Home… at least for a little bit.

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Hello all, how has life been to you?

For me I am once again back at my childhood home with my Dad and his girlfriend. Once again it is an interesting experience, nothing like being in Victoria. Already, I miss Victoria, my apartment there, my friends, and just the general atmosphere of being in the city. At least I don’t have to spend the next four months here, in the calm serenity of the beach and the stress of living at home with my Dad. Progressively, he has gotten better over the years, especially this trip, but I have also only been here less than 24 hours and haven’t gone anywhere yet.

At some point while I am here I am planning on organizing a sleepover for my birthday (which is after I leave again and I might be doing something on the day of back in Victoria, or at least the weekend following it, even though sadly some friends won’t be able to come because they have gone back to their homes for the summer).

On some levels I enjoy being home, I don’t have nearly as many expenses, I don’t have to cook meals, and I generally just have to help clean up dinner (which mostly consists of rinsing dishes and putting them in the dishwasher). I get to see all my friends here that I haven’t seen in a while, and that is something that I truly enjoy doing. The draw backs to coming back is that I am once again living with a parent, and in this house that means lectures on a lot of things, and working on the property (at least I get paid for the volun-told work I have to do…).

Home is beautiful, and occasionally I’ll go out and sit on some logs and just relax to the sound of the ocean and the smell of the salt air, it has always been a calming if boring point in my life. This kind of relaxing I find is best done lying down in a bathing suit while the sun shines down and warms your skin. XD

Wishing everyone the best and missing Victoria,
~Rachel

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I’m Kelly?

My new job is going well. I spend most of my time doing cash and although it feels like I have to ask a lot of questions about prices I think it’s going okay. Weirdly, I’m already no longer the new girl. They hired a few other people the same day they hired me and I think there are one or two people who started after I did. I really like my coworkers too, they’ve all been super nice so far.

Even more strangely they think my name is Kelly. Originally I was going by my legal name (the name that shall not be named), but since my friend Stephanie works with me she was calling me Kali. One of my bosses heard and thought she called me Kelly. When she asked me about it I thought she said Kali because sometimes her accent isn’t the clearest and explained that that’s the name I go by in everyday life.A few hours later I had a new name tag and was christened Kelly.

I couldn’t bring myself to tell her that it was actually Kali so I just go by Kelly now. After all, it’s close enough and much better than the other name. I guess that’s one way to try out a different name.

In other good news, Stephanie and I share a day off – Monday. So, tomorrow we’re going to get her textbooks for her summer classes, and I’m meeting my History 388 prof from last semester (Dr. W) to get my paper back from that class.

It should be a busy day off.

– Kali

Disney Dreaming

I’ve been to Disneyland twice. The first time was in 2006. I had just finished grade 9 and a friend was going with her family and they invited me along. I was ecstatic, but also surprised. The friend and I had been slowly drifting apart since grade 6 and even more so since grade 8, and in grade 9 we barely spoke to each other because we didn’t have any classes together. However, when we had been younger we had been best friends and it was a trip to DISNEYLAND! I figured I would never get another chance to go so when my mom agreed to let me go I pounced on the opportunity.

The trip was a disaster. It was myself, my friend, her younger sister, and her mom. We left on June 26 and were supposed to come back on June 4th or 5th depending on driving time. We ended up coming back on the 2nd, and we barely spent any time in the parks. The best part about the whole trip was getting to go on Splash Mountain and that was actually the last ride we went on. We had to wait in line for over two hours because my friends mom wouldn’t let us get fast passes and come back because she wanted to go back to the hotel… it was noon. Everyday they would sleep in and we would maybe make it to the park by 11am if we were lucky and then we would leave by 3pm.

When I got home I tried to act like it was the best. trip. ever. I knew it had cost my mom a lot of money and didn’t want her to feel bad. When she got it out of me she was upset… but not at me – at my friends mom. You can’t imagine how shocked I was when mom announced we were going to Disneyland in February – just the two of us. I actually didn’t believe her until she showed me the plane tickets!

The trip meant I was missing a week of school – the first week of second semester in fact, but for the first time in my life I didn’t care about missing school. The second trip was everything the first trip wasn’t and more. Everyday we would wake up at 7-7:30 in the morning, shower, dress, and head for the park. The first day mom kept picking up a coffee at every stand she saw until she found one she liked (she went through about 4 until she found one the next morning). We also made a deal that the first ride we would go one every morning was Space Mountain (which I hadn’t gotten to go on the previous summer).

We left on Sunday the 4th and flew back on Saturday the 10th. It was my first time flying (which I loved) and the only time I’ve had a flying complication (we were stuck on the tarmac in Seattle for 3 hours… which I didn’t love). On the Thursday we went to Universal Studios and we spent every other day in Disneyland. Generally we would be there from 8-9 in the morning to 9-10 at night – it was a BLAST! I didn’t even know Downtown Disney existed until our second trip which just goes to show how bad my first trip was. Mom has since said that my friends mom should have just set us loose in the parks if she wanted to go back to the hotel. I tend to agree.

Why do I bring this up now? Because I have a job. Earlier this year Rachel and I talked about going to Disneyland after graduation. At the time it seemed hopeless, but with a promise of steady income it just might be a possibility! I’m planning to put a certain amount of money away every paycheck (I haven’t figured out how much yet). Obviously it will be more in the summers when I can work full time and less during the school year when I can only work part time, but I have 3 more years of school so that should be enough time I would think. Rachel’s dad has already said he’ll pay for her to go so it’s all up to me now.

We considered going to Disney World in Florida (and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter obviously!), but decided that would be too expensive. That will definitely happen one day, but probably not just after graduation. Maybe now when I see Disney commercials I can be excited instead of sad.

For some reason most of my friends have either never been to Disney, or had a trip kind of like my first one. For most of them Disneyland is cool, but not the so-called happiest place on earth.

I guess it’s up to me to show them that they must have done it wrong then. I love Disneyland and my mom taught me how to do it right.

Disneyland here I come… in three years anyway.

– Kali

End of Semester & Earthwalk

School has come to a close for the semester. I had my last exam on Tuesday and now I’m just waiting for my grades to come in. I’m not taking summer classes, but Rachel is so we should both be in the city for most of the summer. Unfortunately co-op was a failure. I had a couple of things working against me – I didn’t have the money to leave the city and it was my first term. Theoretically I could keep looking for co-op placements into May, but I’m broke so I can’t wait. On that front though I got a job today. I’ll actually be working with my friend Stephanie so that should be good – and it’s full time which is really helpful. I don’t start until Tuesday, but it gives me time to do any last minute things that need to be done.

Today we had the Earthwalk. It’s an annual event which brings together champions of many causes. Myself and the president of UVic’s Students for a Free Tibet were there, along with many members of the Victoria branch of the Canada Tibet Committee.

This time we started at the Legislature Building and walked up to Centennial Square

Fortunately it was another nice day – I’m hoping the sunny weather is here to stay, but in Victoria it probably won’t. There were a lot of people there – I even ran into one of my teachers from high school.

It started out with a speech and a warm welcome

Her speech was about the salmon and how they are considered sacred. She also shared with us that when she was young she always said she was not going to be one of those environmentalists – it just goes to show you how things can change.

The banner we walked with. I held a Tibetan flag though

This was on the back of a wheelchair. I have no idea where he got it, but isn't it awesome!?

I was down there for about 3.5 hours and it wasn’t even close to wrapping up when I left. However, I was tired and hungry so I headed home. Plus, I didn’t have any sunscreen and I burn super easily.

There was an awesome band playing when we got to Centennial Square - they were just finishing up when I left

Even though I’m tired it’s been a pretty good day. And now that I have the promise of money coming in, I can go to dinner with my friends tomorrow night and actually eat something! Is it sad that that’s exciting? maybe a little…

– Kali

Pottermore, finally!

I got a text this morning shortly after waking up from none other than Kali informing me that the one thing I’d been waiting since October for is finally here. Pottermore is finally, finally, open to the public! Instantly upon reading this text message a great sense of wonder, happiness, and excitement filled me. I was literally bouncing up and down on the bed/couch in my living room while letting out this very excited and high pitched squeals. If my roommates had been home they probably would have cringed. XD

Immediately I opened up my internet browser and pulled up the long awaited potter more site and that’s when I saw it. The absolutely wonderful “Sign Up” button. With a growing anticipation and excitement I clicked the button, filled out the information, and then sent it all in. Minutes later I received the validation email and was able to validate my account. It was then that I found out some very saddening news, I couldn’t explore the wonderful world of Pottermore until I’d received an email telling me I could. Since then (about an hour ago) I’ve been eagerly awaiting the email’s arrival.

Kali told me that they were trying to process and get everyone into Pottermore as quickly as possible, but I doubt I’m the only one excited to get into Pottermore, so the backlog will probably be horrendous. I can only hope that they hurry.

Many magical dreams to you!
Rachel ❤

P.S. (written at midnight!)

It took 9.5 hours for the email to arrive, and only about 4 to work my through the first book (which is the only one currently available). It was tremendous amounts of fun and I love being a part of Pottermore. Spells were tricky at first to cast and get the hang of, but I love making potions. XD

Also, I’M A GRYFFINDOR!! When I went to take the test for which the sorting hat, I was so nervous and excited my heart was beating so fast and for a good five minutes I couldn’t actually calm down enough to take the test. How pathetic is that? I loved every minute and am more than proud to be in the noble House of Gryffindor. I was thinking it would be either Hufflepuff or Gryffindor for me and would have been able to live happily with either one, though I am really glad I got gryffindor. It also means that in my group of friends here at university there is a member of each house amongst us. Slytherin even has two.

The only thing I wonder about Pottermore is if there is a way to make more galleons than just the ones you pick up while wandering around the game? If anyone knows, I would appreciate the sharing of this wonderful and all important knowledge.

End of Term & NaNo Fever

As the semester draws to a close we feel the inevitable call of the NaNoWriMo song. That’s right, it’s NaNo Fever time. Maybe it’s because March is the November of the semester, or maybe we’re just wishing we could be writing for fun instead of for academia, but no matter what the reason is, it’s there. This year the Victoria region had a social meetup – we met at a local park and eventually made our way downtown where we holed up in the Starbucks in Chapters (a traditional Victoria NaNo write-in spot) and talked.

Victoria’s not a large region by any means, but we’re comfortably middle sized. Unfortunately only 7 of us were there – Rachel, Kali, our friends Ashley and Aaron, an area ML, someone we’ll call ‘The One with the Dolls’, and a guy none of us had ever seen before. Still, even though it was small it was a lot of fun. We both really like our fellow participants so it was cool to see them outside of a NaNo context.

Beacon Hill Park was a nice place to meet, but it’s still pretty brisk here in Victoria even though it’s Spring. Rachel managed to get a few pictures on her phone of the park. Since Kali’s always lived in Victoria she didn’t think to bring a camera because even though the park is pretty, it’s just the park.

Over the Bridge

Ducks in the Pond!

The Cherry Blossoms are Blooming as Usual

In the next little while we get to do a lot of writing… unfortunately it’s for exams. On the plus side though – Camp NaNo starts in June!

Wish us luck!

– Rachel & Kali