Wednesday, November 30, 2005
i managed to find my inspiration to get working on term papers. i love when you come across some interesting information and can't write it down fast enough. i forgot how i love to pour through articles and pile the books up on the side of my desk as proof of how much i have accomplished. i think my brain works better when i take off my shoes and put my feet on my chair. i love shoes but i take them off at any chance i get.
yesterday i learned that if you live in your own tiny room that has rather sound proof walls, you can chew gum and make smacking sounds as loudly as you like. i have never done this before because i hate listening to other people chew, but it was actually... sort... of... fun. and seemed to help me concentrate.
Monday, November 28, 2005
ok, so this story is an only in canada/calgary
I was driving home today and something catches my eye.
this guy has a dead deer in his flat bed strapped to a quad driving down glenmore
a deer, seriously on the road, in the city
I was trying to get closer and check it out better
and then school buses are all around and I am thinking oh no, the kids are going to think it is a reindeer
it was gross and funny at the same time, I just kept thinking, only in calgary I am sure
the christmas party was a success and i hope that it did a little to get all our guests into the spirit.
good thing my ani difranco cd arrived today. just the kind of music i am in need of today. and you know it is never good when you need ani.
like all the others, this too shall pass.
Friday, November 25, 2005
today i bought a pointsettia and named her cindy lu.
today i joined the town's public library.
today i ate a butterscotch crepe in the middle of a french market.
it was a good day.
Thursday, November 24, 2005
perhaps what i was most proud of at the end of the conversation was that i have faith that this person has all the skills necessary to find their way through the dilemma and that i am lucky enough to have so many people in my life who are so capable and yet are willing to say that sometimes they don't have a clue.
i feel the same way everyday.
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
unfortunately, this means that i need to cancel my work out non-date and better manage my time. no reading my book (which i am almost done), no knitting mittens, no more baking cookies...
have you seen the movie Downfall? well, you should. you know a good movie when you can sit through two and a half hours and not feel as though you are counting down the minutes until it is over. makes war look real while at the same time emphasising the surreality of it all. i am unquestionably no nazi sympathiser, but i do think that it is easy to condemn the people on the fringes in hindsight. makes me wonder if those of my generation can even conceive what is seemingly inconceivable. watch it, then let's talk about the amazing actor that played hitler.
don't you wonder what they are thinking? stephen is up to something and is trying to sit fancy so that no one will pick up on his smirk and paul is trying to be cool and pretend that he doesn't know anyone is watching.
an election is on the way, interesting times in canadian federal politics.
Monday, November 21, 2005
i even had an assistant baker who helped me whip the butter and sugar by hand, as that gets tiring if it is a one person job.
and i had more than enough chocolate chips, so i ate the leftovers because what else do you do with a few handfuls of chooclate chips?
the dollar hit a new high yesterday, 2.02 dollars to 1 pound!
since when did i age rapidly and sit around and talk about the weather with such regularity?!
but really, the fog deserves a mention.
so does the lack of chocolate chips in this one horse town. is "one horse town" a canadian phrase? sounds rather western now that i think about it. it is what my sister and i call cochrane cause there really is this one statue of a horse.
when i attended a jann arden concert once she mentioned how ridiculous it is that alberta has a town called cochrane AND one called balzac, which really is quite funny when you think about it.
but how is a girl expected to make chocolate chip cookies without chocolate chips? that is like a pb&j without the pb.
Sunday, November 20, 2005
i went to leeds yesterday, a nice place with an industrial charm. and tonnes of people, but that is nothing new, there are 60 million people crammed on to this tiny island and northern ireland.
can a person learn how to patient? anyone have any tips? i am realising more and more everyday what an impatient person i am. i once had a boss who said that people who were patient were not dynamic, so maybe i should embrace my impatience and make it work to my advantage. i bought a cadbury's advent calendar that is sitting in front of me, making me impatient for december to hurry up and start so i can eat some chocolate!
yesterday was the coldest i have been so far in england. it is definitely winter but i like the crispness (is that a word?) of the air when there are no clouds and the sun is shining and you can see your breath.
today i learned that the korean war was in fact not an act of collective security. yesterday i learned how to put my cds on itunes. tomorrow i hope to learn how to bake cookies, prepare a presentation, and work out all in the same night.
Friday, November 18, 2005
outside: a photo of 2 fancy old ladies sitting on a park bench with the words "Is it' butt naked' or 'buck naked'?"
inside: These are the kinds of questions I come to you for.
ok, i realise that this is not half as funny without this picture of this two old bitties on the front, but ask me sometime and i will show it to you and i guarantee you will laugh out loud. thank you sara for sending me such nice goodies along with the hilarious card and to taylor and hunter for the other cute card!
Thursday, November 17, 2005
i visited with my auntie and nana in liverpool for lunch and tea. i stopped at a lovely street florist on the way and bought some flowers and felt so metropolitan riding the train with my bouquet.
i love giving gifts. perhaps because it makes me feel good. maybe that is why i love christmas so much. i also love receiving gifts, especially when my auntie empties the change from her wallet and gives it to me because 'students don't have very much money,' then she insisted that i take a taxi instead of take a 2 minute walk.
even for someone who strives for new levels of independence, it is nice to be taken care of once in awhile.
my newest thing that i know is that my nana doesn't eat poultry either, i wonder if it was built into my genes?
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
i have corrected more than a few people in the past days about the difference between the words 'eskimo' and 'inuit.' someone also tried to explain to me what lacrosse was too. i can't blame people's ignorances, especially because no one is immune to the phenomena of ignorance, but it gets tiresome.
i learned another new thing today. perhaps didn't learn it so much as realise it:
i cannot get frustrated over all the talk of theories in my course that all lead me to believe the entire population of the earth is doomed, because in the realm of theories it is our job to analyse and reanalyse and make arguments and pick apart arguments and discuss and discuss and discuss. although i love thinking big thoughts and making my brain wrap itself around a theory, i am a do-er. i don't think that academic study for the sake of academic study is very useful unless you DO something with it. but now is not yet the time and here is not the place. all in good time.
i still think the world is doomed. in a rather hopeful way, if that is possible.
Saturday, November 12, 2005
i went to a town in the lake district today and visited a museum full of stuff that in canada would be considered Really Old, i love history. the town was the centre of the wool industry in england at one point and then that damn cotton replaced it. still lots of sheep in the countryside, looks like a fairy tale.
i had my first crumpet today. spongy, rubbery, and delicious.
i also managed to lose a pair of mittens, find a pair of mittens, lose a return train ticket, get home without a ticket, and pay almost $5 for tomatoes; a big day for stupid mistakes and inexplicable luck.
and i have committed myself to cheering jerome and the boys on in torino, italy. i have even secured a team canada jersey for the event. would anyone like to join me in supporting the true north strong and free?? the more the merrier, i hope that we can get on the cbc!
Friday, November 11, 2005
i was so nervous for my first dinner guest, butterflies in my stomach and everything. i was quite worried that a) i would not have enough food, b) i would ruin the salmon as i have never really cooked it all by myself, or c) that my dinner guest, a fellow canadian, would be deathly allergic to basil or parsley or asparagus. it is common etiquette to warm someone if you have a serious aversion or allergy to a certain food? i think it should be if it is not already.
the dinner turned out wonderfully and i impressed even myself with the way it all worked together so well. i even set the table nicely and had a compliment on my cooking... i bet some of you never would have predicted that!
after dinner we went to see charlie and the chocolate factory. that johnny depp is fascinatingly weird, or should i say willy wonka? an entertaining movie, especially the musical oompa loompa scenes! i love a packed theatre.
i observed my two minutes of silence in the library with all the other library goers today. didn't it used to be one minute? i didn't mind at all, nice to have a moment of clarity.
Thursday, November 10, 2005
it is far too easy to be fashionable here and i discovered a store that is similar to old navy in price (maybe even cheaper) but more like zara in trendy knock-offs. after i fought off the women with strollers, the girls with the giant fake fur vests, and visited the fitting rooms a total of three times, i made off with some rather fabulous things. tomorrow i will go back to learning about how western developed countries consume too much and the guilt will start pouring over me. i will wait until then to start reconciling it.
another observation about the uk: there are very few independent booksellers, coffee shops, restaurants, or bars. they are all part of chains that are found in every city all over this tiny island. makes finding a cozy spot to curl up with a latte and a good book quite difficult. i passed by the starbucks today and the chai latte was literally calling my name. i went into the store, saw that it would cost over $5 for the smallest size, and told that little voice to shut up and that i can wait until december.
seeing as this site is all about the things i know and the things i am learning i will share a lesson i learned the hard way today: when trying to produce less waste and carry fewer bags by refusing the bags that every shop offers you, it is best to double bag things, otherwise the handles of the cheap plastic bag will disintegrate and you will be left carrying your parcel in your arms for the walk from the bus stop to your house.
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
my day was brightened due to the arrival of FIVE pieces of mail. two more of the books i was expecting, some bank junk, and a card with a tea bag contraption from my mom, it all made me smile. even the bank stuff because it said that i was approved for a credit card! now i just have to figure out how this tea bag contraption works.
Sunday, November 06, 2005
the concern with immigration and immigrants is troublesome to me. maybe because that idea of a cultural mosaic that we learned about in grade seven social studies really stuck. maybe because i come from a country with more than enough space. maybe because i realise that the issue is so much larger than simply immigrants taking locals’ jobs. this situation in paris is not helping though. so sad and disheartening.
i successfully averted a plant-related crisis when penelope’s flowers were all droopy and so sad looking, i thought her next stop would be the garbage can, but i filled her up with water and in a few minutes she was perky again. close call.
Friday, November 04, 2005
in other news, i bought a basil plant so that i don't have to throw the last half out of the package of basil because i cannot manage to eat it quickly enough. how much basil can one person possibly eat in a week? i will name him sherlock and i hope that he and penelope thrive in the windowsill. as long as they are not watered too often. i also bought a parsley plant because they were on some buy-one-get-one-cheap dealy and everyone knows how i love a deal! the parsley plant is yet to be named, suggestions are welcome.
Thursday, November 03, 2005
they just don't know what that albertan girl has accomplished. clearly, they missed her barefoot performance at alberta's 100th birthday.
i am listening to hymns of the 49th parallel to prove a point. and because i like it.
on this rainy day, i could use a little alberta sunshine and a nice hot coffee in a small coffee shop with some heart warming conversation and soul rejuvenating laughter.
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
i think i am becoming addicted to online shopping. when they british are not text messaging, they are making online purchases and i now understand the inescapable pleasure in the search, the credit card details, the shipping address. some things are actually cheaper online and the anticipation of a package in the mail is reason enough to spend the money!
tonight i bought 3 used books - the constant gardener (i was left wanting more after the film), white teeth (zadie smith), and 44 scotland street (alexander mccall smith, to honour my recent trip to edinburgh and my newest favourite city). i will prepare progress reports on my enjoyment of each.
speaking of books, i must recommend The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseni, a delight. i am going to start giving out book awards and this book is the first recipient of the Quarterman Distinction.
at one point in the story a character worries that she is so happy that one day she may wake up to realise that the happiness is over. i am really relating to that sentiment right now. i suppose in the grand scheme, it is not a bad place to be.
a fresh cup of tea awaits...