Sunday, January 31, 2010

The smell of clean

Every once in awhile today, I caught a wiff of something, and stopped to smell. It was the smell of my laundry. I finally used the scary high efficiency washer and dryer here. Yesterday was the perfect day for it, the washer was empty and my landlords were away for the day. And I hadn't done any laundry since the 9th of January.

The only snag to the laundry plan was that my landlords were away, which meant that I still had no idea how to operate the scary-expensive brand new laundry system. Then a met a very practical classmate at the grocery store who said "Can't you just figure it out? aren't there usually instructions under the lid or something?" She made me feel silly because she had to go to a laundromat to do her laundry.

So when I got back, I decided to bite the bullet and do my laundry, crossing my fingers that my landlords either came home before I started, or didn't come home until I was done. Then, when I had my first load in the machine, I realized I had no detergent. All that discussion of laundry at the grocery store and I forgot to get the most important ingredient. So I borrowed some. Then I really crossed my fingers that they didn't come home until I was done.

The thing is, I usually go for detergent that doesn't smell like anything. I am an itchy person, especially in the winter, so I try to avoid anything that might aggravate it. So, now I am left with two loads of laundry that smell all detergenty.

And I love the smell right now, but it is so going to get old in a few days. Also, after the initial, "=sniff= mmmmm", my mind says "ewww, think of all the chemicals you are breathing in right now!" I can only assume the smell dissipates after a few days.

and now I have a headache. but that might be because I should have eaten more today.

I will remember to buy my own unscented detergent next weekend. It is on the list already!

sorry, my brain lost track of the point awhile ago, maybe its the fumes.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Outlet: Moebius scarf

So, here is my new moebius scarf. I just finished crochet-ing it a few minutes ago. I had started one the first weekend I moved here, but I didn't have an internet connection then, so I did it wrong, but I got some slightly better instructions this afternoon and finally did it. As you can tell, it is in a net pattern, which means I only stitched every second stitch, so it was super fast and easy. Plus I really have no idea how it works, but I worked it in the round, from the centre outwards, which means that somehow, the outer edges are actually just one big circle, there is just one edge. It blows my mind and I shouldn't think about it too much.

If you want to make one, chain your first row however big around you want it (sorry, it is impossible to count mine now), then do one full row flat, like normal. This pattern is one double crochet every second stitch, with a chain stitch in between. Then, with your row on a flat surface in front of you, fold the top left corner over meet the bottom right corner, then flip the bottom left corner up to meet the top right corner, join the ends together, and start the next row, chain four, skip a stitch and make a double crochet in the bottom the second stitch. just keep going round and round, joining the ends of each row and chaining up to the next row until you are satisfied with how wide your scarf is.

anyway, the reason I was looking for patterns online today is that I am participating in a knit-a-thon to raise money for our Librarians Without Borders chapter next weekend. We are raising money to build a library in Costa Rica. Actually, we already raised the money to build it, this money is to put books inside the building once it is done. The knit-a-thon is for 6 hours nest Saturday, so I am trying to find enough to do, which is hard when I only like doing small projects. I was going to save this project, but I got going trying to figure out the online instructions, and got carried away.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Update: Lighter Day

Ok, so apparently all the plugs in my room are on the same circuit, so having your laptop charging, printing off schoolwork, and running the space heater is ok, but don't try to boil water with the electric kettle as well. That is bad, and apparently overloads the circuit, causing it to break.

I was luckily able to easily locate the breaker panel when I got home today, and also easily found which circuit I was looking for, because it was the only one switched to off. So I flipped it back, and all is well!

Well, except perhaps my vanity, because I didn't see a mirror until break time, an hour and a half into class, and it was quite obvious that I had not looked in a mirror this morning. Also that I needed to have washed my hair. =sigh= Oh well, I don't think anyone had the impression that I was cool anyway.

Dark Day

The power is out in my apartment. My basement apartment. With one window.

Ok, I guess I should clarify that it is really just the perimeter power that is out. The overhead lighting in my bedroom and kitchen still works, and thankfully the plug that the fridge is plugged into. But all the rest of the plugs are out as well as the bathroom. Which means that I had to plug in my alarm clock in the kitchen in order to get up in time for my 9am class.

Also, I can't have a shower because I can't see anything in the bathroom.

And it is cold and I have no place to plug in the space heater.

And it is dark and cold and stormy outside.

Could I please just go back to bed, where it is nice and warm and toasty under the feather duvet?

Friday, January 22, 2010


See?! She really does like her Bacardi Rum house! Not that you guys doubted me, or needed proof, I just think she looked cute all snuggled up around her food dish.

She was totally asleep in there until I stuck the computer in her face and tried to take a picture. She is quite mad at me now because the hours from 10am-10pm are asleep times. She will punish me later when I want to go to bed by running laps around my bedroom and jumping on my head and perhaps giving me another foot thump to the boob.

Ain't she a sweetie?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Better Butter

Last night I decided to make Better Butter*. My aunt has made it for years, and I am not really a fan, but it does mean that you can have spreadable butter right out of the fridge and not have to resort to margarine, which I hate. I know you can buy it now, I think they call it "spreadable butter", but it is so much nicer to know exactly what you are putting on your food.

So, I made it, and all seemed well, until I took the lid off the blender, and caught a whiff. It smelled slightly flowery.

I do not recall my aunt's ever smelling flowery.

In hindsight, I probably should have washed the blender first, it had been in storage for over a year and came from a neighbour before that, so who knows what has been in it, although the lid was on, and it wasn't dusty inside.

Also, I used olive oil, and I think my aunt just uses a vegetable oil, so that could account for the yellower colour as well as the flowery smell. I am really hoping that is it.

I haven't tried it yet, I am a little afraid to. I only made 1/2 cup of butter worth in any case, so it is not too much of a tragedy if it is inedible.

Hopefully someone will let you know if I die of suspiciously flowery Better Butter. Maybe they will put that in my tombstone.

*Better Butter recipe: equal parts softened butter (eg, 1lb of butter =2 cups) and some kind of vegetable oil (olive, canola, sunflower), blend in a blender until combined, put in a container with a lid and refrigerate.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

all moved in

Baz moved in with me on the weekend. She is currently living in half of my large bathroom, but I haven't put up her extended cage, so she has the run of the bathroom. And my bedroom when I open the bathroom door in the evenings. Then she runs laps around my bed.

I leave the bathroom light on for her all day, because the bathroom has no window, but she was really pissy with me last night, so I figured she might need some darker space.

So, this afternoon, I made her a little house from one of my moving boxes:

Two hours later, I went in to check on her. She had moved her house where she wanted it, and pulled her food inside.

I think she might like it.

UPDATE: she has finally rediscovered the ability to jump up on furniture! yay!

INSTANT RETRACTION: she just warning thumped my boob. ow.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I think I like it

I think I am starting to like this library school thing.

I am still not sure if I like all of the classes or not, well, considering I have only had two of them more than once so far, but I am liking the people, and some of the things I am finding out.

I like that we get to do actual practical assignments. Today we had a group assignment to catalog a random collection of things from our prof's kitchen. I worked with four other people that I hadn't even spoken to yet, and we all brought our different ideas to the table when designing our catalog. My control freak nature came through, and I actually said "Don't you put things on the wrong side of my kitchen!" to a guy in our group who wanted to put the meat tenderizer with the appliances. But I, perhaps not to subtly, led my group to victory in having the most logical organization in our catalog. We even broke out our new vocabulary, which was awesome!

We also had a career's night today for Special Librarians, and I found out that I definitely do not want to be a corporate librarian. Ever. But the discussion was good, and the ideas that they gave us were great, so I was really glad I went.

The problem I am finding is that I spend all my time at school. First of all, I have a three hour class every single day of the week. On top of that, we are encouraged to attend two IT workshops on Tuesdays. I could also attend a different student group meeting every day of the week, and there are numerous other meetings and guest lectures throughout the week. I left my house at 11:30 this morning and got home at 7:15. Seven and a half hours in one building. I even have a locker. Tomorrow I at least get to switch it up a bit by having a class in a different building.

So, things are going well. For now, we shall see how things go next week when I have two assignments due!

Sunday, January 17, 2010


My parents used to run a B&B up until the first weekend of August this past summer , when we moved.

Occasionally, guests would leave items of clothing behind, most often socks and underwear caught in the bedclothes. These would get washed and then, because my parents didn't realize they had been there in the laundry, they were most often put into the most appropriate person's drawer. I have lost count of the number of pink lacy panties I have removed from my drawer over the years, "Not Mine!"

Some clothing items, if they fit, or were a full pair of socks, we kept.

I can dress in a shirt, jeans and socks that were all left behind at the B&B.

I thought this random allocation of lost clothing would have finished with the B&B, but when I came home this weekend, I discovered a stack of clean laundry on my bed, at the bottom of which was a pair of pyjama bottoms that were not mine.

In fact, I actually remember the old English gentleman who had worn them.

I have no idea how or where these pants surfaced from after six months, but when I later did my laundry, I discovered that I had to put them on, or walk around the house pantsless.

Mom saw me in them and said, "I don't know how we missed those when we were packing up your stuff to move."

"Because they aren't mine. They belong to some old man from the B&B."

"Oh? Really? Well, they fit you fine.

... Did he leave the top behind too?"


"Oh, too bad."

Thursday, January 14, 2010

My walk home

My walk home from school involves a cute little one-person-wide bridge over a half frozen river, and a path that takes me past another college which has a daycare.

Today as I walked past, there were four kids playing in the snow in front of the building, and six parents hanging around chatting on the sidewalk.

One little girl was sitting by herself on the snowbank, yelling at the top of her lungs.

"Ah! Oh! Stop, Barry Pepper! Stop! Ah! Oh! Ah!"

Her voice wasn't whiny, she was just yelling in short little bursts, with pretty much no inflection at all.

None of the adults were paying any attention.

Only one of the kids jumped a bit.

She turned and gave me the biggest smile when I walked past.

Her dad (I assume) was facing the other way, talking on his cell phone, "What? Oh yeah, that's her. She's playing with her friends."

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

That's soooo not the dog

Last night I was dreaming about two people sitting at opposite sides of a table writing. I was both one of the people writing and a person watching the two people. When I was watching, I was annoyed, and looking out the window, only glancing back occasionally, like I was on the lookout.

Then the other person got up and left the table abruptly, leaving his pen rocking on the table.

It kept getting louder and louder.

I got annoyed and told the other person to pick up the pen, but it just kept getting louder.

I woke up.

And realized that the mousetrap under my bathroom sink had finally caught something which was wildly fighting for its life, flopping around in the trap.

Why can't I be awoken from my dreams by a dog licking my face like on TV?

PS, got home and my landlady says "I couldn't find the mouse, our son must have gotten it already." 5 minutes later, her husband comes downstairs and says, "Our son did not get the mouse, so fingers crossed its still there!"

It was. Phew!

School Again

Well, I am here. I don't have internet at my apartment yet, so I am writing this in the hall in my school building.

Things are going pretty well so far, orientation was good, if a little boring, and the classes i have had so far have been good. I already have an assignment to complete this weekend though, but they are all pretty short assignments, so I hope they aren't too bad. I made up my big dry erase calendar last night, and was a little freaked out by the number of assignments. And that was just for the two classes I have already had.

I got quite a shock on orientation day when I found out that tuition was due that day. At UVic it hadn't been due until the end of the month, but they want it here before you even begin! I ran to the bank after orientation and found out that they had not put my student loan extension through yet. Amazing what you can get done at a bank when you start to cry. Half an hour later, I got a call from the teller to say that my loan had gone through and the money had already been sent to the University. yay!

I get to go home this weekend because I don't have a class on Friday, so that will be nice. It will also give me a chance to get Miss Baz, because there was no room in the car for her when we moved down on Thursday.

I am sure there is more, but I am tired this morning because I was awakened at 4:30am when a mouse got caught in the trap under my bathroom sink and started thrashing around. I left a note on my landlord's kitchen table asking him to remove it sometime today.

See? adventures already!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

2000-2010: The decade of the university

It just hit me today that this was the start of a new decade. Why this didn't hit me during the week when I was reading all those "decade in review" newspaper articles I have no idea. I guess I am a bit slow to catch on right now with all the stuff I have to do to get ready to move and start school again.

But what really hit me was that I have spent the entire decade in Universities. Ten whole years spent in institutes of higher learning, and I am going back for more!

So here is a short decade in review: the education edition:

I was in the high-school graduating class of 2000. We thought we were awesome because none of the other kids would ever get that privilege. Our grad dance was ok, even better because they had finally found some medication that would make me feel better after a year of some weird arthritis thing, so I was able to dance. My parents felt so bad that I had been sick all year, they let me have an after-prom party at my house with all my friends. It was fabulous!

Then I started university just up the street at University of Guelph. I got to live in residence even though my building was actually on the same street as my parents lived, a 12 minute walk away.

My first summer job at a Lodge in Muskoka. Best and worst experience ever. I worked and lived with a great group of young people, but the job sucked and the people I worked for were even worse.

I lived in an apartment downtown with one of my best friends. We quickly realized that we should never have lived together, but we still had good moments of fun.

I started studying history in my second year. All went well until I missed half of my final exam, but I explained what had happened and my T.A. stood up for me and said I was his best student, so I was able to finish writing it. My life would be completely different if i hadn't.

I had a semester in London, England. It was awesome. We had classes in Art Galleries and saw a different play and concert every week. Plus we lived with kids from all over the commonwealth, and I had my first kiss.

I got back from England and lived with my parents for the rest of my undergrad.

I also started working for the 1891 Census project as the first student employee, and worked for them until I moved to Victoria.

I finished up my undergrad with one last semester in the fall of 2004. I completely fell in love with history that told the story of ordinary people. I discovered the dataset that was the start of my Master's Thesis and decided to go to grad school.

I continued to work for the Census Project at Guelph and applied for Grad school.

In the fall, I moved to Victoria, BC, and started my Master's at the University of Victoria.

More masters, awesome friends, moved from crappy house to better house, became Vice President of the Graduate History Society.

Not so much working on the masters, having too much fun as VP and as a T.A.

I decided to get the Masters Thesis done and over with, so I moved back home to Ontario in September and worked on it in my parent's basement.
I finally defended on June 15th! huzzah! I was fabulous.
And then I decided I couldn't get a job with just a history masters, so I applied for the MLIS program at Western, and I start on Friday.
A decade of University, and I'm not even done yet.