Wednesday, 15 November 2006

... brought to you by Sesame Street ...

Thanks Banana Head for lightening up the end-of-the-semester panic! (What Sesame Street character are YOU?)

You Are Cookie Monster
Misunderstood as a primal monster, you're a true hedonist with a huge sweet tooth.
You are usually feeling: Hungry. Cookies are preferred, but you'll eat anything if cookies aren't around.
You are famous for: Your slightly crazy eyes and usual way of speaking.
How you live your life: In the moment. "Me want COOKIE!"

Wednesday, 25 October 2006

October update

Just look at the little weather pixie on my right side bar, and look at what its doing in PG today! (In case the weather's changed, here's a copy of the weather pixie as it appears right now, at this writing ...) Yes, that's snow. Up here on campus, there's a good inch of it so far. Maybe less downtown. Yuk. I don't want snow yet. I don't want to put away my sandals yet, never mind start wearing socks!

I've got lots to write about in this update ... knitting stuff, medieval stuff, the rodeo, a broken arm, a job opportunity ... but no time to write about it all today! Stay tuned ...

Saturday, 7 October 2006


I watched a movie last night that was absolutely incredible . . . Deepa Mehta's Water. I highly recommend it, but recommend it with a warning about possible culture shock. As Westerners, we are not usually exposed to hijras, or cremation ghats, never mind the practice of child brides. Nor are we exposed to a religion that offers three choices for widows: to be cremated with the husband, to marry the husband's younger brother, or to remain in dire poverty and apart from the rest of society ('chaste') for the remainder of their lives. There were Indian people who were most unhappy about exposing this topic to the Western world, and I applaud Deepa Mehta for tackling such a contraversial subject in a sensitive yet honest manner!

The little girl who played the role of Chuyia, "little mouse" is incredible. Even though this movie is in Hindi with English subtitles, you cannot help fall in love with this delightfully little waif, and you cannot help laughing at some of her impish actions. (Of course, what can you expect when a healthy seven-year old is sent to live in an ashram filled with old widows!) Nor can you help crying at her plight. I recommend you see this movie with Kleenex at hand.

I haven't seen the book yet, and I usually read the book before I see the movie, but in this case, I'm looking forward to finding the book by Bapsi Sidhwa. If you should see this movie or read this book, I'd sure love to hear what you think of it!

A little more familiar culturally-speaking, I've managed to get caught up with my favourite soap, Coronation Street, again and I have to say its really hard watching one of the show's regular characters and likable bad guys slipping into the mists of dementia in preparation for his departure from the series. What can I say? Hang in there, Mike, old buddy? Do not go gracefully into the night? Every time he forgets someone or muddles something, I find myself wanting to yell at the TV screen -- but yell what, I don't know!

So, are you eating turkey this weekend? I'm not sure what's going to be on the menu at my house. Meals are going to be of secondary importance while I'm studying for next week's midterms.

PS: my apologies for lack of medieval photos, as previously promised. I've been really busy with grad school and grad research funding applications -- it's aboslutely crazy starting these complex processes so far ahead of September 2007! -- and just plain haven't got around to having photos developed. Soon, I promise!

Friday, 11 August 2006

August update

I'm not sure what to make of this:
Your Brain is 40% Female, 60% Male

You have a total boy brain ... Logical and detailed, you tend to look at the facts. And while your emotions do sway you sometimes ...You never like to get feelings too involved.

I always thought I was a bit too emotional, so I took the silly test again, and got exactly the same result! YOU TRY IT!

Here are some interesting words of wisdom I came across this past week:
A person needs only two tools. WD-40 and duct tape.
If it doesn't move and it should, use WD-40.
If it moves and shouldn't, use the tape.
Egads! Does this prove I've got a boy brain??? I have both WD-40 and duct tape in my tool box! (Yes, I know, PP ... the fact that I own a tool box is probably already incriminating enough!)

So how was your summer? Mine was way too short and way too long at the same time! I especially enjoyed my week in Prince Rupert, and would love an excuse to go back there again soon! However, once that adventure was over, the rest of the summer pretty much went pphhhtttt! I tutored ... not enough hours to keep me busy, but too many hours to feel like I was on holiday.

I did do some creative stuff, mostly working on a new set of medieval garb. Stay tuned for the photos! In the meantime, here's a sneak peek of some medieval-ishly relevant stuff I've been working on for Emma, my medieval persona:

Doesn't that leave you just a wee bit curious? Doesn't that make you want to keep checking back for the real photos???

Besides medieval stuff, its back to classes this week. [happy dance! happy dance!] Two Anthropology classes and one Geography class make up my fall schedule, along with preparing grad school applications. Here's a photo of me with my friend, Leien, who graduated this past spring. Next May, I'll be the one in the grad robes with the proud smile!

PS: Crikey, mate, you'll be missed ... the rest of us can only hope we can live and die as passionately!

Monday, 17 July 2006

A-Z Meme

I found this at my eldest daughter's blog, and thought it looked like fun. Try answering it yourself! Let us know if you do... (Leave a comment!)

A…If you were an ANIMAL, what would you be? I would be a bear, grizzly or black. I have been touched by bears in dreams during seriously low points in my life, and encountered real bears or bear images during times of distressing uncertainty. I connect bears with great strength and power, and am continually amazed by them.

B…BOOKS: What’s on your reading list? This past weekend I was doing some research on early 14th century textiles, and that kind of meandered into 14th century European political history. I can't remember titles off the top of my head, but my book bag was really heavy to drag home from the library.

C…COMPULSIVE about anything? I like my things in certain places, so if you pick up an object in my space, you better put it back exactly where you found it. That includes furniture, books and "knick-knacks", and especially every single thing in my kitchen.

D…DREAMS: Do you dream in color? Do you remember your dreams? Definately in colour and in vivid detail. I journal dreams ... great fun to read back over and compare to what's been going on in the day-to-day reality of my life. However, I have to do that journalling immediately upon waking. Once I get up and start moving, dreams are quickly forgotten.

E…EATING: What’s your usual snack? Lately I've been snacking on pumpernikel toast with honey.

F…A few of your FAVORITE things… Honeyed-almonds, books BOOKS BOOKS, chocolate and Coronation Street, dessert before dinner, 'fry-up' egg breakfasts, going to a good movie, hanging around the house in my jammies on rainy days, new (small, manual) kitchen gadgets, old books and craft or knitting patterns, old poetry that still rhymes, quaint little towns off the beaten path, taking cold showers on hot days, unusual people with unique stories, Venus figurines ... shall I go on?? (I have a lot of favourites ...)

G…GIGGLES! Who (or what) makes you laugh? Do you have a good sense of humor? People usually tell me I have a warped sense of humor. I laugh at myself a lot, especially at my own attempts to do things I can't do anymore. I laugh at serendipitous sights or experiences, and I laugh at people who take themselves too seriously.

H…major HOT button: Individuals who assume they are more important than others in line-ups, and instructors who assume their (impressive) credentials ensure all their students understand every word they say.

I…I am… me.

J… JOB: What’s your dream job? First cultural anthropologist to live among and study extra-terrestrial people after first contact (which is coming soon, dontcha know!).

K…Also KNOWN as: Aliases? Screen names? Nicknames? I was "Miki" once -- that involved a wig and ... oh, never mind! I was "Sadie" for a while. I have a group of friends who call me "Ducky" right now. My SCA persona is an "Emma".

L…I LOVE: see "F" above ... I love lots of things!

M…How do you feel about MEETING people? Do it all the time, or rarely? Parties or one-on-one? As a tutor, I meet new people all the time. That's ok, 'cuz our roles are somewhat pre-defined and our conversation has both structure and time-limits. Outside of tutoring, I'm very shy, and would rather stand up and talk to an audience of 500 than engage in one-on-one conversation with a stranger. That being said, my friends complain I have a "weirdo magnet" that attracts unusual strangers everywhere we go. As a result, I'm always meeting new people who strike up unique one-on-one conversations. I don't do parties, thank-you, unless there's damned good free food.

N…What’s the story of your NAME? Were you named after anyone? Gramma used to tell me my first name came from one of my Dad's "whores". (She insisted on calling me by my second name.) I don't know if there's any truth to that rumor. However, I do share the same first name with one of Gramma's southern cousins. Maybe she didn't realize that at the time? Or maybe there are family skeletons of which I am unaware?

O…OBSERVANT…What’s around you right now? What do you see? I'm in the campus library, second floor computer instruction lab. There is a row of books immediately in front me (E 183.8 to E 467.1) on dusty black metal shelves. There is a poster to my left that says "Exploring @ your library ... go beyond with our innovative technologies" (altho I can't imagine any innovative technologies here). There is a bank of large windows to my right, and the sky is full of ominous blue-black clouds. I think I'm the only person on this floor at the moment.

P…Who are the special PEOPLE in your life? ESL and literacy students are always very special in my life while I am tutoring them. I enjoy the challenge of finding creative ways to resolve language and communication hurdles, and I find myself reminded that my academic struggles are minor in comparison.

Q…Any little QUIRKS about yourself? Good Lord, where to begin??

R…What do you like to do for RECREATION? These days, I walk. I spend a lot of time in the books, or at the computer, so its nice to just get outside and walk. When I'm on city bus, I knit (usually socks) or do cross-stitch or something to pass the time.

S…Do you SING in the shower? In the car? For your friends? I can't sing anymore. But I sing in my mind all the time ... and it sounds great with that full symphony orchestra back-up ...

T…What’s at the top of your TO-DO list? Right at this moment, I have a list of "to-do's" connected to SCA garb and equipment on my desk. Right beside that is my assignment due dates for the two Political Science courses I'm taking this summer.

U…Any UNUSUAL experiences? See my answer to "Q", above.

V…VEGAS, Vienna, Venice…How far have you traveled? What’s your favorite city? Physically, I haven't travelled a lot. However, by reading, I'm your regular globe-trotter!

W…WINTER, spring, summer, fall…what’s your favorite season? What makes it special? Autumn! Definately autumn ... when the first frosts arrive and the air gets that hint of crispness that indicates winter is coming, and leaves turn such glorious colours, and you can smell ripe apples and grapes and pumpkins and harvested earth, and the new school year starts .. oh, yeah! That's Heaven!

X…EXes…things you don’t do anymore (but did, once)... I don't drive anymore. I don't wear high heels anymore.

Y…Any secret deep YEARNINGS? A PhD. Okay, that's not a SECRET anymore, is it?

Z…ZERO to ZENITH - Where are you in your life? Still growing? On an upward (or downward) curve? Just skating along? My Dad, who lived to a ripe old age, figured he had a good day when he learned one new thing. In keeping with his philosophy, I intend to keep growing until the day I die!

Friday, 7 July 2006


Just thought I'd share a new photo of me -- with a falling-down pony tail! It was taken on campus after a hard day of tutoring. Looks like it, too! I hate having my photo taken, but needed one for the Political Science courses I'm doing.

It's been so blasted hot here this past week, I've been really miserable. I HATE SUMMER HEAT! Darned good thing the air conditioning on campus is working again!

Tuesday, 27 June 2006

End of June update

Well! The trip to Prince Rupert was FANTABULOUS!

I stayed here and highly recommend it. (Check them out!) Its a lovely rather quaint 3-storey house converted into a hostel. Everything was spotlessly clean, and they provided a free shuttle to and from the train station. Most of the travellers who stayed there were Europeans -- of all ages. Definately a fun way to meet new people. (And those late-night multi-lingual Scrabble games were a blast!)
The hostel is in the area of the city. Yes, Virginia, pretty much everything in the area sports that familiar black and white cow theme. For example:

This 'bathtub' was outside the tee-shirt shop, next door to the hostel. If you're in the Cow Bay area, you absolutely must take yourself to Cowpuccinos for the BEST carrot cake in the world! There are so many 'cow' postcards on the walls inside, you might have to have a second serving of carrot cake in order to look at them all.
I saw lots of these ... a nice change from PG. I swear the bird life here in PG consists of crows and more crows. Right now there are baby crows. Ever heard a baby crow squawking for food? Nasty! And they start squawking for food around 4 am!
I managed to down a few cold ones here along with a couple of great fish & chips meals. There's something special about eating fish & chips while watching a fisherman gut and clean a fish on the dock below! I think I ate enough fish to keep me satisfied until . . . last Monday. (I'm already craving good fish again! You just can't get good fish & chips in PG!)

You all know no trip would be complete for me without finding yarn or fabric. I never did find a fabric store, but I found yarn! I came home with some Briggs & Little 'Durasport' -- one-ply, 80% wool / 20% nylon -- two of ecru & one of a deep ocean-looking green. It comes in generous balls, 4 ozs I think, and should make lots of socks. I also met and knitted briefly with a small group of delightful knitters. (Hi Shelley & friends!)

The week ended with SeaFest, Prince Rupert's annual 3-day bash -- complete with great parade, tons of events, and the best darned shishkabob I've had in I don't know how long. The train ride back to PG was a little anticlimatic after that.

So. Back in PG. Have yarn, but no knitting happening! I've been working on a couple of quilting projects instead:

* 'Love me, love my cat' place mats (BD prezzie for someone who loves her

* 'Village Women' quilt (which was SUPPOSED TO BE African-prints placemats,
but the fabrics WANTED TO BE something much greater, so its now twin-bed

* Reds & fuschias wallhanging (this one's for me -- to go with my new
Chinese red cushions, and my crocheted afghan if I ever get it

Its been really hot here, and I don't function well in hot weather. As a result, sitting in front of sewing machine & fan is a good way to spend time. I'm starting a Political Science Web course next week, so that will undoubtedly cut into my quilting time a bit.

So what's new with you???

Tuesday, 30 May 2006

End of May update

This has been a frustrating month trying to find a summer course that doesn't get cancelled. Had I realized what a pain it would be, I would have made very different plans for the summer! However, the one course that I REALLY wanted is happening, so I'm off on

for a scenic bum-numbing 12 1/2 hour trip to

for a condensed Anthropology course / mini-vacation. Since I've never been to PR, I'm really looking forward it. I'm even looking forward to the train trip! I wonder if I'll find any interesting yarn or fabric shops while there . . .

Speaking of yarn and fabric, my knitting seems to have taken itself on its own vacation lately. I've been sewing like mad, tho. I've made heaps of Cabbage Patch doll clothes for my little friend C. I've also made a couple of summer outfits for myself, including a sleeveless dress . . . you would be totally shocked at the colourful floral prints I chose! Not at all my usual sombre monotones. Must be a new me! I had great fun making a machine-quilted bag for myself. It has 8 log-cabin squares, 4 on each side, the centres of which feature zany old ladies with hats and cats and knitting baskets. I used a couple of different knitting and sewing/quilting prints, and invented several hidden pockets inside for knitting needles, wallet, bus pass, etc. Then discovered the first time I used it that I hadn't thought of a cell-phone pocket! (Stupid cell phone rang, and I had to practically dive into the bag and swim thru contents to find it . . . ) The bag is big and roomy enough for a book bag plus craft project, and I've had numerous compliments on it so far ("It's so YOU!"). I just hope nobody looks too close at the machine quilting . . . I don't do straight lines very well!

Last week, I went to the UNBC Convocation. Wow! Next year, I'll FINALLY be one of these students:

Is it taking me FOREVER to get there or what!? It was a very L O O N N N G G G G ceremony (note to self: remember to take a cushion to sit on), but heart-warming watching friends and classmates as well as students I've tutored celebrating their achievements. It was particularly heart-warming to see L. reunited unexpectedly with her sister! (Congratulations, L.! -- I know you're down south reading this and missing PG already!)

So have you seen this yet?

I managed to see it opening night (having been smart enough -- for a change -- to buy my ticket first thing in the morning, not try to buy my ticket 5 minutes before showtime). I thought it was quite faithful to Dan Brown's book, altho I would like to have seen more of the final bits at Roslyn. The guy who plays the albino monk was some spooky. He appeared so unexpectedly in one scene that I jumped and sent popcorn flying up into my own face! As with the book, I came away thinking "hmmmm" because a lot of historical/hypothetical explanations appeared to make a lot of sense. What did you think?

Well, that's it for this post. I'll be away from the computer for a while, but promise a nice long post about my Prince Rupert adventure when I get back. In closing, I'll leave you all with this amusing thought (can you relate too?):

Monday, 15 May 2006

Guinness, rice, fabric, Corrie, the Virgin Mary, and school stuff

This was interesting. (Thanks, Ginny, for the idea!) Apparently I'm a Guinness gal! (I could have told them that!)

You Are Guinness
You know beer well, and you'll only drink the best beers in the world.Watered down beers disgust you, as do the people who drink them.When you drink, you tend to become a bit of a know it all - especially about subjects you don't know well.But your friends tolerate your drunken ways, because you introduce them to the best beers around.

Sadly, I didn't have any Guinness over the Mom's Day weekend. Rather, I had a couple of glasses of a lovely white Zinfandel wine (which is actually pink) and a Scall0p, Prawn & Salmon Arborio Rice Bowl from the White Spot. Their menu describes this dish as:

Scallops, prawns and wild salmon sautéed with tomatoes, a touch of garlic, white
wine, capers, extra virgin olive oil and aged Italian balsamic vinegar over
creamy short-grained Italian Arborio rice. Finished with Parsley and
drizzled with Umberto's signature extra virgin olive oil from Tuscany.

It was yummy (recommended by Umberto Menghi after all!) ... but I could have ate three bowls of it!

So I bought lemon and black for the third group of afghan squares, and 2 squares in, decided I didn't like the looks of them next to those 60 oxblood/fuschia and 60 spruce/mint squares. Whatever made me think lemon and black was a likely combo? Must have been a momentary lapse of sanity! Now I need to EXCHANGE the unopened balls of lemon and black, and decide on another two colours. Or else make my afghan smaller. Hmmm.

I have finally found Fabricland! (I know, you're raising your eyebrows and wondering how long I've been in PG without addressing my serious fabric addiction, right? Ha! I can abstain!) Its NOT right on a bus route, thus not immediately visible and required a little exploring (as in walking). But I found it, and I'm the proud owner of a brand new Fabricland membership, as well as several pieces of nice fabric. It was a fruitful exploring mission, as I've been promising a special little girl that I'd make her some doll clothes, and I've been doing exactly that since Saturday. I even crocheted a wee poncho and purse for C.'s Dolly Saturday evening after my eyes got too tired to thread the machine anymore. (When did that little hole get so small???)

I got caught up with my favourite soap over the weekend ... thank you for taping them for me, S.! All I can say is WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU THINKING, SHELLEY!?!?!?!? (If you don't know what I'm blithering about, check out the Coronation Street link to the right and have a peek at an episode or two ... Shelley's gone totally loony! I want to smack her sensible again!)

This was Mum's Day weekend. It was also "Lady of Fatima" weekend, being closest to May 13. I noticed in the free local newspaper that annual festivities in honour of the Lady were organized for Sunday afternoon. Altho I didn't go (I haven't been hanging around with Roman Catholics on Sunday mornings much lately), I did remember the first candlelight "Lady of Fatima" procession in my home town in the early 1960s. At the time, I was fascinated. Having grown up Pentecostal and thoroughly indoctrinated in the evils of Catholic idol-worship, how could I help but be fascinated? (Ask me about being served red Kool-aid at a Catholic neighbour's birthday party in 1961 ... after being told Catholics drank Christian blood!) I didn't realize at the time of that first procession that I was witnessing history ... that a particular homesick immigrant community was establishing their own religious practises in Canada for the first time. Nor did I realize how much a part of my life that particular event would become, nor how very much I still miss it. Consequently, I waxed nostalgic all day Sunday.

No nostalgia today. I'm frustrated, and its not due to the Virgin Mary, strained eyes, or lack of Guinness! I keep registering for summer courses, and they keep getting cancelled. Okay, Uni people ... if you're not gonna run the courses, why advertise them and get my hopes up??? GRRR!

Monday, 8 May 2006


I went to a great concert last night -- Charley Pride! -- at the CN Centre here in PG. First time I've been to a "real" concert here in PG, something I really miss about the Lower Mainland and frequently gripe about the lack thereof here in the hinterland. We had good seats -- off to the side, but next to floor level and not far from the stage -- and best of all, the tickets were a gift -- as in free. Charley Pride's son, Dion Pride, opened the show (how cool is that for a proud papa?), and later came back on stage to do a duet with his Dad. Dion is definately a talented young man (Charley told the audience his youngster takes after his Mama -- its interesting to note he's been married to the boy's Mama since 1955. That's gotta be some kind of record for a man in the music business!). There was an intermission following Dion, then a solid hour and a half of foot stompin', clapping, singing-along to Charley! My hands are actually a bit sore today from clapping.

I was quite surprised how many lyrics came out of my mouth automatically ("When the dew wears off of your crystal chandelier ...", "Oh the snakes crawl at night ..."), even tho I haven't been listening to his music much lately. In addition to his own repertoire of hits, he did an excellent and amusing imitation of George Jones ("He stopped lovin' her today ..."), and a little fancy Elvis footwork ("Jailhouse Rock"), and paid tribute to four 'Greats' that he had opened for or performed with over the years: Marty Robbins, Conway Twitty, Waylon Jennings, and Johnny Cash ("Ring of Fire"). He also paid tribute to Jim Reeves (the CD at the top of my wish list!), and to his Mama with the title song from his CD, COMFORT OF HER WINGS (the #2 CD at the top of my wish list):
"Daddy always called her angel,
but I never
knew why;
I was looking for
her halo,
He was looking in her eye ..."

Predictably ( considering the number of shouted requests for it ), he ended the show with a song that might be considered politically incorrect these days, but certainly well received by the audience: "Kaw-lija", the cigar store Indian.
"Poor old Kaw-lija, never got a kiss!
Poor old Kaw-lija, don't know what he missed!
Is it any wonder that his face was red,
Kaw-lija with his poor old wooden head ..."

He came back on stage for one quick encore ("Oh when those cotton bolls get rotten, you don't get very much cotton, in them old cotton fields back home ..."), and then it was all over way too fast. He definately puts on an enjoyable show, so if Charley Pride's coming to your city . . . DON'T MISS HIM!

On the knitting front, I've got all my oxblood/fuschia and pine/mint squares finished (that's 120 hexagons piled up on top of my dresser!). I still haven't decided on a third set of colours, but since Saturday's unproductive yarn shopping trip, I'm leaning toward black centres with lemon. I guess this means another yarn shopping trip! In fact, I might just go do that this afternoon as I suddenly have a few free hours on my hands. My "tutee" is busy having her grad pictures taken, and the book I had planned to spend the rest of the afternoon reading isn't in the campus Library.

Friday, 5 May 2006

Summer semester

Its been a while since I've posted anything here. I don't have a computer at home (being a poor starving student and all), and have to come up to the University or go to the Public Library or something in order to have computer time. Since I haven't had any classes since finishing exams in early April, I haven't spent much time at places with computer access . . . which has been gloriously relaxing!

I'm happy to report that I maintained my usual high GPA and added a few more "A+'s/A's" to my transcript. I guess I still struggle with self-confidence issues, as I never expect to do as well as I do. By the end of every semester, I start thinking somebody is finally going to figure out I'm not the brightest bulb on campus and fail me. I wonder if that fear ever goes away?

Right after exams, I really needed something "mindless" in order to wind down, so cross-stitched an 18th-century-looking sampler that says "may sunshine follow all your showers & flowers fill your other hours". I've always liked the rhythm of cross-stitching for relaxation, although I find searching for those miniscule holes very visually challenging! Cross-stitching reminds me of painting. My sampler has a white garden trellis and different flowers worked among the alphabet, and since it only used half of the piece of pale blue aida cloth I had, I "invented" a second sampler to complement it. Now I shall have to go searching for a local framer to frame them so I can enjoy them on a wall.

Since fnishing my cross-stitch samplers, I've been crocheting "granny squares" for a new afghan. This is not a project I tackle very often, 'cuz I much prefer projects that provide visible RESULTS fast. Crocheting gazillions (perhaps slightly exaggerated . . . closer to 200) of little squares for weeks on end before you put anything together is annoying. However, my favorite afghan is beginning to show its age, and will eventually need retirement. Actually, they are not squares . . . they are hexagons that start out like the picture on the left in dark colours (oxblood, pine), then continue in lighter/brighter colours (fuschia, mint), and will eventually come together with something boring but basic (black? beige? brown?). I need to choose two more colours for centers -- one dark, one light/bright -- before I choose the "put it all together" colour, but still haven't decided WHICH two colours even after three shopping trips to do so! I'm thinking rust/orange & peach or gold & yellow. Suggestions?

I received a wonderful new book as a thank you gift for some tutoring I did early this year: KNITTING OVER THE EDGE by Nicky Epstein. What a nice addition to my personal craft library (I have Epstein's first book, Knitting on the Edge, as well.) I think that once I've finished this afghan, I shall use my stash of ruby red baby alpaca/silk to make the capelet shown on the cover.

Beyond these crafty endeavours, I will be doing summer courses. However, they are all condensed courses, maximum duration of 2 weeks, and spread over the summer instead of all at the same time, so I should feel like I've had a summer vacation when September rolls around . . . not like last year! One of the courses will be in Prince Rupert . . . at least I'm hoping it will be . . . registration numbers are so low at this point that it could be cancelled. That would be very disappointing. I've never been to Prince Rupert, so would love the excuse to spend a couple of weeks there. I'm also doing some ESL tutoring, just in case you think I've got too much free time on my hands!

The weather here in PG is sunny and warm, and I'm really enjoying getting out and walking. Of course, the best part of warm weather is probably BARE TOES! I noticed in this mornings newspaper that the downtown Farmers' Market opens tomorrow, so I know what direction my walk shall be in the morning. (If you happen to recognize my toes . . . say hi!)

Tuesday, 11 April 2006

It's over!

Last exam for this term has now been written, and this very tired student is about to leave the building . . .

I'm off home for a nice nap . . . which might just last until tomorrow. Who knows? Tomorrow could involve some nice relaxing knitting . . .

Happy Easter, y'all! (Don't forget to feed Charlotte a tasty fly or two while you're visiting, eh?)

Saturday, 8 April 2006

It's spring!

This is day 3 of sockless toes! Oh joy, oh joy! Its quite amazing how this city goes from snowbanks to sunshine in a very short time. One day my fellow students are bundled to the eyebrows, and the next day there's so many neon-bright white legs and bare feet showing, a body could go blind. I haven't dug out the capris yet, but it sure feels good to wear sandals again. Funny thing, I love knitting socks, but I sure hate wearing them. (How many times can You use the word "sure" in a paragraph??? Don't pick on my English -- I just finished a three hour exam!) I think my feet came from a long line of equatorial-type bare feet.

Well, term papers are finished, and all three turned out to be "A" papers. One exam is over, and although I'm a little fried at the moment, I feel pretty good about what I wrote. I have one day to recuperate, and then two more exams ... one Monday, and one Tuesday. Ugh! Its been 12 to 14 hour days all this past month, so I think I shall spend Easter Weekend sleeping. Or at least lounging in my jammies.

I read a thought-provoking little bit of graffiti in a library study carrel this past week: "Fighting for peace is like f***ing for virginity". Just thought I'd share that.

Have a good weekend, y'all!

Thursday, 30 March 2006

Spiders are NOT creepy!

Must have something to do with this sudden warm weather. I've either heard or witnessed at least one person a day freaking out about a tiny little spider! This annoys me (this is an understatement!). First, I seriously dislike shrieking hysterical females. Second, I seriously like spiders. Fascinating creatures they are. Truly! Third, the shrieking hysterical females are generally several thousand times larger than the fascinating little spiders, which really makes any subsequent stomping and smooshing totally unfair. So to all you spider stomper-smooshers out there ... meet my little friend Charlotte. Feed her a bug (click the little MORE tab bottom right of her web) and think twice before you freak out about Charlotte's kin!


  • term papers ... nearly finished the last one (due April 5).
  • course presentations/projects ... almost ready for the last one (next Monday)
  • knitting ... 11 new dishcloths finished. # 12 will come off the needles on my way home today.
  • social life ... no. Okay, that's a teensy lie ... N and I took last Friday evening off and had dinner at the Waddling Duck (fabulous fish 'n chips, and I so miss my favorite fish 'n chips joint near the Quay!), then dessert at Tastebuds. If you've never been to either, you should go! Then A and I took Saturday evening off and went to see Inside Man. Good flick ... Denzel Washington and Jody Foster, directed by Spike Lee. Just the right amount of action and intrigue to make it worth the price and the popcorn. Besides, my brain REAllY needed a break!
  • exams ... first one is 8 days and 15 hours away ... EEEK!

I hope its sunny wherever you are. have a good week, and be kind to spiders!

Thursday, 23 March 2006

Two done, one to go ...

I probably say this every semester, and you're totally forgiven for thinking I've lost it and taken to repeating myself -- which is likely true! -- but this has been the semester from hell! I've struggled like mad to keep up with course readings (and I'm only taking 3 courses), and getting presentations organized, projects finished, and papers written has about sent me fleeing to the funny farm for some time out! However, one more paper to go (topic: diabetes and circumpolar peoples), due April 5, followed by final exams. Then I can take a deep breath ... and do it all over again next semester. Yes, I will be doing summer courses. I'm making damn sure I've got enough credits for that blasted piece of paper that says 'congrats, here's your BA' next year this time!

I have to tell you, all this academic crap is seriously impinging on my knitting time. Its taken me OVER 10 days to finish ONE sock! So I've switched to knitting cotton dishcloths for awhile. Like socks, one can never have too many cotton dishcloths ... agreed? Socks, and now dishcloths, is my travelling knitting project. In other words, its small enough to fit in the side pocket of my book bag, and simple enough to pull out on the bus, during a break, or even during a lecture if I think I can get away with it -- which I can most classes. (One prof has put in her order for socks for next winter!)

At home I've been patiently knitting at a kid mohair stole. I love the feel of it, but don't ever make a serious mistake, 'cuz frogging kid mohair is a huge pain! Funny that ... knitting with it is okay, but frogging it makes me sneeze violently. Psychosomatic perhaps??? Its a lovely cream colour with ever so slight a hint of pink to it. I keep picturing myself wearing said stole over a swishy dress at the symphony or opera in one of the posh theatres in Vancouver. Okay, I know I'm 'up north in the sticks' and not in Vancouver, but ya gotta have dreams! That being said, I'm quickly running out of cream-coloured kid mohair ... let's keep our fingers crossed about having enough to finish my stole!

Hey! Spring's here! These past two days, our neighbourhood snowbanks have turned into sloughs in the sunshine. It was a long time coming, but it happened fast when it did arrive! I suppose y'all 'down south' have trees in bloom already . . .

So I'm taking a "brain break" this evening. It's been 12 and 14-hour days every day these past two weeks, and I'm reaching (reached?) that point where I can re-read a page or paragraph four times in a row, and nothing sticks in my head. Instead, I'm picturing 'jammies', some kind of mindless fluff on TV, maybe a little knitting, maybe a big plate of nachos, and early to sleep.

Toodles for now . . . go outside and enjoy the sunshine!

Monday, 13 March 2006

No time to blog ...

... but I'm gonna write something quick anyhow ('cuz I'm procrastinating ...).

PROGRESS REPORT on last weeks goals: one sock finished, one term paper not finished but due in 6 days and 20.5 hours! Yikes!

S.T. shared this with me this past weekend. Try it! (These kinda things always amaze me!)


DON'T CHEAT BY SCROLLING DOWN FIRST! It takes less than a minute . Work this out as you read ... Be sure you don't read the bottom until you've worked it out! This is not one of those waste of time things, it's actually fun (& somewhat educational)!

1. First of all, pick the number of times a week that you would like to have chocolate (more than once but less than 10).

2. Multiply this number by 2 (just to be bold) .

3. Add 5.

4. Multiply it by 50 (I'll wait while you get the calculator).

5. If you have already had your birthday this year add 1756 .... If you haven't, add 1755.

6. Now subtract the four digit year that you were born.

You should have a three digit number .... the first digit of this was your original number (i.e., how many times you want to have chocolate each week). The next two numbers are YOUR AGE! (Oh YES, it is!!!!!) If it isn't .... you muffed up your arithmetic .... do it again!

Cool, eh? I have to go to the vending machine now ...

Monday, 6 March 2006

Did you watch the 'Oscars'?

I did! Naturally, I was rooting for my favourite movie of recent months, WALK THE LINE, and was absolutely thrilled when Reese Witherspoon won best actress in a leading role for her fabulous portrayal of June Carter Cash! I was touched by her acceptance speech when she told how June Carter used to say "I'm just trying to matter" when folks asked how she was, and that's what Reese was also trying to do. Nice. I would have been doubly thrilled had Joaquin Phoenix won best actor in a leading role for his incredible portrayal of Johnny Cash. However, to be fair, I have to admit I haven't seen the film Capote yet, so can't criticize Philip Seymour Hoffman's win in that category.

March of the Penguins took best documentary feature, and well deserved. Have you seen it? Great film narrated by Morgan Freeman. All penguins, no humans. I was also happy to see Brokeback Mountain take several awards (best director, best adapted screenplay, best original score). I haven't seen Crash yet, so I'll reserve judgment on whether Brokeback should have taken best picture or not for now. All in all, it was a good Awards evening ... no, wait! What the heck was that so-called best original song -- "It's Hard Out There for a Pimp" -- meant to accomplish??? Excuse me??? We're feeling sorry for pimps now???

Besides watching the Oscars, I worked on term papers (will it never end???) most of the weekend. It was nice to take a break Sunday evening to watch TV and work on my latest at-home knitting project (versus my take-along knitting project -- socks) -- a Kid Mohair Stole (I'll have to try and figure out how to post some pictures when its done 'cuz I'm really liking the looks of it). Okay, I just told y'all a slight wee lie, 'cuz I actually took a break Saturday night to go out to a movie. (I'm feeling a little like Ebert & his buddy doing all these movie reviews!) I tried to see Eight Below again, and it was sold out AGAIN! (Is it something really special, or what???) So I ended up going to see Bruce Willis in Sixteen Blocks. My advice? Save your money and watch it at home when it comes out on DVD -- its got a bit of action but not really much story line. Only redemptive feature: the sight of veteran cop Jack Mosely (Willis) with a hangover at the beginning of the show is pretty much enough to scare a person out of drinking again ever!

My goals for this week: finish one term paper and one sock. What does your week look like???

Tuesday, 28 February 2006

I'm feeling much better now ...

... thanks everyone for all the 'get better soon' wishes! My cold seems to have dried up over the past weekend, and I sure am glad!

Since I was feeling sorry for myself, I decided an evening out (with pockets full of kleenex, naturally) at the movies was in order last weekend. I planned to see "Eight Below", but -- to my surprise -- it was sold out. I started to walk out of the theatre and was accosted by some zealot spouting off about the evils of homosexuality, and how gay people can change their ways if they simply down on their knees and ask the Lord to take their gayness away. Made me see red. So, I decided on the spot that I needed to see "Brokeback Mountain" again -- I went opening night and loved it -- and told said zealot that he had helped me decide to go back inside and watch one of the most touching stories about enduring love to grace the silver screen. Then I told him what I thought about HIM! Maybe I'll get to see "Eight Below" this coming weekend!

Anyone know what's happening with Lewiscraft ? I heard a while back the chain was sold -- but didn't hear to who -- and apparently there's a fabulous clearance sale happening in our local store. Does this mean they're going to disappear? Does this mean I might have to resort to craft shopping at [shudder] Walmart?

Darn good thing there's a nice little yarn shop downtown! I made a stop there last weekend to stock up on sock yarn (having completely run out, if you can imagine!) and was introduced to Darlene's two delightful yarn shop companions. You know it doesn't take much coaxing to convince me to fall for the pooch (Golden Lab variety), but I wasn't so sure about the little prickly guy. I've never met a hedgehog up close and personal before, have you? He really was a cute little character -- about the size of your closed fist when napping and about as long as your flat open hand when awake. Very sweet little nose and paws! Hmmm ... I wonder what my boys (Tackle and Vido the Goldfish Bros.) would think of a little hedgehog playmate???

Soooooo, I should be busy doing term paper research, not blogging. What can I say? Tuesdays are for procrastination ... right? Have a good week, all!