Thursday, August 26, 2010

Te-ra, Corktown.

Last night was my last uke jam before going home to PEI for 4 months. People are so sweet to me. At the jam, I'm at the List Mistress (or Listress), so I do the stage management for the bigger nights, and just let the MC know who is playing next on the smaller nights. Through this, I've met a lot of the regulars at the jam, and I guess I've become a bit of a fixture, because they were super awesome to me last night.

A big group of them got up and sang a Mark Haines song to me. The song was called "On My Way" and it was all about moving home to Prince Edward Island!

Another one, Margaret Mulligan, made a print for me of a uke player, all framed and lovely!

Well, I got lots of hugs and a request to play. Happily, I have been rehearsing a song, because instead of reading at the wedding that I mentioned 2-3 posts ago, I'm now singing and accompanying myself. Sure, why not, said the groom, who is a maniac and adventuresome and I love it. So many people micromanage their weddings, then this guy comes along. He doesn't even know what song I'm performing! He didn't ask!!! I joked it would be this:

I wish.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Night Moves.

The city smells like a basement apartment tonight. Way too damp and sickly sweet.

I'm always surprised how few kooks are out at 1am on a Monday morning.

A Short Exchange:

Dude in bandanna crossing Queen West to get to me: "Do you have a couple of quarters I have bum off you?"

Me, lying, waiting at a streetcar stop: "Sorry, no. All I have is a [streetcar] token."

[Streetcar approaches, less than a block away.]

Dude i.b.c.Q.W.t.g.t.m., almost ready to pass but heads back towards me: "Oh! You have a token? Can I get it off you?"

Me, finding this ridiculously transparent: "Sweetheart, no. I need it."

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Follicular Fortnight.

One of my greasy spoon buddies (yeah, I have a greasy spoon posse) told me about Jon Stewart's goatee before I got a chance to see it myself.

I got out of the habit of watching the Daily Show and the Colbert Report. It all happened when I when I went back to school in May. I thought I'd ease into a nocturnal life, sleeping late, and taking my news the way most undergrads do: from the hallowed halls of Comedy Central.

Anyhow, when one of my favourite boys decided not to callously cull his facial hair and I missed its unveiling, I was most disappointed with myself.

And now it's gone now, Jon's goatee. (Or, more properly, people, it was a Van Dyke - it had a mustache.) Two weeks. Two thin weeks and 8 short episodes, Jon was in his beard period.

Now, briefly, and hopefully not stepping on the toes of a future post pontificating on the values of beards, I will say this:

I am generally of the school of "Go Big or Go Home" when it comes to beards. Shaving parts of a beard is basically being half-assed clean-shaven, in my books.

Still, for someone who emulates an news anchor in looks if not in content, I like Stewart's chutzpah at returning from vacation with some extra hair. [No, I didn't purposely use a Yiddish word because it's Stewart - I just use that word. Broaden your vocabularies, y'all. Nu.]

Facial hair is verboten [yeah, now some German - chew on that!] for these be-suited men, as verboten as it is for politicians to wear full beards. When Letterman and Conan wore beards in solidarity with striking writers, it made news. As well it should have - Conan's was a crimson blaze of glory - and I'm very pleased he grew it back for his unemployment/road show earlier this year. In fact, last month when Craig Ferguson wore sneakers and later just a tee-shirt under his blazer, he intimated that it was a bit of a coup.

Well, farewell, Jon Stewart's Van Dyke. We hardly knew ye. You stood for something bigger than yourself - you railed against the status quo, if only for a while. I salute you.

Stay tuned for my treatise on why beards are good 'n stuff.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

The Come-Down.

I am finished. Finished of school for the summer.

I wrote my Physiology final yesterday morning, after not much sleep and not enough studying.

I don't really know how well I did. It's so hard to say, since it was multiple choice and they do their best to confuse you (or test your intimate knowledge, whatever).

There was one question, for example, that asked us to identify the correct statement about the placenta. I quickly was able to cross out three of the options (e.g.: "the placenta allows a direct connection between the mother's and the fetus' blood"), but I was left with two that might have been ok. One of them was, "the placenta begins to produce estrogen and progesterone 6 weeks after implantation." Now, I remembered that this (disgusting) organ starts to produce hormones at about 6 weeks, but I couldn't remember which ones. This is where they get you: it sounds right, but what if the actual hormones are estrogen and any other of the billions of hormones in the human body?

Anyhow, I followed my gut and chose that one anyway, hoping those were the hormones, and after looking it up, I was right!

Unfortunately, I only remember approximately 2 other questions from the 87-question exam, so I can't look any more of them up.

I walked away from the exam, sat behind Convocation Hall and called home. I told my mother I felt like having a cry - not because I was upset, but I needed an outlet for all my nerves. I was shaky during the exam itself from all the adrenaline (a catecholemine, produced in the medulla of the adrenal gland, of course).

Another annoying fact I picked up in this epic class is, heightened levels of cortisol, a hormone released while stressed, impairs your immune system. Since I've been jacked up on cortisol for a couple of weeks now, I expect to get a cold any second now.

The courtyard where I studied for hours and hours.
Two hours.

My back and neck are really sore from being bent over a desk and from schlepping my books back and forth from campus for weeks. I am going to spend the next week recovering mentally and physically, relaxing with my uke and reading Scott Pilgrim (joiner alert!). Then I have to pack up my stuff for storage and get home to PEI for four months.

All I know is: our bodies are amazing. Amazing and disgusting.