Friday, August 24, 2007

Last Day.

It's my last full day in Minden. I go home - home home - tomorrow, and then I drive back up here to move my stuff to Toronto. (If I could stop typing Tornoto anytime soon, that would be just great.)

We're saying goodbyes, but I'm mostly sad that I have to pack. Packing sucks dirty donkey dicks, and I don't wanna!

I'm going to miss my classmates, and I think I'm going to miss the manual labour. I like my place here in Minden, too, for the most part. My roommate is amazing and I've made some great friends.

Yesterday there was an invite-only open house at the now-finished museum, and I had to do a speech on behalf of my classmates. There were over 100 people there and all the grown-ups went first with their speeches, all written down and heartfelt. I felt like a tit because I had to say something somewhat meaningful and thank a ton of people and not make myself look an idiot in front of my classmates.

In the end, it was ok, and people kept telling me I gave a good speech, but I was browning my pants the whole time and I am glad it's all over.

Straw bale house anyone?

Postscript: I drew a deep breath today as I changed my location (to the left of the screen) from Minden to Toronto, Ontario.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I Never Worked A Day In My Life; I Just Lay Back And Let The Big Beat Lead Me.

Well, I've got some good news. For those who have been reading this blog for a while, or listening to me moan about the state of my life, you especially know I have some good news!

I got a job!

It took me a year and a half on Prince Edward Island to not get a decent job, and I've not even officially moved to Toronto yet and I'm set.

So, the job is teaching English Lit. to grade 12 students at a private school. I think it'll be fine, and there's some chance for me to advance (meaning, teach more).

I have to thank my old friend Mike for the job. He worked at this school and is leaving, and recommended my name to the principal. I went in for a meeting yesterday, and she hired me before we parted ways. His nod went a long way, and I owe him. Something, I dunno, but I just do, in that cosmic sense.

Sorry to all those who didn't know I had the interview, but I was nervous and didn't want to jinx it. The thing is, not only do I now have a job, but one I think I'll like a lot and be good at.

The sad thing to me is how much this is a commentary on the state of the job scene on the East Coast, and how outmigration is such an insidious problem. It breaks my heart to leave my briney ocean tossed. (Yeah, I know that's Nova Scotia, but it works for PEI, too.)

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Bike Riding.

Did you know I had to think pretty hard to think of the last time I rode a bike?

My landlady and landlord (landpeople? landcouple?) in England lent me an old bike in case I wanted to bike to work, but it was only about a 10 minute walk and the bike was pretty rickety.

Well, it was rickety, but I was also a little afraid to bike. It's a little outside of my comfort zone to go that fast.

I always say that curling is the fastest sport I'm comfortable playing.

Then, when I was working in the National Park a few summers ago, a co-worker brought a bike to the campground and I rode it around the sites for a little while. I felt a little out of control, but I was pleased that it all came back to me so easily.

Last week, a classmate and I decided to go to the local greasy spoon (a.k.a. The Only Game in Town) for lunch, but we were a little pressed for time, so I hijacked someone's bike and we pedaled it.

It was exhilarating! I wonder if maybe those other recent times, I wasn't as fit, so the biking was a little daunting, physically. I had to cross a couple of roads, and my biking partner was much more confident, but I had to stop and look.

When I dismounted, I was all shakey from the adrenaline. It took me a while to calm down.

Now, all I can think about is this supafly bike I saw up on Yonge and Eglington when I was in Toronto a few weeks ago. It had flowers all over it, and it had a bell, and instead of regular tire treads, it had flowers as treads! Flowers as treads, people!

Anyhow, it was stupid expensive (c.$650) and I still don't really consider myself a person who rides a bike, so it was a bit of fun to picture myself riding in a cotton dress with a baguette in the front basket.

Sunday, August 19, 2007


Happily, when Marilyn and Mike were here a month ago, Mike left a laptop here that he had loaded up with an architectural drawing program. I didn't end up using the program, but now I've got this second computer to which I can swap over.

My old compy (RIP, I think) won't turn on, and when I dig into its guts, sometimes what I do works and sometimes it doesn't. Therefore, I'm putting compy to its final rest and am going to use clunky instead. Clunky is heavy and not as sleek as compy, but it's a hell of a lot better than nought.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Broked Again.

Sorry for any radio silence, kids, but my computer is broked again. I'm going to try to fix it tonight, if I can get ahold of my brother-in-law, who might be able to walk me through it.

I'm well. We have one week left of class and it's getting down to the wire.

Loves to all, except for some, who get merely hugs.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Ring, Ring! Who's There? A Luddite!

This is a marathon post day because I've been leading a marathon life the last few days. See highlights in three other new posts, below.

I went shopping for a short while when I was in Toronto yesterday.

It was long enough for me to get a cell phone, though.

It's pretty scary for me. As I told my mother -

cell phone : me :: a mortgage : normal people

I don't know where I'll be permanently in Toronto, and I need a phone to look for work, so I hooked it up now while there were some good back-to-school deals, and I'll use it as my primary phone instead of hooking up a landline.

The poor salesperson didn't know what she was getting into when she greeted me. I had a lot of questions because I barely know how to dial a mobile, let alone own one.

I was hesitant to get a cell phone all this time because of the way so many cell phone owners behave. Taking calls at tables, not turning them off in shows and movies, and generally looking like prats while screaming into them.

(Fun game: next time you're around someone whose cell phone rings, see how long it takes for them to say where they are. It's usually the first thing someone asks when they call a cell phone.)

We've Got A Lot To Be Glad For.

On Friday, after only a couple of hours of sleep on Thursday night, a trip into Toronto and a CFL game, my classmates and I went to Lee's Palace to see a band called Rock Plaza Central.

I kinda can't believe I hadn't heard about this group before. It was an amazing show from this 7-member band (though one was missing on Friday). There's a violinist who plays trombone, a guitarist who switches to 'bone and banjo, and a trumpet player who switches to mandolin. I love the sound of brass, and these players must have been classically trained. Beautiful, rich, toneful brass sounds.

The lead singer is a writer and musician, and his lyrics are fun and thoughtful. I think the best part of their music is the positivity. It's very optimistic, with song titles like "We've Got a Lot to be Glad For," and "My Children, Be Joyful." He's also got some sort of horse fixation, which crops up often.

They have a sense of humour, too, obviously.

If you ever get a chance, take them in. I'll go with.

After the show, we climbed the stairs to a dance cave. I was totally not interested in dancing, since I was so tired I was pretty sure my eyes were bleeding, but it was like the DJ was the best wedding DJ ever. It wasn't gross dance club un-cha-un-cha-un-cha music, but great rock we could dance to in a non-meat-market atmosphere. Who knew this existed! I couldn't help but dance with my classmates when he spun "Under Pressure." Come on!

Like An Old Shoe.

On Thursday I gave the best tour yet. There were 26 people there, and I toured their brains out. I was so in the zone, I forgot that Mel, Lynda, and Dave were arriving during the tour, so when I looked outside and saw them waiting there, it was like Christmas!

We met some of my classmates, went to the Thai restaurant in town, came back to my apartment and sat and chatted and played and annoyed my roommate until we went to sleep at 4am.

Kevin, my poor put-upon roomie, was up at 6:30am, which woke me up, and I couldn't get back to sleep, leaving me with 2 and-a-half hours of rest. I went to the site for the daily 8am meeting, stumbled back to my place and worked on my resume until my peeps woke up at about 10. We hung out and ate and then they were gone at 1ish.

It was great to have them over, and a little weird, too. It was worlds colliding. I had no context of them in that realm, so it took a little getting used to. In a good way!

While it was a very short visit, it was jam-packed with FOH goodness. I miss my peeps!

Green Is The Colour.

Go Riders!

On Friday, me and five of my classmates accompanied Dave to a Saskatchewan Roughriders game at the Skydome. Dave is my classmate whose wife, son, and neighbours in Saskatchewan are taking care of his cattle ranch while he's taking this course. He's a good, hard-working, God-fearing, salt-of-the-earth guy, and we all love him, so we wanted to watch him support his favourite team.

I didn't know, not knowing anything about the CFL, that it is customary for Roughriders fans to wear watermelons as helmets and paint themselves green. Dave did not let us down. Stripped to the waist and melon-helmeted, Dave strutted proudly through the sea of navy-blue Argos fans.

He took some abuse from the Toronto fans, who threw peatnuts and insults at him, but for the most part, there was a great supportive sportsmanship from the crowd. When it became obvious in the 4th quarter that the Riders were going to win, the crowd started filing out of the Skydome. Dave, who was sitting on the aisle, got friendly thumps on his helmet, pats on the back, handshakes, and congratulations. He was on cloud nine. Adorable. "We" got the game in the end, 24-13.

I still know little to nothing about the CFL, but I think I can follow along now. It was worth the $25 ticket to watch Dave, though, and cheer on a team whose province I've only ever driven through.

I love fight songs:

Green is the Colour. Football is the Game. We're all together and Winning is our aim. So Cheer us on through the sun and rain. Saskatchewan Roughriders is our name.

Let's show our pride in the Green & White. We will fight, Green & White. Sing loud and clear till the game is won. The best is yet to come.

Green is the Colour. Football is the Game. We're all together and Winning is our aim. So Cheer us on through the sun and rain. Saskatchewan Roughriders is our name.

Here at Taylor Field we are Number one. We're the best; East or West. We'll give our all till the game is done. Stand up and sing everyone .... Hey!

Green is the Colour. Football is the Game. We're all together and Winning is our aim. So Cheer us on through the sun and rain. Saskatchewan Roughriders is our name.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Let's Hope Toronto Doesn't Always Whiff of Piss.

Things are going well at the site. For the last week, I've been continuing work on the tongue-and-groove, but instead of being up on the scaffolding, I've become the mistress of the chop saw.

Who could have ever thought that 5 months ago, I was waking myself with nightmares about power tools? I am now perfectly confident, comfortable, and, might I add, proficient with the chop saw, jigsaw, and circular saw.

Now, we have two teams working on installing the tongue and groove, and they holler out the length of board they need. I repeat it back to them in reciept of the order, find a board, cut it, and bring it to them, repeating the length when I present it.

Team: Catherine!
Me: Yeah!
Team: 87 and three eighths!
Me: 87 and three eighths, I'm on it!

I like it. I feel like a short-order cook. Maybe I should get a little bell and hit it when an order is up.

Anyhow, one more afternoon and the whole ceiling should be done.

Last week, Dad was here. He's working on some lectures for the fall, so he's writing and researching a lot. I think he needed a change of atmosphere, so he called and came up. He was here for 4 days, and it was great to see him for a while. I think him coming up assured him I wasn't living in squalor, and he also insisted on cleaning all the things that weren't clean enough to eat off. I didn't stop him.

On the weekend, I went to Toronto to see Marianne, Chris K., Kristin, and Emily (the last three I hadn't seen in almost 2 years). I tried to give blood, but my iron was too low, and I saw a Jays games (they won). I also saw Hot Rod (2007), which, while peurile, was very entertaining. I laughed so hard at one point, it was like the time I couldn't stop laughing in Shrek (2001) and the time I couldn't stop crying in The Pianist (2002). All times were embarassing, but satisfying.

Anyhow, I don't know if it was because it was the summer, Caribana weekend, or a combination of the two, but the city smelled like it was pickled in piss. It wasn't the normal city phenomenon of occasionally walking by an alley and whiffing piss; it was full lengths of streets that whiffed of piss.

This week, I have a huge project to work on. I've all but resigned myself to the fact that I'm going to pass it in late. I work so hard on the site during the day, the last thing I want to do at night is draw design diagrams.

On Thursday, Lynda, Mel, and Dave are coming to visit me! I love that wherever I go, I get a delegation from the Confed. I am confident that this place will be prettier than Hamilton. Hell, I'd have to move to the Sydney Tar Ponds for it not to be prettier than Hamilton.

Finally: I'm going to try to make a go of it in Toronto in the fall. It makes me a little sad to give up trying to find work in the Maritimes, but last year was so depressing and demoralizing, I honestly can't face the idea of going back to joblessness or near-joblessness and mooching off my kind parents again. I have old and new friends in the city and in nearby cities, and already couple of job leads. And, as of this past weekend, I have secured a place to stay, which is a big load off my mind. And my parents' minds.

Off to update the ole resume!