Sunday, July 29, 2007
I took a weekend trip into Sydney a couple weeks ago and since I said I would share my Aussie experience, here are some select pictures I took while there (same as the ones on Facebook)...
(you can click on the image or the URL to take you to the web album)

Make sure to check the very last picture/thumbnail in the album - it's a a really small video I took from the steps of the Opera House - just so you can get an idea of where everything is around it. Not exactly master photography work, but it's the best I've got! Enjoy :)

The writing process is a hard one for me. Whether an essay or blog post, I sit thinking in my head of where to begin. Once the wheels start grinding in my head, I can pick up steam and plow into my work. But sometimes, "for fun", I decide to write about my frustrations out of sheer boredom. One day while working in the library I had an encounter with another student that I wrote about right after she left. While cleaning up my hard drive today I found what I had written (and saved for some reason) and thought I'd share a bit of randomness from my mind - what else is a blog good for?

I leaned my head back against the wall behind my cramped corner desk and started back at the flashing cursor on the still blank page open on my notebook computer. Maybe if I scrunch my eyes together tight enough a great opening line for this paper will pop out from the pressure? I tried it. Nope, still nothing. Damn that cursor! It’s as if it became my third grade teacher, Mrs. Ferguson, tapping her pointy-toe heel shoes on the ground as her patience with me grew thinner while she hovered over me when I was trying to figure out my multiplication tables. The more impatient she got, the faster she tapped. And at this moment I could swear that the cursor started to speed up its own intolerant flashing.

After all, how hard was it to write a judicial reasoning paper on the principles, rules and policies used by the High Court to decide on establishing a tort of individual and corporate privacy?

Frustrated at my slow beginning on my paper, I closed my laptop and leaned forward, shutting my eyes, to rest my head on top.

I stayed in that position about ten seconds before an airy, high-pitched voice drifted towards me.

“Helloooooo” it called.

Oh no. Here she is to ask about the progress of my paper. My nonexistent paper. I can get away with lying for about thirty seconds before she sees through my fake drivel. And then her self-praising air will kick start to choke me. How well can I fake a migraine?

"Done yet hmmm?" she asks me, smirk already plastered on her face.

"No, not all the way yet, I was just --"

"Reallyyy? I just have to write my conclusion! I think most people are struggling, but honestly I don't see the big deal. It was actually pretty easy. Maybe I could help you, what are you having trouble with?" she asked batting her lashes and smoothing her auburn hair - probably to keep her devil horns from popping out.

"Actually, you didn't let me finish," I said, taking a deep breath trying keep my voice steady and convincing. She was not going to put down another student. I will not stand for it anymore - procrastinators and the confused have some pride and dignity to maintain. "I haven't finished all the way because I'm just editing my final draft." I try imitating her smirk, but I think it's come out lopsided and too happy. But her reaction was gold.

"You're finished?!" she sputters, mouth agape.

"Yeah," I reply coolly, "just yesterday. I took my time with it and you're right, it wasn't hard at all. The prof said I was on the exact track he was looking for when I showed him this morning". My lies were surprising even me.

Her eyes narrowed as she studied my face, searching for a glimpse of untruth. "Well, what did you write for the main analysis of Justice Kirby then? Everyone I talked to is stuck there"

"Oh that, yeah that wasn't so bad, as I'm sure you found, but since the prof said I was write, I'd rather not go into it since you're not done your essay and I am. But come back and see me when you're ready and we can discuss it" I say, smiling and sweetly as I can while trying to stifle a laugh.

"Oh. Oh, well okay then. Yeah, we'll talk then" she falters, turning around and walking away with a quick glance over her shoulder.

Good thing she didn't catch me sticking my tongue out at her. Now about this damn paper...

Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Good Idea: wearing the glasses your ophthalmologist recommended (over and over) and said would help you see better and for longer periods when working at the computer all day long.

Bad Idea: wearing the prescribed glasses all the time (because otherwise you'd forget them or lose them - yes, case and all) so that people walking by at a certain distance seem blurry but waving at them anyways because the blurred heads resemble someone you know.

Moral learned: do not wave at random strange guys who you think you know, but turn out to be that weirdo who tried to slip three of your friends his number...within the same hour at the same study table. Said weirdo will always try to make contact thereafter, leaving you confused, amused and annoyed whilst attempting to study for exams.

Good Idea: pre-ordering the latest and final Harry Potter book so you will not have to fight off 12 year olds on the day of release.

Bad Idea: Delaying the pick of up of the book on Saturday afternoon so that you get too busy to read the book, other than the first 80 pages (that you read on the bus while a friend chatted away), and then telling a new friend that she can borrow it for the evening because you will be going out for a friend's birthday and will fall asleep early when getting home. Even though new friend said she would return it the next morning, sometimes morning can mean 6:00pm Sunday which point you are working on assignments for that upcoming week.

Further Bad Idea: staying up throughout the night on Monday to finish Harry Potter so you can avoid running into people talking about the book and having to run (literally) the opposite way to keep from hearing parts you've not read.

Worse Idea: Staying up all night Monday to read Harry Potter (despite how good it is) and sleeping in until 12:10pm after you've actually finished when you have a group debate presentation to make in class starting at 12:00pm.

Shameful Idea: Pretending to be sick when you finally arrive in class to avoid getting beat down by classmates for being late.
('s not like I could tell them why I was really late...and we did end up winning the, all was well.)

Moral Learned: All sacrifices are worth getting read the final Harry Potter book *sigh*
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
So I've decided to rekindle the relationship with Blogger...only because I cannot get Wordpress set up the way I want (I'm an annoying perfectionist when it comes to the silliest things like setting up a blog..!). But maybe it's just my computer, but does everything load properly for everyone on here? Any dead links? Or ones I should add? Or delete...?

Any and all feedback is much appreciated (even if it's the anonymous kind...)
Sunday, July 15, 2007
One of the more difficult parts of living so far from home is that you tend to think life will remain the same for everyone you've left behind.

I may just be a very selfish person for thinking it, but I may have harboured some hope that I could come home anytime, and nothing nor no one would have changed or moved on. As if life back home stood still in time waiting for my arrival to start-up again.

Alas, this egocentric fantasy gets tainted for me every time the slightest thing happens back home and I'm not around to see it first-hand. Silly things like when my dad bought a new car last month, or my brother getting a new Macbook (how am I going to mess around with it from here!?). Then there are things like life events of friends - engagements, marriages and babies.

I know what others have told me is true. I will see everyone soon and hopefully get to enjoy other moments in their life and I'm after a certain goal so it's just a sacrifice.

But then there are times, like today, when there is a death in the family and while everyone is grieving together at home, I feel like I've been stranded and have no shoulder to lean on other than over the phone. That's probably the most self-absorbed thing to think - how I cannot grieve like everyone else. Rather than think of what my family is going through I'm being selfish.
I was away this past weekend in Sydney, touring and having fun. When I got back this morning and called home, no one told me what happened because I'd been sick and was exhausted from the trip. So I rambled on about inane things and didn't pick up why everyone sounded 'off'. Later in the evening (at home) my mom called to tell me. By this time pretty much all of our relatives and friends had found out. Somehow I became one of the last.

The relative who passed away lived in India, somewhere I've been dying to go since my last trip was when I was about 6 years old. I remember right before my sister was born, some eight and a half years ago, I was thinking about how time was going by so quickly and all these relatives I had in India who I barely remembered but who talk about me as if I was right there. Heavy thoughts for a 16 year old. Since we don't have any family in Canada, and not the big of a family anywhere else, I hoped always to meet my paternal grandparents as well as my maternal grandmother's only sister and her family.

A few weeks before my sister was born, my paternal grandfather passed away. He was always someone my dad spoke so highly of and endlessly about. I had hoped I'd get the chance to hear stories from him about my dad's childhood and his own. When I heard of his death, I grieved for the grandfather I had missed meeting and all my missed chances. Still all about me...

Today my maternal grandmother's only sister passed away. And after hearing so many things from my grandmother about her, I was looking forward to a trip to India to meet her. I feel like I've missed something again. Like there are these gaps in my life that I'd been wanting to fill and now, never can.

I still cry today at moments when I miss my mom's brother - he passed away a month before I was born. He and my mom, being only a year apart, were very close. I rememberRuby saying in a post of hers awhile ago that you cannot miss what you don't know. I've struggled with that for a long time since being a kid. I thought it was weird for me to miss someone I never even had the chance to meet. But I think when I hear about how happy and excited he was to have heard he was going to be an uncle, I think of all the moments in my life he would have been around for.

For some reason I miss my uncle more than my maternal grandfather, who passed away when I was 2. My aunt (mom's only other sibling) says I was lucky since I was the only grandchild on their side to meet him. I don't think 'lucky' is a fit word though. Maybe I feel more attached to him for that reason though.

Regardless of all of this, I cannot get over the selfish thoughts floating in my head. I should be more concerned for everyone else in the family and how they are dealing with the loss in our family today. Instead I keep thinking about my loss.


I am now convinced that machines or electronics do not like me. That's right - somehow they have communicated with each other and formed a strong solidarity against me and my any attempt to remain at peace with them. If there ever were such machines as the ones in "War of the Worlds" - I'd be the first person they'd track down and obliterate.

There was my camera, which after falling in the sand on the beach for a MICRO-MILLISECOND decides to make a strange grinding/screeching/whining sound when I turn it on, after which it shuts off on its own. My cell phone thinks it would be kinda amusing to see what happens when it doesn't display missed calls - just so people who call think I'm not returning their calls on purpose. Then of course, the vending machine. Now, my printer is on the fritz and decided that about 20 minutes before my paper was due that it would just simply not work. No refusal to turn on. No noise. No flashing lights. Just. Won't. Print.

Yes I know I shouldn't have waited until the last minute, but this is the situation the whole class was in - because we couldn't figure out what the case, let alone the question about it, was about until the night before it was due.

So imagine yourself in this situation. It being about 3:41pm, essay being due at 4:00pm in the library drop box (which is a 5 minute speedwalk from your residence) and your printer is apathetic about doing it work. There's a series of reactions you would go through.

Blink once - " can't be..?"
Take a deep breath of air - "oh pleasepleasepleasepleasepleeeeeease" - try the ever-popular "turn printer off and then on again" method. Still nothing.

By this time it's about 3:46:37pm. Your spine is frozen from the sheer terror of having to turn in this paper late (which you put your blood, sweat and endless tears into). Still being in your pajamas you blindly grab at pieces of clothing in your closet, rip the cords from your laptop out and jam it into your backpack. Of course it is only logical that at this precise moment you also cannot find your keys that you need to lock your room because you've heard there was a theft on the floor above.

You run around your room throwing clothes and paper around trying to find the two keys attached by one lone yellow plastic keychain tag that just has your room number on it (which of course would be so helpful for any thief who could find them to know exactly which room to go to). And this is right after you removed that long BRIGHT coloured lanyard that you had on the keys because your keys were just getting too bulky, but which made them easier to spot.

Aaaand right after you think an eternity has passed, meaning just about 2 minutes, you find them behind the box of crackers you had been munching on all night to keep yourself sustained.

Grabbing the keys your run like a woman (or man) possessed out the door, managing to get your jacket caught in the door in the process. Down the steps, past the people trying to say "hello" to you and across the campus (of course, you did not get the residence that was next to the library).

Arriving at 3:55:49pm disheveled and and fear-ridden you open your laptop, try connecting to the wireless internet from your laptop...which takes longer than ever before to connect. Eventually it connect, you pull up your precious document, and click print send the print-job to the nearby printer.

Blood drains from your face when you think you've forgotten your student ID card that has money on it for your printing. A quick pat down reveals you did indeed stuff it into your jean pocket while searching for the keys.

You look up at the library full of people with 'triumph' written on your face. Then look over at the printer, ready to run over - there are 3 people lined up. 3:58:02pm.

You briefly consider yelling "FIRE!!!" to empty the place out, but refrain - it just may be frowned upon.

OH YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ONE OF THE GIRLS WAS JUST STANDING THERE WITH HER FRIEND!!!! Whhyyyyy stand there and give the impression to poor, unsuspecting printer-wanters that you too are a printer-awaiter?!?!?!?!?!?!?! WHY WOMAN!?!?

You run up to the printer after the person in front of you steps away, swipe your card and click frantically. Thankfully the printer-gods have seemed to forgiven you because the printer spits out all your pages effortlessly. You grab the sheets, run walk briskly to the circulation desk, staple - wait, stapler broken, staple with Stapler #2 - and jam it into the drop box.


Piece of cake.


Thursday, July 05, 2007
Hello peepz....I've replied to allll the comments you lovely people have made for the last three posts. Nothing spectacularly enlightening - no sonnets or speeches - but in case you asked a question and wanted the answer :)

Many, many "I'm soooo sorry" lines for not doing it sooner!
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
"What's up?" asked an unsuspecting friend of mine.

What's up?! How could you simplify the past two weeks to answer that mundane question?

To counter the rumor mill (i.e. two people on Facebook), I did not convert to Hermit-ism and go into hiding under a bridge. My days have been spent

  • becoming fused to my laptop (due to extended use) at the wrists,
  • becoming in danger of carpal tunnel syndrome,
  • playing "what's that noise" with my sister on the phone (a game that consists of her playing different sounds over the phone from around the house and me periodically throwing out a random guess to keep her entertained, since she just started summer vacation, while I make notes or read) at 3:00am,
  • hallucinating that there is some sort of sheet flapping around in my room behind me when it's 5am and I am still typing away at a Contracts assignment.
  • getting freaked out a little and messaged a number of people on MSN to find out why Facebook was telling me that my account was unavailable. This is how sad the addiction has become and
  • Y'know how sometimes when you've done so many all-nighters in a row the week just seems like one reeeaalllyyy long day? Sorta like a whole season of the show 24? I'm still assuming it's something like June 26th.
  • periodically trying to figure out Wordpress and wondering if I should make the move over...?
  • wondering what will happen in the last Harry Potter book due out in 17 days!!! (Yes, I've pre-ordered my copy at a bookstore here and I am prepared to elbow a kid in the head to make my way into the store at opening time to claim my copy. The kid should know better.)

Caution: Future Legal Minds At Work

G: "There's so many of these terms we have to remember..!! I'm going to start writing these down in alphabetical order with the meanings so over time I have them all"
Me: You the law dictionary you already have...?

I'm officially thinking, and working out, a switch to Wordpress. The main reason being the password protection option for posts. If any Blogger employees cross this - why oh why won't you add that feature!? Our relationship would be so much better if you would be so kind as to make this compromise.