Friday, December 30, 2005

the best game you can name

my mom, my sister, and i went to a flames game last night and it was fantastic. i was a bit confused with the new lines behind the goalies but other than that, things seemed to run as normal: bad calls from the refs, drunk cowboys sitting behind us yelling at the players as if they can hear him, and heroin beer, popcorn, and malts. it was a great game and calgary won 4-2. i had forgotten what it was like to cheer when your team scores and it brought all the playoff memories rushing back. especially that time where i broke my phone in a pool of beer, but that story has paid off more than the price of the new phone, so it was all worth it.

i can't stop thinking about ennis del mar and jack twist, so could someone please go see brokeback mountain so i have someone to talk to about it.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

fortune cookies

i went for lunch with my grandparents today and it was lovely company and great vietnamese food. the funniest part was when my grandpa's fortune said he'd be having a new romantic interest!

sara and i decided to go and put more holes in our bodies after and both got our noses pierced. we'd been thinking about it for awhile and decided to just go and do it. and here we are.

it sort of tickles and i just want to rub my nose.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

mountain love

i just got back from seeing Brokeback Mountain and i must recommend it to everyone. if gay cowboys make you a little uncomfortable, go see it just for all the gorgeous country south of calgary and the mountains. i felt so proud thinking, 'that is where i am from!' i think that i happened upon them filming last spring and someone tell me if that is not ranchmans and allen bill pond in there, i am sure of it.

go see it, i insist.

Monday, December 26, 2005

feeling spoiled, but not quite rotten

i woke up hung over three days in a row before christmas. once i thought i was going to die then i woke my sister up so we could have christmas eve breakfast with our dad and step mom and realised i was not nearly half as bad. this was confirmed when i had to pull over on 14th street so she could throw up out the car door. the only thing that made it bearable was us laughing at the story we would have to tell once we were no longer fighting death.

it all stemmed from a festivus party at a friend's the night before, which although i was a bit apprehensive about, was rather enjoyable and it was good to catch up with people, some of whom i have not seen in years.

christmas eve was nice and our annual party was followed by a quiet family christmas day. my little brother woke me up at 7:59am since my mom made a rule that no one was allowed to be up before 8:00am. presents, turkey, jackass episodes, a game of cranium, and a balmy 12 degrees - what more is christmas about?

i am loving having a couch to sit on, home cooked meals, and a bed bigger than a single! i am worried time is passing too quickly though and before i know it, i'll be on another plane. and there are all those papers that need writing...

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

this home's good

sara and i spent the day christmas shopping. we managed to find lots of things for ourselves and almost everything we need for others and we are now almost done. but a girl can never have too much faux fur or denim skirts, i always say.

wow, did i actually just type that sentence?! smart and fashionable are not mutually exclusive.

calgary feels good, feels like home and feels like christmas. feels like a lot of money that no one knows what to do with, too. since when are a pair of mittens at the gap $30?

i have had one egg nog latte and it was pure festivity. add to that one holiday tea and i am in the spirit.

what is with middle aged calgary women in flared jeans and pointy boots acting so pretentious? get over yourselves and drive your jacked up mini van/suv home to the suburbs.

drinking with your mom on a tuesday night may actually be one of my new favourite activities.

Monday, December 19, 2005

i love alberta beef

hugh was not waiting for me at the arrivals gate at heathrow... but it was ok because my mom and my sister were waiting in calgary with a big bouquet of flowers. and of course my favourite westjetter was working too, so that was nice to see some familiar faces among the sea of people when i touched down.

we went directly to my grandparents' house for christmas and it was almost as magical as when we were young, i think it had something to do with having kids around and a full house. my favourite part was everyone eating at a long table, sitting my noisy cousins and uncle at one end and managing to pass brussel sprouts and jelly salads to everyone. it was really great and so nice to feel as though this family, with all its idiosyncrasies and loudness, is mine.

i had alberta beef today for lunch. an albertan girl who doesn't like meat always seems to have space for a little alberta beef.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

guns or butter

i am bored. bored of reading about the same topics. bored of packing. bored of saturdays waiting til i get to leave.

the campus is dead and rather depressing, makes me wonder what the summer months will be like.

it is strange to be packing for a 3 week visit home. taking a vacation to your own house. at least i don't have to pack shampoo and dental floss. i will pack a tooth brush and deodorant though, those are always important on long journeys. if only everyone on those long flights appreciated the beauty of a clean mouth and fresh smelling pits.

i still think i have too much stuff. sadly, i have not learnt how to pack properly. i can say that i am not sure if i will ever learn how exactly to bring only what you need. a concept as equally elusive as economics to me.

i managed to get myself out of a rather hairy situation only to find myself in another, which is far more hurtful and already involves more people than it should. why can't i ever do things from front to back rather than from back to front?

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

tidings of comfort and joy and george micheal

i was invited over to some friends' flat tonight and it was an absolute delightful evening, full of fantastic conversation, lots of laughs, and kareoke! i had never done it before but in the warmth and comfort of the company i was with i belted out my first kareoke song - last christmas by wham! had to keep the christmas theme going and what better song than my christmas anthem to do it.

it was such a nice night; i love that feeling when you know you should leave, but the conversation is so interesting and lively that you wish you were not so tired so you could stay. it was nice to share ideas, apprehensions, and opinions about our academic program, i don't feel quite as alone or worried about what lies ahead for our dissertations.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

first impressions and substance use

today i learned how to twirl my pen, you know how those kids did that in high school? well i have half been able to do it for years but today i tried it while i was in the library and did not fling my pen across the table and hit someone, so i feel that it was a success.

now i want to learn how the hair dresser (stylist? i never know what to call them) can straighten my hair so well that i have worn it for 2 days, slept on it once, and walked in the rain and it is STILL NOT FRIZZY. wow. i am going to try for day 3 which might not actually be that hard because apparently our flat has not had hot water all day.

i love my new hair, i especially love it because while it was being done i did not have to make small talk and i just sat and read my book. would you like to know a little known fact about me? i am really bad at small talk. i revert back to my childhood of shyness and come out with stupid giggles and ask dumb questions to which i already know the answer.

i am drinking coffee to stay awake for the first time in my life. i have never been so dependent on caffeine to keep going, but i suppose that the life of the student requires some substance dependence and caffeine is better than most.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

run run rudolph

confession: i have not been running in about a month. well, a few times on a treadmill but we all know that that doesn't really count in the running world.

i woke up this morning and the sky was bright blue and the sun was shining and i knew what i needed to do. the same thing i should have been doing every sunday morning since i got here... go for a run.

it was tough because my lungs are not as used to it as they were in the summer during the heyday of hills, but it felt great! i have no idea how far i went, according to my garmin it was over 100km (silly thing couldn't pick up a gps signal) but it was 44 minutes, which i figure is not bad considering i am rather out of practice.

what a nice way to start a day.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

meeting of the minds

what a fantastic photo.

my three favourite things about today were:
  • the student's union shop gave me a pen because i bought one yesterday and they did not put it into my shopping bag, made a potentially frustrating situation so easy to deal with
  • coming across some material in the library on the North's use of peacebuilding in the South to promote their own interests
  • the man who works at the post office helped me to lick and stick all my stamps, never a fun task
  • an invitation for chinese take out and a pint for tomorrow

now i realise that there are 4 but i didn't want to take one out once i thought of them all.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

cabbage rolls and aprons

someone recently said that i was 'home-y' and my first reaction was to say 'absolutely not!' but then i realised that it is all relative and that i grew up surrounded by women who kept warm and cozy houses, kitchens, and families and made an environment that welcomed guests. i have distinct memories of my grandma, my mom, and my sister all wearing aprons - my grandma making cabbage rolls, my mom baking cookies, and my sister with pizza dough or cinnamon buns. i suppose you just absorb those 'home-y' skills and the ability to make a warm and welcoming environment. but i still compare myself to them and these women put me to shame!

i think i am getting a sore throat, right now it is just that prickly feeling on the right side of my throat, but i can sense it. best to treat this one with tea and a good night's rest. the tea is easy, it is the good night's rest that seems to be the problem lately.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

love actually... is... all around

uh-oh, i watched love actually AND i will be flying through heathrow at christmastime, i now have high expectations for the arrivals gate!

this time, the story of the sister with her brother with mental illness really got to me. everytime a different story seems to resonate more than the others; perhaps that is the beauty of the movie.

i also burnt my tongue on tea today and now i fear that i will have that burnt tongue feeling all day tomorrow.

my uk christmas shopping is almost done and i am feeling rather good about that. nice to get SOMETHING near completion even if it is not a paper for school. i tell you, this online shopping is so damn convenient. although it doesn't allow me to fluff clothes out to take a better look for size, fabric, quality. those fluffers used to drive me nuts when i worked at the gap because you would have to follow them around the store, refolding everything that they fluffed. but it really is a necessary evil, especially when shopping for gifts.

three of my shopping pet peeves are:

  • putting my receipt in the bag without asking me first if i want it (i always want it)
  • giving me change back with the coins ON TOP of the bills (this is convenient for no one, why do they do it?)
  • when i have to go and find someone to let me into a fitting room to try something on

Saturday, December 03, 2005

christmas karma?

it is 2:00am and i am up studying and i wanted a bit of chocolate so i figured that since it is technically december 4th i could open the 4th box of my advent calendar.

it was orange flavoured chocolate.

let this be a lesson never to open your advent calendar early.

late night radio in the afternoon

it is official, i am excited to come home for christmas. i hadn't realised i was coming home in only 2 weeks until about, well, yesterday and i am enhancing my festive spirit by listening to lite 96 online because a radio station that only plays christmas music from december 1st gets my support. it might actually be unhealthy to love christmas music as much as i do.

just a few more gifts to buy, a few more days to enjoy tea and crumpets, and more than two weeks worth of research that i will naively try to fit into two weeks and i will be on my way home. please preare the eggnog lattes!

the day i get home i will be going straight to the traditional knouse family pre-christmas christmas, where i will probably fall asleep in my mashed potatoes and gravy, but i am really looking forward to it even if i won't have a clue what day it is.

so maybe steve will lower the gst...but doesn't it seem a bit ironic that he also wants us to write off the liberals for the things they have done in the past but he is backstepping on what HIS government brought in? i really don't know who i will vote for (eventhough some people seem to think i see things only one way), it really depends on where my vote will count, in my home riding or in some magical, international riding. i don't know how they figure these things out. considering i am a politics student, i should probably know.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

wrap it up

Support World AIDS Day
the united nations has declared december 1st world aids day.

so i have one message for you - wrap it up!

last year at this time i was in red deer at the college attending a central alberta aids organisation's talk where i answered a question and got a free pair of socks, it was a good time. anticipation and excitement for south africa and a rather positive moment in the world of my canada world youth experience. that project has taken on a life of its own in my memory. so nice to be independent and free again and yet i learned a lot and met some fabulous people.

now if they would just stop sending me those emails about getting signatures on their petition.

today is also the first day of a new budget month and the first day i get to eat an advent calendar chocolate. exciting developments because now i can get some more groceries (ok, and maybe a new pair of boots) and have a chocolate a day!