Saturday, December 22, 2007

Hello again, liquid eyeliner

Overpriced makeup came in the mail, but somehow I didn't hear the post-person and now I have to go pick it up on Montreal road with ID and proof of residence. Can you believe I paid $80 for this convenience?

So much more to say, such little desire to share how pathetic my holiday is shaping up to be. 'PhD applications' are tied with 'thesis' and 'personal life' for 'Andrea's biggest disaster of 2007'. On the bright side: from here, 2008 is a long, gleaming road of upswing. It has to be.

It'll all come out in the wash.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Holiday blues

I wish my overpriced makeup would come in the mail.

I had to work today, and I had a mild panic attack when I looked at the schedule and realized xmas is next frigging week. I'm in pretty good shape; I've made all the gift I planned on making by hand, but I've put off the shopping till now and it's the worst possible time of year to shop.

I made an observation today; the holidays make unimportant things seem urgent and important things get shelved, where they fester in the subconscious stress-basin to keep you up at night. If it were socially appropriate to bring a laptop and work on my thesis on christmas day, I would. But it's not. In fact, it's super-not. To do so would look rude and selfish, etc etc ad nausium, even though it's essentially the focus of my entire life right now.

So what's the problem? Have I lost perspective? Or just the commercialized "christmas spirit"?

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Somber hangover reflections

I haven't been in a very good mood lately.

I'm stressed by the multifarious pressures of putting together the PhD application, which is essentially designed to be a heart-attack inducing bag of stress. Futher, to have to convince all these schools and profs that you're worth any of their attention at all can be a bit of an ego-crusher. I think the whole point of its tediousness is in weeding out people who say "what's the point?" and throw in the towel, and believe me, I've been close to that point.

Futher to that, when you're feeling stressed and low on self-esteem, any little thing can throw you off your feet. Case and point was last night, my staff xmas party.

I had worked that day, and had grappled with my usual feelings of "nobody likes me here" and "nobody appreciates the work I do here". That happens. Nonetheless, I do enjoy the company of the people I work with, regardless of what I percieve my popularity there to be. And I was looking forward to the party too, especially the gift exchange where I envisioned a big reaction to my thick, soft, fluffy mittens that I worked so hard to have finished in time.

We do a "chinese gift exchange" at our parties, which means that when someone opens a gift, they can swap it for a previously opened gift. The year I made alligator mittens, everyone fought over them all night and my heart soared. The girl who unwrapped my mittens this year tossed them away in favor of something "better" without a second's hesitation, and my heart sank. They wound up going to the new girl, who claims to like them a lot, but seeing them so unappreciated was unreversible.

This is the plight of the handmade gift enthusiast; the odd time someone will not appreciate the time, work and care put into your items. And fuck, does it sting.

On a lighter note, my disappointment culminated in my almost getting into a fight with some girl at the bar. Picture this; Zaphods. I'm wearing a BCBG corset-top and pencil skirt with my highest stiletto heels. I have an updo and elaborate makeup. As I walk along the bar from the dancefloor-end toward the coat-check area, I encounter some congestion of people. My travels slow down as I'm worced to walk toe-to-heel against people in front of and behind me.

All of a sudden, the girl behind me spills her drink all over me. I'm not exaggerating either. I felt it all over my chest and left arm, my top and my leather watch; I even felt it fall down my left leg and into my shoe. I raise my arms and turn to start accepting the profuse apologies I'm expecting, but I don't get any. When I inform this broad that she has just showered me in whatever whe was drinking, she told me to "take it easy", and my cup runneth over.

Details of the event are a bit of a blur; I vaguely recall repeating "take it easy" incredulously. What I do remember in perfect clarity was that she tried to walk away from me, toward the door and down the steps... so I helped her along. I shoved this girl down the steps from behind. I was 100% ready to fight, despite the fact that I was a) wasted, b) in high heels and c) far smaller than this girl I was fronting, even with my high heels on.

For all I know, it would have been a fight I'd have lost, but I'll never know because the girl just disappeared. I looked for her for the rest of the night, but she was probably hiding from the drunk, crazy woman (me).

Anyway, drink-spilling girl, if you're reading this, you need to be taught some manners. And I need to vent some aggression. So bring it!

Friday, December 14, 2007

2:56pm - light lunch; glass of red wine.

I'm working on my thesis. Or is my thesis working on me?

I'm in a bad mood thesis work won't fix. Goin to Winners!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Day in Montreal

Today was the longest day ever.

Dad and I were on the road to Montreal at 10am and I was barely awake. My first appointment was at Concordia with Prof. Acland, which was very enjoyable. He was very personable and gave me lots of information about the school and the program. My interview with him probably put Concordia at the top of my list, actually. The campus was beautiful, great location, etc. Definately a good prospect.

McGill was so-so. My meeting was with a prof who had a wierd office on the outskirts of the campus and it was snowing cats and dogs, so I didn't raelly get a visual impresion of the school. His interview was very brief and to the point; he didn't really "sell" me on the program, but I guess that's not his job. He did reiterate what a highly ranked and prestigious school McGill is, and how few spots there are in their PhD program, etc.

The way home was a real pip. Apart from the lovely snowstorm, dad and I were thrying to leave downtown Montreal at 5 o clock PM! We were stuck in rush hour traffic forever. In fact, I only got home a little while ago, and it's now ten to ten. Ugh.

I brought my knitting bag in case I got back to town early enough to join the girls, but I'm just too exhausted from the ride home. I hope they forgive me. This week has been far too busy for my liking.

I'm excited to have a day off tomorrow, with no travel plans, and no shifts at Top. I have a few errands to run, might check out the gym at some point, do some xmas shopping. I think a day off my applications is in order though.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Yesterday I was so discouraged and overhwlemed by my applications that I managed to accomplish a whole lot of nothing. Actually, no. I did accomplish one thing. I managed to spend almost $80 on cosmetics online. That's right, cosmetics. 3 items. $80. Someone should take my credit card away when I have PMS.

Today I will work on thesis until I have to go to the store at 5. No more retail therapy allowed. If I'm good, I'll treat myself to an ice cream or something. But $17 for an eyeliner... yeesh.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Weekend in Toronto

People I know think that I'm pretty laid-back, but I'm actually a huge stress-case. Case and point; my trip to Toronto. I was terrified of wandering around the "big city", finding my friend's apartment, finding York U, finding the prof, finding my way back home. I did a LOT of preparation for my trip. I researched the TTC so that I knew what I was doing. I printed maps of the city, bus routes, subway lines, etc. All this preparation, and I forgot my emailed confirmation of train ticket purchase that I was supposed to print out and bring to the station.

It wasn't a big deal; it's just a confirmation. They had my name and credit card # and stuff there, and I was able to pick up my tickets without a problem. Nonetheless, it's the kind of screwup that makes me infuriated at myself and makes me worry even more about my ability to complete my mission in Toronto.

I got there and found my friend without incident. We went to Sneaky Dee's for dinner and drinks, which was very enjoyable. Sarah and Dave just got a new teeny tiny kitten, who I enjoyed playing with. She kept climbing my legs like a monkey up a tree. Thank god for denim!

The next morning, I embarked on my trip to York 2 hours ahead of my appointment to ensure that I made my meeting on time. I have to say, I am so impressed by Toronto's public transit. That subway is quick! From Downsview station (the northmost stop on the subway) I caught an express bus especially for York students. That was a long busride. That school is really far from Toronto central! I had been told, but dang. That's a hell of a commute to do every day if I don't want to live in North York (and I don't).

Here's where things get really sad. 11:50 - I show up for my meeting ten minutes early, enthusiastic and ready for the interview. I waited... and waited.. and waited. 12:15 - I ask the secretary if they'd seen the prof. Nope. Any way of paging him? No. 12:30 - I'm starting to get upset. I call Sarah and have her go into my hotmail account to confirm time and place. Monday 12 noon, Film and Theatre building. 12:45 - I'm plotting my revenge. Infuriated, I'm planning what I'll say to this asshole when I finally see him... something along the lines of "If you think $160 and ten hours of travel is not a big deal, you were never a grad student" or "If this is a reflection of your institution, York can fuck itself", etc etc.

12:50 - He shows up. Apparently, we'd been having 'communication issues' over email... He got my frist 2 emails introducing myself and making the tentative appointment, but he never got my confirmation (which I KNOW I sent!). He apologized for making me wait, and let me in. At this point, much of my enthusiasm has evaporated. I asked the questions I had planned to ask, but I'm sure I didn't sparkle the way I had originally intended to. Furthermore, I had been really interested in the program at York but the prof told me a few things that are making me reconsider. All in all, it was not a good meeting.

Afterward, I was able to get some shopping done and had a quick meal with Sarah and Dave before getting on the train coming home. I arrived at 9:58 last night and went straight to bed.

Today my itinerary is pretty laoded:
- I have to figure out what's up with my emailing! I'm supposed to have appointments with profs in Montreal later this week, and if something's up with hotmail, I need to fix it!
- Dr's appt at 3:30 pm. What a fucking pain in the ass just to refill a perscription I've been on for almost 10 years.
- Thesis! Argh! I'm running out of steam for this school business. As if these applications aren't punishing enough, my supervisor is putting the screws on me about my thesis. In fact, he said he couldn't write me a good recommendation without a few "letter perfect" chapters under my belt. Wonderful; the applications are due in a month and now I've got some "letter perfect" chapters to produce FIRST.

This situation is killing my ambition and making me wonder if I am simply a sado-masochist seeking stress and pain. Every time I meet with a prof, they suggest that I apply at another school or program. "Cast your net widely," they say. Have they forgotten that each school costs $80 just to apply? Transcripts cost another $10, and each school wants 2! That's $100 per application, plus that time and pain and suffering that goes along with all the work that I send in to them. I mean, FUCK!

I'm going to proceed with applying to 4 schools; York, Carleton, McGill and Concordia. If I get in to one, great. Cool. If not, fine! I'll wrap up my masters thesis and try again next winter. Take a year to work and save money and maybe even get my driver's license. Not the end of the world.

Wow, what a long, cathartic post. I remember when I started this blog and would stare at the blank window wondering what to write.

Friday, December 7, 2007

I was undecided about what to make for the staff xmas party, so I was wise to wait for inspiration. Today, my stash told me what to make.

I had forgotten about this BEAUTIFUL Patons Luxury yarn I found at a salvation army last spring. It's a mohair blend, bulky weight, blackish/greyish. The color is called "starry night" or something like that. I found 4 brand new balls in a bag for 99 cents. It should have easily cost over 7 or 8 bucks a ball!

Bulky weight yarn is good for a quick gift, and the neutral color makes it very versatile. I found a pattern for crochet mitts on Ravelry, and I'm finally inspired! The trainride should fly by!

Today I got my ISIC card, ordered my transcripts and got as much rest as I could. I'm a little weak and headachy, but not sick in the traditional sense of the word. 5 hours on a train is pretty restful too, if you think about it. As long as I don't have a cold; ie- as long as I'm not blowing my nose throughout my appointment with Dr. Forsyth! I'll be ok.

My usual computer routine has a new venue;! Over the holidays when I'm not so insanely busy, I'd like to cross-post many of my FOs from craftster to handmadeottawa.

J and A did a great job starting it up, and it's exciting to be "on the front lines", so to speak, and see it's membership grow by the day! If you haven't checked it out yet, do!

Sore throat

I had a tickle in my throat yesterday, and this morning I woke to find a full-blown sore throat! Boo! I have the busiest week EVER starting tomorrow;
I work 2 to 9 Saturday, and then I'm off to Toronto Sunday! Not a good time to be sick AT ALL. But that's when these things happen, don't they?

I had to cancel plans for snowboarding with Lizz this afternoon in favor of "taking it easy". What crap! At least I might be able to nip this bug in the bud. That would be great!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Going in to see my supervisor today. FINALLY! I will sleep better after this meeting, I believe.

Still haven't decided what to make for the staff party... I need to have a plan by Sunday. I went out and bought some washable worsted-weight yarn in an amazing grape purple color; a color we're seeing a LOT of in the store right now. I'm thinking of making just plain mittens with it, but the mitten pattern I've been using is really long and slow. It's knit on dpns and a teeny tiny guage, which makes them beautiful and warm but very time-consuming.

I'm on the lookout for a good/interesting mitten pattern in crochet. Crochet is ever so much faster; and also more yarn efficient, I think. I could possibly make a matching hat & mitts with that one "super saver" ball!

Tonight, T and I are having dinner with my sister and her husband. It was her hubbie's bday like, 2 weeks ago and tonight is the first night we've been able to secure a night and get a sitter for the little'uns. Thing is, reservations is for 7:30... unless Tom drives me right to Vanessa's afterward, I won't make knitting circle!

I'll make him drive me.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Compromised efficiency!

Wednesday morning. Still haven't heard from my supervisor.

The bus #7 comes right from my neighborhood, through the market, all the way down bank and right into the Carleton campus. Convenient, right? Wrong. It takes forever. Bank st takes forever. Especially now, with that terrible detour due to the demolishing of that pub, it takes just over an hour for me to get to school.

I need to go. I need to pick up TA assignments and get myself an ISIC card so that my train ride to Toronto next week doesn't cost a small fortune. Thing is, I'm waiting on hearing back from my supervisor. I was hoping to have a meeting with him the same day as I run these errands, thus killing not two, but three birds with one stone!

But he's not getting back to me, so I'm going to have to bite my efficient tongue and ride that 7 all day. Blast!

I bought my transcripts from Ottawa U online yesterday. A nice $80 for 8 copies!! Frig! That costs about as much as each individual application! This application process is going to cost me a small fortune... good thing I've made most of my xmas gifts this year!

I trid to start working on a gift for my work xmas party last night, but I was... uninspired. I looked through all my hip knitting/crochet books (and I have a LOT!), and couldn't find anything that really excited me. So I decided to make purple animal mittens because they're such a hit in general, but I couldn't seem to cast on. I wound up working on my other mittens instead.

Maybe I've made too many animal mittens and am just so sick of the pattern. Or, it is possible that I just don't want to contribute the same handmade item tio this staff party that I did once before; even though that was about 2 or 3 years ago.

Luckily, my invite came in, so I have the luxury of being able to peruse their free patterns for something that inspires me. Their search engine is wonderful too; I can choose criteria like what it is (mittens, socks, etc), what weight yarn I'm using (worsted, bulky, etc), which method I prefer (knitting vs crochet) and whether or not I'm willing to pay for a pattern! Genious!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007!

Finally got my invite to! It's been a month of waiting and desperately checking the waiting-list-checker... now here I am and what a wonderful distraction from all the super important things I have to do today!

I'm going to let myself play with it later. So excited to get all my knitting stuff organized!

In other news, I'm hungry.

Monday, December 3, 2007

I get so rediculously excited when I have email! To come home to 14 new messages was a real treat today, even though it was mostly my school colleagues giving me feedback on my personal statement.

I had to work today in this absolutely redonkulous weather and I'm pretty glad to be home and warm... I think I'm going to take a bath and take it easy tonight. Tomorrow is schoolworkland...

1) go to campus to pick up the LAST OF THOSE TA ASSIGNMENTS FOR 2007! I'm glad, eben though I still have to mark their final exam, and I have to do it all over again in January.
2) read the feedback for my statement and revise it accordingly
3) get printer ink! Probably on my way home from 1)
4) gym
5) laundry
6) ok, now I'm just thinking out loud.

I hereby officially give myself the night off.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

I can't believe I forgot to mention!

Undeadclothingco made it's first sale yesterday! A has paid me, making his my first sale ever!

A, if you're reading this, I'm jacking the price for custom wallets. Yours was a 'preferred customer' rate, FYI. Random car forum guys pay more!

Setting the wheels in motion

My month is coming together now. I've heard back from all the profs I've contacted, and made travel plans to Toronto and Mtl next week. Having plans set in stone is really relieving stress I didn't realize I had. I guess I was worried about fitting travel in between work, family, applications and thesis. Fortunately, those close to me understand how important these travel plans are.

Sunday Dec 9th I'm going to Toronto for one night. I have a meeting with a prof at York the next morning. I'm getting to stay with Sarah and Dave which makes me really happy and excited. I sprung for train tickets; I figure it's worth it for 2 reasons. 1) I can knit/read on the train and I can't seem to do that on the bus without getting bus-sick. 2) The train is less likely to be held up by terrible weather, which is all we've been getting lately around here.

I'm going to Mtl with my mom and dad (their parents live there from Dec 13th to the 14th. Yes, that means I have to miss crafting circle that week! It hurts. Especially since I was all like "Yeah, we'll do the gift exchange on the 13th and we'll have it at my house and it's the perfect time and blah blah blah!" Oh beans. The next thursday is the 20th, and I hope that's not cutting it too close for out-of-towners. Waiting till after xmas is not the biggest deal, but it's a bit of a bummer.

The Let it Snow party last night was... alright. Last year, I "stopped by" the party after closing the store. I wasn't in the mood to party at all, and I wound up getting hammered and having an amazing time. I guess I had high expectations for last night as a result. It was still fun, but not the shit-show it was last year. I'm glad too, because I have to work today and I remember being hung-over as hell last year.

Speaking of work, I better get going!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Eerily quiet at the living dead girl's house

I woke up at 7:30 am and the boys are still asleep. Now it's 8:19 am and they're still asleep. Felicity isn't even annoying me yet. It's like the Langoliers or something... you know? That Stephen King movie about people who fell asleep on a plane and when they wake up, everyone who was awake is just gone? I actually haven't seen the movie, but I read the short story and it was good. The people had just disappeared but non-organic matter (ie- tooth fillings, dentures, steel rods, pacemakers) remained in their seats. Creepy, huh?

I am officially in the midst of a super-busy stretch. I have something reasonably important and time-consuming to do every day from now until Xmas. Fortunately, I've got much of my xmas gifts taken care of. There remains the hardest man to buy for; the notorious t.o.m. I'm pretty sick of buying him video games, DVDs and books he doesn't read.

Any suggestions, blogosphere? What to get the man who has it all?