Wednesday, December 21, 2005


In the year 1992 or thereabouts when my brother was about three years old, we, then a family of four, all went to the German Market (Kriskindelmarkt) in Ottawa. I think we were also with my Oma. For the past few years, it had become a tradition to go there every year, or every year we could make it. So, there we are, the four of us, stomping around the Market, looking at trinkets and my parents making sure that we wouldn't knock down any of the fragile figurines or whatnot. Of course, I was petrified of knocking down anything, so I stayed a good distance away from some of the more expensive and fragile things. My brother, however, liked to get really close to practically sniff or maybe even drool on some of the ornaments. Being only two or three years old, he was allowed to be a drooler. Well, I digress.

So, there we were at the German Market. It was always very comforting to hear so much German spoken in one place. After looking at the massive gingerbread house that they made every year, we slowly started to make our way back to the car to go home. We stopped to get our coats back on. As my parents were still talking to Oma and organizing all of our coats and mitts, my brother kept on walking oblivious to the fact that no one was walking with him anymore. Well, it turns out that he thought he was still walking with Mom. In fact, my brother was walking down the stairs to the Market basement, holding onto the coat of some lady. There were a few seconds of panic when my parents didn't see my brother. Fortunately, we caught him just in time, before he went too far down the stairs. I think he had just noticed that this woman wasn't his mother. The woman hadn't noticed until we came up to them! Anyway, it was quite funny, for me especially, that my brother had ran away with this woman that resembled my mother. It was a good thing that the woman had a good sense of humour about the whole thing, rather than think that this kid was pleading for a way to get out of our family.

Something somewhat similar happened to me tonight. I was eating at the community supper. My sister was due to perform her Christmas concert after the supper. My Mom was across the buffet table from me, and we were talking whilst she put food on her plate. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to stay to watch my sister's play, so I went to give her a hug and a kiss on the forehead goodbye. I leaned into her beside me and was just about to embrace her when I realized that this was not at all my sister. I had gotten close to her and my hand had touched her shoulder. This was some random lady beside me who was helping herself to the food. We both kind of jumped, probably I the most after realizing my mistake. This woman was the same build and had the same hair style as my sister! I felt quite embarrassed and ran over to the table where my sister was sitting. I gave her a hug and a kiss, and the lady exploded with: "You thought I was a kid?"

"Um, I thought you were my sister..." I sputtered.

"It's the height, isn't it, isn't it!" she exclaimed.

"No no, it's the hair, the hair style, yours is the same..." I peetered out.

"Oh, no no, it's the height!" At least she was laughing.

There wasn't more I could say to save face. I grabbed my coat and got the heck out of there. Whew.

Monday, December 19, 2005

My people in a gazebo

I know that if there were teleporters around, I would use MSN less.
Last year, I remember...

It was a cool night; it had just stopped snowing, and I was all buddled up in my puffy red coat. I was walking back alone from somewhere in Lennoxville. I crossed over the bridge, took the short cut by running down the ditch and onto the field. I was making my way back to my residence, and I decided to take the way passing by the library. Beside Bishop's library, there is a very quaint and lovely gazebo.

Unlike this picture taken in the daylight, it was a very beautiful and starry night. The snow was twinkling from the various lights around the library and Divinity house. It was all very peaceful.

I decided, upon coming up to the gazebo, to stop and walk inside. I went in and sat on the bench.

The bench was cold, so I tried not thinking about it. My mind started to wander, and I started to think what it would be like if I could fill this gazebo with all the people that I wanted to talk to right now. I realized how many people I knew that if I could talk to in person, I would. There are some people that I hardly see enough. A few of these people are a result of doing the program Canada World Youth. It is impossible to see some of those people often, specifically my counterpart Olya. Olya was a girl full of integrity, intelligence, and humour. She was hilarious and always had great stories to tell. And was she ever a tower a strength during the program! Olya and I became very close friends; I wish I could have brought her back to Canada with me because I am sure that she would love living here for awhile and my friends would get along with her.

Then, there are those in the region close to home that I also see far too seldom -- some that I miss very much. Imagine if I could conjure up all of the people that I felt like seeing and talking to at the time and put them in this gazebo for a few hours. Granted, the gazebo was quite cold at the time, and I might have conjured up people just out of the shower, so I would have invited them all back to my residence with me.

It's just a shame that there are so many times that you just cannot be with the people you want. At least for me, there are times like that. Fortunately, I can (just) bare living without those people for the time being, so I am not forced to violently suck people from their warm beds and put them in a frigid gazebo.
Unless, of course, I go crazy and am forced to marry the Ukraine, just to be able to extradite the lovely Olya.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Theatre Adventure, Part 2


By Lezley Havard

Directed by Miranda Glen

Starring so-and-so as Paula and whatshisface as Jeff.

I can already see it. The play is officially a go, and I am officially the director! I telephone Andrea right away and tell her that I will indeed not be drowning my sorrows in gin or Friends.

The next day, Monday, I am all set for the director's meeting. It's suffice to say that I am ecstatic, considering what a great play this is, what can be done with it, and the fact that I am actually a director in Theatre Activ.

Skipping merrily to the meeting, I run into Anna, who, with a huge smile on her face, congratulates me. Saying she heard from Andrea of my good fortune, she tells me that she is also auditioning for Theatre Activ, so I will definitely see her around. We exchange hugs, and then I run to the
Green Room for the meeting.

I arrive to the meeting at four thirty on the dot. As soon as the last director arrives, we start our meeting. I look around the room, acknowledging and saying hi to the directors that I know. The room is buzzing; I can tell everyone is excited and eager about being a director.

Brent and Niall, our two co-ordinators, start the meeting in a very official manner, stating that they too are excited to co-ordinate Theatre Activ. They tell us that they want the festival to be very group oriented this year. They stressed that, in order to ensure a successful festival, we must all work together. Thinking back on past festivals where directors were getting into fights as to who would get what rehearsal room and such things like that, I was happy that Brent and Niall were into the idea of everyone working together for a strong festival. Even though you want your play to be the best, you also want everyone else's play to shine because, after all, you are all in the festival together. Although things obviously can change and negative feelings can arise, I think we are all starting off on a very enthusiastic and productive foot.

Out of the nine directors, there are three second years including me, whilst the other ones are older. I was also excited, albeit a little nervous, to see that I was the only non-drama major directing.

Everyone had the chance to tell the rest of us what their play is about. Everyone seemed really keen about their scripts. Almost all of the plays sounded really interesting to me, and I was happy to hear that the plays were mostly with small casts (2-5 characters). A smaller cast is always easier to work with, especially in such an intense festival. The only play which exceeded five characters was the French play.

Ah yes, the French play.

Now, as you all know by now, I have absolutely nothing against anything French. In fact, I am a big supporter of French plays. However, the real problem with this play in particular lies with the director. The previous year, she had directed another French play which turned out to be quasi-decent. The only problem was -- she casted herself as the lead. Now, not only is this an extremely vain thing to do, but it is also impractical. It is extremely difficult to properly direct a play when you are playing the lead character.

Considering the flack that the said director received last year, we were all taken aback when she said that she planned to cast herself as the lead again, claiming, basically, that no one else would be good enough or fluent enough in French. Frankly, everyone can see that this is a load of malarkey, as there are plenty of exceptional actors and actresses that have an excellent knowledge of French and some who are francophones themselves.

So, when the French director was explaining her play, she summed it up very briefly, telling us that the title of the play really told you everything. Oh. Then, she went on to say that this play wasn't nearly as good as last year's. She said nothing would ever top it. What?!

Whilst everyone else was raving about their plays and their vision, she was saying that this play wouldn't be as good as last year's. Good God, what a hopeless and unambitious thing to say! Why would you direct a play if you didn't feel passionate about it? Needless to say, I developped a small aversion against her. If there hadn't been eight other excited and enthusiastic directors, she would have drained some of the energy. Luckily, everyone else just sort of shrugged their shoulders and continued chatting excitedly about the festival. I know what they were all thinking (including me): they wanted to work together with all of the directors to make this a fantastic festival... excluding the French director. Although I care if Gordon's or Batman's play is a success, I have already washed my hands of the French play. I'm sorry Madame Director, but attitude like that can end up slaughtering a festival anyway.

After the meeting, I bounced out of the room, practically running up the hill. As soon as I got home, I made a few excerpts of my script that were going to be used for the auditions. The auditions were scheduled to take place the following day, Tuesday, at 11 am.
Oh boy, was I ever excited!

... to be continued...

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Theatre Adventure, Part 1

I had been waiting for six days, which were becoming more and more excrutiating as the days went on, to find out whether or not I had been chosen as a director. On the Monday, I had submitted my proposal, outlining why I would be a good director and what my vision was for the play, as well as the play itself.

At the beginning of the semester, I was involved as an actor in the New Plays festival (you can read about it here). Next semester, the school is running a Theatre Activ festival, as per usual. In late August and early September, I was thinking of directing a play myself for the Theatre Activ festival. The difference between the two festivals is that New Plays consists only of student written plays, whilst Theatre Activ is composed only of produced and "professional" plays. There was this play that I had helped to direct in high school, Claws, which I thought would be an excellent play for Theatre Activ.

Let's rewind back to last Sunday evening. I had been getting antsy about whether or not any of the directors had heard if they had gotten in. At intermission time, during the choir show, I inquired to one girl from the drama department if directors had been chosen yet. She said she wasn't sure and asked another guy who had also submitted a proposal. He said he had received an e-mail from the co-ordinators, telling him that they had chosen him as one of the directors.

"Oh", I said, trying to hide my disappointment. I had checked my e-mail merely a few hours ago, and I had received no such message. I suddenly felt really disappointed. I wouldn't be able to be a director.

Trying not to think about the grim probability, I watched the second half of the choir show. After the show, Andrea was forced to hear, again and again, renditions of:

"Oh no, I'm going to have to throw myself off the bridge. Ooh, I'm going to go and drown my sorrows!" I wail.

"Um, Miranda, I don't think you have any alcohol", stated Andrea, also knowing full well that I rarely drink.

"Actually, I do!" I exclame. "I think there is still some gin left from Halloween."

I thought about it and changed my mind.

"Actually, no; I'm going to drown my sorrows in Friends", I said firmly, thinking of the pile of Friends' DVDs that my roommate owns.

Andrea asks if she can come too, but I tell her that this is a very sad moment and the Friends watching must be done in solitutde. She laughs at me.

The nerve!

I get home and run directly into my room. Heart pounding, I check all of my e-mail accounts in hope that the e-mail was sent later on.

No e-mails. No such hope.

I was extremely let-down. I knew that it was somewhat of a long shot to be accepted as a director in the first place, as I had a few things going against me:
- I am only in second year.
- Although I have mountains of theatre experience, I have only directed once before.
-They received over fifteen applications (which is more than most years), and they can only choose nine.
- I am not a drama major.
And lastly, I do not know the drama professor, who makes most of the decisions; therefore, I do not have an in.

I sighed.

After moaning to Alex and to my room for a bit, I decided to telephone the co-ordinators just to make doubly sure. After my second try, I got through to the infamous Brent (who, incidentally, is one of the co-ordinators for this festival). The conversation went something like this:

"Hi Brent, it's Miranda", I said in a frenzy, "howayoudoin?"

"Oh, hi Miranda! I'm doing just great," he boomed.

"I was wondering", I said slowing down," if you had chosen the directors yet."

"Yes, as a matter of fact, we did. I sent you an e-mail to your Bishop's account."


"Yeah, to m-g-l-e-n-n zero four," he said spelling it out.

"Oh oh, well that's wrong; it's-it's m-g-l-e-n zero four, only one 'n'," I said almost hyperventilating.

"Oh, I see", he said.

"Um, so, am I picked as a director?" I said making sure he wasn't forgetting the issue at hand.

"Well," he said annoyingly slow,"unfortunately..."

What! Oh n--

"You're in," he said. I could almost hear him smiling.

Omigod! My heart leaped with joy.

"I'm in? I'm in!" I squealed.

He then told me when the first director's meeting was and if I could attend. Of course I could attend and would be very glad to.

After hanging up, I danced around the apartment, shouting yes! yes!. I was elated. I would be directing this superb play next semester.
The auditions were on Tuesday, and I could hardly wait.

... to be continued...

Thursday, December 08, 2005


Oh no.

My watch battery is dead. I will not have a working watch until I return to my home home!
This is going to be very difficult, considering that I am already lost enough as it is.

Looks like I won't be making it to my exam today.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


Most people, if not all, love surprises. Heck, I know I do. Although not all suprises are necessarily good, they all come to you with a sort of shock or excitement.

I think a word related to "surprise" is "mystery." Having a secret or keeping something from someone comes as a surprise once it is revealed. Many people conceal things about themselves in order to be "mysterious", "spontaneous", and "unsuspecting". Many of these said people want to show how different they are, how many secrets they keep, and how extremely interesting they are. They are mysterious so they are able to hide much and to surprise people at any given moment.

I am, by no means, condemning mystery. I used to be very attracted to people who seemed to harbour much dark mystery around themselves. I loved the way that you never quite knew what was up with them and how they would keep you guessing. Conversations with them were usually very exciting because you'd always feel you were getting closer and closer to knowing this person. Someone who just says completely honestly who they are leaves us with less of a challenge.

Mystery is fun, but what I've realized lately is that people who are so-called "mysterious" more often than not really play up the act. Mysterious people simply want to be perceived as intriguing, interesting, and who others regard in awe.

Unfortunately, I'll have to admit that I myself am still a little awed by mystery. Well, I am sure we all do like a little mystery and surprise. I suppose I am more referring to people who are coined as "mysterious". There is something quite appealing to having to figure out the mystery... and there really is something attractive on not quite knowing what the person will do next.

But, frankly, I'm tired of it now. Although I still kinda sorta like it, I am moving farther and farther away from it. I find people go out of their way to appear to be "mysterious", and that can be downright irritating. I am realizing that I really like honesty, and I like to be able to laugh with someone, make fun of them, and exchange jokes and anecdotes. It's difficult to do that with a "mysterious" person because they cannot and do not show much of themselves. The unfortunate part is that it can really inhibit a friendship from growing.

Heinrich Heine, born right after the French Revolution, was a very influential German political poet. He was a very interesting man -- very literate and well read. He wrote quite beautiful poems, whilst at the same time commenting on the social and political situation. The funny thing about him is that he surrounded himself all of his life in mystery. He often made up historical facts and would embellish things just to make himsself more interesting. He would tell people that he slept with all of these girls, even though he didn't. He even tried to convince people that he got syphilis (which was something to be proud of then, if you were "that" type of guy), just to prove as to how many girls he had been with. He was a guy who apparently enjoyed having people talk about him, especially if it was about something scandalous.

The other night, I was at a drama party quoted "for drama majors, drama minors, and everything in between". Since I was part of the latter gourp, I was allowed to attend. I had a very good time, although I witnessed a strange three-way kiss. Anyway, I was outside getting a breath of fresh air at some point with some people. As soon as we stepped outside, this guy asked us if we had a cigarette.

No, sorry.

He looked down melancholy and started rubbing his knuckles frantically.

Um, are you okay? one of the guys asked. He said "yes" under his breath, walked up to the door, opened it with a flair, and dramatically walked back into the bar.

Pfff! I started chuckling. Oh, what drama!

I just shook my head at the absurdity of it all. So many people, guys especially, in the drama department strive to be the most mysterious and emotionally deep people in the world. A lot of girls go for that, so that is perhaps why they do it. I find it funny, more than anything. Who are they kidding?

A few years ago, a psychology major was thinking on doing her thesis on finding connections between drama kids and emotional trauma as youth. She never did do it, but I doubt she would actually find anything. Remember, for many drama people, life is a show, so they have no problems hamming it up!

Oh, and I should point out now that I do not include myself in the "drama people" or "drama kids" groups. So, I should also mention that not all theatre inclined people are in those groups either.

Now, let me end this entry with a quote from our ever so loved, Heinrich Heine:

"Love is a matter of money, not heart."

Ha! It reminded me of a certain couple I know in which the girl does not want to get married unless it is for money. Too bad I can't make this work with Leonard Cohen anymore.

Saturday, December 03, 2005


After reading an entry about the appeal of doing things alone (in Sarah's blog), I decided that I myself would write something about it. I have thought about this numerous times; though, as many things, I have just not written it down yet.

All throughout high school, I was annoyed with girls who could not go to the bathroom on their own. They always needed to have another girl with them. I dreaded hearing the words,

"Come to the bathroom with me!"

It was always said in such a way that I found extremely pathetic. I mean, if you can't even go to the bathroom on your own, a very personal activity, then it shows how little you can really do alone. Then again, a lot of people cannot shine like me when it comes to self-confidence in high school, so I really can't blame them.

Although I really enjoy being around positive and fun people, I also treasure my alone time very much. Sometimes, I just need to take a midnight walk by myself. Sometimes, I just need to sit by the river or play music alone in my room. Sometimes, I also enjoy sitting out on the balcony and singing. Another great solace is playing the piano -- something I can do solo for hours on end until I literally collapse.
Alone time is superb. It gives you a chance to think, relax, and just cultivate your aloneness. I am not saying that it isn't relaxing with other people; it is just sometimes very nice to withdraw yourself for a bit.

I also enjoy doing things alone, sometimes in the interest of meeting new people. Particularly at Bishop's, I like to arrive at the cafe, a club, or a meeting alone, just to be able to do something that I want to do, not relying on anyone else. And, who knows? Sometimes I will get into an interesting conversation with someone, sometimes I will just sit back and listen, and other times I will leave early. It's up to me, and I like that; there's no pressure.

I enjoy shopping usually with just one other person. I enjoy eating with others, and I like to have interesting discussions. I do like being around people, but there simply are times that I would prefer to be alone, in a room filled with cushions, paper, pens, and a grand Steinway piano.

Friday, December 02, 2005

The Edukators

Perk number one of having an ushering job at Centennial theatre: being able to watch cool movies.

Tonight, I was privy to the late show of the film, The Edukators. It is a superb German film, very poignant and real. When the movie first started, I wasn't quite sure if I was going to like it, as they seemed to be dipping quite often into clichés. It is a movie about young people living a difficult life, who often feel exploited by capitalism and rich people. They are the new age hippy; they support animal rights, crusade against child labour, and whine and complain about how the rich have sucked out all of their potential.

The film becomes interesting when the three main characters kidnap a very rich guy who supposedly exploits the young girl. The four of them temporarily live in a small wood cabin in the heart of mountains. They are surrounded by stunning views, grassy knolls, and fresh rivers; it is simply beautiful. I thought the pace of the movie was very well done, the characters seemed realistic, although quite idealistic, and the music choice was amazing. I am completely speechless when Hallelujah, my number one favourite song, is played. Jeff Buckley sang it in this movie. Then again, perhaps I was completely enthralled by that song and disregarded the movie altogether, so who really knows, right?

Regardless, I found the movie to be quite moving, and I recommend it to those who will not get too bogged down by the initial view of risky and irresponsible youth.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Something "HA!" worthy

The only thing wrong with being an atheist is that there's nobody to talk to during an orgasm.


Monday, November 28, 2005

Time (3)

As per usual, soft, classical music from CBC woke me up this morning. I look at the clock-radio, and it says 9:41 am. I look at my watch, and it says 9:35, though keep in mind that I always keep my watch five minutes ahead. Anyway, I was a bit confused, because I usually keep all of my other clocks at normal time and only set my watch ahead.

Regardless of the time situation, I get out of bed.

I walk down to the school about an hour earlier, so I can get some piano practise time in. I look at the clock between the large arches, and it is ten minutes ahead of real time.

Pff, the clocks at school are wrong again, I think without a second thought. Though I may have been overgeneralizing, I have encountered a few clocks at Bishop's that were a few minutes off.

After an hour of tickling the ivory, I get to my Deviance class at 1 pm, on the dot.
But, low and behold! The clock in my Deviance class is also ten minutes ahead! The professor has already started his lecture, and I tiptoe in as quietly as possible and get my notes out. Stupid wrong school clocks.

Once class has ended, I tell Andrea how I was late because the stupid clock in the classroom was ten minutes ahead. Because she doesn't carry a watch, Andrea didn't argue.
After running a few errands after class, Andrea and I found ourselves on the library couches, reading, and talking to Anna. I look up from my book at one point, thinking about returning a book, and I glance at the library clock. A few seconds later, I look at my watch out of habit: 3:23.

What?! This clock is also wrong? Why can't the school have any correct clocks?

It suddenly hits me. It's not all of the clocks that are wrong; it's my watch. Right? Frantically, I run over to Anna and read the time on her laptop over her shoulder. 15:33.

My watch is ten minutes behind.

Now, this is a huge deal for me, as I am extremely dependant on time, and my watch is the one that guides me through this time-filled/timeless life. I panic for a few seconds, but it is only for perhaps a split second that I am completely and utterly lost.

It was very unsettling.

That's when I started worrying about time, and how time is all an abstract concept, and how time is really not there, but things change anyway. My mind was jumbled up with thoughts and fears that Andrea really couldn't answer and make me feel better. Although she did answer questions I had about time's abstractness, she did not understand why I was so unnerved. It is strange how we panic over such things. Andrea feels really lost and confused about her faith which she feels is disappearing more and more each day. I have the same kind of fear for time. Once people start saying that there is no time, and it's always "now", well, then I panic. It's kind of like someone asking you what's outside the universe or how big it is. It's mind-boggling.

This happened on Thursday, and today is Monday. In case you were concerned, do not worry, for my fears have now been soothed. As long as I don't think about it, continue to be late, and look at my watch every thirteen nanoseconds, I'll feel fine.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

A Fine Evening

I take a bite out of my banana, which unfortunately turns out to be a rotten bite. I am at Andrea and Paula's apartment. After running into the kitchen and being rather disgusting by spitting it back out into their garbage, Paula and Andrea start talking about Bridget Jones' diary. I come back into the livingroom and tell them I have not seen the second one. We should watch it, we say, yeah.

"Okay, let's go get it," says Andrea grabbing her coat. "We can even catch the 10:35 bus down. What time is it, Miranda?"

"It's 10:33!" I squeal. There is a mad dash for coats, mitts, hats, and wallets. We jump out the door, gleefully shrieking, locking the door when...

... a hagard, young-looking mother opens the apartment door, adjacent to theirs.

"Could you keep it down?" she says, a little annoyed, but mostly tired.

"Ooooh yes, sorry, we're sorry", we whisper through coat shuffling. I think we are loud far too often.

We sprint to the bus stop and make it just in time.

Paula chooses to go to the smaller video store, that is apparently cooler. Andrea pulls the door to open it; it won't budge.

"Oh no, it's locked!" she moans, "they must be closed." She pulls harder. It still won't open. The guy from inside is looking at her, with a smile. The "use other door" sign is flapping in the wind.

Paula lets her know. Andrea opens the other door. The three of us filter in very obtrusively. The guy is half-laughing at us; but what does he know, for he is watching a chick flick.

Within minutes, we find the movie. We go to the counter, and I pay. Since I don't have my bank in the area, I tend to go to stores and ask them for cash back. I attempt to do this here. Too bad I left my brain on the bus.

"Okay", says the jolly looking guy, "that'll be four twenty five."

I pull out a ten, and whilst sliding the bill to him, I ask him if I could have twenty dollars back in cash.

Umm, what?

His hand, that was reaching out to take my bill, is slightly pulled back. He looks at me, terribly confused.

"Okay, I'm paying for the movie, and I want to get twenty dollars back", I say to him, trying to explain, and motioning to him that he should take the bill.
He is utterly confused.

"Um, Miranda...", starts slowly Andrea,"you can't just ask him for twenty dollars."

"Well, I want money back, you know, some cash", I say, not understanding why everyone was so confused.

"Ohhh", said the guy, smiling again, yet finally understanding, "you want cashback."

"Yeah, exactly," I say.

"Oh, well, we don't do that", he says, raising one eyebrow but never stops on the smiling!

"Miranda", says Andrea slowly, "you can only get that if you pay with debit."

Oh, right. Never mind. I'll just pay for the movie and forget about the cashback. I shrug and pay with my ten. The guy is giggling at us. I don't understand why everyone was so confused.

Until after. Way after.

I gave him a ten dollar bill and asked for twenty dollars back, please? He must have thought that I was some kind of a raving lunatic. Didn't we make a fine impression: Andrea wrestling with the door, and I, the girl who tried to get a cashback of twenty dollars by paying for a movie with a ten. Booze or dope, he must have thought.

It is only when we step back into Andrea and Paula's appartment that I realize what happened. Paula said that it's okay, we all forget our brains sometimes. But they both laughed at me.

I moan about how that guy must think I'm all pumped up on drugs or something.

"Oh, that's okay", says Paula, waving it away, "it doesn't matter. Besides, every time I have gone into that movie store, it's always that guy, and he is always watching chick flicks. You can now make fun of him for that."

I don't know what's worse -- watching and enjoying The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants or being on the top of my cloud with my green friend, Zohalasopzee, and my kazoo, and singing and dancing with mangos in our hair.

Time (2)

I have a confession to make: I have been having a sizzling affair.

My goodness Zaz, who is it?

It is none other than the slimy, clingy seductress, time.

I suppose you can say that I have a love/hate relationship with her. Sometimes I really hate living with her, but I honestly cannot live without her.

I think I have an unusual obsession with time. I cannot even count how many times I look at my watch during the day. Even if I am doing something fun, I still look at my watch at least a dozen times. It's not that I fear being late - in fact, it is quite the opposite - but I just like to see where the hands are pointing. Clocks with hands, rather, show us the time on the scale of twelve hours. It makes me feel a lot more oriented, and it gives me a point of reference.

As for digital clocks, they are less aesthetically pleasing than traditional clocks. Their only real purpose is to tell us the immediate time. What I do like about these kind of clocks is that you can see one number move to another. I find numbers are intriguing to look at; I like watching them change shape over and over again. They repeat the same pattern, but they never repeat the same pattern in time.

I have this fascination of numbers mixed in with a fear of numbers. As for my fear, when I was in Boston six years ago, I went to this museum where there was this counter that would count all of the people of the world. The number was quickly going up, like when you see the number of dollars rise at the gas pump fill when you fill your car. The number was growing at such a quick pace that I didn't even know that so many people could be born at once!

"But Mom", I sputtered, looking from the counter to her and back to the counter, "what about all the people dying?"

"Well, they've taken that into account," she replied.

What! Our population can't be climing this quickly! By the time I will have left this stupid museum, that stupid counter will have counted over a hundred, maybe even a thousand new borns!

Freaky. I was so scared of it, that I could not bear to look at the constantly changing numbers. That museum freaked me out because of that. Even when my brother brings it up now, I cringe.

As for my fascination with numbers... I suppose I also like the way the numbers move and change and always keep going forward. It's sometimes scary; you can't ever stop them. Time is one thing that cannot be altered, and I believe that it is the fact that it never stops and can never be changed that frightens me. Sure, there are several other things that are unaltered, like the weather for instance. Then again, in terms of the weather, you will always have summer, spring, fall, and winter again.
We will never again revisit June 16th, 1991 for instance. It's gone forever.

Okay, so what? Does that really matter?

Not really, but time is an interesting phenomenon to think of.

I have been told that I "live in the shackles of time". This may be a problem if I stressed over things like being late or making sure to get to bed at a specific time. I don't worry about that. In fact, I am constantly late because I hate being early. You know how some people are afraid to chase someone because they don't want to look desperate? Well, I am afraid that if I show up early to something, I will look desperate or pathetic in some way. Of course, flights are an exception to this.
And as for making sure I do something by a specific time? I am very loose with my time, pretty much doing what I want at any time I want, unless I have made a commitment. The thing I fear is wasting an entire day. Holy crap, I didn't do anything and it's 7 pm now! I hate that, and because I am conscious of time (and not anal about it), this never happens to me. I like to pace myself sometimes. Then again, some days, rare days though, are just lazy days.

I just love time, numbers, past, present, and future. Can that be unhealthy? Does time add stress? Isn't it a necessity?

One of my closest friends, Andrea, does not wear a watch. She says there are enough clocks around her to tell her what time it is. Although, she runs into the problem of "losing track of time" whereas I rarely don't. Does this mean she is living freer? Is she out of the shackles and the chains of my horrible mistress time?

I love her, but sometimes I feel chained.

It's 9:25 pm.

Monday, November 21, 2005


Gas prices in the 70s! Hallelujah.

Yet, again, Lennoxville has to be a stick-in-the-mud with its stagnate gas price at 94.4.

Hybrids are a step up, even though I don't want to admit it when it comes to an SUV.

I have to stop obsessing about gas so much.

November Snow

I put on the hat Martina knitted for me, my leather gloves, my blue scarf, and wrapped by shin length coat around myself before heading outside. It was the coldest day since last winter.

I walked down the hill, enjoying the little snow that was beginning to fall from the sky. It was a chilly, but very crisp night. I reached the bottom of the hill and made my way to Conley Street. I could muffled sounds of a few parties going on in the houses by the railroad tracks. The streets were unusually bare, as there were few people outdoors on account of the cold.

I had been invited to a newspaper party, which was for all the people who had contributed to the Entertainment section. Since I had written a few articles, I was also invited.

I walked up Conley Street, and I noticed that the snow was thickening. I found 14-A Conley and was about to walk up the laneway when Woosh!

Something hit me. It felt as if my feet were being tickled and that my contact lenses had fallen out. Everything was blurry. When I regained my wits, I was completely out of it. I was no longer in Lennoxville's student housing area; I was on a narrow and winding country road. My vision slowly returned.

I stood on the barren country road, looking around for familiar landmarks. There were none. I decided not to worry about it, and I chose to enjoy the gorgeous night instead.

I looked up at the night sky, and I felt like I was being swallowed up in a black dome. The contrast of the stars and the falling snow with the utter blackness of the night was striking, and for awhile, I had forgotten that I was in this completely unknown area.

I tore my eyes away from the sky. I looked around: grassy hills, patches of forest, two houses in the distance, and a railroad track surrounded me. I shivered, realizing that it was still quite cold out. I stuck my gloved hands in my pockets and made my way to the railroad tracks. It was the only thing that was remotely familiar.

I started walking on the railroad tracks in an Eastern direction, though not very conscious of my new surroundings. I noticed that my feet were making more and more of an imprint into the snow when I walked. The tracks were getting a little slippery, but I walked slowly and carefully. The snow kept on thickening.

After a few minutes, I looked up. Everything was white; the hills, the trees, the tracks, even the air I breathed, it seemed. Thick flakes of snow were still falling; it was like a blizzard but without the wind.
It was impossibly still.
Not even a rustling of wind.

I smiled. This was a world better than standing or sitting in someone's cluttered and customarily brewery-smelling livingroom trying to spot out someone who is not plastered to oblivion and interested in something more than just small talk.
Even though University is meant to cultivate and educate minds, it sometimes appears as though some people choose to let their minds degenerate. It is not always easy to find people here who want to do more than just go to the bar and drink.

And that's why I am here. Nature soothes and invites. It is a perfect solace. The beauty of it is that even if millions of other people see nature's beauty, you feel alone in your findings because nature is so vast, yet so personal.

I felt light and uplifted, like someone had taken away half my body weight. I appreciate the delicacies of nature, the trees, the water, the snow, the rain, the sky, and the smells...

The smells...
This can make a feeling from the pit of my stomach well up inside and burst out in a eclectic mix of light, energy, and enthusiasm. Sometimes, the feeling is sad and hopeless; other times, it triggers thoughts, emotions, or past events.

Just like the time I was walking out of the Main Student building on a muggy, rainy day. The smokers tend to congegrate right outside the building. I remember walking out of the building and the smell of the smoke as well as the dampness of the rain hit me simultaneously.
I was brought back to the winter 2003-2004 that I spent in Poland. Poland's winters are always grey. I was reminded so intensely of the times that Vadym and Simon stood outside of the dilapidated town office in Stoszowice, smoking, and laughing, though never a very enthusiastic laugh.

I kept walking on the snowy tracks, making sure not to slip in between the wood. I looked up, and I saw a large, drooping willow to my left. I smiled and squinted at it, taking in its majestic curves. I breathed in quickly; the tree reminded me. I remembered...



What was that memory? Retrace your steps, or else you'll lose it!

I stepped backwards. Or, at least, I tried stepping backwards, but I realized that I couldn't. There was nothing to step back on. I lost balance.

I started to fall. Quietly.


I hit my head on something hard and metal. I stood up, and my eyes were temporarily blurry again. I rubbed a growing bump on my head, whilst trying to realize where I was. There was light, and oh oh, low and behold; I was right in front of the grocery store! I was back.

My vision cleared up, and I could see that I had made it back into the town again. I looked around. I realized that I had hit my head on the lamp post that stood beside me. The bus stop was three feet to my right. The Hatley store stood across the street. Nothing had changed. I looked at myself.

My originally blue-coloured coat was white! I took off my gloves to touch my hair. Instead, my fingers felt about an inch of snow. I was entirely covered in snow!

I decided it was time to head home. I made my way to the bus stop and was fiddling with my wallet when,

"What a great night", Man number one says to me.

I look up and smile.

"Yes, it is; it's gorgeous."


"Where are you off to?" I ask.

"I'm taking a walk to clear my head", replies Man number one.

Fair enough.

I watch him saunter away, as the bus pulls up.

Friday, November 18, 2005


Is it a male?

This is ... interesting.

Québec's shtick

"As Québécois', we are full of contradictions, but that's all part of our charm." - S. Fortier

Quoted and translated from my translation professor, commenting half-jokingly on Québec.

I don't think many people outside of Canada realize the strong separatist sentiments that exists in Québec, often a feeling of paranoia of being assimilated. And yes, I am using the word "paranoid" here. Although I am an Ontarian and am not a permanent resident of Québec -- school year only -- I am taking the liberty to comment on Québec. I am welcoming comments from you all, as usual.

Québec feels ostracized predominantly because of its language and the lingering effects of being beaten by the English. It is worthy to note as to how many of the other provinces in Canada also have distinct differences. What about Alberta? It is the province of money, of oil; the way of life is slightly different there as well as the way most of the residents think. You can't be a vegetarian, and you have to be slightly pigheaded. Albertans think a hell of a lot differently than us here. I even remember attending a Trade show in
Peace River, Alberta; there was a table set up for the Separation Party of Alberta. After telling me a bit about themselves, they said if I were an Albertan resident, I could sign their petition for a referendum. I practically laughed in their faces.

And what about Nova Scotia and Newfoundland? It has its own culture and a very distinct culture at that. You can get really hokey accents coming from that area, as well as drinking traditions, a large fishing industries, and a lot of funny different sayings. Also, aren't people from the east coast said to be more laid-back?

Actually, it seems as though every province as its own identity... except for maybe Ontario. Sure, sure, it has its idiosyncrasies and its attractions. We have Niagara Falls, Toronto, the CN Tower, Algonquin Park, Parliament, etc ... Okay, so Ontario hosts Parliament in our nation's capital, Ottawa. That's pretty much what Ontario has going for it. Though it may be cool to say that you are a laid-back Newfie, who can drink like no other, no one is proclaiming far and wide that, "Yaa, check me out, for I am Ontarian!"

I think that Québec sees Ontario as the embodiement of Canada because of the fact that we have Parliament and that we are their next door neighbours. It also goes without saying that Québec also has a hate on for Alberta, but they seem to really like British Colombia. I do remember having a non-serious debate about BC and Québec separating from Canada and forming their own nation called "Quélombia", but that's another story.

This reminds me of my exchange program in which I lived in Alberta and Poland. Half-way through the Canadian phase during
Canada World Youth, it was time to teach the Poles and Ukrainians about Québec. Our two Québécois', Vicky and Simon, taught the Europeans that Québec was somewhat different from the rest of Canada. They have different music, different comedians, different television shows, and different school system. They considered themselves Québecois over Canadian. They didn't know the national anthem, not even in French.

Songs were always a problem, though. I remember sitting around countless bonfires with my group, and we would always come to the discussion of what song to sing. The Europeans were always asking us to teach them a "traditional" or a well-known Canadian song. Us, the Canadians, could never find a song that all eight of us knew. All Anglophones would know a song, but then the Québeckers wouldn't. And then sometimes the Québécois' and Ontarians would know a song, and then the others wouldn't. And then there were the sad times when the Newfie and the Canadian-Colombian were alone in knowing their songs.

So, what was there to do? Learn a Polish song, of course. We learned "Jal Jal" at the beginning of the program and about halfway through, we learned a fun and upbeat Ukrainian song.

So, what did the Europeans think of this strange Québec phenomenon? My Ukrainian counterpart called it "disgusting". She said that it was really sad that Québec hardly related to Canada. We didn't have unity, we didn't have understanding; she saw this as fundamental rules for a country. How could people from the same country be so different and not even relate to the rest of the country, she asked me.
Later on, we had a talk about First Nations and about our wide variety of immigrants we welcome every year. It is very different when you come from a country of mainly only Poles and Ukrainians, in our case, and all you know about Canada's First Nations are their infamous Indians!

This reminds me of my acquaintance Hilary, whom I sit beside in translation class. She is from New Hampshire and does not know about the FLQ (Front Libération Québec), doesn't know who René Lévesque is, and certainly doesn't know about the strong separatist feeling. Even though our University is in Québec, Lennoxville is English, and if you contain yourself to the town and University's bubble, you can avoid a lot of the Québécois culture, the séparatistes, and even French itself.
Anyway, last class, we started talking about René Lévesque for some reason or another. As Hilary had learned her French in France, she really knew nothing about this. She was surprised, though. She didn't know that the separatist and sovereignist sentiments were so strong. She was surprised to hear of things, such as French being required by law to be written larger than English, that Québecois' often have biaseness towards English-Canadians, especially Ontarians, (I'm not saying the opposite doesn't exist), and that they seem to be concerned about small things, like street names, that may be inadvertently attacking their culture, history, and language.

For example...

Lennoxville has become part of the City of Sherbrooke. One of our main streets in Lennoxville, Queen Street, was deemed too English by the City of Sherbrooke, as it referred to the Queen of England that they feel they have no connection to (I am sure many of us do not connect with the monarchy either, but anyway). So, the City of Sherbrooke decided to plague us with some more Québec pride by naming the street, Rue René Lévesque. I don't think you can get any more Québec than that. For those who don't know, René Lévesque is the one who founded the Parti Québécois. Click here for more information about him.
Anyway, this idea was also eventually rejected. Since the Lennoxville area was settled mainly by Anglo-saxons, they decided that it would be silly to name it René Lévesque. So, now, they have decided to respect the "anglo-saxon" tradition, whatever it may be, and decided to re-name the street, "Queen Victoria" (said with a French accent, no less).

Funny? Interesting? Strange? I don't know. Québec has always done things a little different; sometimes just for the sake of being different, sometimes because of culture and tradition, other times just because they prefer to do things like that. As an outsider, what is my opinion? I think Québec has a right to have its language and culture respected, though I also think that Québec is sometimes too paranoid. A little paranoid about being "assimilated" and "taken over" by the English. I can see where they are coming from; hell, even my mother, when she was in her twenties, considered herself a sovereignist when she lived in Québec. The thing is -- let's get real here, people -- how on earth would Québec survive on its own? Would separating themselves from the rest of Canada create a medal-like barrier that would trace the borders of Québec to ensure that nothing English ever infiltrated the "nation" of Québec? That's impossible, seeing as how English is now a very dominant language. And what about Québec's economy? Any moron can see how this would be a most unwise decision; it would be pandemonium, and their population would drop.

Besides, the rest of Canada isn't trying to attack Québec, so tone down the whining and start working with us here. Don't get me wrong; I enjoy living in Québec; I love the French language, and I like their bike paths. It is just ridiculous that Canada, as a country, can't even decide whether or not we should build our nation or take it apart.

Then again, if Québec does manage to separate, I am packing my bags and moving into Tex's cheap (on account of the drop in property value), albeit beautiful, old, Victorian house by the river in Magog, Québec.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The Concert

Last Thursday night, I attended, as previously mentioned, the Coheed and Cambria concert in Montreal. Not counting Polish Idol or the Arrogant Worms, this was my first real concert. I am sure the other two concerts could be considered as real, but they were a lot more subdued. Then again, I did also see the Trews in an outdoor concert, but again, I felt disconnected from the band probably because it was outside, and there weren't seventy million people there.
Anyway, I digress.

Upon entering the Metropolis, my entire body and thought process seemed to have slowed down. Mouth agape, eyes wide, I tried to take in as much as I could. Alex had to push me along, to make sure that I got my ticket ripped by the dude and steered me into the concert hall.

After getting our coats checked, we made our way through the stools and tables, until we got to the floor. There was a screeching band on stage -- all they did was scream -- which I believe were the Blood Brothers. Though it wasn't too fun to hear them, the good thing about the band was that they were interesting to watch. They both had funny ways that they would twist their bodies when they sang. Also, they both wore girls' pants with a black studded belt. One of the singer's jeans were dangerously low, though I was told by Alex that he was expecting the jeans to be even lower.


We stood on the stairs that went up to the balcony, so we could be close to the stage and see over people's heads. It was a perfect spot. Coheed and Cambria came on at around ten. Let's just say that it was an excellent show from start to finish. Not many bands are that tight and seemingly very well-rehearsed. I didn't really know how the band members looked like, so it was a neat surprise to see the main singer, Claudio, step on stage with a shiny, twelve-string guitar and a mass amount of hair. In my opinion, his hair was definitely an interesting part of the concert, as it seemed to be an entity in itself. His voice was near perfect, as it matched the voice in his CDs. This is a band definitely worth seeing, as they put on a great show.

It was also fun seeing the band with such a fan(boy), who, may I add, had to practically run to the bathroom before every new song because of the excitement.

Before and after the show, we commented on the "emo" style. For guys, it is tight girls' jeans, a black belt, a form-fitting t-shirt, a shaggy, swept hair style, and oftentimes black rimmed glasses. There is also something about the shoes, but as I rarely look at people's feet, I couldn't really tell you much about it. There were quite a few guys at the concert with the "emo" style. The look is a little dorky but can be cute if it works.
As for girls, I am not entirely clear on the whole look, but I know that it usually involves glasses and short, spiky hair.

The night ended delightfully with another visit to Martina's; we ate some brownies and then I had some 99 cents pizza. The drive home was uneventful, except that I cleaned out Alex's car.

Monday, November 14, 2005


On Saturday night, I, along with an audience of others, had the occasion to attend the play Deathtrap: "A thriller in two acts", which my Dad directed.
It is a very sharp script, interesting characters, and the twists and turns are plentiful. The actors were great (two of them are professional), and the set was superb. Pictures are below.

A synopsis:

Sidney Bruhl is a successful writer of Broadway mystery plays who was at one time considered one of the best Broadway mystery writers. Unfortunately, Bruhl is now struggling to live up to his own reputation, suffering through a series of four consecutive flops. But then Bruhl comes upon the manuscript of a brilliant suspense drama written by unknown writer Clifford Anderson. Bruhl, desperate for a hit play, invites Clifford to come to see him, telling him that he is interested in collaborating with him on the play. Actually, Bruhl plans to murder Clifford and pass off Clifford's play as his own. What Bruhl doesn't know, however, is that Clifford has some surprise plot points of his own up his sleeve.

It was also made into a 1982 movie, starring Michael Caine and Christopher Reeve.

I think Alex was the one who pointed out to me that my brother's production, "The Hand" had made it on stage as a pretend past production of the once-famous Sydney Bruhl. I thought that was quite funny. My brother's amateur summer production made it on stage! For those of who don't know "The Hand", I suggest that you all get familiar with it. You can own your own copy on DVD today for five dollars, actually.

I had a bit of a chat with the young guy who played Clifford Anderson. As he graduated high school in 1998, and I started grade nine in 1999, we just missed each other. I remember thinking that he was so cool when I was about eleven years old. I saw him in 1996 in the play, Move Over Mrs. Markham by comedic playwright, Ray Cooney - the first play that my Dad directed. I remembered envying him because he was old enough to act with the adults, and I wasn't! Besides, it looked like so much fun.
Anyway, we were talking, and only after a good way into the conversation did he realize that Tony was indeed my Dad. He was telling me how much of a good time he had had working with him, as well as all of the actors.

Andrea, Alanna, and I, as well as probably Alex, were the giddiest when Sydney Bruhl and Clifford Anderson almost kissed. Alanna was waiting for some more action. Actually, for the last performance, the entire backstage crew were betting quarters as to whether or not Clifford would actually kiss Sydney. Clifford was going in for some lip touching, but the telephone rang just in time. I don't think Sydney was expecting that Clifford was actually going to kiss him, but, come on, it's the last show and unexpected tricks are expected!

Also, I would like to make a special mention to my Mamerz, who played Helga ten Dorp, the Dutch psychic. She was entertaining, upbeat, and very funny. Her crazy enthusiasm fueled the audience. Also, her accent was very convincing. Wait... there really is something with type casting, isn't there?

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Pictures of Deathtrap

The set

Sydney Bruhl's weapons

Helga ten Dorp lashing out at the Porter.

Clifford Anderson tricking Sydney.

Clifford Anderson is scary! Helga warns Sydney about the pain in his house.

Sydney choking Clifford, whilst Myra shrieks in the background.

Now, let's just pretend that I didn't ruin the play for you.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


Zaz, where on earth have you been?

Yes, I am sure everyone has been wondering.

Well, I suppose it has something to do with the fact that I am currently swamped in work. That is mostly due to the fact that I do all of my school work during the week (Monday - Thursday), so I can have my weekend off to do all sorts of things that are usually labelled as "fun". Past events include Halloween parties, birthday parties, and a frantic pastry shop run. This Thursday night, I will be attending a Coheed and Cambria concert in Montreal at the Metropolis. Later on this weekend, I will be seeing the the play, Deathtrap, a exceptionally clever murder mystery. I will post pictures of the play after I see it.

But enough of my day-to-day life. "[T]hat's seriously boring."

A few weeks ago, Andrea and I meet in Deviance class as usual. She had a particularly bad time the previous night (due to some opposite sex conflicts), so I naturally show up with a Kit Kat bar to cheer her up. She was delighted, of course, even though she was one step ahead of me; she had bought herself a 75% dark chocolate bar, which is our favourite. She shared some of it with me, and about a minute afterwards, the prof began his lecture.
I remember it being a rather enjoyable lecture, which is a very usual occurrence in Dr. Lustigman's class (literally translated to German, his name means "funny man"). Anyway, halfway through the lecture, I was hit by a sudden cough, which naturally brought my hand to my mouth. As I pulled my hand away after the coughing had stopped, I noticed little light brown specks in my hand.

Ohmygod, I have tuberculosis!

As ridiculous as that may seem, it was the first thing that came to mind. My heart immediately started palpitating faster, and my throat felt dry. I looked frantically around the classroom.
Only seconds past until I realized,

Oh. It was chocolate.

Chocolate, ha! And I had thought for a second that it was tuberculosis, TB, the consumption, whatever you call it. I audibly laughed at loud at myself. It was a bit disappointing that no one else in the class knew about this; even though I felt extremely silly, it was still very funny, and I had wanted to share it. Yes, even if they would have laughed at me.


Yesterday, I was sitting in Translation class at my usual desk beside my acquaintance, Hilary. She is a cute little American girl with a lisp, and we sit beside each other because we are the only non-fluffs in the class. It is a very estrogen ridden class, as there are only about four guys in it.
One of the guys looks like a turtle, but he is from England and has a to die for British accent, so I suppose that makes up for it.

Anyway, we're dutifully sitting in class when I hear stomach churning cracks. It sounds like someone's spine is being slowly cracked in two, or as if someone's neck is slowly coming off someone's neck. I jump out of my seat with my mouth agape, frantically looking around the class for a decapitated poor soul.

The girl beside Hilary is screwing off the cap of her water bottle.

Good God.

Hilary looks at me with an eyebrow raised with a what-the-hell-is-up-with-you face.
I smile reassuringly at her and try to relax myself. I take my pen and try to regulate my breathing again.

I wonder if it is an overactive imagination or the unconscious plea for some serious drama.

And yes, it's drama, not drahma.

A Time entry is on its way!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

More than a midnight walk

On a mild October night, Andrea and I decided to do an all-night walk. Since we like taking walks so much and being outside, we decided to make this an ultra-long walk. We decided to take the last bus going to Sherbrooke, and then we would take the entire night walking back home.

At around six o'clock that evening, we went to the Esso and stocked up on Red Bull drinks, chocolate, and a City of Sherbrooke map. When we got home, we packed some food and some hot chocolate. When we got to the bus depo at around eleven o'clock that night, we bought candy and coke. We were all set to go.

We sat on the side of the curb, outside the dépanneur, contemplating our plan of action. Which way should we go? Though I tend to like going East, I was more comfortable going West in this situation because the East seemed still very unknown to me. Besides, I figure that our walk would be better if we started at the Sherbrooke mall (Carrefour), which was in the west end.

I mapped out our route; we would start at the mall, take the Jacques Cartier bridge, walk to the University, then come back home going through country roads.

At the mall, we were in high spirits. It was a cool and beautiful night. The walk from the mall to the bridge was on a busy enough street, but there were sidewalks, and the streets which ran perpendicular to the busy one (Portland) were pretty enough and were mostly residential streets.

Right before we hit the bridge, we drank our energy drinks. PAFF! A surge of energy welled up from inside my stomach and shot through all of my limbs. The foul-tasting drink actually worked!

Since we were in very high and, of course, energetic spirits, we talked vividly and practically skipped along for the next hour or so of our walk. Right before getting onto the brige, we spotted a quaint little bistro that we said we would go to one day.
The walk across the bridge was beautiful; the trees and the lights of the town reflected softly in the water, and we both confessed that we had a secret urge to jump off the bridge into the water. Then we got to thinking as to how high the bridge was and how much it would hurt once we would hit the water. I remembered jumping off platforms at the University of Ottawa's pool, and the highest one I jumped off was around 7-8 metres high. That was definitely high enough.

A little later on (we weren't quite sure as to how much later, as I refused to look at my watch for the entirety of the trip), we arrived at the Université de Sherbrooke. This is where the walk got a little confusing, as the sidewalks completely disappeared, though we were still on the busy road. Not wanting to be with the traffic, we walked on the grass, still following the road. Sherbrooke University, no matter how prestigious it may be, is pretty ugly. Concrete slabs that they pull of as "buildings" really don't do it for me.

We got to Rue Dunant after getting past the University. It was suddenly very dark, as we were now on country roads. We panicked a little, as disturbing thoughts entered our minds, but we pushed the thoughts away, keeping in mind that there would actually be less traffic on Rue Dunant. After a brief bathroom break on the side of the road, we started walking again.

We finally could enjoy the stars. After walking under city lights for the majority of our trip, this was a refreshing change. We were also waiting for the sky to light up; we were hoping it would be close to sunrise by now.

"Andrea, I think the sky is lighting up, look!"

"No, Miranda, those are just the glow of the city lights."

False hopes.

At the intersection of Belvédère and Belvidere (us living on Belvidere), we celebrated our near-end of walk with our thermos of hot chocolate. After feeling warm and sweetened, we continued our walk. I could feel the pull on my legs at this point.

We arrived home and before crawling into our beds, I checked my watch. It was 3:15 am. We were disappointed, as we had hopped that our trip would take us at least six hours, instead of merely four. I wagered that we walked just over 20 kilometres. We cursed our own curses and vowed that next time we would make it a longer trip.

"We have to come back when it is light outside," stated Andrea. I agreed.

Next time, we would be starting in the East end. We were ready for it.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Cancun vs. Russia

Every time you purchase a meal at our school cafeteria, you receive a ticket in which you are eligible to win a trip to Cancun, Mexico.
The chances are higher than the total number of residents in Russell, Chesterville, Winchester, Cornwall, and the student body at Bishop's University combined; so, I really don't have a chance to win this silly trip.

Andrea and I were musing about who we'd bring should we win the trip. The winner gets to bring three other people with them to Cancun, and they all get to enjoy a seven-day trip in a Resort, all expenses paid. I told Andrea I'd most likely bring Alex, Alanna, and she as my three others.

After talking about it for a bit, I realized that this is really not my kind of trip. I would much prefer to travel elsewhere, and even if I did go down south, I would prefer to travel around the countryside, see towns, villages, scenery, people; basically do my own thing and not just stay in an excessively large, rich-person's resort.
Then again, I thought about what would happen if I won this trip during the coldest and most miserable time of winter and the trip was sloted for the following week. I could possibly see myself just taking off.
Andrea and I talked a little more about it, and as much as that would be tempting and very warm, we would most likely end up selling the seven-day, four-people in Cancun prize and using the money for our own kind of trip.

Anyone want to come with me to Sakhalin, Russia?

I hear they have babies you can adopt who can teach you Russian.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

October Snow

After learning about The Magic Flute and French Revolution music in my Liberal Arts class, I step outside into, what seems to be, a snow storm.

That's right -- snow. In October. Snow that doesn't melt the second it hits the ground.

My initial reaction was utter disgust.

Why on earth are we having stupid snow in stupid October?

I was walking up to the intersection when I was thinking this. I started counting the winter months.

I mean, come on, we have guaranteed winter in November, December, January, February, and most of March, so why is the snow falling now?

I am stomping up the hill, speeding up my walk in order to get home faster. I see the house number 53, a house I usually look at on my way up, and that is when it hits me.

It was beautiful outside. The snow wasn't just flakes of snow; the snow was coming down in clumps. Tons of snow everywhere was landing softly on the grass and on the roof. Number 53 never looked prettier. My heart felt lighter, and I smiled.

Ooh, look at how amazing this looks.

I stopped in my tracks and took a large breath of air. I slowed down my walk, so I could enjoy the lovely, falling snow. Everything looked so peaceful.
Not long after that, I was hit with another feeling. A feeling of Christmas. Woah, I know.

Now, as nice as Christmas can be, it is downright awful to feel this way in October. Feelings of Christmas and the holidays started to ripple through my body. I hastily tried to shake them off. Too early. Don't. Start. Thinking. Of. This.

I mean, Hallowe'en still hasn't passed! It's not that I want Christmas now; I surely do not. I want more of fall. I need more fall air.

Walking up the driveway, I tried to sort out how I really felt about this snow. I reasoned.

Alright, this is simply snow. It is unusually early, so that means that it will melt. This snow will not last long. We will still have some good fall weather in November. Stop panicking. Remember the greenhouse effect.

In reality, thinking of the greenhouse shouldn't have comforted me. But hey, it did.

I find it particularly interesting as to how much I associate the weather with past memories and with specific feelings. Fall is often a very good season for me. It is probably in Fall and Spring that I feel I can accomplish the most. Summer is just too fun and carefree. Winter is when I get contemplative, think a lot, and write a lot. I really love every season, not just for its memories that it induces and its seasonal activites it offers, but also for its capability to make me feel just a little different and a little revitalized when a new season arrives.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

It could have... but it didn't

Often in a movie or a book, there is a character with a deep, dark secret. Or, there are a bunch of characters that engage in something illegal, immoral, or something of the sort. No matter what happens in the movie or book, that "secret" or that "act" will come back at a later time and bite them in the ass (for a lack of a better expression).

If the character had been involved in treason, it will come back and having serious repercussions. If the character is cheating on a spouse, he or she will definitely be caught or found out. If a character has been hiding a secret from someone for years, that secret will definitely come out in the book/movie. Of course, there are some movies where a secret is kept a secret, but it is rare and usually another secret ends up coming out anyway.
And why not? I mean, that's what makes movies and books worth watching. It is always interesting to see how the other characters deal with the issues at hand.

I think it would funny to make a movie where everyone has these secrets but none of them ever surface. One of them is cheating on his wife, and he continues to do so, whilst she is completely oblivious. The other one steals and robs regularly and is never caught. Another one has a secret identity that nobody ever finds out about. It would probably make for a very frustrating, strange, and most likely an actionless movie.

I remember a few years ago, I read the book Hotel by Arthur Hailey. There was this character who was a very intelligent, cunning, but likable crook. He stole all sorts of things, from clothes to cars to having a free hotel room for a few nights. At the end of the novel, things were getting too risky for him, and he felt he was getting to old for all this stealing and secrecy, so he decided that he wanted to live a peaceful and clean life from then on. He then grabs his suitcases and gets into his car, leaving the hotel. He stops at one point, reaches into one of his suitcases, and realizes that it is filled with twenty dollar bills; thousands of dollars in twenty dollar bills. He tells himself that this is the last dishonest thing he would do (though this time it was completely accidental), and he drives away again.

He is stopped on the road by a policeman, who was known in the police force for being "the slow one". The policeman thought he had seen something suspicious with the crook, so he looks through his car. The crook is hoping to God that he won't find the money and so are probably most of the readers. You want this crook to get away with it. Well, the policeman wasn't called "the slow one" for nothin'. He finds nothing and lets the crook continue on his way. Whew, we all breath a sigh of relief.

I thought that was great! The crook could have been caught, but he wasn't. The could-haves that usually translate into guaranteed-to-happen stays as a could-have.

Then again, I don't know how successful you can be if your movie is only full of that. The reader knows the secret of the all the characters, but they never end up coming out into the open. It may be kind of boring.
Of course, maybe that would make it more realistic and less sensational. There are some people out there who are very good at hiding their secrets and pasts.

But then again, what is more fun than creating drama? If you have a deep, dark secret, bring it out into the open, so we can have some exciting and fun drama!