Monday, November 30

33.5 minutes

That is the amount of time it took me to run (translation=jog) 4.9km on Sunday morning. Not actually a personal best but definitely a personal only attempt since grade 10. I've never been athletic. I don't even like exercising very much. But at the end of September I started using the gym next door and HATED IT SO MUCH that I tried running outside. For me, that was a big deal. I tend to decide that I will start running and then I do it one time and quit because I despise the act of running. The most shocking development: I (kind of) enjoyed myself. So much that I tried it again.

I haven't mentioned it on here often because part of me is afraid to jinx it; I still can't really believe that I run three times a week. Every week. A major contributor to my motivation is the new running wardrobe I purchased a few weeks ago. Now I feel like a runner. (I am a runner. Be the runner.)

Most days I only go between 3-4km but I try to up the distance on the weekends. As of right now there are no half marathons or cross Canada sprints in my future but I feel healthier. My big barrier is 5km. I've never done more than that. Maybe this weekend I'll map out 7 and see how far I can get until I have to walk/crawl the rest of the way.

Wednesday, November 25

City Dreams Come True

Another big-city-living dream of mine came true today. I go to Kensington market fairly frequently but it never seems to be planned. From school I can jaunt there in 10-15 minutes but from home it is over a half hour. This is by walking, I'm too cheap to TTC*. As usual I ended up there today somewhat unexpectedly but finally decided to make the most of it.

I bought someone's gift in a specialty shop that sold only that gift and every possible variation on that item.

I compared the quality of produce across vendors. Tomatoes, yellow peppers and grapes at one. Fresh basil at another. Turned my nose up at the abysmal Bosc pear selection.

My bread came from a bakery. It was warm and smelled fresh. I talked to the store clerk about the bakers attempting to make my favourite bread (Finnish coffee bread, I ask everywhere I go and no one ever makes it ;(

The fresh Bocconcini for lunch tomorrow came from a little cheese store with friendly and hilarious service.

On my way back to school (not so idyllic after all) I stopped by the Chinese bakery that Mark and I "discovered" on Dundas and picked up a bag of pineapple coconut buns to freeze for later *drool*.

This would have been almost perfect except for the fact that I *gasp* forgot to bring reusable bags and had to tote everything around in plastic from the store. For shame.

*Let's see what happens in January. One hand: The fare will go up from $2.75 to $3.00. Cheap me will cringe when purchasing tickets, this will encourage walking. Other hand: It will be bitterly cold and the transit will be so easy and warm. This will encourage me to "Ride the Rocket".

Shiny New Blog Feature: What I Should Be Doing! Find out what I should have been doing when I wrote this post.
Today: 1) making study notes for physiology (book is sitting open on my lap)
2) Writing SOAP Notes (you don't need to know) for an assignment due Friday.

Tuesday, November 24

My new Hobby

Tickets to live-tapings of CBC's The Hour (with good ol' George Stomboulopoulos) are surprisingly easy to acquire. And free. The key is free.

Most tapings start at 330 giving my classmates and me time to finish out class at 3 and be at the studio on time. But not today. Less than 24hrs notice they moved us up to 245 to tape something for their Christmas special. A little bitter but determined to see Steven Levitt (author of Freakonomimcs) we missed our very first anatomy lecture on the larynx. An SLP who doesn't know the larynx? Hopefully we can wing it ;)

It was wholly worth it. I have found my new hobby. The audience is small, they entertain us in between, Georoge seems to pretty much wing everything. The snacks were minimal (free crispy things in bags and free energizing drinks: I'm not going to do a plug) and we did not get a copy of the new SUPERFREAKONOMICS. Apparently things are different on Canadian television. They did randomly give away free items between taping. We flagged down a free box of salty chocolates.

The Interviews:
Steven Levitt: nerdy, knowledgeable guy (but I still find economics fascinating yet disturbing). He at least admitted that no one wants an economist running the world. No, we don't.

Anika Noni Rose: the voice of Disney's new "The Princess and the Frog" (she was also on the movie Dream Girls). Very sweet and very well-spoken.

The Sadies & the Mighty Pope: interesting musical mix covering White Christmas. Not my normal style but a treat.

Downside: You can't use the washroom. At all. From 245 to almost 6pm. Tell me there is no washroom available and watch me squirm. It is torture; all I can think about. I have nightmares about having to relieve myself and not being able to locate a washroom.

I made it though, in case you were wondering.

Monday, November 23

Nerdy Dreams

One of the things on my big life list is to host a book club. I finally decided to act on this ambition during a time when I only consume textbooks and journal articles. About 10 people in year 1 SLP are in for the challenge. We will be reading a book over the holidays and meeting to discuss themes and eat sugary snacks in the new year.

It is a challenge to choose a book that would appeal to everyone in the group/me. I decided to choose 3 and let the group vote (this process took me 2 weeks!). Some of the things i considered:

1. Length: 400-ish pages or less*. Poor, over-read grad students get 2.5 weeks of holidays and I wasn't about to ask anyone to spend the whole time reading (unless they *cough* wanted to).
2. Style: going for non-fiction but modern (no Victorian-era novels) with rich theme
3. Availability: re-emphasis on poor, I tried to choose books that would be easily available at the library or used book stores (ie. not so common as to always be checked out, old enough to have a paperback edition, etc.)
4. Cringe-factor: does it make me cringe. I'm trying to be open to books I wouldn't always choose but some things are just out (aka Twilight).

The choices:

Oryx & Crake by Margaret Atwood

Still Alice by Lisa Genova

The Fifth Business by Robertson Davies

I don't really prefer one over the others. Here's to books!

*If I length was not a factor the top 3 would have looked significantly different: A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry), The Story of Edgar Sawtelle (Wroblewski), and East of Eden (Steinbeck).

Tuesday, November 17

Frugal Rebel

Class was skipped today. By me. It was the first time since the program started that I skipped a class while I was in town (I've skipped two others for traveling/holiday purposes). It was productively spent at the mall. Yikes. I never feel good about myself after leaving the mall (I need a whole new wardrobe!).

We did spend almost an hour in Sephora making up our faces with all the testers. There was a powder foundation that made my skin flawless. $35. I justified it for self-esteem reasons and hunted out the necessary make-up brush. $25. Yikes. But I forged ahead to the cash (guilt twinging).

$79.10. What happened to my $60 purchase?! If $60 caused guilt then $80 felt ludicrous for make-up. I hesitated and asked why the price hike. She responded that the brush was $38 but when I asked where I could find the $25 brush that I intended to buy (not a very organized brush section) she gave me a hasty "I don't know".

"I'm sorry, I can't spend that on make-up". And walked out. Maybe a bit embarrassing but glad I didn't complete the sale just because she had already rung it up. My skin doesn't have a flawless sheen but I would still have a knot in my stomach if I had dropped that cash.

Thursday, November 5

Brought to you by the Letter K

Yes my name starts with K. Other than that I'm not a big fan*. I loathe the icebreaker where everyone is asked to say his or her name with an adjective doing two things: representing oneself and starting with the SAME LETTER as said person's first name.

All is well if you are Brainy Bailey or Fabulous Francine but what about all us K's?

The standard two:
Kinky: in most contexts this is cringe-worthily inappropriate.
Kooky: while I can be a bit strange I find this word awkward and I don't feel that it relates to me at all

I enlisted the help of some nerdy, er, highly intellectual classmates. This was the result:
Kerfuffled: there is an element of truth to this. Check, I would use it.
Kite-flying: I have once flown a kite, yes (thanks Mark!) but I hesitate to define myself by that experience just yet.
Kinesthetic-learner: Kinesthetic Learner Katie, it has a nice ring to it. Ignoring the fact that it is outrageously incorrect it has about the right level of nerdiness to get across my true nature in a two (three) word introduction.

The search continues for a great word. Any suggestions? What do you call yourself during these uncomfortable meetings?

*An inventory of sounds suggests I have something against velarization: hard G sounds (as in gone or gargantuan) are wholely unappealing to me.

Monday, November 2

Fed Up with FedEx

About 5 weeks ago I won an iPod from Crystal Light. Go entering contests online! I didn't say anything before now because I wanted to have it in my hot little hands for real to make sure I wasn't being tricked or scammed. They used FedEx to ship it to me. Problem. FedEx can't get me my package in downtown Toronto.

They call me this morning at 7:18am (I went home this weekend and arrived back in TO on the Greyhound at 5:44 this morning so let me tell you, a 7:18 wakeup call was exactly what I needed).
When can we bring the package? Having class every day from 10-3pm I said after 330. They agree to this arrangement.

I rush home with excitement to see my new prize and wait in the living room to be sure I hear the door. Just after 5pm they call me again:

FedEx: I guess you realize there is a problem with your package.
Me: um, no.
FedEx: The address is a nightclub.
Me: No, I'm pretty sure I don't live at a night club {I proceed to provide very specific directions}.
FedEx: So when can we bring it by?
Me: Tomorrow after 330pm.
FedEx: Sorry, he does your route in the morning.
Me: Sorry, I have class everyday until 3pm. You can drop it off before 930am or after 330pm.
FedEx: We don't guarantee times. Is there any way that you could not go to class???

We keep negotiating: they can't drop it off to security of the condo next door that owns the townhouse.
They don't have an office in downtown TO (that's right, FedEx Ground can't be picked up in DOWNTOWN TORONTO. I'm welcome to go to Mississauga or Whitby though.
I may not be able to sign for my own package because I rent: I have no i.d. that proves I live at this address.

Solution: They are shipping it to my parents' house 8 HOURS AWAY. I can get my package in two weeks when Mark visits. So much for the world's most reliable shipping conglomerate.