"I’m not quite down with the way they roll/ they throw knives from their eyes at my parasol."

Si vales, valeo!

I bought an airline ticket! Moreover, it is not Air Canada, which causes me much joy. My, it is nice knowing that if my flight gets canceled due to flooding or bomb threats or freak snow storms of mechanical failure, I am covered. Not that getting stuck in airports isn’t interesting, but it does also tend to mess up the schedule. 

And why, you ask, did I buy an airline ticket? Was it just for the wonderful experience of modern economy air travel? No, I answer, it was not. You see, on Monday I was startled to find out that I get paid vacation time at work, and I needed to figure out when I was taking it. Like, NOW I needed to figure out when I was taking time off. Cue me sitting on my bed staring at a schedule and panicking. One of the options I was leaning towards was popping over to Europe for a week and climbing around castles. However, traveling Europe alone, for my first Vacation, (read: I’m not an experienced traveler), didn’t really seem safe. I need someone to watch my luggage while I’m on the train, and stuff. And I was unable to find someone to commit to European travel for a week in the summer on twenty minutes notice. *sigh* People are so unimaginative, all hung up about work terms, and internships, and money, and study terms…. Just jesting, you know I jest. Well, not about the not being able to find someone, but about the fact that I am vexed at people for not being available for two weeks in England. *cough* 
Moving on! The next option that came to mind was; Visit People! It was right about then that I remembered that my College, (Augustine College– you should go), has a graduation this year. Just like last year, in fact. However, this year I am an Alumnus- Alumna- Alumnas- I am a person who has successfully graduated, and the fact that I remember none of my Latin has absolutely no bearing on that fact. Moreover, it is an Augustinian tradition, of sorts, to attend later graduations in full stately robes and sarcasm, and pat the students fondly on their sleep-deprived heads. ALSO, (yes, there were more reasons,) Em is still at the college, Moon Unit is in town and will be attending, Moon Unit’s friend Zaktrik is graduating, Lord willing, and some of the other alumni might be there as well! 
Then, I looked at air costs for the two days I was going to be traveling. Lo and behold, not only were the two flights the lowest fares within 28 days, what with airline costs and such the cost of the ticket was still just covered by my shiny new Visa card. At this point, I was clearly receiving divine signs. And who am I to tamper in the divine plan? I bought the tickets. 😀
All joking aside, though, I am continually amazed at how obvious and easy things are when that’s what God wants me to do/where God wants me to be. Problems just take one look at me and melt away. 
Anyway, that’s my news. And I’m excited to travel and take my first ever professional vacation, and I’m trying not to count down the days from TOO far in advance. 

"There has never been anything false about hope?"

We’ve been talking politics at the breakfast and supper table again, which is lovely. Nothing like a healthy dose of cynicism and conspiracy truth to make you cheery! *big grin* On a totally unrelated note; to my friends in the states, we have a spare room in the house and a lot of places in town are hiring! We could hang out! Ahem.

Moving right along…

My brain has been feeling muzzy for days, but on Monday it really got bad, due to a touch of the flu that’s going around. By bad, I mean I was having serious difficultly telling reality from imagination. By process of elimination I’m pretty sure the time in line in Toronto Airport was not real. But other than the physically improbable events, I kinda have no idea what I did. If I talked to you on Monday, I’m sorry. I don’t know what I said. *cough* But then I slept for fifteen hours and now I’m fine! *is normal and borderline sane*

What else is new? Oh, I’m starting to think about what I might possibly do after I pay off my debt! One big option is to go to a university. My year at Augustine is worth a year and a half on transfer in at least one place, which is quite good. However, I’m not really a big fan of the post-secondary to get a high paying job school of thought. For one thing, I’m not really feeling called towards any degree program that does promise high wages upon graduation, and I don’t think I have the dedication or talents to get my doctorate and teach within a college. Which leaves the earn-a-philosophy-bachelors-to-get-a-high-paying-job option. Somehow that’s not calling me very loudly either. However, someone, (you probably know who you are,) pointed out that you can ALSO go to university for the pure joy of learning! *vistas of joy open up*

And then, I looked at costs and asked some people in University their opinion of it from the inside. I’m looking at about fourteen thousand a term, with tuition, living expenses, books, travel, and occasional entertainment. *enthusiasm dampens somewhat* Moreover, the reaction from most of the people I asked about university from the inside was “good idea to go back to school! (watch out for debauchery.)” *enthusiasm dampens more* It was rather startling how uniform the reactions were, really, after being adjusted for dialect and personality. 

So now I’m leaning more towards option two; Backpack across Europe! It costs less, with the right travel companions you learn as much, and it makes for much better photo albums. Also I want to clamor around in castles again. And I could learn languages! *enthusiasm is fanned to full flame* Does anyone want to come with me? You don’t need a Visa!

Yesterday I walked to the other end of town and back, which is a fun walk. (The turn around point is Tim Horton’s, for one.) I decided to be wild and crazy and wear my lovely new red coat and my pin-striped fedora, so I got a lot of stares. I do tend to dress a little different from the average citizen of this town, it’s true. Walking out of Tim’s was especially amusing, given all the puzzled and/or shocked eyes on my back. I was also wild and crazy in that I was carrying my camera, so here are a couple pics of my walk! (The order got jumbled, I’m not sure why.)

The Government Wharf

Busy Downtown!

Yes, we have proper snow clearing equipment. 

Yes, those are rabbits, hanging off a step ladder. 

"That was a very interesting sentence until you finished it."

I made it back unscathed! Pretty much. I did live through five hours in the Avalon Mall though, so who knows what lasting mental damage that may have inflicted. Then on Sunday I got to go to Ms. B’s and PT’s and PT’s GF’s Church, which was fun. They said their third largest budgetary expense, after the building and the pastor, was coffee. My Kind Of People! The music was very Pentecostal, but they seemed since, which I can respect. And there was a guest speaker, so I’m not quite sure what the teaching actually is like. But there also was a potluck afterwards, which was scrummy. Hurrah for free food! Oh, and PT and his GF were walking downtown to see the christmas parade, so I had to take my things out of the car and bring them back to the church, where I was being picked up. However, the church is downtown, so they lock the doors after normal service hours. Which led to me being locked out of a church, and hammering lightly on the doors. 😀 I mainly sat on my suitcase and waited for someone to come out, but there definitely was a little bit of beating on the door going on. Then they let me in and I had chocolate cake, so it was all good.

On, on the first night I was wearing a pashmina, for grace and the fact that I can hid under it of anyone looks at me. Then when I went up to get coffee a lady looked at me and said; “What you’re wearing looks nice! It looks like you’re wearing a tablecloth, but on you it looks good!” 😀

And a quote from PT’s GF. “You know today is the first day of Advent? That means today is going to be a day for Extraordinary things.”

Last night Fraulein and I watched Prince Caspian! Since we are avid Narnian Fan girls, we’ve been waiting impatiently for it to come out on DVD. We don’t have a theatre in town, remember? And it was fun. We decided that Peter is generally an idiot, and Susan doubly so. Seriously woman, what is with the leather corset with buckles and such? ISH. And the whole kissing Caspian in front of the crowd, and “you might want to call me sometime-” *facepalm* However, Edmund and Lucy were marvelous, and we love the mice. 😀 “You are a mouse.” I’m still a little if-ish about Miraz and the Telmarines. The whole story was so very far from the book that you have to divide your brain into two stories for the book and the movie. And I’m not sure if the Telmarines are scary or simply a mindless horde of spanish men. I’ll have to watch it again with a critical eye. 😀

In other news, I’m technically done with Nano now. So I suppose I have to try and break the habit of spending every possible moment on my laptop. *sigh* I know you’re weeping for my sad plight. 😛 But first I just have to read some of the shiny NanoNovels my genius internet friends wrote.

Time in town…

I’m in St. John’s! Hurrah for the big city!

I got a ride in with a friend’s family, which was very nice of them. It was also rather amusing, because myself and an 16 year old boy were sharing the back seat. He stumbled out of the house at seven in the morning, clutching a pillow, and saw me. *stares* So the pillow went in between us two, and we both leaned on opposite windows and slept. *thumb up*
I’m staying with Ms. B for the weekend, so once we got into town I was dropped off at her house, and got a tour… It’s a nice apartment. 😀 She has a balcony and everything. 
OH, and we ate out in the college food court, which is very college-y. You know, people behind the count who don’t really care, straws on the floor, everything tastes like fridge, and people my age. Oh, and half the people are guys, which is just strange and unsettling. 
(And by the way, interspersed between all this is watching of Firefly; we’re going through the series. Some moments are totally matchy, and some ver ver awful- put a quilt over your head AND stick your fingers in your ears. )
Mmmmm, then PT and PT’s GF came by, and we went out to Tims! Coffee and tea all round, and various munchables. PT’s GF is very cute. And sweet. And tiny. And giggly. And despite that description, I do actually like her. 😛 She and PT are really cute together. They do hold hands a lot, though. And seeing your little brother kiss anyone, even on the cheek, is traumatizing any time when the little brother is over the age of four.
Then, at 9:00, we all went out downtown- to a church coffee house. There was free music and coffee! MARVELOUS! My Classical Pianist brother, bless his shiny heart, thought the music was too loud. Just because he couldn’t hear himself talk. Sheesh. I thought it was pretty good though. The first act was really good, just a man and a guitar. I recognized a couple of Johnny cash songs, and quite a few I would liked to have been able to identify but wasn’t. Then there was a band which showed a lot of promise for the first minute of intro to their first song, and then repeated the intro with variations for forty minutes. They were all first year engineering students, however, so I suppose I’ll forgive them. After the first years came a more established band, which is well known in the “christian scene.” At least, the players are well known, I”m not sure about the band unit its self. Despite having The St. John’s Sound and a lead singer who couldn’t find the pocket in a pair of cargo pants, they were pretty good. If you’re playing John Mayer, a decent guitar player makes up for much. Side note; I approve of well- played guitars in general. 

Thoughts on travel

A test. 

Think over some of your most memorable (negative) travel moments.

  • I once spend a four hour plane ride next to a highly vocal man who LITERALLY used the f-word every four words. At least.
  • I slept in a pile of suitcases for three days in the back of a van. Refugee much?
  • I was delayed for four days over Christmas, and the airline effectively shrugged in my direction and- no, that’s it. Just shrugged. 
  • I had my luggage lost for eight (8) days, forcing me to live out of my carry-on for that time.
  • I only realized when I was 16 that you don’t always get pulled aside and interviewed more closely when crossing borders. 
  • I’ve started Security in full outdoor winter gear, and exited in socks, under-t-shirt, pants and beading wire. (Seriously, people, is your brain even in gear? Beading wire? Gosh.) 
  • I’ve slept in LOTS of gas stations. 
  • I know how to find the coffee in any gas station.
  • I crossed the dessert double-buckled, with no A/C. Ponder that one a while, children.  
Now think. Do these things sound fun? If the answer is yes, you are unfit to contribute to any conversation involving travel, and may go lie down until your brain returns.
I’m clearly not thinking logically, because most of those things DO sound fun. 😀 *sigh*

"Your brother is pretty cute." "Oh?" "Yeah. I’d marry him tomorrow."

After Seaworld we were doing a lot of traveling, and then I was back to work, so I wasn’t writing daily journals. Hence, this post brings me up to the present. 😀

The trip back was uneventful, barring a 45 minute taxi onto the runway in Toronto. No one was especially pleased about that, including the pilots. But we did get off the ground eventually, and arrived in St. John’s after midnight. I watched The Bank Job in-flight, which was a stressful movie. Not scary in the gut reaction sense, but I definitely spent a good portion of the movie with my hand over my mouth- mentally shouting at the characters. “GET OUT NOW! IT”S A TRAP! GAH!!!!” *cough* I still enjoyed it, mind! However, due to the fact that it was based on real events, it was a little different than most bank-bust flicks. This includes the death toll. For example, most movies focus on the robbery. In this one they were into the vault a half hour into the movie, and the rest was dealing with the significant outfall of the job. Very enjoyable. And thankfully I was tired enough to fall asleep with absolutely no repercussions! 😀

Next morning, we visited the Janeway, and got home in the afternoon. I picked up my schedule for McDonald’s and keys to the library that evening, and since then I haven’t been home much, unfortunately. I’m trying to cram 140 hours into 10 days, after which I will be done with my grant at the library! w00t!

And my title was an actual conversation between a co-worker and I. It was one of those moments which stretch the bonds of the surreal till they creak.
*thinks* “I really wish I had drunk that coffee this morning.”
*says* Nothing, while smiling weakly.
AND switching trains of thought completely, The Arrival by Shaun Tan, is a lovely book. It’s a graphic novel, so much so that there is no text- just incredibly detailed and incredibly beautiful drawings. Surreally thought provoking. For instance, I had never before thought about the challenge of a new alphabet on immigrating to a new place.

Oh, related to books, I had a how-is-your-job-going interview today at the library. Thankfully Lizzy woke me up a half hour before I was supposed to be at work; because I had turned off my alarm, tripped over a book, fallen into bed, and fallen back asleep an hour previous. Oops. But it was all good! And the interview seemed to go well! I even skated blithely past the dreaded “Career Goals” question. That’s just a trick question, see, when you don’t have normal Career Goals. “Travel, learn languages, and write” somehow doesn’t have quite the same cachet as saying that you plan to be a social worker. Funny, that. 😀 But my verbal skating was so successful that the interviewer said I was very well spoken! *preens* Fancy that!

Also, another grant-related worry was killed off. I was slightly nervous that the voucher, (which makes up the majority of my pay for this job,) would be limited to this fall. “Use it or lose it” on the part of the government. But it arrived today, and it’s good until May 2010! This leaves a little room for life to happen, which is always good.

And I just had a thought, yeah? (yesterday, really, but still.) It’s beautifully easy to get a work Visa for the EU. You just need a return ticket to home, or enough money for one, and you’re good to work. SO, next summer, maybe I can do summer work in the UK. Might even be able to convince some people to come with me, and we can split the rent on a flat. Eh?

"You’ve been to HOW many theme parks this week?" "We start early."

Day: 7
Date: 24/07/08
Event: Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure

Universal pwns Disney. That’s all there is to say! Look at this way- Universal is geared toward teenagers, and I still have two months left on that count. Also, instead of vaguely saying that the “cast members” in Disney would notice the wish buttons, Universal gave us a pass to show to the Greeter at the start of the line; which meant that we did a LOT.

First, the Twister ride. Then The Mummy returns coaster. On that one the staff loading the cars referred to us as “sacrifices,” which set the mood nicely. Next stop, DISASTER! Which I found hilarious. It’s about disaster movies, and we had a rather funny director.

“I need a hot hunky man- not personally, of course! Yes, you sir! Would you refer to yourself as hot and hunky?”

Then while walking away from that ride, we spotted a wall climbing booth. I took pictures. I offer in my defence the fact that there were only four lines. Then, Jaws, lunch, Fear FactorLIVE, and MIB in quick secession. At this point we were starting to flag slightly, but we decided to try the Simpsons ride. It was rather interesting, since it was an animated ride. The car was on hydraulics, and surrounded by an Imax-style screen. As a result, the car could hurl down a collapsing roller coaster, for instance, without universal actually having to build a collapsing roller coaster track.

It’s two o-clock in the afternoon, you’re tired, and you’ve done everything in the park that you want to do. What now? If you’re the G5, you head next door to another park! Did I mention that we’re insane?

On to the HULK Roller Coaster! Refreshed by that, we tried a promising-looking ride, which turned out to be relaxing, which was not what it promised. 😛 At this point we passed a bookstore, or at least a store with books in the window. I was magnetically attracted inside. It turned out to be a comic book store, and I was the only female in the premises. To the point that the guy in Horn-rimmed glasses and pens in the breast pocket of his shirt edged away when I approached the hardcover rack he was drooling over. What can I say? Me in a bookstore is a fearsome sight! But Fraulein dragged me away, bah humbug, and we set off to ride two water rides.

After a brief stop for fries and pop we tramped over to THE LOST CONTINENT and rode Dueling Dragons. Both Dragons. I think I’m roller-coastered out. That was the last ride we wanted to do, so we headed for the hotel. And on my way out of the Park I was hit with a lovely plot bunny. *sigh* This is now the third full-scale novel sitting in the back of my head laughing at me. And what sparked this one? Radio head, the Mary Sue Litmus test, a boy with animplaned hearing aid (I’m not sure what they’re called,) and Heather Dale. I love being complicated. 😀

And now, some quotes of the day;

A greeter: “Move on in, move on it, everyone’s FRIENDLY at the Hulk!”

Fraulein, in Jurassic; “Oh, I just noticed; we’re in the front of the car.” *weakly* “yay.”

Jurassic rider 1: “I wasn’t scared.”
Jurassic rider 2: “You just yelled all your relative’s names.”

A comedian on the telly; “Mario, if you’re a plumber, how come you’re bashing open bricks with your head?”
“I’m-a looking for mushrooms!”