Wednesday, 30 December 2009

New Year's Resolutions

Well, it's about that time of year. The time when I usually promise myself to get higher grades, drop ten pounds, and I dunno, learn to play the guitar, all within the next twelve months. It never happens. Mostly because I never plan anything concretely. What I need is a plan.

So this year, my resolution has to do with more exercise and more studying, but I'm going to try to get at the heart of the issue. I'm going to manage my time better. I spend a lot of time wandering around campus, chatting with random people, or wasting time hitting the refresh button on Facebook. I know, I'm disappointed in me too. That's the real danger of living on campus - I never hole up in my room and I'm always just steps from someone to chat with. But this is not good for my brain or my stress level. I always end up working all night and nearly giving myself a heart attack when deadlines start piling up.

So here's my plan: use a calendar and start planning out the hours in my day. Work during the day, and give myself actual relaxation time at night. This way, I will get more work done (that's the idea, anyhow) and I can actually chill out. Whew. Sounds excellent to me.

I've already set it up and started planning out my time. I have added in some time for the gym, and I will be pretty active in the next six weeks with the dance show rehearsals. There is also lots of reading time - for class. I will, at the end of this week, say goodbye to reading for pleasure until the summer. Ho-hum. I'm only part way through My Life in France by Julia Child, and I likely won't get to finish it for months. Most of my Christmas books will also need to be set aside. It's just too dangerous; I start reading for fun and then I forget about my schoolwork. Bad news.

Good luck with your New Year's resolutions, and have a Happy New Year's Eve! I'm laying low, but I will enjoy re-New Year's when I return to Halifax.

Saturday, 26 December 2009

Merry Christmas!

I have been on a bit of a hiatus from everything, and it was exactly what I needed. I have been doing absolutely nothing in the best possible way.

What I have been doing is seeing my friends a lot. I have so many people I love and love to see, I wish I had way longer. Two weeks is a short time to do all of that. I have been having a lovely time vegging at home with my family, lying on the couch and reading and pretending like I still live here (no one tell my mom I don't).

Yesterday we drove out to Manotick for the traditional turkey dinner. My little sister's godfather lives out there and we always spend holidays with his family. All the usual fixings were there - the garlic mashed potatoes (much superior to the non-garlic variety), green beans, brussels sprouts, the famous gravy, and the juiciest, most delicious turkey I have ever had. Seriously. They basically rolled me out of there.

After dinner, my dad broke out his Christmas present, a new traveling banjo, and played a few licks for us. All the usual favourites that I remember my dad playing, even though he doesn't really play very often. He was in a couple bands in his day, in Toronto, and he's pretty great. He's starting to teach lessons at the Ottawa Folklore Centre at the end of January, so if you want to learn from clawhammer banjo (believe me, you do) sign up!

I hope you're all having Merry Christmases, or whatever holiday you celebrate!

PS: I don't know if any of you caught "A King's Christmas" on CBC either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day at 9pm, but it was stellar! Congratulations King's choir, it was excellent.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Oh, bullet points! Shiny!

So, I've been in New Brunswick for the past few days and it's been swell. Here are some catch-up bullet points.

  • I have been sleeping until noon pretty much every day while I've been here. My sleep deprived body is loving it. I'm also loving substituting my obnoxious phone alarm for a wake-up kiss.
  • The first afternoon I was here (Wednesday), I went sledding with Phil. His house is on a hill which is excellent for sledding on. Unfortunately, somewhere between the last time I went sledding (I think I was thirteen?) and now, I lost the skill. I am really, really bad at sledding. I need to work on this. Side note: In New Brunswick, "sledding" is "sliding". Is this a NB/ON thing? What do you call it?
  • For supper on Wednesday night, we ate a venison roast. Not only did we eat venison, but we ate venison Phil's dad shot. It was actually pretty good.
  • I did loads of dishes while here in order to impress Phil's mom. Most recently, I did a whole pile of dishes while they were out this morning and she came home and said "Oh dear, well, you shouldn't have bothered". Phil's sister gave me a thumbs up and mouthed "well done".
  • I thought this would be my first church-free visit, since I'm leaving early Sunday morning. Instead, I went to the church Christmas concert tonight, which included Phil as Joseph in the nativity pageant. If you make a "Oh, I guess you're Mary, then" joke, I'll kick you. And yes, I managed photographic evidence. Haha.
  • Baptists add a half note in "O Come O Come Emmanuel" in the chorus on "-el" before "shall". I think it's awkward and strange. When I sang it the way I'm used to, Phil pointed it out in front of the whole family. Thanks.
  • I have actually been doing (some) homework while I've been here. I still have one 800 word sketch, one book report, one final reflection essay, and one exam left. Then I'm Ottawa-bound on Thursday.
The funniest moment of my trip had to be yesterday during desert after supper. I was eating a chocolate chip cookie and as I went to put the last bite in my mouth, I somehow dropped it. It landed in my cleavage. Awkwardly, I looked up to see if anyone had seen it... and made eye contact with Phil's dad who then blushed and started laughing. For some reason, right after, I thought "HellaStella would like this story". Probably because it involves cleavage.

Tomorrow I'm back to Halifax to finish up the term. Six hours on a bus... here I come.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

A disorganised morning and a daily dose of insecurity

Well, I set my alarm incorrectly and missed my early bus this morning. I will be taking the bus this afternoon instead. Not a disaster, just kind of annoying. Then I spilled maple syrup all over my sweatpants. Then I realized I'd misplaced my hair clip and I couldn't find it anywhere. I have a strange fixation with this hair clip. It's the best one I've ever had; it's not too big, just the right size. Unfortunately it's from H&M and I broke one earlier this semester, so I'm down to one and for some reason, I have a hard time having my hair down. The situation has gotten worse as my hair has gotten longer and the air has gotten drier, causing more static electricity. I can handle it most of the time, but when I'm under other stress, as with papers and traveling, I go a little nuts. I just needs my hair clip.

I have spent my morning searching, bugging Colin twice to see if it was in his room, and getting more and more agitated. I just found it in my coat pocket. Immediately, I clipped up my hair and felt relief. Ahhh.

In other news, all this stress this semester has led to quite a bit of stress weight gain. I think. I'm kind of bad at judging my own weight gain, but I'm pretty sure it's gone up. Last year I lost 10 pounds when I went away; I've gone the other way this year. I have noticed a difference, and I'm feeling self-conscious for a whole new reason: going home. My mom hasn't seen me all semester (longest we're ever been apart, which makes us sad), and so she will notice the difference. Meanwhile, my little sister just turned sixteen and is more gorgeous than ever. I've never felt stressed about going home and seeing family friends or even my own family before, but I'm just feeling gross and ashamed.

I guess it's time to start getting ready for New Year's Resolutions.

Monday, 7 December 2009

New Brunswick bound

After a few days of crazy work, I handed in my last big assignment. My one and only exam (I love my major) is on the 15th, so I'm running off to New Brunswick for a few days to visit Phil. It's snowy there - no slush. We're going sledding. Which he calls sliding. Sledding, the new Brunswick way.

I am looking forward to the holidays now. Especially the reading over the break. I have a stack of books all ready. I hope all of you have fun things planned for the holidays!

Thursday, 3 December 2009

I have been blogging, but over there.

He's back!

Jack came home last night - just in time for my sister's birthday today. He's a little freaked out but physically OK and, it seems, pretty glad to be home. We're happy to have him back, safe and sound.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009


Meet Jack. Jack is my cat back home in Ottawa. He wandered away from our home probably sometime Sunday night during a dinner party. This isn't like him at all, he's a big baby who sticks close to my dad. He is very friendly, very affectionate, and fond of tapping his humans awake in the morning with his paw.

We live in Old Ottawa South. We've contacted the Human Society and went by to see if he was there. He was not. If anyone lives around there, please keep an eye out for him. He is an indoor cat and has no collar. We're hoping someone took him in and will see our signs and bring him back, but we're all very worried.

Send me an email if you know anything at all: inajarblog at gmail dot com.