Friday, June 29, 2007

No 'foundations' for me!

I went for my placement test today, after cramming all the math I could into my head over the past two days. Know what? It worked. I don't know what mark I got on it, but when I went in to talk to the placement person after the test was done, she took a look at my math mark, and said "Wow." And she didn't mean it in a"Wow. I can't believe a human being could be that stupid and still have the required brain stem function to allow them to breathe by themselves" kind of way. Me math good.

I don't have to take the english course (I'm guessing my kick ass essay on the pros and cons of cell phones blew them away) and I can go straight into the regular math class. Yippee!

Now if I could only do something about my anxiety issues, and get the phone number of the hottie who worked the desk, I'd be all set...

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

A great loss

I don't know if any of you are acting buffs, but I am, and when I read the paper this morning, it was like a punch to the gut. William Hutt, one of Canada's finest actors, died today.

His body of work is extensive, but my personal favourites are Long Day's Journey Into Night, and his turn in Slings and Arrows. Last year, when he performed his last role on the stage at Stratford, Prospero, in The Tempest, my mother and I got tickets, hoping to catch him one last time. When he had to pull out of the performance, I wanted to return my tickets. I'm not a huge fan of The Tempest (I'm more a Richard III kind of girl) and was only going to see his brilliance in person. We went, and his understudy was just as poor as I'd feared. Then again, who could match up to William Hutt? No one. The acting world, and all those who enjoy it, are poorer for his passing.

Medical mumblings

Here's a medical tip for today: If you have blisters, and want to put polysporin on them to help the healing, make sure you grab the tube of poly, and not the tube of goldbond, for as the directions tell you, putting goldbond on a blister is not a good idea. It will burn and make the blister look worse, so that everyone who sees the blister, even days later, will think you've just cut open your foot and will recoil in horror.

Sometimes I think I bumble around so much just so that you can learn from my mistakes.

You're welcome.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

More school-related angst

Quick: What's the difference between an assessment test and a placement test?

Other than when in the registration process one takes it, and how much they cost - nothing. At least as far as I can tell. When I applied to go back to school earlier this year, I spoke with the head of the Business school, and she told me I would get a notice telling me to go for math and english tests, and I could ignore it. It did, and I did. Now, months later, I get my registration info pack, and inside, along with a complicated multi-step registration/course selection process, there is a note that says I need to book a test for math and english. Initially, I ignore this, as I have confirmation that I don't need to take any tests. But then, I get a nagging feeling, and read everything over again, and scour the internets, and my anxiety pays off. I really do need to take this test, as this is a placement test, not the assessment test I was exempted from. This one is shorter than the assessment tests, and won't cost money, but I have to do it before signing up for classes, which means I have to do it this week.

Forget for a minute how stupid I am to not have triple checked this earlier. There will be time enough for all the 'Mabel is a freaking moron' talk later. Now I have to brush up more quickly than desired on my math skills. I'm pretty confident about the english - though reading over the requirements I did see that they will be testing to see if sentence fragments and run-on sentences can be avoided. I know, I know, reading this you'd think they're all I use! - but the math is causing some panic.

I never did all that well in math in high school. Oh, I could do the homework fine, but in test situations, I always messed up. This is part of the reason my career in the financial industry was so amusing to my parents. But I figured that I could probably scrape through. I was going over the practice tests, and it seems that I'm a giant moron. I got 71% on one of them.

My good friend Roxxy tried to make me feel better, saying that everyone panics around math, and that if I got placed in the "foundations" class, I'd just look even smarter than usual. That's why I love her. While I know having to take a "foundations" math class first term wouldn't be the worst thing in the world, it does make me ill. I'm supposed to be smart. I always did well, usually without trying. And I guess I kinda figured that math wasn't important to me in high school, so that was why I didn't excel. And now, it looks like I'm having to face the fact that math is never going to be my strength. That is bad enough, but the mere thought of having to take esentially a remedial class makes me want to vomit. I'm not necessarily good at facing adversity when I didn't expect to. I can deal with challenges if I expect it to be a challenge, but if I think I can handle something and then it turns out I can't, I'm not really good at dealing with that. And I think of myself as a good student.

Oh well, I guess this will be another opportunity to better myself. At this rate, I'll be evolving into a beam of light any day now.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Anyone else's head feel like it is gripped in a vice and you've downed a giant bottle of zambuca?

No? Just me then? Fine.

Did I mention how much I love humidity and the pain-bringing air pressure that comes with it? With all the time we'll be spending together over the next week, we may as well get married. And according to the opponents of gay marriage, now that gays can get married, anyone can marry whatever they want, be it a snake, a dog, or a child. I haven't confirmed it, but I think humidity/air-pressure could work. So until I hear different, we're getting hitched. If anyone is interested, the couple is registered at Home Depot and Ikea.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Just call me Limpy McGee

You'd think that at my age I would have learned to not wear new shoes for the first time when walking around the neighbourhood running errands. You would, but you'd be wrong. I went out earlier this week, and thought my new shoes would go perfectly with my outfit. And they did. But when I got home, I saw that my decision was a poor one. I had no less than three blisters. Per foot. Two of which are large enough to have their own postal codes. I'm in immense pain and it is all my fault. Wah!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Do Not Disturb

I'm a very private person. Oh sure, I babble in this blog and whomever wants to can read it, but it is stuff I choose to share, so I don't mind. But I hate it when people are in my space when I haven't invited them.

So imagine how happy I was when I got notices dropped in my mailslot on Friday morning, announcing that I was going to have two separate visitors to my apartment. They needed to inspect the place to see what renos need to be done after I leave (the person who lives here next gets an all new bathroom. Lucky sob!) and then they wanted to show my apartment to potential renters. No, I didn't just sigh and accept it. Do you even know me at all? That's right. I freaked out. I hate the thought of people being able to rummage through my life. That's actually the part of my death that upsets me most. I don't like the thought of people being able to go through and see stuff that was private and I didn't want anyone to see. But I'll get therapy to deal with that, and hopefully I have some time to do that, freak accident notwithstanding.

More importantly, more pressingly, I have to deal with the notion that until I move out, this place isn't really my own. I mean, they booked a viewing of the apartment for 10am. On a Saturday. And didn't even ask me. The person who came to see it was from out of town, so even when I called to try and see if the viewing could be delayed, I was out of luck. That's right, some person who may rent my apartment has more of a right to be in my place whenever than I do.

I can't wait till I move.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

I'm in love!

His name is Splish Splash. He's a flavour of the month at Baskin Robbins, described as a "Blue Raspberry sherbet swirled with Blueberry ice" and he dances across my tongue. We were meant to be together forever.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

I can go out in public again

After spending the last four days putting warm compresses on my eye to get rid of the sty, I am happy to report that I finally look human again. It is still visible, but only if you know what you are looking for, and even then, it isn't so gross that you will be forced to look away. I can now venture out into the world without having to wear my sunglasses at all times. Yippee!!

Friday, June 8, 2007

I think I liked it better when I wasn't sleeping

Stress manifests itself in different ways. For months before I found myself jobless, when I knew what could possibly be ahead, I couldn't sleep. Even after I found out my fate, I still couldn't sleep. Eventually I came to terms with not being able to sleep and then randomly sleeping for 12 hours straight at inopportune times. But finally I started sleeping again, and I thought that was wonderful. Until now.

My body was dealing with my stress by not sleeping. I guess it decided it didn't work, so it found another way. For the past couple of days, my left eye has been bugging me. And today, I wake up to find that I have a sty. It itches, and I look diseased. And I get to spend time putting warm compresses on it. 6 times a day.


What self respecting floor installation company returns calls at 7:50 am? Lady, just because you get to work at 7am, doesn't mean the rest of us are up and raring to go at that hour. Yeesh.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Are you a loan shark? Do you understand how high finance works?

I'm walking along the street in my neighbourhood, and I see this man kind of edging towards me, like he wants to talk to me. Like any good Torontonian, I ignore him. But he keeps trying, so then I wonder if I'm being callous and he just wants directions, and I turn towards him. He doesn't want directions. He launches into a spiel that starts with him being a diabetic, and ends with a request for me to give him money in exchange for his ticket for the subway to help him get insulin.

My knowledge of high finance is extensive. It tells me that you break someone's legs in advance to ensure that they pay back the money you've lent them. But while I may not be up on the exact cost of insulin injections, I'm thinking it is a tad higher than 2.75$ Canadian, no matter how high the dollar is right now. So unless he had a ginormous wad of tickets to sell, I think he won't be able to afford his insulin shot.

Oh my, do you think he was just trolling for cash, and lied about the insulin?

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Fashion Tip #18

Women who are crowding 50 should not, under any circumstances, wear their hair in pigtails in public. Especially not when combined with bangs that are curled and spritzed to within an inch of their lives.

Monday, June 4, 2007

EA meeting

My name is Mabel, and I'm an exclamation point-aholic. It has been minutes since I last used one. I know that I use them way too much, way beyond what is strictly necessary. I use them not only with friends, but when I'm alone too. Can someone here be my sponsor?

She so litigious!


Seriously, I don't know what else to say. I thought Rebecca Eckler couldn't go any lower. I was totally wrong. She is suing the makers of the movie Knocked Up (disclosure: I haven't seen it, and don't plan on it, just because I can't buy the premise that Kathrine Heigl hooks up with that total slob for a one night stand. No effing way.) So, while I loathe Eckler, I'm not crazy about the movie (Judd Apatow's previous work notwithstanding) and am not about to take the side of the movie developers just because.

But honestly? She's suing them because she feels they stole from her novel of the same name. Some of the reasons she lists, other than the title, are that in both her book and the movie, the woman who gets pregnant by accident feels out of place at a party with booze, that she seeks advice/support from a person close to her who has children, and that the fiance is Canadian and Jewish.

Well, not to trivialize Eckler's experience, but I'm gonna go out on a limb and state that pretty much every pregnant woman has gone to some sort of event and felt out of place because she couldn't drink like she could before. I think it is as much a part of pregnancy as morning sickness or back pain. And I know that if I was pregnant, especially if it wasn't planned,I wouldn't go to my childless friends for support and advice. Oh no, I'd be calling my friends with rugrats faster than you can say 'pre-natal classes'. So far, my theoretical pregnancy mirrors Eckler's too. Crap! I'd better duck in case of copyright infringement! As for the fiance being Canadian and Jewish (because that combination never occurs anywhere but in Eckler's book so it must be stolen from her) I can only say that Canada is kinda close to the US, and Apatow has worked with some lovely Canadians, so it is completely believable that he came up with this on his own.

There are other claims she makes, and while some I can't speak to, some just make me laugh. Like that the title is the same. Yes, because the slang 'knocked up' is never used to describe pregnancy in this day and age, especially when the pregnancy is from a one night stand. And while I don't have a degree in graphic art and design, I'm thinking that punching up the words by putting them in different colours is on page one of the design school handbook. The fact that a pacifier and a martini glass were used in both? Quick, think of two items that are each easily recognizable to everyone, no matter the language spoken, the age, or culture of the audience, as a signifier (yeah, I'm getting all semiotical on ya) for the different stages of life being represented in the work, one for pregnancy/having a baby, and the other for the free and easy single life. I'm guessing most of you came up with the pacifier for baby, and if you didn't come up with the martini glass, you picked something to symbolize booze. Coming up with those two ain't rocket surgery. Or uncommon.

Now I should note here that I'm not saying Eckler plagiarized them, or that she shouldn't be pissed. In fact, I can empathize with her. There is nothing fun about working your butt off on something, only to find out that someone else had the same idea and is getting more play. My fourth year project was a brilliant study of Canadian culture and the intrisic link to the donut shop. People thought we were crazy, and there hadn't been anything (that we could find) done on the subject before. But then, around the same time we were finishing up, some grad students did something so similar you'd almost swear they cribbed off of our research, and they got lots of press about it. I was annoyed, and hated explaining that 'no, we came up with the idea on our own and did the work ourselves and didn't copy them thanks very much' to everyone. But I never thought of suing. I just figured it was such a good idea that other people had it too. It sucks, but you move on.

Besides, I think that creative works are all plagiarized in one way or another. Are there really any new stories to tell? Probably not. Most stories have been told, one way or another. So when you tell yours, it isn't so much about the newness of the tale, but about the execution. Make yours interesting and well told, and you've done wonderfully and people will love it, no matter how many times they've heard the "kid from the wrong side of the tracks makes good and wins the girl" narrative. Make it trite and so transparent that one only has to read the first page to know exactly what will happen, pretty much page by page, and you've done terribly and will make people throw your book across the room in frustration. Emily Giffin, I'm looking in your direction here.

Oh, and finally, if two people can independently invent the telephone, why is it so hard to believe that two people could almost simultaneously develop a humourous look at being pregnant?

Just chill, Rebecca.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

It's official!

I own property.

Oh sure, there are some formalities to take care of, but as of the middle of next month, I will be the proud owner of my own home. I'm giddy with anticipation, a bit terrified of the change, and overwhelmed by all the little things I'll have to take care of before the move. Changing my address. Cancelling services. Packing up all my stuff. My brain hurts just thinking about them. So I'm not going to. For now, I'm just going to think about the good parts, and do the happy dance.

Friday, June 1, 2007

For future reference

Blogging after less than 3 hours of sleep and a stressful day is not a good idea.

I may have been a little hasty, and well, overly pessimistic yesterday. But almost no sleep and then a rousing round of "Why you are a failure as a daughter" will do that to a body.

Things are looking up today. Or at least, I'm able to see that it isn't as gloomy as I said it was yesterday.

I've found a place I love. An offer has been made. I gave my notice to my current abode.

By noon tomorrow, we'll know if I've got a new home.