Showing posts from October, 2010

"Lonely is a freedom that breathes easy"

I always have great ideas for blog entries at like 01:00 when I’m lying comfortably in bed and just on the cusp of sleep. I’m always so much funnier when I’m approaching dream-land than when I’m wide awake, oatmeal stuck to my ribs, and trying to decide which shoes are appropriate for the weather of the moment. The past few days were sort of difficult. I’ve started watching episodes of Grey’s Anatomy (clearly I am in need of serious procrastination material if I’ve gotten over my Meredith grudge), and there was an episode that really struck me: A doctor, who had Asperger syndrome and didn’t like being touched had a massive freak out and the only way to calm her down was to hug her. She used some fancy medical jargon to explain why the body’s nervous system reacts to pressure, something about suppressing the nerves, blah blah blah. And something about that episode, that moment, made me realize how incredibly lonely I was. I’m not a lonely person by nature. I like being with peo

Geek Chic: How YouTube Has Made it Cool to Be a Nerd

I’m a nerd. I’ve read Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban more than 40 times. I would rather go to a history museum - and not even a good one - than go shopping. I spend hours cataloguing my books and making sure its organized by author’s last name. I like discussing critical theory, especially Foucault and issues of power, over coffee. I watch Russian movies with English subtitles for fun, I have a T-shirt depicting Karl Marx with a lampshade on his head (A “Communist Party,” if you will), and my idea of a perfect date is a night out at Chapters. Oh, and I'm doing my Masters in Children's Literature. My mom gets disgruntled when I acknowledge my nerdiness out loud, or when I declare that my dad is a geek. And understandably so - the word “nerd” was coined in the US in 1951, a derivation from “nut,” meaning “a stupid or crazy person” (, for those who need sources). Wikipedia says this about it: Nerd is a term that refers to a person who avidly pursues intel

Today I Wear Purple

I’m sure most people have heard about the recent suicides of Tyler Clementi and other LGBT teenagers in the United States. Tyler was outed as being gay on the internet in a graphic way by his friend at university. He committed suicide shortly after. There have been several suicides of LGBT teens reported in the news over the past few months. Each had been bullied, abused, and tormented for their sexuality, actions, and mannerisms.  The It Gets Better Project ( ) has been working with actors, musicians, journalists, and people who have survived bullying in high school to promote the news that “It Gets Better.” Bullying and abuse from peers is rampant in high school, but there is life after high school, and you will survive and thrive. Today, 20 October 2010, I, along with thousands of others, wear purple to commemorate the lives of those who felt hopeless, marginalized, and estranged because of their sexuality and saw no other way out. I wore purple to sho

The NHL: A Love Story

Several cool and unexpected things happened to me this week: I sat next to a woman on the bus who turned out to be from Newfoundland and used to work with my aunt; I went to a super fancy (and delicious) free breakfast with my classmates and got to meet Canadian author/illustrator Pierre Pratt, who signed a book for me and was absolutely delightful; and I had to get my glasses fixed and I met a lovely optician and a friendly woman from New Brunswick who asked me to dog sit for her while she’s in the States. It was an alright weekend, all ‘round. Most importantly, though, I saw my first NHL game yesterday: Canucks v. Hurricanes. You must all know by now that I am a self-proclaimed useless hockey fan. I would cheer for the Habs, but only because my Dad does. I know nothing about NHL players, except Sidney Crosby is a good player and he’s beautiful, and Wayne Gretzky is a super hero. People over the years have tried to teach me the rules of the game, the scoring, and about the player

Frustration, or Why MUN is Better Than UBC

Now that I’ve been here for about a month and a half, I have realized that there are a bunch of things that are annoying about life in a big city and life at a big university. Obviously there are lots of great things about Vancouver and UBC, but there are plenty of things that make me frustrated, angry, and upset. Today was a prime example of everything I don’t like about a big university colliding into one gigantic collage of irritating. I had an assignment due for my class this evening, and I needed to verify how to properly cite newspaper articles. I know I can access the MLA guide online, but I’m super old school (learned it all from Ginny) and I like using the MLA Handbook. Anyway, I figured I’d stop by the Writing Centre (WC) on my way to print my paper off, because at MUN the WC has reference books that anyone can stop in and glance through. I, perhaps naively, presumed the WC here would be the same. This was not to be so. When I went in, there were several offices, none of wh

There's So Much to Be Thankful For

Happy Thanksgiving! I never really know if Thanksgiving is celebrated on the Sunday or Monday; my family usually eats turkey dinner on Sunday, but we have a holiday on Monday.  Anyway, I’ve been feeling homesick the past few days. It seems silly because Thanksgiving is usually just another turkey dinner, except we go around and say what we’re thankful for. And there’s pie at the end. And usually the majority of my friends are away for YC or gone home for the break from MUN. But I realized that this will be my first holiday away from home like, ever. Except Canada Days spent at camp, but I’ve never been too broken up about that. So in the spirit of this weekend, I thought I’d make a list I of things that I am thankful for: I am thankful for my parents and their kindness, generosity, and truly unconditional love, even when I’ve been a nightmare to deal with; for their support in the decisions I’ve made in life and trusting that I will make wise choices in moments of uncertainty. I am

Love, or Something Like It

I don’t write about love very much. Most of my poetry or short stories don’t centre about love. I’ve written about the aftermath of love, about the loneliness of a love lost, but never about the act of falling in love, or the moment of being in it. This could be for any number of reasons, but I think there might be two in particular: 1. I think it’s really cheesy, and 2. I’ve never been in love. Let’s tackle the first: Nothing bothers me more than watching a really interesting film or reading a great book with a complex and intense plot, lots of action and a really well crafted narrative and then, all of a sudden, a romance is thrown in. It doesn’t add anything to the story, it isn’t necessary to the completion of the plot, but the author/screenwriter thought it would be a good time to toss in a bit of kissing and a few long, lingering looks to amp up the sap level. Gross. A last-minute romance usually completely undermines an otherwise interesting story. Don’t get me wrong: I love

Post the Thirteenth - The Impossibility of District 12

"One book down - one bazillion to go!" This is going to be a short post today. I've decided to finally pretend I'm in school and get some work done. However, I absolutely had to post about the book I've just finished reading: Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games . I picked this book up because everyone in my program has been talking about it. Also, all of my favourite vloggers on YouTube often talk about how great the series is, so I really had to get in the loop. This book is the first in the Hunger Games  trilogy; the others are Catching Fire  and Mockingjay . I was reluctant to start reading this book because I really had no idea what it was about. Essentially, I've learned, the story is about a post-apocalyptic type dystopian community that grew out of a demolished North America. There are 12 Districts, and every year the Capitol holds the Hunger Games, where two young people, a male and a female, from each district compete. These games are not

Post the Twelfth - The Myth of Knowing Everything: Disbanded

Today is a day to be marked in history: I saw my first ever NHL players skating on home ice. Granted, they were not the Canadiens, but I think we can all agree that the Canucks are an alright team all ‘round. Michelle had gotten tickets to see the Canucks’ open practice this afternoon. She had a few extras, so Jen, Mirranda, and Cameron joined us, accompanied by Dave and Shayan. Such was my excitement for the event that I bought a Canucks t-shirt yesterday in preparation for seeing them today - the first NHL item I’ve ever owned.  Even though it wasn’t a game and the team were just running drills and the stadium wasn’t filled, I still had a great time. Michelle has picked up where Laura left off years ago in trying to make me interested in the game, and I think this might be my year. It’s totally different cheering for a “home team” when you’re actually living in the city that has it’s own NHL team. It’s the wonder of professional sports: the population rallies behind this group of st

Post the Eleventh - Death by Cycling

Bit of a late post today, but I was out and about all afternoon, and this is the first chance I’ve had to write. I made a commitment to write every day for seven days, and I cannot betray my homage to Wheezy! Today I met Michelle and we planned to rent bikes and cycle around Stanley Park. Dad wanted to do this when he was here, but I bailed at the last minute because I freaked about my ability to ride a bike. I wanted to try and overcome this fear, however, and decided that I wouldn’t hurt to at least give it a go. I mean, I rode a bike when I was younger (albeit poorly), and I ride bikes a the gym all the time, so I couldn’t be that bad, right? *Sigh* Michelle bikes around Vancouver often, so this was nothing new to her; but as I donned by helmet, I knew the worst was awaiting. I was a bit shakey at first, it being, oh, 13 years since I last rode a bike. But the longer we rode, the worse I became! I couldn’t steer and I almost crashed into Michelle at one point. What made it worse

Post the Tenth - The Project Continuum

Yesterday I posted a picture of the fountain outside of Marine Drive. It looked like this: Today, however, as I walked past on the way to class, it looked like this: Another student and I from my building chatted about it for a while as I was taking pictures. We suspect somebody threw suds in there as a prank. I, personally, think it's hilarious, while my cohort thought it was insensitive. We thus parted ways (metaphorically at least; we continued walking in the same direction up to our respective apartments, which are, awkwardly, across the hall from each other). Even though I have no set plan for blogging today and nothing to talk about in particular, I promised myself I would do it. And so I am. A friend from my program and I went out to supper after class last night. I find my eating schedule is very wonky here, especially on the days when I don't have day classes. Our class was over at 21:00, and because we had both not eaten supper, we decided to try out the Mar