Thursday, March 31, 2011

One Girl, Two Posts

Two posts in one day for me is a bit unusual but I feel the need to express to the world what a moron I am. I got on the 1:03pm bus to get to school by 1:17pm so that I could watch the Honours Presentations being held there. The bus was running late because there was a transfer that had to be done so I didn't get on campus until about 1:22pm. I rushed off the bus to get to Dalton to find out what room the presentations were being held in, only to learn once I got there that they started at 1:00pm and not 1:30pm. Instantly I was bummed out! How I managed to mess that up is beyond me. I didn't want to be that awkward noisy person who comes into the room while they're talking, especially since they would have been nervous and another distraction was probably not what they wanted.

The next bus wasn't for another 30 minutes and it takes 35 minutes to walk home so logic told me to do the walk. Plus the 6 degree weather didn't make it a hard decision to make.

Anyway, I wanted to tell Andrea and Christina that I am sorry for missing their presentations and for being such a jerk. I was really looking forward to going and supporting them for working so hard and being so awesome. I'm sure they rocked it. Congratulations on being done!

Pocket-Free Days Are Here Again!

Today is a good day and the main reason for this is the sunshine! The weather has been decent lately but it's been really windy which takes away from the sun; however but today it is warm, sunny and not windy. I had to do a few errands around town this morning and I took the long way for every single one of them. Going three blocks out of my way was just not an issue. It felt so good to walk around randomly, greeting strangers and petting dogs who seemed as equally happy as I was to be out of the house and strolling around in the Spring weather. I think what made the weather today the best day thus far this year is that I was able to walk around wearing only a t-shirt under my light coat and did not have to keep my hands shoved into my pockets to keep them warm. It all comes down to whether or not the hands can be free from the coat to determine the overall loveliness of the day.

In about an hour I'm going to head to campus to listen to some classmates present their honours thesis and defense. I know they'll do great because they're both super smart girls and I have no doubt that they will know their stuff inside and out. I'm interested to hear what they've been working on for the past 6 months and it may give me some insight of what I have to look forward to if I apply for a Master's degree next year.

Chris is playing at The Alibi tonight which will be an excellent way to avoid school work for the evening. He has a bunch of shows planned for the next few weeks and this may be the only night I will be able to go see him perform because of final exams coming up. Plus my 8:30am class tomorrow got cancelled so I have no reason to have to get up really early. Horray for sleeping past 7am! Ten bucks says I'll be awake at that time anyway. Damn internal clock messing with my laziness.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Car Accidents and Catnapping

Today is my last Monday of my university life. It's a strange concept to wrap my brain around. The last time I will have to go to a class at UPEI on a Monday morning. It will be even stranger on Friday when I have my last class ever! EVER! The fact that I got up for my 8:30am class in which we did absolutely nothing other than try to figure out answers to a question which is actually quite easy but we're all so concerned with missing the "big picture" and looking dumb in front of the professor that we over-think the whole thing and end up not actually doing the question at all, was a big waste of time and gave me comfort knowing that it was the last Monday I will ever have to do that. Yippeee!

I went to the gym after class and I think I yawned more times than I did reps. Yeah, it was one of those gym days. Normally I like to work out by myself but today it would have been great to have someone there to motivate me to kick it up and not slack off. I would love to have the money to have a personal trainer to scream in my ear and bring me to the brink of tears to get me to squeeze out those extra 10 sit-ups. Maybe someday I'll be so lucky.

On my way home from school I was driving down the highway, in my own little world (actually I was singing "Roxanne" very loudly with the radio) when the car directly in front of me got smashed into by another car on the passenger side front door. At first I just thought, "Holy Crap! That sucks!" and I sat there waiting for them to move off of the road. Then as I drove away I started thinking about how if I had driven a tiny bit faster, just 5 seconds faster, that blue Chevy would have smashed into me and not the poor Honda ahead of me. That kind of stuff is crazy to think about. When I was looking for my keys earlier, if I had not fumbled with them when I took them out of my backpack, I would have been on the road just a tiny bit sooner that I was. It's the little things that change the outcome of our day and sometimes it's having to witness another car get t-boned to remind you just how little control we have over everything.

On another note, I honestly contemplated cat-napping a random cat today. I am not a cat person. They are nice to keep your lap warm from time to time and they keep the house pest-free which is awesome, but basically I have no desire to get a cat. But today I was driving home and saw this orange tabby that looked identical to my old cat Cheesie who died when I was in high school. Now I have never seen a cat that looks this similar to him ever in my life and I did a double take when I saw it. After I parked the car and started walking to the apartment, I saw the cat again sitting on the side of the road, just watching me. I stopped and looked at it for a minute and it showed no fear or anything towards me. It was actually rather indifferent to me which was also another trait of Cheesie that made him special. He was laid back, avoided most people and only came around when it suited him - like to eat or get a little affection. But he loved me and let me do anything I wanted to him which will forever give him a special place in my heart. So I looked at this Cheesie look-a-like and thought about how easy it would have been to just pick him up and walk him home.

But then I thought about litter boxes and my rational thought process kicked back in. Gross.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Getting Old = Noooooo!

You know what sucks? Getting old. Yes, I am aware that I am not "old" but I am getting "older" and getting older sucks.

It's the little things that remind me that I am getting older every year, like heartburn. I never got heartburn until about a year ago and it's the foods that I used to be proud of being able to eat are what are killing me! Yesterday I made Tabouleh which is a food I love love love because it is chock-full of garlic and green onions which are high on my favourite foods list. Mmmmm. But yesterday after I ate it I had such heartburn that it made me feel wimpy and weak. Me? Heartburn? No...couldn't be. I used to be able to eat a handful of jalapeno peppers on my salads when I got them from Subway (no joke) and amaze my fellow feeders by not keeling over in a heat overload. Now a little bowl of garlicky salad leaves me reaching for the Tums.

I fear what food will dominate me next. Please let it not be peanut butter.

I've been asking people lately if they'd still love me if I got Botox. They laughed at me like I'm a moron for even asking. I'm not sure if they meant that I was a moron for questioning their love or if that I was a moron for thinking I need Botox. I think they weren't taking me seriously enough. That's another thing that sucks about getting old. People tend to not take you as seriously as they once did. Maybe they will when I lose all facial expressions for a couple months.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Short Stories

Today's blog post is a combination of little stories of events that have happened the past week. Here we go!

Even though I may not be living in BC at the moment, there are some exciting events happening over in my home-province that I would like to announce. The first one is that my sister Pam finally sold her house! She put it up for sale last summer when Chris and I were there and she has had not much luck at all with buyers. A few nibbles but nothing substantial. Then out of the blue, she gets an offer and BAM! SOLD! (well, almost...just a few little kinks to work out like an inspection and banking business). I remember when she bought that house. It is an old house that needed a lot of work done to make it habitable. They put tons of work into it and made it the adorable little house it is today. I remember the first time I walked into it, I had this strange familiar feeling come over me and I instantly liked it. I am sad that she sold it but happy that she is happy. One less thing for her to worry about and one less mortgage to deal with.

Home story #2 is somewhat related to the first one. My heterolifeparnter and her husband bought a house in the neighbourhood that I am from which means that they will be living down the street from my mom and dad! This means that when I come to visit then they will be just a hop, skip and jump away! This means we can sit out on her deck and drink beers and I don't have to worry about driving home afterward :)

Home story #3 is a bit pat on the back to my niece Cadance who is FINALLY potty trained. It's been a long time coming, but I knew it would happen eventually. Now my mom will get to take some pictures of her sitting on the toilet (like she did with all of us) and embarrass her with them when she's a teenager (like she did with us). I can just see Cadance when she's 15, "Oh Nana! Put those away!" Potty-training=Big Effing Deal!

Wednesday night I finally got to eat at The Pilothouse with Jess and some of her friends. I've been wanting to eat there since I came to Charlottetown but it never happened. Whenever I would go it would always be booked up for the night so it's become this running joke of how we need to make reservations to get in three years from now next Thursday. Anyway, we took a chance and even though we did have to wait a little while, we got in. And it was very yummy.

Yesterday I got my hair cut and coloured at a new place by a new girl and it looks quite lovely. I went a different shade of red this time which is more plummy coloured and it's kind of rad looking. So today I was at the gym and as it happens sometimes, I began to sweat. Unfortunately I had not washed my hair since it was done yesterday afternoon so the sweat coming from my temples began to run red down the side of my face in long streaks. It took me a few seconds to figure out what was going on and the girl at the front desk laughed as I bolted for the bathroom to wash my face and neck off. The worst part of this all is that now people know I'm not a natural red-head. Damn.

Oh what a life I lead sometimes.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Second Time and Second Thoughts

I have no excuse from my one week hiatus from this blog other than just not feeling like myself lately. Plus I've had a really sore back so sitting in front of a computer long enough to write a post hasn't been high on the priority list.

Why haven't I been feeling like myself? Well, another big fat letter rejecting me from an internship program is good for deflating one's ego and sense of self-worth. I feel pretty selfish feeling so sorry for myself the past week when there's so many horrible events happening to people all over the world right now. It's just hard to find meaning in spending 4 years in university and going into great debt only to come out with...what? A piece of paper saying I survived 40 classes? The thought of waiting another year to try again to apply for an internship is just painful. Physically painful. I think the thing about this whole ordeal is that I am losing sight on what's important and I'm second guessing everything that I thought I wanted and wanted to become. It's hard to believe that I'm good enough to succeed in this field when the Nutrition community rejects what I have to offer it. Frustration is at an all-time high. Like I said, it's hard on the ego and the confidence. But I feel better today than I have all week so hopefully things are looking up!

Moving on from the sadness and humiliation which has become my life the past year, it's time to talk about happy things. I finally got a picture of my new tattoo to show the world and have posted it here for the world to see. I'm not a huge fan of the angle that the picture was taken because my arms were folded which made my shoulder stick out excessively so the body looks huge and the tail looks tiny which is not how it actually looks. But you get the idea. It's big and colourful and it makes me happy.

Only two more weeks of classes left. I am....almost without words about this. Four years of the same life is coming to an end and it's incredible to think that the 4 years has actually ended. I think about when I began this degree and thought about how 2011 will never come and how I'll be so old when I finish. And now it's 2011 and yes, I'm old. It went by quickly, that's for sure. I can't imagine how I'm going to be able to concentrate on assignments and exams the next couple weeks when all I can think about is how excited I am for my family to come to the island. I sit for very long periods of time and just think about how I am going to narrow down which restaurants to take them to. For some reason that just seems more important than homework at the moment.

Monday, March 14, 2011

5 Day Recap

The island has gone back into hibernation today and I blame it on the time change yesterday and the fact that the weather dropped in temperature again. We were having lovely days with temperatures in the 5-9 degree range and people were very excited about the fast pace of the melting snow and the thought of Spring finally being on it's way. Then last night I found that I had to put a sweater on while in the apartment (which never happens) and I thought to myself, "Uh oh! What's going on?" So it's cold again. I'm not pleased but I am optimistic that it can't be winter forever because I saw a crocus coming up in the flowerbed in front of the apartment building! I am hanging on to this small bit of hope to get me through the day.

It's been a busy few days so I'd better get talking before I forget everything.

Wednesday I got my tattoo finished so it's all coloured and gorgeous. I've been talking my shirt off for everyone to show them and I'm just too excited about it to be shy. It was by far my most painful tattoo experience this time around and I'm thinking it's because I had gotten the outline only 2 weeks prior so the skin was still really sensitive. It wasn't fun to go through but the outcome was worth it. When it's done peeling I'll take some pictures and post them for the world to see :)

Thursday I worked. Nothing exciting.

Friday was busy. Chris played an acoustic show at Holland College to raise money for communication devices for children with disabilities. It was a free show for the public but there was a bake sale to raise the money so we got to eat yummy cupcakes, cookies and all the good stuff they teach us to avoid. Everything in moderation right? Chris was really nervous which made me really nervous because normally he doesn't have stage fright and I was worried he'd screw up. But he was awesome and the people seemed to enjoy him a lot. I tried to record him playing on my phone but I suck at technology and should have practiced beforehand, which means that it didn't work so I have nothing to show for my efforts.

After the show I hitched a ride to UPEI campus to participate in the Relay for Life for a couple hours. The university does the event every year from 6pm-6am in the gym and how it works is the different faculties have teams and at least one person from each team must be walking around the track at some point during the night. People bring tents, food, games and keep the night as fun and entertaining as possible. Even though I was not technically part of the FANS team, I wanted to go and participate with them a little and let them know that I think what they were doing was awesome. I had to work at 7:30am the next morning so I couldn't stay the whole night, but I walked and played for 2 hours which was fun. By the time I got there at 8 o'clock the Nutrition team had already won Most Spirited Team so I was very proud of them. Good job ladies!

After the Relay I hopped on the bus and headed back downtown to go out with Chris and his friends. It was a late night.

Tip of the Day: If you haven't tried the new Alexander Keith's Tartan Ale, I highly recommend it. Beware though, it's stronger than the original (6.1%).

The weekend was a write-off. I worked 8 hour days on both Saturday and Sunday and had to write a research paper over the weekend as well, but I did get to have dinner with Chris's parents on Saturday night which is always enjoyable.

Now it's Monday morning again. Lookout I come.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Countdown to the End

Finally this island is beginning to warm up a bit. I was afraid that graduation would consist of us all wearing snow-pants and Sorels under our gowns. Hopefully the snow melts by the time my parents get here, or else that would be a tragic way to introduce the island to them. It's amazing how fast the snow is melting though. Two days of temperatures above 0 and there's giant masses of ice falling off of the roofs of buildings around downtown.

Tip of the Day: Walk on the outer edge of the sidewalks to avoid icicle impalement.

So there's about 3 weeks left of classes and it's quite hilarious to see everyone in my class begin to panic. And for once it's not the fact that assignments and exam dates are coming up fast - it's the idea that we will be done school and actually have to figure out what to do with our lives. I'll admit that I am concerned as well. I mean, we've all been students for so long that we forget how to function in the real world. Our big responsibilities are to go to class, make decent grades, work a part-time job to pay some bills (some of us anyway), and try to get some sleep at some points during the week. We've gotten so good at sticking to strict schedules and living off of coffee and mac n'cheese that it's hard to believe that there is a life for us out there that consists of a 9-5 job and not having to scramble to get presentations and research papers finished before midnight.

The more I type about this, the more real it becomes and slightly more frightening it is. If I get an internship then that would be great and I'll be stuck in student mode for another year, but that's only a 10 month thing and will end eventually. I'll admit that while it's interesting not knowing where my life will lead me and that I'm just living from day-to-day, I am exhausted of being a student and I am looking forward to having a job. I just want to find a job, get a permanent place to live, a car and a couple dogs....and I'll be happy.

When I was looking for pictures of happy dogs I came across this picture and these guys just looked so content that it seemed like a perfect picture. Contentedness is a great goal to achieve.

Monday, March 7, 2011


The other night, when I should have been doing homework, I decided to watch a movie. It was called Freakonomics, The Hidden Side of Everything, and it's based on a book which got wildly popular a couple years ago. The book was written by an economist and a journalist who combined pop culture and economics (the social science concerned with the production and distribution of goods and services) to come up with some mind-boggling ideas about certain issues or topics that most of us would never really think too much about. The book had more chapter than the movie, but here are the chapters in the book:

Chapter 1: What Do Schoolteachers and Sumo Wrestlers Have in Common?
Chapter 2: How is the Ku Klux Klan like a Group of Real-Estate Agents?
Chapter 3: Why Do Drug Dealers Still Live with Their Moms?
Chapter 4: Where Have All the Criminals Gone?
Chapter 5: What Makes a Perfect Parent?
Chapter 6: Would a Roshanda by Any Other Name Smell as Sweet?

Chapters 1,4,5 and 6 were in the movie, as well as another chapter about if children can be bribed to get better grades if you pay them. I really want to read the book now that I have seen this movie.

It's really hard to talk about this movie without giving away the information that they came up with, but hugely interesting part for me was when they talked about how the name you give your baby can influence the rest of their lives. They also talked about cultural differences between names, such as Tyrone vs. Scott - one would be associated as being a "black name" while the other is painfully a "white name". One experiment they did to study cultural segregation was they sent out a certain amount of resumes to employers all over the country. It was the same resume that went to every company, except 50% of them that went out had a black name on the top and other had a white name at the top. They found that the resume with a white name was 33% more likely to get a callback for a job, even though both people had the exact same credentials. To look at this in a "big picture" scenario, if a dude with a white name gets hired for a job in 10 weeks, that black named guy with the same education and background will have to wait an extra 3-4 weeks to get a job. Hearing these stats just blew me away.

But the best chapter, by far, was the "Where have all the criminals gone?" They looked into why the exponentially growing crime rate in the USA came to sudden halt in the early 90's and came up with such a simple and yet profound explanation for it. I can't explain it without telling you the whole thing, so you'll just have to watch it yourself.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Just Like A Disneyland Ride

Well, it's a small world after all. I love it when the world reminds you of just how small this giant planet is.

The day of my interview in Halifax, I met a girl who is originally from Calgary but is going to school in the States (one of the Carolinas I think...?) and who's parents moved to Peachland, BC, where they retired a few years back because they wanted to live in a warmer area of Canada. Peachland is a good 4 hour drive from where I am from, so I originally thought that it was cool that she visited the lovely Okanagan every summer to go visit her family.

Then I told her I was from Trail and it was like I had just announced that I had recently visited the moon and did the macarena with little green aliens.

"Trail?!?!? My dad would freak out if he knew that I was on the other side of the country talking to a girl from Trail. He loves Trail! When we were younger, we have to drive through there every single time we go through BC just to get Colander spaghetti and meatballs. I can't believe you're from Trail! I remember being a kid and going there for dinner and being amazed at how huge the meatballs were." She was very upset when I told her that they discontinued the spumoni ice cream a few years back. Mmmmmm....spumoni ice cream.

Then I told her that I actually worked for the Colander for a summer and she nearly pooped her pants and asked for any recipes that I may have learned during my time there. Unfortunately they keep all recipes under strict lock and key so I was unable to divulge any secrets. All I know is that if you add about 3 pounds of chicken fat and white wine into your pasta sauce then you're on the fast track to figuring it all out.

Anyway, I thought I would just share that silly story because it was great that I was able to talk to someone in Halifax, Nova Scotia, who goes to school in the USA who previously lived in Calgary Alberta and whose parents live in Peachland BC where they still want nothing more than more heat and Colander spaghetti.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Back from Halifax, One Day Late

It was a tense trip there, a tense stay there and a tense trip home. From the previous post you understand why the drive to Halifax was tense so I do not need to explain that one. Yesterday was the day of the interview and this is a run-down of how it went. There were 13 applicants on Monday who were all lovely girls, but knowing that you're competing against each and every one makes them officially The Enemy. After sizing each other up, we all took our seats and got introduced to the women who were in charge of the days events and also got an outline of what we had ahead of us that day.

There were 3 written parts and 2 oral parts for each of us. The 3 written parts were quite easy and I feel I did fine with them. The 2 oral assignments were not my best. Well, one was fine, but the other was not great. I had to do a 2 minute talk on my opinion about the ethical aspects of a nutrition intervention for someone who is terminally ill and I found this to be quite easy. It was kind of funny actually. What happened is that there was a table at the back of the room with about 20 topics to chose from. Numbers were drawn randomly and the person who got the "1" got to chose their topic first but also had to present to everyone first. The person who got the "2" got to chose second and present second...and so on. So we were all itching to get picked first because we had had the chance to look at the topics before the numbering process, so we were all giving each other the evil eye, hoping that our top choice of topic did not get picked. And wouldn't you know it? I was picked as #2 but the #1 girl got the topic I wanted! What the hell? But I also really liked the topic I got so I wasn't too upset. Plus she did a better job at it then I would have.

Oh, I guess that's a bad thing now that I think of it more clearly. Damn.

Anyway, the second oral assignment was the individual interview and I didn't do as great as I would have wanted. We literally had to just talk about ourselves for 5 minutes. No questions were asked, no cues as to where to go with the speech...just talk about yourself. Ugh. Not cool. I'm not pleased with how it went. Plus one of the women was incredibly intimidating! She just sat there with her arms folded and watched me talk with a look of disapproval on her face. Such a great way to make a nervous person feel completely incompetent.

By the time we wrapped up for the day, it was 4pm and the snow was starting to come down hard. I drove a 1 hour strip of highway in nearly 2 hours. It was excruciatingly slow going and the weather was getting worse and worse so I decided to pull off the road and find a hotel in Truro, NS. I found a Holiday Inn and settled in for the night. My conscience was nagging at me because I had mandatory foods lab at 9am and I was worried about how it would turn out if I wasn't there to help my group. Luckily the roads were cleared when I got out in the morning and I got to lab right before noon. I got home, tossed down my bags, grabbed my lab cot and jumped on the bus which was seconds away from leaving. Thankfully I have an awesome lab group and they were able to breeze through the morning without me. Sure I felt unneeded and easily replaceable, but I was happy that they meal went off without a hitch. Way to go team!

Tip of the Day: Windshield wipers that work properly during snowstorms and day-after slushy driving are essential for your sanity.