onefixedstar: (cherry blossoms)
I'm back safe and sound from San Francisco, having seen almost nothing of the city itself. We got in one good day of touristing before getting sick, and ended up spending the rest of the trip (once we were able to leave the hotel bathroom) in the suburb's visiting B's brother. Not a bad way to spend the time, I suppose, but I'm sorry I didn't get to see more of the city itself. I did get to watch a tremendous amount of Ultimate Fighting Championship, so I suppose I can add that to my cultural repetoire now. I'm actually rather curious who comprises the main audience for UFC--in what context is knowledge of UFC valuable cultural capital? Mind you, I'm not curious enough to do any actual research on it, but maybe one of my culture students will write a paper about it. (Last year, two people wrote about wrestling, so it's certainly possible.)

In other news, I passed my theory comp. Yay me! Frankly, I'm a bit surprised, as I thought my answer to the last question (of three) was terrible. But I'll take it. Even if it wasn't unanimous, I'll take it.
onefixedstar: (mystery)
I'm on Day 4 in San Francisco. B and I spent the first day hanging out with B's brother at his place, and the second day wandering around the city, hitting such tourist highlights as the sea lions, and a good chunk of Market St. We ended the day at Zuni Cafe, on the recommendation of my brother, and shortly after that, I was hit with food poisoning. (B blames Zuni, but I think I got sick too fast for that, and the burritos we ate for lunch are a more likely culprit.) Fortunately, we'd planned to stay in a hotel that night anyway, so I didn't have to worry about returning to the suburbs, and was able to spend most of the night on the floor of the hotel bathroom. Twelve hours later, just as I was starting to feel a little better, B came down with the same thing. We booked an extra night in the hotel, and spent the rest of the day in bed, watching the Law & Order marathon on TNT. (Sadly for me, the hotel only had about 20 channels, and there really wasn't much on during the day. B was too sick to care.)

We're still recovering today, so we've mostly been watching TV at B's brother's place. I'm hoping that by tomorrow, we'll actually feel up to doing something again.
onefixedstar: (mystery)
I spent the weekend in San Diego for Brent's brother's wedding. It was my first trip to California, and it was far too short. The weather was lovely, the ocean was lovely, the jacuzzi was lovely, and the wedding was of course lovely too--on the beach, in the sun. Getting out of Toronto was not so lovely--we got there the recommended 99 minutes in advance, and then proceeded to spend an hour checking in and checking our bags. Needless to say, this put us a little behind schedule in getting through the rest of the lines. We were pulled out and placed in the rush lines for both security and customs, which was good since nearly everyone else had boarded the plane by the time we reached the gate. (Apparently they all knew enough to show up more than 90 minutes in advance.) Coming back was okay--much less rushed. The only minor incident occurred when, for some reason, Canadian Customs decided to redirect B over to the Immigration Desk where they looked at his papers and said, "We don't know why they sent you here."

Tomorrow, sadly, I must return to working. Hopefully my ears will have recovered from the landing by then.
onefixedstar: (mystery)
I woke up this morning to find little notes scattered around the house, saying things like "pancakes are yummy" and "pinch me, I want pancakes." So I mixed up the batter, which is sitting in the kitchen (wet and dry still separate, of course), and now I'm waiting for the person who wrote those notes to wake up. Unfortunately, I'm not hearing any movement. If he doesn't wake soon, I'm going to start cooking the pancakes to see if the smell wakes him. Or maybe I'll do what he asked and pinch him...

Hey, does anyone know of any good B&Bs in Ottawa or Montréal? (Unfortunately, the people most likely to know of some are on the road today, but maybe they'll see this when they settle in somewhere.)

Links

May. 4th, 2006 06:27 pm
onefixedstar: (mystery)
I've been rather negligent about updating my journal for...well, the past few months, at least. Rather than try to actually write up a proper, essay-style post, I'm going to post a list of facts instead. I may even try to relate them.

1. I've decided to try to finish my theory comp before B's family comes to visit in June. It's not looking terribly good right now, but I'm trying to remain optimistic. (Not looking terribly good = haven't read one word in three days.)

2. Even if I get my comp done, I'm not sure I'll be able to go to Ottawa with them (if that's where they end up going) because I have agreed to TA for 101 yet again this summer. I'll probably end up in a tutorial position, which is fine--better than marking in many ways--but it ties me to the city for 3+ months since I'll have to be here every Monday and Wednesday evening.

3. That's all assuming the funding for the position comes through.

4. It probably will, because the Undergrad Chair had a great deal of trouble finding someone to teach 101 this summer, and one of the incentives she ended up offering was extra TA support.

5. On the plus side, a return to Wednesday night tutorials could also mean a return of Quesadilla Night.

6. I need a TA position, because it looks like my RA job is pretty much over, apart from the possibility of being called in for occasional work. Our last meeting was interesting--it was supposed to be a wrap-up meeting as most of the team is no longer being paid (they were on salary for the term), and yet somehow it ended with all of us being assigned more work: collect more email addresses, write a cover letter, follow up with more analysis...

7. I've recently started watching "House." The plot structure is terribly predictable, but the characters are entertaining, and I think I may try to catch up on it this summer. As long as it's not airing on Monday or Wednesday nights.

8. Something else I'd like to do this summer is starting reading recent issues of the top journals, to get a sense of what's being done in the field, and to seek inspiration for a dissertation topic, because it's getting kind of ridiculous that I don't have one. (I did, but then the person I came here to work with said he didn't have time to be my primary advisor, and the person he sent me to instead said it wasn't a topic he felt he could properly supervisor. I could find a new advisor, but I really like the person I was sent to and think he'd make a good advisor, so I've decided to find a new topic instead.)

9. My lack of dissertation topic is one of my main reasons for not wanting to attend the department potluck tomorrow: I don't want to explain to the faculty who are there why I don't know what I'm doing. Roommate is organizing it, so she's really pushing me to go, but I may refuse anyway. I haven't committed to bringing anything, and we're holding a houseparty here for the graduate students after the potluck, so I won't be completely left out.

10. I'm getting small red dots all over my screen. They show up in multiple programs, on white backgrounds, but they aren't always there. I'm not sure what's causing them, but they have me somewhat concerned.

11. I wonder when they're going to turn on the a/c in my building.
onefixedstar: (mystery)
Inspired by a recent post in [livejournal.com profile] cooking, I made some biscotti this afternoon. Four kinds, in total: lemon, vanilla almond, cinnamon, and double chocolate cherry. It turned out better than I expected, flavourwise, considering that I mixed the dough and then added the flavouring agents after separating it. Cookingwise, I toasted it a little too long on the second baking, but otherwise it turned out well. I especially like the double chocolate cherry.

In tangential news, B is going to be organizing a session at a conference in Urbania, Italy in July. Schedule permitting, I may go with him. Yay, Italy!
onefixedstar: (mystery)
When we last left our intrepid author, she was happily snuggling down in sunny Florida while bemoaning the careless misplacement of her luggage by the airline that made her wait one extra day to get out of the cold.

I'm back in the cold now, and Toronto has gone waaay cold to welcome me back. (Or at least I'm told that it wasn't this cold before I got here.) I did finally get my luggage, in Gainesville, five days after we checked it in Toronto. Apparently they failed to realize we'd been rerouted and flew it to our original destination. I discovered later that one of the reasons for the delay (after they finally found our luggage) was that when American handed it off to Continental to deliver to Gainesville, they forgot to hand off our contact information. Thus, when the luggage arrived in Gainesville, they had no idea how to contact us other than the Toronto phone number on my luggage tag. Of course, since we'd never given that number to anyone at American, I didn't bother checking those messages.

At any rate, all's well that ends well. I'm glad we were visiting B's family rather than staying in a hotel, sinced it meant B could borrow clothing from his brother and we could both make frequent and free use of the washing machines. (Free laundry is still a luxury to me...)

The rest of the trip was great. We went Busch Gardens with B's brother and his brother's girlfriend, and rode the new rollercoaster with its ninety degree drop. We did Christmas with B's family, and his parents gave me a lovely scarf. (I was a little worried about all of the gifts I had ordered for B arriving in time--and rightfully so, since one of them wasn't there when we arrived. Fortunately, despite an email warning me that it had shipped late and wouldn't arrive until January 24th, the finaly gift--a computer remote control--arrived the day before we left.) We walked along the beach. We hung out, watching movies and playing board games. We B, his brother, and his brother's friends watched an incredible amount of college football (something that's nearly non-existent in Canada), and I learned enough of the rules to follow along when I bothered looking up from my computer.

Now I'm back to marking, but I'm much more relaxed than before I left. Which is good, since this term's going to be work-intensive. But the, aren't they all?
onefixedstar: (mystery)
When we left the airport on the 26th, after our cancelled flight, we left without our luggage. We'd waited twenty minutes at the carousel where cancelled luggage was supposed to appear, and it hadn't, so we'd checked with the attendant there and said we could pick it up the next day when we came back for our new flight.

When we arrived the next morning, there was no baggage waiting for us. We went to the USAir rep, who told us that it had probably been passed off to our new carrier, American, but who suggested we should check at the USAir office in Tampa in case it had been rerouted there, and if not, file a claim with American. We arrived in Tampa yesterday afternoon, walked the length of the baggage claim searching carousels and both offices with no luck, and then filed a claim. So far, no sign of it. Of course, it's only been one day.

Today we're planning to hit Busch Gardens. Tomorrow it looks like we may be doing some shopping.
onefixedstar: (sandmanweber)
I was supposed to be basking in the Florida sunshine today, and instead I'm still trapped in the snow and ice of Toronto. (Well, okay, it's actually not that cold in Toronto right now--about -6 Celsius with windchill, and northern Florida gets close to 0 at night--but it's the principle of the thing. Plus the palm trees! And the lack of snow! And psyching myself up for a trip that didn't happen.

My sad but short tale is that B and I scheduled to fly out at 11:55am. At the time neared and the boarding call didn't come, we checked the screen and discovered we'd been bumped an hour. Okay, no problem. Well, a small problem, because the waiting room was waaay too small for the number of planes departing and we couldn't get a seat, but that's a minor problem. Then 12:55 hit, and we still hadn't boarded. Instead, we were informed that our plane had experienced a small smoke problem, and mechanics were taking a look at it. The next two hours were spent standing the waiting room, listening to repeated assurances that it wouldn't be long now, and unable leave for food or chairs for fear that they'd board the plane while we were gone.

At 3:00, they finally gave up on the repairs and cancelled the flight. B and I lined up to rebook, only to discover, when we got to the counter, that there were no available flights today to anywhere in northern Florida. None. And no compensation for our lost day, of course. (They did offer to fly us to Miami, landing at midnight, and leaving us with only an eight hour drive to B's parents' house!)

So now we're stuck in Toronto another night, and B gets one day less with his family, and we're going to try again tomorrow morning. And I'm really, really not happy with USAirways.

Travel!

Nov. 20th, 2005 02:59 am
onefixedstar: (mystery)
We finally managed to book tickets at a reasonable price where reasonable = less than $1000 total. We're flying to Orlando (and then driving to either Gainesville or Tallahassee) on December 26th, and returning to Toronto on January 5th.

On the minus side, this means I'll be missing out on most of the holiday festivities with friends. On the plus side, even northern Florida is a hell of a lot warmer than Toronto in December/January. I'm actually not sure which B is looking forward to more--seeing his family or the warm weather.
onefixedstar: (Default)
Today's been a good day at the conference so far. I'm currently in my second session on online news. It's only partly on topic (yesterday's session on political engagement online was more instrumentally helpful), but it has been interesting so far.

The current paper is a comparison of gender portrayal in pictures in English online news and Russian online news. Not surprisingly, there are lots more pictures of men.

I haven't made it to Millenium Park yet, which I really want to do, but I did make it to the Ghiradelli store where I picked up some dark chocolate for my upcoming chocolate taste test. I've also made it to the book store, and plan to return tonight to pick up a new book for the plane ride home. (I actually didn't go out planning to hit the bookstore--there aren't many differences in the books available--but it was conveniently located right next to the chocolate store, and once I was there, I couldn't resist going in.)
onefixedstar: (Default)
One of my favourite things about vacations is the way they reset everything, breaking down old, fruitless schedules and creating the possibility for more productive patterns. With that in mind, I spent an hour or so yesterday coming up with a new schedule for the fall. This schedule is a little more general and flexible than many of my old schedules. I'm hoping that means I'll actually be able to stick to this one. So far it's worked pretty well, apart from a moderately bad headache that led to me going home for a long nap this afternoon.

On a very happy note, I got paid today for the government report I wrote. Yay! Even though several people have told me that I'm being underpaid for the work I did (and they may be right, but since the rest of the money went to fund the project we were working on rather than to line someone else's pocket, I won't worry too much about it), it's still a nice bonus. Now I need to decide if I'm going to spend any of it, and if so, on what. I'll probably put off major purchases since I still don't know what my financial situation will look like this year (and I really wish they'd tell us a little earlier how much money we're getting and from where).

And speaking of vacations, the next stage of my trip: New York. )
onefixedstar: (mystery)
On the drive back from Quebec City yesterday, I started thinking of late summer and early fall and all of the wonderful food they bring, in particular tomatoes and winter squash. So tonight I made tomato salsa, which was delicious, and pumpkin muffins, which were okay but not great. I think I'll try a different recipe next time; I'm hoping for something a little moister with a stronger flavour. There's lots of pumpkin left over, so if I get sick of muffins, I may have to try making pumpkin curry with pumpkin instead of pumpkin pie filling and see if I can manage to spice it appropriately. Mmm, pumpkin.

Oh yeah, and I'm back from my trip, alive and intact and completely recovered from the cold that plagued both B and me for nearly the entire two weeks. Well, I think B actually was sick the entire time--yesterday was really the first day he seemed to be completely well--but I had a few days on either end when I was pretty much healthy.

I already posted about Philadelphia, but I'll give you a slightly expanded version.

Philly. )
onefixedstar: (Default)
Philadelphia:

- We had a really cool 24-hour diner about a block from our hotel and the waitress remembered us when we went back the second night.
- The hotel itself was quite nice, although the room was a bit small.
- There weren't that many sessions that interested me, unfortunately.
- B developed laryngitis the day before he presented, but still managed to pull it off. The mic helped.
- We hung out with both my friends and his, separately and jointly, and good times were had by all.
- We spent way too much time walking the docks in search of free jazz that never materialized and a recommended restaurant that was miles away form where it was supposed to be. Then we went to a Japanese steakhouse and watched them cook the food in front of us.
- The security around the historic sites was scary.

And now we're in New York. And exhausted after walking around Manhattan all day. And I'm going to sleep.
onefixedstar: (mystery)
The trip planning is slowly coming together. [livejournal.com profile] villagechick, we're going to drive from Philadelphia to New York on the 16th, and leave on the 17th for Providence. I'll email you soon to see if there's any chance we can meet you and VB then.

[livejournal.com profile] semiotic_trader and [livejournal.com profile] a_just_society, we decided to skip Montreal so as not to intefere with your packing. Instead, we're going to see Quebec City, which neither of us has been to. Have you guys been there? Do you have any suggestions for places to stay or things to see?

Ottawa

Jul. 5th, 2005 02:58 pm
onefixedstar: (mystery)
B and I went up to Ottawa for Canada Day because he'd never been there and I thought July 1st was the perfect day to introduce him to the city. :D

We didn't actually make it into downtown Ottawa during the day because we opted to drive up that morning, and discovered that getting out of Toronto on the first day of a long weekend is a bit of a challenge. When we finally got there, we were so exhausted that sitting around at my friends' place seemed like a better idea than wandering the streets of the city. It meant fewer opportunities to gaze at attractive, half-naked boys wrapped in Canadian flags (or the impressive sight of the street leading to Parliament Hill packed solidly with people), but it also meant more time my friends and their new baby, which was pretty exciting itself. I hadn't seen them since before she got pregnant, so it was wonderful having a chance to catch up. And we did make it down for the fireworks, which were spectacular from our vantage point behind the Supreme Court.

On Saturday we went out to the market with my friends, met up with [livejournal.com profile] semiotic_trader and [livejournal.com profile] a_just_society for coffee, and then wandered along the canal (with a visit to the new giant spider scupture outside of the National Gallery--the egg sac was a particularly disturbing touch) until we got tired.

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