April 7th, 2009 | Comments Off on antithèse

Taking a break from the horror that is the undergrad thesis. I present, in no particular order, thoughts which have been percolating in my brain lately:

  • I’m growing increasingly dissatisfied with the local rag. At first, there was this sensationalist reporter whose articles I read with a general kind of distaste. Then, the sports pages (this is how I follow sports) caught the same bug; one writer consistently abuses the cadences and vocabulary of a casual register. OK, I’m being a bit judgmental here. And maybe it’s my objective scientist training coming to the fore. But is it so much to ask for a little professionalism? Not every piece needs to have your personality written all over it. If I wanted that, I’d read a column.
  • In the same vein: I’d like to take a second job as a copy editor for said paper. Then I too can make money while doing nothing. (I’m not sure people will ever spell Sarah McLachlan’s surname correctly. I recently read an article where it was spelled two different ways. Incorrectly, both times.)
  • The cherries are blooming, finally. I’m glad the weather is nice and they can last for at least a day or two–but I’m already seeing petals on the ground.
  • I’ve been looking at more indie music lately. I kind of–I’m not sure how I feel about it. Looking for indie music seems like an oxymoron; if a musician is truly indie you’ll never have heard of them. If you haven’t heard of them… you can’t look for them. Simple as that. Surprisingly, I’ve discovered that Dallas Green does manage to pull off his City and Colour act quite well, and I do rather like Sometimes. Bring Me Your Love is a little vanilla, even for my tastes. Other groups which have caught my fancy lately: Stars, Hallelujah the Hills, Broken Social Scene.
  • I have my last undergraduate lectures tomorrow. Strange. I don’t really have a sense of things ending, like I did in high school. Perhaps that’s just the stress of the thesis talking.
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January 25th, 2009 | Comments Off on We’re just chefs in a lab.

I used to have this in my profile for a message board. I thought I’d keep it here for posterity, with a few modifications.

Recipe for “gemtiger”:

2 cups intelligence
(It is best to find a variety which specializes is concentrated in trivia and miscellaneous booksmarts with a smattering of a sense of direction.)

1 cup eccentricity
(The author prefers to use Neko brand from imported from Asia. Failing that, the stuff in your local Chinatown will do just as well.)

2 cups of assorted music
(Best if imported from Japan with influences from CORE OF SOUL, Maaya Sakamoto, Maki Yano, Hikaru Utada, and m-floMONKEY MAJIK. Add a splash of Vienna Teng for more authenticity. A dash of francophone tunes from KYO and Les Cowboys Fringants will add a subtle nuance.)

3 tablespoons of laughter
(It should, optimally, leave one breathless. Don’t skimp.)

1/2 cup of assorted talents
(Any brand will do, in any proportion. Artistic ones, however, will result in a product slightly different from pictured.)

Maple syrup to taste
(For that true Canadian flavour. Make sure it’s from Québec.)

One sprig of Domo-kun
(For garnish.)

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.

2. Combine intelligence and eccentricity in a bowl. Cream until light and fluffy.

3. Slowly stir in music, mixing well.

4. Add laughter to the mix.

5. Fold in assorted talent.

6. Pour mixture into a lined muffin tin.

7. Bake for 20 minutes or until just beginning to turn golden brown.

8. Drizzle with maple syrup.

9. Garnish with Domo-kun.

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December 2nd, 2008 | Comments Off on it’s like kryptonite

New weakness during exam prep time:

etsy.com etsy.com etsy.com

Quite a lot of it is overpriced junk to my eye, but I keep going back to the beading sections and thinking, “Oooh, that’s pretty, I could make that.” “What a neat idea with memory wire.” “Where can I find some of these tube beads?”

The silly thing is I rarely ever wear the things I make; the pleasure’s really in the making.

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November 15th, 2008 | Comments Off on So um…

Chemistry drinking socials are vaguely amusing for the first hour or so. I really only went because a former co-worker of mine was going to be there; not having seen her for a few months, I jumped at the chance to catch up a little bit. This turned out to be a mistake, actually, as she and I never really went beyond workplace acquaintances. So we chatted briefly–she was already a bit buzzed and so was a little distracted. We parted ways soon after.

The crowd at these things tends to be a mix of undergrads and grad students; now and then a prof will wander in–I saw the head of the department there, actually, though I didn’t speak to him. Later, friends of friends start arriving–I met a physiology major, a math/comp sci major, and a few engineers…

I need to learn how to mingle a bit better. It’s always a bit awkward in situations like this where people often come in groups–how do you break in? Is it okay to break in? I had tried to rustle up a friend to come with me–I popped by his lab, and he assured me he’d “meet [me] there in half an hour”. He never showed up, of course.

Because he wasn’t there to save me from social interaction, I did get to know one of the other Honours students a bit better, and re-connected with a few people I’d seen before. I also ran into (if that’s the right term) an old classmate from elementary school. That was interesting.

I’m not exactly sure why I keep going to these things. I think it’s really more to chat with people than the cheap alcohol; I don’t like beer, anyway, and nursed one drink for most of the evening.

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October 9th, 2008 | Comments Off on disillusioned

I mean that quite literally.

Who would have thought–being in the lab at 11:30 on a school night is really, really not that glamourous.

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October 1st, 2008 | Comments Off on Random musings on French

I can’t believe I missed the leaders’ debate in French tonight! To be rather honest, politics don’t interest me terribly much, but everything’s better with the addition of French. (De plus je me sens mieux après avoir entendu le français de M. Harper. Ouaiiis c’est injuste et mesquin et tout ça, mais on se moque de lui pour n’importe quoi d’autre.)

I also feel like I should write a letter of thanks to my first high school French language/English grammar teacher. Bien que je pense ne pas avoir beaucoup appris dans son cours de français, ce sont les leçons qu’elle nous a données en grammaire anglaise dont je me sers tout le temps. Comprendre ce que c’est un COD est beaucoup plus facile si on connait déjà “direct objects” en anglais.)

Something only a French prof could say:
“Do you take the bus? I take the bus. It’s lovely! From a linguistic point of view.”
Lui, c’est un homme un peu dingue (comme vous l’avez remarqué, sans doute).

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August 20th, 2008 | Comments Off on Arrrgh

Cher Monsieur le site web d’Archambault :

Vous ne marchez pas très bien. Il se trouve qu’il faut cliquer sur les liens au moins deux ou trois fois pour accéder aux pages suivantes. Je ne sais pas s’il s’agit du logiciel qu’on emploie ou si vous n’aimez simplement pas les anglophones.

Je ne veux qu’acheter deux dictionnaires. Ça ne devrait pas être difficile…

Je vous prie d’accepter, Monsieur, l’éxpression de mes salutations distinguées.

Une cliente frustrée

ETA: Okay, I take it back. Archambault, you are awesome! I love that you will send me a free Bescherelle with my dictionaries. Never mind the fact that I have never used a Bescherelle in my life. I also love that you are selling Le Petit Robert 2009 for just over half the price of the university bookstore. AND WITH FREE SHIPPING.

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June 28th, 2008 | Comments Off on kids :)

The little girl who lives down the street and who my mother babysits occasionally, is SO CUTE. She’s playing outside her house as I walk by. When I stop and say to her dad, she turns, looks at me, points, and yells “??!” (“Auntie!”)–her name for my mother. She shuffles over to me and says, “????!”‘ (“Wanna go to Auntie’s!”)

The day before, I had arrived at home to see her there, and was told “She’s been here an hour or so–saw ?? on the street and followed her home, and wouldn’t go home with her dad, either.”


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February 8th, 2008 | Comments Off on More musings on credit

My credit card was declined today. 😐 I don’t know what’s going on–I haven’t lost my card or anything, I paid my balance in full last month, I have plenty of available credit (uh, relatively speaking), and there are no unusual purchases charged to it (as far as I can see). So why can’t I use my credit card? I haven’t done anything unusual in the last few days, and as a matter of fact I used it just last week to order a transcript.

I was also trying to use it on a $28 purchase, so I’m not exactly breaking the bank here.


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January 31st, 2008 | Comments Off on ARGH

I am now half-convinced that these authors just made this citation up. I’ve looked in the journal and I can’t find it at all.

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