Thursday, March 26, 2009


I am looking after a little dog right now. A bichon crossed with something that likely results in a cutsey vaguely rude breed name. In any case, he is small and curly and white. and extremely well behaved. i have never seen a small dog so un-yippy as this one. I didn't even know he made noise until we played "destroy the stuffy" on the first night. His name is Hercules.

In any case, because i have not brought much food over to his house, and he lives just down the street, we spend a lot of time at my parents house. We come, we eat lunch, I use the computer, and we leave to feed him his dinner. He loves it here because he gets three times more attention, and he gets to observe the rabbit.

He starts out his visit now by sitting and staring at the cage until Baz gets annoyed and comes out to check out what is going on. Then Herc slowly walks up to the cage with his tail making little sweeps back and forth, and they meet, nose to nose through the cage. Then Herc starts to walk around the cage, and Baz keeps right up with him. We then call Herc back to the table, and Baz gets annoyed and starts trying to pull her cage apart and rip up newspaper. Herc, even though he is a small dog, is almost twice the size of Baz (which isn't difficult as she only weighs 6 pounds)

Today, we decided to let them meet face to face outside of the cage. I opened up Baz's cage so she could get back in quickly, and lifted her out and brought her out to the carpet where mom was holding Herc. I let Baz go, she hopped up to Herc, gave him one smell, and then hopped away to explore. Yup, that's my girl, completely ignore the guy who is so desperate to meet you he is quivering.

So we let Herc go with his retractable leash on, and he was able to get close enough to say hi again a few more times, and got punched in the face for his efforts. poor boy. no blood thank heavens, but just enough of a hit to make him back off but remain really interested. He feels much better about investigating her now that she is back in her cage.

Oh, Baz is definitely my girl. Raised her right.

Monday, March 23, 2009


This weekend was College Royal, the big open house at the U of Goo.  It is a time when everybody shows off what they can do.  Everybody except the college of arts.  in fact the only arty thing is a juried art show.  most people are there for the science stuff.  In fact, throughout most of my undergrad at this university most of my fellow students thought that College Royal was just the name of the big prom-like dance that happens the weekend before to kick off the celebrations.  I haven't been in about 5 or 6 years, so i decided i needed to go this weekend.  plus i need to prove to you all in BC that there really are cows (and horses and sheep and pigs) a 5 minute walk away from my house.

So I will now take you on a tour of "Old MacDonald's New Farm"

Food time in the Dairy Barn, oh so tiring this eating.

These two little piggies were desperately trying to get back in with the big mama sow.  Either that or there was something really tasty on that grill!

These little guys were pretty much the only guys making noise.  I was so cute to see the little children jump and giggle when they suddenly realized that sheep actually go "baaaa"

and, last but not least, la piece de resistance, Snowball, the cow with a hole in her side!  The man did stick his hand all the way in, but he did it very quickly and my camera was running out of batteries, so I got him clearing the grassy cud away to put her plug back in.  The hole goes right into her largest stomach and it doesn't hurt her at all because she has grown up with it in her side.  this hole is really just for teaching and research purposes, but they have put smaller holes in other cows who have troubles with getting rid of gasses.  They currently have three cows with these holes.

This brings us to the end of our tour.  There were also piglets, lots more sheep, donkeys, horses, chickens, ornamental ducks, and rainbow trout, but they weren't very photogenic. Things have definitely changed, we used to be able to walk right into the Dairy Barn, and we used to be able to pet all the animals, and people used to be allowed to stick their hand inside the cow, but now everything is cordoned off and only demonstrated.  So sad this emphasis on safety.  

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Spring is sprung!

Spring is here!  These picture were taken a few days ago.  it is not so nice and sunshiny today, but we can still claim spring!  the plants think so at least!

Soon, these guys will be cut down and we can stop having little grass stars stuck to our coats and start being attacked by a new crop of thick blades of ornamental grass on bare legs.  oh spring, what marvels you bring!
this is one of two snowdrop plants that are out.  they are the only thing flowering right now. so cute!  they are also up in one of our neighbour's gardens, the only live plants in her beds all year, once they are gone she will plant her silk flower garden for the season.
someone practiced her hiding to gear up for Easter while her ma took pictures.  i figured if i couldn't get at her she was safe from the local predator, Leo the cat.  plus Leo has a bell, so i figured i would hear him coming.  then i remembered that baz has a bell as well.  then baz got dragged out from under the bush. she was not happy.  she has been making her displeasure known for the rest of the week in the production of other "treasures".

and what else comes with spring?  finally a few more thesis revisions and permission to send things to my second reader!  huzzah!

Friday, March 20, 2009


well, i have just been informed by my thesis advisor that it will be impossible to defend my thesis before the end of term. that means no june graduation. that means one more semester of tuition. that means no job at the archives, unless i can convince them that being finished and passed but not convocated is the same thing as being graduated. not that i have heard anything from them in any case.

i thought i could get this done and over with! i have been in limbo for almost a week and a half waiting to get any feedback from my advisor and it took forwarding an email from the grad secretary asking telling me when i had to have things in by to get anything out of him, and he still hasn't sent me the revisions.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I did it!

I am now officially in grown-up territory! successfully completed the interview without revealing how much i probably couldn't do the job. although my french rendition might have given me away! she actually liked one of the things i said in my mock interpretation, and wrote it down to use later. so even if i don't get the job, my words will likely live on in their newsletter.

in any case, i feel that i did as well as i could, and so now the ball is in their court to see if i move on to the next stage or not. the next stage of course, is the french language testing, which will reveal all.

plus at the end i got a private tour of the house which was alot of fun. the girl took the velvet ropes off the the doors and we were able to walk inside the rooms, ah yes, the perks i will enjoy if i ever work there! behind velvet rope access!

Friday, March 13, 2009



I have a job interview.

on wednesday.

i have never had a job interview before.


you'd think i would have realized that this is a logical progression of putting in job applications. that i would be expecting this. that i might be a little prepared.

but no.

this is the part that i was blocking out so that i would actually put in those job applications. this is the part i am not good at. when i meet new people i like to listen to them and figure out the lay of the land first before i open my mouth. those who have been in a class with me know that it takes almost an entire semester before i will talk in class. now i have to give them a five minute presentation about myself. likely some of the interview will be in french too.

i also have this thing where i want them to have the best person for the job. i feel guilty about taking up their time because i am just a masters student, and i can't even really do that right. i know i can do the job, but what if there was someone better?


Thursday, March 12, 2009


Scene: Me and mom brushing our teeth in the bathroom

Me: Have you looked at the tap?

Mom: Yeah, i know. Its disgusting! I have never liked that tap!

Me: Yeah... Wait. What?

Mom: =muttering= Big ol' phalic symbol!

Me: I was just going to point out the ring of crud around it and the gross barnacle looking things it seems to be growing like one of the cursed sailors in Pirates of the Carribean.*

Mom: ... Oh.....

*this is not a lax cleaning thing, we just have seriously hard water here

Sunday, March 8, 2009


Last night was my neighbourhood's Progressive Dinner. It is an interesting tradition that has happened every year around this time in my neighbourhood since before i can remember. the players change, but the sentiments of "we should do this more often, its so nice to see your neighbours" persists.

For the uninitiated, a Progressive Dinner was a suggestion from either Canadian Living or Chatelaine Magazine sometime in the early eighties as a new idea for a party. Our neighbourhood's dinner might be the longest running one, or maybe the only one that really took off. In any case here is how it works in our neighbourhood: Sometime in the middle of February, all the ladies of the neighbourhood get together and decide on a theme, and whose houses are going to host. One house for appetizers, one for main course, and one for dessert, then one or two other people get assigned to each part of the meal as well, and you work out a menu based on the theme. The theme is usually a certain region's cuisine, although one year it was breakfast food.

This year's theme was "South of the Border" or "South of the Equator" depending on who you talked to. That translated into there being some "TexMex" dishes at every course, and mysteriously, mango was very present in every course as well.

This was the first year I was invited to participate. We have some new younger neighbours that have recently moved in, and mom guessed, correctly, that my friend across the street would feel more comfortable about participating if i came too. She and I were to do appetizers, and we made a scrumptious "TexMex Flan" which had a savoury cornmeal pastry and a hummus/sourcream/salsa filling, and a variety of quesidillas (chevre and mango, spinach and cheese, gourmet salsa and cheese), and the woman whose house it was got a variety of dips.

all the dishes were very yummy. I think the most creative had to go to our new neighbours who made dessert tacos. they made tuile cookies for the shells, and had various fruits cut up for the filling, and then made a lemon creme anglaise and a blackberry-rasberry-cardamom sauce. oh, so good.

And my goodness, it was nice to visit with our neighbours.

Friday, March 6, 2009


so, i have made friends with the girl who lives across the street, and i was over there this evening. this is the first time i have hung out at her house just the two of us.

during the course of the evening, we got to playing around with her iTunes and decided to purge alot of "boy" music from her ex-boyfriend. isn't it nice how boys always want to put the stuff that is on their computer on yours? i guess it makes them feel at home, but i hate being stuck listening to their crap once they've gone. or dealing with extra programs you just don't need.

anyway, somewhere in the course of all this, i realized who her ex was, and that i knew him in undergrad, and actually went out on a disastrous date with him once which wasn't really a date (we were supposed to go out as a group, but i think my roommate manipulated it so that it ended up being just me and him. he was not pleased about being manipulated. i was not pleased about being thought to be a manipulating bitch)

anyway, i figured out who he was because i thought i saw them walking together one day a couple months ago, and then there were some songs he had written on her itunes.

so question: Do i let her know that i knew him, even though she doesn't really talk about him and hasn't even told me his name? or maybe just wait until it comes up in conversation sometime? we are just newly friends, so i don't know how she would react. its not like its a bad thing, i can just never bring these things up casually, and then it sounds like i know more than i do. bah!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Into the wild blue

My mom and I just got back from a trip up north to visit our cousin. She lives in Muskoka, which is Ontario's premier cottage country. Martin Short has a cottage in the next bay and Goldie Hawn has one down the lake. My cousin's family was one of the founding families in the area and they had a prime piece of real estate, much of which has been sold off now, but my cousin still has the house that was built for her mother, and one of the only natural beaches on the lake. She spends the winter in an apartment in the nearest town, but now that her mother has passed away, this is the last winter she will spend in the apartment, she goes down to the house almost every day to check on things and give the dog a good run.
We went out on the ice in the bay. this was my first time out on the ice. so weird to walk out on the water further than you have ever swimmed. so weird to see trucks out on the water, and the ice fishing huts! kinda scary when there were big cracks (long, not wide) in the ice and my cousin felt it would reassure us to say "see? look down this crack, you can see how thick the ice is!"

This is my cousin's house. The people who bought the big house run a cottage construction company, so that is their barge for bringing stuff out to construction sites. at the moment they just drive equipment across the ice, or use snowmobiles

Here's the point, see how far out we walked? don't worry, the ice was more than three feet thick.

The intrepid explorers! my mom and cousin and Beau, the poodle. This is pretty much the extent of the pictures because i handed the camera over to my mom and the wrong button was hit, and then it was so cold out (-17C, -20 something with the wind chill) that the camera froze on the close up setting, so we have a bunch of pictures like this:

But, I did manage to get a semblance of a picture of the wild turkey tracks frozen into the ice on the laneway. There have apparently been herds of wild turkeys roaming the countryside all winter!

They ran along the side of some snowmobile tracks, so at first i thought they were a new kind of tred that had an arrow indicating which direction the machine had been heading in, all the better to find a lost snowmobiler. Then my cousin told me they were from the wild turkeys, right about the time their track ceased to be in line with the snowmobile's. I don't think I would like to encounter one of these turkeys, these footprints are about the size of a CD! We also located the fox's winter den, and saw deer tracks out on the ice.

All in all, a very successful winter adventure!

Sunday, March 1, 2009


my dad and i had a little adventure at the grocery store yesterday. we were in a bit of a rush because family were coming over pretty soon for family dinner, and we were picking up last minute ingredients. so we were in the bulk food section, and i was digging out some jujubes (very important ingredient to family dinner) while dad looked for the other ingredients. He found it and turned around to tell me, and hit his head on the mirrored wall that signified the end of bulk food.

By the time i got over to him there was blood dripping from a 15mm gash in his eyebrow and pooling in his eye. he said "where am i bleeding?"

i whipped a kleenex out of my pocket, shoved it on the spot and said "keep it there, we are going home." "is it still bleeding? =drip=" "YES! keep that kleenex there!" "but we can't go home, mom needs these groceries" "i will drive you home and come back" "oh, ok."

meanwhile, the wad of kleenex is almost soaked through, and we were passing the pharmacy section, so i dragged him up to the pharmacist "can i get a bandaid or something? my dad hit his head on one of the store displays." horrified pharmacist seems to spring into action,
she gets her boss to come over with a paper towel and say "are you dizzy? make yourself comfortable, we have to call the management if have injured yourself in the store." the gentleman sitting in the pharmacy chair waiting for his wife to stop shopping takes one horrified look at all the blood and vacates the chair for my dad. with dad installed, and bleeding much less profusely, i go off and finish the grocery shopping.

when i get back, the store manager is almost through with his incident report, and the pharmacist has finally given my dad a bandaid, so we are on our way. dad gets his winter coat dry cleaned for free now.

on the drive home dad says "that was really neat, how you reacted back there." "how was that?" "oh, all calm and businesslike, you didn't flap around and freak out." "well what purpose would that have served?" "none, i think it was neat."

so on the one hand, i am pleased that my father recognized my calm in a crisis, and congratulated me on it.

on the other, i am horrified that he actually expected me to flap around and freak out. does he actually think i am that much of a twit that it surprises him when i act in a logical rational manner?