Sunday, December 5, 2010

Vandalism == Marketing?

Dear Internet,

Over the past few weeks/months (time really all blurs together when you're a university student), there have been little symbols spray painted all around my university campus. This symbol has been painted onto benches, walls, even the ground, and you can't escape it. Understandably, the entire student community has been pretty angry. Someone has been going around and vandalizing our school that we pay a lot of money to attend. This isn't like high school where everyone who thinks he's cool hates school/community/government/society ("Yeah dude! Stick it to the man! Graffiti is art, yo!"). Most students at this school are here because we like the school (or are strangely masochistic and enjoy paying money to an organization to make us feel stupid). The worst part was we had no way of knowing what this was, what it stood for, who put it there, etc.

Then, just the other day, it comes out: the symbol is a logo for a clothing company called "Incognito." A website is released, as well as a Facebook page, and everyone goes "oooo mysterious, I'm interested by your lack of information, not to mention your sexy anti-establishment actions." Except not. A website is released, and because most of the students at this school are far from technologically challenged, the name of the person who has been doing this is found quickly. Turns out that he is a student here. I imagine that he has, at this point, been turned into police services on campus for being a stupid vandal.

What's funny is that I found all this stuff yesterday...and I go to look at it again today, and the Facebook page as well as the guy's old blog has been taken down, but it was still available in Google's cache at the time of writing this.

If you scroll down somewhat, there is a post that contains a picture of the guy holding examples of the spray painted symbols. He might as well have been trying to get himself in trouble.

I think about it and I just think it's absolutely ridiculous. I mean, say someone creates a new clothing company. If he had the following marketing choices:

a) Legitimate means, such as actual advertisements
b) Incomprehensible vandalism

who would actually decide that b) was the best answer? If this guy had gone with a), at worst his marketing attempts would have been unsuccessful and he'd be a failure. Instead, he now has the potential of getting into legal trouble, not to mention an entire campus of 31,000 -ish students hating his guts.

Although I would never do this myself, I'm really hoping that people (using our school's directory) have called him out for being an idiot.

Lesson to be learned that should have been obvious from the start: vandalism != marketing.



Thursday, December 2, 2010


Dear Internet,

You know how I've been bitching and complaining about not getting my owed bonus from the summer?

I FINALLY RECEIVED IT LAST WEEK! I was so pumped I went shopping. Now I have a cute dress for a semi-formal dance Steven and I are attending on Saturday! I'm excited.

The past two-ish weeks have been really awesome for me. Even though I've spent a LOT of money (the most wonderful time of the year?) I don't feel horribly guilty and poor like I usually do after large expenses. In fact, I might actually go out and purchase those running shoes I've been meaning to purchase since June so that I can actually get going on a healthier lifestyle for myself. Lazy me, though, keeps thinking, "You know what that would be good for? A New Year's resolution. We should put it off 'til them. Plus, you know, exams are coming up and it's a busy time..." etc. So we'll see what comes of that.

So last week, two of my siblings and my mother were visiting for a few days. They claim their main purpose in the area was visiting universities: a clever sham so they didn't have to admit they missed me so horribly they just had to make the 10-hour drive. My mother (the best one in the world, don't you know) took Steven and I out to dinner (with my siblings, of course) to a nice restaurant in the area to celebrate Steven's birthday. It was a wonderfully good time, and now I am looking forward even more to going home for Christmas! I'm looking forward to it so much that I conveniently forget about those exam things I have between now and then.

At the moment, I am honestly not worried about my exams at all. I'm sure that this will come back to bite me in the ass, but it just doesn't feel like it's exam time. Last day of classes on Monday? Pffft no way, the term just started! It's gone by so quickly it's ridiculous. It feels like just yesterday I was naively stepping into my classes, thinking "I am going to dominate this term." That mindset, however naive it may be, probably caused my domination by this term to be minimized somewhat. It's weird to think that so much knowledge has been stuffed into my brain over such a short period of time. Sitting in front of the exams will probably make me feel that not quite enough knowledge was stuffed into my brain, however...

Overall: I am happy!



Sunday, November 21, 2010

Faithfully Waiting...

Dear Internet,

If there is one thing that I cannot stand, it is when people are not true to their word. For instance, when I am promised something mid-June during an employment contract lasting through August, come mid-November I'm pretty irked to not have received it yet.

In other words: yes, I am still complaining about not having received a bonus I was promised over the summer.

If it weren't for the fact that I really hated my job, and that it was four unfulfilling months of menial work that amounted to nothing but a meagre amount of money that was barely enough to last me through this term, I would just give up on ever receiving this bonus. It's almost like I want to force my former boss to give me this bonus so that she can admit that I deserved a better evaluation than I was given. In what sort of twisted universe can an employee receive a bonus for having awesome production, but be evaluated the equivalent of "ehhhhhh"? It's ridiculous.

I got so hopeful...when I emailed her a week into November after her last ETA passed (end of October), she emailed me back promising the bonus by the end of the week. From the way the email was worded, I thought, just maybe, she sent it out right before sending me that email. And so I continued faithfully checking my mail every day, even going through the "SmartShopper" mini newspaper in case it got lost between the pages. In this time, I have received two packages I ordered at the end of October, which had to be sent from the States...somewhat farther away than Toronto. Alas, it still has yet to arrive, and I am receiving messages from my team mates from over the summer asking if anything has happened with our bonuses yet.

Honestly, it's just unprofessional for them to be so slow with this. I feel like they teased us with the bonus over the summer the same way I take out a treat whenever I want my dog to come inside, but then put the treat away once he's actually in. "Ohh if you do all this awesome work with us you'll get a BONUS! ...okay the work is over, NO BONUS FOR YOU!"

Maybe if someone else from the team (read: someone my boss didn't hate) emailed her and asked her, we would actually receive what we were promised.

Will give this more thought.



Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Month Catch-Up

Dear Internet,

It has been nearly a month since I last wrote...and let me tell you, it has been one LONG month.

It didn't occur to me at the time that I was picking out classes, but I have come to realize that perhaps 5 math/computer science courses is a bit much to have on my plate all at one time. Every week, I have a total of four assignments due...three of which are due on Wednesdays. So, you can imagine that Tuesday is a pretty stressful day for me (not that it wasn't already - damn Tuesdays). On top of that, I have to be applying to, interviewing for, and stressing out about jobs. The first round of postings was at the beginning of the month. So far, I have had two interviews, and have one more this week on, you guessed it, Wednesday.

I was pumped for the first interview I had. As someone who does not have very much experience in anything except tutoring, I was pretty pumped to be chosen above other people who were probably more qualified. This job was basically to run the day-to-day happenings of an online tutoring program. At first glance, this seems awesome for me. Right on, I have tutoring experience! If there's anything that I CAN do, it's tutoring. Do more research, read the job description carefully, go to an information meeting...turns out that the job is mainly dealing with sales, customers, and affiliates over the telephone. Number One question during the interview: have you ever worked somewhere where you've been on the phone a lot. Poor Response Number One: no. The interview mainly consisted of the man asking me if I have ever done certain things before (business stuff like the phones) and I had to answer no every time. Number Two question during the interview: why is your evaluation from your former job so low? True Answer: my boss didn't like me. Answer I gave/Poor Response Number Two (also true, but believable): I was caught slacking off a few times. At the end I tried to save myself and really just dug myself into a hole even more. I was trying to convince him that I would be great at the job, I had great interpersonal skills - when he interrupts me and says "How do I know you have good interpersonal skills?" Annnd then I proceed to show him how my interpersonal skills suck by going widely off-topic and trying desperately to backpedal but to no avail.

Basically, I don't expect to be landing that job. The next job interview I had, on the other hand, went really well. I was interviewing for two tutoring positions at once. Besides the fact that they called me in early before I was *totally* prepared, it was great. Main difference between this and job #1: I can actually do this job. So I'm really hoping to land it so that I can stay in town and not have a sucky job experience like over the summer.

Speaking of which, I don't know if I mentioned this earlier, but my place of former employment, let's call them Stacks o' Paper Inc, still owes me a bonus. There are many reasons why this is silly. First of all, my contract with them ended at the end of August. Second of all, my boss disliked me, thought I was lazy and unproductive, and gave me a lower evaluation than every other co-op worker at the place. Whenever I get frustrated for not having my bonus yet, I giggle at that irony. She disliked me for being lazy and unproductive, yet owes me a bonus for being a part of the most productive team. I would, however, like to point out that I was extremely productive most of the time, and she always caught me during the other times. Still sore about that, in case you couldn't tell.

But yeah, the point is that they owe me money. Actually, not even money; my bonus is in the form of a gift card. Hell, I don't even know the *amount*. We were told at the beginning of the summer $100, but then they sort of forgot about the whole thing until the end and by the time I left my boss didn't seem too sure about what that amount would be. After receiving my last pay-stub and not the gift card, I sent her an email inquiring about it. She told me, "by the end of September." September 30th rolled around...then October 8th...and I still didn't have it. So I emailed her again. This time, "by the end of October." So, I have a week (I'll be nice and give it two because October 31st is a Sunday) until I get even more angry about this. There are a few things that are frustrating about this situation: if I never receive my bonus, there's nothing I can do about it, because as far as I know, I was never promised in a thoroughly legal and check-able sort of way that I would receive it, and also, I can never send an angry or even slightly less than super super polite email to my former boss because she could very easily call up the co-op people and tell them I'm a nasty, baby-eating ogre who never deserves employment ever ever again (except in the field of baby-eating, at which I excel) and they'll believe her.

Then, if you can believe it, in addition to the assignments and classes and applications and interviews, I have midterms and projects and even *le gasp* a life. Well, admittedly, not very much of one. I spend the weekend with Steven, and go grocery shopping with him on Tuesdays (only good thing about Tuesdays...the grocery store has 10% off for university students).

Oh, also, I got into the program that I have been working towards for the better part of 2 years now :) I am that much closer to terror-I mean, teaching high school students for a living!!



Sunday, September 26, 2010

Random News Day

Dear Internet,

Last night I was an accessory to a dog kidnapping.


Okay that was a little bit exaggerated. But now the real story will just fall short of your expectations, so I'll leave it up to your imagination to fill in the blanks.

In other news, apparently my fire alarm feels unloved and will, spontaneously, at ridiculous hours, beep (very loudly) twice to remind me of its presence then fall silent, smug with the satisfaction of having woken me up and terrified me.

Also, it is officially heater weather here. At least, that's what I'm assuming the vent blowing air from my ceiling is for. As if it wasn't nearly 30 degrees on Friday (that's 86 for you silly Fahrenheit people). Although the temperature did about half itself yesterday. Silly confused Ontario weather. It's still cold today...and a little uncomfortable in my room with what I presume to be the heater blowing not-so-hot air from above.

Anyways, until next time!



Saturday, September 18, 2010

Busy Weeks and the Best Person Ever

Dear Internet,

OH MY GOODNESS THE PAST FEW WEEKS HAVE BEEN BUSY! I have successfully moved from Toronto back to university and am now settled nicely in my place here. Unfortunately, for the past few days we have been without internet at the fault of our internet provider. I don't know exactly what's going on, but at least I have the option of going to campus to use their internet for free! (Or, well, free with my few-thousand-dollar tuition.) I also went home for a week last week, and that was a lot of fun. Besides the fact that I had to get some painful dental work done. Classes have started, and I'm lucky enough to, so far, really like all my professors. My classes seem pretty good (I'm taking Calculus 3, Linear Algebra 2, Probability, Intro to Differential Equations, and Elementary Algorithm Design and Data Abstraction). Mostly, though, I'm super happy to be back on campus and seeing all my friends, after my rather lonely summer.

Last Wednesday, however, was a very important day for me. You see, last Wednesday was my one-year anniversary with my boyfriend. I'm going to take a moment to tell you about him. If you're not a fan of mushy romantic crap I suggest you stop reading right about now.

Steven is the most wonderful person I've ever known (I'm sure that there are friends of mine who would read this and be all like "Hmph I'm pretty wonderful too y'know" and to them I say, if you were as wonderful as Steven I would be dating you). Coming out of some crazy relationships in high school, he was basically just what I needed to stop being a crazy b**** (I say that in the past tense because I like to think that I am no longer a crazy b****), mainly because he does not put up with my shit. Now, some people might think, in a relationship, aren't you supposed to accept each other's faults and love the other person for them? And to those people I say, NO! This is the healthiest relationship I've been in my entire life of 19 years (I've had between 3 and 7 relationships depending on your definition), and I think that the reason is that we influence each other to be the best we can be. It's not as intense as, like, Steven standing over me while I work and yelling at me to do better, but more along the lines of, "You know, in your effort to eat better foods, Carolyn, you might want to cut pop out of your daily diet." If it weren't for him I'd probably get worse grades and in general have a worse lifestyle.

So, Steve, thank you for making me a better person! If it weren't for you I'd still be drowning in my high school woes and I'd probably be fat.



Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Work Term Over!

Dear Internet,

I made it. I survived my first work term. I was planning on ranting how much I hated it, but I've decided that that is unprofessional and probably a bad idea. Let's just say that it was an under-stimulating and disappointing experience, and my supervisor may or may not have disliked me. The point is that it's over and that makes me happy.

I have moved back to my university town for the upcoming school term, and damn am I excited for this term. Coming from a summer that was too hot and too lonely and too boring, I am looking forward to fall/winter, being with friends, and going to classes or out with friends. My room looks AWESOME (all of my crap managed to fit, surprisingly enough, into my 9'x9' room).

Soon, I'll be heading home for a week (with someone really awesome), then after that, classes start and the general routine of school begins. I am so pumped.



Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Canada vs. U.S.A

Dear Internet,

As somebody who has pretty recently moved to Canada from the United States, I get asked a lot which country I prefer, and I have to admit that it is a tough question to answer. I'm happier in Canada than I was in the States, that is true, but that has more to do with my own personal situation than the countries in general. I'm reluctant to say that I prefer Canada because although I was born here, currently live here, and intend to stay here, the States treated me as one of its own and housed me for just about ten years (over half my life). So I'm going draw up a little PROS vs. CONS list for each country, and see if I can come to a good conclusion. I'd like to point out that I cannot speak, of course, for each ENTIRE country (both are quite large and diverse), so think of this more of comparing southern Ontario to New England.

First of all, Canada. Pros. In general, people are nicer here than in the States. The vague sort of accent in southern Ontario is much more pleasant than the Bostonian one. The money is more colourful and more exciting. My habits such as putting a "u" in the word "colour" are not considered strange. All of my extended family is much closer. Tim Horton's, Harvey's, Aero bars, Caramilk, Smarties.

Cons. Weather in Ontario is more fickle than in New England. Winter seems colder (although that also probably has to do with the fact that before coming here I was spoiled in that I didn't have to be outside so much and walk between classes and home and such). Summer seems hotter (again, probably having to do with the fact that suddenly I can't hole myself up in an air-conditioned house all the time and have to actually be outside sometimes). There are more coins to make my wallet's change pouch explode. I'm far away from my immediate family. My cell phone is so expensive!

Now, the U.S. Pros. One dollar bills. My immediate family. My favourite hometown restaurants. Driving (I can drive in Canada, but unfortunately and not surprisingly do not own a car). Less traffic. More consistent weather. It's better to be known as "the Canadian" in the States than "the American" in Canada...less negative connotation.

Cons. Living in a small town with people who always seem to have ulterior motives is not fun (coming to Canada, I was surprised when people actually meant what they said when they talked. Having become a master of the small-town sideways talking habit myself, I found it difficult to do so myself - again more of a small-town thing than a general thing).

Now that I think of it, there's not really anything in particular that I disliked about the States in general. I really just ended up getting tired of my home town. All in all, I'm happy where I am right now. Well, maybe not right this very instant. As I've mentioned many times, I do not enjoy living in the city at all. Plus I'm sitting at my desk at work as I'm writing this, and that's another place I don't enjoy being. But I've decided that I'm done complaining about my current situation, because there are only two weeks left. In fact, at this time in two weeks, I intend to be sitting on my lazy butt in my apartment in my university town doing absolutely nothing. Maybe eating lunch. Maybe going out for a walk. But not in Toronto, and not working a lame job (which I will have to tell you more about, but only once I don't feel contractually obligated not to be mean about it).

Only six more days of work! I am, of course, really looking forward to being done (as my parents always tell me, you can do anything for four months, but I've decided that four months is probably the limit), but at the same time I'm dreading the last day. You see, I am going to have to be evaluated, and I don't think that my boss likes me. But more about that later.



Monday, August 9, 2010

The City

Dear Internet,

As you may or may not know already, I have been living in the city of Toronto (much to my chagrin) this summer due to a work placement here. As you also may or may not have gathered already, I am not, in general, a fan of this city. Although I suppose it would be rude to specifically malign Toronto, as I am not a fan of any city in general. Toronto is simply the first city I've ever lived in for more than a weekend.

There are a few other things contributing to my dislike of Toronto that are not exactly the fault of the city. For instance, I quite dislike my job, but that is a story for another day (more specifically, a day when I am no longer enslaved to this particular company). Also, summer is hot almost no matter where you are, but before this summer I had never really been at so much of the mercy of the summer heat, having been privileged with air-conditioning almost wherever I went for most of my life before this. Unfortunately for the city, many of the unpleasantries of real life that I am experiencing for the first time take place here, leading to my intense dislike of the city, which is (mostly) undeserving of it. I'm sure that, had my first full-time job been situated in any other city, I would dislike that city with the same intensity, or had I actually enjoyed my job, the city wouldn't seem so bad.

Anyways, I digress. My point is that Toronto is dirty, hot, smelly, and just generally gross and it makes me unhappy. I don't understand how so many people can flock to a place that has a consistent odor of car exhaust, garbage, and millions of people hanging in the air and lacking a breeze to blow it away. Not to mention the lack of trees! I'm no tree enthusiast as my boyfriend seems to be (he refuses to join my family for Christmas until we promise not a use a real pine tree, because apparently it is sick and murderous to string a tree's corpse with pretty lights and shiny things and put it proudly on display in our living room), but the lack of trees around the city is just depressing, especially coming from a town where most of the streets seem to cut through thick forests and even the "downtown" area is not lacking so much in greenery. I am lucky enough to be renting a room in house on a street that has real trees, so there's not too much withdrawal there.

Here's hoping I don't go nuts in the next three weeks.



Wednesday, July 28, 2010

My Healthy Living Woes

Dear Internet,

Lately, ignoring the fact that just tonight I had a box of macaroni and cheese for dinner, I have been trying to start living a healthier lifestyle. That is, eating healthy food, exercising, etc. And it has been quite the pain in my ass.

Let's start with the food. The easier of my two main lifestyle shift goals: eat healthy food. The one that I have actually started. (I'll get to why I haven't started exercising in a moment.) It was going well for a while: not too difficult to accomplish, although I do now have to store stuff in my mini fridge in my room as well as my bin in the fridge downstairs to fit everything. Lately however, things have started going wrong. For instance, I get hungry at work before lunch. Usually I take the edge off my hunger by drinking ridiculous amounts of tea, but the last time I went grocery shopping I thought to myself, "Why don't I get some vegetables to chop up and bring to munch on when I'm hungry?" A great idea! Last Monday I got a cucumber and some carrots for that purpose, and completely forgot about them in my refrigerator until this Tuesday morning. Opened the cucumber, and not only was it soaked with what I assume is condensation, but some of that water is frozen, and the cucumber is squishy. I'm no cucumber expert, but I've never eaten a squishy, slightly discoloured cucumber and I didn't intend to start. This is a problem I have been running into a lot lately, for whatever reason: my food is going bad when it shouldn't be. I mean, I did leave the cucumber there for a week, but I don't think that vegetables should be failing that quickly. I hate throwing out food; it makes me feel like I've wasted my money.

Anyways, besides the whole "my fridge causes my food to rot prematurely" problem, eating well hasn't been too bad. I make stir fry, salad, chicken...all quite good. The main thing I wanted to do this summer, however, was start to get in shape by running. I toyed with the idea all through May and in June finally decided I would get off my lazy ass and do something about it. I called my mom to request that she mail me my running attire, as I had not brought it with me, but she told me that she couldn't find my shoes and told me to just buy new stuff. Okay, fine. Went to the mall, got a pair of shoes, got a good shirt for running, and went home after work one day. I emailed my uncle, who is a personal trainer, asking if he had any tips. While I was discussing my decision to run with him, he said, "The most important thing about running is the shoes, as long as you have a good pair of shoes you're golden," and I felt pretty good about myself because I had just gotten a pair of shoes, and told him so. He asked what brand, and as I was about to say, he said, "Any brand is fine, just don't say Nike." Annnd guess what brand I had bought. Of course. (I do have to say, however, that the shoes were quite expensive and I am glad to have gotten my money back.) He then suggested a few brands, and told me that if I found a pair at SportChek, he could get them at a discount for me. Awesome. So I went to SportChek, found a pair of an acceptable brand, told him...annnnnnd the girl he trains who works at SportChek couldn't get them in my size. That was about a month ago, and nothing has happened since.

However, soon the struggle will stop, as my mother, whom I'm seeing this weekend, heard this story and told me that she would just get me a pair of shoes and I can stop the struggle.

That does mean that I'd actually have to use them though.

Hm. Exercise.



Sunday, July 18, 2010

Report: Vanquished.

Dear Internet,

I have just completed the first formal report of my university career. It was quite the feat. I had to write about my writing. Not even kidding. The point of the report was to analyze my abilities as a writer and come up with ways I could improve myself. Really, it was just so that when we have to write reports in the future, we know what the hell we're doing.

At first, hearing that I had to write a 20ish page report about my writing, I said to myself, "How am I ever going to pull this off." Then I was told that there are only 4-6 pages of actual analysis; the rest consisted of title pages and tables of contents and such. So, less daunting. I figured I could get it done if I spent a day working on it. Put in a good few hours of work and VOILA! Report.

I was a little off with my assumption. You see, I wasn't entirely expecting to sit there for an hour or so trying desperately to start it off. I had ideas. I knew exactly what my conclusions were. I had the ability to create (I mean...find...) quotations from teachers, family, and peers regarding my writing to refer to for analysis. I knew what "recommendations" I wanted to include. So why should it take me forever to start it off?

Well, I think that the problem was that I spent a long time fiddling around with formatting it (I was using MS Word '07, which is designed to be pretty easy to use for that sort of thing), then I was like "maybe I could start it off with a nifty quotation," which is something I would often do in high school. Unfortunately, reading a ton of quotations then put me in the mindset of fiction writing, and I was having trouble switching back to formal Nazi tone report. I finally got something out, and a few hours later, after much struggling, I had a draft.

I refused to look at it once it was all written. Instead, I made some poor consumption decisions. Because, I knew, by the end, that I was just desperately trying to FINISH. To put SOMETHING out there. And of course, without fail, whenever you are just trying to put out SOMETHING, that SOMETHING turns out to be CRAP. So I spent eight and a half hours on the initial draft...then another four fixing it. Apparently you're SUPPOSED to take about half the time it took to draft to revise and edit...but that seemed like a bit much to me. Considering I spent most of the time rewriting the SOMETHING I had produced the day before.

But yes! Now I'm done! And although I do feel like I could have done better...well, after the third time I struggled with my page numbers and had finally gotten them right, I was done. I couldn't get the formatting *quite* to my tastes. I would put in a section break and mess everything up. I would try to move a diagram an inch lower, and it would turn up on the previous page. Ridiculous. All the time, being told by Steven that if I just used LaTex (the program, not the plastic-like substance used in very not sexual things as well as sexual things), it would all be so much easier.

The point is that it's done. I'll eat some macaroni and cheese to celebrate.



Monday, July 12, 2010

My Disasterous Sense of Direction

Dear Internet,

Let it be known that I have a horrible sense of direction. The worst part of it is that I also get really strong feelings of intuition when driving, that is, I often "have a feeling" of what direction I need to go in. Unfortunately, these feelings are almost always wrong. It's one of those things when they're right often enough that I never know if I'm going to be right or wrong.

For example, this Friday I was driving from the city I'm living in now to where my boyfriend lives, but I was running early and he was still at work. So I had to drive to where he's working. Which wouldn't normally be a problem, as I had a GPS with me (my aunt and uncle's, her name is Vanessa) and presumably GPS' know where EVERYTHING is. Sadly, Vanessa seemed a bit lost when I asked her to look for a place with the word "institute" in the title. Or "quantum." Or, the entire title, "Institute for Quantum Computing." At this point I was sitting in the mall parking lot intensely trying to figure out whether or not Vanessa had any idea about what I was talking about. Finally, I told Vanessa that she could take a break, as I knew the following things: the general area the IQC is located, the fact that it is very close to my university, and what direction the university is in from the mall, due to my many trips between the mall and university via bus.

Unfortunately, I was feeling creative.

"Gee, I bet I could find a faster way from here to there without following the bus route," I told myself, "The bus has to make a ton of stops, but I think that if I follow this one street, I can get to a street that borders the university." So I went that way. And I drove. Followed my intuition at every turn. "Hm, should I turn here, or continue straight?"

Finally, I found myself in endless farmland. Passed a few horse and buggies. Thought to myself, "I should have Vanessa get me SOMEWHERE more helpful before I find myself running out of gas on some dirt road in the middle of nowhere and having to ask a bunch of Mennonites to give me a ride back to the world-wide hub of science and math (a.k.a. my university, which is awesome).

So I had Vanessa guide me to the correct office park, and I saw where I went wrong, and laughed at myself in the re-realization that I should never, never follow my intuition and ALWAYS stick to directions and what I KNOW FOR SURE to be true...instead of being silly and being creative. It's like the worst combination ever of my mom's and my dad's unique senses of directions; my dad pretty much has an internal GPS, whereas my mom never has any idea where she's going. I have the actual sense of direction of my mother, but the intuition and random feelings of which way I should go from my dad. But since I have such a poor sense of direction, the feelings are, as I stated before, almost always wrong.

Anyways, I eventually made it to Steve, after making peace with Vanessa and giving him a call when I knew I was close. Although I have to say that it's a little weird that Vanessa had no idea what I was talking about. Not something I've ever experienced with a GPS.


"...Did you mean, perhaps, that you want to go to this other, completely unrelated place?"

Also, at one point, Vanessa thought that I was driving off the road and was desperately trying to get me to see the light of pavement, telling me to take these turns onto roads that she knew existed. I thought it was entertaining, while at the same time worried that she wouldn't properly direct me to where I was going.

Anyways, I've rambled quite enough for today. So, internet, until...later!



Thursday, July 8, 2010


Dear Internet,

When was it decided that smooth = sexy? When was it decided that, in order to be good-looking as defined by pop culture, men and women must undergo ordeals akin to torture, on their own volition? It's madness! Suicidal, even. If you're not careful, suddenly its BAM! Cut, pain, blood. Ow. Not that, of course, razors make a "BAM!" sound, but that was just thrown in there for effect. Although, I think that would be pretty cool, if razors made a "BAM!" sound. Randomly. To keep you on your toes. People these days would be much more alert, and it would give shaving another purpose besides the stupid "I wanna be purrrrrty" reason.

I'd like to point out that back in the day (and by "the day" I mean the times when William Shakespeare was alive and kickin' and writing his many, many theatrical works of art), calling someone "beardless" was a great insult. You were calling him a child, immature and unworthy to make men's decisions: unworthy, in fact, to do anything but grovel for your mommy when you were the least bit offended/scared/unhappy/angry/etc. I doubt that calling a woman "smooth-legged" was equivalent (women, I suppose, couldn't be insulted due to the fact that they were women and unworthy to do anything manly anyways), but the point remains! Calling somebody beardless, in essence, was cutting down his sexuality. Calling somebody beardless was telling him that he was a mere boy, unable to do anything in bed with a woman besides sleep and suck his thumb.

Food for thought.



Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Dear Internet,

I'm sorry to hear that Prince thinks that you are completely over. Don't take him too seriously; this is the guy who had his name legally changed to an unpronounceable symbol. He clearly doesn't know what's up.

Don't fret, I'll always love you! :P



Dear Internet,

I would like to start off by thanking the omnipotent powers that be for A/C and ice cream. It's quite hot...and after braving my commute home, A/C and ice cream are quite nice.

Which brings me ever so subtly to the topic of commuting. A commute could be a five minute walk, or a two hour ordeal. My commute happens to fall in between, in the "half hour annoyance" category. I walk about ten minutes to a subway station, take the subway a few stops west, get off, get on another subway and take that a few stops south, then walk about ten minutes to my office building (and the opposite on the way home). That doesn't sound so bad, someone naive may say, at least you don't have to walk. At least I don't have to walk. I suppose. But there are times when walking may be less annoying than putting up with the damned TTC.

Damned may be a little strong. But it's quite often an annoyance to me. First of all, the subway stations are stifling. Standing and waiting for the train to come for more than just a few minutes is a special sort of nine-to-five hell that couldn't really be appreciated by someone who did not have to put up with it every day. After the first minute of staring (at the screen saying how much longer until the train arrives, where five minutes for it are about ten minutes on my watch, or into the tunnel through which the train will come whooshing, or at the advertisements plastered everywhere, it really doesn't matter), a dull sort of panic sets in where you realize just how hot it is and just how stale the air is and just how many people are going to be crowding onto the already-packed train behind you. It's overwhelming to the point where even thinking feels hot.

Then, the train arrives, and you pile in and try to maintain as much of your personal space bubble as possible. Although it is cooler and air-conditioned in the train, your brain has already been boiled waiting and everything is annoying. From the man in front of you who backs up when a girl nearly falls into him when the train starts moving, but doesn't move forward again once she regains her balance, or the couple who avoids falling over by leaning against each other (way too much physical contact for the subway, a place where personal space is honored above all else), or the incompetent people who squish around the doors instead of moving into the more spacious centre of the car, or even (if you are riding an older train) the lack of an overhead bar to hang onto as the train jerks towards's all annoying. Terribly, terribly annoying.

Yesterday, the subway was closed for a few stations on the west arm of the subway route in the afternoon. "Not a problem for me," I thought as I listened to the announcement, barely audible over the sounds of trains screeching to a halt, "I'm headed east." Looking at the screen above me, however, showed that perhaps it did affect the east-bound subway somewhat, for apparently five minutes, as opposed to the typical rush-hour two or three, had to elapse before another train pulled into the station. An extra few minutes of brain boiling before entering the subway car, and of course, the platform filled quickly with people who were probably equally as annoyed as I was. When the train finally arrived (after five minutes according to the screen and ten minutes according to my watch), it was crowded, and I was stuck the middle. And of course, it was an older train which had pulled in, meaning there was no overhead bar to clasp as the train began moving, and thus I was stuck to hone my subway surfing skills.

Subway surfing is what I like to call the action of riding the subway, standing up, without leaning on or holding onto anything. This is best done, I've discovered, by spreading your legs somewhat and bending your knees, as if you were snowboarding (or, I suppose, actually surfing). That way, it's easiest to prevent falling (due to a lower centre of gravity, I believe, but I was never very good at the conceptual side of physics). However, spreading one's feet is a luxury not often achievable in rush hour traffic, and certainly not after the people who boarded the train had been congregating on the platform for more than two or three minutes. Thus, as the train started (and mysteriously and annoyingly stopped and started and stopped and started again) I was moving more than I would have liked and bumping into people more than they would have liked. My annoyance must have shown on my face, because the woman standing next to me, who did have the luxury of holding onto a vertical bar that was sadly out of my own reach, looks at me and says, "You know what TTC stands for? Take The Car."

Ah, if only I could. But I must put up with another two months of the nine to five summer hell in this big, hot city, until I get to return to my blessed, blessed suburbs.



Monday, July 5, 2010


Dear Internet,

It seems as though I have come to a very important yet probably uninteresting point in my life: the point at which real cynicism kicks in and I realize just how twisted and crazy this world is. I may be a little bit over-dramatic, as I think I often tend to be, but that's just how it is, I guess. So, the obvious thing to do for me was to start a blog. Not that I don't already have one, I was pretty well a fanatic back in the earlier 2000's, however, I think it's time I stepped out of my old blog (started almost 6 years ago - that's an eternity to you, eh?) and into a new one.

A lot has changed since I first started blogging as a wee middle school-er back in 2004. Blogdrive informs me that my first ever blog post, titled "Amusing Yet Irellevant [sic] Facts," was published on November 23rd, 2004, at approximately 5:00 pm, EST. Not that you care, dearest Internet; time passes quickly for you and what has been a little less than six years for me seems like an eternity to you. But looking at these old entries from when I was just a silly girl of 14 reminds me of looking at my diary...just without so many constant proclamations of love for random boys whom I would set my heart on as the years went by. I've often thought in amusement that if I were to ever write an autobiography, the most accurate tracking of various stages of my life would be by the boys I had crushes on.

However, I digress. It is with pleasure, Internet, that I invite you to read my letters to you, as I comment on things going on in my life with the unique perspective of one who has only recently begun to appreciate life for what it may or may not really be. As Stephen King has written about the age of nineteen (for I do love Stephen King, no matter how lacking his works supposedly are in terms of real literary relevance), "...that's a pretty fine age. Maybe the best age. You can rock and roll all night, but when the music dies out and the beer wears off, you're able to think. And dream big dreams." And I do enjoy dreaming my big dreams, even if my rocking and rolling all night is a little bit non-existent.

Anyways, Internet, allow me to say that my name is Caro, and I hope you enjoy these little letters I'll be writing to you.