Friday, 27 February 2009

Alternate career: Linguist

Did you know that there are seven THOUSAND languages in the world? But by the end of this century half of them will be extinct? Wow. I think that's pretty cool. I think if I didn't want to study Journalism or English or CSP or HOST or English or French, I'd study Linguistics. It's pretty high up on the list, because language is just so darned interesting. Language reflects the cultural experience of the people who speak it. We translate different languages back and forth, but it's never perfect (as I say snobbishly about French translations to anyone who will listen). I'm going to steal my tutor's analogy here: Languages are all like games, but they're as different from one another as Monopoly is from Connect 4.

Apparently, there's this new documentary airing tonight on PBS (not that I can find it here in Canadia) called "The Linguists", about linguists who travel the world documenting languages that are going extinct. At the beginning of this video (the first 5 min or so) they're documenting Chylym, a language spoken by only three or four people. Russian has taken over.

And here's an article about it.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Oscarblog in a jar

Every year I join a liveblog during Oscars with my friends from the Compendium of Stupidity. I just re-read the highlights Michael posted and laughed a lot. Loud and long and clear, as they would say in Mary Poppins. My sister thought I was a freak, but you be the judge. Here are my highlights of highlights. I apologize if you don't understand. Saf, if you scroll down, I mention you...

Tomorrow I'm off to Kingston for a night to see my boys. Details when I return.

On my invite to the liveblog:
Erin: Can I invite Evey?
Michael: Yes.
Nathan: as a special feature
Michael: Evey is an excellent special feature.

On the dangerous use of staircases:
Michael: I am concerned about those giant statues.
Michael: If that is a staircase they're using, people is going to die.
Erin: Part of the ploy for ratings.
Erin: Every Oscars from now on, somebody dies.
Erin: Nobody knows who it will be beforehand.
Evey: Martin Sheen suggested that, sort of.
Michael: He did!
Michael: The runners up get eaten!

On Jai Ho:
Erin: I wonder what "Jai ho" means?

Michael: "Overrated song"

Evey: lemme ask my brown friend

Marten: it might not mean anything

Nathan: It means "Down to Earth"

On half of the group being in the same room in Ohio:
Marten: we have lowry cookies, though

Nathan: I want a lowry cookie

Jonah: iwantonetoo!

Michael: Aren't you in the same room as they are?

Marten: yes

Jonah: yes

Jonah: we're just obnoxious

On silly names of Bollywood choreographers:
Erin: He's called Longinus?

Marten: like the spear?

Erin: I guess.

Erin: Unless he was saying, like, "Lon Guinness" or something.

Evey: please let the Bollywood choreographer be called Lon Guiness.

Erin: Also, it's good to know that the people of Mumbai are taller than the ten-inch statue.

On the new Sandra Bullock romcom:
Evey: Sandra Bullock deported to Canada?

Michael: Yep!

Michael: She's YOUR problem now!

On multipurpose Oscars:
Jonah: but secretly, it is a shampoo bottle! *unscrews oscar's head to reveal shampoo*

Marten: I'd want my oscar to secretly be a lightsaber

Erin: The Oscar people are currently like, "Hmmm, the people like Shampoo bottles!"

Evey: there is a purpose to this thing

Michael: It's why people keep them in the bathroom.

Michael: Erin, isn't that Emma Thompson who did that?

Erin: Did what?

Michael: Keeps her Oscar in the bathroom.

Michael: Or...Oscars?

Erin: Yes.

Erin: I think so.

Erin: And now we know why.

Erin: It is a shampoo bottle.

Michael: She has two.

Michael: One is probably full of conditioner.

On Michael's Slumdog hate:

Michael: Shut up and give the award to Slumdog, Spielberg.

Michael: I have finance homework.

Tuesday are for Tea... even in Ottawa

Well, this Tuesday I was down my usual Tuesday tea buddy, but luckily Lina wanted to have tea with me. Lina graduated from Lisgar a year before I did, and when I was in grade eleven, Lina and some other of the "cool" grade twelve types had spare period 3 when I had anthro. I quickly decided that anthro was useless and completely unimportant and designated my period 3 a spare. I spent two or three afternoons a week in Bridgehead with them, pretending to my anthro teacher that I was touring with Insight Theatre. She didn't catch on until the last three weeks of school when I stopped going to class altogether. But oh, the chai was delicious.


To celebrate Shrove Tuesday, the fam and I ate the traditional pancake dinner but added the family tradition white russians. Mmm... This was followed by some serious girl catch up time. What will I do when I don't live in the same building as Davis and Sarah next year? We'll have to have lots of tea! Delicious.

Sunday, 22 February 2009


I'm in Ottawa. This is me and my sister. We know how to have a good time.

Today I had a weird experience. It involved the above picture.

Last night I slept over at a friend's house. We've drifted a bit in the past few years, for some reason; different high schools, different friends, and she became closer with my little sister. We had a girls' sleepover night yesterday and had a grand ole' time. Emma has a new camera that is several different kinds of awesome and we took pictures. Today, in true teen style, I looked at them on Facebook and was suprised by what I saw.

Backstory: This year, I managed to do a reverse Freshman Fifteen. I don't snack between meals (except for Garlic fingers at 1 am... but that barely counts). The food in the caf doesn't exactly make me want to fill up. I sort of thought maybe I had lost weight, but I wasn't sure. I became sure when I took off my shirt (to change) one day, and Davis was there, and she said something like "wow! You're thin!". But still - I have skinny friends. I make a point not to weigh myself, so I have no idea what exactly I weigh, and what does it matter anyway? It doesn't. But I sort of wonder. All I know is I needed to buy new jeans at Christmas and my prom dress doesn't fit anymore.

Today I looked at the picture of my sister and I and turned to my mother. "Oh my gosh, look how small my arm looks!" I said to her. There was a brief pause as I realized that that's how big my arm actually looks. And we both realized just how skewed my perception of my own body is.

I feel a little like Kate Winslet; I still think I'm the fat girl. Even though... maybe I'm not.


This is going to take some getting used to.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

album cover meme

This is a fun and creative meme floating around.

1 - Go to "wikipedia." Hit “random”
or click
The first random wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.

2 - Go to "Random quotations"
or click
The last four or five words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album.

3 - Go to flickr and click on “explore the last seven days”
or click
Third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.

4 - Use photoshop or similar to put it all together.

I am going to keep "Canoe Island" in my back pocket in case I ever start a band.

Sunday, 15 February 2009

This has been the week of conversation I didn’t want to have.

I can’t decide if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. On the one hand, getting conversations I don’t want to have over with is good, and the air is cleared. I get into a rhythm. Approach, say “I was hoping we could chat”, sit down, squirm slightly, talk. Repeat. Having the method down helps. The feeling like you’ve bee kicked in the gut part doesn’t help. It doesn’t really matter what the conversation is about or how it turns out, the kicked-in-the-gut feeling is a constant.

This brings me to the down side. Many days of the kicked-in-the-gut feeling in a row are not exactly a fun time. The stress over and over. Getting more time in between to breathe would be really nice. Stop, recover, move on and eventually the next one comes up. Hopefully at the point I’d be starting a square one with full emotional energy instead of square “Fuck. Not again”.

Today has saved the weekend. I woke up in a shit mood, but ignored it and pounded out my essay. By 4:50, my essay and dress rehearsals were over. That feels good.

You know what else feels good? Valentine's Day is over.

I feel like I've just let out a breath I was holding. Around Valentine's Day I always seem to be affected by the all the pressure. I feel like screaming "NO! No Hallmark, I am not In A Relationship. I have friends and family and good times and I AM FINE. LEAVE ME ALONE."

I feel like screaming that, but at the same time I feel a little discouraged. Every Valentine's Day single makes me look around at all the couples that have suddenly pasted red neon signs to their foreheads and think "What's wrong with me?". When really, there isn't anything wrong with me (she said without really absorbing it). I am a pretty cool person, what's wrong with me? Or what's wrong with everyone else? Why am I worrying about this??

I hate Valentine's Day. I'm glad it's over and I can go back to my normal level of anxiety.

Saturday, 14 February 2009


The stairs outside the Wardroom. Fabulous first year band (New Provindence) playing. Blissfully buzzed. Sexy boots. Too much momentum. Ottawa friends have arrived. Kevin, falling backwards, with me landing on top of him.

9:30 am. I'm lying in my bed. Warm, fuzzy sheets. Crisp sunlight filtering in through the window. Face planted in the pillow. Alarm singing. Already late for rehearsal.

The Library basement. Low sun shines in my face. Books open, Word document empty. Facebook getting a workout. Essay dread in my mind.

Back in bed, on top of Kevin. Four people on one bed. Ottawa love fest. Can't stop laughing.

After dinner, in Davis's room. Venting. Yelling. Pacing. NOT crying. Angry. Not so angry. Kevin and Davis sitting in front of me. "Gold," says Kevin. More yelling. Face flushed, head spinning. So much love, exactly what I need. Can't spell improv without love.

6. 7:30 pm, in my room. So much essay to write. Long night ahead. Ignoring the music pumping next door. Who the fuck needs Valentine's Day.

Actual Snapshots:Snow falling at King's last week.

A Valentine's Day parcel!


This kinda makes me feel cool.

In other news, the production of the Vagina Monologues that I'm in goes up next week, Tues Feb 17 and Wed Feb 18. I have tickets for each night that you may purchase from me if you know me. You can also get tickets from the Dal Women's Centre or at the door. The show is in the SUB at Dal, in the McInnes room. Showtime 7pm. All are welcome!

For the record: I'm definitely not wearing and pink or red.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

I feel a little bit stuck out of place.

Let me be specific. In terms of the exterior I try to craft for the world, I would say I'm an outgoing, confident, bold person. I think a lot of people would use those words to describe me -- people who aren't my closest friends. Obviously, etre vs paraitre, the outside and inside are different. When I'm around my peers, I feel like I stick out like a sore thumb. Every now and then, I look around, and ask myself "Who are these people? How am I connected with them?". It's very strange. I guess. this sounds like I place myself above them, but it's not about that. It's just this strange... otherness. Separation. It makes me uncomfortable.

For some reason this discomfort doesn't exist when I'm in a group of people older than I am. It just isn't there. This year, one of my closest friends is Saf, a fourth-year student, and when I hang out with her, I don't feel any difference. I feel like we're equal. I feel comfortable.

Now, this could be an isolated case. But I also feel comfortable around people even older than that. It happens other places, my parents' parties and offices; I hang out with the people who work there and we joke and laugh and that's comfortable too.

Back at King's, I tend to gravitate toward the upper-years. I have wonderful friends in first year, and I like many of the first years a great deal, but I can't help but feel like I stick out with I'm with them. Stepping into a conversation with three of my upper-year friends is like coming up for air. No more panic.

Maybe it's a superiority thing, but I really don't think it is. It's not about hierarchy or power.
I think it's a lack of confidence thing. My peers and I are supposed to be on equal footing, so I stress out. I don't know where I stand. At least with the upper year students, I know that the somewhere where I stand, "below" them. I can relax. No stress, no confusion. I don't stick out, because I have a spot. The first year spot. Perfect.

That seems a bit like a cop-out too, because sometimes I feel more on equal ground with them. I find it easier to just go with the flow.

Maybe it's the rat race of first year that I just want to get out of. Maybe next year will be different. Probably it won't be -- and next year I won't have my Saf!

When people go

This week we started section 5 of FYP. Section FIVE. Out of 6! Only 6! I can't believe it. FYP has been flying past so quickly, and now, just when I feel like I'm grabbing on to programme, really sinking my teeth into things, it's almost over. It's February. FYP is over in April.

Last year I kept in loose contact with some of my friends who went away to university, and one of my friends who was here at King's in FYP would give me snapshots of his life from time to time. In the spring, I asked him how things were, what he was up to, and he bemoaned the end of FYP. "I can't figure out what to do next," he told me, "All FYP has taught me is that I want to do FYP for the rest of my life." I laughed. But now I get it.

Please? Can I do FYP for the rest of my life?

Well, apparently not. But I'm starting to get excited about next year, a little. Just a little. The second year J-school course "reporting techniques" is changing quite a bit, and then the upper year classes will change too, so I will get more electives in third year. I heard about this today when I introduced myself to the Rogers Chair of the J-school and we had a chat. I'm still a little bit in shock over the fact that I actually had the guts to go talk to him. He gave me some advice and was very friendly. Hmm, Evey. Maybe you should introduce yourself to more profs you want to talk to (Heller, Kirkaldy). They might be nice.

It's almost like I learned a life lesson today. Almost.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

3, 2, 1...

Somehow, my weekend is gone. We had a whole extra day, and yet, somehow, I have accomplished so, so little. How did this happen? Why does this always happen? Am I really to blame, or is it the gremlins that speed up time? I wonder.

I had a long list of things to get done, homework-wise, but almost none of it got done. I am having some issues with getting my interviews lined up for my journalism article (due next week -- YIKES), and that is very frustrating. I'm still drawing a blank on my next paper. And I'm not yet prepared for my presentation Tuesday. All in all, epic phail work-wise, weekend.

It wasn't a particularly exciting party weekend either. Lots of people going out downtown where I can' go with. Ho-hum. Nineteen, you are so close and yet, so far away. A fake ID would be great right about now.

Well, back to work. I'm hitting the hay early tonight. Why do weekends make me more tired than weekdays, yet I accomplish less? So many questions in this post, so few answers.

PS: Claudia Kishi was my childhood style icon. I'm glad I'm not the only one who loved her a lot.

Friday, 6 February 2009

Happy George III Day

Today we had a day off of school. Why? Well, at Dal it's called "Munro Day" because some guy named Munro gave the school a lot of money and said "Give them a day off!". (Like let them eat cake, but much better). At King's we are classier than that, so we have George III Day. As in, King. Apparently, he gave us our constitution (correct me if I'm wrong here, Phil), in addition to fighting Americans? Phil seems to like him a lot, but Liam called him crazy in a mainlining mercury kind of way. Who knows. All I know is that there was a Loyalist flag flying here a King's today. But maybe that always happens -- I don't normally look at the flag pole.

In celebration of this, Phil hosted a tea party in his room. There were many kinds of tea and cookies, and there was even cheese. Not quite as awesome as my mom's little sandwiches at our New Year's Day tea, but you know, close. My new friend Liam, I discovered, is a tea enthusiast. He has a million different kinds of tea and much tea paraphernalia and he even rigged up a little hemp sac and a binder clip and some paper clips for a homemade tea bag for looseleaf tea. Here is my reaction to that:

Me: Liam, is that a binder clip?!

Liam: Uh, yeah.

Me: Can I make out with you now, please?

I love a man who can use a binder clip. I meant to get a picture of this and the rest of the tea party, but my camera battery was dead. Ho-hum.

The rest of the day was spent just not accomplishing anything I meant to; I had a girls' night in with my friends and watched Slings and Arrows. But it's ok -- tomorrow I'll be productive. Rehearsal, reading on the bike, journalism assignment, PLUS essay. Let's see what I get done.

Maritime Noon

Right now, the Maritime Noon phone in show on CBC is asking the question "Can you be good without religion?". The discussion is crashing and burning. No one is phoning in. I phone in lots to Maritime Noon, but I am not gonna touch this one on CBC radio. An interesting question like this one belongs in a FYP classroom.

The student from the Dal Atheists' Society is doing a pretty good job. However, now we're talking about genetics and homosexuality.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Long day.

Really? It's still only Thursday?

Today, I feel like a million things have happened already. Technically, when today (February 5) started, I was still awake and hanging out in the Manning room. I had a really nice chat with Jonah, who I haven't spoken to in quite some time. We talked about boys (well... I did) and Kant. And Star Trek. Always Star Trek.

Living in res is brutal for my sleeping habits. I was up until 4 this morning, second night in a row.

I really didn't want to drag my ass out of bed.

I managed to dress myself, eat, grab a Metro (Sudoku!) and go to class. Did I get what Jacobi was on about? Not at all. It was one of those lectures where I feel like I'm trying to climb an icy hill, dragging myself up by the pads of my fingers. And the hill keeps getting steeper.

I missed lunch and went to the French Department at Dal to hear about their classes. Tutorial was like pulling teeth. I ran around campus doing errands, finally had some lunch.

Then I went to a meeting with my tutor. We're all being encouraged to meet with our tutors to get some direction on what to study Post FYP. Scary world. After some back and forth, I'd already made my choice: Stick with journalism, take classes about whatever I feel like -- I felt like this would be the way to get the degree I want and get philosophy in on the side. Seeing my tutor was more of an excuse to hang out with him and chat. He and I have the same sense of humour and same love for Neoplatonism and Star Trek. I also thought I could get advice from him about which departments and teachers were good. I didn't think I would be changing my mind about my degree.

Two hours later, a giddy me emerged from the Registrar's Office with a new plan. When I told Davis about it, she asked me if I had a fever. Maybe it's the sleep deprivation, who knows. I've decided to do a Combined Honours in Journalism and History of Science and Technology.

Ok. All of you King's types who think I've flipped, it's ok. Calm down. I'm actually incredibly excited by this. For the non-King's types, HOST is a programme that studies exactly what it sounds like. It studies how science has shaped the world. It's history, it's philosophy and it's science theory without the math. The only part of high school science I didn't like. And I get to take one of the King's Combined Honours Programmes. Science and the various theories that define how we relate to the world are fascinating, to me, anyway.

So. That's my plan. For this week anyway. But I think it's gonna stick.

Now I'm off to my hip hop class, followed by DanceFit, then, since tomorrow the university is closed (King George III Day!), we'll definitely be up late. Dance party, Middle Bay, I predict. And tomorrow I'll sleep the day away. Mmm...

PS: Maclean's 2009 survey listed King's on its own, apart from Dal and as you can see here, we kicked ass. Aw yeah. PS: Who knew St FX was so cool?

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Tuesday are for Tea

Tuesdays are generally awful. Monday nights are a lot of fun, so Tuesday mornings are fully of hangover. Tuesday afternoon I have journalism, which goes on and on, even when there's a huge winter storm and the rest of the school went home (what is wrong with this picture, J-school?). Anyway, by the end of Tuesday dinner, I am bored, tired, irritated and disappointed (by dinner food) and want nothing of the readings for the next day.

Since returning from break, Phil and I have decided to have tea every Tuesday night. Here is Phil and tea. Phil owns a pretty (and masculine) collection of tea cups. This is Phil's favourite face to make.

Having something fun to look forward to at the end of my Tuesdays make them better. For instance, today there was a winter storm warning and many university workers went home, but our class was not canceled. I would have liked a canceled class, since we had a paper due that I hadn't started. Yes, I finished it... in one hour. 60 minutes, people. This is impressive. Especially considering how hungover I was.

So after journalism ended, I was exhausted. But I managed to read me some Kant and then jet over the Middle Bay to chill with Phil. Nothing improves a night quite so much as a warm beverage and the company of a good friend.