Friday, February 25, 2005

Finally

So midterms are done, spring break is here (though it hardly feels like spring). I have to work tomorrow, but my boyfriend is coming up from NY to get me, and we're going back to his place on Sunday. I will be gone for a week, and I will be happy to say goodbye to residence for a while. I will be even happier to have a week with the boy. Such extended periods of being together are rare, and I love it when they happen.

His car is a standard, which I can't drive (yes, I know, how gimp of me). He's driving his parents Jeep up here though, because it's automatic. He hasn't been feeling well, and this will mean I can drive for a while if he's tired or not feeling well. I'm a bit nervous about this. I have my license, but I've never owned a car, or had regular access to one. I don't drive very often at all, and do highway driving even less. I love to drive though, so I'm excited. I just don't have the comfort level of someone who drives frequently.

We will also be stopping in Kingston on the way to NY to visit a friend of mine from back home. He's in Kingston for school. I haven't seen him since Christmas, so that will be fun. We're just meeting for lunch, but it will be good to see him, and good to have a break in the drive. It's about 6 hours from here to my boy's place, and Kingston is roughly in the middle (though it's closer to here).

I am so happy about being on break. Not that I don't have work to do over the break, but at least I'll be somewhere other than residence or the computer lab. Res is driving me mad lately. There's too many stupid people here, the kind that shouldn't be allowed to breed. I'm usually a pretty tolerant person, and a pretty happy one, but the people in res have been causing me to be in a constant bad mood when I'm here. I'm not pleased about that at all, and getting away for a week will be wonderful, and much needed.

I'll probably still get in a post or two over the break, but I will be away. So, for the few people who read this, have a great week, and I promise I'll be back and posting when I can :)

Monday, February 21, 2005

I am extremely amused...

...by the fact that I wrote a post about why I *don't* drink or do drugs, and now my Google ads are showing addiction support centers.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

An explanation of my behaviour

So I actually got to go out last night and pretend I have a life. Me and one of my roomates were going to go bowling with some friends from school. The bowling alley turned out to be packed (you know you're living in a small town when all the kids are bowling on a Saturday night), so we ended up going to a pub instead, and just hanging out and chatting, telling wild stories of our youth.

Now, I don't drink, or do any drugs. I never have. So, when we're sitting around telling stories of what happened while we were drunk or stoned, I don't have much more to contribute than what I've seen my friends do. I'm perfectly fine with that, but there are invariably the questions of why I don't partake in these things, and comments about how sure everyone is that I'd love it if I did.

You'd be surprised at how subtley socially unacceptable it is not to drink. I'm pretty sure people who don't know me well assume I refuse alcohol because I'm a recovering alcoholic. My mother asked me before if I had had some kind of traumatic experience with it and that's why I won't touch it. I think my sister just thinks I'm weird (kidding Jacki, love you!). People have a hard time with the idea that I just don't want to. So, I figured I'd post a bit about why I don't drink, and why I'm happy with that, and why I don't ever intend to be drunk or stoned.

Back in junior high, when all my friends were starting to experiment with alcohol and drugs, I didn't have any moral/philosophical reason for not joining in. I didn't because I was pretty sure mom and dad would kill me if they caught me. I was a very paranoid kid, with a worst-case scenario imagination. I was convinced that if I did get experiment, I would certainly get caught. And I usually figured it wouldn't be by my parents, but by the cops, and I'd get a criminal record and I'd never get a job and my life would be ruined. That was how I thought back then (and still do, sometimes, but I've gotten it a bit more under control).

So I get to high school. I've relaxed a bit now, and realized that getting caught drunk underage/stoned is not the life destroying thing I thought it was in junior high. However, by this point all my friends know that I've made a point not to ever touch the stuff. Through high school and most of university, it was more a point of pride, than anything. I had told everyone up to this point that I just didn't want to do it, and I felt incredibly self conscious that if I went back on that now, I'd look like I gave in to peer pressure, and that would be devastating in my mind. I had the self esteem issues most teenage girls suffer from, and I couldn't bear the thought that I'd look weak, that my principles were so flimsy as to succumb to peer pressure. Honestly, it was sort of a reverse peer pressure.

Then we come to my last 2 years of university up to the present. There were some major changes in my life then, some traumatic, some just life-altering. I spent a lot of that time in deep thought and self-analysis, and more than a bit of it in depression. Something I became very, very aware of during this time were the choices I made. Every little thing I did, I felt the possibilities and the resulting consequences of, and how they could echo through every subsequent thing I did, and every life I touch. I was hyper-aware of what went on around me, and how it was ultimately me that decided how my life went, not all the things I blamed and considered out of my control.

It was at this point that I made a conscious decision about drinking and drugs. Having realized how important my decisions are, I decided that I wanted to be able to look back at my life 10, 25, 50 years from now and be able to say "Maybe I didn't always do the right thing, but every choice I made was my own." I never want to look back and say "That was the alcohol talking" or "I only did that because I was high at the time". I am responsible for my life, and I want to take that seriously. My choices are my own, and the consequences are mine too.

I am not perfect by any means. I have been tempted to just give in. I blame other people for things that are ultimately my fault sometimes. I don't always think before I act, and I make stupid choices. I'm not always aware anymore of the consequences of what I do. That hyper-awareness I had is not usually with me anymore.

I want to make it clear that I do not mean to preach here. My friends, family and my boyfriend all drink occasionally. Some of my friends smoke a joint from time to time. I am ok with this. I don't think anyone is less of a good person for doing so. I have had many a good time and a good laugh with my friends when they've been drinking, and I'm fine with that. Much as I've made a choice, they have made choices too. They are content with the way the do things, and I am happy to accept that the choice that is right for me is not the choice for them. Everyone is different in how they think and live, and that is a beautiful thing that makes life worthwhile. It's just something I know a lot of people close to me, and some not so close, have wondered, and I felt it was time I gave a clear, complete explanation.

And that is why I don't drink or do any drugs.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Good bye Visual Basic!

The project is done! Victory is mine!

I am a very happy girl, obviously. That project was hell on wheels. I can honestly say I know a whole lot more VB though, which is a good thing. I now feel confident in my ability to pass the practical exam, and probably pass it with very good marks.

In other news, my hunt for a job after graduation continues. For any out of work archaeologists out there, I found another nice job site, Archaeologyfieldwork.com. It's a message board where the webmaster just posts every job she finds or is sent to her. There's also a forum to post your resume for potential employers. I'm listed on there now, yay :)

And for you non-archaeologists, here's a fun site for you to check out: the Politcal Compass. I am a leftist libertarian. This was not surprising to me in any way. My boyfriend likes to call me a hippie sometimes to tease me, but I just remind him I don't do any drugs, and I bathe regularly (disclaimer: this is a joke! I don't really think that hippies are all dirty pot-heads). But yeah, that site is fun. There are a lot of really thought provoking questions on it really. Good site overall.

And finally, happy Friday everyone! Yay for that happiest of days, when work is done, and the whole weekend is still yet to come. I hope everyone has many wonderful adventures in their time off.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Glorious freedom!

Ok, so I'm not totally free of VB yet. However, I did finish questions 4 and 5 of 6, today, so I feel that I'm ahead of schedule. I've been trying to do one question a day. Seeing as I'm ahead of that, I'm not going to the lab tonight. Yay!

Now to figure out what I'm going to do with my freedom...

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Now I can put VB away for a while

I now have 2.5 of 6 questions done on my Visual Basic assignment. I am happy. Not only that, but I think I have the third question totally figured out. We'll see when I actually try to code it tomorrow. I'm sure that will be an adventure.

I think that if not for yoga, I wouldn't have gotten much done tonight. Yoga is quickly becoming the highlight of my week. I'm so busy with school work, and tired and stressed from it, that I never go to the gym or go swimming lately. I'm either in the lab, or at home being too tired and stressed to want to do anything. Yoga is nice because since it's a scheduled class that I'm paying for, I'll go no matter how I feel. So it's nice just to get out for a bit, but yoga is also just good for destressing and relaxing a bit. It gave me a great little refresher so I could go back to the lab tonight and focus enough to get work done. This is a very good thing. For anyone reading this that is feeling tired and stressed all the time, I really recommend looking into a yoga class. It's not at all what I expected it to be when I started, and it's wonderful.

I think that if my third question works out as well as I have it planned in my head, I should get home relatively early. If I do, I think I will make some phone calls home and to friends. I've been really out of touch the last couple weeks. If any of you guys are reading this, I promise I'll be in touch soon, I'm just swamped right now.

If it's not VB, I can't think about it

There is no room for anything in my head right now but Visual Basic. I have a huge assignment due on Monday, and I have 1.5 of 6 questions done. I wake up in the morning thinking about VB. I spend all day thinking about and/or typing out VB. I go to sleep thinking about VB. One of my classmates is literally having nightmares about VB. I haven't reached that point yet, and for this I am thankful. I think it might not be far off though. Hopefully yoga this afternoon will let me clear my head of VB for a little while at least.

Two more weeks til spring break. I can't wait! I get to go to New York and stay with my boyfriend for a week. That will be nice, and relaxing. He's still in class, so I can veg during the day, and see my boy the rest of the time. We're going to play some raquetball and try to go snowboarding too! I'm very excited about that. It's been like 4 years since I've been snowboarding, and every winter I pine for it. I love it so much, but it's pretty much impossible to go when you have no car and the hills are far away. If you've never tried snowboarding, I highly recommend it, it's a blast.

Just wanted to post a little update for now. Hopefully something interesting will happen later tonight and I can make a better post. Later!

Friday, February 11, 2005

And the dragon comes in the niiiiiiiiight!

If you haven't checked out my link to Homestarrunner to see StrongBad's emails, you really should. I just checked the site to see a new video, the Peasant's Quest Trailer. That's comedy gold (but only if you've seen the StrongBad email about Trogdor, and the Peasant's Quest game...so do that!). As much as I love Trogdor though, the guitar email is my favorite one, by far. I fall out of my chair at much the same time StrongBad does. Man I love the emails.

Another good site is True Porn Clerk Stories. It's not what it sounds like. It's the blog of a woman who was a clerk in a video store, and her experiences there, mostly in regards to people renting porn. It's really funny, and anyone who's worked in any kind of retail can really sympathize with it, even if you've never done that particular line of work. Definitely good reading.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

arg!

School is killing me right now. I go in early to work, I go back in the evening to work. When I was going back in a couple days ago, I passed one of my classmates in the hall. His greeting was "Welcome home". It's certainly starting to feel that way. Residence is just where I come to sleep and shower, and occaisionally eat. So, my apologies for the lack of updates this week.

The constant school work certainly makes life dull. I don't have much of a life. And joy of joys, I don't have to go to the lab tomorrow, but that's because I'm working all day. Even better, after my 8 hour shift I have a 2 hour staff meeting from 7-9pm. That's a fun way to spend a Friday night. I can't even imagine what we have to talk about for 2 hours that is so important it had to happen Friday. I can't imagine what we have to talk about for 2 hours at all, important or not.

So in the bit of spare time I do have, I've still been thinking about getting a proper website of my own. Can anyone recommend a good, free place to get webspace? I know that anywhere free is going to require I have ads on my page, but is there anywhere that the ads are relatively unobtrusive (i.e. especially no popups...banners I can deal with, popups are the devil). Recommendations are appreciated :)

Monday, February 07, 2005

Back to the grind

My boy went home this morning, so it's back to the lab for me. Ah well, it was wonderful to see him. I seem to have jinxed him with my last post though, as the border guards did give him trouble. Next time I'll be sure not to mention anything. They made him pay duty on a late Christmas present, which sucks.

The present in question is a beautiful stone inlaid globe, which he bought for me in Grand Cayman on our cruise. I've wanted one forever, and they were a steal there. It took a few weeks to get shipped to him, that's why he was only bringing it now. It looks like this, only the stand on mine is silver. The stone types vary of course too. I think it's gorgeous.

I adore maps and globes. I suppose this makes sense considering I have a degree in geography and I'm doing GIS now. My dorm room has two big maps on the walls, and now I have my globe. I also have one of those wonderful books of pictures of the earth from space (this one). That was another present from my boyfriend, he spoils me rotten.

I love satellite photos of the earth, they're so beautiful. They remind me of what a treasure we have in this planet. At the same time, they serve as a reminder of the impact of what we do. It's incredible to see an aerial view of things like the perfect geometry of farmer's fields, or the spiderwebs of roads and highways. The planet is so large, and our viewpoint so limited, that it's easy to think that what we do doesn't affect much, but the satellite imagery shows just how much land we've affected, and how few untouched areas there are. I find it very humbling, and it reminds me that we have to be careful because our planet's resources are not unlimited, nor is her capacity for recovery.

Friday, February 04, 2005

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood!

It really is. Lovely weather out today, you could almost believe that spring isn't that far away. However, I live in Canada, and I know that's impossible. Spring comes in April, if we're lucky. Ah well, today is still beautiful, and that's a good thing.

I am very happy today. My boy is on his way to see me. He should be here in roughly four hours. Yay :) I have to say, if a long distance relationship is good for no other reason, it sure makes the time you do get to have together special. I haven't seen him since he brought me back from Christmas to start class again...January 10, not that I'm counting :P Ah well, he'll be here soon.

Of course, this means I have to get my room cleaned up. I don't mind that however. Being in a good mood makes cleaning fun. I'm not generally a neat freak, and I'm pretty lazy, but if I get in a good mood with some upbeat music, I'll dance around and sing and clean, and it doesn't bother me a bit. It's pretty fun really, and with the dancing around, it can be a pretty good cardio workout.

I hope the border guards don't give him a hard time today. They once made him pull over and have the car completely searched because he was bringing me a bookcase. Apparently the fact that he was leaving it here made it completely suspicious. It was a $20 pressed-wood bookcase from Walmart. The back of it is cardboard, for goodness sake. But they apparently thought he was trying to smuggle drugs or something in it, and searched it and his car. They also made him pay duty on it, which is ridiculous considering you get like $50 duty free or something. They basically told him to ignore that fact, and pay the $2.50. What can you do? It's the border guards. You do what they say, or you don't get in.

Ah well, even if they do search his car, he'll still be here in a couple hours. The sun is shining, it's nice and warm. Life is good. Time to put on some music and clean.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Time flies....

I just realized that I've had my blog for a week now. I'm quite pleased by this. While I recognize that this is hardly indicative of a long term commitment to my blog, it means I do not have one of those blogs that has one little post that says "This is the first post of my blog, hope you like it", or somesuch, and was posted months ago and never touched again.

I feel sorry for those blogs. Poor things, they had so much potential, but it was never to be realized. Not that mine is probably being used to it's greatest capacity. But hey, at least I'm not ignoring it. Maybe my blog will be like my bonsai...just a little sprout now, cute but not mature. Give it a while to grow, and maybe it will look like something.

I can only hope.

I can't think of a good title

Titles are always the hardest part. Although I have to admit I'm hard pressed to find something to post about at the moment. All I've done the last couple days is work in the lab at school, and then come home and play video games or read. Exciting times.

I did have my second yoga class yesterday. Yoga is fun, but it hurts the next day. My hamstrings are not very flexible or stretchy, I've learned. One would hope that yoga will fix that. My boyfriend assures me that that is the case. I trust him, he knows stuff (and has been taking yoga for a few months now).

Speaking of boy, I'm hoping to see him this weekend. We had been planning on last weekend, but it didn't work out because of the weather. It's looking more promising for this weekend, though I did have to entice him with promises that he'd be allowed to watch the Superbowl. Aah, the Superbowl. The day that girlfriends and wives everywhere become football widows. My boyfriend is in a whole other world when football is on. It's kind of cute, and it means I can play video games guilt free (I'm an addict). So really, everyone wins. And that's always good.