Friday, December 24, 2010

Finally in Denmark!

So after over 24 hours (not factoring in the time difference) of being either on a plane or train, at an airport, or on a bus, and 6 hours of delays, I finally arrived safe and sound in Copenhagen at Steph's home!

I slept until 12:30 noon today lol.  I guess that's what happens when you don't get a decent sleep for over a day of travelling.  It was like heaven getting into a bed and lying out nice and warm, and comfy.

It's beautiful here.  There is a lot of snow, but that doesn't stop people from walking and biking everywhere.  I love it!  We saw a few bikes today that were super frozen and iced though... poor bikes.

We walked through a very beautiful cemetery today as well where we visited the grave of Hans Christensen Anderson.

We are going to make a nice goose dinner for Christmas eve and drink some glogg which is tradition here in Denmark.

Merry Christmas everybody!

P.S.  Danish sounds very strange

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

silly London, delays are for amateurs

So after checking the Air Transat website, and feeling pretty good about flights all being on time, we arrive at the airport to find out that my flight is delayed by 3 hours!  Joy....  Thank goodness my flight into Copenhagen doesn't depart until 5pm tomorrow...  All should be ok.  I was pretty stressed there for a bit, trying to figure out if I'd miss the bus or need to re-schedule it (from Gatwick to Heathrow)... Ooooo panic attacks.  Good times I tell you.

Now I'm just looking forward to taking a gravol and having a nice sleep before waking up in London.

Here's hoping all other flights go nice and smooth :)

I know it's kind of crappy quality, but that's ok... it's still classic.

Monday, December 20, 2010

fall term is officially over!

I had my very last final today from 3:30-5:30pm.  It was in Anthropology, and I finished it in 45 minutes. Let's hope the marks all get posted super fast so I can see how I did, and what my GPA is :)

Who's idea was it to have finals going into the week of Christmas though?  Bad idea I tell you!


I am sad that ANTH 201 is over.  I will treasure that class forever.  If anyone is thinking of taking a class about evolution and primates, I whole heartedly recommend this class, and I will jump up and down in enthusiasm.  That's how much I loved it.

Or if you want to take an awesome adventurous trip, check out civilized adventures because Brian Keating (the teacher for the primate half of my ANTH 201 class) is involved with many of these trips.  He works at the Calgary Zoo also.  Amazing teacher!

So what awesome things did I learn this term, you might wonder... well:

-Hammurabi is, and I quote, "the big dick of Babylon".  He has a stele/column, which happens to be a phallic symbol, and is a code of law that is very specific and wide ranging.

-Vervet monkeys have blue balls, they are literally sky blue to turquoise, and they also have a cherry red penis.

-Bonobos motto would be "make love, not war" as they are very sexually active, way more than needed for simple reproduction.  Even males will rub up on other males, and same with females.  They also have sex in the missionary position which is very unique

-Spider monkeys' clitoris is long and pendulous, and simulates a penis.  It is difficult to sex them

-A mother gorilla will eat the umbilical cord and placenta for a few reasons:  to get a little burst of protein and therefore energy after birth, and to clean up so that predators are less likely to detect a baby is around

-A sad fact:  Male Orangutans will rape females

-Bush babies urine-wash themselves

-Male Proboscis monkeys' noses grow as they get older, and females choose males with bigger noses.  Hmmm

-Another sad fact:  There are only 600-750 Mountain Gorillas left in the world.  These are the ones that Dian Fossey studied

-Chimpanzees share 98% of our DNA!

-Pan Troglodytes (common chimps) are male-bonded rather than female bonded.  Most females avoid each other.  They are also very aggressive when frustrated and if they come upon another community of chimps.  They also hunt, and will exchange meat for sex with females.  Gotta get laid somehow!  And they make and use tools (to catch termites for example)

-Chimps' testicles weigh 1/4 pound!  McDonald's quarter pounder anyone? lol

-Marmosets and Tamarines almost always give birth to twins.  Therefore they have a uni-female/multi-male social organization.  Daddies are very hands on so that mom can get enough food to support the twins.  They are also the only other primate besides us to use assisted midwifery.

-Less than 5% of monkeys have prehensile tails (grasping)

-Orangutans are very cautious brachiators.  They often fall out of trees.  In fact, 70% of their skeletons have long bone fractures

-Abstract art is not devoid of images.  It is based on math and geometric drafting

-The only difference between reality and virtual reality are the consequences

-Egyptians and most hard-core Christians are death-oriented.  Greeks were very life-oriented in contrast

-Much of the "do nots" from Christianity came from the Early Christian persecution in Rome

-The cone is very vulnerable and dramatic ("he's a prick") whereas the cube is dowdy and logical ("he's a square").  The cone is easily broken, and "how would you like to go around without a pricker? Unable to poke anything?" (in the teacher's own words)

-Spiritual ecstasy is the religious equivalent of sexual orgasm

-Persians had the first multi-cultural policy, and used drapery (from the Greeks) to seem more polite and gentile

-The Amarna revolution preferred the endo-ecto typecasting of human figures (very odd body type)

There's more of course, but those are the highlights... As you can tell, I think monkeys are fascinating...  Poor Gavin gets to learn monkey facts daily lol.

So now I get a break from studying, huzzah!  And I get to see my Stephanie, double huzzahs!  And see Rome!  *jumps up and down*

And it's almost my birthday and Christmas!  I love December!

Merry Christmas everybody, and a Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 18, 2010


I saw her sing this song on her Christmas special, and absolutely loved it.  It took me a little searching to figure out what song it was, but well worth the effort.

This song literally gives me chills.  Enjoy!

This is one of my biggest issues with the world today.  There is absolutely no reason for there to be anyone starving or living in abject poverty.  Why is it that the "American Dream" involves owning 10 houses in different countries, 20 cars, a private jet, a yacht, an island... and nothing to do with seeing the whole world at least being able to eat and have a roof over their heads?  Does not America claim to be a "Christian" nation?  A lot of difference that seems to make...  The American Dream is the most selfish, pig-headed idea ever to be conceived.  It is the work of corrupt politicians who realize that the only way for them to keep their precious riches is for everyone else to think that they could get there too one day.  It's held just out of reach for the masses, which is just what the rich want.

Think about this:  something like 99% of the worlds wealth is owned by 1% of the world's population.  Now how on earth does that even remotely seem rational? How on earth do we think this is acceptable?

I realize that many people of means do try to make a difference, and I applaud that.  However, it's just not enough.  If a dime a day can feed, clothe and put a child to school, what could millions of dollars do?

Recently I saw Celine Dion's home in a magazine and literally felt sick to my stomach.  That's not a house, it's as big as a Ritz Carlton hotel!  And there's only 5 of them!  I understand wanting a nice house, car, clothes, and going on vacations, etc.  But who on earth needs that much stuff?  Who on earth needs more than 1 million per year?  That's more than $83,000 per month (before taxes)!  $100,000 per year is a pretty good income for goodness sakes!

I don't think people should be allowed to make more than 1 million per year.  After that, it has to go to charity.  Let's put all this money that people don't actually need into countries like Malawi or Nicaragua, and really make a difference in the world.  Our grandchildren should be able to enter this world and never see a World Vision commercial.

If everyone could just stop and realize that we all deserve the basics of life.  We all deserve the chance to live in a clean, warm home with food in our bellies.  But everyone is so busy, rushing around and letting life pass them by.  We've become so disconnected from life.  And this results in such a selfish society as a whole.

Movie stars that need 10 million for one movie, and hockey players making millions to play hockey!  Why?  I know these are major money making enterprises, but what's wrong with letting the less fortunate benefit from our surplus?  When did it become normal for someone playing a sport to make more than a doctor saving lives?  When did we decide that it was acceptable for people to own 10 houses and have personal chefs, while there are millions of children starving to death in the mud with no roof over their heads?

Many who like to say that they they 'follow Jesus' example' in fact do not even seem to grasp the basic principles of the book they so love.  They put their hope in some invisible being that will one day make it all better, instead of wondering what they could do right now to help.

Everyone seems to think that the worlds problems are just too big and awful to solve.  That there's just no way anyone could make a difference, so why even bother?  "I can't end poverty, so I'm just going to ignore it and wait for God/Allah/Vishnu... to fix it one day" seems to the attitude of many.

But here's the thing, we can each make a difference.  It may be small, and it may seem insignificant, but to someone, somewhere it could mean the world.

Something else to think about:  We all came from Africa originally.  That is where mankind came to be.  Why is it one of the most neglected continents in the world?

In the words of Martin Luther King Jr:

"Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.

And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

it's almost over!

Art History 201 will be over tomorrow at 10am.

*huge sigh of relief*

The amount of information for the final is absolutely ridiculous...  I'll be lucy if I get 4 hours sleep tonight :(

Here's hoping that the majority of the class does terribly so that I will get an A+... Go curve!

Back to studying now... *slams head against desk*

Shout out!

Everyone should check out this fabulous local jewelry designer:

She makes some really beautiful and unique pieces which is exactly what I love.  No one else will be wearing the same piece :)

Perfect for Christmas pressies ;)  Or Valentines... Any occasion really :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Road Rage Rant

I would really like to know why it is that every single year, without fail, all Calgarians collectively forget how to drive (winter appropriately) the second snow starts coming down.

Just because you have winter tires does not mean that you can speed!  There is still ICE on the road, and unfortunately you can still slide on it even with winter tires.  Gee, rocket science this is.  You ever see people try to go ice skating with runners on?  Would you attempt to race your friend across the ice rink wearing runners* if you bet money on it?  I think not.  But here's the thing, when you are driving on a highway with other cars, cement blockades, and ditches, you have the potential to DIE.  Or at the very least get into a pretty bad car crash which in the end means a deductible and insurance rates sky rocketing.  So seriously, in the long run, is it that big of a deal to give yourself an extra 30mins let's say and drive carefully, cautiously, and slowly (or slower)?

*and by runners I don't mean any kind of fancy runners with any kind of grip, I mean normal runners.

It seems we get the two extremes.  The maniacs who think they should be able to go the speed limit no matter what.  And the people who are really nervous and go 20 km/hr.  Now I ask you, why not find a happy medium... like 60km if the roads are really icy?  Yes, I realize that on Deerfoot the speed limit is 100.  But maybe try thinking about the word limit.  A speed limit is the maximum speed for a specific road/area, if the conditions are good.  You can deal with going slow and steady.  It's better than getting into an accident, and if there weren't so many damn accidents, traffic would probably move at a steadier pace.  You are not going anywhere fast in winter on the road, get used to it.  It happens every year for about 6 months.

My other favourite thing about Calgarian drivers is how god damn selfish they are.  People are trying to merge, and instead of realizing that the roads are ICY and that the less people have to try to stop and get going again, the better, they can't possibly slow down for 5 seconds and let someone in.  No, wouldn't want to add another 30 seconds to your trip, best to just drive right on by and not worry about that car crashing into a cement barricade or another car because you were too damn selfish to slow down a tiny little bit to let them in.

Then you have the people who, despite being given a huge gap (possibly the length of 3 whole cars) in order to merge, feel that they are more special than everyone else and need to get as far down the line as possible.  You know who I'm talking about, the ones who drive right to the very end of the merge lane and expect people (who have probably been inching their way through the traffic for a long time) to let them in.  YARG!

Stupid, selfish, crazy people!  They should all be sterilized.

*huge sigh*  Ok back to studying now...

Winter has arrived

Well I did say that I wanted it to snow... and it sure has.  Unfortunately, the roads are pretty icy and crappy, but I guess that comes with the whole frozen precipitation deal.  

I think Winter would be absolutely no big deal if I had a hired driver.  Because really, that's the only part of Winter that people really hate...slipping and sliding on treacherous roads.  Yes, the cold too, but you can easily put on another sweater and sip a yummy gingerbread latte.  It's the roads that cause stress...

"Winter's here, snow is fallin'
And the traffic is crawlin'
The cars up ahead need better tread
Driving in a winter wonderland

Tires slide, drivers panic
Then they steer like they're manic
They jerk left and right and spin out of sight
Drivin' in a winter wonderland"

Despite the crazy roads, which I am trying to avoid like the plague, I am still happy to see snow snow on the ground.  After all, it's not a winter wonderland without snow.  I like white Christmases.

The snow has inspired me to get going on some Christmas projects.  I might listen to Christmas carols later and put up my decorations too.  Once I'm done studying of course.

Stay warm and safe everyone!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Next Weekend! Next Weekend!

I CAN'T WAIT!!!  I plan to see it in the new UltraAVX theatre at Cross Iron Mills on Sunday :)

P.S.  They better not screw this one up *shakes fist*

Let it Snow!

To get into the mood:

I am feeling antsy for Christmas to arrive.  So I started making Christmas lists today and dreamt about the city blanketed with snow... I love when the trees get all frosted and covered with snow... it's so idyllic.

Once we get some snow then it will start to feel like the Christmas season, and I can start putting up my decorations, work on my nephew's stocking, and write Christmas cards while listening to Christmas music :)  It's my favourite favourite season!

I also browsed Lush's website today, and they have all their Christmas products in! *rubs hands together in excitement*  I LOVE their gift boxes, they are so pretty... and of course their contents are also fantastic.  I might have to get a few things this weekend... :)

But this also means that I need some new winter tires... fun times.  Gotta get on that pretty quick.

Well I better get back to my archaeology studying *sigh*.  For anyone considering taking this subject, don't.  Or at least not with the professor that I have... you will fall asleep in class, I swear.

And in conclusion, a little somethin somethin to get into the Christmas spirit:

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Best. Feeling. Ever.

So the last week has been full of red bull, late night study sessions, full pots of coffee, sleep deprivation (and mine is not even as bad as others), and a slightly cranky mood building up.  But today I swear little birds were singing in the trees as I walked by...

I finished the second exam of the week this morning (art history), and it was shockingly easy!  I was flabbergasted.  And after that I felt like a huge ton of bricks came rolling off my shoulders.  This week was starting to make me feel discouraged about school, but after finishing that test I felt so refreshed and ready to take on the next ones.

I got to listen to music and enjoy the sunshine on the train ride home!  Then I had a nap that seriously felt like nirvana, and watched a couple of episodes of Damages which made me dream of being a lawyer.  Huzzah!  The plan for this evening is to drink wine and lounge in the bathtub.  Ahhhh... Then back to studying tomorrow in preparation for the next round of tests... I feel like a boxer in training.

It's funny how good it feels to relax after being so wound up with stress.  It's the best feeling ever possibly.

I also got to see one of the 5 million dollar condos at Le Germain today when I stopped by to visit Gavin.  Pretty nice place!  Although I must say that I can't understand why they are worth 5 million...Aside from being in a great location.  They were nice, but the layout wasn't the best ever.  I wonder how much "Heaven on 5th" is worth from Sex and the City (the new york penthouse that Carrie and Big were going to live in).  Hmmm....

Good night all!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

It's November tomorrow!  I'm really glad that October is over... it's been a weird/kind of not so great month for some reason.

The good thing is that October is officially over today.  And my Europe trip is booked.  Huzzah!

I wanted to carve a pumpkin for Halloween, but that didn't work out... So at least I will have a spectacular Christmas!

I hope everyone had a good Halloween.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

more options for the recital

Hmmm... good thing the recital isn't until June... much practicing is needed.

some more documentary love

Who doesn't love Disney?  

The Eco Craze continues :)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

jumping up and down is in order

I'm going to Europe!

Oooo I can't wait!  I can see the Tower of London (where Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard were executed), St Paul's Cathedral, the London Eye, Big Ben....maybe Stonehenge and/or Windsor castle?  And that's just in the UK!

And, most importantly, I get to see my Stephanie!!  Huzzah!

I'm dreaming of a white christmas
Just like the ones I used to know
Where treetops glisten
And children listen
To hear sleigh bells in the snow

I'm dreaming of a white christmas
With every Christmas card I write
May your days be merry and bright
And may all your Christmases be white

I already bought christmas cards at Costco earlier this month too, so now I just have to start working on my christmas gift projects...  Is it December yet?  I'm aching to start decorating and listen to Christmas carols... Yes, I know Halloween isn't even over yet...  I just really love Christmas ok? :)

P.S.  I got special permission from the Anthropology department to take Anth311 this Winter term!  Huzzah!  So now none of my classes start until 11am next term, and all my classes and profs sound excellent.  Ok...back to studying I go... 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Eco Craze

I'm always interested in things we can all do to help the environment.  One of the things I've been trying to do is switch over to Lush products which are mostly vegan, and which have minimal packaging.  Any packaging they do use is from recycled materials and/or is recyclable.  They have bar soap shampoo (which is amazing by the way), and delicious smelling bar body soaps.  They have bar and powder deodorants, really nice solid facial cleansers, etc.  Even Gavin likes their stuff! :)

I recently heard about a new documentary called "The Clean Bin Project":

You can also check out their blog to check out some of the things they have been doing.

One of the things she mentions is the DivaCup.  Which is very interesting if you are a girl.  It's about $30-40 here in Canada... think of how much money you would save over the course of 20+ years!  I wish that schools would promote products like this to young teen girls so that they knew about better options right from the beginning (which she also mentions in the blog).

There is another one that I've been wanting to see called "Addicted to Plastic".  It is really mind boggling when you realize how many things use plastic, and also that making plastic requires petroleum and natural gas to make.  I've gotta watch this one soon.

One of the things I wish I could do is use biking as my mode of transportation.  I would love not to drive a car ever again, seriously.  I think cars are the hugest waste of money ever.  But alas, in Calgary, there is no way that you would be able to bike (safely and warmly) from one end of the city to another.  It would also take HOURS to get from the South to the North and vice versa.  And unfortunately, our public transit isn't the best either, so there are very few people who would consider being car-less.  I'm hoping that our new mayor Nenshi will actually follow through with his plans to improve public transit.  And perhaps one day I will live in Europe and drive a cute vintage red bike with a basket around :)


Monday, October 11, 2010


So... I've been looking over my schedule for the Winter term, and I'm not liking it...  I don't really like the idea of having more than one break, or breaks that are more than 2hrs long.  Even 1.5 hours can be too long, but it's not too bad.

Here is what my schedule currently is for the Winter term:

HTST 200 9-9:50am

LING 201 11-11:50am

GRST 209 2-2:50pm (Fridays 1-1:50)

ARHI 203 11-12:15

RELS 203 2-3:15

Tuesdays and Thursdays are perfect, but I'm really not liking the MWF.  I don't really want a 1 hr break and then a 2 hr break.  The only catch is that I do really want to take the History class which is about 'events and ideas that shook the world'.  It's just at the worst time.  If it was 10-10:50 it would be perfect! Dang it.  There are also about 6 profs for this course which I find kind of odd.  Anyhow, here is the class description:

"This course introduces students to the historical craft through a series of short lecture sequences that focus on specific events, ideas, and individuals that changed the course of world history."

I'm also worried that I might really not enjoy the Linguistics class... Although I do think it would be a good course to take.  Here is the class description:

"A survey of basic linguistic concepts, including: universals of language; articulatory phonics and phonology of English and other languages; words and meaning; linguistic rules and the formation of sentences." 

I'm thinking of dropping the History class, and taking it another time.  Then I could take Anthropology 311 from 12-12:50 on MWF.  And probably switch the GRST lab to 2-2:50 so that I'd have a 1 hr break all three days for lunch instead of 3 back to back classes on Fridays.  I'm just not sure...  Here's the class description for ANTH 311:

"Primate behaviour and related topics: social dynamics, sociobiology, socio- ecology, dominance, aggression, kinship, sexual behaviour, socialization, learning, cognition, communication, ape language, and conservation."

The other option would be to switch out of Linguistics and into Philosophy 201 which is at the same time (11-11:50), but it has a lab on Wednesdays from 12-12:50 or Thursdays 9:30-10:20.  So I wouldn't be able to take ANTH 311, or I'd have to be at school earlier on TuTh and I'd have a 30 min break before Art History.  Here's the class description for PHIL 201:

"Provides an introduction to philosophy through the discussion of selected topics such as skepticism, perception, personal identity, free will and determinism, God."

So that's my dilemma at the moment.  Any thoughts? :)

In other news... I got 87.5% on my first Anthropology test!  I'm so happy because I was really worried about taking a test again since it's been about 4 years...  What a relief.

Hopefully on Thursday I get my test results for my first Religious Studies and Archaeology tests.

Happy Turkey Day everyone!  Enjoy lots of turkey, stuffing, and punkin pie! Mmmm mmmm good.

Monday, September 20, 2010

First Week of School finished!

So...I now have one week of University under my belt, and about a zillion more to go lol.

Here is an overview of what I am taking this term:

Anthropology Course Description:
The first half of the course, taught by Alison Behie will focus on Human Evolution. We will begin by examining the mechanisms and implications of biological evolution. We will then apply our knowledge of evolutionary principles to examine the origins of hominids and their subsequent evolution up to an including modern humans. Students will be expected to view hominid remains and displays in the Anthropology lab (SA 143) in order to achieve a better understanding of the course material. Times for viewing will posted during lectures.

The second half of the course, taught by Brian Keating will focus on Primates. Topics covered include, taxonomy, evolution, ecology, geographic distribution and behavioural ecology of prosimians, monkeys and apes. We will learn to answer questions such as: What are primates? Where are they found? What makes them different from other mammals? What kinds of groups do they live in? Students will be required to become familiar with the primate collection at the Calgary Zoo. At the minimum students must make one trip to the zoo, however, more visits will allow you to take full advantage of becoming more familiar with the various species studied in this course. 

I get to go to the Zoo for school again! Yay! I am so freaking excited about this class. I find books on this topic a bit hard to get through on my own. Not that they aren't fascinating, but I find that I get through them at a very slow pace. So, I think it will be great to learn about all of this in a classroom. 

There is a test next week in this course!  It shouldn't be too difficult though as it's basically just the intro to evolution and natural selection.  Mostly things I have already learned about before.  I'm looking forward to having one test under my belt.  

Archaeology Course Description:
This course surveys world prehistory from the first emergence of humans to the development of ancient states and empires. We begin by looking at the techniques and methods modern archaeology uses to reconstruct the past. We then move chronologically through human prehistory, focusing on the evolution of modern humans, the development of agriculture, and the emergence of social complexity. Topics covered in the course include the Palaeolithic, Neanderthals, the peopling of the New World and Australia, the development of settled life, the Anasazi, the Maya, Ancient Egypt, and the Inca Empire.

I think this one is going to go so well with the Anthropology and Art History classes.  However, the classes in the first week were seriously putting me to sleep which I'd say is a bad sign.  I have been reading ahead a bit in the textbook though, and I think it's only Chapters 1 and 2 (the first week or so of classes) that will be boring.  Then it actually gets into the interesting parts.  So far all we have been talking about is the methods of archaeology which aren't really all that fascinating... stratigraphy, grids, horizontal excavation... *yawns*.  I'm ready to learn about Neanderthals, man!

Religious Studies Course Description:
Introduction to Eastern Religions is a general introduction to the academic study of Asian religious traditions. The course familiarizes students with the major religious and philosophical traditions of select geographical areas in South, Central, and East Asia. While refining the skills of empathetic description and non-evaluative comparison, the course also examines religion as an area of academic study, examining the function of religion in relation to human beliefs, social practices, and culture in general. A primary goal of the course is for all students to learn to define, accurately describe, and compare in a non-evaluative manner, various religious traditions within Asia so as to discover significant similarities and differences in various forms of human thought and behavior.

The prof in this course is pretty funny. He is an American also which is kind of cool... always interesting to have someone from a different country as a teacher. I think it's going to be a very interesting class as well.  I'm looking forward to learning about Buddhism and other Eastern/Asian religions as I don't really know that much about them.

Art History Course Description:
Art History Part 201 is a survey of Western Art and Architecture, chronologically organized, and running from the Old Stone Age into the Middle Ages of the Christian Era. The lecture series will begin with Egypt, although the text book starts with Mesopotamia. Significant and characteristic artifacts and architecture will be interpreted in the light of pertinent socio-economic, political, religious, and stylistic influences. A major effort will be made, on the part of the instructor, to encourage the learning of useful critical, interpretive, and technical terms and concepts and methods.

Other than the prof being hard to understand, the subject is of great interest to me.  And I think it will go nicely with my other courses.  I'm trying to keep ahead of the readings for his lectures so that I can really focus on anything additional he says, as I have it on good authority that his tests require you to pretty much know everything he is saying during lectures.

It should be a good term!  And then I'm off to Europe for Christmas holidays!  HUZZAH!

Now if only I could decide what I want to be 'when I grow up'... 

Friday, September 17, 2010

Sleeping Beauty

Another ballet I would like to see, and it's coming to Calgary this season.  Now if only I was making lots of money, and could afford to go...

For my recital

I'm thinking that I would like to play this song at my recital this year:

The Nutcracker

I've always really wanted to go see this ballet.  One day!

This was the best video I could find for the famous song by Tchaikovsky:


I've always been intrigued by the Holocaust.  It boggles my brain that humans can treat fellow humans so horribly.  You hear horror stories of SS officers throwing babies in the air and shooting them.  It just makes me want to puke.

I was always interested in how people survived this terrible event in history.  And also in the stories of those who tried to help by hiding people in attics or basements, etc.  Just like I always loved reading about the underground railroad.  I love rebellion against injustice.

One of my favourite books regarding this particular topic is In my Hands by Irene Gut Opdyke.  Amazing true story; I have read it at least 3 times.

The post is titled Auschwitz-Birkenau because I found out that you can visit this site.  It would be such an eery but profound tour I believe.  One day I would definitely like to see it.  You can check it out here:


Ooo I can't wait to go see this next week!  Gavin bought tickets for us as a surprise :)  It will be a quad-date as 3 other couples are going as well.  Should be a very good night!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

some most awesome news

So today I found out that my Archaeology class will not be requiring any papers to be written.  The mark in the class is based solely on 4 tests.  The last of which is on Dec 10th which is fantastic!  At least I know one of my classes will be all done long before Christmas.  I want to leave for Europe between the 18-21 if possible, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that my 3 final exams will be within the Dec 13-17 week.  Pretty please?  With a cherry on top?

Hopefully the Registrar books the exam times soon so that I know :)

Day 2 of classes tomorrow!

Gonna take you for a ride...

Friday, August 27, 2010

A Course Outline!

Today I discovered the blackboard.  I was getting emails from a teacher; although I did not know it was from a teacher, saying that "the course outline was available".  No other information included. I searched and searched and at last I found the course outline on the blackboard.  Huzzah!  I wish that all my course outlines were available, but I'm sure they will be soon.

Doesn't this course sound fantastic?  I am so excited!

Ancient Peoples and Places


This course surveys world prehistory from the first emergence of humans to the development of ancient states and empires. We begin by looking at the techniques and methods modern archaeology uses to reconstruct the past. We then move chronologically through human prehistory, focusing on the evolution of modern humans, the development of agriculture, and the emergence of social complexity. Topics covered in the course include the Palaeolithic, Neanderthals, the peopling of the New World and Australia, the development of settled life, the Anasazi, the Maya, Ancient Egypt, and the Inca Empire."

My classes are going to go together so well.  Seriously, they will be like puzzle pieces they will fit together so awesome.  And I can't wait to have some interesting discussions with my Dad, who denies that Neanderthals are real, among other things... *rubs hands together in anticipation*  Let the learning begin!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Welcome to the World Daniel Xavier!

It's been almost one whole week!  I can't wait to meet you <3

Lots of love!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I smell Autumn

Boy time flies.  It's almost September!  Parents are happily going 'back to school' shopping.  Fall fashions are entering the shops.  Soon pumpkin spice lattes will be back at Starbucks, and leaves will be changing their colors.

I am giddy with excitement.  I can't wait to sip my first pumpkin spice latte of the season while walking to class, wearing some cute Fall boots.  Maybe a little something like this...

I've begun to notice a pattern here.  Every Autumn I obsess over the new fashions.  Boots especially.  It seems that as soon as Autumn approaches, I tend to envision myself looking as fashionable as Andrea Sachs while working for Miranda Priestly.  Hmmm.  Well at least I am a frugal student who is being very prudent in the area of money spending.  I plan to go to Europe for Christmas, so I must resist the temptation to purchase a new wardrobe.  I might however buy a few new necessary things to spruce up my wardrobe.  Such as boots.  I bought a pair last Summer for Fall, but they died from all the snow and salt.  Must buy leather ones that resist such things this year!  

Another reason to look forward to September is the Calgary International Film Festival and Doc Soup!  *rubs hands together*  I hope they put out the film schedule soon...I am waiting eagerly.

I discovered the following film on the CIFF website today.  It's a shame that they played it last year not this year because I really want to see this!  I have always thought it would be an amazing experience to be a doctor for MSF.  Insanely intense, but richly rewarding.

Well, I am off to get ready for work again.  I have 10 shifts this week, and I'm working all 7 days.  I also worked Saturday and Sunday, so it will be 9 days in a row!  Phew...going to be a busy week.  But...I should make some good money which will fund the Eurotrip and the little wardrobe sprucing.

Au revoir pour le moment!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Frustrations with Blogging

Does anyone know how to get the contents of my blog up and to the right so that it is centered and also at the very top of the page?

I was able to stretch it out a bit which makes it far easier to read, but I can't quite figure out the html code well enough to get it just right... aka centered and at the top of the page.  *huge sigh*

Any help is much appreciated!!

Also...does anyone know why pictures decide to move themselves around?  I tell them to be to the left or centered, but they have a mind of their own it seems.  Annoying!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Lovin and Hatin the Service Industry

So I have a question:  Where did all these 18 year olds with entitlement issues and no concept of bills come from?

Recently I have had to train a few new girls.  We have had quite a few girls not show up and/or quit.  Now...first of all, I don't mind training girls, but I thought that managers usually trained people?  What bothers me is that they expect half of my tips.  Pardon moi?  If we are really busy, and we are both working our asses off...sure, I have no problem splitting tips.  If we are actually busy enough to warrant having two girls working, so that I am still making decent money.  However, if we are not very busy and the new girl is essentially shadowing me and learning, then hell no, you do not deserve half of the tips... what planet do you live on?  In restaurants, the help gets 5% tips in total.  As in 1% to the kitchen, 1% to bartenders, 1% to hostesses, 1% to busers, and 1% to the expos.  And that 1% gets split up into as many pieces as there were people working.  So let me review the situation:  new girl needs lots of help to learn the till, doesn't know how to make a rum and coke (I kid you not, an 18 year old actually asked me how to make a rum and coke. *facepalm*), could mess up the cash out, etc... Oh and also decides to just take a sitting down break the second we aren't busy without even bothering to ask or even just tell me.  Meanwhile I run my butt off helping her with till and making all the drinks, explaining things a few times, giving little tips of the trade, not bossing her around, never sat down to eat (in fact I was barely able to get some food down quickly)...etc... and then she thinks she is completely and totally entitled to half the tips because she "helped a little".  Yarg.  Oh and another one of favorites is the 18 year old who texts constantly throughout her shift.  Ummm...hello?  Put your phone away and do something.  Oh wait that's right... you don't actually want to exert yourself anymore than you have to so that you don't get fired...but you still want all the money.  Mmmhmmm.

And you know what?  These girls aren't even respectful or grateful that you give them tips.  When I was training, I would tell the girls that I was sorry that they had to train me and thus lose tips.  I also told girls not to tip me a few times.  It's simply not fair.  If you are learning and it's not busy...don't bust your ass and don't take the girls tips.  Is it really that hard a concept to grasp?  Do you not see that you are not needed (it's not busy) and there is only like $50 total in tips which is a bad enough day on it's own without having to split that for no good reason?  Sigh.  Besides the fact that most of these girls live at home and haven't got a clue what real life costs.  They aren't paying bills...this is just fun money for them.  Whereas most of the older girls pay for all their living expenses themselves and are trying to save for school.

I am also curious as to how an 18 year old doesn't know how to make something as simple as a rum and coke.  And doesn't seem to be able to think of anything useful to do that might actually help the restaurant team.  No one had to tell me to help the dish pit out by separating things and throwing garbage into the garbage.  It was something I just did automatically.  Is there no work ethic either in this generation?  Or is it just that they can't think of anyone but themselves?

One day, the place was extremely dead and I was training a girl.  So management wanted me to scrub walls down and give the kitchen a good cleaning while the new girl learned the till.  Right... And you wonder why so many girls don't show up for work and don't bother to call and quit.  Well gee...couldn't possibly have anything to do with any of the above right?

Granted, they are mostly nice young girls who I get along with.  I don't hate them.  I just can't stand the attitudes.

And guess what?  One of the newer girls finally gets it!  She has to train a brand new girl today.  And she's like 'oh shit, I have to split tips with her now...dammit!'.  Oh did I laugh.  I'm like 'yes, yes you fool.  Why do you think no one likes training people?'.  You would think it was pretty damn obvious.  Now she gets why she should have been grateful to make money when she didn't deserve it.


There are also some pretty fun times in the industry.

The other night I had a super funny older guy and an older gal on the patio.  They were talking to me about how stupid people are to get married young, joint bank accounts, girls that marry rich guys and then divorce them after 6 months to a year so that they get 50% of everything...that sort of thing.  We talked about what I wanted to take in school, and where I wanted to go with it...  But my favorite part was when he asked me: "So, let's say that you are all finished your masters degree and a good company is just about to hire you.  But, you meet Mr Right NOT Mr Now (lol) and he's a lawyer.  He makes good money and so he doesn't want you to work.  What would you do?"  I told him that I would tell that guy to hit the road (un-politely known as 'f*** off" *ahem*).  Why would I spend 6-7+ years, and $60-100, 000 just to stay at home?  No way, no how.  The older guy laughed and said "good for you!".  He also told me that should that Mr Right ever leave the picture, then I would still have my career and it wouldn't be the end of the world.  Which I already knew...but I added with a laugh "yes, in case he decides he needs a new young bride!'.  All in all it was probably the best conversation I have had with customers to date.

Yesterday I was at a beer hole.  We had a tournament that wanted two holes to have girls sitting there with a keg giving out beer (the tournament bought the kegs so the customers would get free beer).  My boss thought it would be a good idea to think of cheeky little signs to place near our tip jars to make sure we would make some money.  Mine said "Pints are free University is not".  Bahaha they loved it!  I also told them that my beer had special aiming powers and that they would have great shots for the rest of the day.  They loved this also.  I made some pretty decent tips that day.  Not record high, but definitely good.  Perhaps the little jean shorts, cowboy boots, and the new bra also helped *cheeky shrug*.  

Speaking of bras, we have been talking about boobs quite a bit lately as well.  Spurred on by the story of a girl who does titty shots at the Back Alley and makes $100,000 in tips per year!  No joke.  I have told multiple people this, and they all say that it makes sense.  For real?  A titty shot is probably not what you are thinking... it's not where a shot glass gets put in your cleavage and guys get to grab the shot glass with their mouth from your tits.  It's where you sit below a girl and she makes you a shot and pours it into your mouth and does a little titty shake basically.  It's not "classy" by any means, but there's no contact or anything.  I just couldn't believe that you could make that much just by showing some cleavage.  Also, since it's Stampede time here in cow town, we have all been talking about how girls working in busy places (such as Nashville, Roadhouse, Ranchmans, tents, etc) can make a good $3-10,000 during Stampede.  I'm sure they are all showing some leg and some cleavage.  Now, I have nothing against any of this, but I wonder what it says on a deeper level.  For the girls, they are just making some good money fast to put towards school or a Eurotrip or whatever.  For the guys....?  I wonder why they are willing to spend so much money just because a cute girl is showing some leg and/or boob.  I mean...boobs are pretty common you know.  What's the big deal?  I'm not complaining by any means... but I am curious.

I have one more observation to make.  I find that the most demanding people are also the rude ones who never tip.  Or leave you, oh 25 cents.  And the ones who are super easy to please and friendly are the ones who will always tip you, and sometimes tip you really well.  How does that work?  My hypothesis is that it all comes down to what kind of a person you are.  Most people that are hard to please are also just not happy people.  And unhappy people usually don't want anyone else to be happy.  So why would they be nice to the friendly server or give her/him any of their money?  Instead they just want to be difficult so that you can take on some of their unhappiness.  Sigh.  Although I strongly dislike the demanding people who want lots of fresh lime squeezed in their drink (instead of lime juice), sandwiches cut in half and bagged separately (while in the middle of a rush and there is no serrated edge knife to be found), and drinks with a little of this and a splash of that (not more than a splash!)... I do feel somewhat sorry for them.  They probably do not find much joy in their lives, and my guess is that they have had their food spit in on more than one occasion.  On that note, never ever be a pain in the butt customer at Denny's.  I have heard horror stories.  So, getting back to my theory... The people who are easy to please and friendly tip you because they are usually happy people.  Happy people generally like to see those around them happy also.  And therefore they are more inclined to be nice and generous to you.

So as Bob Marley says, don't worry, be happy :)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Gallivanting around Van Island

Gosh I love that city.  With it's old buildings, gorgeous trees, cafes on the water, ocean breeze...

Oh how I love old brick buildings.  Especially when they are covered in vines.

Why don't we build with this much character nowadays hmmm?

It was in front of this building that I was interviewed for a University documentary (students attend the Royal Roads University which is right near Hatley Castle...setting for the famous Xmen).  Anyways... they asked me what I thought the difference was between prostitutes and escorts.  I was very excited to be interviewed for a documentary.  Even just a student one that was just going to be shown in the classroom... You all know my love for documentaries...  Ok moving along...

Mom and I in front of a little painters booth set up in the street.

This little cafe has really tasty food, and they are adjacent to what is called The Wall.  It is a concrete 'pathway' for lack of a better term that goes out into the ocean.  It is one of my favorite places.  You can take a leisurely stroll... take in the ocean air, look at the distant mountains, and hope to see a whale.  Yes, I'm a little exuberant about seeing whales in the wild.  NOT at a Sea World I might add.  *glares*

Et voila, here is the wall.  There are some concrete 'steps' on either side of the wall that you can also walk along should you prefer to be closer to the water.  Watch your step though, those rocks ain't all even.

My mom and I off to the side of the wall.

Notice the scuba divers coming in.

Gazing out at sea...dreaming of scuba diving and of how cool it would be to help film something as amazing as Planet Earth (the ocean parts at least)...

I really like this shot. 

Just imagine living there!  I would love to design a home to fit into this gorgeous terrain.  Now if only there was surfing right there too...

These are the Oak Bay Marina seals.  You can buy fish and feed them.

Look at that tummy!

They are such funny creatures to watch.

Moving along... There are deers everywhere on the island!  I like Bambi <3

After we went to a Meaderie and did a free tasting (mmm!)...we discovered 'Sushi on the Sea'.  It is 1980's vessel where about 8 people at a time can have a unique dining experience...'sushi ON the sea'.  So we made a reservation for the next night.

Boy was the sushi tasty!  And it was definitely the most unique restaurant I have been to...been aboard?  Hmmm...anyways... it was de-li-cious.

It was really hard to get good shots due to the lighting... I should have taken pictures earlier in the night...Alas, I did not.  But should you ever take a trip to Sooke... I highly recommend this dining experience.  I forgot to mention that the server, who is an older gentlemen, changes outfits throughout the night.  Each time he brings out a course of sushi he is wearing a different jacket.  The first course he was wearing his captain's jacket.  Then the next two courses he wore two different Japanese jackets.  Pretty awesome.

And now I share with you the Gatsby Mansion.  You shall want to watch the Great Gatsby after, I swear.

It is an historic home built in 1897 from the proceeds of the 'Gold Rush'.  It has since been turned into a hotel, and they serve a public Sunday buffet brunch which we attended.

Wood paneled ceiling of course

Mmm mmm good.

Can't you just picture how the grand house would be all closed off from the kitchens?  With the slaves in the back serving the lady of the house and her friends as they have tea and biscuits in the sitting room?  *crazy*

Well that's most of my pictures.  There will be two more posts to come...  One of our excursion to Salt Spring Island, and one of a rainbow parade and festival!

Until then, please do some sun salutations with me in an attempt to lure it back out!