Saturday, 28 November 2009

Pre-performance jitters, for writers.

I went to my first pitch meeting for my school's small news magazine a couple weeks ago. I've been meaning to go for ages, but never got around to it and recently I've been thinking more and more about how I ought to be building up my portfolio of clips, and practicing. So I went, pitched a couple ideas and even though neither one was accepted, they gave me another story. 800-1200 words. A great vote of confidence in me, considering I'd never written anything for them before.

So I set to work. It took over the time I should have been devoting to school work, but I get really into it. I had to stop myself from extending past the limits of this particular story. And then I put it all together and emailed it in.

"It sucks," I groaned at Adrian, one day this week, as I passed by the KSU office. Adrian, in addition to being KSU exec, kickass DJ and generally cool guy, is the copy editor of the watch.

"I read your piece. It isn't shitty," he responded today, as he passed me in line for theatre tickets.

I am relatively sure I got a goofy look on my face and said something to the effect of a breathless "Really?".

But I am freaking out. There is nothing I can do. It's done. People are going to read it, and judge me, and talk to one another about the piece. They will, I do that all the time. The Watch exec are, at this moment, in the Watch office laying out the piece, my story and the picture I took. They assure me it looks good. My name in print - I hope it look good.

Well, at least I'm getting paid for this work. Getting paid is nice. For everything else (public opinion, judgments, and discussion) wish me luck.

Friday, 27 November 2009

Found time, or, I continue to survive

In the epic battle of Canadienne versus Scientific Revolution Term Paper, I have emerged not only alive but, I would argue, victorious.

36 hours. 4,400 words. One primary source. Five secondary sources. Three cups of coffee. One cup of cocoa (with marshmallows and whipped cream). One research goddess who taught me what she knows. One fabulous boyfriend who edited 15 pages of text. And one toast multigrain bagel with tomato, cucumber, and cream cheese. Mmm, bagel.

I wrote over four thousand words in a very short amount of time. I am shocked, really. Phil was, likewise shocked. Tuesday night I was basically a mess. I had just finished my article for the school paper, I had no real topic for my paper, and I felt like I was about to lose it. I wrote that last post just before my conversation with Phil on the phone that night. I feel bad for being so lame... but I don't know what else to do. I'm this wierd, crazy person all the time, and I'm tired and angry and weepy. BLARGH.

One thing down... next week to go.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Symptoms of my overwrought state

- I just replaced my student card. Again. Twice in one semester.
- I wake up most mornings with a lump in my throat and a pain in my stomach.
- I spent my Monday morning trying to convince my stomach not to expell its contents. Semi-successfully. Also part of tonight.
- I keep losing things, flipping my shit, and then finding them right under my nose.
- My whole face is breaking out and I have a giant stress pimple on my cheek. It hurts.
- I have a hard time breathing a lot of the time.
- My whole conversations on the phone with Phil consist of him saying helpful things and me being an asshole.
- I have a hard time not bursting into tears when someone asks me how I am.
- I just spent fifteen minutes crying in the shower.

14 more days of hell.

Thursday, 19 November 2009


As some of you may have seen on Facebook, I had a pretty great nineteenth birthday. My friend Colin threw me a party in his room. I was feeling pretty anxious about the party before it happened. I tend to be insecure about events in my honour. I won't go into that - insecurity is unbecoming. But I have heard since that it went over quite well. Colin's room was all decorated and there was a champagne toast and at midnight we went over to the Wardroom for my free birthday drink. Here is my timeline:

9:00pm - Arrive Colin's room. Excited to party.
9:05pm - Don party hat.
9:30pm - Guests begin to arrive. Things are low-key until...
10:20pm - A huge group of people show up all at once. Shortly after, Colin encourages me to drink faster.
11:?? pm - Colin pulls out the champagne and plastic flutes for a toast. I said (slurred?) some things. Moments later, the glow sticks follow*.
11:50 pm - The party moves to the Wardroom.
12:00am - I receive my first Wardroom stamp and get to work.

For the next thirty minutes, I do various ridiculous things I can't remember: bugged people to buy me shots, got my free Wardroom birthday shot, spilled beer (not on myself), hugged everyone, lost my gray sweater, lost my party hat, and made out with Phil, briefly.

12:30am - We're kicked out of the Wardroom *
12:32am - Phil begins trying to take me to bed.

He is hampered by my attempts to pass out in inappropriate places, my impulse to chat with everyone, and Tasha taking photos. Yes, there is, unfortunately, photographic evidence of me in this state.

1:00am* ish - I pass out in bed. Happy Birthday me. I have been 19 for one hour.

I went out the next night to see New Providence play at a local bar and for drinks in the Wardroom, so I have taken advantage of being of age in a more coherent manner. And now I am off to the Wardroom for early happy hour to enjoy nineteen-ness some more.

* denotes things I learned the next day on Facebook.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Something I wrote in Narrative Nonfiction Class

It only makes sense if you've seen Battlestar Galactica.


There's a girl sitting across the room from me who looks exactly like Kara Thrace. The blonde hair, perfect length, little to no makeup, thin mouth, boyish style. I keep staring at her, through class, through her presentation, through the rest of class again. I try to sketch her face, but I immediately get the nose wrong. Give up on sketch, go back to staring.

I imagine she is Kara, in her dog tags and fatigues. I imagine she is here in class but flies Vipers after hours.

I imagine next that this is the ancestor of Kara Thrace and somehow her great-great-granddaughter will fight Cylons in an age of interstellar travel. I think about the implications of Battlestar Galactica as our human future. Have we already invented Cylons? Is it too late to stop it? Can we?

I imagine I tell Kara look-alike the similarity I have noted. In my mind, she laughs awkwardly and shuffles away from me toward the door. I am left all alone, in my mind, thinking of Kara Thrace.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Birthday post the second

I walked by the NSLC today and poked my friend Ange in the ribs.

"Tomorrow!" I said, and grinned.

But I also, momentarily, thought about going in and trying to buy booze. See if they carded me. If they did, well, I'd leave and go home. No harm done. But if they didn't, I'd have done something illegal. This could be exciting!

I never did anything exciting like that. I bitched and whined and I've waited patiently for my birthday to come up. I never even got a fake ID. Did I miss out?

Oh well, too late now. Here goes!

My friend is throwing me a birthday party and apparently has big plans to get me falling-down drunk. I think Phil will keep an eye out for me and make sure I'm OK - the party is, after all, only across the quad from my room. I'm getting nervous; it's been a while since I've had a big birthday party. People are coming, people are excited, and I hope it goes well. I hope everyone has fun. I hope I have fun too!

See you on the other side...

Friday, 13 November 2009

Birthday post the first

Today I got my first birthday present.

Neko was walking down the hall past me when he pulled a large, homemade baguette from his backpack. "Want some bread?" he asked.

"Sure!" I grinned. "Is it a birthday present?"

"Yes" he said, "why not."

And then I had my first present.

The exciting birthday weekend of excitement has officially begun. Tonight was not exciting at all, except that I got my very last X on my hand from the Wardroom. My old roommate Emily was on hand working the door for the auspicious moment. She grinned and I said "last one!"

My friends have been turning nineteen, that magical age, since I was in grade 11. At this point, it's just dumb. It's like "really? Am I not nineteen yet? Really? I must be by now." My mom has been saying for over a year that she wishes I had a fake ID. Alas, I do not.

So, on Sunday, I cross that threshold. But it's kind of freaking me out.

"Watch out" one friend told me, "after this you have nothing to look forward to. Until you get the senior's discount."

"No!" I said, "20 is a big deal. And 21, drinking in the States." I'm not a real grown-up yet. Impossible.

"Yeah... there's still 21."

There is plenty to "look forward to", but... am I An Adult now? I don't think I'm ready for that. I think living in a house where someone else makes the rules and cooking only seldom is about as much as I can handle.

On the positive side... I can now become a raging alcoholic. Look out Ottawa - December 17*, you won't know what hit you.

*Is when I get back into town! Woo!

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Remember Snow?

Friday morning at 4:30am, snow came to Halifax. I know because I was still awake, working on an assignment. All-nighters. Woo.

It was 4:15am, I had just finished half of my work, and I was hard into procrastination mode. Who procrastinates on an all-nighter, you wonder? Me. I do. I grabbed the box of Girl Guide Cookies my mother sent me and went downstairs to where my friend was working front desk.

I had just returned to my room when I turned to look out the window. In the orange glow of the lights that illuminate campus at night, I saw flakes filling the air. Every year, I forget how snow looks when it's actually snowing. How the air completely fills with flecks of white. How it's so magical.

It was fairly warm during the day, so most of the snow turned to slush, but some has stuck to the grass and roofs. It definitely looks wintery out there. The bite of the smell of snow is in the air.

I went out to meet my friends, last night, when I had finished class for the day. It just so happened I'd elected to wear a skirt and tights that day, and when I stepped out, I was reminded of another winter feeling I'd forgotten about. Girls, do you remember when you were little, how dressing up in tights and a dress and going out when it was dark outside was a special occasion? As I walked down the street at 6 o'clock, it was dark. I was cozied into my coats and hat and scarf, but the wind blew my skirt around my legs and I inhaled the snowy smell. And I felt... small. And alive. Like I was eight and on my way somewhere exciting. I smiled, and right then I saw a big group of my friends entering the house ahead of me. It made me feel warm and fuzzy. When it gets dark so early and the wind picks up, I crave companionship like no other time. It definitely makes me miss Phil all the more. Long distance is hard. I'm upset with it at the moment.

The theme of childhood continued last night. After one gathering, I went out to see Where the Wild Things Are with some friends I would consider Grown Ups (most of them time). We were all like eight-year-olds in that theater, laughing and gasping and sitting with our mouths hanging open. The movie was lovely. I cried when it was over. We walked back to the car and swapped favourite moments.

" Remember: 'Nobody listens to you, do they?' "

"Oh, and 'That was my favourite arm!' "

"And then, in the next scene, he just has a stick. No one says anything."

"And just they slept in a pile. A big pile."


It was wonderful. I came home and decided I needed to build a fort. I pulled aside my bed. I moved some chairs. I pulled my extra sheets out of the closet. I used binder clips. I moved things, I stacked things... I changed my plans... and then I failed. I stood in the middle of the room in my tank top and underwear (you can't build a fort in tights, especially not in an overheated room), with a pillow in my hand and looked at my mess. Then I picked up my mattress, put it back on the bed, arranged my covers, and curled up in them. I pushed the window wide open and smelled the snow and the night air and cigarettes from below and I made an empty promise to myself that I could - and would - build a fort. But not tonight.

Monday, 2 November 2009


As usual, Halloween snuck up on me and I didn't come up with a costume until the last second. My costumes never end up being all that great because I have this incredibly aversion to buying something purely for a costume. It's the cheap part of me putting its foot down. Luckily, I (and a couple friends) had the fixings for a decent gypsy costume, one of my favourites from when I was younger. It was the only costume I repeated two years in a row. I think I liked it the best because I got to wear red lipstick.

Here I am in my costume:

Before the partying portion of the night started, I went to a lecture on Dracula and the evolution of the vampire. It was given by one of my favourite King's profs, and it bolstered my mood quite well. I was feeling a little down after my dad left and wasn't feeling very Halloween-y. Curran's jokes and the scary movie clips put me right in the spooky mood.

Tonight I'm being productive. No really! I am. Journalism assignments and HOST readings have my name all over them.

ALSO: T - 13 days to my birthday. I can't wait.