Thursday, January 31, 2008

job or no job?

1. The work-study situation has been up and down so many times in the past week I'm starting to get seasick. At last count, I think, I'd been told no by the library and just interviewed with the Fiddlehead. Yesterday, I came home to an email saying that other, more qualified applicants beat me out of the Fiddlehead, too. I wasn't very happy about it, but all you can really do is try to be philosophical about it and keep trying, right?
This morning the phone rang at 8:30, which admittedly woke me up - I didn't have class til 11:30! Anyway, I missed it, but checked the number anyway. I thought maybe it was a job call - an applicant not accept a position? another interview? - but it was the Lunar Rogue, a pub downtown. I puzzled over this for a bit before deciding that maybe Sean had left a resume with them at some point and they were calling for him. When they called back, I picked up right away, but it wasn't for Sean, it was for me, looking for a character reference for Stu, who I have employed twice for the Crafts Council. So I was a little disappointed for us, but gushed about Stu for a bit. He's a good guy and I know he needs a job about now, and they're a good place to work.
I was making coffee and getting my day started when the phone rang again, which is just weird. No one calls us in the morning, and rightly so - if we're not at work or in class, we're asleep - and three calls in one morning is an awful lot. It was Sue, my boss from last year!
As it turns out, the work-study people took until this past Monday to even get her my resume, and haven't been returning her phone calls to make sure it's okay to hire me again. She decided to call me up anyway so I wasn't worrying that she hated me (which, you know, I might have been, a little) and have me come in for an interview so that we can say I interviewed, and can I come in this afternoon for a chat?
So I went in and we talked about the position, and how much I'd like to help out with the many little tasks going on in the world of UNB archaeology these days. The short list seems to include publishing papers on the conference last semester, helping to set up a new lab space on campus (a replacement for my closet last year; this one has six rooms! and a kitchen!), and cleaning more flakes, plus whatever Dr. Black has kicking around in his queue of things for students to do. I'm excited, she's happy to have me back, at this point it's all on the university to say yea or nay. My fingers, toes, and eyes are crossed, and I'm encouraging the cats to, too.

2. Also in the world of jobs, Sean has had a second conversation with his work-study boss at the library about potentially working there over the summer, depending on budget. It sounds to me like it's a question of how much they can pay him for how many hours, more than whether it can happen at all, but I might be overly optimistic. He's so excited about it, though - he really likes his job, tedious as it may be.

3. Oh, and after my conversation with Sue, Stu stopped by to tell me he got the job with the Rogue right after the hiring woman called me. Jobs for everyone!

4. So, um, yes. The rest of life is pretty routine. I've been trying to get through a metric ton of language homework this week, but it's not very inspiring. Nonetheless it all must be finished today, so hopefully at some stupid hour of the night I can smile proudly at my stack of finished translation (in both directions, for both languages!) and collapse into a euphoric heap.
Also, Sean randomly ran into Neil for the first time all semester, and then I randomly ran into the pair of them, so we went down to the Cellar and played pool. Neil may even be joining us for D&D with Will and Marie soon.

5. We've been more and more adventurous with cooking lately, and last night Sean made an interesting (in a good way) Chinese recipe, which mainly involves a strongly flavoured broth and stew beef and blanched vegetables. It was very tasty. I think tonight will be a tuna curry night, though - back to our roots, etc.

6. links:
  • if you're in need of some morbid entertainment, head on over to the STU website and read the growing stacks of mail the establishment has been responding to daily. I learn all sorts of cool things I didn't know, like that Easter Monday is an expendable holiday even for Catholic universities, and that the BEd semester is only two months long, which means that they've already lost half of their semester. The repetitiveness of "the semester will not be cancelled" is almost Monty Python humourous.
  • in other university news, if you haven't been to yet, go see what Michelle's beau is up to these days. It's a pretty slick website and I hope those X'ers are plenty impressed with them.
  • and a five-way convertible table, just because.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


1. Yesterday was a busy, busy day. I had Greek, of course, and then my job interview at the Fiddlehead; I think they like me, but it's hard to say if I'll get the job. The building is a little residential house that had been built for a university president probably fifty years ago, and is buried in the most remote area of the campus, down a little dirt lane in the woods. I had never been there before, and it was like finding a secret hiding place. They have two rooms to run the journal out of, and I gather it can be quite hectic at times. It sounds like a great job.
For lunch, I had some mediocre soup and discovered it went from a two star to a three star soup from its stay in the fridge. I will have to overhaul it if I make it again, but it's acceptable for now.
And then, of course, Latin, and then I had my meeting with Financial Aid to arrange for an advance on my loan to pay rent. I hoped to walk out with a loan set up to be picked up on Friday for $650; I walked out with the loan set up for Friday for $800, and an extra $150 cash that very afternoon for books I still hadn't bought. Have I told you how awesome the Financial Aid angels are before?

2. Today was a pretty quiet day. I was feeling under the weather, but still made it up to campus and even got my pictures taken for the grad photo composite. A couple of them aren't even terrible, which is an accomplishment considering how difficult it is to take a good picture of me.
I slept off most of the bad in the afternoon when I got home, and spent some time wandering around some blogs I haven't read before, but that are recommended by bloggers I like. I've added Quelle Erqsome to my list, and am considering adding A Chicken In Every Granny Cart, even though most of her recipes are way out of our league in terms of skills and necessary ingredients (when you can pop out to the local farmers' markets and then a few little specialty stores as a matter of course, gourmet cooking is a lot easier). That having been said, I'm going to try out the shakshouka recipe she listed, because the ingredients aren't hard, the instructions aren't scary, and the name is awesome; I might even be persuaded to roast some beets and try making beet pasta, even though it is a terrifying shade of pink.
I did hear back about the children's collection curator position - unfortunately, just as I feared, someone with a more pertinent interest in children's literature came along and I was outclassed. So... goooo Fiddlehead!

3. More links and thoughts:
  • a while ago I pointed out vinyl laptop decals on Etsy; the guy now has an extensive collection, and they're really nice. I don't think they would work for my Toshiba, being black, and the ones that are on the inside of the laptop under the keyboard would be pretty impractical because I rest my wrists on that area all the time and the wear would be considerable... but they're pretty anyway.
  • one of my blogs has an ad for Seeking Millionaire, which is a truly funny concept for a dating site: you have to have oodles of money or be shockingly beautiful to join. It's oddly efficient, but kind of depressing at the same time. Still, it's funny to browse the pictures and see the millionaires; a lot of them manage to be beautiful too, though I suppose it's easier with buckets of money.
  • The STU faculty have rejected the latest offer to end the strike, meaning it's back to the table, which means that it will be at least another week before they even vote again; we're looking at early to mid February for the start of class, at the earliest. Finally, the Student Union president (who hasn't been very useful thus far) has stated that the SU is going to be filing a lawsuit to recompense students for these shenanigans:

    Banks said the student union plans to launch class-action lawsuits against the faculty association and the university in a bid to seek compensation for tuition, books and rent.
    "The general damage portion of our claim would be for the stress, inconvenience, loss of opportunity and amenities that students have endured as a result of this," Banks said.

It's about time, really. It's deplorable that the students are probably not going to see any voluntary action from the university or the faculty union to give them any compensation - the STU website has a question and answer section for concerned students, and every time someone writes in asking if they will be compensated for lost class time, the university responds that you pay for the education you receive, not the time you spend in class, which is utter stupidity. Also, if the semester were to be canceled, student loan situations would get very hairy, especially as it's practice to pay the university for 2/3 of your tuition in September and the remaining 1/3 in January; they've already paid for the education they're not getting. Similarly, the meal plan at STU is paid in full at the beginning of the year, and you can't get your money back from it in any way, for any reason that I've ever heard (including dropping out of school, moving out of res, etcetera). A lot of students, like Megan, are living in residence now because they have no choice, having no other place to live in Fredericton and needing to be here for jobs or UNB classes; what happens to the student loan to pay for that if there isn't any academic credit received? Nothing good, I'm sure.
I'm so so glad Sean switched to UNB this year.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

mediocre soup and a manicure

1. The hibiscus bag came for a walk to the store today, and I'm happy to say I think it'll work out just fine. It fits a truly unbelievably amount of stuff in it without looking distressed, and except for the unfinished straps I'm using to tie it closed right now, looks so professional I can hardly believe I made it. Perhaps if I make more I can streamline the process so it takes less than eight hours?

2. Today, being Sunday, is traditionally the day when I realize that I can't put off my homework anymore because I have class tomorrow. I have a pretty good routine down for avoiding my homework - cleaning the house, painting my nails, cooking, nothing that could be called fun per se. I've also started working around it by getting started with the procrastination early in the day, so I look up at 4:30 with a clean house, lunch for the week, and lovely nails and realize that I have nothing left to do except homework.
So today I straightened up the kitchen and cleaned the living room, and then set out to make eggplant ratatouille soup from my soup cookbook. The beef and barley from last week was definitely a four star recipe, so I figured this couldn't miss; after chopping and spicing and simmering for hours, though, I'm kind of disappointed. Eggplant goes spongy when you put it in soup - in fact, as I've never cooked with it before, or really eaten it outside of baba ganouj - and there's so much eggplant in there that it is kind of unavoidable. I guess I was expecting it to be more like zucchini, which is rather nice cooked almost any way (I don't hold with deep fried zucchini, though, it always turns into tongue-scorching slime). I'm hoping that a night in the fridge will help my ratatouille; many a mediocre soup has been made delicious by an overnight stay in the icebox.
And I sat down to do my Latin, and read a lot of blogs and news stories, and worked on Latin for a while, and then played with the soup for a while, and decided to paint my nails, and then Latinned some more, and then I read a lot about Scientology and checked the news again, and so on. I've gotten what I like to call "the bare minimum" of Latin done (ie, all that we're likely to get through tomorrow, but not the assignment due Wednesday), which is better than no Latin, but gosh it's easier to get work done when Sean is here to look up as I walk past towards the cookbooks and say, "Hey, don't you have some Latin you should be doing something about?". At least I have some mediocre soup and a manicure to show for it.

3. a couple of links:
  • a new blog for my list, linked to by Kim at Yarn Abuse: Yarn Ball Boogie. A male knitblogger!
  • and thanks to the new blog, I have a hat pattern that I really, really want to make: the Frivol hat!
  • and, lastly, thanks to the blog formerly known as Apartment Therapy Kitchen (now, I am wishing that these were not probably very very bad for the points.


1. The job interview yesterday went relatively well; I hope they hire me, because the more I hear about being the assistant curator of the children's literature research collection, the more fun it sounds - maybe not everyone's idea of fun, I suppose, but cataloging and shelving and so forth would be a peaceful way to spend ten hours every week, and the women who interviewed me were very nice. Unfortunately they're interviewing other people, too, which could be a very bad thing for my chances; an education student would rate higher than an anth/classics honours any day, for example. I'll hear by the end of Tuesday, I gather.
The rest of yesterday was pretty tame. I was feeling rattled from class and the interview (job interviews never feel good right afterwards) and inexplicably exhausted, so we postponed D&D and stayed in. It was a nice night, but very quiet up to the end, when Stu wandered in, having locked himself out of his new apartment, and asked to stay on our couch. He's moving in really close to our old apartment, and I think it'll be a good move for him.

2. Today is Saturday, and that means work at the NBCC. I had a particularly productive day today - it was e-News day, and the new version of the website was ready to be uploaded, which kept me quite busy. John called and asked me to let Amy know he needed materials to bring to the Atlantic Craft Trade Show (he always wanders around recruiting for the council at events like that) so I put together a big file of brochures and so on and brought it over to his store on my way home.

3. Sean's away this weekend, so I'm trying to keep busy. In the past I've knit a hat in a night while he was away; today I spent all afternoon sewing a new schoolbag. I'm trying to decide whether black and white hibiscus is too loud for me, but I'm pretty happy with it anyway. It's based on a design by an independent designer on Etsy called gogovivi (here) but I didn't have a lot of choice for fabric, basically just having the stuff I had laying around in the house. I also really wanted some sort of fun clasp instead of just tying the straps; I'll see about finding something at a later date. So here it is tied up:
and when you untie it, you can see that it unfolds to a deep tote (fully lined)...

... with enough room to fit all of my school books, plus whatever else I feel like stuffing in it.
4. My insane socks have been growing more or less steadily all week, having been ripped back many times for sizing issues. The first sock is nearing the end of its leg shaping; just below the knee, there's going to be two inches of ribbing as a garter to keep them from slipping down, and then a black band to fold down over the ribbing like kilt hose. Pics:

5. Caturday! Tonks poses on the dresser with the other cats:

and Parallax begs me to turn on the shower so she can suck shower water out of the tub.

Of course I turned it on for her. Look at that sad little face.

Friday, January 25, 2008

on groats

1. Today was a pretty slow day; class in the morning with Christiane, and then a quick bus trip down the hill to the NBCC to spend an hour (or two, as it turned out) hanging out with Amy and finishing up converting the website to the new template. On Saturday all I'll need to do is update everything to be current, then upload it and do up the e-News. Not so bad. Kate was out sick, which is a shame - as I said, everyone is sick these days. Sean has been getting the spins, but multivitamins seem to be getting rid of them, so hopefully our house will remain disease free.

2. The highlight of today: another job interview! This one is with the UNB library, to be assistant curator for the children's collection. It's tomorrow afternoon, during when I would normally have Latin; Professor Kerr is away, so my weekend begins just a little sooner than usual.

3. Fun quote of the day, from a Neil Gaiman interview:
RU: You’re doing something with Terry Gilliam, who is absolutely one of my favorite directors.

NG: Bless! I hope that it happens. Terry has been working for many years on Good Omens, which is the novel that Terry Pratchett and I co-wrote about the end of the world…

DB: It has just been re-released.

NG: Absolutely. Terry Gilliam has loved the book for years. He has been working on it for awhile. He recently came to us and said, “OK. I’m going to get the rights back to the script that I wrote with this guy called Tony Brusconi a few years ago. What is it going to cost me to get the option for myself?” Terry Pratchett and I put our heads together and thought; well, we really want Terry Gilliam to make it. We want this to be a Terry Gilliam film. We don’t want this to be an anybody-else film. We’ve said no to lots of people who want to make it into a cool big commercial film. We like the idea of it being a Terry Gilliam film. So we put our heads together and we decided that it should cost him a groat. And I don’t believe they’ve actually made groats, which is an old English coin worth about four pence since about the 1780s. Which means he is going to have to go to EBay.

RU: He’s going to have to do some searching… a magical quest.

NG: They’re cheap. I mean frankly they’re really cheap. We figured out we were going to need Farthings to pay the agents — the agent commission on a groat. I went to EBay and picked up a farthing for practically nothing.
For those unaware, Terry Pratchett writes the Discworld novels, being almost Douglas Adams-esque comedy-fantasy; Terry Gilliam acquired fame as a Python and has gone on to direct all manner of very strange movies, including Brazil, Twelve Monkeys, and the Brothers Grimm. He's also the flat out unluckiest director I've ever heard of; things go mysteriously and catastrophically wrong all the time. For example, his current project that is being shot right now? Stars Heath Ledger.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

i wish i could speak whale

1. Today I went to class - I know, the regularity is mind numbing. I did go to all of my classes, for a change; Intro Myth has been taking a back seat to making sure that my Latin is ready, but now that I seem to have a reasonably grip on Latin, I'm making an effort to get there. Everyone's down with the illness lately - half of my classmates are on death's door. Luckily I seem to be unscathed so far.

2. Exciting news of the day: I have a job interview! It's with the Fiddlehead, a literary journal on campus, as an editorial assistant. I haven't heard from anyone else yet, but I'm hopeful still. It's not til Monday, but I'm pretty excited already.

3. As you can see by my mom's blog, Sonny, my kitten from first grade, has passed away at a ripe old age. I said my goodbye to him at Christmas because it didn't seem likely he'd last a lot longer, being very thin, though still very lively. Godspeed, my friend.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

back on the wagon

1. So somewhere in there I forgot to blog the past couple of days... luckily, I didn't fall off the points, so it hasn't been a total loss. Also, I've gotten a lot accomplished, relatively speaking. Saturday was a mostly-work day, being basically a split shift; I worked in the morning for three hours, converting the website over to a new format (it should be finished this week, I only really have the French bits left) and then in the evening I came back for a big event at the Arts Centre. It was a memorial service for the woman who pushed to have the Centre set up in the first place, bullying fourteen government departments at all three levels to get it done. I was supposed to be minding the gallery before and after, while people milled about, but went up during the service to hear the speakers. There were no seats left, though, and I ended up standing in the hall outside - next to Anne, oddly enough (Anne from the Mexico trip), who was there with her aunt. It went on and on, and while moving and interesting (I hadn't know anything about Charlotte Glencross before the service) eventually I had to go back down to the office and collapse into a chair. When I checked the time, I saw that the supposedly one hour service had been going for over two hours - presumably that's why I was having trouble standing in the hall in heels for the whole thing!
Anyway, I was suppose to be done at 10, but the service didn't even end until 9:45, so I ended up staying until midnight as the arts community mingled and drank wine. It wasn't a trial - I got to hang out with Anne and she brought me a glass of wine to get me through - but I was pretty tired by the time I got home, and had missed Megan and Warren entirely, who were visiting Sean while I was at work.
Sunday was a quiet day of getting lots of Latin done, and also finishing Season One of Enterprise. The only surprise of the day was when Porter showed up randomly in the afternoon with Sean's high school girlfriend, Jess, in tow - apparently she showed up for a visit because she needs to get her passport done (she lives in PEI, but they don't have a passport office) - and they went out to the Fox. Also, I made beef and barley soup from a cookbook Mom gave me a while ago, and it's pretty awesome - very thick, with a tomatoey base.
Yesterday was Blue Monday, and it lived up to its reputation. I had double Latin in the morning, to make up for a class the professor has to miss on Friday, and tried to track down Sue to ask her about what's up with the work study position, but she's out sick. After Latin (I did well, but it was exhausting) I went to Financial Services to talk to them about my student loan being late and how they need to not kill my email and class registration. They were rather rude about demanding a down payment of $800 before Friday, so I went to Financial Aid to see about what I can do. The Financial Aid angels, Shelley and Kelly (I am not joking), fit me into their booked-up schedule to sort out my student loan situation so it's back on track (well, sort of - there's a four week queue of loan papers) and flagged my file to make Financial Services back off, and made an appointment to get me an advance on my loan so I can eat and stuff. They are getting flowers when I graduate - they have bailed me out of so many bad situations, I can't even imagine how many student lives they make better every day. After another trip to Financial Services to finish up the negotiations ("are you sure you can't give us $800 anyway? oh alright then") I came home.
Sean made arrangements to have Porter and Jess come over in the evening, and had also rearranged the living room randomly, which is usually my hobby (the kitchen and office are his territory), so I was a little off balance at first, but Megan was over and always manages to cheer me up. She had to go home to change and shower, though, so she left, promising to come right back, and Sean left to get Porter and Jess, and then everything sort of fell apart. Sean called and said they voted to stay at Porter's house, so I was on my own for the evening, and Megan called to say her uncle had just died so she had to leave town right away, and then Matt randomly showed up at the house fresh of the St John bus looking for Sean or Porter, so I fed him soup and called Sean to collect him. He ended up coming back over for the night since there's not enough room at Porter's little apartment for Matt and Jess to both stay over. So we have a guest.
Basically, it was a busy and off balance sort of day. I'm still trying to get over it. Today has been pretty tranquil - I had a doctor's appointment in the morning, but I'm back home now, and the only thing I have to do today now is Latin and Greek for tomorrow.

2. Links and stuff:

Saturday, January 19, 2008

gopher quest

1. Another banner day for doing the things on my to-do list... I actually felt really well-prepared for my languages today, and had work-study cover letters ready to pass in. I suppose it's not a good thing that organization feels so novel.

2. Sean has also had a really organized past few days. Probably the best bits so far have been conversations with Financial Services. In the end, there are very few issues they aren't willing to talk through. They've done up an emergency loan for him, which he'll need to pay back sometime before September, but between now and then $800 should be relatively easy to scrape up, and after that it's $900 which can be paid over a couple of months, and may actually be paid off completely with a bursary. The school has need-based bursaries, up to a maximum of $1000, and he applied for one in November; you don't actually find out until February, but I really think he has an excellent chance of landing one. The Financial Services people have been very kind to him, and they're the same people who make those decisions - and it's a need based bursary. I think the need is pretty intense.
Oh, and the reason it's so little money is because he's only taking three courses. Full time tuition costs more. Interestingly enough, three courses counts as full time school for the purposes of a student loan.

3. The weather was gross today - lots of snow, then hail/freezing rain for the afternoon - but we braved the weather and visited Will to play D&D. It's kind of awesome to be able to just hang out and be geeky somewhere other than our house (absolutely everyone else we know tends to visit us instead of inviting us over) and Will and Marie are good fun. Our current quest involves finding a sentient gopher that lives under an herbalist's tree for some dryads so we can contact a weird and ask it how to foil the evil plan of a witch who keeps sending bats to watch us. Trust me, it's fun.

Friday, January 18, 2008

finding my feet

1. Today was a pretty good day. I memorized all the countries (and their capitals) in Central and South America for a Latin America quiz, went to school, wrote the quiz in twenty minutes (I had eight more countries than she had spaces for, though - do you think that's a bad thing?), caught the bus downtown, went to work for an hour, and effectively finished my running around town by 2, which is the way we like it.
This evening was even more remarkable. I snapped and had a maple curry for supper (there may have been some death threats in Sean's direction involved) and from the power of cream, curry and syrup, managed to finish a Greek composition exercise and thirty lines of Cicero in three hours flat. Last semester that would have been a six hour task, and so far this semester, it's been even worse, generally running on into the morning. And you know what? I didn't even go over my points for the day, maple curry or no. Ha!

2. The sock is progressing well; tonight I finished the gussets and tomorrow I start the heel (these backwards heels are too weird!). Surprisingly, Sean is actually enjoying Enterprise as much as I am, so it's becoming our after-homework turning-off-the-brains treat in the evening. Tonight I played the theme song for him to demonstrate why the show sank - I had to wait until we were solidly halfway through the first season to make sure he wouldn't abandon it immediately upon hearing it. Worst. Star. Trek. Theme. Ever.

3. Tomorrow: class, writing cover letters, and then to Will's to play D&D. Probably I'll run across the street to the Arts Centre in the evening during a break and pop in to the NBCC's opening for Bloom, our new solo exhibition. The opening should be pretty fun, and though the show wasn't up today when I went in, Beth's work is beautiful (we bought Shasta a ring of Beth's as a going-away present) and well worth a visit.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


1. If I could do as well in Latin and Greek as I did today, everyday, I would be a pretty happy person. I seem to have found my feet again, which is an awesome feeling. Looking at a page of Latin and seeing something other than a bunch of letters on a page is kind of nice. There's definitely room for improvement, but I feel so relieved.

2. Yesterday I was reading the Yarn Harlot's blog and read her story of knitting an insane little leaf, then a toe of a sock that had a hole shaped like the outline of the leaf, then sewing it into place, then knitting the stem of the leaf, then - dropping the sock and having it all unravel. It's an awful story and most knitters end up with awful stories like that eventually.
I started some fairly simple socks the other day. They're going to basically be knee high stockingette socks, no patterned bits (the yarn is self-striping), knit from the toes up with split toes like this pattern, a faux flap heel like this pattern, and leg shaping like this pattern. I've been using my Knitpicks wooden sock circulars, which are colourful and slick and light and don't hurt my hands - a big improvement on the already awesome Addi Turbo circulars I had. And then this happened:
They got stepped on. See the stick jabbed into the sock? that's supposed to be connected to the silver bit at the end of the purple cable. There's no fix, really, which means I'm back to the Addis. Luckily they're the same size. Farewell, Knitpicks circs. I hardly knew ye.

3. More pictures!This is a picture I took a couple of weeks ago. This is out our bedroom window. Mainly (and you may want to click on the picture to actually see this) I wanted to get a picture of the very top of the snowdrift, which has naturally formed a Tim Burton curl at the top somehow. Also, the wall behind it? You see the shiny rectangles? That's ice that forms on the wall, which is completely smooth. It just sort of forms the pattern of brickwork out of ice when it gets icicle-y.
And what is a blog, without gratuitous pictures of cats? This was just after I cut a futon mattress in half to make our couch and a pouffe. The burgundy thing is the pouffe, and this is the cats refusing to share it.

4. Not much to say for myself today; aside from class and making a big pot of chili, things are more or less the same around here. Tomorrow will be work and class, and then resume-writing and Greek composition and all sorts of things.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

a plea from a cat named Parallax

1. Like so many siblings (adopted, but still siblings), my two are complete opposites. Tonks is shy, but Parallax will make googly eyes at everyone from the pizza dude to the vet; Tonks builds remote nests from which she keeps an eye on us, while Parallax feels that the best seat is the one someone was just sitting in, even if they're returning in two seconds with a glass of water. Tonks has no interest in people food, except the occasional drip of yogurt on her nose. Parallax, however, will armwrestle you for the last lick of a curry and enjoys snagging pieces of popcorn with her practically functional "hands" (the day cats get true opposable thumbs will be a terrifying one).
So this post is dedicated to the real victim of my diet: Parallax. When you've accounted for every shred of nutrition on your plate, it's not likely that you'll remember to throw scraps to the cat, and there are no leftover on the plate for her to pounce on. Also, quite honestly, there isn't much I'm eating that she would be interested in - not much meat, no cheese, no cream, no eggs. She has been reduced to sitting next to me and purring whenever I eat and blinking big, sad eyes at me. I try to tell her it's for her health, but she is profoundly unsympathetic.

2. I had a pretty busy afternoon. I had Latin America with Christiane, which was good, and saw Will there for the first time (his first week back was pretty slow getting off the ground). We spent a while chatting and made a D&D date for Friday night, Marie's schedule permitting.
After that I had an appointment with Financial Aid to be certified as Po' Enough To Do A Work-Study (surprise: I qualify!) and caught the bus back home.
I've been avoiding two phone calls for a little while - the doctor's office, to make a checkup appointment, and the student loan people, to make sure things were moving along so I can, you know, pay tuition and all that. The doctor's office has been putting me on hold and then disconnecting after ten minutes for so long that I was shocked to actually be connected to the receptionist, but the really weird part is that I landed an appointment next week. Most times it's been "well, we can get you in seven weeks from now..."
I was so excited about my success that I dialed up the student loan people right away, and once again, actually got connected to someone right away. I asked about my application status, because I've had no word since sending in my things in late November, and she looked it up. "Oh!" she said, "You made it to the top of the queue today!" YES! YES! YES! "... and it would have gone through, but it seems you were missing some paperwork, so it'll be another six weeks after you fill out the rest."
WHAT? I'm not an idiot, I've done this before successfully, I double-checked everything because I knew I didn't have time for exactly this sort of delay. It's not catastrophic - rent's okay, for example - but now I have to do another round of paperwork tomorrow, and have one of those annoying conversations with Financial Services where they ask if there's anywhere else I could get the money from sooner ("Why yes, I'll just break open my Volkswagen-sized piggy banks, I was only applying for a loan so I could buy a second car and go to Cuba for spring break!").
I hate you, Nova Scotia Student Loans.

3. So, tonight is more Latin, though I believe my Greek is ready from Monday, because they didn't get through the whole reading, let alone the exercises that I also had ready. Luckily these letters are way less convoluted, and also shorter - both letters together are shorter than the first letter.
I haven't managed to find Megan yet, so I'm going to try to talk Sean into dying my hair for me. Hair dye adventures!


1. Mondays are supposed to be bleak and annoying days, but I really wasn't impressed with this morning at all. I barely slept, and though I had a good handle on my Greek, I wasn't very happy with my Latin. Then... I missed the bus to go to Greek. For a couple minutes it was really tempting to hide at home. You see, I'm pretty bad at language classes, as a rule. I work pretty hard at it, and I manage to keep up, but I'm not confident with them. My Greek class is not so bad - I know all the students already, and they know my strengths and weaknesses, so if my translation is weak one day they know it's a temporary thing. On the other hand, my Latin class is very different than last semester. Only two other students are from my same generation of students - the other three, fully half the class, have done upper year Latin before and are taking more in order to upgrade their degree or polish their languages for grad school. So that's pretty scary. And I have a "new" professor - I've had him for seven or eight other classes and I like him a lot, but I'd gotten used to Geyssen, and Kerr is just very different. He grades differently, and he runs a class differently - for one thing, he's really nice to me when I'm having bad moments, which is cool, but I'd prefer to not have bad moments at all. It's awful to sit in a room where I'm the least competent person there (not always true, but too often, it is). So I'm working harder at preparing.
In any case, I did muster up the guts to go to class, and did marginally better than last week, but it's still pretty rough. But I went, and that's the important thing.

2. It's snowing like crazy here, so our dye date didn't happen, and instead Sean and I sat around watching Star Trek Enterprise because Megan said it was pretty good, and I'd never given it a chance based on the terrible, awful theme song (it's THAT bad). So we've downloaded some, and it's not bad - particularly for being a first season of a Trek. They're pretty bad as a rule.

3. Tomorrow... assuming the snow lets up, work, class, and some other things.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

i can has classes?

1. Well, we didn't end up dying my hair last night, so no pictures today. Megan says my hair isn't greasy enough to dye, so we've made a dye date for tomorrow night. She has lots of time to kill right now - the STU strike has been extended twice now (to this past week, and then to Monday, which isn't going to happen either), and the current directive for students is "we're not going to set a date right now, but we'll let you know three days before you need to report to class". Megan's pretty bored, but luckily she has a new relationship to keep her entertained, and she's been picking up extra shifts at the movie store. Sean's second job will probably be working there too, because Megan was quietly promoted to a supervisor over the holidays (they didn't even tell her directly, which is weird) and she's pulling for him. It would be a crappy full time job, but it's a different story as a part time, and this way we get to rent movies and games for free, which is pretty cool, and he would get to work with Megan and occasionally bail her out of the shifts they schedule her for that are during her classes (on a side note, I wish I had a nickel for every time a McJob has promised someone I know that they will work around their schedule, and then managed to schedule every single shift during times when they are supposed to be in class. And, of course, being a McJob, there's almost never a coworker that is willing to trade shifts, because they are hateful. I am eternally grateful that I am not in the position of having to work McJobs anymore).

2. Having saved points all week in anticipation of using up a lot when Warren and Megan came over, I got to eat three pieces of pizza and just generally feel like a non-dieting slob, and still only went over the weekly total of flex points by three points. Three! Obviously I will work harder at the not-going-over but for a first week, coming down off of Christmas piggery, that's not so bad.

3. Today: CICEROOOO. I got back into Greek pretty fast on Thursday, after banging my head against it for a few hours, but my Latin is still pretty rusty from the break. And it doesn't help that we've been reading poetry, and now we're reading extremely sophisticated prose. I would like to stop looking like a complete moron in class, so today is Cicero Day.

4. Linkage:

Saturday, January 12, 2008

sick note

1. So, looking back at the first week of attempting to blog every day, I'm less than impressed with myself - two days, including yesterday, went without blogs. I do have an excuse, though. I was supposed to come home from school and potter about - clean, blog, so forth - and then have Megan and Warren over for an evening of dying my hair and general fun. Unfortunately, I came home feeling out of sorts, and tried to sleep it off before deciding at about six to cancel plans and go to the hospital. I won't go into icky details, but it's no big deal - just an infection that needed antibiotics. Of course, the emergency room is never less than a three hour wait, so I brought a book (and didn't bring Sean, which confused him. I don't see the point of bringing company to the emergency room unless you actually need help, but his previous girlfriend dragged him in every time she had heartburn). They gave me a Tylenol 3 for discomfort, so I floated through half of the Papers of Samuel Marchbanks while I waited. Luckily it ended up only being three hours, despite the icy sidewalks that took out no fewer than three men (lots of broken ankles and nasty bruises), and the waiting room doctor was a sweetheart. When I got home I was in no mood for blogging, though, so I went to bed.

2. Today has been pretty quiet, which is alright by me. I'm feeling way better, and got in my two hours at work for the week (we're moving two hours to next weekend so I can keep the gallery open in the evening for an event), and now I'm contemplating supper and a sewing project before Megan and Warren come over to play beauty parlour (me and Megan, anyway - I suspect Warren will be playing Wii with Sean).

Thursday, January 10, 2008

winter routines

1. I really, really, really hate winters. I learned a few years back that, unchecked, I can sink into a winter torpor that means I just don't move for a few weeks/months, and obviously that is less acceptable when one has to do things like go to work and class and suchlike. Last winter I managed okay - a new relationship, plus being so busy from school and work that you have no time to feel blue, seems to help - but I have a feeling this winter will be harder. It's not so much depression as a total lack of motivation. It's an effort to finish the toe of a sock, let alone do homework.
So I'm trying to institute a 9 to 5 workday in my life, which I have to say is not doing so well thus far, but would probably solve some things. There is nothing so motivational as a good solid routine, and just being in the headspace to get work done for a pre-determined chunk of the day is a good idea. There is even a specific herbal tea I've gotten into the habit of drinking when I'm doing homework, and now I can't drink it when just sitting around without feeling like I ought to be hitting the books (Twinings green tea with lemon, for those who want to know - the best green tea I've ever found). My homework doesn't generally require the internet or a computer, so I'm thinking about cleaning off my desk of crafting things temporarily and making it a workstation; it worked really well last semester until my crafts exploded all over it. Of course, the bedroom is a complete disaster at the moment, but I can set it to rights this afternoon with some determined work.
I'm working really hard to set a good pattern for the semester right now because we're having a thaw, and my mood has improved immensely from the relative warmth, sun, and ability to wear my supercool trenchcoat.

2. Something about controlling one's diet makes really stupid things seem like excellent topics of conversation. I was waving my arms at Sean last night about how garlic contains only two calories per clove, so it's basically zero points, and went so far as to roast a head of garlic with a teaspoon of olive oil to see if it could be done (answer: YUM). Now, I love garlic, and the idea of being able to eat heaps of roasted garlic for one point seems like a big deal to me, but the truth of the matter is that most people do not eat garlic like we do and you come out sounding like a calorie-obsessed strigophobe*. Also, singing the praises of the single-serve packages of Crystal Lite seems like something that polite society might frown on.

*After hunting around a bit, I realized there is no actual word for someone who is afraid of vampires. So I did some research and made one. According to Wikipedia, there's a Greek word for a vampire-like flying creature, striges, which was turned into the Roman strix, which in turn became the Romanian term strigoi, and we all know that Romanians are the experts on vampires. Phobias tend to be formed from the Greek. And now you know.

3. Life's been pretty quiet here. Sean has a meeting today with Financial Aid to see what can be done about his situation, and spent last night putting together his resume. We've had fewer visitors, which is honestly a nice break, and have spent our free time cleaning, being quiet, and watching movies. Last night's was So I Married an Axe Murderer, which is pretty great, and the night before, we set up the VCR and watched Pollock, a biopic of Jackson Pollock. It was interesting, and we spent a long time talking about biopics and the perspectives from which they are written. I think we may have to rent some more.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

not another diet post

1. I read a lot of blogs, and a common denominator to many girl blogs is that there inevitably comes the I've-always-hated-my-body post, and the I-need-to-lose-weight post, and the I-hate-my-diet post. I don't really write those posts, but I want to write about my New Year's resolution anyway, because Sean is awesome.
I haven't "always hated my body", and I don't, but I have a perfectionist streak and grew up as a skinny kid, so I usually feel as though I could manage to lose some weight without missing it. I've only really ever managed to do it through illness or being in the jungle, and as I won't wish for ulcers and can't just hop down to Belize whenever I want, I should probably work it out for myself at some point. When I lived with Kellie and Erica, they made a push one New Year's to really stick to a diet, and I decided to try it with them as a sort of sympathy diet, despite being pretty okay at the time, because nothing is less fun than watching your roommates eat things you can't. Kellie introduced us to the basics of the Weight Watchers points system, which usually costs a good chunk of money, and I realized that it wasn't that bad unless you feel the need to stuff yourself compulsively and try to run with that, cutting out calories, taste, and quality of life in the process. I don't subscribe to that - there are just better ways.
So I've gone with the points again. It's really easy - you can find all the information about the program you need online. There are dozens of websites with nutrition info, and more than a few with the basic points information on them, and a really useful points generator. I keep a spreadsheet, and fantasize about being on House with food poisoning symptoms and being able to fill them in on precisely what I've eaten in what amounts for the past eighteen months. You miss out on the comradery in the Weight Watchers meetings, but having tried it before with Kellie and Erica, I don't really want to sit in a room with strangers and share recipes for zero point soup. I don't really need to, either, because Sean is awesome.
Dude's a really good cook, but he just does not need to be concerned about his weight. He has a crazy metabolism that means he has never in his life touched skim or light or nonfat anything, and he has ribs. Ribs. But one of the nice things about life these days is that we support each other. I support him when he has essay breakdowns, he supports me when I have angst attacks because I have six hours of Latin to do and there is no one to blame but myself (and my prof, and Marcus Tullius Cicero, but we won't get into that). So he has completely eliminated easy food from the house, and actually remembers how much of whatever he puts in things (you can't find the point value for "a good-sized chunk"), and makes things that aren't going to blow my points for the day in a single meal (so possible). Last night, he wanted more food after knowing my eating day was effectively over, and actually cooked food he knows I really dislike in an effort to keep me from being jealous (I'm looking at you, Chinese fermented black beans). It even almost worked.

2. Also on the support front, Sean confessed that he doesn't actually want to bail on school. He has some serious hangups about "taking time off" and I can't blame him. He's getting another job, but he also has a meeting tomorrow with Financial Aid to discuss options. There are always options, and I hope that we can work this so he can keep his school job (which he loves, and would lose if he took the semester off) and go to school. Bailing is always the easier option.

3. Further on the job train of thought, I spent some time grooming my resume yesterday in preparation for applying for jobs to be an archaeological field technician and got to stressing about it. Angus gave me solid advice.
3:58 PM Angus: Okay.
Imagine this is not a resume.
But a hip hop track.
Angus: Make sure people know precisely how ill you are.
me: that could work
4:00 PM Angus: Member of the dean's list\dug in belize with my fist\haters try to take a risk\But I'm a kingpin like wilson fisk.
me: wilson fisk?
4:01 PM Angus: The Kingpin, a statuesque spiderman villain.
Employers love a good comics reference.
4:02 PM me: I think a surprisingly large number of archaeologists, and other professionals, get hired on the basis that they will probably be interesting to talk to while you wade through mud, dig holes, hike long stretches of forest, etc
4:03 PM Angus: There you go!
4:04 PM me: I don't think the "Dr. Leonard Campbell Smith Memorial Prize for Ancient History" syncopates very well
4:05 PM do you suppose they would care about the amount of money attached?
Angus: I don't think so
4:06 PM me: I think academics, unlike hiphop artists, are supposed to be relatively cool towards the benjamins
Angus: They want to be sure you're all about heart, for sure.

Monday, January 07, 2008

bad news

1. Today was sort of a letdown. Thanks to the random roof traffic in the middle of the night sort of freaking me out, I didn't really get enough sleep, and probably because of that, I left my coffee at home by accident. My Greek class was down one classmate instead of up one (we were supposed to gain an unknown Quebecois fellow, but there's no sign of him) and we got hit with a big lump of homework; my Latin class is down three of my former classmates, but up two unexpected extras, and - yes - lumps there too. Intro Myth was fun, mainly because I haven't surprised Geyssen quite so effectively in months (generally, students in their sixth year do not take intro classes in their field of studies), but was quickly stomped by the realization that I may not be allowed to take it because I took an upper year "myth" class years ago, which was transformed into an archaeology class by the professor because she preferred things that way.
Also, Doreen, my favourite coffee lady, fell over Christmas and broke her arm in three places, and will be out until September, missing my whole last semester. I think Neil, Sean, and I will probably send her flowers.

2. So all that aside, today is not a very good day for completely other reasons. Sean doesn't have a student loan this year, for complex reasons, and his grandfather set him up with some money in September, but it was always dicey that it would be enough, even with working. It has become apparent that there's just no way his tuition is going to get paid this semester unless one of us sells a kidney, so he's not going to get to school this semester.
There are lots of reasons this isn't so bad. First, school sucks in the winter semester. Second, he had a lot of trouble finding courses that he wants or needs this semester - most of the good economics courses aren't offered every year, and this appears to be not a good year. Third, he had planned to try to do summer session anyway - he really enjoyed it before - and this way he can work through the winter semester and definitely be able to attend through the summer, when they may even offer a better course selection for him.
Of course, it sucks, because he was actually pretty pumped about school, and also this means he has to take Arts 1000 again next year (when he will again qualify for a student loan, by the way) because it's a full year course.

3. The rest of today has been a fairly quiet time. A little study, some catching up on House, a short visit with Megan and her newly official boyfriend, Warren. Megan, by the way, is one of the STU kids who just found out that classes have been postponed another week, to start a full two weeks late. She's pretty unhappy, because she just got accepted into STU's fairly elite journalism program and now this is cutting into it.
So yeah. Sean and I are adjusting to the new worldview pretty well, but I can't say it hasn't been a pretty grim day.

seriously man, not cool

what in the name of God would possess someone to have a loud telephone conversation on the roof directly outside my (curtained) window at 2:40 am on a Sunday night?
I wasn't dreaming. I'm pretty sure it was the upstairs neighbour. What gives?

Sunday, January 06, 2008


1. Along with new possessions comes the need to purge. Luckily, we don't own very many things, but have a lot of clutter in the form of last semester's notes, last year's eggs, etc, so we purged garbage instead of things I might actually miss. Really, we could have done more, but I feel good about the living room's level of organization, if not its actual level of neat-and-tidy. Tallying up the cords for the semi-permanent fixtures of the living room, we actually need thirteen outlet plugs, instead of four. This means a lot of re-wiring, in the least flammable sort of manner possible, and I think I've pulled it off successfully. Almost everything now has a plug, for example. Tomorrow's project will be the kitchen, which has fewer needs, but even fewer viable outlets (try one, plus two more annoyingly high up on the far wall).

2. I'm also rewiring my brain from the eat-whatever-whenever of the holidays to something more sane. Eugh.

3. Tomorrow is the first day of school for 2008; I'm looking forward to my two languages and an intro mythology class with Professor Geyssen. Sean, the lucky brat, has no classes on Monday, but he still needs to go in to work at his job. I'll let you know how it works out, but I'm already pretty optimistic... I get to start my day a whole hour later in the morning! And I have coffee in my house!

Saturday, January 05, 2008


Angus headed home today, bringing our Christmas season here to a close. Our time since we came back to Fredericton has mostly been taken up with wandering around downtown Fredericton, playing games, and talking, talking, talking. Sean cooked, and Stu and Megan and Warren and Danielle all got to meet Angus, and today, as a sort of finale, we took Angus over to Pins and Needles, where Morgan works, to get his ears pierced. Morgan's a good guy, and an excellent piercer.
We're pretty exhausted here, I have to say. There's something about having A Good Time for three weeks solid that leaves you feeling sort of drained, even if you weren't doing anything really strenuous. Tomorrow will be more clean up and preparing to face school on Monday, but tonight we're going to unwind and sleep for a while. The dishes and random chores can wait until morning, and the same goes for blogging, I think.

Friday, January 04, 2008

end-of-year meme

A meme borrowed from A Girl And A Boy:

1. What did you do in 2007 that you’d never done before?
I... went to Mexico? And also I did better than the bare minimum on Latin, which is pretty exciting.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don't believe I made any New Year's Resolutions last year, because I was in a really weird place this time last year. I was basically juggling flaming chainsaws in the work-school department, and doing an okay job, so I'm pretty sure my resolutions were summarized by "don't drop a flaming chainsaw". This year's resolutions are in my last entry, which are basically summarized with "be fabulous" and "blog every day". Of course, the former actually means lose weight, but also upkeep my general appearance and get cracking on having a job and so forth, because being an archaeologist is definitely fabulous.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
Not really, unless you count bloggers.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Early in the year, we lost Binnie the rat, but other than that, no, especially in the human department.

5. What countries did you visit?
This year, as I mentioned, I spent a month in Mexico, mainly in the south and also a bit in Chiapas. En route I flew through the States, but my actual visits to the States outside of airports still stand at zero.

6. What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007?
Money, fame, fabulousity. I already have the internet, and also a coffee maker and a toaster oven and a TV/monitor for watching downloaded shows and playing on our borrowed Wii, so as far as possessions go, I'm pretty set.

7. What dates from 2007 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
May 15th was the absolute most intense day of my Mexico experience for a bunch of reasons. I've just realized that I never actually blogged it, so I'll write it out here.

May 15 was a major field trip day in Chiapas. I was feeling pretty sickly that day, but felt well enough to carry on (I never did opt out of anything except trips to the bars, which I suppose was a good thing). We piled into the bus to head up to the mountains and visit a place called San Juan Chamula, which is a little town populated mainly by very traditional Maya folk. This is the sort of place where people wear cloaks and skirts that they've woven themselves and trek down from the mountains every now and again to sell things in the market outside the church. The church itself is Catholic, nominally, but doesn't have a priest; he only visits for baptisms, marriages, and other major religious occasions. The church is constantly the focus of religious activity, though, because the people of the town and surrounding area pray to the saint idols in a very non-Catholic sort of way - burning rows of candles while chanting prayers in Maya and sacrificing eggs, alcohol, Coke and even chickens. It's called syncretic religion, the melding of traditional belief and a mostly-successful invasive religion. We actually got to walk around inside the church and see this going on, with whole families chanting prayers and lighting candles on the floor. It was just amazing.

When I left, I walked around the market for a bit and then began to walk back to the bus, and on the way ran into Will, who was looking oddly uncomfortable. He grinned at me and said "Happy anniversary!" and produced a bunch of roses from behind his back, and explained that Sean had asked him to do it because he always gives me roses on the 15th. I had been handling being away pretty well to that point, but completely lost it and cried my eyes out all the way back to the bus, while trying to thank Will and explain that I wasn't upset at him, and then trying to explain to Christiane (the professor) why I had completely lost my mind.

And we still had more day left. We went further up into the mountains to a little town where there are a number of weaving cooperatives, and visited one for a bit. Most people weren't really into it as much as Anne and I, mainly because we were actually interested in fiber and also were doing our independent study on weaving, and so when they left on the bus, Anne and I stayed behind to talk to the women more and watch them weave for a while. I started getting light-headed and even sicker, so when the women packed up for the day I was pretty happy to head back down to San Cristobal and hopefully sleep. Unfortunately, the only transportation was a weird mountain taxi that waited around for an hour hoping for more passengers before heading back to the city, and then dumped us almost twenty blocks from the city center. I was pretty out of it at that point - I later found out that I probably had a touch of altitude sickness from the second village's remoteness - and Anne basically led me back. Being a pedestrian in Mexico is no time to be asleep on your feet, though, and as we were waiting to cross the street at a corner where a pirated DVD merchant had set up a stall, a bus took the corner too sharply and clipped the stall, breaking one of its windows and showering us with Pirates of the Caribbean 3 and bits of glass and metal. We were both fine - I was so out of it I didn't really react until it was all over, and Anne was more concerned about the woman with the baby standing next to us than her own health, but it all seemed to work out.

In the end, we reached the market and parted ways; I bought a mango on a stick, ate it, and went back to the hotel to quietly pass out. Not without collected the roses from Will, though, who babysat them after we stayed at the second village.

And that was May 15th, 2007.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Getting through last school year successfully enough to make the Dean's List was a pretty huge deal.

9. What was your biggest failure?
I have difficulty really feeling good about this school year so far. I have this thing where I feel the need, like a TV persona, to continually find new ways to jump the shark and surpass all previous achievements, but instead of interesting TV life, it's just school and work, and there is a limit to what I can do and still be a happy person who gets to sleep sometimes. Last year, with the seminars and the Latin and the three jobs, and new relationship on top of that, was sort of jumping a tank of sharks with frickin' laser beams and jet packs, and I just am not equipped to try and surpass it, especially with graduation looming at me. So I feel as though I've failed at school, when in fact I'm just sort of muddling along doing what I need to do. Maybe the failure here is in appreciating what I am doing.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Persistant illness in Mexico was pretty lame, but ended up not really having much effect, and otherwise my health is peachy.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
If "education" isn't on the list... probably my fall trenchcoat, because it made me smile for months whenever I saw my reflection.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
Sean, far and away, because he is way nicer to me than really anyone should be. He cooks, he does dishes, he puts up with my insanities and cats and yarn. Also, in a non-me context, he has totally rocked this semester at attending class, getting work done, and actually caring about what he's learning, which is rarer than you would think.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Fred-eZone. Seriously. No internet in the apartment = bad, but they seem to actually be losing coverage in Reads so that now I can only get the sketchiest connection there.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Rent, of course. Also food. We tend to eat pretty well for being starving students, mainly because Sean is an amazing cook. This is less expensive than you may think, because as a result we tend to not get convenience food like pizza.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
The possibility of actually getting to be an archaeologist for real. Also, the new apartment, which I must say, is still great.

16. What song will always remind you of 2007?
Avril Lavigne's "Girlfriend", because it made Shasta spontaneously burst into song at work on more than one occasion. Also, Feist's entire Reminder album is pretty sweet.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? Less stressed = happier, I think. b) thinner or fatter? Fatter. Boo. c) richer or poorer? Still broke, so about the same, though cash flow has gone done because of the less working.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Creative projects like sewing and writing. You'll notice that NaNoWriMo sort of never got off the ground, and my sewing projects get derailed by large amounts of the lazy, and also just not being very happy with the size of clothes I need to make.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Stressing. Being more zen certainly fits under "being more fabulous" for me. Work tends to stress me out, languages stress me out, being disconnected from the internet stresses me out. I need to be less of a stress cookie or I'm going to have an aneurysm.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
I went home to be an only child, for the first time, and spent the first bit of vacation (after briefly visiting Sean's terrific family) hanging out with my grandfather watching Bonanza and fairly bad cop movies. Christmas itself was a "family" event of hanging out with my mom and dad and grandfather, and also Corey, who isn't technically family but has been doing Christmas with us for years now. Since then, Sean came up, and then Angus, and then Michelle and Scott, and then my party left and went to Sean's parents house in time for the storm that delayed us there for New Year's, and now... we're here. It's still Christmas vacation to me, goshdarnit.

21. Did you fall in love in 2007?
Technically no, but there was a whole lot of love anyway, so that's okay.

22. What was your favorite TV program?
The new season of House is pretty sweet, but with Rome being over, Doctor Who on hiatus, and having still not seen Razor (the only Battlestar Galactica on offer at the moment), Dexter takes the prize. It's a show about a serial killer who is also a CSI-esque blood spatter analyst, with lots of storyline and character stuff going on. It's pretty sweet. Season 2 just finished, so I'm out of luck there too at this point.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Not really, though I'm less cool with Nick than I was. Luckily it doesn't seem to matter a whole bunch.

24. What was the best book you read?
I've been reading in whole authors rather a lot, and finally devoured as much of Terry Pratchett, P. G. Wodehouse and Ian Fleming as was readily available online. Still, though, I think Martel's Life of Pi wins. Tigers on lifeboats make for fascinating reading.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
Feist's new album was pretty awesome, as are the Arctic Monkeys, whom I didn't actually download until the very beginning of 2007. I tend to not really explore music a lot, because I have people for such things (Sean, Angus).

26. What did you want and get?
All kinds of things, basically. Christmas alone was a flurry of wish fulfillment, especially because we had a sort of Tetris-like alignment of things just waiting for a final piece to set off a cascade of awesome. We now have a TV/monitor (seriously, it has more input jacks than can possibly be healthy), so we can watching things on something other than a laptop screen, and also can watch VHS again on the VCR that has been dormant for ages, and also use the Wii we have on loan from Porter. Similarly, Sean brought in a tuner that makes the Great Big Speakers actually work again, which - of course - we can route through our TV/monitor. It boggles the mind a bit.

27. What did you want and not get?
Pretty much nothing, except the Internet, which has been remedied already in 2007. I wouldn't mind more money to play with, but I refuse to stress about it.

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
I didn't actually see many films of this year, what with no internet and no money for expensive theatres. As to movies I saw this year, Formula 51 was pretty sweet.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 23 this year, and celebrated by doing absolutely no celebrating because I flew to Mexico at 4 am the next morning. Hopefully this year will be less restrained.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Not worrying at all would be nice, but not worrying about money would be sufficient here. It just sucks to juggle bills and talk about getting second and third jobs when you are already sinking into debt and working. Boo to that, too. I'll have a real job soon (knock on wood).

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007? Officey skirts as well as I-don't-care, I'm-a-student skirts, as well as lots of respectable officey black. It drives Mom crazy but it's easy and I end up looking professional as well as slightly eccentric, which suits me both as a student and as an office worker for a very artsy non-profit.

32. What kept you sane?

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I don't really tend to fancy said figures. The movie Harry Potter is growing up to be unusually pretty, which is cool.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
My political awareness has been waning slightly, but the flurry of excitement over Iran definitely concerned me deeply.

35. Who did you miss?
My sister, which I've tried to remedy with text messages, and also Erica, who is off seeking her fortune and looking more fabulous by the second in Toronto. She's coming to visit soonish, though, which will be great.

36. Who was the best new person you met?
I think I personally met Megan in 2007, though Sean knew her slightly in 2006. She's Awesome. Also, we've been getting more and more friendly with Danielle, who is similarly great, though we've known her in a less familiar way for some time now.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2007.
You don't get points for being miserable. This is something that I keep having to learn, but it's important. Worrying over things you can't do anything about doesn't do anything for you spiritually, just makes it harder to focus on anything else. Don't put up with situations that suck out of habit or inertia. Don't do things that you'll regret.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

I'll come back and edit this when I think of some. This year has been such a mixed bag of experiences that summing up is pretty hard.

Also, somewhat related, this track is pretty amazing if you listen to the radio at all.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

new years resolutions

1. Quit smoking. (note: This is easy because I do not and have never smoked, but it seems to be traditional and it is encouraging to have completely succeeded on one resolution already.)

2. Be more fabulous in every way.
2a. Lose some weight.

3. Blog every day. (note: starting January 4, when we are scheduled to have the internets installed!)