Wednesday, August 7, 2013

the explorer's return

So... hi.

Did you miss me? Did you think I was dead? (Honestly, at some points, I thought I was dead. I have never been so tired as when I got off that plane... but here I go, already getting ahead of myself...) Well, I hope you did, and I'm not.

Things I learnt from Explore

  • French grammar yo (had to stick it in somewhere) 
  • Peanut butter peanut butter peanut butter (aka I am not alone in my obsession)
  • There is such a thing as too many wraps
  • Also too many sandwiches
  • Running twice a day is advised
  • It is not possible to sing a song too many times (Elle me dit, anyone?) 

  • I'm not as smart as I think I am
  • It is possible to be entirely consumed by mosquitoes
  • I am not as socially awkward as I had always suspected (whattt)
  • You need sweatpants
  • No matter how sad you feel, mini doughnuts will help
  • Sleep is overrated
  • Dancing in the rain is not
  • I own way too many clothes
  • Being pushed in a shopping cart is the way to travel
  • You will never regret taking photos
  • How to do the carwash (...our own special dance, too special to be explained)
  • Tea is the addiction of our generation
  • So is flax (go figure, people just got really excited)
  • Bowling= bonding
  • Cold showers after long runs are the best things of life

And, most importantly: 
  • it is totally possible to be in love after five weeks (or even much before)
I have never met a group of people I felt this strong a connection with. At the beginning, I felt so many misgivings... but it has been the best summer of my life. I haven't been blogging as much as I might have liked, but in exchange I've definitely been living! 

Saturday, July 6, 2013

welcome, grasshoppers

As I haven't been posting much lately, I thought you might need a re-introduction to me... in the form of a vlog!

Ok, so to be entirely honest... I made this at the beginning of June. But everything still applies!
And to be even more honest... (what's more than entirely? Totally? Totes?) the only reason I decided to make a vlog at that time was because I had just gotten a makeup application done and my eyes looked pretty. (Plus, the makeup artist told me my eyelashes were phenominal. Definitely a compliment to remember!)

I hope your summer is lovely so far, my dearest blog ninjas!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

greetings from winnipeg

So... hi.

I'm alive.

Even well, if you don't count the fact that I'm melting- this is without a doubt the most humid city I have ever visited. I now know how the Wicked Witch must have felt, and pity her sincerely. Other than that, though, I'm having a lovely time!

Best of all... I don't feel lonely. I feel as though this is right where I'm supposed to be.

It's an odd feeling, and not one that I have often. I'm used to being on the outside, looking in- or perhaps on the inside, trapped inside myself, observing my own actions as through through a mirror. (Is that really me? I'm certain my hair didn't look like that this morning...) But, whatever the reason, I feel at home here.

(This may be because I'm exhausted and everything is happening in a dream-like state. Who knows, maybe I really am dreaming- maybe I've been trapped within the mysterious and not-always-functional wifi and this is my plea for help? You may also blame my slightly philosophical state on tiredness. It's the all-purpose excuse.)

Sunday, June 30, 2013

off into the wild blue yonder

So, I'm off again. As I mentioned in my last post, I leave tomorrow for Winnipeg for five weeks! (On Canada Day. Really. Everyone else will be partying and I'll be sitting on the plane, probably beside some bizarre person who wants to discourse on about eggplants.)

How long is this for, you may ask?

Five weeks.

Do you know how much packing that involves?

This much.

(just assume that everything is stuffed to bursting, mainly with makeup and clothes)

My current life dilemna: why is it that socks always seem to disappear? It's not like I'm only wearing one at a time... The most plausible explanation right now is that our resident ghost wears them as hats and forgets to return them. (Or maybe it's my cat?)

My other problem: how many things am I likely to lose? I could make a list, but I just bought a new notebook and I don't want to contaminate its lovely interior just yet. (The first page is always the hardest. I never want to ruin it and yet I always end up disappointed.)

At least I have an epic soundtrack to comfort me.

I don't know how much time I'll have to blog while I'm over there- I'll try to fit some in and keep you all apprised of my adventures (or maybe misfortunes?)- but, as I don't know what the schedule is (or- the horror!- where I'll find Wifi) it might be difficult. (For some updates, follow me on Twitter!)If you don't see me around much, have a lovely summer anyway, blog ninjas!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

life lately...

I haven't done (anything) one of those "Currently..." style posts for a while (okay, I only did one once, so it's not like I've been neglecting a life essential, but still) so I thought I'd let you all know what's crack-a-lacking! (How do you spell that? More to the point, does anyone say that anymore?) 

Listening to...

This song is just so cute and happy! (Plus, someone dressed as the Doctor makes an appearance. Obviously I'd like it.) I've also found myself strangely obsessed with everything Owl City... too cute. It's like a hug in music form. 

Wishing... that I had gum. I really want gum. I also wanted gum yesterday, but we did not have any. THE SADNESS. 

Drinking... matcha.

For those of you who don't spend over 2 hours browsing online tea sale sites, matcha is powdered green tea that you whisk into a froth and drink with milk... mmmm. It's very sweet and light, perfect even when it's hot out! 

Feeling... terrified, traumatized, tired... why are there so many negative t words? This is the first time I'm mentioning it here, but on Monday I leave to go to Winnipeg for five weeks- I'm very excited about it, but it's bizarre to think that I'm going to be away for such a long time and then leave almost immediately after for university. Everything is happening so fast! (I say, reclining in the hammock and reading...) 

Reading... the short stories of Fitzgerald.

So maybe I'm obsessed (and reading into them far too much) but I find their descriptions of evanescent beauty utterly relatable. I might not be pining over lost love but I still feel that sense of being a spectator in my own life that he manages to capture so well. (Can I just say I want to be him? Except minus the drinking and mental breakdowns?) 

Wearing... My aviators. All three pairs. 

And most definitely NOT my uniform. Goodbye, kilt of awkward lenght! Au revoir, polo tent! You, I will not miss. 

Making... this exfoliant scrub from Under Peach Trees!

(her photo, not mine- I doubt mine will be that pretty!)

The idea of cleaning with chocolate and coffee just seemed so luscious that I couldn't resist. (Plus, one of the coffees we have is revolting and this seemed like a good opportunity to get rid of it!)

Watching... Blogilates videos.

DO IT. Right now. I dare you. It's only four minutes long... but it might kill your legs. (Hopefully it does because otherwise I will feel pathetic. Honestly, I'm not sure whether to find the thought that the only thing I'm even watching right now is exercise videos pathetic or not...) 

So what's going on in your life? 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

anatomy of a prom

The moment that grade twelves wait for all year (or maybe that's just me?) has come and passed. Prom was sweet-bitter; bittersweet, but in reverse, and no less lovely for it. Here's how it all went down...(Warning: long post ahead. But at least I look gorgeous in the photos, so you have plenty of eye candy.)

2:00: wake up with last minute terrors: what if no one shows up? What if everyone else looks much better in their dress than I do?

3:30: convince self that fears are groundless and go back to sleep.

5:30: wake up. Read Georgette Heyer novel and do yoga in attempt to calm self down. This will be basically your entire day, because it doesn't quite work. (Aka: you are so stressed that you're not even hungry. This has never happened to you before, but you appreciate not needing to eat every fifteen minutes.)

2:00: buy Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frappuchino, because sugar + caffeine= good in every situation. (Especially when you've already been awake for almost 12 hours...)

2:30: arrive at friend's home to start getting ready.

3:30: actually start getting ready. This includes:
-redoing hair 17 times because the style that seemed so simple the first 10 times you practiced has suddenly acquired the complexity of open heart surgery
-acquiring a taste for country music
-texting other friends frantically
-worrying that makeup is too heavy and that you look clownlike

5:45: supposed time of arrival at school.

6:10: actual time of arrival at school. (Oops.) Wander around admiring everyone's dresses.

6:20: get photo taken by professional photographer and feel like model.

(too. much. glamour.) 

 6:30: be forced to put on cap and gown. Realise that the cap makes you look like you're bald, and that you now have to go up on stage wearing it in front of everyone there. (Of course this is also when your date will walk in and you will make a gorgeous first impression.)

6:40: nearly pass out or vomit from stress.

7:00: ceremony actually starts. Listen to long and boring speeches by people you don't even know.

8:00: things are perking up- you've received plenty of scholarships! (The advantages of a) being a nerd and b) going to a small school.)

8:30: realise that if you don't get out of the cap and gown soon you're going to die of excessive sweating before the fun part even starts.

9:00: ceremony finally ends. Sprint to take off your gown, then take lots and lots of photos with friends. They will all be attractive (even if you are as red as a tomato in many of them. And not just your dress. Sigh) despite the awkward school background.

(extra cupcakeness!)

(even though I'm not actually looking, I had to include this to a) show off my eye makeup and b) show off my date... aren't we cute?) 

9:10: admire corsage...

...bought by Bond Girl friends. (The ladies of mystery, dressed all in black.)

(this is honestly my favourite photo of the night. I have no idea why)

9:20: wander around (again) and try to figure out what's going on. (This is your life in a sentence.)

9:30: find the dance floor. Immediately start dancing like a maniac with friends... even if you're the only ones there. (Sad story.)

(we definitely had the most fun)

 9:45: slowdance with date. Dragons. (Like butterflies, but fire-breathing.)

9:50: continue dancing with friends. Forget to say goodbye to all your classmates as they begin to depart for the after-party. (...Whoops.)

10:20: slowdance last song with Kori. Be pleased you are not slowdancing with date because the two of you are so sweaty that it produces a bit of a Velcro attachment effect.

10:30: watch date leave. Realise that, yes, this is all actually happening, and that you won't see many of these people again, and start crying.

10:40: after a few final photos with friends, depart for McDonald's.

11:00: have mood slightly boosted by ice cream and listening in your friends' two separate conversations.

(McDonald's- where all the cool kids go on a Friday night.)

 11:40: leave McDonald's and drive friend home.

12:20: arrive at after-party.

12:22: get bored of after-party. Realise that being one of the only sober people is No Fun but have no desire to get drunk.

12:40: leave after-party with other sober friend.

1:20: arrive home. Jump on trampoline in effort to boost mood.

1:30: collapse on kitchen floor and cry so hard even your cat won't come near you.

2:00: go to bed, still teary but slightly more able to breathe.

...and there you have it: my graduation. Minus the hysterical sobbing (and the never-ending speeches), I enjoyed myself. (And if you really read every word of this, major brownie points to you- not quite enough yet for a home-baked pan, but close.) 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

the break-up

So... it's over.

Highschool and I have officially broken up.

It's not a surprise; the relationship hadn't been working for quite a while. I yawned while we were on dates. I read instead of paying attention to what they were saying. I hid under desks to avoid contact (true story) and yet... I feel a pang in my heart at the thought that we're really over.  At my age, 4 years is a long time for a relationship!

At least today was a good day to break up. (Minus the math exam. That was somewhat of a fail... let's just say writing random equations is not always the best way to go.) Sunny, lovely... and filled with cute monsters, of both the cuddly variety...

(the problem with reflective glasses? you can tell I'm taking a selfie)

and the friend variety. 

(so much sexy. the school can't handle it.) 

(Oh, and his sad face? Let's just say I discovered a new skill for air hockey today. WATCH OUT. Especially because my strategy is slamming the puck as hard as possible, without direction of any kind...)

So, despite the fact that I knew the end was coming... it was a good last date. (Give me a day of wandering around with friends anytime.) 

I can't believe we're really done. We've had our ups and downs... but as a whole, I can look back on our time together as a good one. Maybe not the best days of my life (at least I hope not!) but I've definitely learnt, and laughed, and lived. (Do I get extra points for alliteration?) 

So... goodbye, highschool. May everyone else have as successful a relationship with you as I did. 

Monday, June 17, 2013


I've always known that I'm not the most exciting of people... but looking at my answers to the residence ranking quiz I had to fill out today confirmed this theory.

What do you like doing when you have free time? Reading... but I also like Doctor Who! And drinking tea! That's exciting right?

Would you like to have other people in your room? NO WAY. Stay at least a dragon-length away from me at all times.

How often do you clean your room? What do you mean by clean? Do you mean "stack clothes in a moderately tidy pile"? That I can do.

What do you expect your relationship with your roommate to be like? Um, as before, I expect them to stay away from me at all times and I'll do the same. Deal?

Do you have a problem with anyone using your belongings? If you ask me I'm okay with it... as long as you don't break my precious portrait of Aunt Gertrude, we'll get along fine.

What kind of sleeper are you? Early to bed, early to rise. So basically the opposite of everyone else on the planet.

In addition to these fascinating answers, I marked all the suite-style (like an apartment) residences with single rooms highest and the traditional-style (single room) ones lowest... aka please please please, oh residential spirits, take pity on me and DO NOT MAKE ME BE SOCIAL.

What was your rooming experience like? Any tips?

Thursday, June 13, 2013

drawing myself (spoilers: or a dinosaur!)

The other day, Jesse showed me his self-portrait... and it was amazing.

So, after crying for a little while at my own lack of art skills... I decided to draw myself! didn't exactly go as planned.

As you can see, the facial ressemblance is totally there, especially in the teeth. (This is referring to the unfortunate period of time in which I had braces. My mouth was unfortunately pointy because of the weight of metal, and saliva frequently dripped from my glamourously coloured elastics... when they weren't snapping in people's faces, that is. SEXY TIMES.) Also, the butterfly wings. (I can see myself as a child wearing these.) Obviously, this is also a one-of-a-kind creation, which also fits my personality and style. (How many winged dinosaurs have you seen lately? Probably none. How many Tatianas wearing cat ears have you seen? Also probably none. There is some margin for error here, but it's Infinitesimal. ("Nothing really touches, bro, just kinda floats...")

The worst part, though? I was babysitting while I drew this (we were having an Art Time. I did not just abandon the poor child to fend for herself in order to create this masterpiece) and the girl's reaction, after looking at it dubiously for a few minutes: "Well, you did say you hadn't drawn in a while..."

Sigh. Apparently I should not rely on my drawings to get me by.

If you drew yourself, either seriously or in jest, how would you do it?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

arrested who?

(If you watch any of these shows you will realise exactly how perfect this is. For you poor people who don't I'm letting you know: it is a perfect title.) 

Okay, so this post may have been spurred by withdrawal. This is the time (I'm supposed to be studying) I have lots of time to relax... and yet there is no TV! Am I the only one who thinks this is counterproductive? (However, at least it gives me something to blog about... pros and cons.)

1. Doctor Who. Aliens and time travellers and running, oh my! (Trust me. There is a lot of running. Like I've said before, the whole point of me exercising is so that, the day the Doctor comes to get me, I'm fit enough to keep up.)

(also David Tennant. Just... swoonnnn)

2. Arrested Development. "Now the story of an insane wealthy family who lost everything and the one son who had no choice but to keep them all together because his insanity manifests through caring for all these freaks." (Official tagline, italics mine.)

(best part: when you rewatch it you find even more jokes.)

3. Sherlock. I can obviously relate to the 'no one knows better than me' of the main character. (Oh, and you think I'm an obsessed fangirl? Just look up Sherlock on Tumblr. You will not believe the things people write...)

(those. cheekbones.)

4. Broadchurch. I'm not much for crime shows (I say, writing about the second one on my list) but this one, since it focuses on only one murder the entire season, intrigued me, mainly because you really get to see into the psychological profiles of the characters. (Although there were some things that puzzled me: what happened to the cocaine?)

(also, again: David Tennant. Although he looks like he's going to die he has an amazing Scottish accent) 

So, what is it such different concepts have in common? (Other than that three out of four are by BBC... what can I say, I'm a sucker for British accents...) They're all mindblowing. They're all the kind of show that you stare at the TV and whisper... "what just happened..." and have to watch several times just in order to wrap your mind around it.

Like really. Sometimes I have no idea what's going on.

I love it.

My friends probably love this a bit less, because I frequently trap them in corners in order to explain exactly what is happening and why they need to care about it. And I cry about it too... this results in a lot of awkward hugs and arm-patting while they secretly wonder "what's going on?"

My friends also do not like the really lame jokes.

(this is from AD but also applies to DW and is, sadly enough, exactly the sort of thing I find hilarious)

It worked.

Life= made.

What are your favourite shows, and why?

Sunday, June 9, 2013

rollercoaster mania

My deep, dark confession for the week?

I'm secretly an addict.

A rollercoaster addict, that is. (Or a chocolate addict, but that's a whole other story that involves cupcakes baked at 8 am...)

This was such a well-guarded secret (or perhaps I was just in denial?) that I didn't discover it until last week, during my (last-ever!) end-of-year trip.

(this is some of us after we survived the biggest rollercoaster. Amazingly. I thought I was going to die)

Unfortunately, however, my group didn't even go on too many rollercoasters. As often happens when I am involved, we managed to get lost. (Although maybe that's the wrong term- let's call it 'disjointed wanderings' instead?) For this reason, instead of going on many different rides... we went on the swings three times.

But let's be honest here. Who doesn't love swings? (We definitely did- just watch us!)

With all this swinging, I didn't get a chance to take many photos- I was too busy trying not to pass out (and with that description, who wouldn't want to go on rollercoasters?)- but one of my friends did take a few while he was waiting for my other friend and I to go on this ride, as he had decided it was too 'childish'.

(I'm happy here because we hadn't yet started spinning. This soon changed)

He also had a conversation with himself between our phones. Really, I think coming on the ride with us would have been preferable... or maybe not, considering how sick and dizzy I felt afterwards. Spinny rides are officially Not For Me. (However, bumper cars are- a fact I also just discovered. My childhood was spent reading, not playing on these wonderful contraptions... how did I miss out?)

What do you think of amusement parks and rollercoasters? Any rides you'd never try?

Friday, June 7, 2013

nothing is cuter than cats

Yesterday, I discovered a new place to add to my list of "Tatiana's Ideal Volunteer Positions"- the SPCA.


All you have to do is pet cats!

Recently, I've felt a little bit superfluous. Witness my blood donating (which was accurate in this case too- witness all the scratches I recieved) and my library volunteering and my reading of classics- these might not world-shaking actions, but they're my contribution to society. I'd been thinking of volunteering more, and the SPCA is right near my school... so, I thought, why not?

Plus, I'm already a cat expert/future crazy cat lady, so I might as well share my expertise! This may seem like an idle boast but if you saw the number of cat books I read when I was little... (I even named all the cats on my posters. And cat pictures I saw in books. That is dedication.)

Regardless, when I showed up, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. At first I felt as thought I was cheating them (let's face it, as enjoyable as petting cats is, it's not the usual amount of work I associate with volunteering) but then I realised: it is my duty to help these cats NOT become like Darcy... aka: apt to run and hide from everyone, meowing constantly in a sad tone for no apparent reason, time-travelling aside. (This is a Serious Mission.)

...also they were just so cute and cuddly and omg how could anyone not want to play with them? (Kitten love!) I could literally feel my heart slowing down. (Which sounds vaguely corpselike... but I mean it in a good way.)  It was better than meditation! (Whenever I try to meditate I get distracted and usually start thinking about food. And then I make myself hungry and am even more distracted and just give up the entire endeavor.)

I can't even post photos because the cuteness quotient would be too overwhelming and I don't want your screen to explode

I did, however, feel sorry for the people who encountered me in my visit to the grocery store directly afterwards. I was so covered in fur that I could have been mistaken for a yeti... but don't worry, I tried to stay away from the produce. (People with cat allergies: I apologise.)

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

advice for my younger self

I looked at the calendar today, and realised: my last class of highschool is next week.


Not to be cliché, but... time really did pass quickly. (Except for during many of my classes. I'm pretty sure I could have skipped them without too many regrets... If only I went to a school with more students, wherein my absence would not be noticed. Or at least one at which my mother didn't teach.)

However, looking back, I noticed quite a few things I'd change. Unfortunately, as I do not have a Tardis, they'll remain regrets... but I thought I'd compile a list of advice I'd give my eighth-grade self, before coming to high school. Just in case.

1. Breathe. Ask yourself, "Is this really such a big deal? Will I remember this in a couple of years?" The answer is usually Yes... Yes, you'll remember it because you stressed way too much about it. Just chill out. (Picture your older self wearing hippie glasses and waving a palm leaf... for some reason that's the image that comes to mind when I say chill out. Who knows why.)

2. You don't have to get along with everyone. You know those people you think are mildly annoying but you think you should talk to because they're in your class? Don't bother. You can make better friends elsewhere.

3. But on that note, do actually try to make friends. Books are lovely, but socialising is important too! Just pick people you actually have interests in common with.

4. You have the power to change things. Mostly, this means: pluck your eyebrows. It is a Big Issue in your life, and it's not a big deal to change them, so DO IT.

Or in a more deep way: the world is yours, so go get it.

5. ...but if you can't change it, walk away. You know all those situations you felt really uncomfortable in? You're allowed to leave. Don't think you have to stay somewhere just because everyone else is.

6. Trust yourself. If you think you're going to hate something, assume that you're right and don't do it. (I'm thinking of all the 'school-bonding' activities that I attended. I can't think of one I enjoyed, and yet I went to quite a few... seriously, just don't do it.)

7. You are likeable. Don't assume that you're entirely forgettable. You're worth more than that. (You probably don't believe me, and I don't really believe myself in typing it, but I'm hoping that it'll come true by repetition.)

8. Don't allow your mother to buy you uniform shirts. She will buy you the wrong size, and the result will be that you're miserable for over a year. (They don't shrink that much, and I didn't grow that much. I am not an elephant.)

9. Keep in contact. You know those people you met, and liked, and... never talked to again? Yeah. Send them a message! A letter! A text! It's not that hard, and it might be awkward at first, but really, what do you have to lose? (Confession: I am so bad at this. Still. Which is why I'm putting it down in writing.)

10. Exercise is your friend. You know how you always think you're too klutzy to go running/dancing/move in general? Well, the more you work on it, the better you'll get. (You'll probably still fall down quite a lot, but you'll do it gracefully.)

11. Don't study so much. My studying schedule went like this.
Grade 9: "OMG if I don't study this for hours I will fail and my life will be forever ruined omg must spend hours doing this"
Grade 10: "Hmm I should probably write an intense study guide. I can use it to review next year!"
Grade 11: "Okay, I'll review and rewrite some notes..."
Grade 12: "I don't understand this and I really don't care. I'll still pass and get good grades."

...and every year I did almost equally well. (This goes well with no. 1- just chill out. The only important grades are some grade 11 ones and some grade 12 ones anyway... so really my schedule should have been reversed. Whoops.)

12. Do your own thing. So what if other people think it's lame? You'll have way more fun.

I wish I really did have a time machine so I could send this back to who I used to be- I think it would come in handy. Plus, some of these (especially nos. 1 and 9) are still things I need to remember. What's some advice you'd give your younger self? Do you have any university advice for me?

Monday, June 3, 2013

bad wolf day

Just like Impossible Astronaut Day, today was another Doctor Who holiday! (Just another good reason to watch Doctor Who- you can participate in all these random activities and have something to look forward to on Mondays.) I don't want to provide too many spoilers, in case any of my posts are encouraging you to watch it (or maybe any time you see/hear Doctor Who, you immediately recoil in horror. Some of my friends do this. I'm not sure how we're still friends) but suffice it to say that 'Bad Wolf' were major arc words in season 1.

So, when I saw this, I was obviously thrilled!

A chance to weird out my fellow students? How could I resist? I wrote it on whiteboards...

on other random notes (for the uneducated, apparently "I Cereal You" is now the way cool kids say "I Love You"...?)...

...on training schedules...

on desks...

...and on Kleenex boxes.

Did anyone notice? Was anyone deeply disturbed by it? Maybe not, but I like to think so. (Or at least think they'll look it up, discover Doctor Who, and be hooked. You never know!)

And finally... there's just a couple more hours left for the S-Trip Scholarship! If you'd like to help me win trips and an internship, please tweet or comment on my submission. 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

book lover problems

It's a fairly innocuous question, right? "What are you reading?" It shouldn't be that hard to answer... but it is.

I'm serious. This is actually a problem in my life right now. (Okay, so I could just stop reading in public... but then I'd have to Talk To People, which is an even bigger problem.) I'm never quite sure how to answer it. For example, the other day I was reading Save Me The Waltz. When I...

a) answer in a generic manner, such as "Oh, it's a romance", people inevitably ask for more details. I'm never sure why this is, because no one ever reads the books I do unless I have previously forced them to... so they never know what I'm talking about... which leads me to

b) give a detailed synopsis, such as  "Oh, it's a romance set during the 1920s and it describes all the facets of their lives and how he drank too much and how she wanted to be a ballerina", people's eyes inevitably start to glaze over after a couple of seconds and they sidle away with pretexts such as washing their llama. (Which leads me to wonder why they even asked...)

c) compare it to another book, such as "It's similar to The Great Gatsby!", people either don't know that book, so then I have to explain it too (it's a vicious cycle!) or, if they do know it, ask "How?" and I, being already frazzled by the resulting stress of choosing one of these answers, can't quite remember why I chose to compare it.

Sometimes by the time I've decided which tactic to choose, the conversation has already moved on and all my hard work was wasted. (However, at least this means I have less of a chance of making a fool of myself... so, again, pros and cons.) It's even worse when someone I don't know well asks me this, because then I also have to wonder: "Are we going to be friends? If so, I should probably moderate what I say now..." (And not confess my shameful obsession with Georgette Heyer's Regency romances...)

How do you answer this? (Or do you just not read?)

On a slightly similar note (the Tatiana-Wants-To-Avoid-People note) this is my current manifesto song.

This will sound like a typical Teenager Statement, but I really like most of Mother Mother's songs- the lyrics really Speak To My Soul. (I'm both parodying myself and being entirely serious.) Have you found any bands like that lately?

However, I love you all, especially those of you who have helped me with my S-Trip Scholarship. Thank you so much! For those of you who still want to help by supporting, commenting or tweeting, you still have a few days left.

Happy Thursday, blog ninjas!
Jenny Matlock

Monday, May 27, 2013

a visit to the vampires

...or, In Which I Spurt Blood Everywhere And Almost Pass Out.

Or not.

Okay, the almost passing out part was true (but then I got to recline in a comfortable chair, be fanned, and drink apple juice... basically I was like Cleopatra, except I wasn't wearing cat-eye liner today) but the only blood-squirting was within the designated bag. (For which I'm sure everyone was thankful.)

In case you haven't guessed... today I went to donate blood, and for my troubles, I recieved... this lovely sticker!

(I tried wearing it on my face but was reprimanded by a nurse...)

It actually wasn't bad. (I do think they should play up the vampire aspect a little more... it might attract hordes of Twilight and/or Vampire Diaries fans!) It was also, for those of you who worry, not very painful. The only parts that hurt a bit were...

1- the iron check. (Which, amazingly, I passed! Obviously Popeye was right and eating tons of spinach makes you strong) This actually hurts, especially because the nurse then kneads your finger until it turns the colours of a sunset.

2- the actual needle-being-stuck-into-your-arm part. This actually didn't hurt any more than accidentally sticking yourself with a brooch (Am I the only one who does this on a regular basis?) and was less painful than a mosquito bite.

3- taking off the surgical tape that you're bandaged with. This was PAIN. Like, tweezing your eyebrows and waxing at the same time pain. Thankfully it was just a small bandage...

(adding to the glamour: it totally matched my nailpolish!) 

Do any of you donate blood? Any interesting experiences?

On another note, if you haven't already, please take a little bit of time to tweet and comment on my S-Trip profile, which is here. Part of the judging criteria for the scholarship is how many supports, shares, comments and tweets the candidate can get... so if you could just take a little time to do one of these for me, I'd really appreciate it!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

books for sale!

Fact: volunteering at a library book sale is the best volunteer position ever. So maybe it's not quite as useful for humanity as starting a women's shelter or flying to Haiti... but hey, you get to help save (and read!) books... and in my books (ahaha, see what I did there) that's a definite bonus. (Basically, as thanks, you're allowed to take as many books as you want. SCORE.)

...and there were a lot of books.

(and this is only half the room!) 

Since there weren't nearly as many people, I basically wandered around straightening and... reading. (So, again, this is my dream job. Is there any way I can be paid for this?) Along the way, I found some pretty amusing titles...
  • Cabbagetown Gang (obviously a group of tough guys who run around wearing cabbage-leaf hats)
  • Cooking With Ferret (is Ferret someone's nickname, or does it literally mean eating ferrets? I was too scared to check)
  • Farmageddon (here I imagine strawberries the size of nuclear bombs) 
  • Start and Run a Profitable Gift-Basket Business (...but really though. REALLY.)
  • Methane- Planning a Digester (...I don't even want to think what kind of instructions this gives)
  • The Hamster Revolution (no need to worry about the zombie apocalypse- hamsters are demanding their rights! Or maybe it's zombie hamsters?) 
  • ABCs for Angry Men (A is for Anger! R is for Rage! and so on)

Not all of my experience was fun and games, however. All of the remaining books (which was well over half) were set to be... recycled.

-insert horrified books here-

As someone who is addicted to reading, and who wants to be published one day herself, the thought of so many words being crushed is devastating. Perhaps they'll give new life to other stories... but the fact remains that someone's craft is being destroyed because it's unwanted... and isn't that every writer's worst fear? (Other than starving to death because you can't even get published.) My one hope is that, whatever objects they go on to make, those objects will be imbued with a certain essence de book- and will encourage whoever holds them to go find something to read, and fast.

Friday, May 24, 2013

my cat is a time traveller

I used to think that my cat was just clueless, but I have recently realised that there is a method to her madness other than pure stupidity. (Sad confession: she now looks at us when we say 'stupid' or 'dumb' because she knows we are most likely talking to her. And purrs. I'm not sure who this reflects worse on...) It's clear: she must be a time traveller!

I came to this conclusion after observing her in her natural habitat (the kitchen, the living room, and the furry spot on my bed) for several mornings. Some days, she is affectionate... Too much so. In her haste to accost us, she often trips and runs into the door. (Like pet like owner...) This is probably because she has been away and misses us desperately.

Other days, she runs back and forth across the kitchen. Not just once: six or seven times in a row. (As you can imagine, this makes preparing food difficult and also provides an occasion for her to steal mango, arugula, and buns from our plates... snacks for her trip?) This is because she's trying to augment her speed enough to fly away... and when she subsequently disappears, she's not just in the darkest deepest corner under the bed: she's in another universe!

All this running also makes it puzzling that, some days, she seems plumper than others. While this could be ascribed to eating the houseplants, time travel seems a far more reasonable explanation. All those gravitational forces can't be good for a girl! (However, now that I think of it, neither can eating the plants. I think some of them are poisonous... which might also account for the brain damage...) 

Seriously. It all makes sense now. She's the perfect example of a mad scientist, right down to the crazy hair! (She's so absorbed in time travel that our other cat has to bathe her.)

Happy Friday, blog ninjas! What are your odd pet theories?

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

weekend statistics

As you may know, over the weekend I was at "les Jeux Franco"... which are basically an excuse for a ton of students (all the cool people! and me) to go to workshops, be completely crazy, and hang out with a ton of students from all over the province! In order to explain my experience, I thought I'd use... statistics? (Math is totally important in my life okay.) 

As we arrived...

Number of people attending: about 650

(thumbs up for speaking French!)

Number of hours I spent in misery (aka on the bus): 2 1/2 (okay so I complain a lot. Basically the sole reason I'm happy my mother works at my school is because it means I can just get a ride from her...) 

During the weekend...

Number of lines I waited in: 15 (no exaggeration. There were A LOT of lines.) 

Number of super awkward conversations I had with people I had just met: 7 (considering I was there for 3 1/2 days, I consider this a low number and am accordingly proud) 

Number of Doctor Who fans I discovered: 5 (I found my people! Also, looking at my Facebook wall, I realised that almost everything there has to do with it. I am not subtle about my obsessions.) 

Number of times I drank tea: 0 (do you know how deprived I was?) 

(however, since I'd made a friend from the town, I did get an Ice Capp during the final show... a good reason to be social!)

Number of times I heard, "What? You're graduating? I thought you were in grade nine!": 12 (thanks world, love you too)

Number of times I fell over while practicing our dance routine (yes, I was in dance, don't laugh): 4 (thankfully none of these were during our big finale!)

(we won for best team spirit! we also didn't really have time to do makeup, so excuse the football stripes)

As we were leaving..

Percentage of people who were crying: 50 (not me) 

Number of random people I didn't know who hugged me: 5 (and no, this is not just people-I-did-not-recognise, these were literally people who I had never seen before...) 

Number of times a bus other than mine was called and I freaked out because I thought it was mine and they had left without me: 8 (there were a lot of buses)

And finally:

Number of times I laughed, made friends, and generally had fun: too many to count! 

How was your weekend? Did you ever do camps like this in highschool? 

Friday, May 17, 2013

off to the races

Finally! It's Friday! We are no longer lost in the maze of the week!

Seriously. This week has not been a good one for mental clarity. So far I have
a) started eating dates because I thought they were chocolate chips (...)
b) forgotten to bring coffee (yes this is a serious deal)
c) been too lazy to do anything but read most of the time (although admittedly that's fairly frequent)
d) nearly been blown away in all the wind
e) worn a bandana (I can't decide if this was a clever fashion move or if I should be singing country songs)

...okay so maybe it was a fairly typical week. STILL. I appreciate the upcoming long weekend! (Thank you, Queen Victoria. However, although I have done the requisite readings about you- requisited by myself, actually, when I was going through my princess phase- I still don't know why we have a day off dedicated to your birthday... but I am still grateful.)

This weekend also marks my visit to... well, I'm not quite sure what to call it in English. French party camp? With lots of weird ceremonies (seriously, all these people are getting awards that I have never heard of.Why don't they just give me an award for my amazing Great Gatsby shirt?) and clapping (I actually hate clapping so much. How is loud, annoying noise supposed to mean congratulations?) and lots of packing...

But all the crazy dancing more than makes up for it!

Last year I had tons of fun, so let's hope that it's just as wonderful this year! I like to think I'm a better dancer now, so that might help. (However, I suspect it's just that I am better at lying to myself.) I also know how to do a messy bun, which should help disguise the sweatiness of my hair... gross, but useful... and I own actual workout shorts, so I don't have to wear pajamas! ( of course I didn't do that last year, who wears short pajama shorts and pretends they're a dance outfit? -shifty eyes-)

Happy weekend, ninjas! (Even if you're not lucky enough to live here and have three days, muahaha)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

what I'd like to be known for

Do you ever see connections within the TV shows you're watching? Or the conversations you're having? Or the books you're reading? I don't mean just mentioning the same thing to several people, or watching only crime shows. The connections I'm thinking of are subtler, harder to trace. A character in one novel might prefer an orange dress; a friend will happen to mention that she's been buying a lot of orange clothes. At first it seems coincidental, but as the events keep piling up, they seem to be pointing you further and further in the same direction.

This is the way I've been feeling lately. This quote, and others like it, have been appearing in snippets everywhere:

“One day, you’re seventeen and you’re planning for someday. 

And then quietly, without you ever really noticing, someday is today. 

And then someday is yesterday. And this is your life.”

― John Green

This terrifies me.

I feel like it's a warning: stop thinking you can plan anything. Stop thinking you have time to waste. (Which is a good thing... but I panic, and then can do nothing.) Do you ever have times when you feel paralysed, caught in time, waiting for something to happen? I feel as though my life has been put on pause, and I'm not quite sure why.

For this reason, this list, from Moorea Seal's list project, was surprisingly difficult for me to write, because I don't know what I want.

(is this clear enough? if not, please tell me so I can change it for next time)

On the whole, this seems fairly comprehensive... it also makes me wonder, am I already some of these things? If people who know me read this, would they laugh at just how off the mark I am? (I hope not.)

One notable exception (in my mind, at least) to this list was smart. I have been known for being smart my entire life, and I'm so tired of it. Being known as 'the smart girl' is exhausting and, in a way, dehumanising. You're not supposed to have weaknesses. You're supposed to be the one who has the answers, who doesn't care what other people think of you because you're just the brain... but that is not all I am.

What about you? What do you want to be known for?

Monday, May 13, 2013

the problems I (of my) face

Some days, you just realise that a thousand tiny annoyances are following you around like biting flies. (Which are a trial all on their own. Why do they exist? Shouldn't our blood have evolved to be poisonous yet?) Here are some of the things that have been bothering me lately. 

-My pores.
There are so many words to describe them right now, and none of them are pretty. (Some of them even begin with p for added alliterative appeal!) Let's say... pestilential, puffy, pustulous... I think you get the idea. To conceal them, I applied a mud face mask... 
...and wore it all day to school.
Okay, not really.
But I wanted to. It would have been prettier than the reality.

-The weather. For a week, it was glorious and hot and summer and I just lolled about eating smoothies. Now it is raining and feels like summer's already over. Can't we at least have a thunderstorm? 

-My shirt. I love this shirt so much.

Mine is even more beautiful because it's a gorgeous, deep ocean blue! I just want to wear it everywhere and with every possible combination of the rest of my wardrobe. Last night I had a mini fashion show- very mini, because I was both sole model and sole audience member- and tried it on with almost all my bottoms (okay that sounds like I have different butt sizes to try it with but you get the idea right?) and it totally worked. Literature is a magical force...but I can't wear it all the time. So sad. (Although, if I did, the smell might begin to repel people after a while... hmmm... ways to be antisocial are always appreciated...)

-The ending of I Capture the Castle. This is one of my favourite books... but the ending has always saddened me. (No spoilers, I promise!) Usually, I'm fairly good at inventing alternate stories for characters I think have been cheated (I spend far too much time lost within the pages of books not to!) but I've read this one far too many times to change its story.

Just read it. Or watch it. Then we can have a deep discussion about it and I can cry. (Too many feels okay.)

-I'm choking. There has been an Advil capsule stuck in my throat since LAST NIGHT. How has it not dissolved yet? Can someone please explain this? All day, every time I swallowed something, I could feel it blocking my nutritional passageways. (Yes. That is a scientific term. Just accept it, as we say in Chemistry whenever we don't understand something.)

...and, just to cap it all off:  

(Garfield, you and I are soulmates.) What have some of your problems been lately? 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

sunny days playlist

Exactly what the title says- a playlist of songs to listen to during a sunny day, to keep you in a happy mood! It's sad just how long it took me to make this... most of the songs I listen to are of the "dying-of-a-broken-heart" variety (no, I am not a country girl. None of them involve trucks) so compiling this one took quite a few scrolls through my iPod. (Yes. I still have an iPod with a click wheel, and I hope it never breaks. Am I the only one?) However, I didn't mind because doing this made me feel like Charlie, putting together a mixtape. (Yes. I do think too much about characters who don't actually exist.)

So, without further ado... here are some happy songs! (Links to Youtube provided, so you have no excuse not to listen!)

1- 22, by Taylor Swift. (Even if you're not a fan of hers, you've got to admit that this is a great song for dancing around and generally acting like an idiot.)

2- Crazy in Love, by Emeli Sandé. (I just had to include something from the Great Gatsby!... and yes, it did fulfill all my wildest hopes and dreams, thanks for asking)

3- How to be a Heartbreaker, by Marina & the Diamonds. (I'm not certain if this is altogether good advice... but it's fun, and that's all that matters!)

4- Spaghetti, by Darelle London. (Too. Cute. Eating spaghetti, watching Breakfast at Tiffany's, and hang-gliding- which I don't know how to spell- must mean true love.)

5- Home, by Edward Sharpe The Magnetic Zeros. 
(This song is just so bouncy! It just makes me want 
to skip down the street... I wouldn't advise that.)

6- Stupid, by Brendan Maclean. (Let's face it, we all know people like this...)

7- I've Just Seen a Face, by Jim Sturgess- Beatles cover. (That accent. Swoon.) 

8- B.C. Orienteering, by Said the Whale. (Who doesn't love a song about hiking?)

9- First Dance, by Never Shout Never. (Another one that'll make you feel like dancing. 
Can't you just picture spinning round and round with a floaty skirt?...
or an otherwise nice outfit if you're a guy or don't like skirts, 
don't want to discriminate) 

10- Skinny Genes, by Eliza Doolittle. (This is the one song that makes me wish I could 
whistle so I could sing it properly...)

11- Summer Nights, by Florrie. (Ending with a super-energizing song- go out for a run! 
Or tan, because it seems appropriately summery.) 

Have you heard any of these songs? Did you like them? 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

home & energy (in lists!)

...and if that title didn't entice you, I'm not sure what could. Doesn't it sound like a boring radio ad for an energy-efficient fridge? ( (I know, I'm such a saleswoman. However, at least I'm better than one of my friends, who once tried to convince me NOT to buy something from her for a fundraiser. It's a wonder she managed to raise any money... although given my own experiences, I should be more sympathetic.)

Or perhaps it's imploring you to turn off the lights in your house, so I don't have to pop up and do it myself. (Us ninjas prefer the darkness. We're also very environmentally conscious.)

However (my graceful segue word in every occasion, from essays to awkward conversations) that is not actually what this post is about. I have no interest in fridges (other than the fact that they hold food! And food is good! Yay for food!)- today, I'm actually sharing two more of my lists from Moorea Seal's list project.

Week 12: things that feel like home. it's pretty easy to see that, for the most part, feeling at home means being alone. In the quiet. In the dark. (Again, this can all be explained by my inherent ninja-ness.)

Week 18: ways I'm energized. 

Of course coffee is the first on the list! (Priorities.) Funny how several of these ended up being similar to the previous list, despite having been done weeks apart.

What makes you feel at home? What energises you?

Also: The Great Gatsby comes out on Friday. Excuse me while I pass out from excitement. (NoI'mnotobsessed,whywouldyousaythat?)

Monday, May 6, 2013

university woes

As a soon-to-go-to university student (come on now. Admit that sounds far better than mere "grade 12 student") finances are a big concern. To be completely honest, mostly I try not to think about it. (Popcorn is cheap, right? And apples? If those were my two main food groups, I could survive!) 

...that is, when I'm not applying to scholarships. 

Did any of you apply to scholarships when you went off to school? How many essays did you write? (Honestly, my convictions on such varied subjects as Timing in Jane Austen and Worker's Rights are beginning to astound even me. Hopefully the judges feel the same!) Honestly, even though I'm a good writer, it's exhausting. (Although far better than the essays I have to write for French class... despite my growing ability to make things up when I have nothing to say, there is REALLY nothing I have to say on Agriculture in 18th-Century Quebec.) 

Also, I am of fairly average physical appearance. Meaning... I am neither tall enough to apply for the Tall Girl Scholarship, nor short enough to apply for the Short Girl scholarship. (These are really things.) Even more average, I have no desire to belong to a nudist colony... YES. There is a scholarship for people who want to join a nudist colony. WHY. (Seriously, I don't understand this mainly because there are so many gorgeous clothes out there. Why waste the opportunity?) 

However, I have still managed to find a few to apply to. My most recent one is the S-Trip Scholarship, in which I am even able to win a trip! (Let's face it, travelling is just the best.) 

(And, well... I just look so good doing it, too. Always a consideration.) 

However, I need supporters. I just need six more people... and I have only eight days left... and I'd really appreciate if some of you could help me out! All you need to do is sign up and say that you support me. (Yay for clicking a link!) Here's my lovely profile!

Thanks for dropping by, and happy Monday! 

Blog Hop

Saturday, May 4, 2013

things at which I could win a prize

The other night, I went to go see my friends perform at a major (for this town) music festival. (Shoutout to Declan, Anna and Cécile- you were amazing!) As is often the case, watching all of these wonderful performers made me feel... a little inadequate. (You know how I used to talk about playing guitar? Haven't done that since last summer. Sigh.) So, I thought I'd list some other talents of mine that I could totally win awards for!

-Pie appreciation. Honestly, I know no one who loves pie as much as I do. (The same goes for popcorn. Although, in both cases, I admit to snobbery- only pie with real fruit, and only air-popped popcorn.) Why is it that pie-eating competitions exist, but none for sheer love of it? What a sad world we live in.

-Reading. I am, hands-down, the fastest reader I know. (Upon initial glance, this doesn't seem like that useful a skill... but it means that homework assignments take me approximately half the time they take anyone else.) If there was a speed-reading and comprehension contest, I would definitely win.

-Protein baking. If I am baking something, it's almost a guarantee that I will find a way to insert more protein into it- necessary vegetarian skillz. (However, if you're going to attempt this skill, a word of caution: don't tell people that you've tried to make the dessert healthy until they've actually finished eating it. For some reason, my efforts do not recieve proper recognition.)

-Writing. Does this seem a little egotistical? Maybe. However, it's true- I'm a very good writer. (You don't see my true skills because my blog posts tend to be a little more rushed than my more serious writing, aka stories and essays. But, no bragging intended, those are quite good.)

-Being awkward. Really. No one ever sees this as a good thing, but look on the bright side- if I'm around, everyone will think of you as being far more attractive and put-together in comparison! (However, this one might be decreasing. At this same event, I had TWO conversations with an attractive boy and managed to sound entirely normal for both of them! -major pride-)

-Making lists. I am the List Queen. I make to-do lists every single day, not because I think I'll forget (sample list: shower. Make breakfast. Exercise) but because it helps me feel organised and in control. (WHEN EVERYTHING IS GOING WRONG AROUND ME! -drama-)

What are some skills you'd like to recieve more recognition for?

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

why do I do this to myself...

Recently, I have had too much time on my hands. (I'm not sure if I'm just more aware of it now that I'm unemployed, or if this used to happen all the time and I just didn't notice it... if so, I want my ignorance back!) I constantly feel as though I really should be doing something, but... most of the time I just end up browsing food blogs.

Do I actually ever make anything?... no. Usually I just drool.

So, today I thought I would make this hobby (can it be called a hobby? sure. Let's go with that. It sounds more legit that way) semi-productive and share some of my favourite discoveries with you!

Maple Pecan Granola with Dates.

I love granola. And dates. And pecans. And eating breakfast at all times of day or night. (Who doesn't?) So... I'm going to make this tomorrow night. (Maybe if I write it, I actually will?)

Blueberry French Toast.

My greatest worry when eating French Toast is that I'm not eating fruit at the same time. (...lies. Usually I only think of that after I'm done enjoying it.) This recipe is a great way to get both! (And yes, best of all, I actually have tried this one and it is delicious as well as being surprisingly pretty.) Next project: raspberry?

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie.

I've seen several 'Green Smoothie' challenges floating about... and while this is obviously not green, it's still healthy! And it has 'pie' in the name... my heart is won.

Raspberry Vanilla (Coconut) Breakfast Cake.

This looks simple... but within it lies an ocean of raspberry-vanilla goodness. (Yes, I made this too! I also put in half a cup of coconut... because I was cleaning out the cupboard... and oh my it was good.) Funnily enough, it tastes just like Fantasy Island black tea from David's Tea... so you could just buy that instead? (Or wait for your amazing friend to send it to you.)

Earl Grey Vanilla Pancakes.

Speaking of tea... why not infuse it into pancakes? We recently bought the kind this recipe uses, so I'll have to make these soon! (...before I drink all the tea, that is. I never claimed self-restraint as one of my qualities.)

(shh I know it's Tuesday but this is still appropriate) 

..okay, I just realised that all of these are breakfasty recipes. I suspect that when I live alone, that is all I will eat. (Plus popcorn. Popcorn should be in a food group all its own.) 

Is there anything you've been longing to cook recently?