A Clear 180

Well here’s a spot I never thought I would be sitting in. The last time I wrote here I was feeling sad and pessimistic about my chances of getting into law school which had been my dream since I was 13. Well, 8 classes, 2 LSAT writes, and one convocation ceremony later and I actually have a difficult decision to make.

I’ve received admission to two of my top choices for law school starting in September. Western and Queen’s. I’ve already paid a deposit to Western as I’ve only recently received admission to Queen’s. It’s a difficult decision, but one that I’m thankful to have.

I don’t have long to reach a decision, but I’m excited that a new chapter of my life is beginning. And it includes LAW SCHOOL!

Decisions, decisions.

– Kali

I’m Alive, I Promise

My last blog post was 1 year and 7 months ago. Life has been crazy, but is that any excuse? All I can do now is apologize for disappearing without even the curtesy of a good-bye and hope that my readers will forgive me.

Some Recent News: From Then to Now
– I lost my job at Target due to all Canadian stores closing, but on the plus side this has opened me up to be able to start working with a medium that I have always enjoyed; fabric
– I’m going to be creating an online store/fb page for my own recycled clothing design shop “Pretty Things” more in a future post on this
– There is a very real chance of me moving across the country for schooling and adventure

I hope you will accept my apology and take a moment to enjoy the cute that I am sharing with you all.
Please Forgive Me

~Rachel

Bittersweet

I know I haven’t blogged in forever, but I needed to write out my thoughts and I suppose that was the intent of this blog in the first place. Today is my class registration day. My last one ever. There are a few reasons I’m just not as excited this year – partially it’s the fact that though I’m excited for some of the classes I’m planning, I’m kind of disappointed with this years offerings as a whole, but more importantly it’s the fact that this is the last time I’m guaranteed to be doing this. 

Like most people my age I’ve spent the majority of my life in school – 17 out of 23 years. I took one year off between high school and university and even though I was unhappy at the time, some good things have happened because of it (I went to Wrockstock, I started doing NaNo, and it meant I met the friends I have now). Even during that year though I knew I had school to look forward too. I am fortunate that I live in a country where if you want to go to university you’re going to get to go. Sure, you might have debt (I do), but it’s not insurmountable and a university education is basically guaranteed if you want it. However, I’m now at the point where there are no guarantees that I will get to continue my education even though the idea of not being in school is absolutely terrifying.

I make average grades (a B+/A- average) and I’m not that great at logic games. These two things combined make it unlikely I’ll get into law school. I’m certainly still going to try – I’m planning to take the LSAT in October – but realistically I don’t know what I’m going to do. There’s no way I’m getting into grad school as I’m not in honors in either of my faculties (not smart enough in poli sci and it’s not even offered for religious studies) and you need honors to get into grad school most places. 

I guess I’m just in a kind of melancholy mood thinking about all this stuff. I even found myself going through my old high school yearbooks this morning. I don’t wish I was back in high school (then I’d still have to take math – yuck!), but I do miss the certainty of knowing what came next. And looking back at my yearbooks and seeing all the things people wrote made me think of how hopeless I am at staying in touch with people. I had a group of really close friends in high school and we referred to ourselves as G-STRMNICK for all of our names. I was never all that close with everyone, but I was really close with the S, the T, the R, and to a lesser extent the I. The S and the R both went to school in Calgary, but the T and the I are still here in the city. I even still see the I sometimes as we’re both at UVic. However, I’m not really in touch with any of them anymore. And it makes me worry that in 4/5 years I won’t be in touch with my current close friends either – Rachel, Aaron, Kylie, Ashley, Emma, Steph… among others. 

I don’t like uncertainty. I never have. And even though people (and by people I mostly mean my mom) call me a drama queen, I think my worries are pretty standard. I’m trying to keep upbeat about all of this, but it’s kind of depressing to think that this is the last year. I joke that I’m going to be a mess this year, but it’s not really a joke. The thought of what I’m going to do next is paralyzing. I’m not prepared for the real world, but I know I’m not smart enough to do more school. That doesn’t mean I’m not going to try to get into more school because I am, but I don’t know what I’m going to do with myself when I don’t get in.

One Handed Count Down!

Finally, the count down to Nanowrimo is down to one hand.

With only 5 sleeps left, the little voice in my head is getting louder and louder about developing my novel idea. It screams for character development, while begging for more information about the world.  It insists that I need a plot and secondary characters before I can start. I disagree, as I always do, when it comes to advance planning for a novel. None of my previous novels got much advance planning, so why should this one? And that’s exactly what I tell the little voice when it starts. Now, as you can imagine, this leads to arguments between me and this little voice which is proving itself to be just as stubborn as me. I’ll win, because I know that the clock will run out and Nanowrimo will start before we come to an agreement. And that’s fine with me. As a peace offering, though, I am dedicating this blog post to that little voice in my head.

Now, that said, it is probably time that I got more into the mechanics of Nanowrimo for those of you who don’t know about it. NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, and its when authors (yes some people call us crazy, but we don’t mind) write 50,000 words in the 30 days and nights of November. We have from 12:01am November 1st to 11:59pm November 30th to write and submit our novel of at least 50,000 words. Now, this may sound scary but its not. It’s exhilarating and challenging, but at only 1,667 words a day it is manageable. Everyone has a novel or story inside of them that is dying to be released into the world; to see the brightness of your electronic device’s screen as its typed, or to feel the ink soak into the paper as its written out by hand. This is the wish of every story yet to be written, and Nanowrimo is responsible for a lot of those wishes coming true. So, feel free to join both Kali and I this year (here’s a handy link for you) as we fulfil the wish of two more novels. If you already are, here’s a hug and some hot cocoa.

– Rachel

Oddities & The First Line

Sorry about the lag in post time. Back to school has kept me super busy this time around. This post is back to our Baltimore-NYC trip though. When we last left off Rachel and I were finally in Baltimore after all the flight issues.

Since we weren’t going to be actually around Baltimore for long (we knew we would be spending most of our time at the Con) we didn’t really look up things to do there. Was it a mistake? Possibly, but we found things to do. We wandered around the harbor and found a Ripley’s Believe it or Not Odditorium. We found a few other things as well, but we decided that that was the most intriguing to us.

It's HOGWARTS!

It’s HOGWARTS!

A Different Angle

A Different Angle

Harry Made of Licorice

Harry Made of Liquorice

Yes. Yes I Can.

Yes. Yes I Can.

The pictures I took may have been a bit biased since I’m a huge Harry Potter fan so naturally that’s the stuff that would appeal to me. I did take some pictures of other stuff though!

Penny Made of Pennies

Penny Made of Pennies

Entirely Made of Cigarettes. Woah. And Yuck!

Entirely Made of Cigarettes. Woah. And Yuck!

Famous Sights

Famous Sights

At the end we went into this hall of mirrors area – it was totally trippy because we were wearing these special glasses to make it even crazier. I was a bit confused when they gave us gloves to wear inside, but once we got there it made sense as it was basically a maze. My gloved hands were always trying to feel my way through.

After we finished that we wandered around some more. Most of the afternoon was basically like a giant game of Spot the Brony – people wearing My Little Pony themed shirts were everywhere! We got a few thumbs up and some brohoofs (brohooves?) – which is basically a Brony fist bump (because ponies don’t have fists, but hooves).

We tried really hard to find a coffee shop and it was a major failure. We eventually found a Barnes & Noble which I insisted on going inside. It had a Starbucks, but it was WAY expensive in our opinions. We ended up just going for slushies at a nearby shop. I hadn’t had one in forever & it was amazing. It did turn my tongue blue though (I had blue raspberry).

Finally it was the moment we had both been waiting for – time to head up to the Hilton (the Con Center was connected to it) to pick up our badges for BRONYCON!

We arrived early and so we ended up being fairly close to the beginning of the line. We were not the only ones confused at first, but we found a bunch of our fellow Bronies and wandered around with them confused for a bit before we figured out where we were supposed to go. While we were waiting someone was pumping music by Brony musicians out of a pair of portable speakers – mostly super cool remixes of show songs.

The wait was long and it was kind of disorganized because of the different types of people going to the Con – regular attendees like us, sponsors, and vendors. They didn’t start different lines immediately, but after the line had already formed so yeah, a bit strange.

But, we were talking to people with at least one similar interest (PONIES) and they tended to be pretty cool. At one point a bunch of people decided to do this push up competition of sorts. I guess it really wasn’t a competition since no one lost – more of a showing off thing. One of the girls in line ended up joining in, she was the only girl. She got a lot of cheering from the crowd.

At the end it was all worth it though. There were options to go to a BarTrot that night, but as neither of us really drinks much (I don’t at all & Rachel does minimally) it didn’t really appeal and we knew we would be exhausted. So, instead, after we got our BronyCon bags (which had unicorn sunglasses, the BronyCon guide, etc) and our badges for the weekend we headed back to the hotel. We knew we would need an early night before the hustle and bustle of BronyCon began.

BronyCon Badge! Complete with the Con Mascots (from left to right) Blank Canvas, Hoof Beatz, & Mane Event!

BronyCon Badge! Complete with the Con Mascots (left to right) Blank Canvas, Hoof Beatz, & Mane Event!

What Time Is It? Adventure Time!

This is a break from our vacation posts to post something completely different. I made a new friend at work this summer. She’s a student too – she’s in Visual Art. During the summer we would have weekly milkshakes, but now that we’re both back on campus we’ve changed them into weekly coffee/tea/specialty drink times so we can hang out and chat. For the purpose of anonymity I’ll be calling her Pinkie.

Yesterday we had our get together and somehow we got onto the subject of how I had never been to the Poli Sci common room/lounge/whatever you want to call it. So, we decided to go check it out. As Pinkie said – What time is it? Adventure Time.

We found it with relative ease – I had a vague idea of where it was at least. We looked around a bit and we both noticed a board game sitting on top of this cabinet. The name of the game – Class Struggle. No, I am not kidding. It’s a real thing. Naturally we had to pull it down and take a look.

Class Struggle

Class Struggle: To Prepare for Life in Capitalist America – an educational game for kids from 8 to 80.

I can’t decide what the best part of this is, the terrible photoshopping or the lovely explanation of the game. We knew what we needed to do, we needed to play the game.

There were two rule books - we used the beginners rules

There were two rule books – we used the beginners rules

The first thing we had to do (other than reading the rules) was to roll a die to decide what class we would be. There are the Capitalists, the Workers, and the Minor Classes (Shopkeepers, Students, Farmers, etc). Since there were only two of us we ignored the minor class part – she got to be the Capitalists and I was the Workers. I also made her be the bank (she is the Capitalist after all XD).

Game Board

Just like in Monopoly there are chance cards, but in Class Struggle the Capitalists and the Workers have their own piles of cards – I have no idea what the Minor Classes do – maybe they don’t get them? Or maybe it depends on something which pile they get to choose from? They can also choose to join an alliance with one of the major classes so maybe it depends on alliances?

Close Up

Yeah, that’s right. If the workers win it’s Socialism and if the Capitalists win it’s Barbarism.

The game actually did not take very long – it might take longer if there’s more people playing.

Just Zipping Along

Just Zipping Along

The chance cards are just kind of hilarious (actually, it’s all rather hilarious in a this is ridiculous and depressing game sort of way). I think this was my favorite one that I pulled.

Yeah, I also earned Assets which was a nice change.

Yeah, I also earned Assets which was a nice change.

From what we understood there are three different possible endings. One: The Capitalists win and squash the workers hopes and dreams. Two: The Workers win and there is revolution (I feel like this is probably rare). And then there’s number three: Nuclear War (Everyone Loses). Yes, Nuclear War is a legitimate way this game can end. Cheery, right?

Pinkie Killed Us All

Pinkie Killed Us All

Our game ended in Nuclear War. Which I guess is good for me because I would have lost either way? At least this way we both lost I guess…

It was, certifiably cheesy and ridiculous, but despite that (or maybe because of it) I would play it again in an instant.

The Back of the Box

The Back of the Box

Isn’t the back of the box great? I particularly love the ‘First of it’s Class’ and ‘Bored of Education’ bits. Yeah, apparently you can play this with your class if you’re a teacher. In the extended booklet there’s even a bit that sort of explains all the different board squares with lovely explanations about why the Assets (good) and Debits (bad) are doled out to each class on any given square. It includes lovely reminders about how the Capitalists don’t want black and white (or male and female)  workers to unite because it’s easier to make money off them if they’re divided. I don’t know that that would be a good game to play with kids, but then, what do I know? It might have been fun in high school, but before that… Well, I don’t know what they were teaching kids in school when this game came out, but I’m not sure 8 year old me even knew what Capitalism was.

And Pinkie and I now have a new plan for our weekly get togethers – to explore the lounges/common rooms of every faculty on campus (except maybe the engineers/math, but that remains to be seen). Neither of us think anyone else will beat the hilarity that was Class Struggle, but I guess only time will tell.

– Kali

We Touched the Atlantic!

When we left the airport in Baltimore it was a completely new experience for me at least. Now just Baltimore – clearly that was new to both of us – but the HUMIDITY! Now, I had heard of humidity before – even had people say a day was particularly humid, but I never truly understood what that meant until I walked out into the sunshine of Baltimore. It probably didn’t help that I had been in the same clothes without having had a chance to take a shower for, well, far too long.

The station for the Baltimore Light Rail (I have to give props, it’s probably one of my favorite ways to travel and no two have ever had the same name – Vancouver SkyTrain, St. Louis MetroLink, and now the Baltimore Light Rail) was connected to the airport. I was pretty relieved. I really just wanted to get to the hotel and flop down for a little bit. Not too long because I wanted to take a bit of a look around Baltimore, but at least long enough to change my clothes.

There were a few other waiting for the Light Rail as well and we ended up talking to one guy who was also going to BronyCon – in fact he was working BronyCon. He had never been to Baltimore either so once we got the usual questions out of the way (Where are you from? What do you do? Is this your first pony Con? Who is best pony? – Actually, I’m joking about the last one) a lot of our discussion was related to making sure we got off at the right stop.

We separated and began our trek to the hotel. We were staying in the Radisson while he was in the Hilton. It was only a short walk to the hotel and we actually ended up semi-following this pair (couple?) who had also been on the Light Rail with us – she had a tattoo of Rarity’s cutie mark so we knew they were  Bronies too.

The hotel was gorgeous. The elevators ended up being slightly possessed, but more on that later. We didn’t rest long however, but we did change our clothes. We then headed back downstairs to go find some food – we hadn’t had an actual meal in about 24 hours. That became a bit of a theme on the trip later on though.

We got a recommendation to check out a place just down the street called Java Joe’s. It was a good recommendation. Rachel had a French Dip – her usual first order at a new restaurant – and I got what was called the Thirty Third (no idea why, but it was delicious and had turkey, bacon, and cheese). The place was fabulous and we were ready to go look around Baltimore.

We had no idea where anything was so we basically just started walking. The only thing we knew was that we wanted to find the harbor so we could touch the Atlantic Ocean. Though I’ve flown over it before I’ve never actually been near enough to touch it. The Mediterranean Sea, yes, but not the Atlantic.

Our wandering did eventually find us in the harbor and the very first thing we did was rush to touch the water. Rachel even took her flip-flops off and put her feet in it! There was some sort of tourist information guy who gave us a weird look, but neither of us cared. We had finally made it. After all the craziness of the trip to Baltimore we were on the east coast.

– Kali