Saturday, November 29, 2008

To post or not to post or what to post?

I want to post something new, mainly because the previous post is now starting to annoy me. So introspective and ever so slightly smarmy-trout-faced.* But what to post? my brain is numb from writting my thesis and it isn't even anywhere near done! i have an intro and one chapter. a grand total of (drum roll please...) 46 pages. hmm, not quite the 70-100 i need. and i haven't a clue where to go from here. literally. no. idea. my brain just doesn't want to write it anymore! oh how i wish i had gone for the major paper instead of the thesis, i could be done by now! of course then i would be on year 4 of a 1 year masters instead of year 4 of a two year masters. oh the shame of the procrastinator knows no bounds!

The problem is, I have proved my point. There is no more to say, because I have said it -

=blink= =blink= =lighbulb!=

I just realized that it is ok if i have made my point in one chapter! I can make a different point in the second chapter! oh huzzah! happy day! cartwheels and lollypops!

I know most of you are shaking your heads and sighing about "silly C___", but i honestly did not figure that out until two seconds ago while writing this post! Two different points in my thesis? The novelty! (don't flip out, they aren't that different, only in my hyper-specific compartmentalization of things, oh perfectionism).

ok, gotta go and write stuff now while i remember what i was going to s-
oh damn! its gone!

oh well, supper time! bye for now!

*oops! almost forgot my footnote (i do that alot), "smarmy-trout face" is that look like you are a snob sucking lemons (nose in air, lips pursed, eyebrows up, air of superiority). It is a look that says, "Hmph! That is an incredibly inferior way to do that, my way is better (ie. I am better) and always will be, you cannot change my mind". It also says, "I am not the idiot, you are! Clearly the world works my way and you were foolish not to have noticed" Not to be confused with the "Really?" look which is quite similar, but with less snob and more "you're a childish idiot"

Friday, November 21, 2008

Missed opportunity

So, when I was in my last years of university, i lived at home with my parents and so was able to walk to and from the university every day (or more likely every class, lunch at home was sooo much better than at school!). In one of my philosophy classes, there was a boy with Buddy Holly horned rimmed glasses who sat close to me in class and walked home the exact same way as me after class. He was always just a little ahead of me walking across the green, but i always met him at the traffic light while we waited to cross the street.

Now, at the traffic light, there were three different ways you could choose to walk home and end up in the exact same spot. 1. You could go straight ahead and then turn right and cut through a parking lot and alot of side streets. 2. You could turn right and then turn left down a catwalk beside the veterinary fraternity, or 3. You could turn right and walk to the corner and then turn left down the next street (boring!)

So, I always chose option 2 and boy with glasses always chose option 1. eventually there was also an indian girl who was also in our class who always chose option 3. So we all walked home, together but seperate, every time we had class, so at least twice a week, for an entire semester. We never said a word to each other.

After the first few weeks i started to think it was kind of funny, because glasses guy was always a bit ahead of me, almost like he was running away. (i'm really not that scary!) The indian girl only ever caught up with us sometimes, i think she usually stayed to study, so she really doesn't feature in this story. So, I used the opportunity to test a theory that i had wondered about ever since i was little, which way was the shortcut?!! Nothing like using unwitting people for distance experiments! So I started to match my pace to his as we kicked off from the curb at the traffic light and then maintained that pace as i followed my route. I met him at the bottom of the hill where our routes crossed again. We acknowledged this meeting with a smile, but hurried on our separate ways. This went on for a few more weeks, and the then the indian girl started off from the traffic light with us as well for a couple of days, and i met her where our routes crossed.

Conclusion: No Shortcut.

But, by this time half the semester had gone by, i couldn't switch my route to his cause i might be following him, i couldn't switch my route to hers cause, well, it was boring. We were set in our ways, and still had never said anything to each other. I didn't want him for a boyfriend or anything, it was just getting ridiculous that we basically walked home together every day and didn't talk to each other. I am a great fan of the group gab on the way home from school, but somehow was never able to say hello to him. We had just let it go too long.

Then, one day in class, i ended up sitting in the same row as him, three chairs between us, but no people, and the prof asked for an example of something. glasses guy answered him with "Its like if you see the same person every day and never say anything to them, even though they might turn out to be a really cool person, or a friend." He quickly glanced over at me out of the corner of his eye. I went bright red, i had trouble breathing, what he said wasn't even an example of the concept being discussed, he just obviously needed to get it out there. I wanted to appologize to him and tell him that i had wanted to talk to him the entire semester but was too shy. I also wanted to point out how he was wrong, but i realized that would be a bad thing and not worth mentioning. After class he almost bolted out the door so that we didn't meet at the traffic light.

The next class, he brought his girlfriend.

When I think about it now, maybe he thought I was a snob and wanted to prove that he was cool and worthy of being spoken to. At the time, i took it as "you had your chance, that's it". There were only one or two classes after that, and our walks home were very awkward, his girlfriend met him after class, and then i REALLY couldn't talk to him.

But you know what? He never said a word to me either.

So my plan since then has been to at least smile and say hello to everyone I recognize. It is hard sometimes to get up to courage to say anything more, but next time i see them, it might be a little bit easier. And if I don't see you, sorry, sometimes I am off in lah-lah land, just yell my name really loud and come running like the Queen of West Procrastination does!

Oh, and note to self, don't do experiments with real people in the real world. (Aw, c'mon, its fun!)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


ok, so yesterday i had a flu shot.  i forgot about the little bandaid until this morning.  i ripped it off and immediately put on my bathrobe.  Then i felt a cold wet trickle down my arm, which of course didn't get very far because i have a very absorbent robe, so i couldn't even investigate what had trickled down my arm.  do you think it was my flu goo?  did it wait almost 24 hours behind the bandaid and then decided to make a break for it? ewwww.  or maybe it was just a phantom flu fluid feeling and it was never really there at all?  hmmm, very weird birthday juju.

Happy Birthday To Me?

Yup, that is me! My first birthday party, and looking decidedly disconcerted. set me up for a lifetime of birthdays that never quite added up to expectation. I try to stop expecting, but that never really works. don't get me wrong, i have had some wonderful birthdays, and some great times, but there is always something that goes slightly wrong and colours the memory. i really don't know what i expect to happen, i can never decide on what i want my birthday to be, but i always expect magic!
surprisingly, the problem has quite often been the padding on my mother's dining room table. she has this quilted padding that has always been there to protect the table from spills and hot things. i have lost count of the number of birthdays when one kid has noticed this and accused me of having baby changing pad on the table, and that becomes the only thing that anyone can discuss for the entire meal. it was usually the kid who was worried about the coolness of attending my party and so had to make themselves look cooler than me on my birthday. nothing like feeling like a loser on your birthday.
this could so easily turn into a list of slights and bad manners (on the part of some "friends"), and people being too "cool" to participate in the activities, but i am trying to avoid that today, so lets go through some of the fun times, which have mainly happened with my best friends. They never make me look uncool, because they insist on all acting crazy and to hell with the rest of them!
one time in high school, Lindsay and Amanda made a monopoly board out of my neighbourhood, each square of the sidewalk was one square on the board, and Linds went around on roller blades as banker. sooo much fun! unfortunately it got cold and we had to cut the game short to go inside, but it was a really cool idea and we had fun inside warming up too!
other years we have gone out to dinner wearing silly costumes, and one year in university we were too busy to celebrate anyone's birthday, so we had a mass birthday party and played all the traditional games, pin the tail on the donkey, charades, musical chairs, telephone, and the infamous present exchange where we regifted anything that we had received as a present but had no need for, like a candle shaped like a rock, or weird soap flakes.
my birthdays in victoria were a bit more hit and miss, first year we went out to a club and one friend hit me and knocked me down in her mad flight away from a homeless man on the way in, so i started the night with a sprained ankle, then some girl almost died of a drug overdose at our table. fun times. the next year i have no idea what i did for my birthday, other than clean the kitchen floor on my hands and knees (it really needed it). and then the year after that, we all went out to dinner at a nice restaurant/brew pub and had a grand time. the fun happened later that night when my roomate and i vied for the bathroom when we realized we were alergic to unpasturized beer, and one of my friends ended up in the hospital for a week. great time had by all!
Well, i guess if my birthdays aren't exactly up to my expectations, they are at least fairly memorable! I am planning on making the most of today, and hopefully get together with friends this weekend for some real celebrating!
Happy Birthday to Me!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Read This!

Kate Beaton has written a very interesting essay on Remembrance Day.  You should read it here.

In Flanders Fields

Remembrance Day is not a holiday in Ontario.  Apparently it was when my parents were growing up, but hasn't been in my lifetime, not sure why, gov't workers get it off though.  So, we always has a special day in school, where each class crafted a wreath to put on stage during our assembly and we heard stories from veterans and kids reading their grandparents' stories of war.  When I was little, one of the schools I went to was Col. John McCrae Public School.  Yes, the Col. John McCrae, of In Flanders Fields fame.  He was born in Guelph, his birthplace is now a museum.  When I attended the school, as a member of the choir, we went down to the memorial at the museum and sang Oh Canada and occasionally, In Flanders Fields.  I can still recite the poem word for word.  Our little service was usually attended by the veterans who couldn't get around very well or couldn't deal with the crowds at the cenotaph downtown.  

So now that I am home, I suggested to mom that we go down to McCrae House today for Remembrance Day services.  Unfortunately, this year, the school has been torn down and is being rebuilt bigger and better, and the school has been relocated to an old school building a few kilometers away.  In recent years, as veterans have died, the service at the McCrae Memorial has become the Remembrance Day assembly for John McCrae school.  So, now that the school is no longer there, there was no service at 11:00 today.  

Alot of people still showed up at McCrae House though, there were about 25 of us, and apparently every year they have the local Ham Radio operators society set up a station in the museum for the weeks around Remembrance Day, so my mom and I stayed and looked around the museum and then stood for 2 minutes of radio silence and then the woman who was operating it read In Flanders Fields.  Then radio thank yous flooded in from around the world.  It was really neat, and we were quite impressed with the number of young people who showed up.  

The pictures are from my Great Uncle George Abraham's scrapbook from WWI.  He was a Second Lieutenant in the 37th Flying Squad pictured above.  This picture is an aerial view of France taken while on a mission.

If anyone had a relative in the First World War, you might be able to find their attestation papers (enlisting documents) on the Collections Canada website.  Just hit search and look for them.  I have found my dad's grandfather, Harry Petter, who had just moved to Canada with his young family and felt it was his duty to go back and fight.  When he got back after the war, he was given a job as a groundskeeper at the University of Guelph, but his family remained in Colpoys Bay, which is just outside of Wiarton (Willy) Ontario, which is a three hour drive away today.  He hitchhiked home every two or three weeks to see his family and bring his pay home to his wife.  I have also just now found my mom's Great Uncle John Abraham's papers (George's brother), but I still can't find Uncle George's.

I hope you all were able to find time today to contemplate the tremendous gift of peace our soldiers have given us, and continue to fight for.

Monday, November 10, 2008

#@$%^ stupid snow!

so, it has been snowing all day, and there is nothing to show for it.  There was snow on the ground this morning when i woke up and it wasn't snowing, but now that it has been snowing all day, there is nothing.  Not that it has been snowing hard or anything, if it was rain, i doubt you would even know it was raining.  Maybe that is why it decided to be snow, so it would get noticed.  It looks kinda like giant dust moats floating around outside, or white midgy flies.  i mean, the little weatherman on our weather station doesn't even register that it is snowing outside.  he seems cheerfully optimistic that it is a bright sunshiny day.  no snowman icon for him! 

I still have mixed feelings over whether i really want it to snow or not.  i seem to have forgotten all my Ontario winter snow survival know-how in my three years of snowless victoria "winters".  I don't even know how i feel about having to buy winter boots for the first time in a very long time.  I want real boots now that i no longer have to worry about being cool in high school and wear thinsulated hiking boots. (weird how those things lasted me all through university)  but i also need something stylish, cause there is no way i am going to show up at an office wearing my awesome red wool coat and cloche hat with sorel moonboots even if they are warmy-squarmy!  and yes, i just realized i am still worried about being cool.  It comes from a lifetime of my mother picking out my winter gear.  (i actually used to swap my snowsuit with my friend at school in grade one.  her grey snowsuit with yellow piping and green storebought hat and mitts was so much cooler than my pink and purple snowsuit with handknit pink hat and idiot mittens.  they made us stop swapping when they suddenly discovered lice, not on us, but in general. [my mom dressed me entirely in pink and purple as a child, but my favourite outfit was a pair of grey pants with a yellow cardigan and a red and blue blouse that i wore with a red newsboy cap, the height of fashion! i was so excited when she bought it for me, even then, i knew that to be cool you couldn't dress in barbie's colours])

Lunch Time at the W's

Scene: Mom, C and Dad eat lunch at a round table facing a window.  Table is set with brown flowered tablecloth, lunch is carrot soup and crackers with sheep cheese with lavender.  Outside, snow is falling lazily, it doesn't stay on the ground.

An errant gust of wind blows up a dust devil of leaves

Mom: A Wild and Wooly November, just like our wild and wooly girl!

C glowers and raises an eyebrow

Mom: Well, you can be quite outrageous sometimes when you want to be.  And I love that. My November baby.

C rolls her eyes, goes back to spreading cheese on her cracker.  Takes a bite of the cracker, crumbs fly. 
C: Gah! =giggles in disbelief=

Mom: What happened?

C: I got crumbs in my eye! (runs to the bathroom)

Dad: Well, she should stick to round crackers, their crumbs don't fly off like square crackers' do. (pops the last round cracker into his mouth with a piece of ham)

C sits back down

Mom: Your father thinks you should stick to round crackers, but he's eaten them all.

C glowers at Dad
C: I don't like the round crackers.  Hey!  Where's my meat? I had half a piece of ham right here when I left!

Dad: Muy mon't mow. ("I don't know" with mouth full of round cracker and ham) =starts to chuckle with mouth full=

C: There are two whole pieces on the plate!  Why did you steal my half eaten one?

Thump from a small grey dwarf rabbit on the "oriental" carpet.

Mom: Aw, there's Granny's sweet baby bunny.  Isn't she cute.  Give her your apple.

End Scene.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

"How's your Mum doing?"

4 little words with so much meaning.
At church on Sunday, it means, "Why are you here and she is not? Why hasn't she been here for the last 3 weeks?" This is, of course said with concern and love, just in case something is wrong, but still lightly, and can replied to with a breazy, "Oh she's fine," (and an embarassed inner confusion over the fact that mom really isn't fine, she has a busted knee, but the reason she is not in church is because she decided to go on her annual shopping weekend with the girls, brief mental assessment that they kind of negate each other and "fine" is an alright answer since we are starting to process into the church)
When my mom says it to one of her friends, it means, "We are sisters in looking after our aging parents, I hope she still has some quality of life and that you haven't had to proceed too far into the horror of the medical system." It contains concern for her friend's mother, but also concern for her friend, remembering how hard it was on herself to look after my grandmother.

I didn't think I would have occasion to use those 4 words in the way that my mom says it to her friends until I was her age, but I used them this morning. My childhood friend is back in the neighbourhood this week because her mom (my mom's friend) had major surgery to get rid of the cancer in its earliest stages. They are pretty sure they got it all before it spread, but it was a major surgery. She has come home from out east to help look after her for a couple of weeks until her mom has recovered a bit more.

This is not the first of my friends who has had to come home to look after her mother. I even moved back to Ontario to be closer to my parents when something major happens, and already, my father needs surgery (minor). We are far too young to be having parents that are falling apart. My mom looked after her ailing 90 year old mother. Will I be looking after my ailing 70 year old parents?