To London We Have Gone

We went to London last weekend so I could tour Western and learn where things are both at school and in the city. I apologise for needing a week to recover, but finals are next week and things have been busy.

I like London and Western’s campus. It’s nowhere near as big as people make it out to be. If I get to live in the graduate student residences like I want, it will take me the same amount of time to get to class as it does now.

We arrived on Thursday night and wandered around downtown a bit. I was having fun being lost, Dean not so much. We weren’t very far from Richmond Street though, so I figured we couldn’t get too lost. We found our way back just in time to get the bus to the school, since we were staying in their Bed and Breakfast for the weekend.

It was a little weird, since they were using the apartment-style Elgin Hall, but were renting out the rooms in singles. There was an older couple staying in the other two rooms, but I only saw them a couple times the whole weekend so I have no clue why they were in London. They were sticking around for a while anyway, since they had a lot of food and stuff in the fridge and dishes and pans and such.

We had a campus tour on Friday morning, which was also a lot of fun. We got up early and wandered, and eventually found the Observatory where the tours start. They let us leave early since we didn’t really need to see the undergrad residences (seeing as were were living in one already), so we went to the North Campus building so I could bug the department secretary about the graduate applications and see if they knew if the electives I want will be offered.

I weirded them out asking so many questions almost a year in advance, but some of the electives are offered once every two years, and I wanted to know if the philosophy class shows up more often than that since they are offering it in January. I don’t get any electives until next September, but knowing if that class gets offered more often would have helped. I couldn’t find anything out about that one. Apparently only one person teaches it, so it’s up to that person if they want to teach it in a given term. I guess I’ll just have to suck up a lot my first term and see if they’ll offer it again. The other two electives I want are offered pretty much every-other term, so I’m good for them.

After I was done being a nuisance, we hopped on the bus across town to go to the Mandarin for lunch. Mandarin is my new favourite food place, since they had pretty much everything and it was buffet. Yummy! A lot of people seem to think that way though, since it was standing-room only waiting for seats, even with a reservation. We were early though or we probably wouldn’t have had to wait that long.

One of the classrooms turns into a movie theatre at night and has really cheap movies, so Friday night we went and saw X-men again. I really like that movie. It was better the second time around. The other movie playing was The Lake House. Icky. We were going to see it on Saturday since it was hot and we didn’t want to be out fighting the bugs at night, but we went back to the apartment and bummed around instead.

We spent Saturday playing on the busses some more, checking out the malls to see where I should get groceries and such. The mall nearest campus is nice, I really like it. There is a better, larger one across town, but it’s only better if you want to shop for clothes so I don’t really care. It’s the same reason I never shop at Fairview, when Conestoga has all the stuff I need. So I’ll probably never go in there again, unless I need to switch busses there. There’s another mall on the west side of town. We took the bus there but didn’t go in, there didn’t seem to be much there. The place looked pretty run-down and not as popular as the other two places.

The busses are weird in London, because they don’t have terminals and just rely on transfers between the main busses when you’re downtown. It’s a little tricky figuring out which stops are the ones that will switch to the bus you need, but once that’s figured out it’s all good.

I found the craft store downtown. It was a lot closer to Richmond St. than I’d thought, but it’s easy to get to, and I can walk to it from school when I’m not in the mood for the bus since there’s a path along the river a block away from the store. They’ve got lots of really nice sock yarn, and the hand-painted Koigu that I have to get shipped here. It means rather than buying a bunch of the sock yarns I like, I’ll be saving up for a few of the nicer shades of Koigu instead. It’s probably better that way, since I learned from buying all that stuff from Knitpicks. You can only look at one self-patterning yarn for so long, even if you have it in like 12 different colours.

I didn’t go in the store since the owner was out on a break, instead we took the path back to school. It was a little too hot for walking that much, but for most of it there was a lot of shade. It was only the part near campus that moves away from the river that had a lot of sun.

We left very early Sunday morning even though we were originally going to stay all day, because check-out was at noon and we didn’t want to carry all our stuff around for 7 hours straight. We’d pretty much seen where stuff was at that point anyway. Like most places, it would take more than a weekend to find the more personal places. I feel good about the city and the school and am looking forward to being there.

It’s going to be plenty lonely at first, but I’m sure there will be lots of visiting going on since London is pretty easy to get to for both Dean and my parents. So I’ll see them more than I do now, but I won’t get to see Dean as much.

It’s strange, but I kinda like the idea of setting out somewhere new again. When I moved here I stayed on campus or within a few blocks of it for the entire first year, and I had no clue where anything else was or that there were so many neat places around the area. Now that I’m used to living on my own I’ll get out and about more, and can make the most of my time in London.

Thanks go to Tudor and Laura for the pointers on places to go and things to do. Sorry for asking you on such short notice. Though we didn’t get to do everything we found where a lot of the stuff is and will be checking it out on future visits.

Butterflies…just not the fun and pretty kind

I’m feeling all anxious now. The applications for my grad school program have been updated to include a May start date, so I need to come up with a statement of intent and letters of recommendation ASAP, and get that submitted. I knew it would happen soon, I just never expected this soon. At least the OSAP is easy, since it’s the same application I just filled out for September I won’t need to bug my parents for info this time. I think I’m going add that to the lists of things for me to do in August, since I’ve got essays and finals to get through right now.
On the personal front, I spent all day yesterday on the phone with my mom because Bones has finally gone and hit rock bottom. He was in some pretty bad shape, crying and unable to walk, lots of shaking, not really in control of his body. He made my aunt call because he’s done and wants to come home and get better. This I couldn’t be more happy about, because it’s been killing me these last few years seeing what he’s been doing to himself. I’m anxious for him, because I watched my mom go through this and I know how hard not drinking will be. Not to mention the withdrawals. That’s going to be fun. On the other hand though, I know my mom. This is it. He gets one chance and he better make it last. If he starts drinking again now, anything at all, that’s it. She won’t have sympathy if he doesn’t stick with it.

For now, he’s moved back in and is being baby-sat to make sure he’s okay. He’s been hanging out at the Legion for months, and apparently they’ve been giving him (and anyone else that wants it) as much alcohol as they can afford no matter how drunk they are or whether it may be unhealthy. My mom went in there to find out how much he drank, and they said two and a half pitchers. To top it all off, when he couldn’t sleep after that my stupid aunt gave him some of her sleeping pills. I’m very pissed off at her right now for that. How stupid can you get?! I swear, she’s trying to kill him. She’s still meddling and not being very helpful. She won’t give his keys back, so he can get the rest of his stuff, and she keeps calling the rest of my aunts and uncles and trying to make them come down. I’m glad I’m here and not at home, because I really want to flip out on her. Her blatant disregard for her family just drives me up a wall. I don’t understand it. I love Bones so much, I can’t see how she would be dumb enough to give her brother an assortment of pills when he very probably has alcohol poisoning.

I got to talk to him on the phone for a bit yesterday. I told him about our attempt at boating on the river and got a few laughs out of him. He still sounded really slurred and a bit out of it, but definitely much improved from what he must have been like the night before. I’m proud of him for wanting to get better, but I’m worried that he’s not doing it for the right reasons. He keeps saying he can’t take care of anyone, but I don’t think he realizes that he needs to want this for himself, and not for his mooching siblings/mother. They can take care of their goddamn selves for a change.


I keep getting these weird sharp pains in random places lately. A few times last week it was in my arms, today it’s right where my right leg meets my butt. And unlike last week, it just won’t quit. I’m just sitting here and not doing anything, though it was happening before when I was working in the library.

I guess I should make an appointment with Health Services.

The froggie is dead

He got his leg stuck in one of the plants right under the filter and couldn’t get away. Poor froggie. 🙁 No more for me for a while, until I can be around more to watch out for things like that.

On a better note, the weekend was fun. We tried going out on the river in an inflatible raft that we bought. It turned out not to be worth keeping, since it was supposed to be able to seat four but could really only seat two, plus the oarlocks were in a really bad spot. You couldn’t oar without hitting your knees, or you had to practically be laying down.

We docked at the Cambridge Rowing Club. It was kinda funny seeing all these accomplished rowers doing laps around us when we could barely make it near the hospital. Still, fun while it lasted. There were lots of baby duckies, which was very cute to see.

We went swimming yesterday, not for very long, but that was fun and nice. Hopefully we’ll get to do that a bunch more times before the children get back. The pool is so much nicer without all the kicking and splashing that goes on when they are home.

Kitty is determined to make friends with Trixie. She keeps “hiding” in the corner behind the plant and hissing like mad whenever he comes in the room. For the first few days Kitty would get scared and hiss back (while running away to make sure she can’t hurt him), but now he’s realized she’s more afraid of him than he is of her and keeps getting ever closer trying to give her a smell. Yesterday he was rubbing his head on the plant right in front of her trying to prove how nice he is. It was cute.

Shock to the System

It’s been a long and hard week. I’m still not sure what I think about it. My mom called me on Sunday to tell me that my uncle died, and I really wanted to go home to be with everyone but I had my accounting midterm Monday night and at that short notice I was not willing to try to get it deferred. I spent all day Monday drowning in books and registration issues, and stayed really busy Tuesday and Wednesday so I wouldn’t have to think about it.

Yesterday my mom called to tell me about the funeral, which went really well. Most of my family showed up and there were very few arguments. My cousins brought their babies and they helped to keep everyone from getting too depressed. Most everyone is still in shock though. I know I still am.

A Different Kind of Test

Well I had my road test today, which I failed as expected. It went better than I thought it would overall though. I learned one valuable thing: I don’t know how to park. Other than that most everything was fine. So really I just need to practice that stuff, and make it more obvious that I’m looking around everywhere. At the current point in time, I’ve got two options available: I can take another road test or I can take the written test again and start over. I’m not quite sure which option to take. I’m planning on taking driver’s education this summer, so if I do start over I would be able to get the G2 in eight months instead of waiting a whole year and could work on highway driving and stuff then. I think if I tried to pass again before the end of the month it wouldn’t help much. If I do pass I still can’t drive very well, so I’d still be practicing the basics. Unless some major improvement happens in the next couple weeks, that is. Which I can’t really see happening. It’s been five years and the sporadic practice hasn’t helped. Cramming in practice shouldn’t help much either. I’m just going to need to take the time to learn things right. I guess this means I’m starting over.

Another Vacation….Sort of.

I learned something very important in the two weeks I was at home: It’s boring as hell there. You’d think after living there for 18 years I’d remember this fact and take it into consideration before planning a trip down there, but no, I didn’t. It’s nice to be able to see everyone, but it was to the point where all I was doing was seeing them. My mom and my sister were sleeping all the time or gone because they work midnights, and my brother was at school all the time or working. My dad was home for the first week and we were supposed to spend it fishing and camping on the boat – but it rained LOTS. There were three or four days without rain, but they were cold and so we just stayed in the house. My dad got depressed about the weather wrecking his vacation and slept during the day a couple times too. Basically, for pretty much the entire two weeks I was left to myself to sit on the couch, read my DE stuff, and watch daytime Detroit tv. When Dean got down there for the second week things improved somewhat, but he was mostly stuck watching crappy tv with me. At least we could keep each other company.

Overall the trip would be bad by normal standards, but really it felt like it did when I lived there, and that was a seemingly endless stretch of boredom. In a sense this was a bit worse though, because normally my mom goes a lot of places and you can get out of the house. This time she had no car and works all night so the only place she goes is Sobey’s in the wee hours of the morning. I feel bad complaining so much, but it’s hard to believe how useless this trip seemed. I don’t know, I guess I’m just frustrated because visiting them should be more fun than this was. The fact that it rained pretty much the entire two weeks doesn’t help any.

On a good note, I had a nice dinner with my grandma, and another with Dean. I got to spend a nice afternoon with my cousins, and I leaned to play Bocce ball.
My uncle Shawn came over once and I got to talk to him for a half hour or so which was nice since I hadn’t seen him since Christmas 2004. My friend Meggie saw me outside talking with him and stopped in. I couldn’t get ahold of her to do anything after that though, which kinda sucked. Some things were fun, just mostly the ones where I wasn’t at my house.

Evil Zombie BusterI got to spend a lot of time with Buster, and he was a lot more outgoing and affectionate than he usually is. He was looking evil when Dean tried to take pictures though.

Le Sigh…And Then Some Hair-Pulling

It’s the home stretch and I’m really feelin’ it now. This last essay is not a difficult one, I’m just having a lot of trouble forcing myself to finish it. I’ve gained a lot of admiration for Aristotle over the course of this term, but I’m sick of writing essays at this point and not really up to giving it my all. I’m burned out. It’s been at least six weeks of non-stop assigments, presentations, tests, essays and now exams. I’m tired. I don’t want to do this anymore. I need some time for myself where I don’t have to worry about dredging up arguments for things that I could care less about.

Vinyl Kitties Kick Ass!

I got my huge kitty purse from Erin at Anatomy of a Skirt today. It’s amazing and totally is my new favourite thing. I know I sound like a teenage fangirl, but Erin makes really awesome stuff. Take a look, and if you’re admiring any of it I suggest you go for it and buy it. You’ll be glad you did.

I’ve been thinking of getting a laptop backpack for my MacBook Pro when I get it, but this bag is so nice and so functional I’m seriously considering using it with a protective sleeve instead. I brought it with me everywhere today. All my stuff fit: my clipboard, Dean’s laptop, books for class, my current sock project, keys, wallet, phone, pens, pencils, snack. Basically everything that usually involves carrying my huge purse and laptop bag around.

Bow to the awesomeness of Erin’s creations!

P.S. Erin, if you’ve still got the picture of it can I post it up here?

Just a Quick Note

I’m alive, really. I just haven’t been posting because I don’t have time. I’ve got non-stop essays and exams due one-after-another until the 18th. Chances are I’ll be pretty scarce until things lighten up, but I’m not sick anymore and things are going well.