Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Just a few more hours...

...and I'll be in my new place. After much back and forth the property company finally agreed to let me have the keys as long as I faxed them a copy of my passport within 2 weeks. It's all so ridiculous, but it's sorted so that's what matters.

Apparently my mom is sending some big surprise to me via Nyron and it's set to arrive on Friday. Nyron's being admirably tight-lipped about the whole thing; my mom would be proud.

o( )__

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Is this the end for our hero?

It seems there may be a snag in my much anticipated move to the glorious West End. The property company wants to see my passport which, not having been informed of this ahead of time, I packed away in an anonymous box in the storage facility that currently contains the bulk of my worldly possessions. We tried to placate them with my birth certificate and a copy of one of my credit cards, but it seems they're still giving us problems. Enough problems that it may interfere with me getting the keys on Thursday.

It's rather sad that I'm only marginally outraged at this. It's gotten to the point where I'm no longer surprised when something goes wrong; I've almost come to expect it now. After all the preperations I've made - setting my check-out time at the Shoebox to Thursday morning, taking Thursday off work, packing up my room and putting it safely in the trunk of Nyron's car - why shouldn't something go wrong? I'll know tomorrow, hopefully, what's going on.

In happier news, I helped a student get appartment insurance today so he can move into a new place. It's very difficult to comminicate in another language over the telephone and his English level is pretty basic so I made a series of calls on his behalf so that he could pay for an insurance policy and get it faxed to his property company. The whole thing took almost an hour and at the end of it he left, assuring me he'd return so to get his copy of the policy which I'd requested to be faxed to the school. I thought he was going to get a coffee, but when he came back (moments after the MSN conversation with my mom informing me of the travesty mentioned above) he handed me something square in a Shoppers Drugmart bag. It was a box of Ferrero Rocher chocolates! I couldn't believe it! This kind of thing is just part of my job; I've made phone calls on students' behalfs before, it was no biggie. It was just so sweet and at a moment when I was feeling a bit pissed off and upset that I felt a little teary and went out from behind the dest to give him a hug. What a sweety.

o( )__

Thursday, November 24, 2005

One Week! (and not the Barenaked Ladies song)

One week from today I move into my new place! I'm more excited for this than Christmas! After all, what's Christmas but a day to spend with family and get gifts? We're talking about a home here! A home where I can unpack my stuff and not have to pack it all up again in a few months. A home where I can have fabulous parties with fabulous people. A home where I can actually get to know more than two of my neighbours. I just can't wait.

I have to start packing up my stuff in the Shoebox tonight so that I can move most of it out on the weekend. Ultimately, by Wednesday I should have nothing in that room but my overnight bag so that I can check out in the morning and take the streetcar straight out. "Out" will have to be to the storage facility at first, rather than the townhouse because it seems I won't be getting the keys until after 2:30 in the afternoon. For some reason there's only so much preperation that the lawyers can do beforehand, everything - all the payments and forms - don't go through until the day of, which slows things down considerably. But even such beurocracy can't spoil my mood about moving in!

As soon as I get settled we'll have to immediately start planning our Christmas party. Stay tuned for details!

o( )__

Monday, November 21, 2005

A reminder about the effects of harsh chemicals

The day before my convocation I treated myself to a manicure. I love manicures. My figures get quite sore from constantly knitting and a manicure is professional nail colouring and a hand massage all in one! I hadn't had one in about 7 years and really enjoyed it. Afterwards, I bought some nail hardener to use because my nails split along the edges (very annoying!). I used it as directed, applying one coat every day for a week. By the end of the week, there was so much laquer on my nails that it was begining to peel in large chunks, so I decided it was time to just return my nails to their usual au naturel state. I don't have any nail polish remover so when I was at Nyron's place in Brampton yesterday I used some of his mom's.

After using this stuff, I seriously marvel at the resiliance of Mrs. Ali's hands. Maybe it was the fact that for each nail I had to rub through close to 10 layers of polish and hardener, or maybe that nail polish remover is industrial strenght, but whatever the reason it did some damage to the skin on my hands. The fingers that manipulated the acetone-soaked paper towel are so dry it feels like they're perminently covered in wax; I can barely feel them. The chemicals seem to have actually likked the top few layers of skin and the tips of my fingers now look like the landscape of an Arazona desert. I've been applying moisturizer to my fingers constantly all day to no avail. It's really quite gross.

This is why I prefer to use as many natural products as possible and why I've always had a slight fear of household cleaning products. I've never had vinnegar kill off layers of skin from my finger tips.

o( )__

Sunday, November 20, 2005

You know you're an adult when...

you find yourself filling out an application for financing at Leon's. Today, Nyron and I went out to pick out two sofa beds for the new place (just over a week now!). We found two very scooshy green couches that are both sofa beds. One of them is slightly smaller than the other, because I'm only willing to condesend to the barest amount of guest space in my studio (aka the spare bedroom).

It was a little strange having to fill out all kinds of information about my credit history and employment. Luckily, my parents are buying one of the couches as a gift for us so it's not going to set us back too much. But with all that's been going on, I definitely want a comfy couch to relax in after a long weekend of moving furniture.

o( )__

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Oops! Clumsy me!

Yesterday I had a clumsy day. Have you ever had one of those? Where the conncetion between your brain and the rest of your body feels faulty and everything you pick up drops? Yesterday was one of those days.

It started out with spilling Tim Horton's tea on my shirt. Twice. Then, I spilled it all over the desk and onto my keyboard. All this within the first half hour of being at work. It took 15 minutes to soak up all the tea in the keyboard by poking the corners of sheets of Kleenex between the keys. Then, I hit the side of my calf with my ankle and made a hole in my nylons with the zipper of my lovely tan-coloured boots. I asked my boss for some clear nail polish, but luckily she had a set of emergency nylons in her desk.

All these little acts of failed dexterity culminated in one final act of clumsiness. We received a large Grocery Gateway order of coffee creamer and sugar for the lounges exactly 2 minutes before the student break started. I hate when they do this (although they really have no way of knowing what our schedule is) because it means that all these boxes are cluttering up the lounge right in front of the counter and blocking the students' way. So I was in a bit of a rush to try and put it all away before they decended on the lounge like coffee-starved locusts. I put together a box of a dozen bottles of creamer and 4 large bags of sugar - in retrospect, way too heavy for one load - and lifted it to take it downstairs. I didn't lifet with my legs, nor did I lift with my back; I lifted, instead, with my shoulders. I don't recomend it as an alternative. I had a previous injury in the main muscle of my left shoulder (the trapezial muscle, I believe it's called) and so it immediately protested to this undue abuse, especially since I continued to take all the boxes downstairs in spite of it all. Needless to say, that was the last clumsy act of the day, owing to the fact that I had to move too gingerly to give myself the opportunity. Nyron came over that night with some muscle rub and kisses and made me feel better.

Today, through a mixture of muscle rub and pain killers, I feel much better. In fact, much better than I thought I would. Nyron has the whole weekend off starting tomorrow and I was heartbroken to think I'd be an invalid the whole time. My mood has been further improved by the fact the one of the students made me an entire family of paper cranes for my desk: Mother, Father, Big Sister and Baby.

o( )__

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

I am officially gradumacated!

Last night was the convocation. As to be expected, it was a lot of innitial running around and being confused just to sit still for an hour and a half and spend 5 seconds on stage. Nyron bought be a bouquet of flowers on behalf of my family who couldn't be there. The the ceremony was really just the precurser to the celebration meal.

As a graduation gift, my mother offered to pay for Nyron and I to eat out anywhere we wanted. Anywhere. So, of course, I asked Nyron to pick as ritzy and expensive a restraunt as he could find. : ) We ended up at Susur, a wonderful restraunt on King E that blends Asian and Western dishes. Nyron had mentioned when he made the reservation that it was to celebrate my convocation, so the first thing the maitre de said when he welcomed us was "congratulations". That was very thoughtful.

The restraunt does a taster menu, where you choose the number of courses you want (5 or 7) and each person at the table gets something different, but we weren't feeling that adventurous so we opted for the a la carte menu. First we got a complimentary appetizer taster. We each had three different little dishes on different decorative plates (mine was beach pebbles embedded in clear sealer with little circular indents for the tiny dishes to go). For the first course, Nyron and I both ordered this dish containing two kinds of fois gras (one was chocolate) and roast breast of squag (which I think means pigeon). Please, no one tell me what fois gras is made of, because I liked one of them and I'd really rather not know. I think it's one of those French "use every part of the animal" foods.

Afterwards came a pineapple jelly in a soup, which was really refreshing and made a great in-between course to clear the palet. We each had a different main course; mine was coffe and vanilla maranaded ostrach and Nyron's was bison. I think Nyron ordered it just so he could make jokes using the Street Fighter character M. Bison. For dessert we had another taster plate, which included a pineapple torte, peach mouse between filo waffers, pear mouse on a dark chocoalte base, lemon-chilli sorbet on candied orange wedges and lemon pate on a little cookie. The maitre de must have mentioned my convocation in the kitchen, because someone wrote "congratulations" in semi-sweet chocolate on my plate. I also had one of the best glasses of red wine I've ever tasted (I don't usually like red wine, but this I liked).

o( )___

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Life in the Shoebox continues

Just 18 more days in what will hopefully be my last time spent living in residence ever. Things are pretty much all set for me to move into my new townhouse - the utilities are switched over in my name, I've transfered my Rogers account and made an appointment for a hook up on the 3rd and most of my bills are updated to my new address. Now all I have to do is wait.

Well, wait and graduate. My convocation is this Monday. Somehow, I'm not as excited about it as I thought I'd be. It's being rather anti-climactic, really. For one thing, my parents can't come see it. That's kind of the whole point of convocation, isn't it? For your parents who raised you and sent you to school and supported you to see all their (and your) hard work pay off? But they've very recently been inundated with business and can't leave the province, so Nyron will come and be my spectator, with an empty seat next to him. I may not even buy a dress. It just seems like a waste of money that I should be saving for the inevitable expenses of moving to a new place. Expecially since I'd have to buy shoes and make-up as well, since everything is in storage.

It seems, as I write this, that I'm more dissapointed than I've been letting on, even to myself. To be honest, the fact that my parents can't come is really no surprise; this kind of thing has been part of our lives for as long as I can remember. No plans are ever certain. Even family vacations have had to be cut short (sometimes, even before we even arrive) because business becons and you can't tell a grieving family, "I'm sorry, we can't hold a funeral for you mother this weekend. We'll be in Disneyworld". Even the fact that I'm the only person in my family to even go to university, let alone graduate, isn't enough to change this inescapable fact. Work comes first, it always has. Without it, I wouldn't have been able to go to university anyway, so it's kind of appropriate, I guess, that it is taking its price in this way.

Anyhoo, when next I write (and who knows when that will be!) I will have Hon.BA after my name. But it just doesn't seem that big a deal.

o( )___