Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Today was a Disney Date day

So I blogged over there. Halloweeny and a blurb on the Disney/ Star Wars news- go check it out!!

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

I don't really have time to do this everyday. I should be writing something I intend to work with, writing everyday; an unfocused blog is rather redundant.

I'm studying for another midterm and had a busy day of baking, running, cleaning and study, and I don't have a lot of time left over for a meaningful post without detrimentally affecting my studies. That's a compromise I can't make right now.

Bad blogger.

I guess this is why a lot of them don't do this every day...

I'm sorry. I'll try to be better.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Look what I made!

Like the excellent student that I am, I'm busy typing up a chapter summary (one of half of this sentence is stretching the truth and I wouldn't lie to you about summarizing chapters...)

Academic excellence aside, when we got home today Max suggested we take a walk, which I LOVE doing. I would have been a good dog, aside from the whole 'medium to strong aversion to people' thing. In any case, we went for a meander, and along the way I picked up some leaves. And this is what happened to them! Can you say identity crisis?
A rose by any other name...
Since I need to throw myself back in the textbook, this is all you get. But isn't it cool??

The DIY I used is here, in case you want to replicate these awe inspiring results. Seriously though, I am as artistically inclined as your average cat is inclined to waltz in the rain, and this took me maybe 2 minutes. Kinda fun! 

Sunday, 28 October 2012

I'm pretty sure that this is how Universities should court potential students. Just saying.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Max showing me his hometown

Otherwise known as, ok google maps, this is really cool.

What you're looking at is a quick screen pic of Max's hometown. He spent a good 20 minutes showing me his streets, his friends houses, his haunts (when we go we have to go eat fries here... and this was our Chinese food place!), his 12 km bike ride to school (that was a lot of clicking to get through! It takes a long time even on google!) and the school itself. He even got adorably lost. Aww.

While I'm sure you know that google maps is awesome, I think for me this was something wonderful and new. I love being able to picture Max's life before he moved here a little bit better- and never in the history of the world have we been able to explore someone else's world so well, in spite of it being an ocean away.

Essentially, in the middle of my day, I took a quick detour to Holland.

You go, google maps.

I know there are a  lot of pro's and cons- its certainly creepy how much you can see (Max also showed me the trailer he and his dad lived in for a while in Whitehorse, and you can scroll right up and count the nails on the door if you so wish) and it's some interesting murky ground with google street view being used to catch criminals, for example.  Google is seriously everywhere. There's even some cool art projects using google street view. I know there's also someone out there who is putting up representations of people caught by the satellite image in the real life location their picture is immortalized in, but I couldn't find a link to that with a quick (google!) search.

Max and I have encountered a streetview camera twice, and even waved at the google car and giant camera driving in our neighbourhood downtown Halifax this summer. To the degree that its alarming how google really does seem to be everywhere, I also use it probably every single day, so my suspicious nature is somewhat mitigated by how freaking handy is. Plus, a lot of the stuff they do is pretty cool, like the driverless car, the glasses, even the inside of their data centers. The only thing I can complain about is them hating on my Canadian spelling.

All that said, I don't use it as my default browser- I actually use ecosia, because it seems like a pretty painless way to potentially do some good.  Yet I still manage to use google every day. Well, it's for awesome stuff like this. If it's on the internet, it seems like google is making it as accessible as possible- from research to books to using an image search to source a picture you share (which we all do, right? Because not sourcing is not cool, right?!). Something like streetview is also, obviously, super useful- great to get a look at where you need to go, and Max and I used it to check out neighbourhoods when we were looking for a place. But for an emotional trip like this, where I got to look at the places behind 17 years of Max's stories, really felt like another level. I felt like I was taking a walk through a piece of his childhood, and since I probably won't be able to actually visit his home with him until after we're married, it was a pretty amazing treat to share. To snuggle up next to him and take a walk through Holland.

The internet it turning into a pretty amazing place.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Hi guys. Today I have 9 hours of class and 1.5 hours of midterm, so, I'm mentally absent. Apologies. So instead of one of the deeply meaningful and heartfelt blurbs to which you have become accustomed (that's sarcasm, folks) I leave you with an actually deep and meaningful post... written by one John Scalzi, proprietor over at Whatever. If you've ever wanted to see an example of a blogger who blogs every day and does it right, folks, this is it.

Warning: the post I've linked to is triggering.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Today's post: Fun times with Jezebel and Tumblr. 

I love both websites. I do. I'm a tumblr addict. But just because you love someone doesn't mean that they don't sometimes spew something out that you don't agree with.

This is what happens when that happens.

Original Article here

I know this isn’t “for me” because it’s from jezebel, but it still got me riled up. 
Point one: Maybe you should tell someone who is annoying that you’re just not interested instead of putting up with it every day.
Point two: Maybe if you’re thinking about work every time you’re on coffee break, you’re a workaholic.
Point three: Okay, I won’t do nice things for or try to chat up attractive girls in an attempt to beat back my social anxiety and see if they’re interested in me because they might be sick of people like me and I’ll just stay lonely for the rest of my 30 useful years on this Goddamned planet.
Women: concerned for our safety
This Guy: your complaining about your safety is making my dating life difficult!!!!! 

Point one: Maybe you should tell someone who is annoying that you’re just not interested instead of putting up with it every day.

Re: point one.
It appears to me, my good sir, that you have not in fact bothered to read the article before critiquing it with your precious opinions. Had you so bothered, you would have found that our protagonist does in fact object to his harassers. In fact, he does so many times, and takes his actions further by expelling the offenders from his table. Never the less, ranting about this minute detail misses the obvious point of the article, which is as titled that even “nice” can be annoying.  Do I want free coffee? Well, sure. Is the coffee proffered, or, breaking out of the extended metaphor the author is using, are the compliments, comments, or attention free? Rarely. Hardly. If ever.  You suggest that we should speak up, casually mention that some of us would prefer to be left alone even when we dare to be visible in the outside world and social situations. Well, this is us speaking up, and this is you accusing us being workaholics and making you lonely and completely, utterly, 100% missing the point. We do not “put up with someone who annoys [us] everyday”. The point is that we are not CHOOSING these interactions, and we have NO WAY of escaping them. We have NO WAY of avoiding potentially unpleasant interactions other than eschewing interactions entirely. Sometimes people like to leave their humble abodes and interact with what is, for the most part, the rest of a rather decent human race.  Some of the people who approach the cute girl on her laptop at Starbucks probably have the best of intentions and are just hoping to spark a meaningful interaction with another human being. What you’re missing here is that we have no way of knowing who is a decent human being and who is not, and making a mistake can be fatal. There’s no code for this- “Oh, he brought you a green tea with honey, thank goodness; it’s only the half fat extra espresso mocha latte that will stalk you for 3 months before raping and murdering you!” and it is not an exaggeration. You do not appear to realize that an action as simple as smiling at a stranger, something which SHOULD be a pure and simple sharing of human happiness and decency, can be dangerous. As people who may face unwanted interactions dozens of times a day and are expected to be GRATEFUL for these propositions (“Aww, I want free coffee!” “Aww, I never get whistled to in the street!” “Aww, I wish I got complimented that often!”) this situation can be exhausting and disheartening. All it takes is knowing someone who has had one bad experience to make you remember that it’s not always safe to have a stupid little conversation. And we all know someone.

Point two: Maybe if you’re thinking about work every time you’re on coffee break, you’re a workaholic.

Re: Point two. Once again I am reminded that your literary skills appear to have been malfunctioning in this circumstance. In the linked to article, our protagonist is not on a lunch break; he is in fact working. In today’s society, a computer can be used for all sorts of wonderful things, from perusing the internet to doing one’s homework to fascinating research, interacting with friends and family, or engaging in illegal activity. Many people are using this fabulous technology in their pursuit of gainful employment/ furthering their career. Isn’t this technology wonderful? I humbly present to you this alternative hypothesis:  the majority of North America is experiencing serious levels of un- or underemployment, and our hero is doing everything he can to avoid joining the unlucky who have felt the loving caress of The Corporation applied to their posterior as The Corp. downsizes and outsources to China. Rather than criticising a dedicated employee, perhaps you could praise their focus as they do their best to feed themselves and their family. Alternate hypothesis two: our hero is one of the lucky few who is truly engaged by and enjoys their work. In their coffee breaks, they like to brainstorm and hope their beverage of choice will inspire them to new creative heights.  
Even if the scenario you have suggested is completely accurate, I take issue with it here: it is not your right to criticise a stranger for some supposed problem which may or may not adversely affect them. Your comments are not helpful. Your comments are not constructive. Your comments are negative and detrimental. And your comments suggest, in light of context, that while on coffee break, anyone you may be interested in should turn off their brain and do their best to attract a complimentary interaction. I realize that where I am taking this line of thought is unlikely to be what you intended when you suggested it, but here we have an issue: I don’t feel that you have thoroughly considered the context into which you were speaking, and your ignorance, my good sir, is a huge, huge, part of the problem. It is unlikely that you would intend to offend, alarm, or annoy that cute girl at Starbucks by interrupting her from her work during your coffee break, but your lack of knowledge and foresight may lead you to do so. It is this very lack of knowledge that the article you read is attempting to help with. Sadly, you appear to have missed that entirely and instead take issue with supposed points which hardly even relate to the original post. Well, your ignorance is not a sufficient excuse for making someone feel unsafe in a public space.

Point three: Okay, I won’t do nice things for or try to chat up attractive girls in an attempt to beat back my social anxiety and see if they’re interested in me because they might be sick of people like me and I’ll just stay lonely for the rest of my 30 useful years on this Goddamned planet.

Re: Point three.  If you desire love, then it is a sad fate to spend your life alone. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone who is in need of love. But once again here you are demonstrating a lack of thought and knowledge which is concerning to me. In this aspect, I am indeed “sick of people like [you]”. There is nothing wrong with trying to engage in a positive interaction, even with the hopes of romantic entanglement ensuing. However, your flippancy in regards to ‘chatting up’ and ‘doing nice things for’ attractive girls sounds a lot like benevolent sexism to me. If she goes to Starbucks with her laptop open, headphones on, and a book in her lap, shockingly! Getting your attention may not be her goal. Her goal may be to find a safe space where she feels happy in her surroundings. Your attentions may be destroying that for her. The attention of a man is not a gift and we are not required to be thankful to have ‘earned’ it. If your attention is harmless, than why are you only interested in ‘chatting up’ and being nice to “attractive girls”? Your actions are sexualized and divisive along lines of what constitutes attraction for you. Well, she isn’t there to be eye candy and you have no right to make the assumption that she is open to a sexualized interaction, even if she is giving no signals to make you assume she is not. The onus should not be on the woman to work hard to present herself in an asexualized way. She should feel safe wherever she goes, especially a place as public as Starbucks. This is not the reality that I, as a woman, am living with, however. The reality I face is that I can be sexualized anywhere I go and I am expected to be thankful for it. And I am expected to be sorry that my negative reaction to your assumption that your attentions are welcome and that anyone who isn’t receptive to the attentions of a wholesome young man like yourself “might be a workaholic” and any number of other things but one way or another clearly has a problem is making you feel bad because you’re lonely.
Being lonely sucks. You know what sucks more? Being lonely, but being objectified by everyone who approaches you. Being lonely, but being afraid to have an interaction, because you know that if you’re assaulted or date raped you will be blamed. Not being lonely, but being expected to be grateful every time unwanted attention is diverted your way because god’s gift to woman kind is lonely, and as a woman this is clearly my fault.

I have a suggestion regarding your “30 useful years” left on this “Goddamn planet”. I suggest that you spend a chunk of them thinking your actions and assumptions through and trying to empathize with the humans you claim to want to interact with. I suggest that you take your assumptions and put them where the sun don’t shine. I suggest that you realize that posts like this ARE “for you”, even though they may originate on Jezebel, because the rights of every single human being EVER to feel safe at Starbucks is something that should concern EVERYONE, even you, ESPECIALLY you because the damage a person can do through a lack of knowledge, empathy, or understanding is absolutely astounding and there are no excuses good enough.

I suggest, if you see a pretty girl at Starbucks, you write her a note on a napkin and leave it up to her whether or not there is an interaction.
And I suggest, if you don’t see a pretty girl at Starbucks, you smile at someone anyways and still think about doing nice things such as being a decent human being because every single person, every single one, deserves the best that you can give them.

Lastly, I suggest that before you critique what was actually a great article, you fucking read it.
End rant. 

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Getting kinda alarmed at seeing all these things from my childhood being brought back as vintage.

Guys, it was the 90's! Your jazz era 1920's Fitzgerald love?
Your 1950's dresses?
Your 1960's music?

You can have that. That we can call vintage.

But Lisa freaking Frank?

This was the back cover of every Archie comic ever (ok, ok, only in the 90's). But if you come at me at mention Archie and Vintage in the same sentence...

I'm going to have to ask you to leave this blog.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Link Salad

Today is a busy day of groceries and household chores. Sounds exciting, amiright?

Today is our one week anniversary of writing every day. It is, so far, a LOT harder than I expected. The writing is easy; finding something to write about? Hard. Very, very hard. As you may have noticed, I've not been doing a very good job lately. So far. >.<

Also, tomorrow is a Disney Date blog day, so I probably won't post on here. You are forewarned.

Anyways, chores day. It goes give one time to think, and time to browse the internet. To that end I present you: Link salad.

Some of what I enjoyed today was this rant on Taylor Swift's Grammy:

I love Taylor Swift, I admit it. But Riese makes a valid point (actually, a few of them) and makes them in a highly entertaining way. I'm not going to stop listening to T Swift, because while I care deeply about feminist issues and am  a proud feminist I do need to let my brain turn off sometimes. In TV, Reading, Music, Art- there's a whole lot out there that I enjoy, even if I don't agree with everything they do and sometimes even if I have some serious issues with what they're doing it. But I can't boycott everything I disagree with, because that would be a lonely, sad, and deeply impractical life. I think its incredibly important to live what you believe and I work hard to do my best in that regard everyday, particularly, in my case, in regards to food. But between my food activism, social rights activism, and need to have a life, something has got to give. T Swift music it is.

I also enjoyed this review of a beloved book by Patrick Rothfuss:

A fun review to read, which gives just enough to whet your whistle without telling you anything about the story. And it is indeed a fabulous, fabulous book. Go forth and read.

On the darker side of the internet, there was this:

A series of 'in their own words' short essays from America's unemployed. As an unemployed student, and in regards to yesterdays post, they definitely hit hard and close to home for me.

And, even more devastating:

I stumbled across this blog looking at a furniture upcycle, and wow. I've almost never walked into heartbreak so innocently. Just a few days after my furniture post the family is psyched, on their way to Disney World thanks to Make A Wish, who is sponsoring their heart troubled daughter. They never make it, and the two weeks following (This happened in early October) are devastating in every sense of the word.

It hurts and it's scary to run across things like this on the internet. Something that I've always wished for was that sense of invincibility which seems to infuse so many people my age, but looking at something like this- to see the world pulled out from underneath your feet- it's almost inconceivable. When life can disappear in the blink of an eye, maybe its better to appreciate each day, to tackle it like you may never get another chance. Because every day, a lot of unsuspecting people don't get another chance.

So if you'll excuse me, I'm going to send some love to those I love and snuggle up to my fiance. I can't think of a better time to do it.

Monday, 22 October 2012

On Passion

I just finished watching this talk on passion and "Why You Will Fail To Have A Great Career", which is ringing especially relevant right now. I have an opportunity- for a career I'm not actually very interested in. At all.

And this is where I struggle. There are a lot of things I'm interested in doing, but not at all sure how to go about them. And not at all sure that even if I put 1000% of my effort into them, I'd be successful at them. That's a huge struggle which weighs me down pretty much every day, lately. As excited as I am to graduate, it would be just peachy keen to have an idea of what I'd like to do with my life afterwards.

So, I am in search of a passion. In every place I've ever looked, the key determinant of a happy working life is keen interest at the least, and at the most, passion. I haven't discovered anything I feel that strongly about. Heck, its not often I experience even a strong feeling. I have feelings, to be sure, but my version of excitement is less "leap around screaming and jumping up and down because my son surprised me by sneaking home from Europe" and more "Oh, HEY! Cool!" When my brother, who was supposed to be in Belgium  turned out to be at my house and jumped on my back.

My generation seems to be well divided into overachieving automatons (I kid you not, some of these people are I-M-P-R-E-S-S-I-V-E!), underachieving stoners, and those of us pulling out our hair and wondering, as I am, What The Fudge Do I Do With My Life.

I envy those of us who know, have always known, or come across a passion strong enough that they have a plan to which they are deeply committed. Really envy. To be so sure of path is an incredible strength. However, it's a strength I don't think most of us have, perhaps especially not in our early 20's.

Still. I don't feel that I have the luxury of time on my side, though I know many people would point out I don't exactly need to be stressing out about it now. Well, I am, so obviously I feel I do. To that end, I have developed (and am continuously working on) The Plan.

I have a lot of assets on my side. I am, all pretension aside, a smart and capable person. I have a strong track record, a decent history of employability, and present myself very well. (Especially, it seems, for jobs I actually have no interest in. What IS this madness.) There are 3 extremely dichotomous choices which present themselves before me now, which are:

Psychology. This is what I've majored in, and I've done enough that I'm probably capable of getting into Grad school, even a good one. I've seen enough of the rather cutthroat 'publish or perish' PhD professor world to know that that isn't for me, even though that's what I've been pushed towards. However, I've encountered a few part time prof's who publish when they want to and teach courses that they want to and in the meantime run their own practices. THAT interests me. To do research and educate the next generation on topics that especially interest me sounds dreamy, and to be involved, hands on, in bettering the lives of people is all I've ever been sure that I want to do. I have a knack for it, I have an interest in it.
However! Psych is a busy, busy field. Grad school is incredibly hard to get into and rigorous. I'm turned off by having to take the entrance exams, and I'm a bit burned out when it comes to school. Do I have the energy and the motivation to actually bother?

Commercial Real Estate. I've been offered a position at a growing firm here in Ottawa. The offices are posh, the position accommodating  the temptation of full time employment almost unbearable. I know nothing about real estate beyond the buying of our own house, which is obviously very different from commercial dealings; I know very little about Ottawa, having just moved here. I can't say for sure this is a career I would or wouldn't like. Still, the vibes I'm getting are that I wouldn't. I'm an introvert and the idea of a career centered around seducing clients and involvement in the community centered around self interest turns me off like mad. The man hiring admitted that the way to make it in the business is to be motivated by money; time and time again I've shown that I am not. Not at all.

Lastly, writing. Reading and writing are probably the most constant part of my life. I'm a rapid and voracious reader who reads anything put into my path (fiction, non fic, mystery, fantasy, sci fi, fluff, classics, kids, literature, poetry- I'll read it all and love it) and I've been writing since, well, before I could spell. (To be fair, that took me a while.) I'm a writer with a lot of potential-- something I've been told numerous times, so don't take my word for it-- but not a lot of drive. The hardest part of the writing game, I believe, is to sit down and do it. Or, to paraphrase Hemingway, to sit down and bleed. Writing offers no security and a lot of work before any potential reward. Probably 90% of those who try don't make it to publication, and of those published another merciless majority fall into oblivion. To throw myself into the whims of fate like that is, frankly, terrifying. As it is to try and sell what I write- writing is deeply, deeply personal and like many people I struggle with the potential for rejection. It may be just business, but when business is the stuff of your soul, it still tastes all too personal.

There are a plethora of other options- not to go into to much detail but I've been absolutely positively 100% sure that I was going to 1) go back to school for archaeology 2) go back to school for environmental studies 3) get into sustainable ranching. What is my life. And so, The Plan.

The Plan is thus. Part One: Graduate. This goal should be achieved by the end of December, if all goes well. Part Two: (A maybe) Get a part time job. This part is problematic because, though on paper it sure looks like I should, I don't seem to have a lot of extra time. I don't know where it goes. It just goes. Also, I'm going back to BC for 20 days over the Christmas Holidays and a break that size is a fairly serious no no for a part time job. So its likely I'd have to quit anything I found anyways. Ergo, ugh. Part Three: Continue on in and get really good at the Social CHARM lab. CHARM, by the way, stands for Change and Alternative Research Methods. It's merely a bonus that we're socially charming. In any case, by fluke happenstance I am in, and if psych is to be the thing than this is the best thing I could do for myself in regards to getting into and handling Grad School. So. Continue my work in the Social CHARM lab. Part Four: Score an internship with the Green Party. I have an in, at least in that I know who to contact. Hopefully if I pour my soul into an application they'll take my free labour, even though I know nothing about public administration and almost nothing about green legislation. It's a struggle. And Part Five: Write here everyday, thereby working on my get up and do it abilities, my writing, and hopefully doing a whole lot better job than I have done recently (otherwise there isn't that much point, is there?). This I plan to do alongside doing a fabulous job of the 50 Disney Dates blog, which I think is an awesome idea and is so fun to do but also sucks up an unbelievable amount of time. Mostly in pictures, and that I have no idea how to make the internet do what I want it to do, so I have a lot of learning to do when it comes to how design and how to man handle the internet.

This is The Plan. Wish me luck.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

People moving in today! Making a rather gigantic dinner for all!
Snowing at home and buying tickets back to BC for Christmas!
Have pumpkins on the doorstep!

Yesterday was a Disney Date day, which as always was great. We have some *really* cool stuff coming up that I'm super excited about- glad we live in a city, for this one! Wouldn't have happened at home.

But there's a lot of homework to do here and dinner shall not cook itself, so this is all you get for today.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Life’s Instructions

Edited by Sarah & Max
  1. Have a firm handshake. We agree; we both do. Bravo, us. 
  2. Look people in the eye. We both do. M: "Probably a little to long sometimes." Its true. My creepy man. 
  3. Sing in the shower. We actually don't do this often. Because we often shower together. Hey, saves water, right? 
  4. Own a great stereo system. *both turn to look at our cardboard stereo equipment* M: "Well, I think it's great...." (This is a lie. Its terrible. However, we both own nice headphones, which more than makes up for that. 
  5. If in a fight, hit first and hit hard. S: Well, that's not very nice. M: *play punches S* 
  6. Keep secrets. Whether we do or not will have to be a secret. 
  7. Never give up on anybody. Miracles happen everyday. 
  8. Always accept an outstretched hand. 
  9. Be brave. Even if you’re not, pretend to be. No one can tell the difference. I like how this was said in We Bought a zoo: All you need is 20 seconds of incredible, insane, stupid bravery. 
  10. Whistle. We do, though S more often than M. My grandmother had a beautiful whistle, like a bird. She would whistle instead of sing. 
  11. Avoid sarcastic remarks. M: *Laughs* 
  12. Choose your life’s mate carefully. From this one decision will come 90 per cent of all your happiness or misery. M: *puts his arm around me* I choose misery! 
  13. Make it a habit to do nice things for people who will never find out. This reminds me of this
  14. Lend only those books you never care to see again. Oh, so sad and so true. 
  15. Never deprive someone of hope; it might be all that they have. 
  16. When playing games with children, let them win. We disagree. Because if you follow rule 16....  rule 22 and 23 can suffer. 
  17. Give people a second chance, but not a third. S: "Hah! So, in direct contrast to rule 7, then?"
  18. Be romantic. *snuggle up to each other* 
  19. Become the most positive and enthusiastic person you know. M: *laughs* "Sorry, lover, that's never going to happen to you!" Its sad, but its true.. 
  20. Loosen up. Relax. Except for rare life-and-death matters, nothing is as important as it first seems.
  21. Don’t allow the phone to interrupt important moments. It’s there for our convenience, not the caller’s.
  22. Be a good loser.
  23. Be a good winner.
  24. Think twice before burdening a friend with a secret. Because rule 6. 
  25. When someone hugs you, let them be the first to let go.
  26. Be modest. A lot was accomplished before you were born.
  27. Keep it simple. So don't have 50 rules when you could have 5. 
  28. Beware of the person who has nothing to lose.
  29. Don’t burn bridges. You’ll be surprised how many times you have to cross the same river.
  30. Live your life so that your epitaph could read, No Regrets But do live it! Mistakes are part of life, and its the biggest mistake of them all to make none by doing nothing! 
  31. Be bold and courageous. When you look back on life, you’ll regret the things you didn’t do more than the ones you did. Also, pretend you have more energy than you do. Most of the things I regret not doing I didn't do just because I didn't feel like getting up and going... 
  32. Never waste an opportunity to tell someone you love them. I love you. 
  33. Remember no one makes it alone. Have a grateful heart and be quick to acknowledge those who helped you. And keep in mind that it someone didn't make it, it's most often NOT their fault. 
  34. Take charge of your attitude. Don’t let someone else choose it for you.
  35. Visit friends and relatives when they are in hospital; you need only stay a few minutes.
  36. Begin each day with some of your favorite music. Ooh, I like this idea. 
  37. Once in a while, take the scenic route. But if you take it all the time, be sure you have enough time! And maybe buy a bicycle. 
  38. Send a lot of Valentine cards. Sign them, ‘Someone who thinks you’re terrific.’ 
  39. Answer the phone with enthusiasm and energy in your voice. People actually report that a phone call was a more positive experience if you smile while you talk. In other words, people can 'hear' your smile. 
  40. Keep a note pad and pencil on your bed-side table. Million-dollar ideas sometimes strike at 3 a.m.
  41. Show respect for everyone who works for a living, regardless of how trivial their job. Or, you know, give everyone everywhere the benefit of basic human decency. Work shouldn't define respect. 
  42. Send your loved ones flowers. Think of a reason later. 
  43. Make someone’s day by paying the toll for the person in the car behind you. Also reminds me of pouring it forward. It's true, though. This can make your day and their day. 
  44. Become someone’s hero.
  45. Marry only for love. Or don't marry, if you don't want to. Or protest like heck for the right of everyone who is in love to marry. 
  46. Count your blessings.
  47. Compliment the meal when you’re a guest in someone’s home. Let's extend this to have basic manners, always. 
  48. Wave at the children on a school bus.
  49. Remember that 80 per cent of the success in any job is based on your ability to deal with people. Yeah, no. In jobs centered around people, sure. But not that much so in all jobs. Calm down. 
  50. Don’t expect life to be fair.

Friday, 19 October 2012

I live in a land of nice people.

I am of course quite aware that as Canadians, we have that stereotype. But some days, people really go above and beyond in little ways which makes me just so grateful and rather proud to belong to a generally really great group of people.

Today, for example, I had to go to the cafeteria to get a fork. I have 9 hours of class today and nary a lunch break between them, so I have leftovers from home. But because I also have a brain which functions at best minimally until, oh, noon, I managed to forget this AM that I will require not only food but utensils, so long as I want to be allowed to eat in civilized company, at least. I'm pretty sure my class on Culture won't especially appreciate me scooping up pasta with my hands, beyond a few points for irony. And so. To the caf for forks I went.

However, there proved a kink in my plan. Forks are available for 11 cents a pop, and I wasn't especially keen on digging around for 11 cents, so I said 'nevermind then' and began planning a non offensive spearing pasta with a highlighter plan when the maintenance man offered to spot me the 11 cents. Rather than inconvenience him, the cafeteria offered to just spot me the fork. And so, in a very civilized way my civilized lunch was assured.

Admittedly, 11 cents isn't (to most) a very big deal. But the gesture, oh, that goes a lot farther than 11 cents, and I appreciate every penny.

I also live in a country where I've gotten free cupcakes, people regularly hold open doors, and on my campus you can't look at a map for more than 1 minute without someone practically running up and begging you to let them help you. Little things, a lot of the time, and to be sure we still have rude people. But a lot of the time, I live in a country where the people are deeply nice.

It's a deeply nice way to live.

If you're looking for a near daily dose of a little niceness (or in most cases, a whole lot of niceness), I do suggest taking a peek at this website. Some days it'll do more for your mood than that cup of coffee.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Happy Thursday, folks.

Highlights of today: Job interview (I can have it, if I want it; ensue the 'what the fudge do I want to do with my life' crisis); lovely little internet videos (Like this one or this one); cold water from my decanter (primarily because I enjoy the word decanter and it makes me feel sophisticated to own own. It makes me feel significantly less sophisticated to confess this, but hey). Making apple dumplings again (the recipe here, it's a good one!!) and a walk in the sunshine with the one I love.

I need to clean the house in prep for the two lovely ladies moving in this weekend. How interesting to be the renter rather than the rentee. I must admit, the money side of it is a lot more fun this way- but then, the bills are significantly more complex on this side of the fence, too.

In other news, Max and I have started a joint account. Real adulthood approaching....

Tomorrow is a busy busy day. 9 hours of classes and a lab (the Social CHARM lab, more on that later) social, which I am tentatively looking forwards to. They seem like very interesting, good people and I felt comfortable among them instantly, which is ever so rare, for me. And a bit odd considering that one of them is currently a professor of mine.

Still feeling pretty scattered. But hey, I found the tea steeper! I also re-realized I'd lost one of my favourite pairs of pants, which is a tragedy. Minor, but tragic. At least I can stir and steep my tea, the better with which to drown my woes.

Hopefully later tonight my day will be topped off with a Disney movie and watching the JK Rowling interview on the Daily Show. I love me some Jon Stewart AND some JK Rowling, so this is a winning situation for me!

Here's hoping your days were filled with little good things, as well.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

I owe you all a post about Chicago, I know.

In the mean time I'm busy being a terrible writer.

It's important to write every day, they say. Well, I have to admit I actually feel guilty writing about nothing. Why should someone take any time out of their busy day to come purview my little chat to myself about nothing? I do enjoy the daily or weekly blurbs of a lot of bloggers, but then, most of them have something to say, to show. I? I have a mild obsession with getting some much needed furniture from IKEA and a middling level panic about homework and biting off more than I can chew.

I even have interesting thoughts- there was an engaging Presidential Debate, which I could tackle with glee; I could riff on how sad it is that Canadians get much more interested in American politics than our own, myself included most of the time; I could tell you about the movies I watched recently (Carrie, on a whim and because I felt it was time to introduce myself to some classic creepiness, and Argo, which was a wonderful movie for many reasons). I could tell you about the lab I joined today, entirely by chance, and what a chance! And I will tell you about that, later, because it is entirely possible that a well timed meeting today has changed the course of my entire future, and it’s not very often that one can pin point those changing moments while they're actually happening and it's interesting and exciting.

However, at the moment I am interested in my cold feet and hot chocolate, and how very much I have to do before this weekend, which is oh so rapidly approaching. And so I apologize for my blather- I wrestled for quite a while before deciding to post at all (Is it more important to write every day, as a manner of practice and self discipline, or to write about something one genuinely finds interesting, which suggests at least one person of the billions out there may find it interesting as well? In other words, is this blog a space for me, or a space intended for public use?). The thing is, if it's for me (which, judging by my decision today, it is) then why am I making it public? A blog, as an online diary, has very little mass appeal- and I am interested, hopefully and tentativey, in using blogging as a tool to enhance a career as a writer. In which case, I jepordize myself by choosing to make this public.

Yet I do. Because I have told myself that it's important to blog every day- write every day- and I've tried doing it in a diary for many years, and I simply don't. I can't find a pen, I think so much faster than I write, I never look at them again. I do look at these again. I care very much about these. And I type faster than I write.

So here I am. Probably making about as much noise on cyberspace as the eponymous unwatched tree does as it falls in the woods. Nevertheless, concerned.

If I do keep it up, and I do someday make it, I hope you can forgive me, world. At least you'll know why I did it.

It's because I'm trying!


Tuesday, 16 October 2012

I am living in a state of mental war.

Perhaps it has to do with having been 'in transit' for the past, oh, six months. Not having a home or knowing you're only going to be living somewhere for a few months doesn't encourage unpacking (at least, not when you're as disenclined to pull out a bajillion boxes and later have to labour over a precise repacking war when instead you could spend the summer wearing about 10 days worth of clothes many. times. over) but now that we ARE here, and settled, I'm noticing just how frazzled I am.

And its insane.

My brain is all over the place. I honestly can't recall it being this helter skelter before; but considering the state of my recall capacities I'm having doubts about that, too! Argh. I'm trying to focus, but there's so much that still seems to be going on, every time I sit down and think alright, done that, now what should I do? There's 5 different options from 10 different things that all need doing and I get overwhelmed instantly. Or frustrated. That one, too.

In large, large part, this is because whenever I go to DO something, it's so much more o struggle than I'm used to. For example right now I'd like to pay my bills. (On a side note- I am sitting at MY table, with my glasses on and a cuppa, with MY mail at MY house about to pay bills addressed to me. Though I am in a huff about what a fuss it's being, I am incredibly appreciative about the whole thing and rather chuffed with myself. What an adult. Or, I would be, if only I could do this WHITHOUT getting frazzled enough to blog about it...) In any case, bills to pay. Ok, fine. I can do that. I have envelopes (a pack of 20) and stamps (a pack of $50). The problem? I've just spent twenty minutes looking for EITHER and finding traces of NEITHER. I know I have them with me; I used them in Halifax and they were put in the car from there. I remember packing the stamps with an elastic around them and tucking them away. I'm pretty sure I used them on postcards from here! So, where the heck are they?!

I got huffy enough over the stamps that I decided to make myself a cup of tea. I love tea. I have very nice tea. I decided on a cup of loose leaf tea, for a change from the hot chai I've been drinking. Alright, lovely. I know that I have a stirrer, a tea mixer which clamps the loose leaf in and steeps it while stirring. Only, I can't find it.

I DID find the mesh for my hot tea mug- which just reminded me that I now have absolutely no idea where the hot tea mug is. Just. Freaking. Fabulous.

I'm getting pretty upset by the cumulative loss over the summer. It wouldn't be so bad, but most of the things I seem to be losing are either valuable ($50 bucks woth of stamps!) or sentimental (My tea stirrer I bought on the trip to Halifax, in Maine, and I cant really pop over an replace it- plus I havent even USED it yet!! And the hot tea mug was a Christmas gift from a dear friend) or BOTH (for example I've also lost a drapey sweater, which I loved, and bought from a designer who lives in 100 Mile- near my home town- and was made of bamboo, so it was rather expensive AND I loved it so dfnsaijgadfughdajk, drapey sweater, come home.)

And so. There are big things I have to focus on- the bills do need paid and that's pretty important! But so is school, and looking for work, and deciding what the heck I want to do- do I go back to school? What for? And on top of my classes and job interviews which I'm not even sure I want we have renters who I have to keep some mental track of; tell so and so this or remind so and so that oh and we need to buy a bedside table for this room; oh and I need to buy baking canisters because the plastic bag pile is not ok and how should I label them, masking tape? No I dont want to buy just for that; oh that green painters tape. Oh, we still need to paint. We still need to do that whole office. I wonder if we'll ever get a bedroom door? Oh crap, where IS that book? I need to have it read by Friday...

Welcome to my brain. It isn't pretty, folks. Not at all.

Whew. Ranting aside, I am generally happy with my brain- it's gotten me though life so far, and my life has been decently interesting. I'm just not used to it not... remembering things for me. I have lists all over the place (Oh crap, I need to make a grocery list for today!!) and I'm forgetting where the lists are. You know. That level of madness. How to people ever survive having kids?! I can harldy keep track of me!!

Alright. It's time to get down to business and make me some categorized (and digital; my to do lists are probably my most profuse waste of paper. Not even kidding!) To Do lists; go pick up my fabulous fiance (off topic- that's how I'm saved in his phone. In his last phone I was Goddess to whom I owe fealthy forever and ever (not his idea, hehehe) but in this one I'm fabulous fiancee. Awww!) maybe indulge in a loop around our local man made lake and get cracking.

Its too easy to get distracted, that the problem. Curse you, internet. I love you so.