Sunday, 26 October 2008

I'm easy like Sunday morning ...

It’s been an incredibly mellow weekend. I haven’t managed to get any work done but I guess that’s alright. I’m sure I’ll manage to squeeze it all in at the last minute like I usually do. Yesterday was a good day … and I don’t wish I’d been working instead.

Nathan and I went to the Farmers’ Market in the morning since Nathan hadn’t ever been. We bought Indian food and sushi. Nathan bought fresh cranberries. Then we went to ‘Pancakes for Parkinsons’ which is a Michael J. Fox Foundation fund-raiser that Mt A students have once a semester. It's an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast with entry by donation. The pancakes were great and it was a really nice morning.

At 11:00 I went to Mane Attraction (there something about beauty salons that necessitates really, really bad hair puns) to get my hair cut. While the woman was cutting my hair she got a phone call from her brother and her father who are in Cape Breton saying that they’d caught their sixth tuna of the season. My geography class (Geography of Economic Activity) had a section on commodity chains and one of the commodities we studied in detail was sushi. In the morning I’d bought sushi with white tuna in it and I considered whether I was being unsustainable and whether I should buy sushi with crab meat or something else in it (I didn’t), and then here was this woman talking about her family who fishes for tuna. Tuna is interesting because it’s caught all across the Atlantic seaboard (in Canada, the US, Europe and North Africa) and then most of it is shipped to Japan where it is bought and sold by bidders in a massive auction market (Tsukiji) only to be shipped back to all these countries (a lot of it stays in Japan, too) for consumption. It’s quite unique because it’s very deeply rooted in Japanese culture. What was interesting for me was to study the chain in a very clinical way and then see the reality of this woman’s life. She even pulled out a picture of her dad and her brother with the first tuna they ever caught. It was such a huge part of her life and … yea, it was interesting. I felt like my education may actually be of some use. It made me happy. And, on top of all that, I really like my haircut. It’s short (a lot shorter than it’s been in a long time) and cute.

I came home and spent a long time on Skype with my mum. We both have web cams which is nice. It turns out we’d both had haircuts recently which we showed off to each other. It was nice to talk. I feel like it’s been a while.

At 2:00 I met Cate, Nathan, Noah and Rhiana to go look at houses/apartments for next year. We want to move off-campus and we decided that we’d house hunt together. The first house we looked at was really spacious and nice inside but the front ‘yard’ is a very large parking lot which, Rhiana pointed out (ironically, in case someone misses that) would be very useful for all our cars. It was also a duplex with another ‘house’ below us and we decided that that wasn’t ideal. On the way back we passed this pet store/human society place that had two kittens in the window. We cooed over them for a good five minutes ... they made my heart melt. At 3:00 we went to look at another house that was a lot nicer. This one was an entire house, seven bedrooms, an INCREDIBLE loft that, for the sake of not spilling blood over it, we thought (if we sign a lease there) we’d convert into a living room. It had an awesome kitchen with an island and everything. We definitely loved it. We’re looking at another house tonight and another tomorrow. It’s all very exciting. There are some interesting tensions developing and I think we all need to sit down and clear the air, but otherwise, I think it’s going to be great.

After looking at the second house, Rhiana, Cate and I got all girly and excited and practically skipped to town to buy (temporary) purple hair dye for me. We figured it would be really cool and subtle over top of my dark brown hair and we got rather excited. So we bought hair dye, came home and promptly did the thing. Rhiana did it for me and I feel like we bonded. Everyone was very shocked first at the thought of purple and then very disappointed at how non-obvious it is. Although it's subtle, you can actually see it quite clearly. And apparently it’ll wash out after seven to fifteen washes (there’s some debate about this point).

Feeling very chuffed with my cute purple hair, I came upstairs and ate Indian food for dinner while I watched Alexander. It’s a fairly new movie with Colin Farell and Angelina Jolie about Alexander the Great. A word of caution: it’s TERRIBLE. I downloaded it in honour of my Alexander the Great class which I love. Bad movie though. I went downstairs and hung out with Rhiana and Victoria for a while and then went and watched most of The Fifth Element with Justin and Cate.

At 8:00 Thornton was supposed to get together by floor and start decorating for Thalloween (Thornton + Halloween = our house party) which is next weekend. The theme is ‘Haunted Hospital’ and we had lots and lots of water soluble black and red paint, rollers and sponges with which to go nuts. The house looks really cool. It’s unfortunate that we have to live in haunted gloom for an entire week before the actual party but it took too long to decorate for it to have been done any other time. I’m really, really proud of the house. A lot of people weren’t around but those who were had lots of enthusiasm. There was absolutely no drunken debauchery (which is extremely unusual for a Saturday night) and I think by the time we were done eating our free pizza and garlic fingers (bribes are generally required to get people to do work), people just wanted to go to bed. I think we were all feeling rather warm and fuzzy. Thornton’s a great house.

Justin, Cate, Faisal and I finished watching The Fifth Element and then I went to bed.

Today, I have a Skype date with my mum and dad for 1:30 and another with my best friend from high school Rokimi (a.k.a Kimi) at 3:00 and I’m feeling really mellow and ... content.

I’ll leave you with a song that makes me think of 12th grade and some of the best times of my life … a lot of them with Kimi: ‘Mississippi’, by Train. (The video’s a little weird – it’s got clips from a movie called The Experiment. It’s ok, you don’t have to listen with your eyes.)

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Pools of sorrow, waves of joy ...

“Words are flowing out like

Endless rain into a paper cup

They slither while they pas

They slip away across the universe.

Pools of sorrow, waves of joy

Are drifting through my open mind

Possessing and caressing me.”

Stream of consciousness:

It was cold today. The winter chill is starting to seep through the cracks in the windows. The tree outside my room is the colour of fire – red and orange; it lights up with the sunrise. I guess daylight-savings will be upon us soon. It’s getting to that time when I’m up before the sun. It’s hard to face a day when the sun doesn’t rise with you. Darkness is lonely and it brings no hope or happiness with it. Soon we’ll be stuck indoors, trapped on the plowed pathways with everything else inaccessible and buried in snow. I hear it snowed in Newfoundland … or PEI or some such place. I’ll be sad when the winter comes. I think life is hard enough without cold and darkness. SAD: Seasonal Affected Disorder; there are many layers to that.

I didn’t get any work done today. Just one of those days ...

My Pink Floyd psychedelic music is mixing with The Beatles coming from my neighbour’s room. It’s an interesting discord of two great artists. I guess two rights can make a wrong.

I’m going to go for a walk. The air is clean and clear and cold. It might dissolve the haze in my mind. Sometimes life just calls for a wander. I’ve never been a wanderer. Too many roots holding me to the ground … too rational a mind. Too pragmatic. I’ll wander more. Silence and solitude can be great teachers … if not great friends.

“I am Jack’s wasted life.” Ever seen Fight Club? Watch it.

I think my walk awaits me. ‘Till later.

'Across the Universe', The Beatles

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Long Week

Oh man. What a day. A bit of wisdom for all you studiers out there: no matter how hard you try to convince yourself that a Friday night out is a good way to relax before a long weekend of studying, you are lying to yourself. If I had absolutely nothing to do today then it would have been perfect. But sadly that is not the case and now I have to find some way to keep myself awake while I get work done.

Last night was, despite what I just said, a fun night. It was good because this week felt really, really long.

I basically spent all week either in class, in the library, or in the computer lab. I had a big essay and a physics assignment due on Thursday and then a midterm and a quiz on Friday. I spent all of Sunday, Monday and Tuesday working in the essay. I spent all of Wednesday working on the assignment. And I spent all of Thursday studying for my midterm. I’m not sure how the essay went but I’m happy with everything else. I ended Friday with the Ecology lab that I TA. I got to sit out in the waterfowl park on a lovely day while the students fished for bugs. I occasionally provide free advice and try and identify things if they can’t. So yes, it was a long week.

After the lab, Nathan (who is in that lab) and I came home together and we found everyone. We all went to dinner together and after dinner Nathan, Kathryn and I went to the liquor store. Turns out I had enough beer here but there’s no such thing as having too much beer in one’s fridge and the walk is lovely. We had a good time. On the way back we found a grassy hill that we sat down on while I told them random interesting facts about animal behaviour. So yes, it was a long week.

When we got home, the night officially started. It was a good night of music, friends, piggy backs across the football field, lying in the middle of a parking lot because it seemed like a good idea, and lots and lots and lots of laughing. I also spent the whole night telling Rhiana that it was all her fault that I was being drunken and ridiculous. It was a good time. Rhiana and I left the bar just before 1:00. We met at 9:30 this morning to go to the farmers’ market. We got Indian food and dried Chinese lantern flowers. It was a beautiful morning. I came home and cleaned and did laundry. I had a brief visit from a friend. I went for lunch a little later with Nathan, Noah and Stuart. Stu kindly swiped me into Jennings because he has some crazy plan about effectively conning them into giving him more meals that he’s actually paid for. Lunch, that was really breakfast (pancakes and hash browns), was lovely and much needed. I came home just before 2:00 and talked to my boyfriend for a bit. I then fell asleep for about 45 minutes. Not very long ago I hauled myself up, made coffee and this blog signifies the second part of today that will hopefully be a lot more productive.

Wow. Looking back at what I just wrote is weird. I guess that’s a fairly typical Mt A student kind of week. Next week will be even worse. I have three midterms and an essay due. And the week after, I have the last of my five midterms and a few odds and ends to do.

Oh, I forgot to mention that it’s Canadian Thanksgiving here so we have a long weekend. I think we’re doing a potluck in Thornton on Sunday night which is officially Thanksgiving. I guess everyone stuck here wishes they were at home with their families. Indian’s don’t have a Thanksgiving so it doesn’t mean much to me but I can get into it, I guess. So um, Happy Thanksgiving.

Sigh. Alright. Time to get my butt in gear. I have stuff to do. Until next week …

Saturday, 4 October 2008

A Turning Point

It’s that time of week again; another week gone by. This week feels like a turning point for the year in a number of different ways.

The weather has taken a decisive turn for the cold. Our temperatures are starting to head down to 10°C and lower and I guess they’re going to stay there till some time in May next year. I’m not ready for the winter yet.

I died in assassins early last week. I think it was Monday. I was in my room studying with my door open. I heard the kettle in the kitchen go off – it’s the kind that whistles when the water boils. I figured the person who put it on would go and deal with it soon. It whistled on and on for a fairly long while. At some point I got fed up and I got up to go and see what was up. As I was standing up, it stopped whistling but since I was up already, I figured I’d go and check on it anyway. I walked into the kitchen and there was Justin fiddling with the kettle trying to get it to whistle again. He heard me come in and as soon as he saw me, he hit me with his sock. It turns out, Justin was hunting and he knew I was in my room because my door was open. He went into the kitchen and put on an electric kettle. His plan was to hide in the stairwell and jump out when he saw my shadow come into the doorway as I walked past the stairs to get to the kitchen. Needless to say, I yelled and cursed and sulked because of my untimely death. It was so sneaky and brilliant that it seemed ridiculous that it should happen to me. Anyway. When I died, I suddenly felt like things got serious. Assassins requires a lot of lurking in shadowy hallways waiting for your prey to walk past. Now that I had died, I realized that it was now that time of year where I couldn’t senselessly waste time and be silly. Things were getting serious.

Along the same lines, starting this week things with classes have suddenly picked up pace and all the deadlines are looming horrifyingly close. I have a big paper due on Thursday this coming week which is what I’m planning to spend all weekend on. I’m a little bit terrified. I don’t even really know where to start.

I bought a Led Zeppelin, ‘Stairway to Heaven’ poster at the Imaginus poster sale on Thursday. The poster is about two feet wide and five feet high and it fits perfectly on the inside of my door. It feels like that space has been waiting for the arrival of this poster. It’s so perfect there. I have a ‘Stairway to Heaven’ poster at home too. It’s far more magnificent than this one: it’s about four feet wide and maybe six feet long, it’s old and beautifully vintage. I had to leave it behind because it wouldn’t have survived the trip. This one will do till I can claim the one I left in my parents’ care.

So yes, a turning point. The winter is here, the midterms are coming, the time for frivolity is gone and my room finally feels complete. It’s like some pieces have fallen into place in my mind. There was a click in my head and it feels like it’s time to get the show on the road. I think I’m ready. I think this can be done.

And, because it’s lovely, here’s ‘Anyone Else But You’ by Michael Cera and Ellen Page from the movie Juno (the song is originally sung by The Mouldy Peaches):