December 29th, 2011 | Comments Off on Advice my father gives me, Part III

For the past few years, my has father voiced his concern that his only daughter is going to wind up a spinster (and when I reflect on it a bit more it’s come through in other ways my whole life, more or less; anyway, I digress.) A few days ago my father decided that it was time for his yearly “love life” 1Previously: Part I, Part II. talk with me.

It went a little something like:

“Daughter, if there are any boys interested in you, you should reciprocate! By the time you’re 30 all the good ones will be gone. Don’t trot out the fact that your own parents didn’t get married until their thirties, things are different for you.” 2Yeah, Dad, things are pretty different, all right.

My only response here was a lame kind of “I don’t have time for a boyfriend right now.”

There’s something in his reasoning here that’s kind of bothering me, but I can’t quite put my finger on it at the moment. It has to do with a) this idea of ‘take the first one who comes along’ (and implicitly: ‘because that’ll happen rarely enough that you really should cut your losses’) and b) the other idea that people (but men in particular) are only single because they’re not up to snuff.

Not really sure which one is more upsetting. Probably the former, since the second is much more easily rationalized away—how many times have you thought, “What do they see in that person?” But telling your own daughter (however subtly) that she just isn’t good enough… well…

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1. Previously: Part I, Part II.
2. Yeah, Dad, things are pretty different, all right.
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August 31st, 2011 | Comments Off on we are such stuff…

… as dreams are made on

I’ve been having a weird series of dreams the last few nights. Normally, I don’t remember my dreams at all, and when I do, they’re usually terribly mundane (perhaps I haven’t much imagination?) But the last few nights I’ve dreamt I’m an Olympic figure skater (women’s solo) in the 2010 Games, and I’m slowly advancing by some miracle. There are a few surreal elements too: a judge who outlaws Domo-kun from the rink, claiming a similarity with some other monster (a grue?); a ski chateau on Kingsway playing athletes’ village and serving hearty Alpine food; support from a man (or two) I’d rather have nothing to do with; coaching from my high school trivia coach. Even stranger, I manage to advance despite not including any jumps in my routine. It’s a wonder I’m in still in the competition at all.

I feel like I’m watching a serial soap opera or something, that’s all. I wonder if I’ll dream about it again tonight.

ETA: I didn’t. Instead I dreamt I was a spy working alongside one of my favourite musicians, Emm Gryner. We didn’t get up to much spyin’ though, I have this feeling we mostly sat around and… observed things.

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April 24th, 2011 | Comments Off on ONE MORE JUST ONE MORE

Just one more final to write. Stupid take-home final. This is really more of a final paper.

JUST ONE MORE, and a thesis defence (eventually) and I’LL BE DONE

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December 26th, 2010 | Comments Off on Advice my dad gives me, Part II

See Part I here.

My father, in his infinite wisdom:
“You know, the character you want in a boyfriend is a bit like mine. You’re kind of like Mom, and if the both of you were like that, the marriage wouldn’t last long.”

Thanks for jumping directly to marriage, Dad!

(Also, for a long time, one of my great fears has been turning out like my mother. I don’t know how like her I actually am, given his comments….)

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May 30th, 2010 | Comments Off on Remixes

Okay, so in France everyone seems to use deezer.comto listen to music on their computers (it’s a free streaming radio, you can find a ton of stuff on there).

So I have “Bad Romance” stuck in my head, strangely enough, and do a search for it…. the second result is a remix of The Last Unicorn‘s theme song by an artist called “Bad Romance.”

I guess you really can remix everything.

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December 15th, 2009 | Comments Off on Simple pleasures, part II

Is there any problem a dish of tomato beef served over rice can’t solve? Nope.

For those interested, my hotplate-and-one-pan version follows.
Read the rest of this entry »

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October 19th, 2009 | Comments Off on There’s no place like home

Okay, I’ll admit it, I’m really quite homesick. Being nine hours ahead of my friends and family, and living alone don’t really help.

I dreamt last night that I was back home, but it soon became uncomfortable as I realized I’d not really done much of anything in France. At this point dream-me started panicking and really really hoping this was all a dream. In fact dream-me gave my dream-arm several good pinches–

At which point I woke up, uncomfortably ensconced in my studio but a little relieved I hadn’t sleepwalked my way to the airport.

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October 2nd, 2009 | Comments Off on C’est différent ici.

So I was all excited about no-bake cookie recipes… then I realized they almost all call for peanut butter, which is basically an import food item here. Oops.

It’s the little things that get you. Why isn’t this milk refrigerated, you wonder: and then you see that it’s sterilized, and that the refrigerated kind has only been microfiltered. You see a pay phone and try to find a slot that accepts coins, but there isn’t one: pay phones only accept cards here. You consult your map and see that your destination is almost due north, but you can’t find it because you keep running into dead ends and you can’t orient yourself.

But at the same time, you don’t want to miss home too much, because you’re a continent and an ocean away from where you were born, and this is supposed to be an adventure. So you stroll and you wander, a little more alert than you’d be at home… but you live in a suburb, and there’s not much to see. You wonder if you’ll ever make it here. You wonder if you’ll ever feel like you belong in this city, just a little bit.

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May 27th, 2009 | Comments Off on une catherinette sous peu…

Thinking back, I have definitely had better birthdays.

Ones that don’t involve babysitting reactions which look like chocolate soufflé but smell like concentrated vinegar.

Ones that don’t involve cleaning up said reaction after the oil bath overheated while I was in a meeting.

Ones that don’t involve said reaction mixture splashing onto my pristine lab coat and arms.

As my lab mate kindly pointed out: “Hey, at least you got a story for your birthday.” Thanks, R—.

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April 16th, 2009 | Comments Off on BLAJLASJAKHLS

I hate writing my thesis because I HAVE NO CONCLUSIVE RESULTS and MY COMPLEXES HATE ME and REFUSE TO BE MADE. Then, when I do make them, THEY DON’T REACT THE WAY I WANT THEM TO.

This is science, I know. As I found on the French Wikipedia Chemistry Portal: Cherchez, et vous trouverez…. autre chose. (Look, and you will find… something else. –Jean Jacques)

On the other hand, seriously, I think I might have missed my calling, folks. I complained a lot about Rousseau (and a little less about Zola) but I honestly did really well on both of my French lit papers. I think I can pretty much just show up to the final, write my name, and pass the course. That’s good because I don’t really plan on studying for it that much.

(ON THE OTHER HAND: I think I might die from the stress sometime between now and the 29th. THAT WOULD NOT BE GOOD.)

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