evilhippo: hippo (92 [helpful])
( Mar. 24th, 2007 02:51 pm)
It's my last day in Canada. That always makes me sad. I've had since a wonderful week of lazing about and getting very little done on my BA and fretting and freaking out and purchasing Daleks (well, one Dalek), attending pow-wows (actual-type, not metaphorical), leaping over chairs at socialist meetings, and being jealous of [livejournal.com profile] chocolatemoose and her Science Centre, which is the coolest place anyone I know has gone to high school (goshdarn her). And being acutely aware that it must be weird to always have something like the U.S. looming to the south, huge and cumbersome and emitting noxious pop-culture and conservative rays. (Though it's possible they're noxious pop-culture and conservative particles. I'm not sure.) But it's certain one country can have enough of its own in those departments, without, say, the U.S. flag ending up in the centre between the Canadian and POW flags, where it certainly doesn't belong when it's visiting Canada.

And, now that I've relaxed about my grades (freaking UofC... freaking me and my bad instincts for grades), I've got ideas for my BA again (which are either due to (re)watching the first bit of Heroes last night, and random bits of the BSG miniseries, or me relaxing. Or general insanity. Or possibly all the reading I did yesterday for my Graphic Novel class, which had some lovely bits on censorship and media self-censorship and an article that name-dropped SCAD's 'Sequential Art' department like, fifteen times, which amused me to no end). So I fully intend to write on the bus into the wee hours of the morning (and by that I mean for approximately an hour, because that's all the longer my battery lasts anymore)... provided I don't have to sit next to someone (because then I'd worry about bothering them).

And I've had entirely too much time to get re-addicted to the internet, like the wonders of Flickr and active fandoms on LJ. (It's a reaffirmation of the functioning of the internet that the one photo of mine on flickr that's gotten the most views/comments is of our cat The Fonz. Though it is an adorable picture of her. I'm going to have to steal one of our cats when I get my own place.) And I finally got rid of a lot of the anime-type communities on my friendslist that I no longer pay attention to, and now I've replaced them with... TV. Actual... TV shows. That I watch. I haven't been in actual-TV fandoms since the X-Files. (But everything goes around in circles.)

I'm assuming I'm not the only one worried by the trailers for the new season of Doctor Who, though. What with the kissing. And the whole... personal ad feel to them. (That kissing had better involve being possessed, just like both of the ones Rose got.) Fine, I'll admit to being sad at the end of the second season. I thought I could adjust to a new companion. Because it'd give Ten a good reason to be more doctorly, rather than being slightly subordinate to Rose in the what's-going-on department from time to time. (Okay, so that really only happened here and there in the first bits of the second season, but... still. I prefer Doctors who are more self-assured. Except for Eight. Fine, I like Eight. You can flog me now.) I don't worry that David Tennant can't pull this off... but... ack. I think my trust in Russel T. Davies was somewhat unhinged by Torchwood. I worry. I worry lots. (The Doctor is asexual! Asexual! And if I keep saying it, it'll be true, even though it hasn't been since Eight! Goshdarn half-human timelord! Though, the new series keeps overwriting previous canon at random so, whatever. Yay, time travel.) But fine... I'm looking forward to the Shakespeare episode. And am... in general... looking forward to having Doctor Who again come next weekend. Woo! (It'll make up for the fact that there'll be no more Battlestar for me for a while after this (?) weekend. Woe.)

In other, semi-related news, I need to quash this urge to write Heroes fic. Especially the bizarre, bizarre urge I have to try to get Nathan Petrelli's voice down. What's going on brain, for seriously? Nathan Petrelli? Of all people? (Fine, I want to write Claude, too. And Hiro. But of everyone, I don't think I could nail Hiro down properly. Because he's one of the most adorable characters I've ever seen on television, and I don't want to injure that by writing him.)
evilhippo: hippo (91 [reading])
( Mar. 18th, 2007 11:38 am)
I'm almost to the point again where I can exist here without laughing at accents and the subtitling of all signs in French. (I think the only way to get rid of the desire to photograph the Wet Floor signs that caution me in French rather than Spanish will be to do just that, though.) Toronto is a lovely city--lovelier than I remember it from last time I was here... which was five (five!) years ago. Yesterday involved a random trip to the Eaton Centre, and wondering about dinner about five feet from where [livejournal.com profile] chocolatemoose and I met up for the first time. The most interesting bits of yesterday were west of there, though, in Kensington (I think) and along Queen St. Kensington is a lot like Belmont (yes, Belmont is a stop on the red line and a street, not an actual neighbourhood but, whatever), only there's more of it, the streets are only two lanes, and there are bits of Chinatown mixed in. Oh, and the secondhand stores aren't nearly as expensive. And, I wish Chicago was as good as Toronto at having stores full of complete random. (In tangentially related news, one random randomstore contained a box full of Inspiration for Revenge.)

Yesterday's haul included a very awesome green Holmesian hat and a small talkative Dalek who made us some friends at the Go station on the way back to Pickering last night. We were taking pictures of it by the tracks when we heard "Hey look, she's got a Darlek!" (Yes, he said 'Darlek') I think I looked over my shoulder and laughed and he turned back to his group of people... then I heard "Exterminate!" and from there we had a kind of odd brief conversation about my tiny plastic Dalek. I should also say these people were oldish. I wonder if they were oldschool fans. Twas quite amusing, though.

Also, spinach and goat cheese (or spinich and goats cheese, according to the menu) crepes make for lunch of awesomeness.

P.S. The Go Train is awful for getting The Old Apartment stuck in my head every time we go past the Danforth stop.

P.P.S. Even if I get over the French and the 'eh'ing, I will not get over the fact that Scarborough is pronounced something akin to Scarbrah or (my favourite) Scarbo. It's almost like Boston got a hold of it. I knock some letters off the end, but not the whole second half of the word.
evilhippo: hippo (66 [undercover])
( Mar. 16th, 2007 12:46 pm)
I am sitting in a computer lab. In Canada. I should be working on my BA. And instead, I am going to class. Quantum class. Oh dearie me.

Also, I think I slept for 30 minutes on the bus.

P.S. Physics is confusing. And quantum has lots of daggers in. Lots and lots of daggers.
I can't believe my week up here is almost over. And it was only today that I finally switched my American cash for Canadian. At least I can pay [livejournal.com profile] chocolatemoose back what I owe her with proper, colourful cash. The bank teller seemed to think I'd just come back from the US. Though on the whole, I guess that's a safer assumption. And I don't mind being confused for a Canadian.

So, today basically started in the afternoon, though I slept in marginally less than I have usually this week. (I was actually up before noon!) We had dinner (pasta!) and sat around and watched TV. I'm going to take a moment and try to figure out what the weirdest thing I've seen on American television is... but I'm pretty certain nothing I've ever seen beats... Bingo Bling. (Which, as best I can do in my research, happened only today). I'm not sure I can reconstruct this for you, but I'll try my best. It was entirely in French, which on its own is rather unremarkable. However, it had a hip-hop theme. And all the people were white... trying to be... hip-hop-y? (And this is where the speaking French became amusing.) There was rapping in French. And awkward, awkward dancing by about seven random awkward people. In French, to French rapping. With bingo going on. BINGO. White francophone hip-hop poseurs playing bingo. It was just... wow. It was a cultural train wreck, really.

Then we went to see V for Vendetta, which was good. I was going to play DDR, but in hindsight it was probably a good idea not to, since I've got a bit of a headache now. I blame the weather, which is half-rain sort of snow. Well, actually last time I looked outside it'd turned over into the thin sparkly snow. Still the sort of in-between weather that gives me a headache though. Alas.

But really... Bingo. Hip-hop bingo. In French. Have you ever heard the word "bling" in the middle of a sentence in French? Because I have now.
evilhippo: hippo (17 [giggle])
( Mar. 23rd, 2006 05:33 pm)
Yesterday, though most of it was spent inside playing around on my computer, was a very interesting day. I learned a lot about both life in general, and Canada.

Canadian food, for example. Though I knew from earlier conversations that Canadian milk comes in bags, I do not believe I was quite prepared for the full reality of the trip to the grocery store. Where there are usually gallon jugs (okay, I can see the beginning of the problem here, what with our standard measurements, sure, but still...) there were... stacks, I guess? Of bags of bags of milk. I wish I'd brought my camera with me, but who remembers to bring their camera to the grocery store? Because these were not only plastic bags filled with three smaller bags for milk, but they were very, very brightly coloured. Okay, so, not neon. But what threw me off was that, if you walked a few aisles over into the, oh, feminine hygiene section... it would be the same colour scheme. And the same general style of bags. Canadian milk, you amuse me. At some point, I will probably drag the bag of 2% out of their fridge and take a proper picture of it, just so you can see how hot pink it is. (And, of course, those of you who are used to milk being in bags... this is for the benefit of at least two of the people from the US who were thoroughly confused when I tried to explain this last night. Hehehe.)

I'm also working on gathering evidence of the Kraft food monopoly up here. I thought it was weird enough that it was Kraft Dinner. The box says Kraft Dinner. Macaroni and cheese is in a small font in the lower-right of the box. (Incidentally, I also learned about eating it with ketchup yesterday. The rest of the Kraft Dinner line in If I Had a Million Dollars makes so much more sense now... wow. It's only taken me what, eight years?) By far, however, the most shocking thing was the peanut butter. There are but two brands of peanut butter up here. There is Skippy... and there is Kraft. (Yes... I took a picture of the peanut butter in their cupboards for this very purpose.) Kraft peanut butter. No Jif. No Peter Pan. Skippy... and Kraft. Peanut butter. Canada is a very strange place. I'm not even going to go into how it's like being in a French/English dictionary sometimes. As long as you're not looking at the box of Ritz Crackers for an accurate translation. Oh, Canada. Parts of this part up here feel totally like the towns around where I live, and yet your food manages to confuse the crap out of me. What gives?

Oh, and I've caught myself self-consciously avoiding my native pronunciation of both "out" and "about". I'd catch myself doing it strangely from time to time back home anyway... but here it's getting more often. My accent is weird anyway, I don't think I need to twist any more words out of their midwestern tint... yet here I am. Softening my "abowt" to something less foreign. Despite the fact that my pointing and laughing at their milk and giggling at the casual use of "eh" highlights me immediately as a silly American anyway. Oh, and the fact that I estimate everything in miles... and my sense of how warm things are in Celcius is about as off as it can be. At least I know what zero is. And that's about what it's been all week. (It's gonna be 50 when I get back to Chicago. Warm!)
evilhippo: hippo (28 [hokage])
( Mar. 21st, 2006 01:31 am)
Dear Journal,

Today I celebrated the equinox like a Pagan by playing with fire and discussing (not very successfully) Canadian politics with socialists. There was also singing involved. I will not be surprised if they never let me back into the US.

(Canada is fun, if a bit cold. And it's super-weird being "the American". Especially since I'm very bad at being one. Other than that... so far, I have learned that if I have to sit through a physics lab that I am not required to participate in, I should probably bring something to write on. And oh, I have fic bunnies eating me alive right now. Ones that require research even. I should probably do something about them. La la la. Ice cream tomorrow, yay!)
evilhippo: hippo (45 [isopods])
( Mar. 19th, 2006 08:05 pm)
So, the Arctic temperatures greeted me not long out of Chicago on a bus that seems to have lacked heat. Entirely. I'm never travelling without a blanket again. In fact, once we arrived in Detroit and transferred to dogsled for the long journey into Canada, it was actually warmer. I got asked extra questions at the border, probably because I laughed at the questions they were asking me. Especially after they asked me "Oh, who are you visiting?" Implying that they wanted a name. Way to go, Canada. Reinforce the idea that everyone here knows everyone else. Hehehe. But at least I didn't get searched or something. I'll try not to laugh at the American officials on the way back... I'm going to a socialist equinox celebration tomorrow, and I'm pretty sure that might be subversive activity of some sort. I'm likely to get myself labelled as dangerous and not let back into the country.

Anyway, I am now safely inside [livejournal.com profile] chocolatemoose's igloo. It's a three-story igloo, with plush carpeting. I also just realized that I forgot to bring a sweatshirt. Blerr. I suppose I'll have to find some blubber to borrow, so I can keep warm with that.

Oh, and Canadian emo-goths (with skulls on their argyle) don't know DDR etiquette. And apparently my tolerance is a 9, and two 7s as far as a set goes, because after that I was ready to fall over. My endurance sucks! I'm going to blame part of it on being on a bus all night and not sleeping, though. Oh, and at some point, I'm going to have to copy down what I wrote in my notebook about the adventure in the terminal in Chicago. That deserves its own entry, so I'll do it at some point this week when I have little else to do.

Edit [8:54]: (whoa, I'm on eastern time) There's something terribly fun about everything being bilingual in a language you can read. Especially when you're staring at the box of Ritz crackers... and its little slogan-thing. Which in English is "Mr. Christie, Nobody bakes it better." And... then there's the French version. Which is "M. Christie... il y a longtemps que je t'aime." Either this is extremely idiomatic... or this box of Ritz crackers has declared its love for M. Christie (which is apparently the equivalent to Nabisco). I'm lost already.


evilhippo: hippo (Default)


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