Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Great quote

From a friend, after seeing my apartment for the first time.

" you go shopping with a time machine or something?"

Sunday, June 24, 2007

"It's time, time, time that you love"

(Title borrowed from the wonderful Mr. Tom Waits.)

Now that comps are done, I actually have some time, which feels like a new and lovely thing after all these many months of doing little but reading and exam prep. There is still work to be done, and more projects to get started on, but nothing feels as overwhelming and oppressive and monolithic as comps did. I'm looking forward to smaller projects and a choice of what I work on every day. Perhaps there will even be a little break in there as well to just kick back, take it easy, and read all those novels I've been holding onto. Perhaps there will even be regular blog posts, with photos.

Oh, isn't it exciting!

I feel as though I'm just now getting back into some kind of a groove. The first day post-comps was spent in bed, watching TV, which I actually enjoyed less than I thought that I would. So, now I'm trying to do more enjoyable things, and really try to figure out what's going to make me feel good and more like myself again. In the days since, there's been a lot of apartment stuff done in terms of cleaning and purging and really just making everything lovely. There's also been a small amount of sewing and a large amount of plotting new projects that I'd like to work on over the summer. I've been cooking again, and eating healthy food, and listening to lots of music - Tom Waits, Emmylou Harris, Rosanne Cash, John Hiatt. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, and it's been so wonderful to really be able to listen and appreciate again.

And soon (very soon, I hope!), I'll be heading out to Big City to see my sweetie (who, sweet as he is, may need a less saccharine pseudonym) and to enjoy a bit of downtime.

After which we will both be heading off to the soon-to-be-sold (so sad!) family cottage for a possible family reunion and a bit of relaxation on the river.

I am so ready for a bit of a break, or at least a chance to get away, that it almost hurts, and this is going to be a fantastic summer. I hope you're looking forward to or enjoying yours as much as I am.

Not-so-recent thrift finds

I've been hanging onto these for awhile now, but haven't had much of a chance to play with photos or post them here. But, here are a few older but favourite selections from the local thrift store.

Four lovely silver rimmed something-or-others that I'm using as coasters to replace the two and half sets of yucky old ones that I didn't really like so much and are now on their way to Goodwill (it's like trading...)

A china cup and (large) saucer set, with a small place to set the cup so it won't slide around. So wonderful for tea and cookies in the afternoon.

And finally this nifty little odd-shaped leather case, which holds...

Three small metal shot glasses. I think the case and the glasses together are fabulous, and I like to imagine them being taken on a camping expedition or somesuch. (The bowl in the back was also thrifted, and is intended for mom.)

I haven't really felt the desire to go thrifting all that much recently, since right now it feels a lot better to just hang around and get my over-full apartment in better shape than it has been. In part, this shaping up has involved getting rid of a lot of stuff, and I don't want to use that as an excuse to just keep bringing more stuff in, especially since I have some specific reasons why I'm decluttering above and beyond the fact that the sheer amount of stuff is quite possibly driving me mad (or, at least more mad than I already was.) I'm sure there will be more in the future, but for now I'm focusing on the stuff that I already have and enjoying that.

Of course, it's also easier to not thrift so much when your mother has suddenly started buying you lovely vintage things on a regular basis. Right now the tally seems to be at somewhere around 15 pieces of pyrex, two tableclothes, an apron, and a plaid thermos, but that's probably another post for another time, both because of the quasi-story behind it, and the fact that the loot hasn't made its way to my place yet, and so I have no pictures. But thanks, mom!


I suck at code. Even the automated blogger stuff trips me up (which is why I have "Daily Ethnography" twice at the top of this page, which annoys me no end.)

I'm trying to make some changes around here, and really make this blog more my own, more the way I want it.

Thus far, all I've managed to pull off is adding links to some of my favourite the side, and even that took a lot more swearing than I'd care to admit.

Does anyone out there happen to know of a good online guide to make blogger work for those of us who are not so competent with the code? I suppose it could just be that I need some more practice, but helpful info would be very much appreciated, if you have any to share.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


Well, after a long week of writing and an oral defense of my essays this morning, I'm now officially considered to be All But Dissertation (ABD). After months and months of dealing with this, I don't feel like it's really sunk in that it's all over yet, but I'm rather looking forward to when it does.

I'd like to say that I'm really enjoying it, and I kind of am, but mostly right now I'm very, very tired. This has been a long time coming, and it feels like the weight of the last year has all come down on me at once. I had high hopes for doing something really enjoyable, without the worries of comps over my head, but right now it's looking like the most enjoyable thing in the world is going to be curling up in bed and sleeping.

So that's what I shall do.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Comps, The End of Part One

By the end of yesterday I had one paper all but finished, and the other in a complete draft. I woke up this morning at 4:45 (no alarm, other than stress), edited the last one, made a few changes, read them both over, had sweetie read both of them, and had them submitted at 2 this afternoon.

I'm done the writing. I still have to defend the written potion next week, but this bit is done, and I feel okay about it.

It was a hard week - not a lot of sleep, lots of stress, and way too much in the way of Chinese leftovers. There were moments of panic as well as moments of, "wow - look at all the stuff I know." But right now all I feel is relief and...well...tired. So it's off to bed I go.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Comps, Day 3

Super-early wake-up (not by choice), 11 hours of work, three mugs of green tea, one hard-boiled egg, two apples, two servings of leftover Chinese (apparently I ordered more than I though), I bag of cheddar crispy minis, a very sore back, and a good paper-related conversation with my sweetie.

And apparently I'm depending on food an awful lot.

Word count, essay one: 5045
Word count, essay two: 4057

Total word count: 9102

Happily, essay two is now a full, complete draft. It needs a few good edits, but that's a load off my mind that actually allowed me to sleep relatively well last night for the first time in days.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Comps, Day 2

One seven a.m. wake up, 13 hours of work, two pots of green tea, one hardboiled egg, too much cheese, one bag crispy minis, two servings leftover Chinese, one twix bar, one hot shower, still no self-inflicted injuries, and one very exhausted girl.

Word count, essay one: 3795
Word count, essay two: 4565

Total word count: 8360

Monday, June 11, 2007

Comps, Day 1

11 hours of work, one pot of tea, one coke, one V8, one order of Chinese, no self-inflicted wounds, one sleepy girl.

Word count, essay one: 3280
Word count, essay two: 1355

Total word count: 4635

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

It's not easy being green, Part 1

I have some lovely kerosene lamps - a tiny little one from my Grandmother's, and a bigger silver one that I thrifted. I like them very much and so, in order to create a romantic mood one even, I bought some kerosene for them to use in place of candles.

Well, the romance lasted for about 3 seconds before I realised that kerosene reeks. It reeks especially badly when used inside. So, I emptied the lamps, washed them out, and resolved to get ostensibly less offensive lamp oil (which I kind of slacked on, and never did.)

So, now I have a bottle of kerosene kicking around that I can't use. I'm also in the midst of spring cleaning and very, very much want to get rid of this bottle of kerosene somehow. But, after checking around for the local toxic waste depot, found that it's 5 km out of town (after going many more than 5 km just to get to the edge of town), only open for limited hours on Saturday, and not at all accessible by bus.

Now I, being somewhat environmentally friends (well, and student-issue poor) don't have a car. I therefore have no way to get to the depot to drop off this now-much-despised bottle of kerosene, and now officially have no idea what to do with it. I suppose I could keep it around, but it would depress me to do so. My only other option seems to be to find another way to get down there (not going to happen any time soon), find someone to take it for me (very few of my friends have vehicles), or set it outside and hope someone takes it and uses it (rather than just tossing it in the garbage.)

Sadly, no option really seems all that great, which is probably why I've resisted buying the lamp oil - I don't want to get stuck with something else that doesn't work so well and then having to dispose of it, especially if it's considered to be hazardous waste. Yet another reason to consider what I'm buying and bringing home with me.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Long time, no post

It's been ages, again, since my last post. There have been months of studying, and in just over a week now I start writing my comprehensive exam. As such, there really hasn't been much to tell here - little exciting things, little news, really very little done at all, other than long hours of reading on the couch, and moaning and whining about the whole process.

But, always, there are things that get me through. This time they seem to include,

- frequent long phone and online conversations with my wonderfully reassuring and calming sweetie
- dram after dram of hot green tea, in my cute and nearly perfect cast-iron tea pot (a gift from my sweetie's mom)
- small but consistent cleaning of the apartment, until there are large piled of largely unused stuff ready to go out the door, and more room for me to live and breathe and stretch out in this space a bit more
- daily exercise, usually involving running on the lovely new train near home, or yoga practice in my living room with the windows open and the breezes blowing warm air through
- easy but healthy meals of multi-grain breads, big salads, soft sandwiches, and homemade soups
- treats used as bribes for getting work done - chocolate, soft drinks, and now some delicious peach-mango gelato found somewhat hidden away at the local supermarket on my last jaunt
- soft and comfy clothes for curling up on the couch and in bed while I get yet another book read
- understanding emails from friends who, in this mess of academia, I've been quite shamefully ignoring
- dreaming about what I'll get to do when all of this is done - really clean (out) my place, sew some lovely new things with vintage patterns and lovely materials, cook yummy and complex meals, have more time with friends, and, best of all, travel to the big city (BC) and have some much needed time with my sweetie relaxing a lot and working a bit and taking in all sorts of small amusements while on vacation

But, for now I will likely remain boring and tense and mostly glued to my couch with a book in one hand and a pen and a pad of paper in the other, and I'll keep going at this. And then, someday soon, it will be done and little traces of life will start coming to the fore again, which feels very lovely indeed.