28 October 2004

Roll the Dice.

With Hallowe'en fast approaching, the time has come to get creative and make our costumes. Heather and I have decided to be a pair of dice (we may have 'borrowed' the idea from my amazing friend Colleen) , so if you came to our house this evening, you would've found us in the backyard spray painting cardboard boxes white. And if you didn't know why we were doing that, you'd probably think we were insane, which is partly true regardless. However, we're about halfway through painting our costumes, and we're now out of spray paint. And don't even mention the black dots we're supposed to have... We haven't sorted that part out yet.

This is all in preparation for tomorrow night which is, as far as I'm concerned, the real Hallowe'en night. Like many adults (sigh), I can't go out on Sunday night as I have class Monday morning so we are all celebrating it tomorrow night. Promises to be well hectic. Raise the roof, yo.

In other news, my professor said that some of the midterms he was marking for Global Warming were as low as 20%. Jesus Christ. If several students got such horrid grades and did study, perhaps this should be an indication that the midterm was set far too hard. Results come out on Monday. Pray for me.

24 October 2004

Season's Passes.

Despite my strong opinions on the quality (or lack) of Ontario's skiing and snowboarding spots, I bought a season's pass for Blue Mountain. After being away from the mountains in Vancouver for so long, I welcome the opportunity to snowboard on any mountain of considerable size. I am eagerly anticipating snowfall (you better not ruin this season for me, Global Warming). I think I may get a new snowboard to celebrate, as mine is pretty old now (after those bastards stole my beautiful Canadian made Jackson board, I bought a used one off my sister's friend, but it's embarassingly old). I am not a pretentious snowboarder but I prefer not to be laughed off the slopes either.

In other news, I am working from 7 pm - 4 am tonight. Nothing like folding clothes at 4 in the morning.

21 October 2004

Mid-October Hecticity

Busy times, people. Busy times. Ask any University of Toronto student (and likely any student at a North American university) how they're doing come mid-October, their response will probably be something very self-pitying/exasperated/hopeless. For you see, within the university community, mid-October is synonymous with midterms! Or, if a student doesn't have any midterms, they surely have essays. Or projects. Or presentations. And so forth. My poor flatmate had 4 (!!) midterms within a 72 hour period. He has my utmost respect forever.

While I may not have reason to complain as much as he does, my plate is also quite full at the moment. Come 8 pm next Wednesday evening, I will be free of any pressing academic commitments for a substantial three weeks. I am still pretty sick, am working 9-hour shifts at work and trying to do reasonably well on all my assigments at the same time. It's not easy, kids. I think students don't get nearly as much respect as they deserve.

Today I studied for 6 hours in the Engineering Commons area (I like to study in environments that have absolutely no relation to the topic I am reading) and I decided there is something more annoying that a first-year university student. That is a first-year Engineering student. These kids I overheard while studying were really obnoxious. And while I support women in Engineering as much as the next feminist, I was unimpressed with the way these girls handled themselves, using their sexualities and gender to gain attention. "Like, oh my god, I actually kissed my best friend when I was drunk", I (over)heard this particularly annoying girl say in a loud voice, clearly to attract the interest of nearby boys. Pah.

On to a much better topic, I saw Jamie Cullum last night at the Phoenix. If you don't know who he is, and you enjoy contemporary jazz (or even if you don't think you do), make a point to listen to his album 'twentysomething'. He's only 24, but he is such a taleneted pianist and singer that he has been dubbed the 'Elton John of 2000' and had the second largest grossing album in his native UK last year. This being said, his cd doesn't do justice to him; this kid is electric live. You wouldn't guess it from the cd, but he gets so hectic during his performance (he is pretty damn young, in his favour). My favourite "Jamie-is-crazy" moment was when he climbed atop an 8-foot high speaker while taking a swig of beer before leaping off the speaker, running full-steam across the stage and JUMPING up onto the piano. Literally. And this is his normal performance behaviour. He said that he now has a hard time renting a piano in Toronto, after his last performance here which was broadcast on the arts channel, and showed him getting slightly 'animated' with his piano. Jamie rules. To give due credit, where credit is deserved: thank you Billie-Ann for sharing him.

Anyway, it's time to return to my marathon study session... There are carbon cycles to learn about! And it's only 9:1o pm.

17 October 2004


Hello! I decided that perhaps part of the reason I never updated my old blog was because I was bored of the format (not to mention the fact that I *am* lazy), so I introduce to you needsmoredogs.com. One of the great aspects of this site is that I can actually post photos into my text, which is exciting.I make no claims that I will update a particular amount of times per week, but I will try to be a bit more 'on top of things' than I am at the moment.

So, my last entry on my other blog left us at the end of Week 1. A month has since passed, with nothing particularly groundbreaking having occurred. However, I will employ the use of hyperbole to make things seem more excitant. Or on second thought, perhaps I won't.

My house continues to be a pleasant place to live. My room is finally starting to look like a normal person's bedroom, now that I've purchased some bedroom essentials, like bed sheets and rubbish bins (intriguing read, surely.) I will continue to decorate my room until I am satisfied with it. One my favourite aspects of the rooms is also the most challenging... the high, high ceiling and consequently, all the white wall space I have to endeavour to dress. I considered painting, but just the hassle of commiting myself to a colour was overwhelming, so I decided to adopt the typical university student approach to home decor: posters, posters, posters!

As for the academic aspect of my life, things are going well enough. I have only handed in one piece of assesment thus far, so it's hard to say what my grades will look like come spring time, but I hope that they won't be horrid. I really enjoy my classes this semester, as two of them are actually relevant to both my program and personal interests: Urban Waste Management and Global Warming. The former is suprisingly fun for a class that focuses on, well, waste, and the latter is filled with computer models which predict the ensuing environmental devestation of our current behaviour. The class is a very sobering experience, and is taught by an internationally renowned scientist in the field, Professor Danny Harvey. Me being the nerd I am, I couldn't help but compliment him after a particularly complext yet interesting lecture, so now we have this routine that whenever we see one another outside of the classroom, he waves at me (no small feat for a big, impersonal institution like U of T). I, in return, shout some sort of congraulatory message about his lecturing skills, and I walk away feeling nerdy, yet comforted, knowing that my compliments can't be harming my grades.

My mother came out last week for a visit, which was wonderful. I hadn't seen her since before I left for New Zealand, so it had been 16 months! I can't even find the necessary words to express how happy I was to be in her presence after so long. When I was younger, I used to be fiercely proud of my so-called 'independence' which had led me to Toronto alone, away from my much-loved family, for university. I remember how I was both scared and excited to be moving across the country, but far more thrilled than scared, since I viewed it as a great opportunity for me to once again prove my 'self-sufficiency'. However, four years on, I am beginning to realize just how important being somewhat near to my family is.... I know it's incredibly cliche, but life is too short not to spend it near those who you love dearly, and these days I crave being near my family. Especially surrounded by my flatmates and friends who, for the most part, are from the Toronto area and see their families frequently, and thus cannot really understand where I'm coming from first-hand. But everyone is very supportive.

Anyway, her visit was by all accounts, a success. We walked more than I can recall ever walking with her, as the weather was sunny and accomodating, and the distances never too far. I'd rather not list everything we did, as that would be tedious, however, I will pick out the highlights: going to Niagara Falls, Toronto's Centre Island (which doesn't hold a candle to Stanley Park back home), and the Picasso Cermaics Exhibit which is being held at U of T and is the second place in North America to get it. I also finally visited my godfamily, after 3 years. It was wonderful to see 'family' again, and I vow to go visit them at least once every couple months. There really is no excuse not to (and the free food don't hurt either!).

So I'll end this here, because I have an essay due shortly, and I have yet to start. I will update more shortly though (I promise this one!)