hello comrades! i have been wanting to put a few pictures up and i am finally able to do so! i am making more of an effort to have my posts be a little more varied, and i think pictures are a good start. so, without further ado:
they are always watching.
the usual suspects. on the subway.
my unmentionables. the things that dave gets up to while i am in the shower. he needs round the clock supervision.
alright, i generally try to keep my ranting and raving to a minimum (noone likes a complainer), but i cant help myself today. yesterday, i had possibly the worst experience at the pool ever. if not the worst, it was definitely in the top 5 worst. (or is it bottom 5 if youre talking about the worst?) so here is the lowdown: i decided to swim in the medium/fast lane instead of the fast lane (this was at the north york y, not the hamilton one) for three reasons: 1) the people in the fast lane werent any faster than the people in medium-fast 2) medium fast was less crowded than fast and 3) this little shithead of a twelve year old who i have been stuck in the lane with before was in the fast lane and i wasnt in the mood for his nonsense. anyway the experience started being horrible immediately. the lane was overcrowded and the people in it were so slow i was forced to wait at the wall for them after each and every lane. by the time i got done my first 500m, i just stopped counting and switched to plain ol' breaststroke. and i was still way faster. my swim cap had gotten lotion on it from my bag so i was having a helluva time trying to keep it on, and my goggle strap kept slipping down, making my goggles leak. this moron with a pull buoy (pulling is supposed to be faster than regular swimming, by the way) was going so slow that i literally had to keep stopping for her, and then at the end of each lane she would bounce up and down on her butt for a few seconds before starting her next lane (but not enough minutes for me to pass her). it was SOOOOO frustrating. then when i finally gave up and left, someone had taken my water bottle. then when i got to my locker i realised i forgot to bring my towel. agh! the only silver lining on this pitiful cloud is towards the end of my swim, this guy with a smoking hot body got in the lane and was being privately coached and they were speaking russian or some other eastern european language, so but for the missing cape and leotards, this was basically the embodiment of my sexual fantasies. oh baby.
well i had a frustrating turn of events this week. last month i did pretty well financially, so i was able to pay all of my march bills nice and early on feb 24. which was awesome because i spent this whole month without having to worry about the bills. BUT behold, behold, of course, of course, this bout of responsibility has come back to bite me in the ass. because i made the payments in february instead of march, the money that i put towards my debts counted as EXTRA february payment, and so i had to make all of my march payments over again! so frustrating! i realise this is ultimately a good thing, because making more payments means my debts get paid off sooner, but its like, why do i even TRY to be responsible when there is no real benefit to me. in fact, this was like the opposite of a benefit, because now im going to have to dip into my savings to pay the rent, and im trying to save up enough to take a week off in july. i suppose im also going to have to hold off on replacing my beloved blender, which i was planning on doing this week. anyway the lesson here: it doesnt matter what you do, you will suffer for it somehow.
ok so i put off this post for a few days because i was waiting for an explanation from my sister that never arrived, so whatever. my sister gave me a blogging award, which i am humbly accepting. the problem is, i dont really understand what it is i am supposed to do in order to accept this award and she hasnt really explained it to me. i follow a couple of blogs that have recieved awards, but those are recognised, semifamous awards and also come with a badge and recognition from the people who invented the award. i dont know what the deal is with this one, because my sister recieved it from someone else and then awarded it to me and is planning on awarding it to six other people, so it seems kind of like a shout out more than anything. but im fine with shout outs, the more of them i get, the better. anyway, so i am accepting this "one lovely blog" award from my sister. thank you kindly. if i ever get more information from her about this, i shall let you know.
UNDER THE SEA! woo! when i was a little girl, i wanted to be a mermaid when i grew up. once my parents so kindly informed me that there is no such thing as mermaids (oh the fun of literalist parents), i started devoting much of my time to fantasizing about being a mermaid instead of fantasizing about growing up to become one. now im 24 and im beginning to think that this is a pipe dream. that being said, i dont think i will ever tire in my efforts to force the laws of physics and biology to bend to my will and allow me to breathe underwater. i dont know if this whole mermaid thing was the cause or the effect of my love of swimming, and i dont think it really matters, but i will say that i have always felt more comfortable in the water than out of it. i have written about my love of swimming in the past, so i apologise to any of my long time readers who may feel this is old hat, but i would just like to revisit some of the main points here, mostly because i had an awesome swim today that embodied everything i love about it. for me, swimming is the only time i really feel at peace. i dont think about anything except the sound of my breathing and the number of lanes i have done. its etheral. it doesnt matter how stressed out i am about something or for what reason, just give me forty minutes at the pool and the problem will be pushed from my mind. sometimes, like today, i hit this stride. it sounds kind of corny, but its almost like achieving higher consciousness or something. i cant really describe it accurately, but its like i have complete awareness of every single cell in my body and i have this intuitive sense of the water and how its moving and interacting with me. when that happens, its as if i am manipulating the very fabric of the water molecules in order to achieve my own ends, and my body is this fantastic, perfect well-honed machine that i have complete control over. its a very powerful feeling. its almost like i can see my heart beating and feel my lungs and its almost like im actually coordinating all of it with my muscles voluntarily. im sure it sounds kind of bizarre to read it like that, but its the best way i can describe it, and i imagine that this is what those crazy running bastards are on about when they talk about their runners high. anyway, i dont know what i would do if i didnt have swimming for an outlet. i dont think i will ever really give up on becoming a mermaid. no matter what my parents think.
so today i want to explore two modern myths: 1) people dont read books anymore. although the statistics surrounding the the publishing industry certainly indicate that people dont really BUY books anymore, i really dont think that people have stopped reading. i come to the library every day, and there are always shelves upon shelves of requested material waiting to be picked up. although its true that the digital age has changed communications and publishing forever, i dont think we will ever see the day that people cease picking up books altogether. though it may be true that books may take on a new form in the future (think communicator devices in star trek, which we basically have in the form of smartphones already), i dont think it means people arent reading. 2) express check out most grocery stores have an express 1-8 or 1-16 item check out that is supposed to be faster. in theory, it should be, because everyone in the line is going to be checking out fewer items. THIS IS A MYTH. the problem is that everyone thinks this is going to be the fastest line, so even when everyone is obeying the rules and is within the number of items designated (which is often not the case, compounding the issue), the line for express is two or even three times longer than the regular lines! youre lucky to get through it in half the time it would take if you had just waited in a regular line. and people constantly get sucked into this idiotic notion! i dont know what it is (i suspect its the letter 'x') but the general population cant resist the allure of the express check out. lets all band together and end this madness. stop using express checkout. its for your own good. (i would like to point out that i am completely enraged about this, because my boyfriend ALWAYS GOES THROUGH THE EXPRESS CHECKOUT LINE because he thinks its faster, and we stand there watching all of the regular lines rush on by)
which i suppose is a sort of obtuse way of saying theres good news and bad news. i think i am like most people when i say i prefer to receive the bad news first and then the good news, so that is how i will give it to you. the bad news is: I BUSTED MY BLENDER/TABLE TOP MIXER! aaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!! i realise that for many this would not be a crisis, but for me it is HUGE. smoothies are a HUGE part of my diet, and i use my blender almost every day. as for the table top mixer part, i dont use it as often, but its still a tragedy. my dad gave me the machine when i was in second year, and i was so excited. at the time i was doing a lot of baking and so i was using both parts quite frequently. i was SO excited, in fact, that i gave my super awesome black and decker blender to my brother who lives in calgary. i dont know what he did with it, but knowing him, it disappeared a long time ago. anyway, i learned very quickly that my mixer/blender wasnt quite as strong (as in the power of the engine) as i would have liked. i couldnt do large batches of cookies, for example, and i wouldnt have even attempted to make bread with it. that being said, i did get QUITE a lot of use out of the blender portion of the machine, but i admit i often pushed it beyond its capacity, knowing full well that it wasnt the machine it pretended to be. i guess what im saying is i am paying the price for my own negligence. but now i have a blender full of unsmooth smoothie sitting in the fridge that i dont know what to do with. maybe one of my neighbours will let me borrow their blender. anyway, as for the good news: last week i was super excited (this is really lame, just to warn you) to receive my first ever book via inter-library loan. this was something that i had been fascinated by since i was a child, but had never had occasion to take advantage of. i suppose that actually speaks to the quality of the hamilton and mcmaster collections, because between the two of them, i have never had a problem getting my hands on anything i want. anyway, finally, my day of reckoning had arrived. i was looking for barrel fever, one of david sedaris' first publications (see posts from august to october 2009 for reviews of david sedaris) and the hamilton library didnt have it. i admit i didnt check at mcmaster, but that has no bearing on this story. SO i ordered it through inter-library exchange, and it arrived a couple of weeks later from thorold public library (of all places, i dont even know where that is. dave said its east of hamilton but west of toronto). i must admit, i was more excited about the success of the inter-library exchange than i was about the book itself, but that just reinforces all of my prior claims of nerdiness. now, as i have pointed out, i have never gotten a book through inter-library exchange, but i guess the way it works here at the hamilton library is the hamilton library creates a temporary bar code that they put on the outside book by attaching a sleeve to the cover. it says all over the sleeve that you must not remove it. which makes sense, because the hamilton library cant scan bar codes from the thorold (or anywhere else) library because the different computer systems are independent. so the temporary hamilton bar code gets scanned and the material just gets checked in or out as "interlibrary exchange materials." the point is, the hamilton computer doesnt know WHAT the title of the book is, only that it isnt from our library, which is why its important to hold on to the sleeve (i expect youre beginning to see where this is going). as i imagine is becoming obvious, i lost the sleeve. i dont know how, but i was super pissed. all i know is i had the book in my bag on the go bus and i pulled it out in the dark. when i got to the subway and saw the cover of the book, the sleeve was missing, and i ripped my bag apart and it was nowhere to be found. the only explanation i can come up with is that it fell off the book on the bus and fell onto the bus floor and by the time i noticed, it was too late. i have always prided myself on my excellent treatment of library materials and the rarity of my having overdue fines. i think if someone were to pull up my borrowing history for the last two years, they would be floored at the sheer volume of material i have taken out. so i saw it as a personal failing that i lost the stupid sleeve with the temporary bar code. it was worse than even losing a regular hamilton book, because i felt like i was misrepresenting hamilton to thorold, like i was a poor ambassador (which is extra stupid because thorold isnt going to even KNOW that i lost it). i think it goes without saying that once i got over my shock and anger at myself, i quickly fell into a mind numbing panic. i dont know about the cities where you live comrades, but in hamilton, the librarians that work at the check out desk (as opposed to the ones that work at the information desks on each floor) are down right frightening. i started strategising over what i was going to do to avoid the librarian wrath. i started picking out the nicest ones in my head and trying to figure out the algorithms of their shifts. i started planning elaborate lies to explain my crime ("well i had a seizure in the rain while i was reading it, and when i came to the sleeve was wet and completely dissolved"). i even thought about calling the thorold library and making dave drive me there to return the book and then have THEM call my library to explain i had returned it (what put me off of this idea is that at least in hamilton i know how scary the librarians are. for all i know the ones in thorold are even worse.) which brings me to the good news. by the end of this week, my time would have been up and i would have started amassing one dollar a day fines, so i bit the bullet and brought the book back. luckily, i got one of the less scary librarians (although i think the only reason she isnt so scary is because she is a little afraid of anne, who once threw a video cassette at her head). i just explained that i lost the sleeve and i was very sorry and so on and so forth and she sorted it out without any hostility or violence of revoking of my library card or inter library exchange privileges. so there it is. the ongoing saga of my library adventures.
so the other excitement this weekend was going to see BODY WORLDS, the super famous exhibit about the human body. the original body worlds was in toronto three years ago, and i wanted to go SO badly, but i didnt get the opportunity. so i was super excited to go this time around, with a whole new exhibit that places considerable emphasis on the heart and cardiovascular system (any long time followers of my blog know that as a huge geek and science graduate, the heart and cardiovascular system is my favourite system. only geeks like myself have favourite systems, i know, but you can see why i of all people would be chomping at the bit to see this show). so for anyone who doesnt know, body worlds (warning: this sounds kind of gross but i cant think of a more delicate way of putting it) is an exhibition of real human bodies that have been "plastinated" which is a type of preservation i guess that makes the tissue hard, like a sculpture. whats so cool about it though is that the artist/scientist/plastinator guy (whose name is gunther von hagen) takes the skin off the bodies, revealing the musculature, skeleton and organs. then he places them in provocative and often athletic poses. this exhibit was everything i hoped it would be and more. trevors boyfriend remarked that i was like a kid in a candy store, which is a cliché, but accurate simile. this show touched every single one of my personal happy places (except for maybe the part that involves jack white and/or michael phelps being my lover(s)) simultaneously. my love of anatomy, biology, physiology, sports and art all in one place! i didnt think it was even possible! i will concede that body worlds is not for the faint of heart. but for a certain kind of quirky biologist/artsy type, it is like being on very excellent, expensive drugs. a dream come true.
wow. i have so many things to write about, i feel like my head is exploding. we will see how it goes, i may do multiple posts instead of one long one for the sake of organisation. time will tell! so first of all, how awesome was the canada/us mens hockey game? if you didnt see it (why that would be, i cant imagine, but i will humour you), it was the best fucking hockey game i have ever seen. EVER. i dont know how any of us can possibly watch another hockey game without feeling like it isnt up to snuff. it was so exciting! and awesome! its twenty four hours later and you can still feel the love. i have never experienced anything quite like this victory. its amazing how the olympics in general, and the hockey game in particular, have brought this country together. its so inspiring to see everyone celebrating and being patriotic together. i think we really did accomplish what we set out to do. by that i mean we proved that we are a sovereign nation, not just "america junior" as homer simpson once referred to us, and that we can hold our own on the world stage when we really put our minds to it. i am so proud of my country and our athletes and im actually kind of sad that the olympics are now over. i realise that all good things must come to an end, but it was starting to feel like we could just ride this wave forever and ever and ever. which brings me to the next thing i wanted to write about, which is that i just want to thank all of our athletes for serving our country. i am so grateful to all of them for representing our country with dignity and for putting their best feet forward. i have been so inspired by the entirety of the olympics. i have been performing better at my own sports and their success has driven me to succeed as an athlete. i could not have found this motivation on my own, and for that as well, i thank you.