Saturday, April 29, 2006

Two Weeks of Homelessness: Day 4

Our day did not start well. In fact, it started pretty badly. Not only was it raining when we woke up, but it was raining on the bag of my clothes that was sitting on the roof of my car where my bike should have been. Apparently it's not a good idea to park your car overnight in the area of town where our hostel was located. Sigh. Not only was the bike stolen, but one of the side windows of the car was smashed in and all of our stuff rifled through. It seems that they got away with my bike (minus the front wheel) and my Gamecube. They left the car, with all of its confusing mess of stuff useless to thief-type people, for us to continue our trip with. Lucky!

Our day seemed doomed as we sucked up our loss and tried to find our way to the next place we were supposed to go, but became sadly lost and Very Grumpy in the rain. We magically found our way to the ferry, though, and our day became pretty dang good from there on out. The ferry ride was excellent, although rather cold and windy. We saw two (two!) bald eagles, and a group (herd?) of seals swimming about in the water, as well as other fun stuff like kayaks and sweet little cottages on islands. I will not show pictures of the car, since I didn't take any, but I'll show you some happy pictures of what we saw today and where we are now.

Our hostel tonight is way cool. It smells good, and has fun people, and fun artwork, and fun everything. We look forward to our stay here being happy and non-car-breaky-into. Cross your fingers.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Two Weeks of Homelessness: Day 3

I forgot to mention this earlier, but for the next little while (I believe till a week from today?), this site will be more of a travelogue than my normal blogginess. Just so you all know.

Today's drive was lovely. We went through the mountains for like forever, and we saw numberless lakes and trees and snow-capped peaks and all that great stuff. We also saw numberless signs warning of elk and deer and moose and elephants and what have you, but the only wildlife we saw was maybe like three deer and a couple of woodchuck things. The drive, though lovely, was very long, ending up being about 13 hours when you include the rush hour traffic in the city of our destination. We are both pretty tired, after each driving more than six hours through curvy mountainy rubber-neckingly beautiful terrain.

Our hostel tonight leaves something to be desired, and that "something" is managers with a proper grasp on the English language, and rooms that don't smell like old chinese food. I hate to be all ethnocentric, it's just that those two things have been trying for us. It took a long time for the guy to find our reservation when we were already tired and grumpy coming from 12 hours of mountain driving and one hour of rush hour traffic, and being that we were still kind of woozy from the drive and the vertigo of finally not being flying down the highway, the smell caught our grumpy selves off guard. Fortunately, we're only here for one night, and the place we're staying at tomorrow looks to be coolness surpassed only by Disneyland itself. Hopefully it lives up to the pictures and description on the website.

Tomorrow should be a good day, once we get out of the hostel and into the city to look around. We've got a relaxing, enjoyable day planned, which will be the first of several stops that we expect to be great.

Update: we seem to have found the source of the smell. It appears to be coming from the kitchen, where we found a bowl of clam shells in water, and what we believe to be the body of an ill-fated crustacean. These items were left on the table despite signs in the kitchen which direct you to wash and deal with your dishes when you're done with them.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Two Weeks of Homelessness: Day 2

Day one was alright. We drove up to Parts Moreknown, partially to give us a nice, easy start to the trip, and partially to regain a couple of books I had lent out last semester. The trip was fairly uneventful, and we spent some time walking around the cute river area before heading to the home of a friend where we stayed the night. It was a pretty laid-back night, just talking and letting my sister get to know my friends a little bit.

Day two was a little more strenuous. We snuck out the house around seven in the morning, and drove hard for a solid 7.5 hours, stopping only to purchase gas and to take pictures of us at the sign announcing the new province. Oh yeah, and that other stop, where there was this little town that had a whole bunch of dinosaurs. We took a lot of pictures there, too. We got to our destination for the night around 2 in the afternoon, a city bigger than I've been in for a long time. We got a little bit lost downtown (well, not lost, we just missed the street we wanted to turn on, and had to backtrack), and had a close call involving a commuter train (more like a blonde moment. Not dangerous, Mom). We're now in the hostel, after having napped for a couple of hours, and walked around downtown for an hour or so. We're going to try and get showered up and then find dinner at one of the many varied restaurants around here, and get to bed kind of early- tomorrow's drive is a good 11-12 hours. Ugh. Hope everyone is well, and so far we haven't killed each other. Fingers crossed.

Monday, April 24, 2006

No more greasy Denny's food for awhile, please

My sister is here! Her planes didn't crash or anything, and she didn't get barred from the country by the customs people, and she was even in a good enough mood after a day of travel to go to Denny's with some of my friends when she got here. We ate greasy food, chocolate milkshake, and pancakes as she and my friends unconciously tried to one-up each other by mentioning various inside jokes. All in all, I won, because I knew all of the inside jokes. Good times, and more fun will happen tomorrow!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

So Very Confused

Last night I dreamt that I was in Hong Kong, in a mall, trying to find a Taco Bell. I never found one, so instead I ate at some fast food chinese place, then went to explore the mall. This mall was odd in that it was like fifteen stories high, and each level was specialized. I only saw the first two levels, and the stairs between levels were really strange, too. They were like, not made up of 90 degree angles, but of a bunch of really obtuse angles, so it was more like trying to climb up a steep ramp with a bunch of bumps in it. I ran up the stairs, and as I came onto the landing of the second level, some guy who was watching me commented, "it's intrinsic." I don't know what he meant by that. So the first floor was like clothing and restaurants, and the second level was all stores to cater to children, with like supermarket pony ride things, you know the ones where you stick a quarter in and they rock back and forth, and the stores were set up so you made like a western movie of your kid riding this plastic horse thing. It was all very bizarre. I went into one of these stores, to ask where I could find a Taco Bell, and the guy asked me where I had eaten. I told him, "Oh, some crappy fast food place with like chinese fast food," and he got really upset. Apparently in Dream Hong Kong, they don't use the word "crappy" as liberally as I do, and he was insulted. He finally told me that there was one Taco Bell in Hong Kong, in the Seyoon province, right near Leningrad. I kid you not. That is exactly what he said to me. After being told where to find Taco Bell, I went back to the first floor by way of stairs on the outside of the building, because the mall was really dark inside, and who do you think I saw standing in a very small crowd of people? That's right, George Bush. I had my camera with me, so I took a picture of him to show to the people back home. I also took pictures of the strange obtuse stairs, and I had some person take a picture of me wearing a very sparkly coat while holding a giant dictionary, in one of the clothing stores.

Perhaps I shouldn't have drunk that mixture of milk and pineapple juice before I went to bed last night.

Friday, April 21, 2006


I finished my last final a few hours ago, then walked back to my apartment the outside way, and giggled and talked to the groundhog things out there, then went to dinner with one of my roommates and ate a tasty burger at a Chili's-like restaurant. I am now going to ride my bike around the lake, partially because it's so darn SPRING out there, partially because I'm so darn HAPPY I'm done with the semester, and partially because I ate so darn MUCH for dinner, and I feel the need to exercise some of it off.

If you need me in the next hour or so, too bad. I'm having fun.

Edit: I'm back from my ride, and it was excellent fun. Now I'm going to have fun in a different way, known as playing ping pong with the Long Haired Christian, and eating orange jello. Perhaps even watching a movie? Who knows! The night is young! It's only seven o'clock!

Edit again: apparently during finals, it's 24 hour quiet hours so people can study. Apparently during quiet hours you're not allowed to play ping pong. Apparently this rule is really dumb. Instead, we played pool for a little while, then sat around and watched Star Wars ep. IV and V, since the LHC had never seen them before. How in the world do you live for 20 years in North America without having seen Star Wars? It's unheard of! Absurd!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

The End is Near

I can feel it coming. I'm leaving in less than a week. Leaving forever. It's been tough, watching my roommates gradually packing stuff up and taking it back to their hometown about an hour south. Every time I look around the apartment, it seems less and less like home, and more and more like the empty shell I saw when I first moved in 8 months ago. It's going to be hard to say goodbye to people, to the university, to the wide open prairies. Excuse me while I let out a sad little sigh.

On the other hand, I've only got one more final to write tomorrow, then I'm free to do whatever I please for the next few days. Probably "whatever I please" is going to be packing up all my stuff, getting a big ol' oil change, and doing a bunch of business-like stuff to get ready for not living here anymore. Maybe I'll set aside some time to play with my $5 badminton set with a friend, spending some last minute quality time. I also have grand plans of playing ping pong on monday night in between FHE and when I have to head over to the airport to pick up my sister.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Russia's Greatest Love Machine

My friend, who I once dubbed Nameless Joe, has some pretty great music in his computer. No, that guy in the picture is *not* Nameless Joe. I would not make friends with someone that looks like that. That man is Rasputin, the subject of one of the many strangely fascinating songs in NJ's library. Aside from the roughly 5 hours of Bee Gees and ABBA music, he also has some really cool Swedish music, and some other really cool music that's from Russia (but not about Rasputin), and one song that feels like it's an eternity long, but is really only about 3 minutes long, it only feels like an eternity because it's SO BAD. I need to remember to ask him to send me a list of all the fun music he has, so I can get it for myself and not forget about it when I go back home. Everybody go out and get Rah Rah Rasputin by Boney M, because it's pretty rad. You'll like it.

Friday, April 14, 2006

I wish I could wear makeup like that all the time

Last night, as I revelled in my complete absence of responsibilities (it being my first evening free from schoolwork) and watched Jeopardy, I noticed that there were a few people in my apartment that I didn't know. They walked back and forth between the bedrooms of two of my roommates, in various states of dress and undress, hair being done, makeup being applied. This makeup was something else, though.

Everybody had one eye all done up crazy cool-like, as you can see. Upon seeing one of these random girls walking by with the makeup done, I became curious enough to leave the Jeopardy game to find out who these people were and why they were so cool.

Turns out last night was the performance final for a dance class in which each student had to coreograph a dance and get their friends to perform it. My one roommate had been practicing this for months on end for one of her friends, and I finally got to see it happen! The whole evening was free, since it was a final and not a "real" performance, and included an acting class, a dance class, and a lighting design class.

The actors did the typical "I am...................a leaf!......Blowing,... blowing............... in the winddddd........!" type of performance- each had a few sentences to say, and they had to incorporate movement into their performance. Let's just say I saw a whole lot of running in circles and jumping in the air like an explosion, but not a whole lot of good acting. I dunno. I guess I just don't like that genre very much. There were two or three that I actually liked, but that's out of maybe twenty performances.

The dances were Very Cool. They were all kind of, uh, how would you call it? Modern Dance, maybe. You know, dancers in leotards with strips of fabric wrapped around them, doing Strange and Beautiful things in a random-seeming manner. I'm not really a fan of that kind of thing, either- it can get pretty cheesy and predictable, but these were pretty fun. As similar as the dances were, they were each very unique, using different types of music, sending different messages, etc.

The lighting design class did pretty well, as well. They collaborated with the dance students, mainly lighting a scrim with bold colors, and using backlighting (but it came from the sides of the stage. Is that sidelighting?) to make the dancers look all shadowy. They also lighted them just normally sometimes so you could see the amazing makeup jobs on the dancers. I know I probably sound dumb trying to look like I actually know what I'm talking about with the lighting stuff, Sis. Maybe you could explain to me what these things are actually called. Anyway, the effect of the lighting was very nice, but for some reason it took a looooooong time for the lights to go up after the dancers were positioned on the stage. Like, the dancers would actually be standing there, ready to dance, for up to two minutes, and this happened for *each group*. I don't know whose fault it was, or maybe they were just trying to drag out the performance or something, but it got a little tedious.

Ha! I almost forgot the acting class' group performance! The teacher of the class had explained earlier that he had coreographed their performance and they had been working on it since September, or something like that. I think this teacher had watched Quidam a few too many times before "creating" this piece. Not that it was cut-and-pasted from the show to their class, but they definately used some of the same effects, like the "slow walk of the group, huddled together, from the back of the stage to the front, slightly cowering," and the "some person pretending they're walking when they're actually floating through the air," and the "everybody is wearing suits and looks exactly the same, and they're all walking fast through harsh, contrasty lighting so it looks all confusing and weavy and stuff." It seemed like they had a little more original content towards the end, though. Perhaps I just haven't seen the original of what they stole the end from, though :).

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Somebody call me a wah-mbulance

I have to write this whole big long paper for tomorrow, and although I did work on it last night for two hours, I still have nothing to show for it.

I fell down the stairs and hurt my foot while descending through the auditorium to turn in my dance final. Dubya tee eff? I *never* fall down the stairs. So much for "I believe this class has greatly enhanced my confidence during physical activities. I feel less self-conscious than I used to." I hate doing reflections on finals anyway.

Whatever the bones are that you use to sit on a bicycle seat are, they hurt right now. A lot. Like, I think I may have bruising. Dumb hard bicycle seat. Dumb me for riding through bumpy grass.

My roommates' classes for the past two days have all been like fifteen minutes long, and consisting mainly of eating cookies or getting hints for the finals, since it's the last day of class. My poetry class is meeting a half-hour early today, so we can have an extra-long time to get through all the material we haven't gotten to yet. Hooray for me!

And I have the hiccups.

At least after tomorrow afternoon, I'll be relatively free to do as I please. Once I finish that paper, that is.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Yet another fun way to spend an evening

Spend three hours straight playing doubles ping-pong while having a full-on shouting fight (debate. whatever.) about whether socialism is a feasible system, and if it isn't, what is? Try not to die laughing when your opponent runs into the corner of the table and rips open a huge gash on his side. Pretend to be sympathetic, then mock him when he can't bend over to pick up the ball because it hurts too much. Realize around midnight that maybe it's about time to head home and get to bed. Oh yeah, and spend the whole evening blaming all of your opponents' faults on the fact that they're Canadian, while they mock you for being American; it's even more fun than yo' mama jokes!

"Oh yeah, well, your country's so stupid they cracked that Liberty Bell. You know if that was OUR bell, it'd be in primo condition. Or at least, we'd try to fix it if we did break it..."

Saturday, April 8, 2006

I know this will only make sense to maybe one of my readers, but I feel the need to say it anyway

As I listen to the Frances the Mute album by the Mars Volta, I wonder to myself, where is the rest of the song Cassandra Geminni: E. Sarcophagi?

And more importantly, why isn't the whole rest of the album just. like. that. song.?

Friday, April 7, 2006

*Sigh of contentment. Also of tiredness.*

Holy moley, I just had a wonderful evening. After a very rocky start (an hour late because I couldn't decide on an outfit. I'm such a girl), I made it to the last formal activity for the Chrazy Christians group (my name for them, not theirs). It was billed as a "Swing Dance," and I went with all intentions of it being a fun night.

I was so totally right. My outfit was perfect, my hair was perfect, and most importantly, my attitude was perfect. I danced for most of the time, doing Jive and looking like a frickin expert thanks to my dance class, also learning a Charlston-like thing, and getting that down pretty well, and even going so far as to try the polka. It was such glorious fun just to get out there and dance my little heart out with other people who wanted to do the same.

Favorite part? The way I was pretty much the most graceful girl when it came to spinning out during jive, and the way my skirt twirled just the right amount to make me look cute.

Absolutely fun night, talked to a lot of people, danced with a lot of people, and oh yeah, ran into a lot of people- my partner for the waltz was not the best leader :P

What are my plans for tomorrow, to top such fun tonight? Go on a walk around the lake, work on papers, then have an indoor birthday barbeque with my roommates. I made the cake and it looks delicious.

Thursday, April 6, 2006


I was sitting here at my (very messy) desk today, thinking about money. Specifically, still groggy from sleeping, I was wondering why I always have more meat than I can think what to do with in KoL, while I can't seem to hold onto money for very long in real life. Then I realized what the problem was: in KoL, I can get pretty much anything I want by beating up a bunch of people until one of them drops what I want.

Too bad real life doesn't work that way. I could be rich.

Wednesday, April 5, 2006

Check me out!

If all goes according to plan, I'll have finished my term paper for my poetry class a day and a half before it's due. I don't think this has ever happened before. Oh yeah, and if I get THAT amazing feat accomplished, I'll start on my paper for my shakespeare class a week before it's due. With luck, I'll have THAT finished before the due date, too!

In other news, I just cleaned my bathroom and the kitchen in a very. thorough. manner. because I failed my cleaning inspection two days ago. Not because I'm a bad cleaner, but because I just didn't feel like cleaning right then. Hopefully I'll pass with flying colors tomorrow, so I don't have to pay the $35 to have the cleaning ladies clean for me. Although, I really don't see how they could fail me when I actually did clean. I would eat off of that bathroom counter. Not the toilet, cause that's just nasty, but the counter is spotless. Also, I never knew that you could make your own windex with ingredients from your kitchen. Here's the secret recipe: use vinegar.

Simple as pi.

Sunday, April 2, 2006

How to start your day off right

Step 1: write all over your mirrors with window markers that you have to register for next semester's classes at 7 in the morning. Forget that 7 in the morning at home is actually 8 in the morning here. Do this step around 1 in the morning, the night before.

Step 2: go to bed, enjoy the sheer loveliness of being asleep.

Step 3: nearly have a heart attack as you're awakened by the fire alarm. Stumble in a stupor around the apartment as you put on pants and a sweatshirt, and shoes but no socks.

Step 4: continue to stumble around the apartment, trying to find your keys.

Step 5: stumble some more as you enter the hallway, and become confused when the across-the-hall neighbors ask if your roommate has already gone outside. Realize that she must have come back home after you went to bed, and reenter the apartment to encourage her to leave.

Step 6: emerge from the stairwell and enter the cold, wet, outside world. It greets you with the loving embrace of biting wind.

Step 7: huddle with the across-the-hall neighbor and her friend, watch your roommate walk off to her car to spend the night at her boyfriend's house.

Step 8: trudge toward another building that people seem to be going into. Hooray for our sheeplike quality of following anything that moves!

Step 9: sit around inside the other building and watch as the firefighters enter your own building. Listen to your friend from the 7th floor say that she smelled smoke coming from higher up in the stairwell. Great. It's actually on fire.

Step 10: realize just how many people are still up and drinking at five in the morning. ugh.

Step 11: get confused when the firemen tell you to go back into your building, that someone just pulled the alarm- the alarms are still going, and your friend said she smelled smoke, right?

Step 12: note the strange powder dusted all over the stairwell as you and your 1000 closest friends all try to go up the stairs at the same time. Ash? Weird sprinkler powder? I thought they said there was no fire...

Step 13: wonder briefly if this is the firemen's idea of an April Fools' Day joke. Decide that it's not april 1 anymore, and that would be in terrible taste. On the other hand, you could see the firemen's point- let the drunken idiots burn.

Step 14: try to figure out how you're going to get back to sleep- the alarms are still going off, and your system is pumped to capacity with adrenaline.

Step 15: sigh with relief when the alarms mercifully stop.

Step 16: spend 45 minutes trying to get back to sleep, which is hard. Your arms are hot, and don't want to go under the covers. However, you know from experience that it is impossible to sleep with exposed arms: the boogeyman will come and pull on your fingers and bite your elbows if you do. Much like the way he gets really close to your head and mumbles things if you don't cover your ear as well.

Step 17: after finally falling asleep, wake up a half hour later to your alarm clock calling you to register for classes. Curse the sun, then realize that you actually have an hour until registration actually begins. Continue cursing the sun, but in a more upbeat manner, as you go back to bed for another 45 minutes.

Saturday, April 1, 2006

Those hats are everywhere

There's a group of about 7 guys outside below my window, where the football guys were yesterday. These guys are practicing jumping their skateboards. I can just imagine the email:

"Meet between the dorms and the gym at dusk. Make sure you're wearing your cigarette pants and a black tshirt. Wear a castro hat if you've got one. Oh yeah, and if you have the time, try and dye your hair black to match the darkness of your soul. Bring your skateboard."