Saturday, January 28, 2006

wooly reminder

i found myself today. i am not sure exactly where i had gone, but i was feeling disconnected and even though everything is going really well here with my course and people, i think i needed to remind myself of a few things.

i managed to do this while walking through the hills with a good friend, passing through flocks of sheep and enjoying the view. it was so clear you could see right to the bay. i sometimes forget i am so close to the ocean. this prairie girl isn't used to it!

this past week i have been having the saddest dreams. not nightmares or bad dreams, just sad. and about home. i am still not sure exactly why but i know that being outside today and having such great conversation helped me deal with whatever was causing those dreams.

i went to a village today that had a cafe, a post office, a phone booth, and a bridge. i am a city girl at heart, but i can never be too far away from that pace of life either.

my sister sent me this quote, i think it seems to sum up my sentiment as of late:

Whatever we learn has a purpose and whatever we do affects everything and everyone else, if even in the tiniest way. Why, when a housefly flaps his wings, a breeze goes round the world; when a speck of dust falls to the ground, the entire planet weighs a little more; and when you stamp your foot, the earth moves slightly off its course. Whenever you laugh, gladness spreads like the ripples in a pond; and whenever you're sad, no one anywhere can be really happy. And it's much the same thing with knowledge, for whenever you learn something new, the whole world becomes that much richer.

Norton Juster, "The Phantom Tollbooth"

Friday, January 27, 2006

rules about tools

my step dad always says that there is a proper tool for every job and today i disobeyed this logic and the rule that states, "do not cut towards yourself" and cut my thumb with a serrated knife, which was because i was lazy and figured it meant less dishes if i just used one knife. not smart at all. but nothing a band aid can't handle. is just reminded me that sometimes your parents do know best and that pots' handles should not hang off the edge of the stove, you should never hand someone scissors with the pointy end out, and you should ALWAYS CUT AWAY FROM YOU.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

farmed salmon, mad cows, avian flu...

i would pay someone at least $20 for a t ho's single milk, single sugar right now. seriously.

the sky is the most amazing colour of blue and it reminds me of my first home.

i went to a fascinating seminar on food production yesterday. so scary to know that when you buy yourself something for lunch you are supporting phillip morris or monsanto or another equally distasteful corporation. but what is the solution? especially when you love food as much as i do?

one more thing for me to worry about and then get upset because i don't feel as though i can do anything to change it.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

cowboy cabinet

a conservative government... the corpse has won. i don't mind the conservatives as much as i dislike harper. he is just such a poor representation of canada, i think. with his extremely poor fashion sense everytime the stampede comes around and he puts that ill fitting leather vest on and his lack of dry canadian wit. as i tend to look at things from a foreign policy and international relations perspective, it worries me to think about what harper will do in terms of bush and the 'war on terrorism.'

i really do think this is going to force the liberals to do some serious rethinking and rebuilding and learn how to be an effective opposition, which will be good in the end. now that paul will step down as leader, i wonder if belinda will make the run. i tend to think so and i honestly think that has been her intention since she first ran for mp. she probably saw that it wouldn't happen with the conservatives so she switched to where she could see a future as leader. i don't know that much about her, but i'd like to see it happen.

should we all start betting on how long this minority will last? i am not good with numbers, but my guess is shorter than martin's government lasted.

Monday, January 23, 2006

taste of anticipation

i am having the most delicious snack - plain yoghurt, blueberries, and honey. and by snack i mean this will be my dinner. and according to my mom or some program she watched, blueberries are among the five foods you should eat. the others were green tea, red wine, and the other two i have forgotten, so a lot of good that advice will do anyone. i have prescribed a diet of blueberries, green tea, and red wine. that can't be good.

i had a lecture today where i found two of the people rather rude. why is it that some people feel the need to publicly denigrate one of their peers? i have not found a good way to manage such examples of socially hostile behaviour because for reason they seem to get under my skin and stay there. it happened last week when i thought someone was rude to me in front of the class and now it has happened with a classmate.

while i was in this lecture i realised that i had been chewing on my pen, which is a habit i broke a few years ago. but then i started to think about it and realised that the reason my pen was chewed was not because of me but because my dog had been chewing on it once but i didn't want to throw it out because it had great flow of ink (those really inky pens that just gush out? i love those). so all those times i have been upset at mozart for trying to kiss me on the mouth and i just ingested his germs.

at least they are predicting a larger presence of ndps and the bloc. i won't yet admit defeat, but i am a little less worried knowing that there will be a strong presence in parliament from the left.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

curiouser and curiouser

the first week back in lectures was a good one. i seem to have found myself in an extra class that i am auditing because it compliments another lecture nicely, but i also signed up for a half hour presentation on conflict and religious extremism... oh well, i like to be busy. and it makes up for the french class that i had intended on taking that was sadly cancelled.

i went for a wonderful afternoon tea in the lake district this past thursday with some friends from my program where we sat and talked politics, so nice to have people to have such specific conversations with; i understand not everyone wants to talk about us foreign policy and bureaucratic international organisations. and i took some photos to put on here but then i realised that i left my cord to do that at home in calgary so my sister will mail it soon. sometimes i think i would misplace my head if it weren't attached.

yesterday i went for a lovely drive to leeds with a friend to see alice in wonderland. the play was fantastic and it made me want to wear the queen of hearts dress with all the crinolins and spin and spin like i was 7 again. i forgot about that horrible part where the baby turns into a pig though, i remember that being rather unsettling. of course, the best part was the mad hatter's tea party. i wonder if twirling around would be as entertaining as it was when i was small? if i try it, i'll let you know!

and on the way to leeds i couldn't help but think of poor old heathcliff from wuthering heights, wandering over the moors. such a depressing book and i must admit that i did not finish the last 10 pages. i can do that, stop reading a book if it loses my interest. no need to continue something if it is not captivating you. and there are so many books i'd like to read in my lifetime, might as well not waste time with the ones you don't love. right now i am reading the constant gardener and perhaps because i have seen the movie, i am ready for it to be done.

until my camera cord arrives in the mail...

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

dynamite grace

i just finished my laundry and the whole reason that i wanted to do it was to wash my bedding so that i could have fresh smelling sheets to get into at night (or in the middle of the afternoon if i fancy a nap!) and guess what? i just realised that i forgot to put my sheets in my wash. for the love of god.

five days til election time. i am not going to lie, i am slightly worried about the outcome. maybe i should find a nice lady to marry now because soon it might not be allowed.

as you probably know, i love mail. and today i got the best mail EVER! it is a talking napoleon dynamite pen. my favourite thing it says is 'whatever i feel like i wanna do, gosh.' makes me want to watch the movie again and laugh so hard it hurts. napoleon, kip, pedro, glamour shots, building cakes, showing skills, ligers, tina, luwanda, tamed wild stallions, tots, moon boots, upper lip shading, full body shots. seriously, how do people not think those things are funny?!

Friday, January 13, 2006

back in the saddle

i have seriously embraced my western roots with that title, but after i thought of it i couldn't resist.

ok canadians, there is an election in ten days, i hope you know where your polling station is, who the candidates in your riding are, and are ready to elect another minority government. and even if you aren't ready for that last part, that is clearly what is going to happen. i got to vote ahead of time with a fancy 3-envelope ballot. do other people get as excited to vote as i do? and i vote in steve-the-corpse's riding, so imagine if i lived somewhere that i felt my vote counted?! the excitement might be too much to handle.

my ultra long trip back to lancaster was actually rather bearable and i managed to sleep everywhere i went. my sleeping is still messed up but i am using it to my advantage to get course work done in the middle of the night.

i had forgotten how nice it is to sit and chat with the girls in my flat while we all made dinner in the kitchen. i think that makes it feel more like home and allows me to forget for a second what an amazing 3 weeks i left behind this time i left calgary.

having two homes is a rather strange experience, especially when one of the is so temporary. i am feeling rather pressured to figure out what i want to do when i grow up, but i suppose that is to be expected and i can't complain because i do thrive on that kind of excitement.

sad news, my plant penelope is on her death bed. i am giving her one more day to perk up, but with 4 leaves and no flowers left, i think i will plan her funeral. which would include throwing her into the garbage and going to buy that african violet i have had my eye on! i feel a little guilty, but i am sure that will pass.

Monday, January 09, 2006

cheers to the best girls i know

the all-girls rally-at-the-alley was a complete success. i had to have a 4 hour nap on sunday just to sleep off the alcohol in my system, but it was a great time. my stomach is still feeling tight from all the laughing we were doing.

here is the email that started it all off:

i told my dear friend jen that i would like to wake up hung over just once more before i leave to cross the pond to drink lukewarm beer in pubs that close at 11. and since we are all either unemployed, students, new home owners, or otherwise struggling to pay all the bills at the end of the month, i suggest that we give'r canadian-style and have a bender on a budget. so dig out all the heels of the bottles you never finished, raid your parents' liquor cabinets just like you are 16 all over again and throw on a little mascara.

this saturday i hope that you will clear your schedules for the first great extravaganza of 2006 (unless some of you have already recovered from the holidays and have already fallen off the wagon) and that we start off somewhere for drinks, get rowdy, then head to the alley for a good old fashioned all-girl rally-at-the-alley. i seem to be a bit short on email addresses so please pass along the word to anyone who loves having a good time and would like to join me in saluting this great country before i go. (i make no guarantees, but we have been known to sing the anthem if we've had a few molson beer)

do me a favour and let me know if you can make it out by emailing me back (and i will accept no excuses unless they involve the worst hangover you've ever had or random one night stands from friday night that have not ended by saturday!).

i am looking forward to seeing you all!


Friday, January 06, 2006

this is how people die, but we didn't so it was fun

guide books: 1
discernable trails: 0
closed trails that we tried to find anyways: 1
people who knew where we were going hiking: 0
extra layers of clothing: 0
litres of water for three people: 1
food for snacks: 0
sara's breakfast: 2 cookies
stops at t ho's: 2
big horn sheep that we had to drive around: about 8
times we listened to mr. brightside: at least 3

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

no such thing as new beginnings

resolutions are a funny thing. first of all i don't make them at this time of year. i really don't feel that january 1 is the beginning of anything. a few years ago my dearest janny and i decided that the new year ACTUALLY begins in the fall and that is when resolutions should be made. and resolutions should not have anything to do with trapping a man, losing weight, being more kind or anything like that. they should be broad and general and more of a theme song that you want to play throughout the next year of your life.

a few years ago we resolved to 'do more things,' we took advantage of the opportunities (many free) to do new and fun things in our city and outside of it. then last year we resolved to 'take care of ourselves' and that too was a success. nutrition, running, and welness took over our vocabularies this past summer.

i don't think we should make resolutions for things we want to change about ourselves, but about things we want to improve about ourselves. if you don't like what you are starting with, what makes you think you'll like where you'll end up either?

Monday, January 02, 2006

"man, i love having a good time"

one paper down, two to go. but i am feeling more motivated and excited about these next ones. and if i write 1300 words each day before i leave, they will be written! though i hope to write more than that so that i can actually enjoy my last days here.

new years was nice this year, i spent it in canmore with few expectations and it all turned out great, apart from the strange stomach ache that i contracted at about 11:00pm. i ate more alberta beef that night and that might have done it... meat vacation, here i come!

now that i have a digital camera, i will share the hilarity of the evening with you.

the mountains are so stunning and i felt like i was seeing them for the first time. i even made sara try and take photos of them out our car window like a true tourist! i miss them when i am gone and it was so nice to get out there at least once, even if there was no snow. and a group road trip, however small, is always a blast.