Monday, December 10, 2012

La Fin de Semaine


My last weekend of 2012 in Halifax is drawing to a close; and it's been a fulfilling one. As most people stress over studying for exams, here's how I spent the last few days:

 On Friday morning I finished my economics exam, feeling confident in how I did. That's where the weekend began. My four housemates next year and I went to view our potential home. We fell in love with 1166 Wellington Street and have since proclaimed ourselves the Wellington Wackos and the Wellington Warriors. To celebrate finding a potential house we popped champagne and went skinny dipping in the Atlantic ocean in -4 degree weather on December 8th. Five girls and frigid waters makes for a fair amount of noise, and so I would be surprised if the entire neighbourhood hadn't been woken up.

At some point during the day I got a decently priced and relatively convenient haircut. Done by the one and only Monique Ruhl in the hallway directly outside the door to my room. Not that I ever had a doubt, but she ended up doing a fabulous job. And even if she hadn't, I have never been able to comprehend why people get so upset over something that will inevitably grow back............ except for that one time it happened to me.

Also on Friday night, was a more somber event. Jesse hosted one final get-together at his place before taking off, back to Victoria, BC. As I wrote in a card for him, "bon voyage au meilleur place du monde". It has been a fortunate occurrence that I have been able to reunite with such a wonderful person I met at Explore. After living for 5 weeks, eating three meals a day, dancing at Échofête, experiencing new French music, struggling through the challenges of learning a second language, travelling to Quebec City and spending countless nights "sur la quai" with such amazing people, it feels great to reunite with them. Jesse said that he feels better about leaving the city he's called home for the past 5 years knowing that he has an excuse to return soon... to be at his friend's wedding this summer. It's been lovely having someone to host me for pumpkin pancake dinners and someone to reminisce about Trois-Pistoles with. I am certain that this was not a "farewell" for us, but more accurately a "see you on the West Coast".

On Saturday morning, Zoe and I headed to the farmers' market in search of Christmas gifts. After a handful of tasters, from sassy salsa to chai tea lattés, I left with a honey crisp apple comparable to the size of a large child's head. Also, I left with a jug of Annapolis Valley apple cider that I brewed up later that night. It was an expedition, but we eventually got access to a kitchen to brew the cider on a stovetop, complete with cinnamon sticks. The kitchen could be described as nothing less than a filthy disaster, but our cider got brewed, so the rest is insignificant. There is nothing like fresh apple cider and some good friends to share it with. Zoe and I then made a stop at the Black Market Boutique where I purchased the most perfect Christmas gift of all. I don't think it will ever matter how many times I visit that store, it will never lose it's charm.

The Beatles and making christmas cards could describe my Saturday evening. I sat in my room, jamming to the rock legends and creating holiday cards with the minimal supplies I have access to. A night of peace and artistic creations was refreshing.

On Sunday, December 9th, boasting a temperature of 6 degrees Celsius, Fiona, Ali, Kelsey and I hopped in a van to Lawrencetown beach for a day of surfing. After suiting up from head to toe, we dove into the water to catch some waves. We were the Wellington Wave Warriors (minus Nicole). Rough waves combined with my lack of talent when it comes to surfing lead to me getting destroyed by the waves. There were instances where I could just see a wave preparing to attack, but by that point it was too late. I'm surprised, actually, that I only got one board to the head. Eventually, when I was tired of being ravaged by the breaking waves, I headed out farther into sea. There, as I lay on my board, the two of us would gracefully drift over the unbroken waves. I looked out over the Atlantic ocean and into the horizon. I had a moment of feeling at home; deja vu from a moment I enjoyed in the Pacific. This past summer, during the Vancouver Pride weekend, I walked along the Stanley Park sea wall past 3rd Beach. None of the people I was with had any sort of bathing suit with them, but the day was too perfect to pass it by. We all jumped in in our bras and underwear and headed out to sea. We were quite a ways out there when I had this realization. It was nothing profound, nothing I didn't already know; but at that moment, my adoration for the ocean was reassured. Floating there, distances from any land formation, looking out at this giant, mysterious pool of water, I felt at ease. And so it came with no surprise that I should have a moment like that while playing in the Atlantic. The oceans, after all, are interconnected. On top of that incredible ocean moment, I also caught the biggest and best wave of my surfing career to date. Riding a wave for more than a second or two was a new experience for me, one that came with a great sense of accomplishment. Even after 3 hours submerged in a December 9th temperatured ocean, I found myself disappointed when it was time to leave. Ditching the board on the beach, we rushed back in for one final wrestle with the waves, a body surf back to shore and a final splash of the Atlantic on our bare faces. The attempt to strip out of those winter wet-suits was an experience of it's own. True teamwork was exemplified by all members of the Wellington Warriors. To sum up the day of surfing; I could have (and probably should have) spent the day studying; however, I wouldn't exchange the experience and the memories from the day for any letter or higher number I will receive on a slip of paper sometime in the future.

Also today, I was blessed with the opportunity to light Sandy's menorah. At eighteen years of age, I feel as if the cultural experience of setting fire to the wick of any of those eight candles was overdue. Now, before Hanukkah is over, all I have left to do is play a game of dreidel.

Later on this evening was a long-overdue Skype date from coast to coast. Computers in Halifax, Calgary, North Van and North Van participated in the event; technical disruptions occurred only ever few seconds. Skype is a handy device to reconnect from distant places, but I cannot wait to see these girls live and in-person in just a few more days!

But now, all good things must come to an end. I am sitting here on the second floor of the Killam library, studying (or attempting, at least) for my human geography exam tomorrow. And so, against my professors suggested study techniques, I memorize facts such as Malthus developed his theory in the 18th Century and Environmental determinism was easily disproved by the idea of possibilism.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A toast to my parents


It's been 25 years today since my parents were married in Taber, Alberta.

December 5th, 1987

At age 18, it's difficult for me to fathom that they have been married for two and a half decades.

There was one drunken night in my dorm room, that my roommate Sandy, Holly and I were talking about our parents.  We thought, genuinely, that we each have the best parents in the world. Technically speaking that is not possible, but in each of our own paradigms, our parents are unbeatable. We talked about how much we have taken for granted what our parents do for us on a daily basis. We talked about how much shit our parents put up with. We talked about how unbelievably hard our parents work for us. We talked about how much constant love and support our parents shower us in. We talked about how our parents would go to the end of the earth and back for us. We talked about how none of us would be here at university without our parents. And most of all, we talked about how much our parents mean to us, even if we don't always show it.

Here's a toast to my amazing parents, and to 25 happy years of marriage!

25th Anniversary trip to Greece, Spain and Turkey.
A Hawaiian luau.
On their daughter's grad night.

Father's Day Quarry Rock Hike 
Rollerblading the Sea Wall
New York, New York
With the Statue of Liberty.
A cute selfy!
Whisler, BC

 I love you Cheech and Terr! See you in 10 days.