Tuesday, 30 September 2003

Just another day...

Well, another day, another penny! It's been an eventful couple of weeks (har har) and I am once again feeling the need to share.

Was sick as a dog for a week, and am just now getting over it. There was some kind of freak flu going around St.John's, and it just wouldn't be me if I didn't catch it. Always one to follow the crowd! Yes indeed-why, if everyone started choking down small rodents like snakes (of which there are none in Newfoundland...)(snakes, that is...), and filling their pants with chocolate ice-cream before leaving the house, I'd be the sweetest-legged hamster-gorger around!! Alright, sarcasm aside, these Easterners contaminated me with germs, and I was dying a slow death on my birthday.

Yah! Birthday came and went. I am now 32, and once again the age seems to fit like a glove. It's strange how every year the age I turn seems to be the one right for me. I truly like my 30's. Not too old, not too young, juuuuust right. Although right for what exactly remains to be seen. Such is the lot of the late bloomer! You get into your 30's and wonder, what the crap am I doing?? How the crap have I survived this long?? And why the crap hasn't any of my friends said "What the hell are you doing with you life already?" instead of just letting me embarrass myself-like a zipper that's been undone the entire day you wear your Underdog Underoo's?? (Those of you who know Underdog, Underoo's, or the more conventional Mighty Mouse are at least as old as me!!!) So, how did I celebrate this momentous occasion? I sat around in my underwear, blew huge (and I mean huge!) amounts of snot into vast (and I man vast!) amounts of tissue, drank copious amounts of tea, and had one small cry. Sweet, sweet birthday bliss!

Actually, my neighbours dropped by with prezzies and cake. And I received a few birthday parcels, many wonderful birthday phone calls, and was able to have a truly valid excuse to catch up on much needed sleep. All in all, not bad.

University seems to be going alright. Or "going" at any rate. I seem to have slipped, ever so slowly tumbling, gently falling, leaning, leaning, into the deep well of procrastination. Again! I'm not too far behind, but it really does cause some trepidation to think that I have fairly easy courses and just can't get my work done. What will happen when I get to actual 3rd and 4th year courses? Or, dear Lord, grad school???

(Those who have noted that I am writing a long entry in a web diary about procrastination in order to actually procrastinate- give yourself a cookie.) Well, I suppose there's nothing quite like crushing failure, followed by mind-blowing debt, to spice things up a bit. [note: save just enough money for plane ticket to Cuba and "streetwalker" outfit for a "graduation present" to myself]

I seem to be fairly happy, despite occasional outbursts of homesickness, and really love the concepts of Folklore! I'm waiting to get into some really juicy stuff, which I don't think is going to happen this semester. But, as they say, you have to learn to roll before you slither, so I'm getting the basics under my rolls and mushing on.

Thank all the gods for October! It's one of my favourite months, so I should get more work done. It's a month long creep-fest, preparations for Halloween and El Dia de los Muertos, cooler weather (I hope!!), and a day off school (thanksgiving). Plus, my little webmaster/brother's birthday! He's getting old, too! Hooray!

Well, peace out and pip pip, and all that rot.


Thursday, 11 September 2003

9/11 (2003)

Well, Hello again m'loves! And how are you all doing?? Hope none of you are feeling crooked or sooky or anything!

*crooked: feeling crabby and childish. Ie: I already brought up one box from the car and no one appreciated it, and if anyone wants to get more boxes they can get them for themselves, cause no one appreciates me anyway, and I never wanted to bring the damn boxes up anyhow!

*sooky: Newfoundlander version of "sucky." Ie: chicken: cuddly; weepy; if I can't do it I don't want anyone to either.

Yep, I'm learning the lingo already! (Why those two words in particular I can't explain...)

So, school is well and truly started. All classes are going well, and I can actually navigate my way around this place. The Memorial tunnel system is interesting, though why someone would pay to have a slick, shiny coating on top of cement (nice for slipping on during rainy days, nice hard impact!) is beyond me.Professors are quite good, and I have a lovely (we'll see) job at the library.

Yep, I'm working in the Collections department of the campus library, and so far it's fairly fun and interesting. I'm just doing data entry and some searches on line and through the stacks, but it's not bad. The man whose department I'm in (History, Economics, Political Science) is a bit of a fuss-pot, and I can never work more than 10 hours/week, and never make more than $6/hour, but that's the only drawbacks. I'll just have to get another part time job and I should survive the winter. (Thank god I'm built for inclement weather!)

I'm meeting some interesting folks here, and it's wonderful hearing all the different accents. There are people at Memorial from all over the island, and the world. Every part of Newfoundland has different intonations and sounds and words and phrases. Very neato!

I have a couple of bits of Newfoundland wisdom for you all:

"Laziness ain't worth a fuck unless it's well tended." (Meaning: if you haven't done enough work to lay something by, you don't have time to sit around and reap your rewards)

"They're as thick as shit in a jug." (Meaning: NF version of "thick as thieves"--don't ask)

Well, that's all for now. I'm still sending this out from the wonderful campus computer lab, but my home 'net should be up soon!!! We are on Newfoundland time after all...

And hey, let's hear from you sorry MoFo's!! I have very little email or mail coming my way...(lazy bastards!)


Wednesday, 3 September 2003


God, how I miss that wonderful smile of recognition as you walk into a classroom and have the relief of seeing someone you know-can sit with-can talk to. For me, for now, it's just a smile of acknowledgement--yes, we've met eyes and the polite thing to do is smile and nod, or smile and mouth-without making actual sound-the word "hello" or "hi." And attempting to make conversation in these embryonic stages is a lesson in futility at best! (What a nice collegiate sentence!!) You ask about classes: do you have this textbook or that, have you had the prof. before, is this you major. Words trickle and fade and whisper out of existence, and silence just settles in again, except for those people who know each other and are enjoying the thrill of speech.

Bloody hell! Don't let me have to make a speech in front of this class of strangers! The professor hasn't even walked in the door and I'm strangling with fear over a presentation I don't even know if I have to give or not.

And I only have to go through this madness another three times today. I wonder if my poor heart will stand it?

(You can tell I'm nervous...I'm waxing poetic!)

Later:Thank all the gods and goddesses that have ever existed in the universe!! I do not have to give one presentation this semester!!!!

Now-for those of you smug pusses who perhaps don't like giving presentation, but still-like the brave little soldiers you are-get up there and muster up the courage to go for it: Fuck You! I'm not trying to be rude, but there is just something about presentations-at least as a student giving one-that are so bloody awful they make me want to retch and die! If I was a teacher in front of a class, an actor in front of an audience, or even an interviewee in front of a panel of interviewers (all of which I've been before, so I speak that which I know) I would find it easier to cope with.

But ye gods and little fishes! Those dull, vacant, zombie-like stares, glazed eyes, slack jaws, professor in the corner furiously taking notes as you speak, the horrible dawning realization that you don't really know what the hell you're talking about----the horror, the horror.

Yes, I know I have to get used to it sometime, but not now. New place, new culture, new school, new everything!! At least give me a semester, people! (Ha ha ha, as if that would actually help my speech phobia!!)

All my classes went well, with the exception of the first one. I had worked myself into such a lather that I ended up running out of class as the prof. lectured to run to the bathroom! How sad is that?? I certainly hope this will not be a regular occurrence. I spoke to the prof. later though, and we actually had a rather nice chat. I think he will fast become one of my faves, and I hope like hell I left a better impression with him than the one of me darting past him as he lectured!

And one last thing for this entry: this school was built in 1962 and looks it! I'm sitting in seats that are actually attached to the desk tops (and we're not talking lecture theatre here, just regular classroom desks). And I swear that someone has most definitely killed themselves in each of the bathrooms! (Not the same person, of course. A different person for each W.C.) I'll definitely send pics soon.

Well kids, I'm out of here. German homework awaits and I plan to use the facilities before class to try and save myself a bit of panic!!

The horror, the horror....

Tuesday, 2 September 2003

Falling forward...

Well, well, well, faithful fans. I'm back and almost ready for action! Let's here it for school computer labs: Hip Hip Hooray!! Without it, I would still be the voiceless little ragamuffin I've been for the past 2 weeks. And those who know me understand--that just can't be!!

So, I've been in Merry Ol' St.John's for about 2 weeks. I arrived on the 18th of August at about 1:30am Newfoundland time, all alone and confused as hell! There were people waiting at the airport for their loved ones, and I had a moment as I realized that no one was there for me. Awww, poor me.

The Newfoundland cab drivers, a blustery-mad-driving-but-kind-hearted lot soon took me in hand, and 2 or 3 of them got my bags into the boot, and my driver and I whisked away into the rainy Newfoundland night. He was very kind as I told him that I was not staying for a week or two, but at least 3 years:"Jesus Christ, my love, what the hell would you be wanting to do that for!"I told him I was a student and knew no one, at which he said:"Ah, my love. I have a friend as comes from Toronto. He didn't know no one when hecome, and just decided to go to the pub for something to do. Well, three weeks later it was his turn to cook everyone supper!"Very sweet. The hotel was a welcome thing, as I had a bath and a bed to recoup after my looooong day of travel. The next day I had another Toad of Toad Hall at the wheel, and we flew through the streets of St.John's, him pointing out the different places and the school, and me hanging on for dear life! Once again, the cabbie took pity on me and said that I'd make friends in no time, and hefted my 70 - 80 lb bags as if they were kittens! When I commented on his fine set of Newfie muscle, he took his hat off, turned red, wiped his face and said: "None of that, now, none of that." and ran to his cab and peeled off. Too cute.

So, my landlord is one of the sweetest men, and he's put the word out to the building that the poor student from BC has no furniture. So, it comes trickling in: a single bed, an end table, a wicker rocker, a stolen chair from the seniors room (landlord did this, not me!), a lamp. Soon I'll actually be a real apartment dweller again, and not a squatter!! And, I've taken to keeping a sharp eye on the garbage shed out back. It opens with an actual door, and someone actually threw out a perfectly good dresser! It just needs a bit of fixing on the drawers, which should be no problem. Yep, squatter, dumpster diver, penniless-I've really come up in the world!!

And, I already have a few friends in the building! A few older ladies on my floor get to walking around the park, and I am one pair of huffing lungs among them!! These women couldn't be more kind, gracious, and thoughtful. Without them I think I'd still feel like a piece of flotsam (or jetsom??) floating around like a dead seal in the Atlantic! Slowly, I'm getting myself aclimmated to the new surroundings.Though I was surprised to find that I have an accent! I never had one before, so I'm not sure where it came from...maybe the plane??

So, the next entry will be one of school and classes! And some pictures will follow very soon, as well.

Stay tuned to the same Puffin time, same Puffin channel!!


p.s.some Newfoundland terms (perhaps a whole section will follow as I gather these up)

"around the Bay" or "down the Bay"--anywhere outside of the city"decked out"--dressed up nicely, as for evening out"kick you in the cussocks"--not entirely sure, but it must have something to do with the male addendums