Showing posts from October, 2012

Ottawa Update #2 (Or: My Most Creative Title To Date)

I've been in Ottawa for nearly two full months now. I've gained and lost a roommate, had two paycheques, assisted in cooking a moderately-successful Thanksgiving dinner, and made and deleted an online dating profile, so I think it's time to check in.

These upcoming two weeks are the busiest on my academic calendar. Between being a TA and marking assignments, writing and editing and re-editing grant proposals, reading endless complicated articles, and preparing essays and presentations, I legitimately don't know how I'm going to finish everything I need to get done. And here I am, writing a blog post at 11:37pm. As you do.

I am frequently asked how I'm liking Ottawa, or how Ottawa is treating me, so I will tell you: I love it here. I like the weather; I have made new, wonderful friends; I like my room mates; I like the shopping and the food. In part because of Steve's connections and friends here, and in part because the sort of zeitgeist of Ottawa is suited…

Book Review: The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling

Guys: she's back!
More than five years after the release of the seventh and final Harry Potter book (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, if you've been living without access to cable / the internet / a newspaper), Rowling has finally released another book: The Casual Vacancy! And this one's definitely not for children.
I purposely didn't read any reviews or even a plot summary of The Casual Vacancy before reading it. I didn't want to know anything about it, anything that might taint or distort my reading before I had even turned the title page. I wanted to have as pure of an experience as possible with the text. I wasn't sure if I should post a review so soon after its release (a week ago yesterday), in case others had the same feeling about it. So if you do: read no further! Stop here and go get The Casual Vacancy and read it and then come back and finish reading this post (because I do want you to read this post, I'll be honest with you.) So, let's …

On Birthdays: An Ode to Wheels on Her 24th Day Of Birth

Today is my best friend's birthday!

I am very grateful that Wheels was born 24 years ago on this day. Since I can't be there to celebrate in person, I thought I'd dedicate a whole blog post to her on her birthday, listing some facts about the mystical and magical Melissa Wheeler.

1. She loves my cats, even though she is allergic. My cats love her. She communes with all animals and is, in fact, the squirrel whisperer (not pictured, but she is. Trust me.)

2. She is a hipster of epic proportions. This hipster-ness, while slightly affected, results in fun things sometimes, like playing trivia or bringing a ukelele along for a road trip or shopping at Urban Outfitters.

3. There is no one in the world who knows more about music trivia (except maybe Chuck Klosterman) than Wheels. Her knowledge spans decades and countries and she corrects my lyrics 98% of the time, and the 2% that she isn't she is holding back because she does it too much. She is useful to have on a trivia team…