Sunday, December 13, 2009

...on the weekend...

When I was searching for work in Peterborough, I was offered two jobs practically simultaneously. In my great wisdom, I decided to work both of them, and I have somehow managed to keep things together for the last 3.5 months, but now fear that I am quickly unraveling (just in time for Christmas).

I worked an extra 16 hours at Christmas parties this weekend. I actually felt like I had a hangover today, and seeing as I've only had one glass of wine this week, I know it must just be exhaustion. Either that, or my system is far more sluggish than I have realised.

I thought I would share a snippet of conversation I had last night while cutting bread for a couple of buffets. It went something like this:

I was cutting bread (and I also happened to cut my finger, but that is actually unrelated to my story) and I had to switch the side the bread was being cut on as well as move the knife so that I, a left handed person, could cut the bread. I was muttering under my breath about this and some of the kitchen staff were listening and one of them called over the service line to me, "You're left handed?!"
I called back, sarcastically, (while clearly cutting the bread with my left hand) "No, no I'm not left handed!"
He got it, and then one of the other kitchen staff asked, "Hey what's it called when you can do stuff with both hands.?"
"Ambidexterous," I said.
"That's right," he said. "Ask the one who went to university, she'll know." I smiled, chuckled and nodded.
"What did you go to university for, anyway?" he asked.
I looked up, raised one eyebrow, and said "Education." Clearly this was funny, so everyone laughed.
"Oh, for like what? Like, just general education, or what?"
"No, I'm a teacher. I've taught before." I answered.
"So, like you teach little kids, or like high school?"
"High school"
"But what subjects, like just a little of everything?"
At this point a couple of the other guys were chorusing things in the background like "No, of course not, specific subjects!" and "Subjects! Subjects!" Bless them.
"Well, technically I teach History, and Drama," I replied.
"Ooooh! An actor!" he shouted, brandishing a glazing brush, and everyone cheered. "No! No! An actress! An actress! I'm sorry!"
"Well, actually, with gender equality and neutrality these days, you can use the term 'actor' to refer to women as well. We're moving away from the use of the word 'actress.'"
"Uh, oh."
"So, uh, if you're a teacher, what are you doing working here?"

And that, my friends, is the million dollar question.

Another fun moment (and during a 9 hour shift, there can really be a few), was when I was resetting tables with another banquet staff member. She was talking to a couple, who are members of the Golf Club I work at, about school and the possibility of pursuing graduate studies, and the elderly gentleman she was chatting with remarked, "Surely you're not old enough to be in fourth year!"
"I am, I am!" said the girl I was working with. "If don't think I'd old enough, you'll never guess how old Emily is!" Yes, this is a funny, funny, joke. I never tire of this one.
"Oh, I don't know," mused the man. "About sixteen, maybe?"
I sighed. What else is there to do in that situation, really?
"No, you'll never guess," I said with false gaiety. "This is a fun every time! I'm twenty-eight."
You'll never guess what they said next.
"No! Twenty-eight?! My goodness, dear! You hardly look it! I would never have guessed that" (and I would never have guessed your hair was real, but hey, who's looking?).
"Yes, it's true. I'm actually twenty-eight."
"Well, you'll appreciate it when you're older, Emily," said my co-worker.

Yeah, when I'm ninety and people only think I'm eighty. It'll be grand. Can't wait.

I'm just going to start telling people I'm 23 and buy myself some more time in my 20s to figure out a career, it seems.

I'll get back to you when I'm 30, in about another 7 years.

Sunday, October 25, 2009's gonna be...

Check out the songs on this record:

1. You May See Me Walkin'
2. Crying My Heart Out Over You
3. Lost To A Stranger
4. I Don't Care
5. So Round, So Firm, So Fully Packed

Equate these songs to my life. Too easy, right?

Alright, here is some of what you've been waiting for...

Over the summer I made these tumblers out of recycled Perrier bottles. I experimented a lot with beer bottles before I really figured out the technique, but I think I've got the hang now...

I used a glass etching acid to frost the glass - I cut out the stencil shapes myself out of adhesive vinyl paper.

And that's how it's done.

One day soon I'll be wrapping some of these up as gifts. Keep your fingers crossed, one of these may be yours!

Less impressive pictures include stackable bookshelves made out of recycled records. These I have yet to fully perfect, but they're definitely cheap, look somewhat cool (cooler in person, I swear) and are functional.

There are also some spoons... but I don't want to give it all away at once. What will I post next month?

Stay tuned (I can sense your eagerness. Settle down).

Monday, October 19, 2009

... Back, by popular demand...

Alright, well, maybe only two or three people mentioned they wanted me to update my blog...but...I'll take it. And maybe my sister told me I only update my blog when I go through a break up...but I'm going to disregard that comment, true though it may be (ok, but seriously Tash, it's not ALWAYS true. I faithfully updated for A YEAR when I was in Sierra Leone. Yeesh).

Here's the thing, though: I'm currently killing time in Edmonton after a university fair at the University of Alberta and the bar happens to have wireless internet access. So, as I wait for the clock to move forward, there's really no excuse for me not to update the blog. You might have noticed, it's been a while.

I really, really meant to update over the summer. I embarked on a number of artsy projects and you'd think I'd want to post the results here, but, my camera seems to be a bit on the fritz. I think I may need a new battery (which means I need to go to Future Shop...only it's not called 'Future Shop anymore...) and pick something up. I'll work on that. Maybe it'll make my 'to do' list for Friday. No promises.

As some of you may know, I've started a new job at Trent University as the recruiting and liaison officer for the Graduate Studies department. I love it! It might actually be the best of all worlds for me. Not only do I get to use my ridiculously mad skills at organizing (yes, organizing is a thing of beauty) and planning, but I get to travel around the country going to 'fairs' and talking to people. If you know me, you know this sounds like a very good thing. I feel really lucky to have this job, even though it's not a long contract. I've spoken to my supervisors about the possibility of me coming back to the same contract next year, and they seem positive about it ("We could have some continuity; that would be great!") and I'm considering my options now. I'm toying with the idea of doing some 'youth work' part-time in the New Year as there is a position that's come up that could be a possibility. Perhaps 'toying' is too blase a term. I'm thoughtfully considering it (no sarcasm implied here at all. No, really.). It wouldn't involve running a 'youth group' per se, but rather going into area schools and starting some extra-curricular programs as a way of connecting with youth in the community. What do we think? I could partner that with part-time work at the Peterborough Golf and Country Club and then return to the Trent job in August/Sept. It's either this, or flee the country again (in that vein, I'm thinking the UK or New Zealand).


For a visual, here is a random picture I downloaded from the internet when I did a Google images search for 'Edmonton Chateau Lacombe view."

I actually can see this if I crane my neck about 180 degrees. I'm not sure what those point rooves are, but I'm sure it's something important (the fine bar maid here told me it is the 'Muttart Conservatory" - a series of botanical gardens, greenhouse style here in North Edmonton).

Edmonton reminds me of a cross between Peterborough and Toronto. It has the 'green' aspects of Peterborough: a river, many trees, green spaces, but also the 'concrete' aspects of Toronto: big buildings, skyscrapers, old buildings. As I drove into the 'city centre' last night, the aesthetic evoked TO feelings. In the daylight, I see more green. This is my first time West of Ontario, and I can't say I've seen much... but now, at least I can say I've been to 7 out of 10 provinces and 1 out of 3 territories. I'm working on it. Maybe I can make it to Vancouver next year.

I will work on posting the 'crafty' pictures. I did do some crafts involving glass. I gave a vase to my sister for her b-day and have a collection of 'tumblers' in the attic at the moment. A friend of mine was hard-pressed to believe I'd made them myself. I did.

I'm just that good.

Friday, July 3, 2009


And I will...quite literally.

Well, it's been a whirlwind tour...I feel exhausted from all the travelling, but it's only half over. I still have another week to go in the Big City, family to visit, and doctors to see.

I've spent a couple of days doing some shopping and wandering the city trying to get 're acclimatized' to busy urban life. It's a bit overwhelming..and I grew up here! Obviously I've been away too long. Something else I find difficult is how often Toronto changes - nothing is where it used to be, nor is it where it was the last time I was here. Well, SOME things are...but honestly, I had to ask a waiter yesterday where the nearest movie theatre was at Yonge/Dundas. Because I DIDN'T KNOW! All I remember are the days when the Eaton Centre had its own theatre and you could see movies for $3.50. Where have those days gone??

On a plus note, the Thai place is still is the Winner's on College.

In case you were wondering.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

...THIS IS IT!...

The other day (the other day)
I went up North (I went up North)
The frozen North (The frozen North)
A ways off course (A ways off course)

I looked at it ( I looked at it)
It looked at me (It looked at me)
I sized up it (I sized up it)
It sized up me (It sized up me)

North said to me (North said to me)
Why don't you run? (Why don't you run?)
I see you ain't (I see you ain't)
Got any gun (Got any gun)

And so I ran (and so I ran)
Away from there (away from there)
But right behind (but right behind)
Me was the North! (me was the North!)

Ahead of me (ahead of me)
There were no trees (there were no trees)
No great big trees (no great big trees)
That's bad for me (that's bad for me)

The nearest thing (the nearest thing)
Was the frozen sea (was the open sea)
I'd have to fish (I'd have to fish)
And trust my luck (and trust my luck)

And so I fished (and so I fished)
On the frozen ice (on the frozen ice)
But I caught no char (But I caught no char)
On the floe out far (on the floe out far)

Now don't you fret (now don't you fret!)
Now don't you frown (now don't you frown!)
'Cause I hunted seal ('cause I hunted seal)
Away from town (Away from town)

This is the end (this is the end)
There ain't no more (there ain't no more)
Until I see (until I see)
The North once more (the North once more)!

Ok, well, I never personally hunted seal or fished for char, but I watched them being done; stared intently at a steaming seal carcass out on the land and gutted and filleted quite a few fishes this year. I think I did my part.

School's out for the summer...and it snowed again today.

I hear it's, what, 35 degrees in Ontario?? The transition is going to be SWEATY.

We're supposed to leave Friday morning - 2 more sleeps and hopefully we make it out on time and there isn't too much of a fog issue (which has been a big problem lately).

I can't wait for the summer! I have a few project ideas planned and I'm hoping (but no promises!) to be a much more frequent blogger in the near future. Also, I will post pictures. Because I love pictures best.

Fingers crossed and see you soon!

Monday, June 1, 2009

,,,this is June...

JUNE 1st.....and we woke up to a foot of snow outside!

By the end of the day most of the white stuff had the good sense to melt away, but the forecast is threatening more in the next day or two.  

It's JUNE.   

Well, what can one expect if she chooses to live in the Arctic?  

In other news, my laptop died.  No fear, a new one is on the way, eventually.  It's difficult being disconnected up here (although I've been doing more reading).

3 more weeks of school left!  It's hard to imagine it's near the end since there hasn't been any sort of seasonal change.  I tend to equate the end of the school year with melted snow, blooming flowers and sunshine.   Well, I suppose we do have sunshine in spades.  We're practically at 24 hours these days.  It makes it difficult to sleep - we have our windows blacked out (on a plus note about the windows: the constant sunshine has melted the thick layer of ice encrusting them so we can now actually open the windows!  Fresh air: getting it's now a breeze).  

I start a 'Puberty and Sexual Education' unit tomorrow with my students.  I picked up a GIANT picture board book about pregnancy from the Health Centre this afternoon.  It's pretty awesome and reminds me a bit of one of the books I had when I was a kid (only mine was much smaller and included pop-ups and all that jazz).  While I was picking it up, one of the nurses told me to 'emphasis the pain and responsibility of pregnancy.'  Check.  Pregnancy = Pain.  Hence why I only plan to do it once, and maybe in about a decade.  I've got to psych myself up.  

26 days!

Not too shabby.  

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

...sniffle, snuffle, glub, glub...

Ugh. I've come down with a terrible cold - I've taken the last three days off work. It's gross. I sound like a man and my nose would be dripping like a faucet if it weren't so clogged. Bleh.

In other news, I've been applying to jobs down South...teaching options are a little bit bleak, but there is some hope! If you're the praying type, or the positive energy channeling type, or the finger-crossing type, please do any or all of the above for me. There are two positions I would like, one is with a private school outside Peterborough and the other is with a private school in Smiths Falls. I feel good about both options, but at the moment am leaning more towards the closer-to-Peterborough option simply because of location.

It's almost May and temperatures are heating up here. We're almost consistently into single digit minus temperatures here! This week it's between -10 and -5. That's practically zero! It snowed on Monday, but hey, what's a light dusting? The sun is out in full force, rising around 3:30am and setting after 9pm. Soon we'll be getting into the 24 hours of sunlight zone. I've blacked out my windows already.

This is the last leg of the race. There are about 7 weeks of school left now, and 59 days in the North. I just need to keep focused on the end goal....just...keep....going.

I can make it.
I swear.