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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Night and Day...

What a week!!! Glad to be starting a new one, especially one with such amazing weather!

Last week was long and gross. It rained almost non-stop and made having vertigo even worse. But I'm all better now; feeling great! But it took a couple of days to bounce back, especially considering what happened on Friday...

After 5 years of post-secondary education, I've seen it all in terms of exams. They no longer scare me. But nothing prepared me for a complete loss of control over my exam environment. Normally, my psyc class is in a large lecture theatre. We have about 90 people in the class, so when we were moved next door into a room 1/3 the size (we got bumped for ESL testing), let's just say that it was a little cramped. At first I didn't have anyone on either side of me but a guy came in 5 minutes after the exam started and sat on my left. It was really warm in the room (opposite what it normally is) and I felt like everyone was squished in around me. So when this guy sits down beside me, I start to feel really claustrophobic. And then he starts coughing... very loudly. And then I can hear people moving things really loudly out in the hall across the tiled floors in Langara's halls.

And then the guy keeps coughing! By this point, I'm getting really agitated and have looked at 6 questions but only answered 2. I can feel myself getting panicky and am trying to tell myself to relax and breathe and just focus on the test. But how can I when Mr. Coughs A Lot won't shut up? I'm almost ready to offer him my water at this point glance. But I keep getting more agitated. Before I know it, I'm in a full blown, massive panic attack. My heart is racing, I can barely catch my breath and I'm almost in tears. I look up in front of me and Ross (my instructor) catches my eye and asks if I'm all right. I shake my head and tell him I can't concentrate. The guy next to me muttered 'sorry'. Ross came over and knelt beside me and told me that it was okay to take a break and that if I needed to reschedule that would be fine.

So I grabbed my water bottle and hurried out of the class, just managing to hold back the tears until I got into the hall. Then I lost it. I ended up going to Disability Services to see Patsy. I have to say that I love Patsy. She is so lovely to talk to and very helpful, so it's no wonder that I sought her out. She was with a student briefly, so I paced outside her door. When it was my turn, I walked into her office. She took one look at me and went for the Kleenex box. But I was starting to calm down by this point (all that pacing), so I just sat in the chair at her desk and told her what happened. She suggested not going back and torturing myself when it probably wouldn't do me any good. So we rescheduled for 9am this morning.

I went in this morning a little early and wrote the exam in half an hour! It wasn't nearly as hard as people had complained about. I can't believe I let them psych me out (no pun intended)! I think I aced it, but I guess we'll see on Friday when we get our results.

Suffice to say, Friday was intense for me. But I walked home, had dinner (Ryan cooked) and then we went to see Reign Over Me. OMG! What a fantastic movie! But really intense, so I was a bit of a wreck by the time we got home. And Adam Sandler... can anyone say Oscar?

As for the rest of my weekend, I finally got to buy something that I have been waiting a long time for... a lovely, beautiful Pentax digital SLR camera... but I'll tell you more about that later, since I have drawing homework to do for tomorrow...

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

I feel like crap

God, my head is spinning. Or rather, I'm staying still and the world is spinning around me. I'm on day six of experiencing the interesting phenomenon that is vertigo. It's kinda like being drunk on wine, only constantly and without the pleasure of actually drinking the wine. Saw my doctor yesterday to make sure it wasn't anything serious but he didn't seem concerned. It's probably just a virus and it should go away soon. It's already better than a couple of days ago.

My cultural theory class didn't help but it was, as usual, fascinating. We were talking about gender performativity (the idea that gender is nothing more than a performance) and all the chaotic opinions surrounding the idea. In some circles, that topic would be a conversation killer, but I'm glad I have the opportunity to discuss and think critically about some of the more taboo topics in society. I feel like I'm becoming a better human being because of it.

So, you're probably wondering how my dinner and my metaphor turned out. This is what I got:

I think perhaps a pastry metaphor should say something like, "Life is like pastry... it's crumbly, messy, can have holes, often needs to be repaired, is seldom perfect, and never turns out like you expected, BUT when all is said and done, if it looks like pastry and tastes like pastry, then damn it, it must be pastry, plain and simple.

Does that make any sense?

If not, I'll translate... it was a pain in the ass to make and wasn't anything to enter into a competition, but when all is said and done, it was wonderful, kinda like life. Yum! I think the recipe is a keeper and I just need some more practice (or if I'm not so adventurous at times, I'll buy frozen crusts).

Oh! and by the way... welcome to the first day of spring. It's drizzling rain at a 5 degrees Celcius that feels like -2. It seems more likely to snow than anything (although it won't) but what else is new around here? Confusing weather is Vancouver's recent claim to fame, right along with idiots who steal the Olympic flag right off of the gigantic flagpole at City Hall.

Pastry = Life

So I decided to embark on a new endeavor in the world of cooking. A place I had yet to go: pastry. It's amazing how something so very basic (it has very few ingredients), can be so very difficult. I've been trying for days now to make a homemade chicken pot pie, but for one reason or another, it got postponed. I found an easy recipe off of the recipe website I frequent, made sure I had all the ingredients, pre-cooked the chicken etc. This afternoon I followed the directions on the Crisco package to make the dough and things went well. Threw the dough (still in the bowl, but divided in two) into the fridge, and went off to see my doctor (I'll tell you about that later).

I got home, floured the counter and began to roll out the dough. I noticed that it was rather sticky and this didn't seem right to me, so I sprinkled some flour on it and kneaded it in quickly. Since it is pastry and not bread dough, I sort of remembered something about not handling it too much, so I tried to be quick. I rolled it out and went to go lay it over my casserole dish (I don't own a pie plate at this time), and discovered that not only was it not big enough, but that it was starting to fall apart.

Huh. Damn.

I put it back on the counter, ball it up, and quickly reflour my rolling pin and try again. Try it again and it's still doing wired things. Okay, maybe third time's a charm? Go through it again...Bingo! This time it worked. It layed out nicely and i press it against the sides trying to get all the air that somehow accumulated underneath (what the hell?). Okay, done.

I throw it into the oven and wait about fifteen minutes. I pull it out and ... wtf...

The crust has ballooned at the bottom and it seems to have slid half way into the dish. (Sigh) I try to press it back into place and it sort of stays. I throw it into the oven for another five minutes so it is a little less soggy.

I add the filling (which looks a big bowl of gloop with chicken and veggies- the gloop would be the condensed soup) and toss the upper crust on top of the gloop, cut some slits into the top so air can get through and throw it back into the oven...

It seems to me that there should be some metaphor about life and pastry, so while my combobled chicken pot pie cooks, I'm going to think on that a little and I'll get back to you; along with the results of this very interesting cooking experiment...

Sunday, March 18, 2007

An extra long weekend...

So I pulled a Claire...
Well, I didn't know that she had stayed home sick earlier on the week until today. But I felt slightly ill on Thursday and then woke up Friday morning with a massive headache. I could barely move. So I called in sick.

It was so nice to sleep as long as I needed (I got up at 10am) and then just do as much or as little as I felt. I really don't think I could've sat through work anyway. But I did go to my 3:30 psyc class, which was, as usual, a lot of fun. What can I say... I love psyc!

Speaking of which, I think I've got my degree planning all figured out. When I decided to attempt honours psyc, I kinda missed the fact that I wouldn't have room to do a minor. But I think I really need some art classes to balance me out. So I worked it out and it looks like I can take a series of photography classes at UBC if I do about an extra semester. I can deal with that. It actually will work out pretty well (hopefully).

Ryan and I were talking , and he's totally on board with it, but I decided that once the wedding and honeymoon are over, I'm going to stop working and focus on school. I just can't do 3 classes and work as much as I am. But I need to work in order to afford to live. But once the wedding is over, I can devote my funds to living expenses, so it should all work out. I figure I'll probably stop working the summer of fall semester of 2008.

You know what is really weird? I was working on my degree planning and I have many classes mapped out for each semester from now until I graduate. The kicker? I should finish in April 2010! Crazy, isn't it? I mean, intellectually, I knew that I would finish school then, but I don;t think it really sunk in...

Well, I should get back to my tidying... I'm in one of my clean till I drop moods. This place is looking pretty good... I also have a friend picking me up for coffee and then Ryan's parents just called to let us know they're in town and ask if we wanted to get together for dinner. Guess I'm saving my homeade chicken pot pie recipe for tomorrow...

Thursday, March 01, 2007

You've got to be kidding me...

so you know those 6 drawings I had due on Tuesday? Yeah well, when we got to class we found out that she decided that she wasn't going to make us hand them in that day because we were also handing in our midterm portfolios and she doesn't have time to mark both.


all those hours stressing over those drawings and I could have spent some of the time working on my paper that I had to hand in today. As it was I wrote it all yesterday and edited it this morning. I went to class, lead my part of our seminar and handed it in. I have no idea how I`ll do on it.

2 down, 1 to go.

Just my psyc exam on Friday and it`ll be over... for now.

Also, after the beautiful day yesterday I thought we`d have more of the same today. Totally didn`t see it coming but I woke up to a dusting of snow on the ground. Strange... and here I was thinking we were almost in spring! Silly me...