Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Voice

This weekend I had to interview my father for a school project. My handwriting is pretty bad, and slow, and my memory equally so, so I decided I needed to record the interview and then transcribe it. That meant interviewing my dad in front of the computer, the only voice recording device in the house.

Everything was fine ... until I heard the playback.

I sound like a small child.

This won't be a surprise to anyone who knows me. You have heard my voice anytime you talk to me.

I only hear my own voice maybe once every couple of years, and it always shocks me. Horrifies me.

Because inside my head? I have a rather deep voice, and a deep belly laugh.

Outside my head, I have a high child's voice and a tinkling giggle.

(ok, so I did only giggle on the recording, none of my trademark big laughs, but still, it is an indication)

This sounding like a child often makes people not take me seriously. Maybe it meant that I didn't get those jobs I interviewed for, who knows. I know my voice get's higher and more giggly when I am nervous.

Maybe this is what my brother is trying to get at when he yells at me on facebook to take care of the dead mice on my own and not let my landlord do it for me. Maybe a "take charge" attitude will make people more quickly see my capabilities, and ignore the fact that I sound like a little kid and still get mistaken for an undergrad.

I too often take the "shy violet" approach. I didn't speak until I was about three years old, when suddenly I went to a family reunion without my mother and brother, the people who spoke for me. Armed with the instructions "don't let daddy fall asleep", when we got back home, my dad said dazedly to my mom "She never shut up. For three days, she never shut up". And I haven't yet, (or so the legend goes, really, I kept my mouth shut all day at school, so the floodgates burst by the time I got home).

The shock of hearing my own voice makes me cringe at what other people hear. But, I have been complimented on my laugh enough in the last few months that I know it is not a bad voice, it is just not what I think it is. This experience should remind me of what other people hear, and why they are so quick to treat me like a child, and that if I want to be taken seriously, I should act seriously.

And maybe wear my hair less in pony tails.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Three Cheers for Canadian Women!

Wow! The Canadian female athletes are definitely owning the podium!

I got home from class tonight to see the medals being given to the women's hockey teams, and then watched the figure skating. Obviously no surprise in the Canadian women winning gold! The girl who won gold in figure skating certainly deserved it, and Joannie definitely earned her place on that podium. Those were some beautiful performances.

In my travels, I was surprised to discover that Canadian women are some of the strongest and self-possessed women in the world, because our culture allows us to be, and encourages us to be. It might not always feel like we have equality with men in all things, but we come the closest to having equality that I have seen, at least in what we are seen to be able to do and accomplish, and the pride we are allowed to take in that.*

It is nice to be able to show that to the world on our home ice and snow!

*I think the same is probably true of most of the US as well. North-America really kicks ass in this department.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


This evening I went out for dinner and drinks with some of the girls from my program to celebrate some birthdays. It was a lot of fun.

One of the girls brought her boyfriend, but they only stayed for the dinner part. I am sure the poor guy felt very uncomfortable with all us girls, but he valiantly tried to participate in the conversation.

As soon as they left, it was amazing how quickly the conversation turned to girl stuff. Horror stories of the university dorm, how not to flash people in the locker room, boobs, birth control, periods, underwear, and more boobs. Fabulous!

It was a little weird being the oldest person at the table. The birthday girls were turning 23 and 25, and the other two were 22 and 27. I am more used to being the youngest in a group. Age didn't really seem to matter though, because no one was trying to tell anyone how to do something better, or taking a position of authority. The only thing that made me feel old was that I really don't care about flashing people in the locker room anymore.

It was really nice to just talk. I haven't done that with a group of girls in a long time.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Cookies make the world go round *Edited, can you guess where?*

The other day, my mom and cousin and I went over to our friend's house to have tea with her and her daughter.

Our friend, J, is 102 1/2 years old. One of her grand-daughter's has just had J's second great-grandson.

J grew up in the same small hometown as my grandmother in Northern Ontario. J was my Aunty E's best friend, and J's younger sister was my grandmother's best friend. J and Aunty E went to teacher's college together.

When I was growing up, J always timed her visits up to my Aunty E's house on the lake in Muskoka for when we were staying at the cottage across the bay, so we saw her every summer.

Although she can't see or hear very well anymore, she still remembered what program I am currently in (something most of my family don't remember), and when my brother would be graduating from university, and the things that we are interested in.

When we sat down to tea, J asked for some of the oatmeal cookies that her daughter had made to be put on a plate for her. She started talking about how good the cookies were, and how she had eaten these cookies since she was a little girl.

Mom and I took one look at them and knew that they were the same cookies that we have always made as well. We call them Grandpa Lakes' cookies, (my great-grandfather) because they were his favorite cookies. Mom had just made a batch the morning before. Mom and J's daughter compared recipes, and found that it was exactly the same.

Obviously there was a bit of recipe exchanging going on in that small northern town, funny how the one that we still use today is for the world's simplest and tastiest oatmeal cookies. What a good way to connect two families.

The recipe is likely Depression era, since it requires no eggs, and the recipe makes a lot of cookies. It also may just be Scottish, or even from BC, since that is where J was born, and it looks like the recipe came from her family.

So now, I am going to pass the recipe on to you.

Oatmeal Cookies:

- cream together
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
-in a separate bowl, combine
2 cups flour
2 cups oats

-put 1/4 tsp baking soda in a 1/4 cup measure.

-=Magic Time!= pour boiling water over the baking soda in the measuring cup, and immediately pour the mixture over the creamed butter and sugar.

-immediately stir in the dry ingredients.
-roll dough into 1 inch balls, place on cookie sheet and flatten as much as you can with a fork (wet the fork before each cookie to prevent sticking)
-Bake at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes, or until bottoms are golden brown.
-let cool on a wire cooling rack

Monday, February 8, 2010

iTunes, you are not helping

I am having a bit of a pity party today. I am mad at this program because an 83% is their equivalent of a 95%, so the majority of marks people get are in the 70s, which just makes you feel like the biggest failure. It doesn't help that we have three things due each week and I have only received 3 marks back so far, for projects that I seriously can't remember writing, even though I only handed them in a week ago. The whole thing is just go go go and I didn't even have time to stop and realize that the stress could have been relieved a bit by dropping down to only 4 courses, so I missed the drop date. argh! I just feel like I am barely keeping afloat on the edge of a big tidal wave.

and so, I am procrastinating instead of writing another paper for a jerk of a prof who writes nasty comments masquerading as constructive criticism. This generally involves surfing the net while listening to music, but my iTunes is not co-operating.

oh, its spewing music out alright, but it seems to be stuck on music that reminds me of guys i used to date. it has seriously only played music from the same 4 albums for the past hour.

thanks iTunes, I guess it wasn't enough to feel like an academic failure today, I also need to relive all my relationship failures, the biggest one being the total lack of a relationship, or even the prospect of one!

ps. also realized that I seem to date musicians, but luckily I don't actually have any of their music on my iTunes, that would be a bit much, they just liked to recommend stuff. and we hung out listening to music.

pps. in hindsight, going to see a very awesome romantic movie with the world's best soundtrack at the end of an awesome day-long date was perhaps not the best idea if i had wanted to avoid feeling a pang every time i heard the music. like when it won an oscar.

ppps. there seems to be a mouse in my ceiling. my ceiling made of ill-fitting acoustic tiles. also, there is evidence that something nibbled the top of my cereal box. ewwwww.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

New Header!

Ok, so I was bored today and made a new header.
you may not have noticed because it too is orange.

I am loving orange right now, but it is one of the only colours I can't really wear, so I put it everywhere else!

Also, I needed to procrastinate and not think about the paper I have due tomorrow. I have written it, and edited it, but I am worried it isn't quite right. it took me less than an hour and a half to write it. it is only 300 words, but still. an hour and a half seems like too little time. I am soooo second guessing myself on these things. as long as I get over 70 on each project I am fine, so I guess I shouldn't worry. argh! I keep thinking I am missing something. like maybe some brain cells.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I am soooo cool

This morning it was very cold outside.

So cold, that the lip balm that I had applied right before I left the house froze on my lips.

I did not discover this until I went to open the glass doors into my building and saw my reflection.

My lips were a shocking opaque white.

I rubbed most of it off (I had been quite liberal in my application) and luckily by the time I made it up two flights of stairs, the rest had melted, and I was a normal colour again.

Now, there have been colder mornings than this in the past month, so I wonder how many times this has happened. I am a little scared now.

No wonder the guy I met on the footbridge jumped a bit this morning!

Becoming a mean mom

So, yesterday the rabbit escaped the bathroom while I was brushing my teeth and made a mad dash for my bed. This was the brushing of teeth that happens five seconds before I need to be out the door. She hid right in the middle of the foot of the bed. This bed is a whole unit, and I think it would take five or six burly guys to even make it budge, so I was forced to leave her there until I got home.

When I got home, my landlady wanted to meet the bunny, so she came down with me, and we sort of got a cute little silhouette of rabbit under the bed, but she refused to come out. I assured my landlady that miss baz was litter trained and she wouldn't have done anything under the bed.

Once she went back upstairs, I made some discoveries that suggested miss baz had not in fact left her post under the bed all day. likely, once i was gone, she heard all the noises upstairs and was too terrified to move.

I decided this was not a good state of affairs, who knew how many other times she would try the same trick? so I took matters into my own hands and found a solution:

that is right, I have boxed in my bed. this is the stuff that I usually make baz a cage with, but she is living free in the bathroom at the moment. I had to tie it on with yarn. I have now ruined all that was fun about our apartment. I am such a mean mom. I also caught her and cut her toenails!

as soon as I finished getting it all tied on, I settled in on my bed with a stack of articles to read. In my shifting around to get comfy, one of the articles slipped down between the mattress and the headboard, under the bed. the bed that I had just blocked all access to. It was an article I need to write a paper on. I ended up having to lift up the mattress in order to reach it. =sigh=

Monday, February 1, 2010

One of those days

Ever had one of those days when everything was going fine, until you check you email and wish you never had?

When you discover that the first paper you ever wrote for this degree has been returned to you.

When you start to question just how he is going to mark the rest of your papers if this first one was supposed to have been marked "leniently".

When you wonder if the three other papers you have since handed in in other classes are up to snuff either, and maybe you will fail this whole degree because you misunderstood what was required of you in general

When you have another paper due in an hour and have no time or inclination to rewrite it and it was fine last night but doesn't seem so good now in light of this other fiasco, and two more due on friday.