Wednesday, 27 February 2008

They say we have to learn to compromise/ stay inside our means and we'll all be fine

Hell week is going much slower than I had feared, but way faster than I'd hoped. Strange, I know, but perhaps there is a grain of truth in that statement. No? Didn't think so.

I accomplish many many things every day at school. I go to class, I go to lunch meetings, I call bus companies, I type permission forms, I apply to universities, I request transcripts, I talk to teachers, I run meetings, sometimes I do homework... but at the end of every day, I'm exhausted and there are still a million things left. Once you get to the middle of a week like that, it's really hard not to give up altogether. I really can't afford to give up, since most of my deadlines are about applying to university... Can't miss that. At the same time the whole thinking about university thing is giving me the heebie jeebies, so I will not think about that right now and instead mechanically write soulless responses about how my experiences with Insight Theatre affected my philosphies on teaching and how I want to use the knowledge I'd gain in Communications Studies. Yuck-o. One high point to these afternoons is passing by other very busy friends, walking to the bus stop with John Wishart ("It's laundry day... so I had to improvise an outfit), chatting with Andrea when really, we both should be working (who wants to work anyway...).

Improv has become the huge task tacked onto the end of my day. I never get enough sleep*, so by the time improv practice rolls around after 3, I am exhausted, drained physically and emotionally, and I have a splitting headache. Not the best feeling for creativity. Improv is also stressing me out SO much, because I feel so unprepared... but I want to do well. K keeps telling us that we're doing so well, we know what we're doing, etc, but I don't feel prepared. She says we all just get it, and it's easy for us, and maybe that's true, but still... I'm nervous. Mostly because I leave next Thursday for Europe on a school trip and don't get home until three days before competition, which is only 2 days after March Break ends.

Amid all the stress, there comes a beacon of excitement: In 8 days, I will be in Paris. Ok, with the flying it'll be 9, but still. I love Paris. It is my favourite city I've ever been in. I have a secret dream to study/live in Paris for a year. I love the language, the culture, the metro, the history, the art, the smell, the feeling... Paris is, in a word, breathtaking, and I'm so excited to go on this trip.

Also on the trip, we're visiting Avignon in Provence, and then Barcelona in Spain. It's a whirlwind trip, so it'll be fast, but I think it'll be great. I'm only worried because I know almost no one on the trip at all, I'm rooming with two girls I only kind of know, and I'm on a plane of 12 students (the other group is like, 45) with no one I know well. My hope is that we all bond on the plane ride over and everyone is friendly and great and who the fuck cares anyway because I'm in Europe and I feel like the luckiest girl in the world.

Now, if the luck would only stretch to improv regionals...

*Like, right now, it's 11:00 already. How did that happen?

Monday, 25 February 2008

Canada: America's Hat.

I am an Oscars girl. I love watching the Oscars. I love watching the dresses and the speeches and the montages and then I cry and then I laugh and then Jon Stewart always hosts and I'm happier for it. I really enjoy it. I am most happy for Diablo Cody* and Once. Great writer amazing song. Also, great dress, cute speech.

But the BEST part of Oscars night is OscarBlog. Let me explain. Every year, a bunch of my friends from Indiana and I hang out in an IM chatroom and watch the Oscars: together, but apart. It's very nice. There have been dramas in the past (like that once year where Michael and I got into a fight about Orlando Bloom and his hotness and my being an annoying 13 year old girl in love with him and then he blocked me for the next two years until we both started watching the same shows), but we always have so much fun. I spend the night laughing my ass off. It's unfortunate that I never get to see these people. This is why OscarBlog is so much fun.

Here are some highlights for you. I hope you understand them, without knowing the people. It might be tough. My advice is to focus on what we're saying , not who is saying it. This year's blog was called "OscarBlog2008: There Will Be Blog"

Michael: Xavier Bardem? Really, Regis?

Erin: Bad TIVO?
Me: When mom wans to record Pride and Prejudice and dad sets the thing to record URBAN FREAKING JUSTICE with STEVEN FREAKIN SEAGAL.
Michael: GO DAD!

Nathan: My ! mark button was jammed. I was afraid I wasn't going to be able to get excited.

Marten: Damn. Harrison Ford is old.
Michael: Which is why the new Indiana Jones movie is going to be awesome.
Nathan: Hence, Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull.
Erin: The movie I will always call Indiana Jones and the Retirement Home of Doom.

Michael: You heard it here first! Schindler's List gave Spielberg menopause!

Michael: Don't listen to Evey.
Me: What did I do?
Michael: I anticipated mockery of There Will Be Blood. Which...didn't actually come.
Me: lol. You Americans and your preemptive strikes.
Michael: We do love them!
Marten: That's a low blow, I think.
Michael: The preemptive strike joke? I thought it was funny.
Me: Well, I come out on top. Geographically.
Marten: Canada: America's hat.
Michael: It's quite a snazzy hat, though.

*Diable Cody is her blogger name. She was an exotic dancer, wrote a blog, and some Hollywood type commented on her blog that she should write a screenplay. So she did. And it ended up being Juno. See, everyone I know?? Bloggers are moving up. Just look at how Fidel resigned. He's clearly with the times.

Saturday, 23 February 2008

The endless nights of Genova Heights are hard to leave, so hard to leave

I am in love. It's a love that is true and pure and will last forever. I had forgotten this wonderful feeling for a while, but I have tasted it again and it is delicious. The object of my affection is peanut butter.

I have always loved peanut butter. I was one of those little girls who was raised on PB + J sandwiches and Barbie dolls. My peanut butter intake decreased significantly once I entered the peanut-free school zone and then I dated a guy who was allergic to peanut butter. Since I saw him almost every day, I cut out peanut butter, for fear of causing death. The first love euphoria made up for it well, but once the relationship started to fade, I missed peanut butter. When I visited my cousins, I ate it by the spoonful everyday until I came back home.

I guess I'd forgotten about peanut butter for a while. Turned into a jam on my morning toast kind of a girl. But yesterday, while holding my thick slice of fresh sourdough bread, I thought "hey, why not peanut butter?"

Mmmm. I will not forget again. I love peanut butter.

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Une derniere verre (pour la route)

Today I went home after lunch and slept for three and a half hours straight. How did I do that? I guess I really am sick. Bad news is that it has skewed my sleep pattern a little, so I'm not tired yet. You just know what tomorrow is going to be like, what with the marathon improv practice semi-planned.

Oh improv. Many of you know, I'm sure, of my love for improvised theatre, and how psyched I was when I made the team this year. Improv is basically the best part of my life right now. In the drama room after school, the door shuts and it's just us. And we improvise. I love it.

The thing is that the team this year contains a group of people who have eleventy million things to do. One member is in the military and is gone every second weekend to do training. Almost all of us have jobs. Then there's homework... Being in high school is busy and hectic to the max. But improv keeps suffering because of it. It drives me nuts when we can't get the team together for a practice, and it makes me the most mad when I miss a practice, because I can't ask other people to "Get there!" when I can't. This happenned last week when I didn't know about a practice until I got a phone call at 3 o'clock and I was at home already, not able to get there. It frusterated me so much.

Today was the worst. When I woke up from the aforementioned epic nap, I turned on my computer to check my email, and a teammate messaged me to ask why I went home this afternoon. Turns out that most of the team had been waiting at the drama room after school but we couldn't practice because there weren't enough people without me. I only went home because I thought we couldn't have practice anyway, our coach told me so, but to wake up and find out practice was off because of me? I'm so, so angry about it.

I just want us to kick ass at regionals*. Whatever happens after that, happens. I just want to kick some ass. And by kick ass, I mean, make amazing scenes with my team.

*Come and see us perform! All the info I have so far is in the sidebar. Improv is a ton of fun, I promise you'll all love it. Tickets are something like 10 dollars.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Family Day Flu

I am so sick. My head is completely blocked up, I'm exhausted, and all my energy goes into improv. I'll be boring for a couple of days.

Monday, 18 February 2008

I have never finished a knitting project before. Never. I have been an occaisional knitter since I was about 7, but I always gave up when something went wrong. That kind of knitter. But this yarn was so pretty, and I got new needles and so... I started knitting.
To be fair, I started this last year. I think in like March. So it has been almost a year of work, on and mostly off. Eventually, the knitting got stuck up in my closet, but since I have been redoing my room (painting, new furniture, etc... more on that later), I found it and decided to finish today.
I am very proud of my scarf.

*In the picture, notice my Family Day getup of relaxation: sweatpants and lazy shirt. You can't see the teacup on the table behind me.

Saturday, 16 February 2008

Though I love chocolate and love, Valentine's Day has not really been my thing. Sure it's kind of fun to have a honey, but it's nice every day. I will accept chocolate from anyone, any day. However, Vday did provide a good opportunity to hang out with some fun blogger types. Megan suggested a hang-out at the Manx. I hadn't been to the Manx before, and I really enjoyed myself. They made me like black beans! Me! Shocking.

It was a very enjoyable evening with lovely people. My tea buddy Andrea was there with her Better Half, as well as Jennifer with the MoS. I also met Michael Bhardwaj of CBC radio, who regaled us with many funny stories. They must teach good story-telling at CBC, because everyone I meet who works there tells great stories.

Even though I was the youngest member of the party by quite a bit, it didn't matter, which I love. Who cares what year is on my driver's licence? I hang out with people I like to be with, and hopefully they feel the same way. Now, if I need to work on turning 19 so I can have a beer legally*.

*Don't even get me started.

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

[ Silence ]

I am in a horrendously bad mood. This is because I can't listen to music. This is because, though I have many music player to ear listening devices, the universe is working against me.

I have a lovely pair of sony headphones I've had since I started dating my first (and only, come to that) long-term boyfriend, about two years ago. This happenned at a crucial time in my relationship with music. I was right at that point where I really started to feel music. I fell in love with music. When I was upset, I knew what I needed to listen to. Around this point, earbuds became insufficient. The big headphones allowed me to put on my music and shut out the world. This is key for teenagers, let me tell you.

As a result, those headphones and I have been through some times. Some major times. So when they broke last summer, I was super bummed. I taped them back together and kept using them... but it wasn't working. The earphone on the broken side sticks out from my head and I have to hold it against my head. My earbuds became my primary listening device. Along the way I also picked up a nifty hat that has speakers in it.

Anyway, I got a nice big gift certificate to Planet of Sound in Ottawa South for my birthday from a couple of friends, and so I decided I should go in and check out their headphones, since really, I need a new pair. After some testing, I decided on a pair, bought them (a bit of a splurge, but really, I'd been waiting a while for a new pair) and took them home. The minute I put them on my ears and sat in my living room listening to music, I knew something was wrong. I could hear everything -- the music, the quality of which was amazing, but also the ambient noises of my family around me. Bad news.

So today I tried to return them. Because really, I need the block the world out pair right now. I'm still a tortured teenager, right? We have our moments. I found out I couldn't return them since the box was open, and no, the manager will not be in until Thursday.


I took them back home to try again on Thursday, and set about trying to fix my old pair better. Some scotch tape was to be involved, and maybe some wire. I figured if these ones could be salvaged, they could be used for extreme, keep the world out situations and I could keep the new ones with amazing soung quality. Only, duct tape is hard to remove. So I used some scissors... and just nicked the wire in the headphones. Now, they really really don't work. Fuck. FUCK.

To add to this whole thing, I have misplaced my earbuds, and the cord to connect the nifty hat to the computer/ipod is somewhere packed in my shit which is piled in a corner of my dad's study while the painters do their thing.

So. I'm going NUTS. I can't listen to music. I won't be able to all tomorrow. Or the next day. Probably I won't buy any until this weekend, since I don't have time. But only if I get my money back. I just miss my trusty old headphones. And I don't know what kind to buy now.

Sunday, 10 February 2008

These canals, it seems they all go in circles/ places look the same, and we're the only difference

This weekend was one of those great weekends that has a perfect balance of friends and alone time, staying in and going out. It was a three-day weekend, thanks to a PA day, and kicked off the perfect way: with an improv practice. Thursday after school, the improv team practiced until 5:30 and then we all went out for dinner at Elgin Street Diner and ate food that was way too greasy. That night was the epic, long-awaited improv sleepover. As is the tradition, it was in the Farrow basement, which has many couches, a TV and sound proofing -- all important elements. We stayed up all night. The highlight of the night was a game called Catchphrase, which is a game to play with people you love so much you'll still love them after or with people you hate. By the end of it we were all yelling and screaming at one another about points and answers. But everyone loved it.

At about 4am, we had a nice, long improv chat. Everyone got to talk a little bit, about whatever they wanted to talk about. Mostly the kind of stuff we wouldn't share with most people, but with improv, it's important to lay yourself bare with your teammates. Which we did. At six, we all decided we weren't tired and we'd just stay up all night. We woke up five hours later.

Friday night, when I thought I'd have no plans, I ended up getting an invite for tea with Andrea. Right after I accepted this invite, I was called by three different people to ask what I was doing that night.

"Well, I'm having tea."
"Who with?"
"A... blogger friend."

I always feel silly saying the words "blog" or "blogger" because they sound so silly.

It's always fun to meet someone who you already know a lot about. Sometimes it can be pretty awkward too, but luckily, this was not the case. When I arrived, Andrea answered the door in a "Will cook for sex!" apron and announced that she was making muffins. They were delicious. It ended up being lots of fun for three hours until suddenly it was 11 o'clock and neither of us had any idea where the time had gone.

The rest of the weekend was spent lying around doing nothing, reading for class, or packing up my room, which is to be painted this week! Finally! I've only been planning it for six years. But it will now be done, and I will have a new book case and even a chair to sit in! I can hardly contain my excitement. I will post before and after shots/videos when everything is over.

Saturday, 9 February 2008

I was pressed for time a bit when I wrote my last post, the one about Queen's, and wasn't able to add in all the fun stuff that happenned. As Davis alluded to in her comment, it was a pretty drama-filled weekend. Well, when five high school students go away for the weekend, that's what happens. So, I'll bring some highlights.

Highlight #1: They know that we know that they know that we know.

The night before we left, there was a bit of a party that went down at which two people (who both went on the trip) hooked up. Big exciting news! And everyone on the trip knew... but we didn't talk about it. We talked about the party, about our friends... but no one mentioned the hickies both were sporting on their necks. This dynamic led to many only slightly awkward moments. Like when one asked the other for some concealer to cover up the hickies. Nice.

Highlight #2: "He's only a 5!"

The first night we went to a slosh the frosh party, and ended up really drunk in that huge crowd, tiny duplex kind of way, if you know what I mean. One member of our party decided it would be a really good idea to make out with everyone. I'm not kidding. We started referring to them as their ratings out of ten. The best part was that everyone was wearing ridiculous clothing/lack thereof since the theme of the party was "dressed to get laid". I hate stupid themes like that, so luckily I was not forced to dress up. Our host andher friend dressed as eggs, which was great, and people at the party wore everything from underwear to sequins. It was the weirdest looking party ever.

Highlight #3: The next morning

We pulled out my camera and look through it. And then laughed a lot. Half of them were blurry and the other half our eyes were closed. Sadly, we were attempting the sexy look.

Highlight #4: "What was that dance called?"

When we arrived at the train station for the ride home, I went to pick up my ticket, and everyone else sat down. Waiting for my ticket to print, I looked over my shoulder and saw my friends doing the "new dance move", allegedly Quebec's answer to the Soulja Boy , and it's called "Le Tabarnak". Yes, like the swear word. It's the stupidest looking dance move ever, and I would argue it's more of a stubbed toe and bad posture put to a beat, but it's entertaining. As I saw them doing this I yelled across the station: "Hey! Wait! I need to get a picture of le tabarnak!" my ticket agent, who was french canadian, asked "what did you call that dance move?" I sheepishly explained that it to her, worried she'd get pissed at me for swearing across the station, but instead she laughed and said "I've got to look that up when I go home."

Ah yes, it was a great weekend. I don't think I stopped laughing the entire time.

Friday, 8 February 2008

Rojo Caliente

I went to Queen's last weekend with some friends of mine from school and it was "rojo caliente"*. I love taking trips with my friends, I love long train rides. I guess I'm maybe a little weird, but there's something about the gently rocking of the train, sitting with good friends, laughing and having hours to spend together. It's like a little bubble. You aren't worried about what else you could or should be doing, the focus is on the time together. It's nice.

The weekend was fun. I tend to be super uptight about everything, but I made a concious effort not to worry about what had to happen, when I'd meet up with Geoff, when we'd eat, where we'd go... I just told myself to relax because everything would work out. The funny part was, it did. I had a great weekend. I was staying with a friend of mine who is in Engineering at Queen's. Eng is a huge deal, and my friend, Geoff, is on an eng floor, so he is steeped in it 24/7. They all wear these jackets that they beat up and then dye purple and then wear everywhere and they are really ugly. Luckily Geoff and I were able to move past our differences of opinion on the jackets and had a lovely time. I did get some touring/evaluating of the school done**as well as had a really fun time. My other friends stayed with a sister and she was great. She let us crash our junk in her room and took us to her frosh's party and she ended up hanging out with us too, which was very fun.

It's weird for me to be in control of myself for a weekend, so it was kind of nice. University sounds like it's going to be a lot of fun.

* Red Hot in spanish. Also a very funny song written and performed by a Queen's student. She made a professional music video and everything. She is now a campus celebrity. I was kind of sad I did not make a "rojo sighting" while I was there.

** I wouldn't go to Queen's for the school, but for the Concurrent Education program if I get in and want to go.

Friday, 1 February 2008

"Well, tell him, 'Excuse me Joel, it's my turn now'." "OUT!"

I have a confession to make.

I watch a lot of TV. Really I watch way too much TV. Some TV I don't even like that much (Grey's Anatomy post season 1) but I watch it anyway. TV has always been the thing I do with my mom. We chat, we watch, we relax... it's just the way it's been ever since I got up the nerve to get out of bed and go sit with my mom by the TV. It was my favourite part of the day -- just me and my mom and no sister. It was my secret mommy time.

What I need to do is edit my TV watching. It takes up way too much of my time. A ton of my time at home is spent chatting on the computer while I watch TV and what I've noticed is that I can't do both at once anymore. I miss out on something on the show, which means it's worthless, or I get angry with my sister for trying to talk to me while my tired brain tries to multitask, and my sister and I really, really don't need more tension between my sister and I right now.

I could also use more time on homework. Right now I don't start homework until 9 or 10 at night, and with all the writing I have to do this semester, that isn't going to fly. I owe it to myself, to my body and to my brain to get more sleep, especially with rowing coming up (in May) on the water at 5am, and rugby starting up.

One show I will not be cutting out is my current fave. Unlike any of the other shows I watch I never get annoyed with it, I never want to throw things at the screen and I always end up feeling warm and fuzzy once it's over. This show is the (yikes) TLC show Jon and Kate + 8. This is a show about a controlling but sweet mom and an incredibly loveable dad who have five-year-old twins and three-year-old sextuplets. I could name all the kids and their mannerisms to you, but a) I doubt anyone would find it as interesting as I do and b) it would be a little creepy. But really, this show isn't contrived, everyone loves one another and the worst thing that happens is that Collin and Alexis fight and then make up and have a hug. There is something about three year old that is so, so cute, and since I don't know any three-year-olds and it'll be a while before I have one of my own, this is the solution. It's the high point of my Monday night.

Honestly people, try it sometime. The one at the zoo is gold.

If I gave you my number...

Yikes, is it ever snowing! I just got home and I'm all snowy and cold-y.

Today was the first day of semester 2. The last first day of high school classes I will ever have. That's only a little scary. But I will move on because it's no fun to live life counting lasts instead of firsts. Lasts are sad.

I am however hoping this is the last time that guidance messes up my schedule. Because they never switched me from "advanced functions" (math) into "Canadian Families in a Diverse Society" (canfam), CanFam is now full and I'm stuck in the math course. Bummer! I went into the guidance office and put myself on a waiting lift for CanFam, in case someone drops it, and I'm also on a waiting list for two online courses. In the mean time, I will drop math, which means I have to write a letter to the principal asking to become a part-time student (since when I drop math, I will only be taking 5 courses this year).

I'm hoping for the online course to come through, but I won't find out about that until the end of next week. Time for the waiting game.

Tonight I'm off to a Hummanities music night at Carleton with a friend who is in that program and wants me to go into that program, and then tomorrow I'm off to Queen's until Tuesday. Big time university weekend. I will tell all when I return!

Update: Stupid snow! Music night was canceled. Bummer.