31 March 2005

The preceeding photos were brought you by...

The letter B, and the number 600, as in the amount this trip went over my budget, in dollars. Anyway, here are a few photos from my recent trip to England and Belgium. I'm afraid they're not particularly well-organized in terms of chronology, but I couldn't be bothered to fix that tonight. Maybe when I'm avoiding another assignment in a couple day's time I'll do it.

Old Thatch Tavern. Straford-upon-Avon, Midlands.

Shakespeare's Birthhome. Stratford-upon-Avon, Midlands.

Movable barricades on the sidewalk due to Bush's 'diplomatic' visit in Brussels, Belgium.

Edd enjoying a late afternoon waffle. Brussels, Belgium.

La Grande Place, Brussels, Belgium.

Why does Edd always look so disconcerted in photos with me? Brussels, Belgium.

The Faeries outside of the European Commission, where Edd's dad works. Brussels, Belgium.

Timo and Jen in a private moment. Exploited by me. Brighton.

The old Victorian pier in Brighton.

24 March 2005

Easter Break and Apartments.

Before I hear anymore comments about how incredibly lucky (and occassionally spoiled) we are (which I acknowledge and agree with), Edward is coming to Canada for a visit in April! His university gives their students five weeks off for Easter Break, unlike our pitiful two days. No matter, Edd has elected to spend a portion of his break here in cold and mundane Toronto, much to my elation. His visit will coincide with the three weeks I have off before exams, so we'll be free more or less to galavant however we wish, unless by some divine intervention I actually decide to study for exams. There is a grad ball on the last night of classes, and though I am not graduating this year, I think it would be fun to go with all my friends who actually are, while enjoying the fabled open bar.

Yesterday, Heather and I had a showing of an apartment which we were looking to occupy for next year. We actually found an amazing apartment, top floor (14th floor), huge balcony for entertaining, view of the CN tower and Lake Ontario, immaculate inside with wooden floors, cats welcome, excellent neighbhourhood, and even cheaper than less awesome buidlings in this area. So now we're scrambling to get all the letters we each need (approximately 5 letters each multiplied by 3 occupants) by Tuesday, bearing in mind both Edd and my letters have to come from a variety of provinces, countries, and even continents. Still, if we get this place, we will be thankful forever... forever.. for.ev.er.

14 March 2005

Trends Suck.

This post has been a long time in coming. Its subject? Two of the biggest trends right now, both which drive me crazy: one concerns fashion, the other music....

1. Ugg Boots (and Ugg Boot Knockoffs): Ok, I think I missed when this trend first took hold here in North America as I was in a 'Land Way Down Under'.... But since I've been back from NZ for the past 6 months, I have seen Ugg boots everywhere here on the streets of Toronto. I had to do a mental check with myself to make sure I wasn't still in NZ when I saw girl after girl walking down Queen Street or milling around campus wearing them. For you see, Uggs are 'indigenous' to Australia and NZ, where they make up a small part of the cultural history of said places. This being said, they are only supposed to be worn at home or while shearing sheep, as they were originally designed for.They certainly were not designed for you to wear with your trendy Lululemon pants and puffy pastel pink winter coat. They are not a 'high fashion' garment. What's even more irritating is that I see pair after pair of Ugg boots with salt stains all over them, making them look even more ridiculous than ever. As they are made of suede, in countries where salt isn't used on sidewalks in the wintertime: they are not suitable for trudging through the snow on Bloor St. Ladies, they look ridiculous on you... And don't even get me started on the emerging mukluk trend... I am personally offended on behalf of Aboriginal communities North America-wide for this one....

2. The Killers: I know many of my friends will disagree with me here, but I am standing firm on this; the lead singer can not sing for the life of him. He just shouts out lyrics, nonsensical but rhyming lyrics... Their songs are so poorly written that regardless of how hot the lead singer may be, or how well they dress as a collective, I can not make myself like them. Come on people, I know we can do better than this:

Well somebody told me
You had a boyfriend
Who looked like a girlfriend
That I had in February of last year
It's not confidential
I've got potential

Case and point.

02 March 2005

Chronicles on the 510 Spadina Streetcar.

Living just off Spadina Street, the only streetcar I ever take is the 510 Spadina. Being the colourful and busy neighbourhood that this is, taking the street car is always an experience, both good and bad. Being that I tend to take it at ungodly hours of the night, these experiences tend to be more sketchy than comforting. That being said, I'd like to relate an experience I had the other day to you.

I got on the streetcar and sat down towards the front, and there was a disabled man with crutches trying to climb the steep stairs onto to it. For those of you who do not know, the stairs on streetcars have quite an intense incline, and are not designed to be accessible for those with mobility issues. It took him a good few minutes to get onto the streetcar and just when he sat down, he said to himself in a slightly defeated tone, "I've had a hard day". I burst into tears;I felt so overcome with emotion watching his struggle. I was pretty much convulsing with tears half of the ride home and then I finally calmed myself down. And then when I was getting off the streetcar, I told him to have a good day because he deserved it, and he held his hand out to touch mine. We held hands for a good second and there was such a meaningful unspoken exchange between us that I got off the streetcar and began sobbing uncontrollably again, this time for different reasons than the first. I though that it was such a beautiful experience that this man felt safe enough with me to reach out his hand, because I am certain he faces adversity in his daily life. Sometimes life can be so intensley beautiful and painful all at the same time.