Sunday, May 30

Friday Night

Hi-C and I spent Friday Night with the older couple who bestowed our international placement scholarships on us. We check in every once in a while and this time we made dinner (the ol' fall back pesto-onion-pear-goat cheese pizza). For a couple around 70 they are about as fiesty and active as you can get. We caught them between teaching English in Panama and a camping/canoeing weekend. After a filling meal we headed out for a 20km bike ride....on one of these babies:You got it: a tandem. Two people. Hi-C bravely took shotgun since she had briefly ridden one before. Let's just say it takes some teamwork, coordination and persistence to stay upright. By the end, though, we were turning corners and racing up hills like pros. It drew some attention: stares, people yelling from their cars "Hey, that's really cool!", comments from other bikers. PS. The Toronto skyline from the shore paths near High Park is exquisite.

Good Times, not Bad

I've found my favourite place to spend a night out in TO: Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. The name is sneaky because it is also a club and that's what it is on Saturday nights. The dance for is packed and the stage is covered in people. Since the majority of patrons are gay men there is no pressure! They were all so friendly, everyone wanted to just dance like crazy and have a good time. There is even a mini drag show thrown in for good measure just after 1am. She was fabulous!

Thursday, May 27

We're All Still Friends

Left to Right: Sharon, JPD, Hi-C & Me. Our images etched temporarily in the sands on the eastern shoreline of Massachusets. My likeness clearly has the largest hair, as it should be. The four of us packed up and hauled rental car through New York, Vermont and New Hampshire to finally settle for a few days in Boston. Good thing we are good at entertaining ourselves because we were locked together in a tiny car for many hours. Our favourite game involved speculating about the likelihood that anyone actually inhabited some of the ramshackle structures in small town America.

In terms of beauty I would have to say that few places can offer as lovely countryside as backwoods Vermont. JPD found us a barn-turned-hostel in nowhere Vermont. That was the life. We had wooden swings , a pingpong table, a full kitchen and an adorable country store just down the road. The man (John) who ran the hostel had the life: hostel operator, teacher of handmaking canoes, raiser of chickens, harvester of maple syrup, roaster of, cashews. If you're ever passing through Vermont by the back roads I recommend paying him and his dog Sunny a visit.

Once in Boston we crashed at the YMCA hostel and explored during the day. Everyone humoured me and visited the New England Aquarium to see jelly fish, squid, crazy-looking fish, adorable penguins and everything great under the ocean. We were determined that each of us would have a 'moment' at least once during the trip. Mine was Vibram's Fivefingers (I mentioned them here). In an adorable shopping district in the cool evening we stumbled on a small workout boutique carrying the odd-looking foot covers. They were surprisingly comfortable and I was soon sold (or the shoes were) yes, if you were wondering: I bought them, I'll post more later about wearing them.

Sharon's Moment: she bought a va-va-va-voom dress at a stylish shop near Harvard campus.
JPD's Moment: acting as a keen navigatress in the horrendously designed city of Boston. We bow down to her sense of direction.
Hi-C's Moment: finding her coveted shower curtain in a NY Target.

Hi-C's traveling friend met us on Saturday evening after a full day of shopping, aquarium, local food, and a carousel ride. She took us on a tour of Cambridge (passing through Hahvahd Yahd...or Square) which sits just across a short bridge from Boston. While eating at a local pub she taught us how to eat our food British-style with all kinds of manners. I now have the ability to be a dainty eater.

Sunday was ocean and witch day. We cruised out of the city on scenic country roads to be tourists in Salem, MA. You know, the place where they hung witches for fun times. We saw a reenactment of a witch trial with two live actresses and 5 creepy wax figures (not full figures: the judge was a wax head on a podium). By the time we hit the beach it was a bit foggy but it was great to feel the breeze and smell the ocean air (even if it was a little eau-de-rotting-fish). We combed the tide pools for friendly little hermit crabs and snails. If I'm being totally honest: it was the piece of coastline I've seen so far. But I still enjoyed it and was so glad to be at the sea.

While we had fun there is a caveat: having 4 opinionated women with somewhat different ideas of what should be seen/done is not as easy as it sounds (does it sound easy?). We worked on compromise: sometimes we performed spectacularly and sometimes slightly less so.

Wednesday, May 19

Tea Time!

Remember when I was trying to decide between DC, Boston or Chicago? I'm unsure if I ever updated but the decision was Boston. Reasons: it is smaller and better for driving (we're chicken s**ts when it comes to city driving). It is right on the coast and next to cape Cod (we can listen to Vampire Weekend as we leave the cape). It is supposed to be pretty.

We have the car booked (9am tomorrow morning baby!) and our accomodations set (go cheap and skeezy hostels) and...that is about it. From there we plan to mostly wing it. At some point we will see the ocean.

Right now most of the anticipation is around the road trip itself. 4 awesome ladies in a compact car for many, many hours. Each of us has a playlist for the ride. I anticipate some overlap but also some tolerance of differing tastes. I'm using much of my time controlling the music to introduce the glory of emo-punk (try: Mariana's Trench, Ludo, The Spill Canvas, etc.). We plan to harmonize. Possibly make horrible translations of English songs into Spanish (and possibly back again). Trivia cards. 20 Questions (I'm the master of selecting random objects that no one can guess....'accordian' took the last group almost an hour).

I don't anticipate much sleep tonight....

Tuesday, May 18

Every Party has Pooper

And that's me right now. So, I've been have a pretty successful pity-party for myself (so I guess I'm not a party-pooper in this respect but the LIFE of the party) over the last few weeks. It basically looks like me watching too much TV, not getting much school work done, eating too much junk food (luckily I have a running buddy so I'm not getting sad and fat) and general lethargy. The internet didn't really need to know about my shame but I thought I'd use it at a motivating factor. I theorize that some of my general discontent has been with my own self and not....other reasons. There are so many things I want to do and learn but I don't pursue them to the fullest and find myself wasting time.

These are the things that I would like to invest my time in:
1. Improving my Spanish (check! Hi-C and I have signed up for lessons starting next to pay the credit card bill)
2. Volunteer. I still haven't figured out where to do this. The excuse I've been using since I got to the city was that I'm always moving (alternating semesters of placement an class) and most places are looking for more of a commitment.
3. Learn a musical instrument. I've wished my whole life that I could play something, ANYTHING! But wishing doesn't get you very far with musical instruments so I have to commit. Right now I'm leaning towards the flute (they have those handy finger-holes that show you where the notes are which is key...haha). Problem: I live in an apartment building and my neighbours might hate me.
4. SCUBA dive. Open water scares the poop outta me but give me a coral reef and I'm in heaven. The certification is fairly expensive but everyone needs a hobby, right? Plus, if I do it now I'll be all set for next summer when I'm in Kenya/India/Who knows.

There, those are my goals. Now maybe I'll feel a hint of motivation to actually work towards them instead of thinking/talking about them.

Friday, May 14

The Story of my Blog

I've been wanting to blog more often but have also been reluctant; I don't want my blog to become sad and pathetic sounding. Because, let's be honest, that's kind of how I spend most of my time feeling. And that is ok right now. While I try to be light-hearted, there is a season for every emotion and right now some of my emotions really suck. I'm starting to take advice from others: set aside time to think about the person/grieve (15 minutes a day). I can't say I stick to it but I'm working on it. School should be my focus now but it isn't motivating me.

In fact: I started this post planning to talk about my classes with a focus on our very interesting voice disorders class. But I've distracted myself. I'll be back!

Wednesday, May 5


For the first time in my life I'm really living the city-life: an apartment building! I'm on the 8th floor which I've justified as high enough up that I can take the elevator on a regular basis without feeling guilty. It could, of course, be an opportunity for exercise but I've chosen it as an opportunity for awkwardness. People truly are at their most awkward in elevators. I look forward to the next few months.

In addition to having my very first elevator, my housemate is a real grown-up with a job. She has real furniture, a lovely flat screen TV, a wii (!) and even digital cable. THERE ARE OVER 500 CHANNELS! I have never had cable at school before; this could be bad. Oh, and blue-ray. Planet Earth really is more amazing this way (as opposed to my burned copy on a 3-yr old laptop, who would have guessed?).

Sunday, May 2


One of the greatest duos in the past decade has split and are exploring solo careers. The future SLP (fSLP) is without her LibrariMan and vice versa. I'm not going to get into the reasons because is between us. But I will say that I've created my own little slice of hell (yes, I'm taking dramatic liberties because, in my mind, it's true). This weekend was the big move: back to Toronto for yet another semester. If there were anyone out there still reading this then these are the things I would tell you if I could:

--We made it in safely last night. I decided to crash with my mom and sis last night instead of stay in the unfamiliar apartment.
--The apartment is swanky and my temporary housemate seems very sweet (she even has the board games that I didn't bring).
--Traffic through downtown was nothing to write home about until we reached Queens Park. Every square foot of turf was covered in young people sporting dreads &/or tie-dye &/or .... marijuana leis. Yep, we drove right into weedfest.
--The Harry Potter Exhibit was basically a fancy way to get people into the gift shop. But it was fun to go with my mom and sister.
--I think we have our own ugly-naked-guy.
--I guess it doesn't sound that interesting after all....