Sunday, November 2, 2014

haunter of the woods;

Emerald, Deep Cove

Lynn Canyon, North Vancouver

Gaspé Peninsula, Quebec

Capilano River Regional Park, North Vancouver

Salt Spring Island, BC

Kejimkujik National Park, Nova Scotia

Bluff Wilderness Trails, Nova Scotia

Fromme Mountain, North Vancouver

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Confessions of a slacker student

I am bored to the point where watching my candle's flame flicker and the steam from my tea dance through the air has become the most exciting part of my hour. I have also developed a newfound fascination with parting the split ends that are plentiful in my rarely-manicured hair.

I just got very excited by the opportunity to flip my calendar to the month of April where the picture comes from the Koksilah Ancient Forest in Shawnigan Lake. Sad fact: "Less than 1% of the original old-growth Douglas Fir trees remain on Vancouver Island."

As of now, I have consumed more cups of tea than number of slides I've reviewed for my exam tomorrow.

Somehow, the following just doesn't spark my interest:

I am listening to a playlist consisting of various artists that will be playing at the Squamish Valley Music Festival in August. Naturally, this has gotten me excited for the summer months where I can be free and fun and where I won't have to glue myself to a chair and stare at this computer screen for hours on end.

To further my excitement, I wrote a "Hopefully-Will-Do-List" for this summer:

  • jump off a 20 foot cliff
  • bike the Seawall from Canada Place, around Stanley Park, and to Kits beach 
  • spit off the Lynn Valley suspension bridge
  • hike through Garibaldi Park
  • attend a concert on Granville Island
  • dip in Capilano River
  • spend a night under the stars
  • roadtrip down the Oregon Coast
  • watch a baseball game in Myrtle Park
  • eat a bean and a tomato grown in my backyard
  • rollerblade through the Seymour Demonstration Forest
  • have lunch at the Cottage Deli Cafe in Gastown
  • hike the Baden Powell Trail from Deep Cove to Grouse Mountain
  • watch the sunset from Dog Mountain
  • slackline in Stanley Park
  • canoe around Racoon Island 
  • attend a "Concerts in the Cove"
  • explore deeper into Emerald than ever before
  • picnic at Whytecliff Park

That's not all, but that's it for now. I've done enough procrastinating to make me exhausted; I'm going to bed. My alarm is set for an early hour with the hopes of doing some last-minute studying. I hope this exam tomorrow goes well. . .

Monday, March 24, 2014

On the weekend, I...

In elementary school, we used to write in a journal every Monday recounting what we did on the weekend. Most of the time I imagine it went something like this:
"On sunday I had a socker game. I played in gole. We lost 3 to 1 but we had fun enyway. After the game I got a hot chocklat becuse it was rilly wet and cold. Then I had a play date with brook. We playd with her hampster cheezy."
I was just thinking that I haven't blogged in a while, and that I want to start writing more frequently. So here I am, like the glory days of elementary school, writing about what I did on the weekend...

It all started with a celebration of Halifax Burger Week. Fifty-one restaurants across Halifax participate by having a burger on special for $5 (or higher with a donation going towards Feed Nova Scotia). The omnivores of the group enjoyed perhaps Halifax's most famous burger, the Peanut Butter Burger, while yours truly, the vegetarian, celebrated with a classic veggie burger that was unfortunately not included in the $5 special. The infamous Peanut Butter Burger was too big for Fiona's mouth and she eventually had to remove the bottom bun to assist with the process. Apparently the trick to a successful burger-eating is that once you've picked it up, never put it down!

Naturally, after consuming ginormous burgers and fries, it was time to get all fancied up for my Management Formal. It was James Bond theme, so I threw on the only dress in my closet that was even remotely suitable. Having to safety pin where there is a hole in the leg, and having to wear a cardigan at all times because the back zipper is broken, I don't think I was going for best-dressed. And to top it all off, I wore a fish pin, given to me by Zoe, on the bottom of my dress! My legs were frantically shaved in the sink, my hair was left in a rats nest at the back of my head, and I threw on some makeup that was most probably expired.

I somehow managed to convince two of my roommates to tag along to this too-classy-for-comfort event. The three of us showed up about 2 hours late, drank our glass of complementary champagne (valued at $20/glass), somehow managed to sneak in a second one, ate a few swanky h'ordeurves, marvelled at the extent to which some people went to dress up, danced to a song or two, and then we were out of there. We were back home and in bed before 11pm.

Saturday was a beautifully sunny day. We gathered a group of people and headed for Point Pleasant to play some frisbee and enjoy some fresh air. The fact that wind is much stronger near the ocean might have been overlooked as we ventured towards the sea. Nonetheless, the frisbee was tossed and mud was splattered. It became the object of the game not to slip in the water-logged grass, though many of us were unsuccessful. After a game of jackpot and ultimate frisbee, it became our mission to have a photo shoot on the roof of an old fort with our bums hanging out. Unfortunately due to the heavy traffic through the park, especially the fact that families with young children were the majority, we did not succeed in our bum-shot endeavours.

This was the best we got...

Tortellini Night was on Saturday. This is where we cook up 3 bags of Costco tortellini, enough to feed a small army. Then between 7 people, we struggle to conquer the meal without feeling like we're going to explode. Wine is obviously consumed generously on Tortellini Nights, and laughter is plentiful.

Then it was the moment we'd all been waiting for. Hollerado! They were coming to play at our campus bar; one of my favourite concert venues in this city, strangely enough. And they did not disappoint! The flashing buttons we were given that we decided to put in the place of our nipples may have added to the overall enjoyment of the night.

I saw Hollerado live for the first time in October, and man can I tell you that they know how to put on a good show. Although I love the Grawood because of its friendly, student vibe; there was an instant where I thought Nicole was going to get punched in the face by a very angry concert-goer who thought Nicole had just pulled her hair. Other than that one instance, the crowd was electrifying. As the lead singer, Menno Versteeg put it, "you may be a small crowd, but you create an aura that is five times bigger than yourselves". The profuse amounts I was perspiring throughout the show would back up that statement. And the amount of stress the security guards were under, as well as the number of people they threw out for crowd surfing or moshing would also support that idea. I love how amongst the crowd I could look around and see a large number of strangers, but also someone from my Research Methods class, a girl I lived with in residence last year, the VP of the Dal Student Union, and my friend's hilarious roommate. Dalhousie is such a perfect little, big school.

After a few hours of jumping, being thrust around, and having the time of our lives, we wandered back home with a group of friends, new and old. One was a random guy who we approached because he appeared to be a bit sad and lonely, and because we recognize him from around campus as the guy who looks like Ali's ex-boyfriend. Fortunate enough, we arrived home to some freshly-squeezed lemonade and homemade bread from the lovely Ali herself. It became an interesting night with much debate over which would use less water; a dishwasher, or washing dishes by hand. And though we may have not overly enjoyed the company of our new friend, the ex-boyfriend look alike, at least we discovered that we share a common love for both arugula and peanut butter.

Having gone to bed after 4am, Sunday was a sleep-in-until-noon kind of day. I was shocked to look at my phone upon waking up and saw that it was 11:49am. So then, of course, we created our classic morning smoothie where everyone throws in any ingredients they have to contribute, and blend away.

The plan for the rest of the day was to tackle some of my giant stack of homework. Naturally, that plan quickly fell though as we made plans to visit the Dartmouth Farmer's Market. None of us had ever been before, and we had heard great things, so of course we had to go see for ourselves. A lovely, community-feel of a place it was. The first lady we saw as we entered through the front doors offered us each a ginger cookie as a sample. After browsing around at all the tempting baked goods, I managed to leave with only a carton of free-range eggs, a block of local gouda cheese, a small bag of mushrooms, and some alfalfa sprouts. Oh, and "Tanya's Pink Pod" bean seeds that I'm going to try to grow this summer! We then spent a few gracious moments outside the market enjoying the view of Halifax from the other side. And we relished one final round of delicious tasters and neighbourly ambience before heading out.

Another less-windy and more competitive game of ultimate was played. I even broke a sweat, and was brutally reminded that I need to start training for this 1/2 marathon I've signed up for if I ever want to cross the finish line. That frisbee was purchased only two weeks ago and I already think we've got our money's worth in good times.

I also made a friend at the park. She was a middle-aged Hungarian woman with the most playful of dogs. Having fractured her collarbone last month in a dispute with the wind, I was helping throw the ball for her dog to fetch. A retired school teacher, now an author; she was a fascinating woman to chat to. I feel like I could have talked to her for ages and never got bored. Any time I want to play with her dog, she told me, I am welcome to knock on her door. It's the blue house on the corner, right across from the park.

To finish off the weekend right, all the roommates sat down with a giant bowl of popcorn to watch Pirates of the Caribbean. Wrapped in blankets and cuddled amongst each other, we only made it through just over half before we got too restless and surrendered to the night.

And that brings me to now; writing this blog about all the above. Having completed minimal amounts of the mound of homework I have to do; this weekend was spent right!

My weekends have changed a bit since the days of, "On sunday I had a socker game. I played in gole. We lost 3 to 1 but we had fun enyway. After the game I got a hot chocklat becuse it was rilly wet and cold. Then I had a play date with brook. We playd with her hampster cheezy." But really, how much have they changed? A part of me feels as though the retelling of these weekends are vastly different, but the weekends themselves, and the girl living in them, are very much the same.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

A Full Heart

Tonight, I will go to bed with a full heart.

Not only have I just spent my long weekend at a cottage on Cape Breton with good friends and great skiing. But also, my heart is filled with nostalgic thoughts of what my life looked like four years ago today.

At the time, I explained Students Live as the best experience of my life. Although in the four years since, a lot of major events have occurred; I can still say that Students Live 2010 is at the top of the list. The opening ceremonies of the Sochi Olympics nearly brought tears to my eyes remembering how I was feeling during the same ceremonies at Vancouver 2010. My excitement was hard, or even impossible to contain. I don't think at the time, however, I understood quite what I was in for.

It is obvious that no Olympics are ever again going to even compare for me. This is a thought that used to upset me. Now, however, I have switched my attitude towards being grateful for that fact that I may just have been part of some of the luckiest kids in the world. To have access to Official Media Centres and VIP passes to Olympic events at 16 years of age is almost unbelievable. To feel so involved in a worldwide event was a dream come true. And even though I haven't followed my dream at the time of going into a career in journalism; I have still found the Students Live experience to be invaluable.

From making friends who I keep in touch with to this very day, to getting 957 views from 10 different countries on a single blog post. From getting to attend a press conference with Alexandre Bilodeau directly after he had become the first Canadian to ever win an Olympic gold medal on home soil, and to interviewing the only Canadian Gold Medalist from the 1976 Innsbruck Olympics. These are the kinds of memories that I will cherish for time to come.

As these memories float through my head tonight, I am feeling an overwhelming sense of joy, and gratitude, and pride. Tonight, I will go to bed with a full heart.