for their last few hours. john told me that they would probably rob the place on the way out.. i said that was fine, but hoped they would make off with the things that were noticeably out of place, thereby making my room look cleaner for when i arrive home tonight. i hope they managed to have a good time. john and theresa both seem to be that neat kind of person that has fun wherever they are, and, more than that, improves the fun that other people are having.

now, for the record, i blame this cold on the term end library party. the reason i do this is that when i arrived at Bedford Academy, prepared to gorge myself on free food, i was healthy. and when i left at one thirty that morning, i was stuffed up and grumpy. mom thought it might be allergies, but i am pretty sure my genetically superior DNA is free from any such ailment. i am twenty four and i have never-ever-not- even-for-a-second had allergies before. and damn it, i am not starting now.

one thing that i am starting now is my school work. this week became noticeably less stressful when my book history paper was pushed back a week, but now that i have wasted all the days that i would have spent writing that, it is time for me to start research methods. and by start research methods, i mean catch up on two episodes of veronica mars and eat mini wheats. once again, if you ever doubted, please note that i have my priorities in line.