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Dec. 28th, 2005 @ 06:27 pm Cheesy Seasonal Thoughts...
Since I have nothing particularly interesting to report, other than my sister's getting MARRIED on JANUARY 7!!! and that Adrian and I are LOOKING AT APARTMENTS!!!!, here's some mushy yet true thoughts. Imagine that I'm reading them to you wearing a smoking jacket and drinking cognac in a wingback chair in front of a roaring fire...

"A professor stood before his philosophy class and placed some items on the table in front of him. He picked up a large jar and filled it with golf balls. He asked his class if the jar was full and they agreed it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. The pebbles rolled into the spaces between the golf balls. The professor asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar, filling the spaces between the pebbles. Once again, he asked his class if the jar was full and once again they said yes.

The professor then produced two cups of tea and poured them into the jar, filling the spaces between the grains of sand. The students laughed.

"Now," said the professor. "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things--your family, your children, your health, your friends and your passions--things that, if everything else was lost and only they remained, would make your life full. The pebbles are the other things that matter, like your job, your house, and your car. The sand is everything else--the small stuff. If you put the sand into the jar first, there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life; if you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the important things. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness: play with your children, take care of your health, take your partner to dinner. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.

One of the students raised her hand and asked what the tea represented. The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show that, no matter how full your life may seem, there is always room for a couple of cups of tea with a friend."
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Nov. 19th, 2005 @ 02:18 pm You must all bow to me!!!
Well, actually many of you actually have the same degree, or higher, than I do, but you still have to call me "Master." I've decided that this is only fair, since I am now Caroline Winter, BA, MA.

Notes about Conovocation: there was a guy who popped open a bottle of champagne as he was hooded, and a dude who was hooded in a Darth Vader mask. Both were MSc students... apparently MAs are comparatively boring and unimaginative. Meh.

I am beginning to hate my job. There's only so much busywork, neglect, and complete disorganization that a person can take. Especially when that person didn't get the cubicle with a window because some dude showed up who used to work there and swooped in. Oh well, at least he's cute.
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Oct. 23rd, 2005 @ 09:53 am (no subject)
Last night Adrian and I saw Serenity, FINALLY! It was really good, but I wish that I'd seen the series before. I got the feeling that it would have meant much more if I had. Even so, Joss rocked once again. I love Joss.

The job is going pretty well, I guess, except everyone is really disorganized and inefficient. It's pretty ironic, really, since we are the organizational effectiveness branch...
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Oct. 14th, 2005 @ 07:01 pm (no subject)
I realized today, after opening my 30-odd unread emails, that I have been neglecting my lovely eMac and all of her joys, like you, my livejournal friends! In case I seem really weird, I should tell y'all that I feel like crap and I'm really tired. I'm SO GLAD that it's the weekend.

I can't express how much I want to move on with my life. The whole MA thing left a really bad taste in my mouth--worse even than the sicky taste that I have right now. I just want to move out, preferably into a fabulous apartment in the annex, then buy a house and have babies. How scary is that? Hmmm????

Of course, it doesn't help that I'm watching season 3 of Angel, in which he and Darla have a baby (well, she dies...) and stuff. Dude--Angel + Baby = HOT.

Anyhoo, I don't have much to report. I've spent the better part of the last week in a grey cubicle staring at a computer screen and trying to learn various software applications.

Oh, I got an email from my cin/mod prof today asking for feedback about our class, since it was apparently the worst-rated grad course this year or something. heheheheh.
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Oct. 8th, 2005 @ 09:37 am Wedding!
We're going to a wedding today! Actually, we're kind of crashing it. Eleanor asked me to go as her date, since her boyfriend can't come into Canada, and then we needed a ride up to Alliston (where the wedding is), so we got Lynn to take Adrian as her date. I feel kinda bad about the whole thing, but it DOES make sense... it reminds me of that Friends episode where Monica went as Ross' date to that wedding and the groom turned out to be her ex or something... I forget how it ended.

When I called Adrian to ask if he thought getting the tortilla warmer from their registry was a good idea, he said, "dude, we're crashing their wedding--a tortilla warmer is the PERFECT gift!!!"

I thought that was pretty funny.

Anyhoo, off I go to kill my feet as they were just healed from the massacre at the bachelorette. Oh well, at least this time I'll be walking on carpet only!!!

Also, I bought a new dress. I look hot in it, and it was really cheap at Sears! I was going to buy one at Laura that was WAY too expensive, and not on sale as the overly pushy salesgirl had told me, but a little voice in my head yelled "DON"T DO IT!" just as the cashier told me it was final sale. I should really listen to that little voice more often. She's generally right.
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Oct. 1st, 2005 @ 11:16 am Whew....
Yesterday marked the end of my first week at my first real job--that is, a job not involving customers or cash registers. I think I'll like it, since what I'll be doing is basically writing communiques, researching stuff, and learning fun new software! It's cool because I have my own cubicle, nobody bothers me, I'm free to spend my morning teaching myself html (as I did on Wednesday), I can take breaks whenever I want, and they're pretty liberal with their office supplies.

One thing that I can't get over is how much easier this job is, at least physically and emotionally, than retail, and yet how much more it pays. At W-S, I would spend 8 hours a day sweating, running around, lifting heavy boxes, and pretending not to hate customers. At the gov't, I'm just sitting in a cube, writing and reading stuff.

I'm actually pretty psyched about the possibility of getting a job in publishing once my contract is up, since I'll not only have experience in an office and with document management and stuff, but I'll also have finished a bunch of courses. I really like the courses, especially copy editing, although they tend to make me realize how little I know about stuff like grammar and the "real world."

My parents have gone away for the weekend, so I'm taking this opportunity to throw stuff out. My dad's Scottishness has rubbed off on my mom, so that neither wants to throw anything away, including moth-infested pasta and old, useless and broken furniture. This morning I cleaned out one cupboard. I'll do the rest this afternoon. I find it so satisfying to get rid of stuff.... I should be on one of those shows on TLC...
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Sep. 23rd, 2005 @ 09:53 am YAY!
So, yesterday I signed a five-month contract as a Research Assistant with the government of Ontario! I now work for The Man. Oh well, at least he pays well. I'm really excited about this, but it has begun to hit home that, starting Monday, I will have NO TIME until after Christmas. Apologies in advance for neglecting y'all. Adrian and I are going shopping tomorrow to buy me office-appropriate clothes. With luck, my faithful watching of What Not To Wear will serve me well.

BTW, if anybody wants to nominate me for WNTW, I won't be offended, I promise. I would LOVE to be on that show--Nick is a God of hair. I'm actually getting my hair cut today, funnily enough. That always makes me nervous. Nobody cuts my hair quite like Rodrigo did at first, but he kind of lost his touch. Now I just go to the chick who did my wedding hair because she's nice and does a good job, but I don't know.... I had one perfect haircut in my life and I can never recreate it....

Here's a question: when you women (and men, I guess...) wear high heels, do they hurt your feet and you just grin and bear it, or are they reasonably comfortable? Even the smallest heel tends to really hurt my feet and I can't figure out if it's because they're Payless shoes, or if it's just heels in general....
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Sep. 21st, 2005 @ 12:11 pm Firthathon!
Since Adrian is working nights this week, I've stayed up the last two nights watching the BBC miniseries of Pride & Prejudice (again). Wow. Colin Firth as Mr Darcy is perfection itself. I just checked out the website for the new version of the story that is coming out this fall, and although Keira Knightley seems very good, their Darcy seems kind of crappy, especially in comparison. I have decided that the BBC should, therefore, have used Keira for Elizabeth, since I'm not a huge fan of Elizabeth Ehle, and then it would be perfect. Also, if I ruled the universe I would decree that Colin Firth should play Mr Darcy in any production of the novel hereafter. 

Compare: Matthew MacFayden 


and Colin Firth


I think you'll agree.
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Sep. 20th, 2005 @ 09:52 am Uh, thanks.....
I had a call this morning from a job that I'd applied for about a month ago (what's up with that???). The guy was like, "I see you have an MA and an Hon. BA. Why do you want to work in an office?" I tried to explain that I'm looking for office experience and career goals etc. Then, he asked me what kind of pay I was looking for, and when I told him $15-20 an hour, he said "Well, I'm sure you're worth that, but that's not what this position pays. Thank you, bye."

That's nice and all, but I could really use a job. This is why an MA is annoying.

On that note, after struggling to articulate what exactly what I want to study for my PhD and why, I've decided to postpone doing it. The idea of earning money (mon...ey?) and buying a house, or at least having my own apartment, is very attractive. Plus, unless I want to be an actual professor, I'm just as qualified for most jobs now as I would be with a PhD--perhaps more so, as my conversation this morning proved. I don't want to educate myself out of the market. It's actually pretty depressing how little academic jobs pay, at least initially, considering the investment that is put into them. Not only would I not make much money for many years, but I would not even be reasonably sure of getting a job.

Also, I'm really enjoying my publishing courses. I think I'd be a great copyeditor and possibly a great publishing person all-round. In a way, it's the best of both worlds--being around books and intelligent people, but also not qualified primarily for one kind of job.

Thoughts? Advice?
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Sep. 16th, 2005 @ 05:35 pm Revelations!
Yesterday I was feeling pretty despondent about the whole PhD situation, since I'm trying to write my SSHRC thing and get it straight in my head exactly what I want to work on. Then, coming home from class, I realized that a much better angle for my topic would be to discuss the relationships between literature and cinema around WWI--that way, I can talk about adaptation as well as the cinematic aspects of modernist literature and, of course, Woolf's essay "the Cinema" that launched all of these ideas. I think that this way, my whole modernism/fantasy idea will flow much better, and I won't be pegging myself into any particular genre of literature. I can even talk about poetry if I want...

Also, today Adrian and I found this supercool bag for me--it's black leather with pink edging. Very cool yet sophisticated yet funky, AND it holds my binder and textbook with room to spare. Sweet!
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Sep. 14th, 2005 @ 01:22 pm (no subject)
"For whatsoever from one place doth fall
Is with the tide unto another brought

For there is nothing lost
That may be found if sought."

Nice quotation from the Faerie Queen (Canto II, I think) as used in the movie Sense and Sensibility. Great movie, and fantastic use of literary reference.

I saw on the news that Colin Firth was at Roy Thompson Hall last night, which I passed on the streetcar TWICE! Damn it!
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Sep. 13th, 2005 @ 09:17 am (no subject)
There's a big spider on the ceiling in the kitchen, and it is skeeving me out. It's got really pointy, jaggedy legs and looks pretty mean. Also, we have no eggs, so I can't really make breakfast anyway. Did I mention that I was trying the carb addict's diet? It's actually going well, except now I can't eat breakfast until I get my ass in gear and go out to buy stuff. Maybe I'll just buy breakfast. =)

I had my first publishing course last night. It was great! It was about Production, which is basically...er...producing the book and coordinating with all the other departments. It was tres cool. I also heard about a job that I will most likely get because my sister is recommending me (yay nepotism!) which is great except working full-time and taking three courses will be a lot. However, if I don't want to pay interest on my OSAP, I'm gonna have to do it. The prospect of making good money doing something that I like is making me feel warm and fuzzy inside...As is the idea of having my own apartment.

I hate zippers. I've never really liked them. Never had much skill in using them. I remember one day in grade 6 when I couldn't do up my winter jacket and so my motherly friend had to do it for me (My grade 8 teacher also helped me lace up my skates once, but that's another story...). Anyway, the other day the zipper on my wallet's change pocket broke. Crap. I really like that wallet, but I can't figure out how to fix it...the zippy part came out of the pully part, but there's no little plastic bit to guide it back in with. Ironically, I cannot afford to buy a new wallet and, even more ironic, I no longer have a pocket in which to keep the paltry change that I do have. Alanis would be proud.

Speaking of Alanis, I just downloaded "Uninvited." Good song.
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Sep. 11th, 2005 @ 10:58 am Serious throughts for a Sunday Morning...
I, like many of us, have been thinking a lot about Hurricane Katrina and what it must be like for those people who have lost everything and, in some cases, everybody that is dear to them. The most frustrating thing, watching the news, is the lack of help that these people are being given. Someone pointed out that, in Florida, nobody was sitting on their roof for a week, and gee, I wonder why that is? Who's the governor of Florida again? Also, would the situation be different if the majority of victims were white and not black?

I read an article (in the Post, I think...) about a fundraising campaign to save the pets of the evacuees, which, if I remember correctly, had raised more money than the Clinton-Bush campaign. The discrepancy between the humanity of those who would not abandon their dogs and cats even if it meant they could die and the absolute lack of human response from the government is tragic. I get the feeling, in this situation and many others, that politics is only about spin, and there's very little human feeling or decency behind the cameras.

On top of this sadness, I feel pretty helpless, and I'm sure a lot of us do. I have $12 in the bank--I can't donate money. Other than thinking sympathetic thoughts, what can I do? My friend Diane actually had a great idea, which was that Habitat for Humanity would most likely need many, many volunteers to help rebuild these cities. That's an organization that I've been wanting to connect with for a while, and this seems like the perfect opportunity.

I just looked at the date and felt the significance of it.
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Sep. 9th, 2005 @ 07:45 pm Bad day / Good day
Well, it all started off well enough, then got crappy when I started to panic about not having a job and not likely to any time soon. Then, it got progressively better. I went to the gym and had a good workout, picked up my shoes, which are REALLY sexy now that they're in black (rrrrRRRrrrr) and, when I got home, found out that this Buffy crew cap that I didn't win on eBay was available, and I bought it!

Rationally, that purchase should make me feel worse about not having a job, but then my sister called and said that she might be able to get me a job at her ministry of the gov't, as we'd discussed before. That cheered me up.

Also, I found a posting for a sales position at McGraw-Hill, which would be FANTASTIC, except that the office is in Whitby. Does anyone know anything about Whitby? I think it might be commutable, but I'm not sure how realistic that would be, especially if I'm taking courses at Ryerson.

Also, is "environmentality" a word? If it is, it's weird.

Also, there's a whole article about Viggo in Now! I haven't read it yet, but I feel inspired to watch LotR. And why not? I have no essays to write!!!
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Sep. 9th, 2005 @ 10:05 am Sweet, sweet freedom...
Buffy (about to save the world..again...): So, what do you guys want to do tomorrow?
Willow: Nothing strenuous...

Granted, I did not save the world yesterday, but I did finish my last MA essay, and, as of today, I am no longer an MA student! YAY! It feels really nice to know that I don't have any essays hanging over my head, or reading that I should be doing but am not, or even any library books that haven't been returned! I woke up this morning with a clean slate and a smile on my face.

So, I think I'll spend the day putzing around, possibly watching some movies, going to the passport office to (finally) change it from Baird to Winter, pick up my shoes that I brought in to be dyed black (finally) after they've sat around for two years and change, and looking for a snazzy new bag in which, as I so elegantly put it last night, "carry all my crap."
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Sep. 7th, 2005 @ 09:24 am Back in the saddle again...
As soon as I get back from vacation, I feel as though I never left. Back to the same stupid and frustrating essay, the same piles of crap all over the place that I need to clean up, the same penniless state of unemployment. Sigh.

I finally called the Princeton Review dude after, like, 3 weeks of waiting to hear from him and he said that they decided not to hire anyone after all. How hard would it be to send me an email or call me and let me know? The worst part about job hunting is waiting for calls that aren't going to come. Mind you, it's the same in dating and relationships in general. I think we need to update the whole calling/not calling etiquette. There should be a stock phrase that communicates that, "although you're a nice person, I'm just not planning on calling you, for whatever reason." That would be cool.

I've started the carbohydrate addicts eating plan (it's not a diet, it's a lifestyle!!!), so please, nobody offer me fries or cookies. I'm trying to be good. The whole grad student lifestyle is not condusive to healthy habits. Rather, I spend all day sitting or going to the kitchen for snacks. Bad....very bad....

Oh well, back to the ol' grindstone.
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Sep. 5th, 2005 @ 07:43 pm Frankie Says Relax....
Adrian and I just got back from a trip to a friend's cottage. Man, we've gotta get us one of those. Lazing around, eating chips and drinking beer, and generally enjoying the clean air and beautiful scenery is totally worth the 3+ hour drive to get there.

However, there is something to be said for hot showers, refrigerated food, and flushing toilets. I really am a city girl at heart.
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Aug. 31st, 2005 @ 02:58 pm Californication
This morning I found a posting for a part-time job teaching English at this alternative high school-type thing called the freemont academy... anyone heard of it? Anyway, the pay is fabulous and it would be great experience. I REALLY hope I get this job. I have an interview at a publishing-related job tomorrow, which is also good, yet not so lucrative. If I could do both, I would rock my own world.

I spent most of the day yesterday waiting in various lines at Ryerson to register in courses and to ask questions about the con ed program that nobody had any answers to. See, I'm taking 3 courses so that I maintain interest-free status in the all-seeing eyes of OSAP, but I can't figure out if that basically means that I'm a full time student, and thus can apply for work-study jobs etc, or what. No one knows. Also, I was all excited that this year I'd be applying to SSHRC as an independent, since I'm not really in school, but I'm not sure if being registered in con ed at a university means that I have to apply through them.... anyhow, a whole lot of beurocratic nonsense.

Well, I should get back to the grindstone... this stupid essay is inexplicably long, seeing as how I'm not even sure what I'm saying. Sigh.
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Aug. 29th, 2005 @ 03:34 pm (no subject)
I decided to eat the chupa chups. Yum!

Also, I just bought a pair of wicked boots for 17 bucks at Payless! Score!
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Aug. 29th, 2005 @ 11:53 am Best... convention...ever...
That title actually works best when you read it with the comic book store guy's voice.

So, the convention was yesterday, and man, it rocked. First, Alex and I wandered around the retail area and I picked up a tin full of Buffy Chupa Chups (still can't decide to eat or preserve for posterity) and two Buffy chocolate bars. I guess it's kind of weird that all I bought was candy, but most of the stuff was either trading cards, which I don't get at all, or action figures, which I'm likewise not a huge fan of. I prefer quirky, strange merchandising. Anyhoo, I ended up waiting about an hour in line to get into the theatre to see James Marsters, which wasn't so bad, I guess, since everyone was pretty excited and chatty, and then they herded us all into the room.

I'm actually really proud of myself because, as some of you know, I'm kind of shy, but I was brave and raised my hand to ask a question (I was going to ask him about his thoughts on the whole academic Buffy-studies thing), but he didn't pick me. =( He LOOKED at me, though! It was really neat--this one girl asked him if he could play a chord or two on her guitar and he did! She looked like she was going to pass out or something, and his manager was nice enough to snap a photo of her with James playing on her guitar. He was nice.

After the Q&A, we were once again herded like so many cattle into the autograph line, which lasted for about an hour and a half!! On the plus side, James was really cool and took a moment to talk to each person, rather than just barrelling through the autographs. I asked him to sign my CD, and he was like, "thanks for buying my music" and I was all stunned because he was talking to me, but I think I sputtered something brilliant like "I like it." Then I really screwed up my courage and told him that I was thinking of writing my PhD thesis on Buffy and would he let me give him an essay that I wrote about the show. Then, here's the cool part, he looked me right in the eye and said "good for you!" Then I proceeded to babble, as I am wont to do, about how he probably wouldn't have time to read it but I'd love it if he could etc.. and he was like, "no, no, that's great!" Then he shook my hand (again!!!) and I left!

I'm just impressed because he was really nice and gracious, even after shaking hands and hugging giggly girls and signing various silly merchandise for two hours. Granted, he is an actor, but I'm choosing to believe that he actually is a really nice guy. It's weird seeing him as Spike, though, since now I've heard him speak with his natural American accent in person....

So, that's my story. Now I have to face the fact that my excited summer treat is over and now I have to focus once again on the crappy world of job hunting and school. That is, of course, unless James is really impressed by my essay and tells Joss and he calls me and asks me to come away with him....

Hey, it could happen!!

Here are the pics: they didn't turn out that well, since I was pretty far away (stupid VIPs!), but you get the idea...

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