Monthly Archives: October 2008

It was like being in residence again Monday night with drunk people disrupting my sleep between 4am and 5am. These two especially brilliant debaucherists (?) rang the doorbell in a constant string of dings and dongs to get the attention of their brother/friend who was visiting a housemate of mine. Problem: they wanted his car keys to move his car and access theirs. Problem #2: They were drunk.

Sorry guys, no bones. But that also meant they remained at the door rotating between doorbell, the old fashioned knocking method and just yelling up at the bro/friend for about one hour. I went down, grouchily opened the door and used some choice words: the ringing stopped but their polite knocking was stilled punctuated with polite yelling. Eventually, props to my housemate, she called the police who escorted them from our lawn and removed the illegal substances from their possession.

While writing this I am polishing off my first sweet baby oranges (I can’t afford the real deal Clementines but these are good) to go with our first snow. I hope that gets it out of London’s system, especially the transit system that was set back hours by the thick and sticky water.

An interesting development in this household is the new bond between our cats. Gigi and Carl love each other. Or Carl likes having something to do and Gigi likes to be tormented. While only about 1/5th of Carl’s size she constantly provokes him into flipping her over and batting her around. Typical girl, goes right back to the guy who hurts her because he pays attention. Oh Gigi, so much to learn!

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Pounds per square inch of force

Feeling the self-implosion inducing forces of the future crushing in on me. That came off a bit more dramatic than I anticipated but, nonetheless, it is reasonably accurate. The long process of applying to grad school begins (not just GREs but personal statements, reference letters, transcripts, etc.)

The scary thing is that this is where my plan ends. If I don’t get in to grad school in Speech Pathology I have to come up with something else. Most of my expectations definitely come from what I think I should be, that most of my worth comes from being a student, being intellectual (smart) and I’ll lose that if I don’t choose a career that is ‘intellectual’, that sets me apart from other people (yeah, I’m going to say it is a pride thing). Brainstorming other acceptably ‘smart’ things to do with my life…

Abnegation of fun

Abnegation is from word list one (of 50), meaning self-denial or self-sacrifice, one of many I didn’t really know the definition of until this evening.

My housemate has been encouraging me to find a London boyfriend so I have, “Master the GRE 2009”. I think it is male, and we are going to be spending many long hours together (eating, listening to music, studying, watching TV, riding the bus….if that isn’t a relationship….)

Most of my life culminates on December 9th 2008 (yes, if you wait too long to book your GREs you could end up writing them during your exams). Going in i though the math section was the most frightening. It is not. Math I can do with little review. It is the verbal section demanding a specific (and labourious) WAY of thinking. Plus essays and junk. Committing to this means I have committed to at least two hours of my daily life devoted to studying for the GREs (ie. conforming to the ‘correct’ way of thinking as judged by a standardized test).

Taking the test is to give me the option of applying to American universities for graduate school. Why do Americans love their standardized testing so much? Few Canadian universities (at least for Speech pathology) require any form of testing. Weird, they are willing to look at my qualifications and marks as judged through years of testing in my undergraduate degree.

Maybe having a social life is counter-productive

Since when am I the student who answers all the questions in class?

The one who goes out for coffee with her professors?

Who sits on committees of campus clubs? (As of this week I am one of two VPs of Communications for Autism Western)

Who volunteers with a professor and phd candidates? (Starting last week I code data into a computer system as part of a major project creating a database of all Spanish/Latin American-produced art and art housed in Spain – I get to look at paintings and listen to music!)

From my Guelph undergrad I am used to coasting on decent marks and keeping my involvement in school activities to social/religious-related occurrences. Hopefully this new involved citizen makes it out of school.

Return of the Prodigal cat

Carl is back! Mark drove me home on Thursday of this week for a visit and to attend and friend’s wedding. It was a beautiful ceremony and perfect location to appreciate the autumn weather. My mom spoiled me and I got a sassy new haircut on the morning of the wedding instead of spend time on it myself. It looks pretty snazzy if I do say so myself. But back to Carl:

A nice couple found him down by the train tracks where he approached them asking for food and affection. They obliged and took him home, shaving his fur where the sap stuck and would not be removed (which we heartily mocked Carl about once he settled back in…haha bald patches). Somehow they saw our posters pleading for his return (we only posted a few in the area, most being put into mail boxes, but not theirs). A new challenge for us will be keeping Carl, an adept hunter, from making a snack out of the 3 month old kitten the downstairs housemate brought home after Thanksgiving. To Carl it would taste something like squirrel.

Weekend come and Gone

Good thing the latest hiatus between seeing Mark is just a day and a half this time. Tomorrow we hang out here then head home on Thursday for a few days. The leaves are supposed to be at their brightest right now.

Thanksgiving weekend had more pie than I could have imagined. But the dead-yeast buns are likely what caused me to pull a stomach muscle. This weekend I saw an apple tree for the first time. And picked an apple off a tree (10 pounds of apples to be precise). Apple trees are shorter than I expected, my drawings of apple trees as a child were pathetically inaccurate.

Other accomplishments: convincing the children at our massive thankful dinner that I am cool (it is always so much easier with kids). The oldest, L, taught me all about the Jonas brothers who I was (sadly?) ignorant of previous to Sunday.
Bit by a snake (Mark must be so tired of this story haha). It sounds tough until anyone actually saw the snake, measuring in at a fearsome 15 to 20 cm. But I was bitten nontheless and we’re going with non-poisonous because my finger has not turned black. Oh yeah, I was bitten because I tried to catch the adorable little snake, so my bad.
I purchased gum at a store with the confusing name “Piggly Wiggly”. Confusing because what does that have to do with convenience items?

This time to end, Carl is still gone. We are losing hope.

Day 4: Still Missing

Carl has now been gone for 4 days. Before having a cat in the house here I never knew how much I love having a soft, furry ball of affection to greet me and follow me and chill with me while I do my homework. We are getting desperate with Thanksgiving coming up we won’t be in the house if he comes home. I printed up some posters and distributed them around the neighbourhood while asking anyone outside if they had seen him.

We had some very encouraging reports and followed them along the fence until we found another cat that would fit the description of Carl but was not Carl. Now this cat will disrupt our search, we will be getting all these calls about this other cat, while cool, definitely not Carlzipan.

Yesterday while searching the neighbourhood a bit closer to home a young guy said that a half hour before a cat fitting Carl’s description walked right into his house and then ran out again. Could it have been him? I hope that he is safe. But I’m leaving in half an hour to spend the weekend in Windsor with Mark’s family….mmmm really good pie.

This is Carlzipan:

One nice thing

The saying “If my head wasn’t attached I would forget that too” was definitely started by someone just like me (or possibly by me, but I forget). Today was one of those days. I walked right out of my first class and half-way down the hall until I remembered that I was covered in something coat-like when I entered the class and went back to retrieve my jacket off the chair.

From this class I fled through the rain directly to a professor’s office hours to get some guidance on homework questions. From there I wandered to another building to wait for someone and decided that, since I was early, I would work on some problems. But I didn’t have my notebook. So back to the professor’s office in the downpour I went. (note: this is the same prof I visit weekly for help, two weeks ago I was asking for help and dropping off an assignment which I forgot to leave behind).

Luckily it was there but then he did something unexpected. He offered my his extra umbrella until the next time I saw him (almost two weeks because class is canceled Thanksgiving Monday) because he noticed I didn’t have one. People just don’t do that anymore. Although I am there every week at 1030 without fail so I’m sure he isn’t worried that i’ll disappear. I spent the rest of my day a less-wet fan of the Philadelphia Flyers.

One more potential loss: Carl hasn’t come back! We let the cat out sometimes at night but he didn’t come back last night, or this morning, or now and it is raining. I hope he is safe and warm.

Finally, a Shakespeare Reference

So we have a different cat. His name is Carl (although I usually call him “Beebee beebee” in an annoying high-pitch squeal or Carlzipan).

Carl is an adorable grey tabby with big green eyes and soft soft soft kitty-type fur. So soft. He is also more aggressive than Bok Choy and should be renamed Shiloc for he constantly seems to be demanding one pound of flesh from me (although I don’t recall making deals). The cat really is gentle most of the time. Except this morning. When he smelled the bacon. Usually he is in Julia’s room at night but I took him as a favour which is always worse for me because I am a complete push over. The cat wants to lie on my outstretched arm until it falls asleep? Sure, just careful, don’t move that arm or you’ll bug the cat. He comes in every few hours to get his chin scratched and I oblige.

My conclusion: I am being trained by a cat. I have scratch marks up and down my arm to prove it (hey, wrestling with him is fun, I know the price)

Wasting Time

With school, a job, and volunteering as much as possible to have a shot at grad school I should be busier than ever. And I am. Except, I’m bored and the rain is locking me inside. I rarely felt so bored in Guelph but I think it is due to my lack of friends. Not knowing many people here means that my free time becomes all mine, instead of social time. I really only need so much ‘me’ time and right now what I’m getting is too much.

Some of this extra free time is very productive. Some of it is spent watching Bones. Yum, Agent Seeley Booth of the FBI (aka Xander from Buffy, aka David Boreanz). Usually I bore of these types of shows as the story lines tend to blend but I enjoy the characters; the awkward geniuses are endearing. Also, it has a surprisingly lovely soundtrack. My new favourites:

Sara Enan: Bring on the Wonder
Syntax: Pride

Both mellow and emotional (wait, emotional….am I going emo??)