Friday, April 30, 2004

A few notes/thoughts/laughs to start the weekend off:

The repair man that fixed our washer last week - he's from Scotland..not just ancestry..he was actually born there. Coincidence? I think not. A good omen.

Mom & Jim's car insurance agent...OK..this is just too funny, but his name is Dark Carr (seriously)!!!!

Today marks the first day of lobster fishing season on PEI. For all those crustacean lovers out there..your beady eyed dinner will soon be on the plate. As for me, well I'm just not keen on breaking apart the body of my dinner, sucking on the legs or wearing a bib. Steak or haddock on my plate please!

This is the first weekend that Peake's Quay is open. It is a sad commmentary on the absolute lack of clubbing/pubbing scene on PEI when everybody gets excited by this annual event. OK..admittedly it is better than Myron's..but what isn't better than Myron's? Staying home is better than Myron's...going lobster fishing at 4.00 am is better than Myron's... Don't get me wrong, I like Peake's Quay well enough..I just don't like the tiny dance floor or the fact that you have to pay an arm & a leg to get into the place. A place like Peake's could only get away with charging so much cover in a place like Charlottetown where desperation runs high and alternatives are extremely limited... Maybe its time to check out those botlegging establishments everyone is so fond of....

Summer weather is finally here..not that summer is even close to officially beginning, but the sun is shining bright and the temp is supposed to reach 17 degrees a little taste of what's to come. Hmm..this begs the question..what the heck am I doing inside when I am lucky enough (i.e unemployed) to be able to enjoy the day. On that note, maybe I should sign off and go suntan..

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Well I've been to detox and it's not at all what I imagined. A bit degrading at check-in. Then they put me in a sweat box and then put these contraptions on my lower legs and feet in order to increase circulation I guess all this was means to an end (i.e. lost inches) and apparently my results were pretty damn good. Yep, so for first time in life I am officially pure and non-toxic! The only odd thing (well, not really the ONLY.. but the oddest) ... I was supposed to get a body wrap..but there was no wrapping involved...not one bit. Just slathering of lotion and weird blood pressure-like machine thingie (in absence of need to use words for univeristy, am already losing some of my vocabulary!)

13 freakin days until we leave for did it come so quickly?!?!? Seriously, it feels like I just got home from Europe a month ago! Well, I guess time flies when you're having fun..or bogged down in research and snowbound at home. Am pulling a Becky R this time pre-arranged living quarters and no job to speak of...counting on lots of luck and maybe a bit of Canadian charm to get us settled in to new home and making ends meet :)

It is finally BBQ season!! Actually, come to think of it...BBQ season never ends at this house...not a month has passed without something served up from the grill, but certainly frequency has increased over last few weeks. Mmmmm...hamburgers, chicken, porkchops, steak, potatoes, veggies...Mmmmmmm!! Right, er...sorry.. so am off the hotdogs..used to be big fan of the weiners, as long as they were low-fat, but am not interested in by-products of by-products anymore...go figure. Am definitely (BTW -why does every single person seem to spell it 'definately'??) going to miss the BBQs while in Scotland..actually have concocted plan to ensure frequent BBQs which basically involves setting up house next to welcoming neighbours who own a BBQ and like priority on check list of flat neighbours' outdoor kitchen appliances :)

Finally..Americans did right and voted John Stevens off American Idol..of course it only took losing one of the best singers in the competition for viewing audience to smarten up and start voting for the people who can actually sing. If I had to watch that red-haired16-year old work his way out of singing a song that represented the theme night again I was going to go mad..or just turn the TV off. Seriously,the only thing he could do was croon..and even then was mediocre at best. Nice kid, not American Idol material.

I think, given popularity of American Idol, they should have spin-off called Presidential which all presidential candidates must perform tasks that they would be expected to do once in office and then have public vote off the lost causes each week. Could have themes like 'Name World Leaders Night' or 'State Your Actual Position on a Controversial Issue' or 'Make Policies that Are Popular with the Majority of Citizens' or 'Conduct a News Conference' Kind of like The Apprentice...they have to prove they are actually capable of doing things..not just of saying they are capable. Because, when you think about it, the interview for the most powerful position in a country, President/Prime Minister, isn't really that rigorous. It basically involves posing for pictures, making lots of promises and raising lots of $$ for campaign. Wouldn't it be wise to test these folks out a bit before handing them the reins? Juding Panel could include Oprah, Donald Trump and Michael Moore..ok..maybe not, but the basic premise makes a lot of sense to me, because, quite frankly, anyone can pose for pictures and make lots of promises..that doesn't mean we're all capable of running a country does it? A three-month trial period is another option...President on Probation..I like it, I like it a lot.

Friday, April 23, 2004

Welcome to LAA: Life After Academia. That’s right, I am finally done of my university career and it was a looooong time coming. 6 years to be precise. Now technically I graduated last May, but of course I had to come back and fulfill promise made to follow co-op term in Ireland with final academic semester. Wrapped things up Wednesday with a presentation to review board that will decide whether I am deserving of Honors distinction in Bus. Admin. There was a bit of grilling at the end, but as I rather enjoy BBQs was able to hold my own. At least I think I did, suppose I will find out soon enough when mark is posted! what the heck did I learn in the past 6 years?

1. How to avoid writing final exams.
Apparently I gained quite a reputation (thanks to Becky R) for prowess in exam-avoidance. Admittedly is well-deserved rep, but for most part was not intentional. The secret to my success? Taking artsy courses like Creative Writing and courses by professors who like to vacation during exam time (ahem, no names know who they are). So yeah, I haven’t written a final exam since the first semester of third year..

2. The Business Program has its Perks. Seriously, I think our year had it really sweet in this regard. I mean how often do students get to compete for monetary rewards in-class? By end of third year, had won cash in the hundreds of $, cell phone w/free coverage for 4 months and partaken in pizza and beer parties supplied by certain very generous professors. I feel sorry for the Science & Arts students; they just don’t know what they’re missing out on.

3. Business People Do Not Work on Fridays. Assumption based on fact that Business was only faculty that did not hold classes on Friday. I believe we are being prepped for ‘real’ business world where Fridays are meant for golfing and hobnobbing. ( sorry..yummy biscuits..)

4. The ‘Starving Student’ Thing is a BIG Myth. Seriously doubt there are many more times in life I will have so much money to flash around and spend frivolously...on things like trips across Canada and Europe. Student loans rock! Of course, I realise that in six months, when payments come due I will be singing a different tune. Not ‘I’m in the Money’..more like ‘Money, That’s What I Want’.

5. Most of Learning Happens Outside the Classroom. For instance, on business pub-crawls I learned that mixing drinks is not a good thing, but singing karaoke when one is inebriated is forgivable. In the Kelley Lounge, I learned the intricacies of the famed card game ‘A**hole’. Off campus I learned that microwave popcorn takes 2.22 Minutes, not 5 minutes. Also, it is wise to empty your freezer before turning the electricity off and heading out on month-long vacation. You don’t need a parking permit for UPEI. Carpet can last for over twenty years...air quality may be compromised.

6. University is Great Place to Meet Fabulous People. Such persons would include Becky R, Becky C, Raeanne, Scooter, Erin, Jen M, Keri (OK..knew her b4..but still), Kim, Colin, J.P., Kelly, Kim Tran, Kevin, Sherilyn, Adam…Oh geez, I just know I am going to miss a tonne of great people so will just say ‘The Whole Kit & Caboodle). And let’s not forget the Profs/Staff: Paula, Ernie, Janet, Joan, Ron, Don x2, Brian, Melissa, Rob, Mollie, Dave, Sean, Roberta, Bob. Again..the list goes on. Bottom Line – if anything university is great for social life and lots of interesting people

7. Co-op Works, But Only if You Take Advantage. This is where I polished my skills in ‘taking advantage of things that would otherwise pass me by.’ Believe myself to be very good at taking advantage of any and all circumstances! Without co-op is unlikely I would have had 12 great months in Ottawa, def. would have missed out on time in Ireland. Now have solid resume, experience living outside confines of Island and fond memories of Ernie’s ‘work site visit’ to us Ottawa students.

OK..well if I were being all structured and everything I’d have three more points to make it an even Top 10, but I’m stepping out here..stepping out of that mould. Ha. So that’s it. And yes, I did learn some things in my courses too..just realised I was getting a bit sappy near the end there..didn’t want to enter the ‘sappy AND boring category’

So here I am at the end and the beginning. It’s a great place to be. To stop and look where you have already been, and to imagine where you might go, without really having an inkling what’s in store. Exhilirating to say the least.

On that note, will sign off for the moment with thought from Mr. Lennon that says it quite nicely - ‘Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.’

So, first order of business is to celebrate new found freedom. Chosen method- a visit to the Atlantis Spa. Yes, that's right..I am making my first visit to a spa tomorrow. No, is not what you not squandering away last bit of student loan money on luxurious services (heck..haven't seen loan money in 2 years). Am finally cashing in on Sister Sahra's Christmas present to indulge in relaxing spa treatments.
The most difficult part - choosing amongst all the services available.

I quickly discovered that even spas like to tempt their clients with sinful things like chocolate. That's right..the spa offers three chooclate-based services. You can take a chocolate mousse bath, get a 'chocolate kiss' body scrub, or have a 'chocolate fondue' body wrap. Given my addiction to chocolate, everyone seemed to presume that I would order up one of these services without a second thought. But I gave it a second thought..and a third. And you know what I concluded. First, is a waste of chocolate - chocolate is meant to be consumed, not bathed in. Second, I'm not sure how enjoyable it would be to be covered in gooey a spa anyway.. Of course, my other conern is that I would indeed consume the chocolate and I just didn't want to go down that path.

So, in the end I opted for the Rainfall Massage and Herbal Body Wrap. Both will be firsts for me. Massage & Wrap..sounds like a McDonald's combo! Now..about this body wrap thing. I really wasn't sure what it involved at first, but apparently it is a detoxifying of the body and I wil lose 4 - 15 inches!! Can I choose where I lose those inches (or, more to the point..where I can't afford to lose any inches!!)? Of course, inches/weight loss is only temporary, but I think that some people do wraps on regular basis as way to appear slim..good grief. Well, that is not my intention..just want a nice, relaixing experience. Suppose, however, that I will have to bring a change of clothes for afterwards..perhaps something from 1st year university. Wrap me up!!

Speaking of food, or maybe I wasn't, but in any case...Went to my first cooking class last night..was actually more like a cooking demonstration. It was at the Superstore and cost $10. Andrew & I had been planning to go for awhile now..we missed out on Swiss Fondue night, but were able to finally do last night's Passage to India. My verdict - very, very worthwhile. Why? Because we got to eat a five course meal at the end of it prepared by a real chef (he was def. real chef becuse he didn't measure anything out and used oil like it was water..) So for anyone who enjoys cooking, or even just eating yummy food I would definitely recommend checking out a class (brochures avaiable as you leav ethe store). Be warned, however, that class is full of women between 40 & 60..and hey are vultures when it comes to the food... absolute vultures!

While you're the Superstore..why don't you also check into Pres. Choice Banking. Honestly, it is the best bank out there...with absolutely no banking fees..not even for using interac, plus you get points towards groceries just by doing your normal transactions...I've already collected and used over $100 in points!! It's easy to be complacent about who you bank with, but once you switch over you'll never look back. But that's just my two-cents worth..

Saturday, April 17, 2004

I dumped Allan....right in the Green Compost Bin. I had to, it just wasn't working out for me...I mean it was, but it wasn't... Oh, still in mourning...

Friday, April 16, 2004

OK, am realising just how attractive & useful subject headings can be, observe:

I'd forgotten just how much I love PowerPoint. It has been too long, but now, having been reunited by neccessity, I have come to fully appreciate all of its attributes and abilities. It is, in my humble opinion, the best MS program out there a gem! So much fun to be had with animation, pictures, etc. noticing disturbing trend of infatuation with 'things' such as Chocolate Bunnies and Computer Applications. Must be the fresh spring air...

In any case, have 4 days to work on verbal component of Honours presentation. PowerPoint has done its part, now I have to do mine. Have come to conclusion that I will have no trouble talking about ecotourism for half an hour, heck I wrote 112 freakin pages on the subject. Concern is whether I will make any sense what-so-ever and what the review board has in store for Q & A period. I will plead the fifth..or choke up.

An International Affair
Tonight is gathering of wanderlusts. Have organised a get-together of all those that are going international in the next few weeks...most are current or former UPEI students (some, like me, are both!). Scotland is the star this time around..with at least 7 of us heading over there. New Zealand and Ireland are les autres destinations. Oddly enough, no one is going to the's like they don't want us south of the border any more. Ah well, their loss :) Also very odd..all wanderlusts are female. At first I couldn't figure it out..I mean is not like UPEI is all-girl 60:40 ratio of females to males, so definitely a skewed represenation here (apologies, but BUS 250 lessons are coming back to me at this moment). Anyways, have finally come to conclusion that girls of PEI are just more adventurous and, perhaps, desperate to find out what there is beyond the red soils and white sand beaches of PEI. Possilbly they are also more interested in Men With Kilts, bags/pipes and haggis?

Barenaked Ladies Rock!

I just cannot get enough of this Canadian band's latest CD - Everything to Everyone. you know, it is a very rare thing to find a CD where you don't want to skip through any of the songs. These guys are awesome. Postcards, Shopping, Testing 1 2 3, Maybe Katie, et al..fab. Why aren't they bigger? Why does it seem that Nickelback is more ppoular than the Barenaked Ladies?

Random Thoughts

Must pass Honours

What is that song? 'I Believe in a Thing Called Love'?? Who the heck does that? Is it The Danger..I want to request it on the Drive at Five

The Gahan House has great mushroom burgers, highly recommended. The Pilot House's sweet potato fries also rock

I could have won $250 on the radio today. I knew the answer to the movie trivia quesiotn..if only I'd been able to get through. Today I even tried dialing the number.

Allan is disappearing from my life. See, I knew it would happen. They never stick around for long. Of course, is all my fault...was indulging too much (if there is such a thing) Was also sharing that a good idea?

Monday, April 12, 2004

Have been blog-deprived as of late due to mammoth paper writing and associated delusional state (see below). So now must recall all blogworthy thoughts that have fleeted across my mind over the past few weeks. Forgive disjointedness of this blog mish mash of thoughts from mushy brain that is still in state of recovery....

Happy-Happy-Joy-Joys of Last 1.5 Months

We won 2nd prize at trivia!!! That is a $30 bar tab..which we sold for a cold, hard $25 CAD. Hey, there were 8 of us..what point would here be in spending it on drinks? Come to think of it though...we haven't spent the money as of's been four weeks. brilliant suggestion that we take the money to Atlantic Cash & Carry and buy big containers/bags/boxes of bulk candy was rec'd with only lukewarm enthusiasm.

Did taxes and determined that I was getting money back! Then I did taxes four more times just to be sure and discovered that, in fact, was not in the black, but in the red :( So was happy happy joy joy, followed by boo hoo sniff sniff....)

Finished Honours paper... enough said

Continue to find success in becoming fit. No Atkins, no liquid diet, no fancy exercise tricks. Just plain and simple healthy eating and 1 hour/day at the gym...really it is just that simple

Discovered that Sweet Potatoes are really, really yummy as oven fries

Working Holiday Visa for UK came in! This guarantees that I will not have to work under any tables..let's hope I don't have to work on any tables either :) Expiry date for UK adventure May 2006. Visit regularly for updates re: Scotland adventure as it will become sole topic of weblog 30 days from now ..when life (and a 767 Boeing) take me back to Europe.

Got to see Schemida before she headed out to Calgary for her new Engineering job...old friends are the best friends..even if they can recall moments, fashion failures and hairstyles you'd rather forget :)

Boo Hoo Sniff Sniffs of Last 1.5 months

The Dentist. Oh how I could go on..but I won't Just to a bit suspicious of a dentist who finds one cavity during check-up, then 'discovers' plenty more problems with teeth during second and third appointments. Wisdom teeth do not need pulling, I don't grind my teeth and I don't need a bite plate. Thank you very much. Began to wonder if they saw me as dollar signs rather than patient when I walked in the door. Honestly, dentists are beginning to seem more like salespeople than medical professionals. And I am nay impressed....Not to mention the excrutiating headaches, sore teeth and inability to chew gum. Yes..that's right..I have had to give up gum!!!! No wonder I am more than a bit peeved, that was one of my weight-loss secrets.

Honours Paper ..enough said.

Taxes (see above)

Other Very Random Thoughts

I have given up all hope that President George W. Bush will be dethroned in the upcoming US election of 2004. Why this lack of faith in the American people's ability to choose a competent leader, which they are clearly lacking at the moment? Well, I'll tell you why. It all comes back to American Idol. I know, I just some silly reality TV show...but over 11 million people 'vote' for their favorite singer each and every week (clearly, the entertainment industry is more interesting than politics) Anyway, the fact that John (red-headed 16year old) and Jon Peter Lewis (dancing fool) are still in the running, while Amy Adams has been kicked off and LaToya was in the bottom three one week suggest that American public are simply incapable of differentiating between utter lack of talent and massive amounts of talent. Therefore, am now prepping for another four years with 'W' ruling our neghbours to the South (and the world). Note: Escape to Scotland is step #1... Allan update. Oh where to begin with this heartbreaker of a story. Ok, so in weeks leading up to Easter I was able to maintain resistance to take Allan home, although visits to his home in the Superstore became more and more frequent. His numbers were dwindling..extinction was a possibility. I didn't know what to do. A certain person who shall remain nameless had hinted that I should probably leave Allan where he was..that Allan would come to me if I was just patient. So I held out for Allan as long as I could stand, but by Thursday, the eve of Good Friday, I could handle the temptation no longer and went on frantic search for Allan...Alas,he was nowhere to be found..the last of his kind had vanished from the Superstore shelves. I was distraguht to say the least..I held out hope that he was on his way to meet me, but knew in my heart of hearts he wasn't going to come to me. On Good Friday I found myself the proud and happy owner of Mr. Solid (and he was!!)..Allan's very tasty, but rather diminutive cousin.

I tried to forget about Allan, I really did...tried every trick in the all my attention to Mr. Solid, telling myself that Allan would only have hurt me in the end, talking about the situation with my sister. But nothing worked, I simply could not push Allan out of my memory, no matter how much I wished I could. So, in final, vain attempt to find an Allan all for myself, we (Sahra, Henry and I) made our way to the Superstore in Dartmouth, and it was a miracle. There sitting amidst the other, littler/lesser bunnies, looking rather sad and lonely was one Allan. Just 1..that's all there was. I honestly believe it was a sign that we were meant to be. Save for the fact that he was decapitated, Allan was looking as fine as usual. Henry insisted that he buy Allan for me. How Allan did finallly come home with me and is sitting safely in his bag as I write this. Am presently considering how to deal with decapitation..should I melt head back to the rest of body or simply 'dispose of head'? After all..was always Allan's body I was interested in..not his mind..have discovered that the mind is overrated..the body is where it's at.

Friday, April 09, 2004

My sister is so cool. The most fabulous fashion designer and photographer. Plus her kitchen is full of goodies.
Since she is so happy and bubbly and full of great ramblings, plus she is my Sister Sahra, I've added her a link to her blog.

Thursday, April 08, 2004

Less-on of the WeeK:

Size and length really do matter. A lot. And here I've gone through all these years of my life naively thinking that size and length don't matter, quality is where its at. Whether that quality nudges on the below average or way above average size/length is of no consequence. Well, I've learned my lesson now haven't I? Yep I've learned that, in some cases, less is more.

Now..must apologise for innuendo-ishness of above paragraph, while intentional I'm not quite sure its subtle enough. Good grief...its setting in..lucidity, insanty, utter fatigue, deliusions... all in the name of academia.

OK, what the heck was I trying to say? Oh yeah..OK, so have been working at feverish pace to finish my Honours paper by today. My paper was on the +120 pages (single-spaced) and was planning to spend today doing final touches such as Works Cited and Table of Contents. Then, last night, I get na email - a devastating email, which near put me in tears (but didn't)..Apparently, at the last minute, it ws determined by the higher ups that the damn thing was too long. Too LONG?? Is there really such a thing I asked myself (out loud..because I am getting to that point where the only person who will talk to me is me). Well, apparently so...apparently my inability to be concise has finally caught up with me and punishment is being doled out in huge spoonfuls now. to cut my paper from 120 pages to 70 pages in the span of 20 hours? it turns out, I'd make a great butcher (if it weren't for the fact that I hate handling raw meat). Today, by 1.00 pm I had whitteld my paper down to 70 pages.

'How did you do it Shannon? That is so impressive. I'm absolutely in awe of your editing abilities '

'Why thank you, but really it was nothing. You see...there's this magic little thing in research papers they call Appendices..and I just threw everything in there. It's like when you used to clean your room because your Mom told you it had to be done, but all you really did was throw everything in the closet and under the bed. Quick, easy, gets the job done and no one gets hurt.'

What can I say? It came so naturally..the butchering. I suppose my lack of endearment with the paper helped matters.

OK..enough about the Honours. Oh..except to mention a rather disturbing side effect. Have been having trouble getting to sleep as of late due to stress. Anyway, the short of it is that I dreamed about cauliflower last night..that we had four heads of it in the fridge because Mom had bought two and so had I. So this is what hapens when one abstains from drinking eh? Well I say bring on the vodka and make it a double.

Easter is upon us. I hope everyone has a hoppy Easter! This is the first time in four years that I will be spending Easter with family. Three years ago, Rae-Rae and I were chugging our way throught the Prairies on our 18-day cross country tour of Canada. Fond memories of the Cowboy and Rockstar. Two years ago, was in Ottawa (almost) all alone..Becky C. and 80's night at Barrymore's saved the weekend. Last year, was just settling in to new home of Dublin, recovering from first true Irish pub experience and discovering that the Irish take their chocolate very, very seriously (my kind of pepole). Recall going to the Eurostore (like our DollarStore) and there was some guy on a stepladder shouting out 'Three Chocolate Eggs for Five'. Of course I didn't give in to marketing ploy..went home with just one yummy egg and guilt-free conscience. So..this year am finally at home..but not really. Am actually heading to Halifax tomorrow morning to spend a few nights with Sister Sahra, and hopefully catch up with Mr. Moase (of high school days).

Excusez Moi, must run have just been informed by call monitor that our cat-sitter is trying to get through. Is TooMuchInfo, I know..but don't like to leave w/o explaining..

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

It's all about the numbers this week:

92 single-spaced pages written for Honours Paper

35,000 words (approx.) for Honours paper

56 hours until Honours paper is due

$ too many..handing over to Government in taxes

$$$ way too many being demanded from Studetn Loans..and I thought they'd gone missing :(

So..on that get back to making those 56 hours work for me. It is amazing how productive one becomes with a deadline looming in front of them.