Friday, October 29, 2004

Oh yeah, and a note for y'all:

I can't get into my hotmail account from work so I've been sending some people emails from my UPEI account. They'll likely go in your junk mail.

In other news, I booked another leg of my November adventure today: my flight from Paris to Glasgow. So now I officially have two days in Paris. And I need to find a place to stay. Mental note. It's just hard doing research on hostels because I mostly use the internet at work and most accommodation-related sites are blocked off.

Last night was my first lacrosse adventure and it was soooooo much fun!! Naturally, I wasn't exactly great given it was my first time, but I am going up to Aberdeen with the team tomorrow to, uh, "play". Or so they think. I@m hoping they will let me watch for most of the game because I don't actually know all the rules yet and I have trouble getting the ball into my stick. Apparently it's easier on grass versus, uh, that stuff that is like the bottom of a tennis court. ANd we are playing on grass tomorrow so maybe I'll be a little better.

Or more likely not =)

Hallowe'en fiesta tonight and tomorrow. Woo!

AAAAAAAAAAAND blog no. 3 I wrote on Wednesday. Also not finished.

Bored bored bored. Heh, by the time I actually get somewhere to post all the blogs I wrote I'll have a thesis of ramblings.

I have done work today. Seriously. But my boss is gone and I finished it. It's okay, they all know I have nothing to do so I don't feel bad wasting time. Today I have read oodles of blogs of people back home. Some people I know, some I don't. It's weird, because they don't know I have read them. I wonder if anyone from home reads this, people who I wouldn't suspect.

Anyway, sounds like nothing has changed in Ch'town. Surprise! =P

I have also been relearning french. Unfortunately, all the webites I have come across so far are very basic and not really as advanced as I would like. That's fine though, it's better than nothing! It also makes me feel smart because I actually do remember quite a bit of it.

A recent trip to the washroom revealed just how badly I need a haircut: quite badly. I won't classify it as very badly yet, but it's heading in that direction. However, the £15 (minimum) could be better spent on other things. Such as a night in a hostel in Paris. Or a flight somewhere.

Uggggggggggggggggggggggggggh. Bored.

Yesterday I waited a half-hour for the bus. Joy. I even called the bus hotline. The guy just said all buses were running late, despite the fact I didn't even tell him what stop I was at or which bus I was waiting for. I guess being an advanced mind reader is in the job description at Lothian Buses. Anyway, the 5:01 bus must have come super early as I was at the stop at no later than 4:55. The 5:21 crawled along at 5:27ish. Good job, guys. My bus this morning was also late.

I know these things happen and traffic and roadworks play a huge factor, but the 5:01 should not be that early! I am practically at the beginning of its line and since I work quite a piece out of town there are few traffic lights that would slow/speed up the bus route. I mean, my bus being five minute late this morning is understandable. Traffic congestion, rider levels, roadworks are much more likely to slow me down in the morning commute.

Anyway. I still managed to buy my mouth guard last night. Since my bus was super, super late I had, no exageration, about three minutes to spare. Then traffic was the pits and it took me awhile to get from the mall into town. Uggggh.

Tonights plans include catching The Princess Diaries 2 at the cinema and molding my mouth guard. Even if I hate lacrosse and wind up never playing again I'll still wear my mouthguard around the flat to make me look tough. It's not really necessary though, I know Keri and Shan fear me anyway. They just try reallllllllllllly hard not to show it.

I impressed Shan with my memory last night. I also decided I need to find a bloke to have a crush on because I'm bored. This would give me something to think about. The requirements shouldn't be too hard to meet:
  1. Must be my soulmate.

Is that really too much to ask? ;) And not being from Cork, Ireland would be helpful. I would like to be able to understand what's coming from your mouth.

I lost one entire kilo. Yaaaaaaaaaay. I don't know how many I put on since moving here, but let me tell you it is much more than one. Looking back to when we first arrived here, maybe the Haribo-candy and beer-guzzling eating regime was not in my best interest. Or maybe it was, because the candy was good and the beer was often cheap or free due to our, now non-existant, connections. Meh, whatever. I enjoyed 'em at the time. And now I actually enjoy going to the gym and stuff so it really doesn't matter.

It's just when I try to fit into some of my clothes... =D

I have just been informed that there *will* be work for me to do this afternoon! I was also somewhat encouraged to check out the new job postings for permanent positions here... Hmm... Scary. Mainly because I have my fingers crossed for my Disney application to go through and I don't want to leave people stuck if I had to adbruptly leave for Florida. Or spelling courses based upon my spelling of adbruptylheahwiogw.

Blog no. 2 from work, wrote right aftertheone that appears below this one. (The space bar on this keyboard sucks.)

So I am mighty bored at work. Thirty minutes into the day, and nothing to do yet. So I am taking a trip down memory lane. Do join me, although I don't blame you for ditching me and taking an "accidental" wrong turn.

First up, when we lived in Cornwall. I have practically no memories of here, mostly what I know is from watching home videos. I have one memory of my room. The blind was down, but it was sunny outside so the room wasn't completely dark. And I had just woken up. Another memory is flying a blue kite with my neighbour, Brodie, I think, and I was scared I would let go of it because there wasn't anything to hold on to at the end, only the string. We also had a mat thing to put your shoes on when you would come in through the front door. If you turned it upside it was covered in prickly things that hurt when you walked on them. Of course, Jeff and I walked on them.

Eventually we moved. In some year. Lets say... 1986? I remember looking at our house before we moved in, but from a geographical perspective, I could have sworn it was on the other side of the park. Like down on Cottonwood somewhere. I met Amy at the park, and played with her for many years to come! Bizarre memories that don't include normal playing include me and her wearing the same shirt and trying to convince her sister that I was Amy and she was me. We figured if we put the hoods up on our shirts then we would look the exact same. We were also wearing the same colour pants. Needless to say the wiser big sister was not fooled. Also, waaaaay early on in our friendshp (like the first summer) I remember Amy's sister and her sister's older friend not wanting Amy to wear her nice dress shoes to the park. Amy wore them anyway.

Other memories of the early West Royalty years include the park programme, being awful at t-ball, and Jeff putting gum in my hair. Oh, and once I stayed at Sara Allen's house late watching/playing the Ghostbusters and didn't call home. It turned out we had company so I got in a wee bit of trouble. I think I was too shy to ask to use the phone or something.

Also at some point pre 1990 (before we had a pool and big deck) Jeff was grounded in the summer for a day. I felt bad for him so played with him on our red patio and we pretended it was a boat.

1990 saw the brilliant move of having a mullet and a perm at the same time. I should scan a pic of that period. My Aunt called me a poodle. That is the polite way of saying, "Child, your hair is nasty!" Well, looking back it wasn't a winner, but at the time it wasn't *that* out of place.

** then I stopped and did some work or something.

Hmm, wrote this Wednesday morning at work at, like, 9:15 in the morning. Busy day indeed! ;)

2. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING? France, by Lonely Planet, and Boy and Going Solo by Roald Dahl
4. FAVORITE MAGAZINE? Entertainment Weekly, McLeans, and the trashy glossies they have over here ;) (Good for reading when wasting time in the grocery store or in Boots)
5. FAVORITE SMELLS? Sunscreen because it brings back happy memories. And when I come home and either Shan or Keri have cooked chips. And the shampoo at the gym.
6. FAVORITE FOODS? Cantelope, wraps/fajitas, cake
7. FAVORITE SOUND? I like the national anthem. (Valid answer, it is really just a collection of sounds.) And smooth English accents. And the Scottish ones I can make out.
8. WORST FEELING IN THE WORLD? Homesickness - although that hasn't been around since my days in Ottawa
10. FAVORITE FAST FOOD PLACE? Wendys, how I miss thee. And all the wrap/pita places in Upper Canada are good.
11. FUTURE CHILD'S NAME? I don't know... Trinidad and Tobago.
12. FINISH THIS STATEMENT. "IF I HAD A LOT OF MONEY... good things would be done for others and many trips would be taken.
13. DO YOU DRIVE FAST? I haven't driven in almost six months. Sad.
15. STORMS-COOL OR SCARY? Scary. Gives me flashbacks to episodes of Rescue 911 which I should (have) never, ever be(en) allowed to watch.
16. WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST CAR? Maple Red Sunfire. Seriously. It's even in the driveway at home. Check the registration. I drove it once for two minutes.
17. FAVORITE DRINK? A good pint of Tennets, spiced rum and coke, or, if I'm home, Rickard's Red or vodka and peach juice.
And Apple Juice, just by itself =)
18. FINISH THIS STATEMENT, "IF I HAD THE TIME I WOULD... Start an organisation involving international development and/or cracking down on corporate coruption.
19. DO YOU EAT THE STEMS ON BROCCOLI? Uh... yeah. Considering the stems are about 95% of broccoli...
20. IF YOU COULD DYE YOUR HAIR ANY COLOR, WHAT WOULD BE YOUR CHOICE? Red. Or a random blonde chunk or four.
21. NAME ALL THE DIFFERENT CITIES/TOWNS YOU HAVE LIVED. Cornwall (isn't it officially a town?), Charlottetown, Ottawa, Edinburgh
23. FAVORITE SPORT TO WATCH? Oooh, I find watching hard because I would rather participate. I'll just say the Olympics in general - not so much for the sport, but for the spirit and personal accomplishment.
24. ONE NICE THING ABOUT THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU. No one sent it to me. I ripped it from Shannon's page (not flatmate Shan, but a Shan who stayed with us back in August). But she was a cool houseguest and fun to have around! We got to play the "Do you know...?" game that is mandatory when two Islanders come together.
25. WHAT IS UNDER YOUR BED? Keri's Finding Nemo toy.
27. MORNING PERSON, OR NIGHT OWL? Mostly night owl. I am not really a morning person, but I don't like sleeping in too much and thus "wasting the day".
28. OVER EASY, OR SUNNY SIDE UP? Umm, over easy I think. I realised that I don't know what sunny side up means.
29. FAVORITE PLACE TO RELAX? At home on our patio, here, by process of elimination, our flat. Or the sauna at the gym!
30. FAVORITE PIE? Graham crust with four mountains of strawberries.

Well, that is all. I'm bored. The bus was five minutes late this morning. I actually figured I missed it, despite being five minutes early for it. Lets just say the 29 is testing my nerves...

Monday, October 25, 2004

Well slap me on the ass and call me happy!

I actually did something I talked about doing! I just finished booking flights to London and to Finland. Now I have a dilema. A few, actually.

1- No money in my bank account to pay my December rent. Umm, whoops.

2- I kind of messed up my schedule so I won't be able to work very much in the coming six weeks.

3- When to explore France (before or after Disneyland Paris)

4- If I should explore London after Finland.

Oh the dilemas!

So Disneyland Nov 13-14, Finland 17-22.

Maybe I should talk to my boss and find out when I may be done of work.


Hey all ~

Again I type this from work and cleverly email it to myself for posting later. How much later? Who knows. Probably after work today as I have some internet-ing to do at the library. Although I have basically been drifting through the web for the past couple of hours at work due to lack of stuff for me to do. But again, the Midlothian Council denies access to the websites I want (airline and travel sites generally) so I still need to hit the library after work.

Today was the start of week five at my job. If this job continues to next week it will be my longest job since coming to Edinburgh! At the same time, I could use some travelling time... ;) Seriously. I want to get a three-day City Link bus pass which gives one unlimited travel around Scotland on bus for three days. I also want to go back to London. And, mental note, need to buy a ticket home from Paris. Technically, I already have one but I want one that is later in the week. In new Be-Brave-Jen! fashion I shall travel les rues de Paris seule. Oooh yeah. Also, I'm looking into heading to Finland for a bit as I know someone who is there right now. The Finland one is a little scarier because I know NOTHING when it comes to the local languages (Finnish and Sweedish).

So I finally got off my ass and have sent my resume off to the wonderful people at Walt Disney World in an effort to gain meaningless, but sun-filled employment. Although, if you want to be picky, I actually sent my resume to the hiring agency in Quebec who will then decide if it's worthwhile sending my resume any further. Note to Cast-A-Way Cruise and Resort Hiring Agency: I am DEFINATELY worth it. Seriously. Not only am I easy to live with, (cue Keri and Shan rolling their eyes) but I will help the local economy because I know I will have visitors while I am working down there. Watch for Janet MacPhail, her passport will probably have the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA stamp bi-monthly.

So I do not yet have a Hallowe'en costume. I wanted to be creative and put something together, but I find I lack resources here. Believe it or not, I did not bring any Hallowe'en stuff with me when I traversed across the Atlantic. (Sidenote: is traversed a word?) I wanted to be Robin Hood but couldn't really find the proper costume parts. I could buy a pre-packaged costume but that seems so... easy. There are some nice ones out there though. I am thinking of buying some rubber snakes and putting them in my hair and going as Medusa. Then I'll just wrap myself up in a bedsheet and put on Evil Greek Villain make-up.

Or I could also wear as little clothing as possible and stick on some cat ears. Or bunny ears. See the movie Mean Girls for proper commentary regarding girls' Hallowe'en costume ettiquette.

Plans for la fin de semaine prochaine: Hallowe'en party, hair cut, watch TV at the gym (okay, exercise too), etc.

Lets discuss the haircut. Good God I can look like I have a lot of hair. A haircut would do me two worlds of good. But at the same time, so would a low-carb, de-toxifying, South-Beach diet and that isn't happening because that's a waste of mental energy. And because I like bagels.

In Oh-my-God-it's-going-to-be-hilarious news, I am playing lacrosse this Thursday!

I'll continue with this story once the laughter dies down.

So, our Calgarian friends (us hang out with the Scots while living in Scotland? Like, as if!) play lacrosse every Saturday afternoon and have practices on Thursdays. This week I am tagging along to see if lacrosse is something that strikes my fancy and if I want to become part of the team. Okay, so I envision myself playing well, making fantastic passes and amazing catches but... well... athletics was NOT evenly divided between the MacPhail children. The daydreams I should be having should include a lot of dropping the ball, swearing, yelling, frustation and a bad mood afterwards. As for pride, it should take a massive, massive beating. Sigh!

Oh yes, and a special plea to anyone out there who may have a copy of Entertainment Weekly's Annual Power Issue out there. I think it was released a couple of weeks ago and I would love it if you could refrain from throwing it out and instead save it for awhile and let me read it in December!!!

The plants beside me look soooo dead. I will water them.


Sigh. Thirty more minutes. Do you know how much more ramblings I could type up in thirty minutes? Hee hee... But I won't bother. Instead I'll do something constructive. Like watch the water get soaked into the plants' soil.

The plants are such opposites. The leaves on the smaller ones are furry and nice to pet. The bigger plant is covered in thorns.

The end.

... for now... Oooooh....

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Whoops - those who care to look at my pics can actually do so now as I had forgotten to change the album settings to "share" thus no one could see them.

Blah blah blah. Travel panic mode is kicking in as I realise I am here for a mere six more weeks. Oh my.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Meeeeeeh. Wee bit of a bad mood here. I am soooo sick of spreadsheets. I spent all last week and about a third of today at work working on one massive spreadsheet. I know I'll save them oodles of time in the long run (Until April 2006!) but upon completion of the spreadsheet today I was presented with my next task... another massive spreadsheet. Oh boy! Gah.

Also realised on Friday that I am the lowest paid person on the entire site. So I should have by-passed the temping thing and became an entry-level rubbish picker upper instead. (Not really, but I was bitter when I found out.) Anyway, my eyes are just sore from squinting at tiny numbers on a spreadsheet and because I'm tired. Hours of sleep this weekend: 13. Actually, I guess that isn't too bad. I'm just weird. Despite the fact I was quite tired last night and my eyelids weighed a good 400 tons, I decided that it was indeed necessary to watch The Princess Diaries.

Anyway, time to be a wee bit more upbeat!

Friday night Shannon and I went to see Man on Fire. It was good, but not spectacular. YOu may recognize the name of this film because it was released, like, five or six months ago at home and will be on the rental shelves soon. I also decided it was necessary to stay up until 3:00 or so watching Trainspotting and assing around in my room.

Sat morning I got up around 9:00 and finished watching Trainspotting. Okay, I know Ewan McGregor is playing a junkie, so it's probably wrong that I still thought he was hot, right? Right indeed. But in my own defense he does sort of clean up his act... It was also cool to recognize all the places they filmed. At one point Ewan and hid buddy are running down Princes Street (think University Avenue but 400x better) and you can see some VERY recognizable landmarks (Edinburgh Castle and the Walter Scott Momument are, unsurprisingly, distinctive!) and they run through a sketchy area that Keri and I walked through way back in May and decided not to walk through there again. (Although we did. Well, I have anyway.) Anyway, I eventually went to the gym and then met up with Shannon and we went to the Royal Museum of Scotland. It was good, and it was art day or something so I got to use pastels and draw a beautiful picture of Shannon. And since I can only draw people either stick-style or anime style Shannon now has form in badly-drawn anime. Or something. And with blue hair because I took only yellow, blue and red pastels. Saturday night we went out with Kathleen, Keri and Kiki (k's all the way) and we found ourselves being one of the few girls in a group of a large, Irish stag party. Start rant.

Some blokes cannot take a hint. Cold shoulders are metaphorically given for a purpose. And when you pick up on it, mention it to the giver's friend, take the hint and lay off. Despite what others may say, you buying me a drink does not me I "owe" you anything. And before people get the wrong idea and think this bloke did horrible, nasty things to me, I assure you he did not. He was just annoying and overly persistent. And old. He thought I looked 23, which made me six years younger than him. SIX YEARS. And then he found out I was YOUNGER. And at one point he asked about bringing some friends over and sitting at our table. I said to bring young ones. He took that hint but chose to ignore it. Blah blah blah. Anyway. I am going to start hanging out with 18 year olds and dressing like them. And wearing nun uniforms to bars. (They are probably very comfortable!)

New bar rule: look youngish so the older ones won't hit on you and make the ones your own age think you are taken =P

End rant.

Sunday was a trip to Glasgow! Shan and I went to the Barras which is a really large market selling loads off illegal crap. (Also lots of legit stuff, but the burnt CDs and pirated DVDs were the real draw!) I bought a DVD that has four movie on it. £5 pound investment. I'm a nerd, there is four Disney movies on it. Mostly I bought it because I wanted to watch Lilo and Stitch and the Princess Diaries. Lilo and Stick goes bad after about halfway through it (had to actually turn the DVD player off) and the Princess Diaries is perfectly fine. I'm hoping the others will be, and they should be. I also got a £2 shirt! (Not from the Barras - that would be sketchy.) I just had the shirt to try on with something else with no intention of buying it, and low and behold, I liked it.

Blah blah blah. An eventful and enjoyable weekend, but doesn't transpose very well as an interesting blog. In the meanwhile, I have more pics up.

Today Heidi emailed me and mentioned a book called "He's Just Not Into You That Much" (or something along those lines) that basically, after I read some of it online, tells girls to stop being stupid and making excuses for guys if they don't call or something. I decided this book should be purchased and left in our flat in a prime location. Anyway, girls do make a lot of excuses to soften the blow or to, some how, save face. I can't imagine guys doing the same thing, "Dude, she was probably just really busy. Or maybe she lost her phone. She is probably just recovering from a long day at work and fell asleep." Blah blah blah. It's all ridiculous really. If a guy isn't showing too much interest, he probably, you know, isn't interested. Of course, what do I know? Actually, a great deal! ;) Because I am a logical girl who cleverly comes up with four when putting two and two together. Or maybe I'm just too lazy to pursue anyone. Or don't give a rat's ass. Am I still typing? Hmmm. The spreadsheets have turned me into a rambler. Anyway, from now on I encourage all girls to be logical about relationships. Anyway, I need to stop because I sound like an ass rambling away. In the meanwhile, three and a half weeks til Disneyland!!!
Mwa ha ha!

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Hey hey!

In my Disneyland Paris excitement on Sunday I forgot to mention a key event of the weekend... Saturday morning WHEN I SAW SIR SEAN CONNERY AND THE QUEEN.

I kid you not! No, they weren't grabbing a pint together but were in a parade celebrating the opening of the new Scottish Parliament Building. (Only about 12 months late and £350 million over budget or something astronomical like that.) Anyway, Sean appeared REALLY quickly and was just walking with the regular folk and I ALMOST MISSED HIM. He gave me the thumbs up. Yup, just me, none of the other thousands of people around ;) My pic of him didn't really turn out so Keri, Kathleen and I tried to race down the sidewalk and catch up with him but the crowds didn't allow that.

The Queen, however, was impossible to miss. Something happened further down the road so there was about 20 minutes between the people prior the to Queen and her car driving down the parade route on the Royal Mile. Lots of security, and then all of a sudden a nice car zoomed down the Mile and I quicky snapped a photo. The Queen was wearing bright pink (fushia, I guess) so you can see her in the photo. Her hubby was with her. (Keri: "Who is that guy in the car with her?" Kat:"Uh... Her husband...!")

Anyway, that is all. It is late and dark and I'm heading home.


Sunday, October 10, 2004

Zut alors!!

Guess who is going to Disneyland Paris Resort!?!?!??!



Yup, I am a wee bit excited. It will be the most expensive weekend trip ever, but should be worth it. We will get into Paris at about 9:30 on Saturday morning, hopefully be prancing about in Disneyland by noon. Then we stay overnight at a hotel close by that we got a REALLY good deal on (about £50), and then hop back out to the parks for opening on Sunday morning. Our flight leaves Paris Sunday night at 10:30 or so.


Anyway, time is up. Spent all my time booking flights and junk. Yesterday's post was actually written at work on Friday. I'm going to Thanksgiving Dinner tonight (totally forgot it was thanksgiving) and blah blah blah. I'll write more tomorrow!


Saturday, October 09, 2004

Gah, more boredom.

I feel like I have reached the end of the Internet. Or at
least the parts of the Internet that I have access to or
are of interest to me.

On Tuesday night Keri and I went to one of Edinburgh's many
Pizza Huts. And dear Lord it was GOOD. One of the
advantages of franchises: consistancy. It was like being
at home, with the exception of the all-you-can-eat sundae
bar and the waitress's accent.

Speaking of accents, I am going to miss them so much when I
am home! Kathleen, our fabulous houseguest for the week,
mentioned how weird it was at home to here announcements in
the airport in a "regular" (i.e., American or Canadian)
voice. Nooooo! I don't want the regular voice! In
somewhat related humour, a joke in the Metro yesterday said
that employees at the train station call the chick who does
the train annoucements Sonia, because she gets Sonia
Nerves. Ha!

No weekend plans yet. I am slacking. So much for my list
of "Essential Things to Do before December". If I planned
ahead I could have booked a cheap bus ticket. And
surprise, I did not plan ahead. Only plan thus far is to
be a computer nerd with Keri and do some Disneyland
planning on Saturday morning. There have been discussions
about going to Glasgow so we'll see.

The money exchange is starting to become skewwed in my
head. I saw a plane ticket to the States for about £300
and thought about what a good deal it is until you think
that it is actually about $700. Ew.

I come home in eight and a half weeks! Despite the fact it
seems like it will come so soon, in perspective, it's an
entire two months worth of rent away.

So last weekend our electric/gas bill arrived. £160 for
two months. Think $400. Think Jen and Shan pissed off and
confused. Shan made a wee phone call, gave them our ACTUAL
meter readings (they only estimate) and our bill was sliced
in half. I'm sorry, I know "to estimate" is really "to
approximate" and stuff, but to be off by 100%?!?! I don't
think that is a proper estimation, more like random
scratches of numbers on paper. I'm think whoever came up
with the initial figure used an eight ball or something.

I realized how much University deterred me from reading
books. When one spends so many hours reading text books,
there is often no ambition left when it comes to reading an
actual book. Since moving here, espicially during the past
two weeks due to 1 1/2 hours on the bus a day, I have been
cranking through the books. Right now I'm about halfway
through Dude, Where's my Country? by Michael Moore. It's a
wee bit of political overkill for my own taste, but duh,
it's essentially a 230-page political commentary. I would
like to reading a book called Shopping soon. It's about
the British grocery stores, how the market and industry
have changed, the big players, etc. (Jen = nerd. Although
I'm obviously not the only one or else the book wouldn't
even have been written!) The library has a display of
business books up (many like the book I just wrote about
and some about the history of selected companies) and I'm
sure they would be interesting but the books cannot
actually be lent out from the library! They are reference
only which means I will never read the whole thing. I
don't know why they are reference only, they are just your
standard sized hardcover books, not gigantic, 50-year-old,
worth-lots-of-money books. Anyway.

I also discovered in the past couple of days that Amazon
sells used books. Or, more appropriatelly, is a market
("the means by which buyers and sellers are brought
together" - Introductory Microeconomics) for used books.
Similar to eBay, you deal directly with the seller when
paying, shipping, etc. First on my hit list? A book I
heard mentioned a couple of times called "Storming the
Kingdom". Basically Disney shares were border-line
worthless as we entered the 80s and the company was in
grave danger of being taken over. The book, I believe,
covers this period and how Roy Disney and Stanley Gold (I
think) championed Michael Eisner to take over the company
as CEO and Chairman. Now would be actually be an
appropriate time for a sequel seeing as Disney and Gold
have been working (from the outside as they resigned as
members of the Board of Directors in protest of Eisner's
continuing leadership) to ensure Eisner gets the boot. And
shareholders did revoke his Chairman duties, but Mike
himself recently revealed he would step down from his CEO
duties in two years. And to think most employees give only
a two-week notice!

My posture has turned into crap since working here. My
chair is just... too big for me or something.

So, websites that have been keeping me entertained for the
past few days:
(although the firewall lets me view it only randomly)
Internet Movie DataBase
CBC News
BBC News
The Guardian
(Shut up, sometimes I like to know what is happening at
Mice Age
Various websites regarding recycling in other British
jurisdictions (this was actually work related)
UPEI Mailman
UPEI (Reading about the
APFC - Academic Planning Facilitation Committee and it
seems like they had some interesting lectures recently. Of
course, I never actually attended any while I was at UPEI.
That was stupid of me. In my own defense there were some I
was going to go to but either got sidetracked by class,
school work, or a group meeting.)

And other websites.

I'm bored. And I bet you are too. So here I sign off.


Monday, October 04, 2004

Woo! More pics added to my yahoo photo album.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

So the big long "My Parents' Adventure in Scotland" post below is rather long. But necessary for documentation and memories and matching photos to places.

On Thursday night Shan, Keri and I rented Big Fish. What an absolutely amazing movie! If you have not seen it, I completely, utterly recommend it. It never came to the cinemas in Ch'town (or at least not that I recall because I did want to see it) or maybe it was there for a mere week and I missed it, but it is essential that I encourage as many people as possible to rent this movie. Light hearted and fabulously cute, this movie deserved Oscar upon Oscar. Stupid Academy. Ewan McGregor is in it. For those who don't know, he is a SCOTTISH actor who manages to pull off a Southern states accent throughout the movie. Although I obviously prefer him with the Scottish accent (and in a kilt or Jedi costume) he was sooo good in this movie.


Now, for the other end of the spectrum. Remember the movie Collateral? Well, it was released here about three weeks ago. I, initially, had no desire to see it. Upon reading a couple of reviews, it seemed the movie actually had developed a good reputation! So Shan and I saw it last night. It was... fair. At first, it was quite good! Then, it started to slow a bit in the last third of the movie. And then, it happened. The movie completely Jumped the Shark and it was all downhill. I wasn't overly impressed with the movie overall, but it was fine. Big Fish is recommened ten times over this typical Tom Cruise movie. (Okay, not typical, I guess. He does play the antagonish rather than the protagonist. I'm trying to look smart by using big words, but it prob does't help that I can't spell them...)

Big Fish!!!!

In other reviews, I picked up the third, fourth and fifth Princess Diary books last weekend at a carboot sale. The third was excellent, the fourth was lacking and I haven't read the fifth yet on account of just finishing the fourth this morning.

In other book news, I am still not through Fast Food Nation. I loved the first part, about the history of franchising, fast food restaurants, employees, etc. Then we get to the actual food processing bit and.. Zzzzzz.... The author is very wordy. I can see how some would take interest in this, and I do see the importance of spreading knowledge about what's in your food and how it is made, but I don't like it as much as the first half. Which means I am very, very slowly getting through it. Maybe the book would be better if it had a Princess in it ;) I will say, however, that some of the corporations in the book disgust me. It makes me a wee bit ashamed of being a business student (or graduate) but as Shan and I discussed, the best way to make changes is to get on the inside and make the changes yourself. So watch out Big Greedy Corporations, I will be sending morals your way very soon! Eventually I'll write a big blog on the corporate world. Not all organizations or business people are bad (who do you think runs Unicef?) but the bad eggs are noticable and need to be... uh... put in the rubbish bin or something. Take that!

In other news, my job got extended for another week and I want to go to Alton Towers next weekend and go on rollercoasters. I also learned a very critical lesson on Friday night: if an older looking guy tries to chat you up, instead of trying to size up how old he is (28 for the record) look at his ring finger instead. Oye. Is that sparkling gold band on your (L) ring finger a wedding ring, sir? I didn't think I was old enough to have to start looking for wedding rings yet... But I knew he was older anyway. I just like talking to new people. People my age aren't married. Yet. Well, most of them. Anyway, this bloke was too old for me, and he knew that. And he was married. I don't want to get married now because my husband will go to bars on George Street and try to pick up freshly graduated Uni students.

The end.

Oh the clever games I play!

See, I am actually writing this at work as I have nothing
to do. However, I do not have access to or at work thus I am writing this in an email to
myself which I will later paste into my blog. Genius, thy
name is Jennifer.

Want to talk crazy? I am coming home in 9 1/2 weeks. Oh
my God. That seems so soon! Although I remember Feb 2003
when I still had 9 1/2 weeks left in Ottawa and it seemed
like an eternity away. That's what long-distance
relationships do to you; they skew your perspective of
time. Among other things. (Like increase your phone bill
and internet use.)

Since I have practically unlimited time, lets rely to the
masses how I entertained my parents while they were here.

They ring me at 7:40 in the morning saying they have
arrived in Edinburgh an hour early! I, not being the
keenest morning person around am slightly confused but
manage to get dressed/"ready" within ten minutes and hike
it up to the bus station in ten minutes. (Yup, they came
to Edinburgh by bus. But only from Glasgow, not
Charlottetown =P ) I let them snooze for a bit, and then
we headed for the hills. Literally. After a stop at the
Disney Store, some picture taking and a wander about the
Royal Mile we decided to conquor Arthor's Seat. It was
windy (but not as windy as the following days) and the sun
was shining and the sky was practically cloudless! Amazing
feat given Edinburgh's usual weather. Really good view
from the top of the 200+ft hill. It is also important to
note that I bought a Toy Story 2 shirt at the Disney
Store. I could the Parents supper on Sat night and we all
(fam + flatmates + friend) looked at pictures burnt to CDs
on our DVD player. None of us had realized that you could
do this! Anyway, Shan, Keri, Stacy and I went to the
Walkabout in the evening.

I woke up and decided we should go to Stirling or Dundee.
However, sometimes spur of the moment decisions don't
follow through due to bus schedules. So we went to a free
improv lunch thing, walked around, did some internet junk
and went to Anchorman with Keri, Steve and Grand in the

Memory is getting foggy... Ah right. The buses were having
a free day since Monday was a bank holiday. So we did some
busing about and eventually went to Asda where my mum found
out that there is at least one Scot who doesn't understand
the word "souvenir". (French for "to remember"!) Asda is
the WalMart of the UK. Seriously. It's owned by WalMart
and is in the UK! Parents treated us working-holiday
makers to pizza and ice creamish desserts. We also hit the
Museum of Scotland, which was really cool. Given the
limited time we had there, we pretty much saw only one
exhibit so I will have to go back for a good few hours
worth of exploring. (Mental note for weekend.)

This is the infamous day we hired the car. It may never be
mentioned again, or, it may become a larger-than-life
Legend among those who experienced it or heard about. We
took the Fife Coastal Route and went through Kirkcaldy. We
were going to walk around a bit there, but the free parking
we kept seeing signs for never materialized and before we
knew it we had driven out of the town! Whoops. Next we
went to Lower Largo. It is a small fishing village and
uses its associated with Robinson Crusoe to try and draw in
tourists. Papa and I got our pic with the statue they have
of him, or the author or something.

Next we hit up Scotland's Secret Bunker, which I have
already discussed in a previous post. Class, I trust I do
not have to repeat this lesson and you were all alert
before when it was discussed. Dismissed.

After the Bunker was explored we went up to St Andrews. It
was windy. (As a sidenote, i met a girl from Chicago on
the weekend. Chicago, as you know, is "The Windy City".
However, I asked Rachel and she said Edinburgh is actually
windier. Heh, I always knew never to trust Chicago.
Liar.) We walked to the old gold courses where you could,
metaphorically, see money everywhere. The people, the
upkeep, the greens, etc. We also walked to the Castle and
Cathedral and, notably, an ice cream store. I went to the
Uni's bookstore and thought about buying the shirt I had
passed over the first time around, but passed on it again
as it was still £14. Sigh. Then we left. We took the
long way home and drove north to Dundee and then south-west
to South Queensferry and then back west to Edinburgh. As a
last attempt to one-up the Griswalls, Dad spent almost 25
minutes trying to figure out how to gain access to the gas
tank. Finally, someone who had driven the same kind of car
showed us how it was done. It was weird and involved
unlocking and locking doors and blah blah blah or something.

We went on bus tour! We stopped at Stirling (went to the
castle - very good), Aberfoyle and... uh... somewhere close
to Loch Lomond. Highlights were the scenery, commentary by
the bus driver and the horses in Aberfoyle. Oh oh! And
seeing highland cattle in some fields when we were driving
by. Recommended, and Dad actually wanted to do another
tour the following day. (we didn't, however.) That night
we went to Jekyll and Hyde for some bevvies.

Bought a bus pass. Did some internet communication with
the bro, and went to the Museum of Childhood. Quite small,
but free and worth 45 mins of your life. Also got a free
fudge sample from the fudge place next door to the museum.
We had lunch at the Filling Station (quite good) and had
a "Roy hates shopping" development in the Princes Mall. We
then headed out to Musselburgh (my former work place) and
Dad was calmed down from his hate for stores. See? (As a side note, this is where I stopped writing at work becaue I had a wee meeting with a guy who had actually been to PEI this summer!) A bus
ride can do you good. As can a trip to the World's Oldest Golfcourse in Musselburgh. Not nearly as well known (or a well groomed) as the courses in St Andrews, but the £80 difference in green fees probably makes up for it.

Thursday evenings marked the untriumphant return to Filthy McNasty's. I am sad to report that due to my and Shan's lack of appearences in recent weeks we have lost our "spot" and thus the advantages that come with being regulars. Sigh, so we moved on (metaphorically and physically) to the Walkabout. We paid our £1 cover each (actually Dad sprang for it) and drank some £1 drinks. Good times were had. On the way home we stopped at a chippie and had chips (fries) and a deep fried Mars bar. None of us had immediate heart attacks, but I imagine chloresteral levels were momentarly heightened.

Last day! Sad. The day started off with Janet and Roy being brave and taking on the city of Edinburgh by themselves while Jen went for a quickie at the gym. The parents did okay (only one wrong turn on the way home!) and a good lunch was served before the big trip to Glasgow.

Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland. It used to be blue collar and rougher than Edinburgh. It isn't as blue collar now, apparently has a great band scene, but is still rougher than Edinburgh and I wouldn't want to wander about the city on my own at night. It has some cool museums, a rather spiffy apartment building that used to be a cinema (think old Hollywood style) and is a fab place for shopping. Lots of culture to be had. In lieu of this, we went to Disney on Ice. Yes, very important historical scottish significance. Heh. While the skating wasn't anything overly difficult (how can it be when you are dressed up in costumes?!) it was really cute and I really enjoyed watching it. Luckily I purchased my bargain bin Toy Story 2 t-shirt earlier in the week (see Saturday!) because sourvenirs were crazy expensive and I will never take my children to Disney on Ice unless they are well warned in advance that souvenirs come out of their own pocket. At the same time, it would have been cool to have a programme...

The arena was attached to a mall, so we hung out at the mall for a wee bit. The parents were introduced to Jelly Babies (candy... not deformed children) and jacket potatoes. We went for a wee walk around Glasgow (mostly the area by the bus station) and then I headed back to Edinburgh at 10:00 and Mum and Dad bused themselves off to the airport. Sad.

So on the bus ride home I passed time by talking to some bloke that had actually been on the same bus as us to Glasgow in the afternoon! I remembered him because he let me out in front of him in the aisle. I had oodles of trouble making this bloke out, so I asked him if he was from Glasgow. He was from Northern Ireland. Oops. Just when I feel confident that I have mastered the dialect of the Weegie, I get tossed the Northern Ireland speed talking accent. Ah well. He was talking about how he doesn't know much about Canada, but he knows that polar bears drink Coke in commericals. After some thought, I said he was close, but I was pretty sure they actually drank Diet Coke. Suddenly, the guy sitting behind us pipes up, "They do drink Diet Coke - I actually work for Diet Coke." Okay, what are the bloody odds of that happening?!?! I wanted to start talking about Proctor and Gamble or Colgate Palmoil (whatever it's called) to see if they had any representatives on the bus. And the Diet Coke guy was actually doing some work on the bus and had official Diet Coke stuff with him and everything! I think he was going to Edinburgh for the Diet Coke film festival. (Britons voted for their top ten fav movies and Diet Coke screened 'em at 10 cinemas or so around Great Britain.)

We went to see one of the movies on Sunday night, Shawshank Redemption. Soooo good. I had seen bits and pieces of it on the Superstation before, but never the whole thing in its entirety.

The end.