Tuesday, February 24

Just to Drive Mark a little more Crazy

Today was a study day. My chosen distraction was laundry and organizing my 'bookmarks' and revisiting pages I had tagged as interesting at some point.
This brought up The Name Wizard, a cool site that lets you see a name in many different ways. You can see a graphical representation of the popularity if (almost) any name using NameVoyager (Katie has a big spike in the 80s of which I was born smack-dab in the middle).
A person can look up a name and get a meaning, rank it on a series of attributes (How sexy is Barnaby?), see its international popularity and even common sibling names.

Speaking of names, I would have been Matthew Ryan had I had a penis. April was also considered but I'm pretty happy I dodged that one (I always associated with the sidekick girl in the horrible yellow suit from Ninja Turtles). Oh and Victoria (with obvious last name problems). My brother is David but I begged my mom to use Dmitri (I still love this) or Darcy. I guess she stuck with the "D" theme and we do still like to joke that he could have been a Vladimir (I think my mom really did toy with this one)

Another site that came up in my stumbling was I love you more than.com. Just a bunch of little hearts professing love using comparison (this would be a good exercise for beginner Spanish class: Te amo más que...) but they are sweet. I may have submitted a few myself but I won't say who for...

Sunday, February 22

Longest Bus Ride of Life

340am: alarm goes off
405am: Mark and I leave for the bus station (yeah, he's pretty great)
430am: He leaves and I snuggle in on my double-seat
9am: forced off the bus in Sudbury to clean it (really? It was fine the way it was). I do the only studying of the day for my Wednesday midterm.
1015am: back on the bus but it is a little more crowded this time
1220pm: 'lunch' in Parry Sound (so I got a sundae at DQ)
1pm: bus breaks down outside P. Sound
103pm: bus starts again
106pm: bus stops again
----forget the time but we stall 5 times total
310pm: we get rescued by another bus (after the bus driver calls all emergency numbers given to him my Greyhound to find out that all were out of service)
431pm: arrive for the 430 connections and find the line for London outside the building and around the corner. You would think they would prepare for reading week....
510pm: we bounce
749pm: we roll into the station and my awesome housemate picks me up

Let's count them....right 16 hours since my alarm went off all spent in bus-related activities.
It's better when you're excited to get back.

On another note: long trips with nasty bus bathrooms mess up my regularity (if you know what I mean)

Friday, February 20

Staying Current

Right now I am reading three books: (see above)
Proust and the Squid: the Science of the Reading Brain
--very well-researched and almost as dry
--some interesting historical notes on the development of reading/literacy throughout history
Gulag Archipelago: I'm cheating and reading the abridged version (I don't need all of the torture details anyway)
--Add it to the Holocaust and the Rule of Mao in China and it seems like half the world's population was suffering (and dying) for communism in the early to mid 20th century. The Hitler also seems to be the most conspicuous and, terrifyingly, the least deadly.
All Families are Psychotic: my first introduction to Douglas Coupland and so far I'm enjoying myself

Since I'm currently reading three books that means I am daydreaming about what I will get to sample next. My current "-to-read" shelf on goodreads.com is almost 100 strong and, as of today, more organized. I looked into whether each one is available in the local public library and, if it wasn't and I thought it would be of wider interest, I requested it for purchase.

Go ahead, get involved with your local library. They don't have a book you are interested in? Most likely there is a link on their website (or ask the info desk) that allows you to suggest a book to be purchased. Maybe they'll buy it, maybe they won't but if they do, free books!

Books I requested today:
The Untelling (Paperback) The Untelling by Tayari Jones
Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life (Paperback) Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life by Jon Lee Anderson
Moose: A Memoir of Fat Camp (Hardcover) Moose: A Memoir of Fat Camp, Stephanie Klein (maybe my parents should have sent me to one of these as a chubby child)
The Last Days of the Incas (Hardcover) The Last Days of the Incas
Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel (Paperback) Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel
And 10 or so more....It can't hurt to suggest

Tuesday, February 17

Great Expectations

In my opinion that is. I have a little brother, we'll call him Boris (all his friends do anyway) and he is at that crucial period of selecting high school classes to determine the future of his education. I have been there, done that with school and, being 7 years older, my advice is 'clearly' always right. Clearly. I guess I am defining success for my brother how I define it for myself (high level of education, productive member of society, etc.).

Back up a second. Boris is freakin' smart. Really freakin' smart in an engineering/mathy type way. But he hates school. Recently I found out that he hasn't taken any of the university level science classes he will need to get in to university (read: study engineering and make his sister proud). He doesn't want to go to university he was to do a college course to get out of school as fast as he possibly can. He was not having any of it when I pointed out that university is 'better' (for him of course). To which he kindly pointed out the 'usefulness' of my sister's music undergrad and my many years floundering in the academic world for my niche; Touché.

Why does it matter so much then? Because I feel like I see this potential that he is wasting because he is lazy (yep, I said it, he only likes things that come easily to him). I want the very best for my brother. But it does reveal a bit of university vs. college snobbery I don't want to admit I still have. College is a great alternative, so practical, the chance to learn real skills; but for other people, not for my little brother. Uh oh, maybe someone is trying to vicariously correct some of her own mistakes? Poor kid.

ps. I did apologize and he already knows he can take a 5th to recover courses if he for some reason decides he wants to work really hard for 4 years and pay lots of money to do it.

Friday, February 13


On the bus ride entertaining conversations around me sometimes keep me from losing my mind. In Sudbury the seat behind me was taken over by a cute little old lady (LOL) and eventually a young Laurentian student took the seat next to her as the coach filled. He was genial, kind to her and a total over-sharer. (This is all approximate wording, I'm not that good)

LOL: That's a nice cap you have there.
Oversharer: Thanks, my girlfriend bought it for me. It is the third one like it and all have ripped. But it is from Wal-Mart; so either my head is huge or those kids in China really need to step up their game.

(ok, that isn't over-sharing exactly, but I'll show you what is...)

LOL: What are your plans for the break?
Over-sharer: *indecipherable/uninteresting part* And of course I get to see my girlfriend. We'll be getting cuddling and getting naked and rolling around and doing more cuddling. And all that gushy stuff.

Um, what?! And yes, the lady next to me heard the same thing so I'm just hearing what I want to hear (I'm not sure why I would want to hear that). Who says that? I should have followed him after. I can't say this officially, more tests would have to be done, but he may be the Canada's Most Awkward Person. Does the Discovery Channel have that show yet?

Wednesday, February 11


In about 17 hours I'll be back in the soo for spring break. 15 of those hours will be spent on Greyhound bus (or at least in a station during the stops). Luckily I have homework and two computer batteries for watching tv shows. The crappiest part is that it is raining very hard so I'll be totin' my giant suitcase to the bus stop in the drenchingness. Good part: I'll be home at noon tomorrow and Mr. Mark will be picking me up at the station.

Monday, February 9

Two seemingly unrelated thoughts

Julia and I feed each other's lust for chocolate. Today she started it by asking me to accompany her to the Hasty Market for Mini-eggs (need I say more?). When we left I had a Cadbury Cream Egg and a surprise bag (Berny's Surprise Bag to be precise; only $1, what a steal!). When I returned to my stats assignment I had only the surprise bag but hadn't eaten any candy yet. So I retraced the trail down the stairs, through the living room, past the shoes and right out the door (sans coat)....down the street, through the parking lot, past the Tan Factory and "Ahoy" right on the median in the middle of the road: My CREAM EGG! I hadn't really thought about the implications of having lost it outside when I was looking for it but I checked for wetness and damage of which there was neither. So I ate it.

Topic change (I hope these aren't related). It has been about two weeks since I dropped a dose of Effexor to 112.5. I'm supposed to hover her for another two weeks and then drop again to 75 when the real changes are supposed to occur. The closer I get though the more I wonder if I can handle it. The anxiety is slowly creeping back in. Right now it is definitely manageable. I still do laundry, still sleep through the night, still go to the bathroom if I need to.

However, like I said, it is creeping back. While I did go to the bathroom last night (most nights bring one trip) it wasn't without a bit of wariness. Wait until my eyes adjust. Check behind shower curtain for creepers. Go back to room. Turn on light to check in closet and under bed for creepers. That probably already sounds slightly pathetic to all you people who can just drowsily walk from bedroom to bathroom, pee while almost missing the toilet and sleepwalk back to bed, but for me it is minimal distuption.

So I will use an "ease of night time bathroom use" scale to track my progress. 1 being I barely even open my eyes and anything beyond 10 is me not even bothering to pee because I can't leave my room. Ok so right now we are at a 2.5. That is respectable.

Sunday, February 8

Absentmindedness + Eggs =

......boom! Cooking tip: if you leave eggs to boil (and the buzzer on the stove isn't very loud) and you forget about them a few things will happen.

1) the water will all boil away
2) the kitchen will be smoky
3) you will be reminded about the eggs when they EXPLODE all over the kitchen one at time
--so much for my protein after the gym tomorrow

"Is this where the sex show is?"

The question I heard most frequently today while working at the parking booth across from Sexapalooza. Except it's not me asking, it was your (dirty?) uncle Bob or your grandpa or your mom. Most of the people I saw were easily over 40. Most of the vendors who came towing trailers of 'goods' had seen probably Elvis' first records at their debut and were also proudly sported disabled parking strips. I'm sure it was an interesting show.

And because I like to juxtapose my weather and my food I ate an Oreo Mcflurry on the way home.

Saturday, February 7

150 Bones

In the mail. Today. From the Ontario government. They called it the Textbook & Technology grant.

Yes people, we are in a recession and the university students are getting rebates. While I appreciate the bank-account-bump, let's be honest, your tax dollars are paying for booze and weed. Not too many textbooks this time of year.

Tuesday, February 3

Motivation in the Form of Failure

This has to be the first, maybe the second time, in my life that I have actually completely forgotten to do an assignment. Just did not do it and did not hand it in. It was not really worth anything but that isn't the point. Hopefully this waste of marks will motivate me to be more diligent. Or maybe it had something to do with being away this weekend.

After having it good in terms of exams for so many years I officially HATE Western. At least how they schedule exams. One: they do not give a final, unchanging exam schedule until almost the end of the semester.
Two: There are exams on Easter Monday (which actually really interferes with my ability to celebrate Mark's birthday -- I have an exam at 9am that day)
Three: Exams go until the very end of April.

Something good: if the schedule holds I may just go home for 10 days in between exams (look for a job, hang out with novio & family, etc.)

Sunday, February 1

The Toronto Experience

This is day 4 in the metropolitan capital of Ontario. Two days with Mark two days with Becks: all lovely days. The two met at Spring Rolls restaurant where they apologetically messed up a few times (like buzzing for us for a table twice when no table was available). The food and service were good though, no grudges held. Apparently Becky was expecting Mark to be considerably quieter than he was based on my description (yes Mark, maybe some of it is in my head, there you go. But may I remind you this is after 1.5 yrs of work).

Now I'm chilling in a taxi yellow apartment with sun warming my hair while making up ridiculous acrostics of the IPA chart* (International Phonetic Alphabet) to commit it to memory.

The Manners of Articulation
-Point Nine Ton (of) Toxic Flatulence Leak Among Losers
-Plosive Nasal Trill Tap Fricative Lateral-Fricative Approximant Lateral-Approximation

Place of Articulation
-Balding Ladies Don't Always Pull Rogaine Packing Vampires Under Pale Gazebos
-Bilabial Labiodental Dental Alveolar Postalveolar Retroflex Palatal Velar Uvular Pharyngeal Glottal

*this link allows you to click on any symbol and hear the corresponding language sound created. Many of the sounds cannot be found in the English language