Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year, Goals, Aspirations and Non-Resolutions

So I have resolved not to make any resolutions for 2013.  I might set some goals though.  I have been hearing this crazy rumour that it is good to have goals, so I thought I should get me some.  Here are a few of my aspirations:

  1. Not run with scissors.
  2. Get a job.  Or something.
  3. Win the lottery.  Well, a lottery.  I am not fussy about which one.  I will accept a huge lump sum of cash from anywhere, really.
  4. Survive the end of the world.  Oh wait, been there, done that.  Well, good to start with something already completed to give a sense of accomplishment and momentum.
  5. Become a dog whisperer.  Literally.  None of this Cesar Milan talking out loud to dogs nonsense.
  6. Procrastinate.  Later.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas, My Mom and Survival

After a holiday hiatus, I am back!

I went home for the holidays to spend time with my family.  It was good to be home, although it was a tough Christmas as it was the first one without my dad around.  We are still grieving, but managed to prop each other up and get through as best we could by trying to carry on as we would have if he was still here.  There was one less, very hearty laugh in the house but in spite of that, or maybe because of that, we still managed to work on it by teasing each other a lot, laughing a lot and carrying on as we always have because that is the way he taught us to live.

I managed to have lots of fun spending time with my brothers.  Especially at one dinner, when Mom had to take a phone call, left the table and I was undefended against them.  I don't even remember what we talked about but they were making fun of me so much, I couldn't breathe from laughing so hard.  It was exactly how we knew to spend our time together.

Speaking of spending time together, I had a lot of quality time with my mother this Christmas, including a couple of magical, wonderful early mornings with my mother who is clearly insane.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Winter Fun, Mirth and Merriment

My cousin recently lamented the suckiness of winter.  (That is not a word, you say?  Guess what!  It is now!)  She had lived south of the border for a lot of years and is now back in the Great White North.  I feel her pain.  While winter was cold where I lived in Japan, it was not cold enough for snow.  Thus, that area certainly did not see the shut-down of public transport due to snow, or closure of schools for snow-days.  I got pretty soft and wimpy with regard to dealing with Canadian winter.  I managed after coming back though, to remember and do some of the things I told my students about that made winter fun and made me miss snowy winters so much!

While I am in Ontario right now, in an area without snow yet, temperatures still above zero and grey dead trees everywhere (yep, wish we had some snow), she is elsewhere with an abundance of snow and pretty unhappy about it.  I gave her some inspiration for winter fun.  I thought I would go ahead and share some of my wisdom with you:

Monday, December 17, 2012

Stuff I Learned While Job Hunting

Thought I would post something a bit unfunny but useful.  At least, I hope it is useful!  To someone.  Somewhere.

There is lots of advice on what to expect, how to act, do's and don'ts when looking for work.  How to write resumes, cover letters, what an interview is usually like, where to look for jobs, etc.; I could go on and on.

But there are other things that nobody told me that have become important for me personally.  Here are three of those lessons I have learned so far about jobs and job hunting:

Sunday, December 16, 2012

2012, Folks. 2012.

Or "The Day R.E.M. Will Probably Clean Up in Mass Royalties."

Hey everybody!!
So...rumour has it we are all going to die on Friday. Good times. It is time to reflect on life and all the memories we have made up until this point.  Better though to party like it's 1999!!  Or like it's the end of the Mayan calendar.  Whichever blows your hair back!
I might rebel by sort of stealing a car.  We don't own a car but rent one from time to time.  We rented this weekend, because I had earned a free weekend!  Woohoo!!  Love you, car rental place who shall remain nameless but is located on the corner of Union and Weber in Waterloo and starts with a "D" and rhymes with miscount (interesting since the slogan for reason I have the car this weekend is "One, two, free!").  I just won't return my rental car after my free weekend ends. It would be pretty sweet to spend my last week on earth driving around in a posh car that I am not paying for; heated seats too.  Which are now, very similar to my last job - redundant; except in their case it isn't "restructuring" but global warming.  But poor global warming is about to become redundant too, because apocalypse, guys!!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Heavy Hunks of Gold n Stuff

I cannot believe it.  It has been exactly 19 years since I donned my black grad gown for the first time.  It really drove home the fact I was a senior and this was it.  THE day we had all lived for since the day we stepped on to campus for the first time.  Four years of blood, sweat, tears, books, missing home, missing Mom and Dad, leaving behind a boyfriend or girlfriend then meeting that someone else in this new life, classes, skipping class, all-nighters (both the alcohol-fueled kind and the cramming for exams kind), Jolt cola, Cape Breton weekends, Wheel pizza, the BFR and memories of it, Wong's, the Moonlight, the Dirty O, the Whale Bone, BURMAC, the Inn, the SUB, Chuggles, T-Bones, secrets, emergencies, hospital visits, close friends, ceilidhs, pizza for shut-ins, pizza that sat out all night being just fine for breakfast (the alcohol still in your stomach will take care of that), trashing your friends' rooms, moving your friend's room into the bathroom, toilet papering your friend into her room, discovering your RA went on a date and left her door unlocked, Liquor Lane, spontaneous snow angels in winter, the Big Green, Shinerama, rugby players, Halloween contests judged by nuns, boys in the Mount before Christmas Ball, ditching your date at the ball, cooking in a hotpot, making cakes in a sandwich grill, reading a certain publication aloud for story-time, hours in the library, research, presentations, photocopying, calling Mom to ask for money for "photocopying", finals, quiet hours (and more importantly:  loud hour), that slip of paper that says you are worthy, going to Cameron's and paying for that ring, then finally, receiving that black robe - without the hood - to tell the world you are a senior on the verge of graduating but not just yet, filing into the chapel, waiting and watching for your turn, stepping up to receive that ring, sitting down and putting it on, being amazed at the weight of it.  Then you hear that first tap.  Then another.  Then a few more, and suddenly, the chapel is resonating with the sound of rings being tapped on wooden pews, all of us ecstatic we have finally made it.  The rest of the year still matters, but not at this moment; this is the moment when the rest of the year ceases to exist for us.  This is the moment we have all lived and breathed for and we are so proud we could burst.

That is an X-ring.  It cost a lot of money but the value is beyond measure.  Xaverians wear far more than just a hunk of gold on our fingers.

It not only symbolizes all we have to go through to earn it; it also signifies that we are a part of a family for the rest of our lives.  Wherever we go, it will start conversations, open doors, and bring us together.  When someone notices it, invariably they went to X as well or are related to someone who did.  A no-brainer when living in the Maritimes.  But outside of the Maritimes?  You bet!  I was approached when I was shopping in Cambridge by a woman who noticed my ring.  She, her husband and all of their children went to X.  I have even met people in Japan who noticed my ring, because they went to X too.  BAM!  Instant friends.

I don't need to be Pope or win a Superbowl...being a Xaverian is good enough for me!  Ha ha ha!

Hail and Health!