Sunday, October 29, 2006


I saw a girl with a shoulder bag. On the bag were phrases. Wear sunscreen. Don’t count on an old age pension. Have many friends. I can’t remember the rest but they’re all from that song Kiran just recommended to me. What are the odds?

Yesterday I went to see Running with Scissors which I’d heard nothing about. It was crazy ridiculous-like, though funny and likeable. I found there were a few too many scenes that were straight out of Garden State: the pet funeral, the medicine cabinet, the screaming release, and there were more… Huh.

I’ve been spending time doing nothing too much when I should be spending it doing something. Despite my complaints about grad school being hard, I really don’t have all that much left to do in this semester. Actually, that’s a huge lie. I have two stats assignments that take up all my time, and then two five page papers for my class on Immigration, two smaller things for immigration, a 20-25 page final paper for Theory and another of similar length for Immigration. Plus I have two more assignments to grade this term for my TA class and 9 hours a week to spend doing RA work. What the hell am I doing doing nothing?

The professor I’m TAing for is really well rounded and cool. He’s from Alabama and did an undergraduate degree in Engineering and History. Then he went on to do an MD, the fellowship for which he is just finishing now in oncology. At the same time he’s finishing his PhD in epidemiology. And he’s working as a sessional in the sociology department teaching a course on research methods. AND he plays a bunch of instruments in bands. And he’s friendly to his students and likes traveling and smiles a lot. And he’s 33. Interesting.

And now it’s time to do something.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Jessica's random blogging supreme

My department is on the Southeast corner of Bloor and Spadina, a trendy student area full of restaurants and cafes and things. Everytime I walk along Bloor I notice new places I've never noticed before and I fail to find the place I'm looking for and I'm sure I've seen. Where ever did that pants-hemming place go?!?

There are also lots of Koreans in the neighbourhood (Korea town in five minutes away) and I can always easily spot them, either because of the telling fashion or the ahuhahuh characteristic girlfriend whine. Sometimes the sexy lip pout gives them away.

Speaking of which, the other day I took a friend's advice and checked out a sushi place called Rolu right near school. I ordered what they called the maki set which came with gyoza and some other things. What did I get? Kimbap and mandu. I don't like kimbap and I only like mandu fresh from the little shop next to the eyeglass store and across from the gym on main street, Suji. Deep fried likely frozen mandu be damned. Blasted! Then I noticed the soju poster on the wall, the Korean writing painted indescriptely on the window, the Korean owner and Korean patrons... Man, I will never escape. Not that I want to escape. Okay, I just want to never eat kimbap again. That yellow radish and spam just doesn't cut it.

So you're curious about the love affairs, eh? Too bad my family may still be reading this 'cause there's so much more to tell. Hi family!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Blast from the past

Okay, screw it, I'm blogging.

So the other week I got this email from my old co-worker, who I thought I got along fine with:


Just out of sheer and total curiosity... why did it matter so much to you (before you left Korea) that I didn't get that paper lamp and the "nice guitar"? You gave them to Jen (who, for the record, didn't want them and eventually gave them away) just because you didn't want me to have them!? Interesting. Let the record state that I didn't want either of them at all and they have recently been distributed to newer teachers BUT it has recently come to my attention that you were adament that I did NOT get them. I am really curious about this and I suppose the only way to get to the bottom of it is to go to the source (you).

I guess it just seems like wasted energy unless you really, truly cared.

Out of nowhere, just like that. Slam.

This is a ludicrous thing, really. And I was affected by it despite is ludicrousness. Speaking of wasted energy.

Geez louise is what I say.

Speaking of what I say, when I was in Korea I had a love affair that I never told you about. I met him my first night out and he asked me out a couple of weeks later and then nothing but friendship for about six months. Starting in January there was a two months love affair, and then nothing. We stopped calling. He couldn't hack the yellow dust and I was a little fed up.

We hung out at the Madison on Friday night and he said, "Jess, you were right. You snooze, you lose." (Insert deep eye stare here).

Uh huh. Men think they want you until you want them back and then nothin'.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

October Crisis

What the hell am I going to do?

I just watched the movie-version of RENT, a musical I loved and sang throughout my teenage days. I wanted to preface teenage days with 'happy' but perhaps that's inaccurate. In any case, the days of me singing and dancing to RENT, and waiting outside the Royal Alex for cheap tickets, and all the rest, were happy.

And today I'm sad.

I hate grad school. There's nothing good about it. I don't feel passionate about any of the stuff I'm doing and I have no idea where it's leading me. Sitting in that stats exam today really knocked me out. I got into the program because of my so-called stats ability and I couldn't hack it.

But the problem isn't the program exactly - it's only a year and the year will pass by quickly - it's my life. I have no idea what my life will become. The safety net of school is finished because school is no longer safe. I want to live a life where my time is my own. I want a job that I can love or at least feel good about doing, and that I can leave behind me in the evenings and on weekends so I can appreciate the people and city and life around me.

An academic career (and many other careers, I know) consumes your time and your mind and your soul. Or at least mine. And at least for now. I can't imagine doing a six year Phd so I can spend my lifetime doing this kind of work

Okay, so if I come to that decision then what else can I do? Where can I go? I want to live where I'm living with the friends that I have and be the person that I am but I need to do something that doesn't drain everything out of me. What is that?

For the past few years I've been on kind of a quest to find what I'm passionate about. In my early undergraduate days I expected passion to hit me. Then later on I realized I must seek it out, and I revisited things that from my past had made me overwhelmingly happy, then I went to Israel and Korea in an attempt to find something in myself or the world that would drive me.

All these things have been good for me but I still feel as lost as ever. Can anyone send me passion in the mail?

Breathe... and then get a drink.

I just came out of the most stressful testing situation of my life.

As a rule, I generally like to be prepared before tests. In previous statistics classes this hasn't been a problem. I do all the exercises at the back of the book, make sure I can do them, and voila! An easy test.

Today I sat down to my statistics midterm having heard the ... statistics... People generally do very well, the TA's and professor are there to help you through it, it's open book. No problem, right?

The test began at 1:00 and was to last until 3:00. I stared at the first question for about twenty minutes before calling over the TA. I finally finished it about an hour and fifteen minutes into the three hours. And I had three more questions to go.

It was BRUTAL. I can't begin to describe the feeling! I felt the pressure of time and the pressure of having no idea what the question was asking me. This pressure multiplied by the log odds of the probability of the effect of pressure equals me dying inside. And wanting a stiff drink tonight. Hell, right now.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

A photograph

Guess where this is? You're wrong, it's Toronto. Crazy, ain't it?

I can't sleep and it's far too late. I should sleep. Goodnight.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Confidence is Key!

Kiran thinks I should post more often. Fine. But first Kiran must settle something. I pronounce your name so that the -an sounds like -in. My friend who reads your blog says Kir-AN. She also emphasizes the 'ish' in aircondITioner. Well??

Word to the wise: Despite being petrified of all things medical in Korea (needle in the bum? no thank you!) you should still go to the dentist for a cleaning sometime during your year. It only costs something like 50,000 won and it's well worth it.

This Saturday I went to the dentist for the first time since more than a year ago. I was really excited to have clean teeth, especially since sometime during my stay in Korea I developed stains on the insides of my teeth along the gum line. I'd never had anything like this before and it freaked me out but not enough to go to a dentist in Korea.

Did I ever tell the story of D'Arcy having a cavity dealt with in Korea without any freezing?


I have a very rigid plan of action for visiting the dentist which includes thorough brushing the night before, thorough brushing the morning of, no eating that night or day, and thorough brushing immediately prior. The goal is to spend as little time in the chair under the chit-chatting wrath of the hygenist as possible. I don't know what's worse, hair dresser chit chat or dental hygenist chit chat. This plan usually works well and I'm in an out in no time with compliments about how clean my teeth are and how it looks like I haven't eaten anything in days. Whoo!

This time, thanks to the amount of time it's been and my stains, I was subjected to the chit chat for a longer than usual time. Not only that but she was talking to me about politically charged things like North Korea and Arabs and who should bomb/kill who. I was pissed! It is totally inappropriate to have that kind of conversation with someone who has their mouth agape and is unable to respond. Man! Just when I thought I couldn't take any more she started singing Fiddler on the Roof.

And then the dentist came by for his ritual bare hand, guaze on the tongue inspection after cleaning. This time, though, he casually mentioned a word I've never heard before: cavity. No!

I cried a little.

I have never had a cavity! Oral pain is something that really scares me. The thought of a needle in my gums is... something I can't find a good word for, even.

Once in highschool I had a dream that my music teacher, Mr. Chan, gave me a low grade. In the dream I was yelling, "I am an A student!!"

Once in first year university D'Arcy and I had a party in our residence room (that we shared - this is where we met). Another friend came by and ended up making out with a guy who had been hitting on me earlier in the night. I still can't live down the line, "Randi doesn't get action! I get action!"

I don't get cavities!!!

Phewf. On Saturday I will face my cavity filling doom. Ooh hoo hoo.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

A few pictures

Welcome to pictures of my room. I am sharing an apartment with my friend Jordana and 92 year old Pasquale. He lives on the main floor and we have the second floor and attic. We have a great kitchen and a good bathroom, a TV room and Jordana's room on the second floor. The attic is all mine! Mine I tell you!

Above is the lounge area of my room. I am standing at the top of the staircase and behind me is a wall. When you turn left at the red chair you go into the bedroom area. Yup, there she is. It's a slanty roofed place but I can't complain.

And for old time's sake...

We're in Toronto!