Monthly Archives: July 2007

I am Ross Gellar

In the process of coming closer to my goal of watching all 10 seasons of Friends (what a goal eh?) I have discovered a connection between Ross Gellar and myself. The title is a bit misleading since there are very many differences between the two of us (hopefully the gender thing is obvious, he doesn’t actually exist, etc.) but one characteristic stood out while I was watching Episode 14 of Season 1 “The one with the Candy Hearts”. Ross is awkward. A specific way that he is awkward is that he is nerdy and truly loves subjects like history, dinosaurs and general scientific facts. In this particular episode he is on a first date with a woman and the audience gets a clip of them sitting awkwardly at a restaurant. To break the silence Ross starts talking excitedly about a new scientific discovery (or something) and ends with what he considers a joke due to the irony of said discovery. The woman manages a small genuine laugh but was unimpressed throughout the telling and the conversation hits another lull.

That’s me! I’d like to think that there aren’t that many lulls for me however I regularly just get going on a topic that I find fascinating only to realize when I have finished that no one else finds it nearly as riveting as I do. The other day at work I was regaling Amanda with an interesting anecdote about my young bilingual cousin and his experience of English speakers trying to speak French only to finish and have Amanda laugh and say “You realize that you just had an entire conversation about the word Bonjour, right?”.

As I prepare to leave for Peru I am also scrambling to read as much as possible. I don’t want to be ingesting too much English while down there so my initial plan to bring hordes of books will likely have to be re-planned. Better finish the Harry Potter soon then!

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Shot in the arm

tuesday was vaccine day. I only went for Typhoid and Hep A, leaving Yellow Fever unless I end up needing it. Saved $80! In total the boost to my immune system was $85 but I believe I’ll be going in for some government funded extras next week: good ol’ TB test and an MMR just to be safe. This trip is so far on budget and its looking like I can get the snazzy slim camera so I can be more inconspicuous (I figure the ghostly pale skin is enough).

Driving around a double hamlet (200 people) on st. joe’s island today made me wonder “at what point does a community become financially efficient?” This miniscule group of people had their own hospital (ok, it was very basic but there), libary, government offices, post office. Of course smaller versions of the ones in larger cities but unlikely to serve the same per capita. For example, the fire station. The town had at least one fire truck for 200 people. There had to be at least two or three fire fighters (well, they were probably volunteer) however, that one fire truck (for the same price and similar maintenance) could likely serve a community of over 1000, maybe even more. One community of 1000 gets one firetruck vs. 5 communities of 200 getting 5 firetrucks total. Which is a more efficient way to use our taxes? Social programs? When does this increase in population cease to be more efficient? It would change if by efficient I meant in terms of just the economy of added criteria like quality of life and environmental factors. What is an ideal sized community? hmmmm

Because I’m a Sucker

I had planned on posting about the way governments are organized to use our resources in more efficient ways than we ever could on our own but are still often very wasteful. Also that each person benefits to very different degrees from the same system.

Also, I’ve been reading a book about science experiments performed on humans in the name of national security. The US government injected and fed radioactive material to healthy newborns back in the 50s (or somewhere around there) to determine how radiation moves through the body and how quickly. What?

Something came up however of much more weight. Friday night a local Shoppers’ DrugMart stayed open past midnight to make 144 Harry Potter fans weep with joy. Sadly, I saw it all from inside when I accompanied Mark to get his very own copy (well, it did beat waking up at 8am on a saturday to track one down). It seemed innocuous enough, waiting in line inside the store, until PHOTOGRAPHERS showed up to catch the moments forever. Why? It is now official that i am a nerd. the internet says so. The local online news source displayed an array of fans including two not so flattering numbers here and here. Just to clarify: I was laughing at all the losers in line (oh wait….sigh)

Maybe i’ll try acting my age (sometimes)

My family and I have become much closer since I left for school. Sad how that is the story but better late than never. I can even say with true conviction that i enjoy hanging out with both of my siblings. Against my first instincts I also decided to introduce my boyfriend to the parents. My mother has been cool. My father, well, he is getting better. That is where acting my age comes in. I can no longer blame my parents for not being close or not taking the initiative. My father has never exactly been an open guy. This means that he has yet to ask about or mention Mark directly but will make remarks or jokes to others when we’re around. What should I do? Probably bring up the topic myself but i have no real desire to go there. He also may be a very caring person but he just has bad judgment when deciding what he should say to daughters. Some things have been hurtful but instead of addressing it I react “jokingly” passive-aggressive…the cold shoulder or just pretend like nothing happened. It could be up to me to grow up and stop waiting for him to do it.

Topic change: this saturday was great! While disappointment was starting to set in after pawing through hundreds too many Harlequin Romance novels (really people, must you?) my brother and i stumbled on a woman who was selling some of her classics to make room on her shelves. For $1.50 she parted with Catch-22, The Old Man and the Sea, 1984, the Merchant of Venice, The Pearl (John Steinbeck), Candide (voltaire), Of Mice and Men (Steinbeck). Woot. Which to read first?

Other finds: — $1 for two neclaces – a cherry-red beaded one and the other with browns and faded reds made from seeds
— $1.50 for a Spanish CD with lessons to go on my ipod. It is somewhat basic but I have to practice my ability to listen and understand.

Following up the garage saling (where my bro also found books, a leather guitar strap ($2) and devil sticks ($1) came a lovely nap and then my further domestication through baking of zucchini loaf (Have to impress the bf’s parents since I will be meeting them tomorrow). Mark and I did Rotaryfest for the rest of the afternoon and even took in two free shows of local bands: The Revue and Catherine Taddo band. Both very different (one pop/punk/something and one jazz/blues) and great acts with immense talent. I could have stayed there all day.

The festival ended tonight and, without the stress of actually running the PlayZone, I worked at the inflatables, helped put away tents and tables afterward and then spent hours counting money in the banking room. Three years of waiting but Heather and I were able to be on the grounds voluntarily and even eat our candy apples before the draw. Tonight I will sleep peacefully.

I blow my own mind

So I like to think about stuff. Maybe everyone else thinks of these things but if they don’t maybe they should try it.

1) When doing something random like catching a ferrett at 2am (steph), reading a random book, etc. I often stop to wonder if anyone else in the whole wide world of over 6 BILLION PEOPLE is doing the same thing as me at exactly the same time.

2) A variation on the above is I often ponder what others are doing right at the very minute. Por ejemplo: I may be bored or working or having fun and at that very moment there is someone (ok, probably many someones) having their first child, being diagnosed with cancer, dying, scared for their lives, getting married, etc.

3) It always throws me when I try to actually understand that for thousands (millions?) of years things were occurring (wars, Jesus’ birth, rise and fall of civilizations, discovering North America) but I had no consciousness, I was not aware yet they still happened. (I realize that could come off exceptionally vain or self-centred thinking that the world began with my birth but that isn’t what I’m trying to get at).

4) Until I meet someone we are entirely unaware of each other’s existence. When I was learning how to ride a bike right at that moment one of the people who is now my friend could have been doing the same thing or having a birthday party or in the hospital. It is always so trippy when you talk to someone you haven’t known for long and find out that you were at the same concert or summer camp at the same time as them 10 years earlier. Pretty much the whole time I was going to Guelph Mark lived in Kitchener and worked at the libby there but we were completely oblivious of each other’s existence.

Conclusion: whoa

Ella tiene su billete

It is time again to whip out the Tracy Chapman in celebration. “She’s Got Her Ticket” is playing on my ipod…too bad the song is slightly melancholy. I am officially grown up: my ticket to Cuzco, Peru is booked for 91 days and 90 nights of crazy Spanish learning.

Deadline given to myself to book ticket: July 1st
Actual date of ticket-booking: July 14th.

That is pretty good in ‘my time’. Much of the avoidance came from being nervous about booking something so final, not being able to go back or change it. Committing to one decision is often difficult for me. So really, this was an exercise in commitment. I passed. The website used was travelocity.ca because it was the cheapest. However the price has been gradually rising all week as I repeatedly would try to book a ticket only to be redirected back to the beginning every time I chose the return flight: I say that they owe me the difference from when the site was being a jerk and now. It is over $50. But it was still under $900…woot woot. I may be able to afford this after all.

The next purchase: “The Rough Guide to Peru” in order to plan all the minute details. My appointment for immunization consult is next week (eep). I am looking into travel health insurance. Contact lenses in case I manage to lose or break my only pair of glasses (oh, its more than possible). How about if anyone thinks of something that I should do to get ready they let me know, ok?

New topic: an update to yesterday’s ‘new template’ post. You may have noticed that it no longer says ‘my blog’, so what was all the whining about? Well, probably because he’s one of the most thoughtful people I know, Mark stayed up past his bedtime and made me a new image to fix my blog. Isn’t it perfect? I thought so.

Just because, apparently, I’m not original

I guess just because Beth and Vaness (no links now, i’m too lazy) just changed their templates I guess I had to do it too….actually I was inspired by Beth because I was tired of my boring old template. However, it is still called “My Blog” and I can’t seem to find where that is in the template to change it….why would anyone want that there? I want to be the DAPPER DAME again! Honestly.

But the pink flowers are pretty.

The Closest thing to playing the harp

This blog has been a bit neglected. Hmmm. I wonder why? My friends point out that I’m in high demand lately but I think that I have been balancing my time quite well. Mark and I spend about 5 days a week together (the evenings, not all day every day) but are pretty good at incorporating other people into that…or other people are good at incorporating us and we are good at accepting invitations. It works out since the church has been drugging the juice every Sunday and there are new couples springing up all over the place.

The real reason for this blog though is to express my dislike of the letter “G”. This isn’t new and I may have even mentioned it before but this makes it concrete. It is only appropriate that the words “gross” and “disGusting”use the nasty hard “G” sound. I should clarify that when it comes to being easy on the eyes the capital version does not fit. Gregory…not a name any child of mine will ever have. The sound that begins “genre” and “giant” while not exactly in my good graces (ew, alliteration) have more redeeming qualities than the hard, glottal, sloppy “Guh”

On Imagination

What would the coast of Lake Superior have looked like to the people who first set eyes on it? Completely unblemished. Imagine Niagara falls. Now imagine stumbling upon that wonder of nature unannounced except for the thunder it produced; to walk out of a clearing and absorb parts of the scene before being able to see the whole majesty of it. There is something about imagining the pristine and uncorrupted that interests me. In reading “The Ingenuity Gap” the author is ranting about the slight (and not so slight) brown haze that extends over the entire continent of North America and dulls even the most beautiful landscapes. Try to imagine the most beautiful scenery in Canada: it should be even more brilliant. I feel like a colour blind person being told about blue and trying to imagine it from the hazy greens and greys that I do have.

The sky should be bluer. The water should be crystal clean. What would wholly unpolluted air feel like? Smell like? Taste like? We haven’t been very good stewards of this world.

One glorious thing about living with the parents

My room is in the basement. Due to low ambient temperature I still have flannel sheets on my bed. That I use regularly. One of the wonderful things about fall and winter all year long.