To the Lake of Inspiration… OH NO!

Howdy Campers!

Last year the people of the Office of Letters and Light (who bring us NaNoWriMo every year) created Camp NaNoWriMo. It was basically a light version of NaNo with a more relaxed feel because it is in summer so there is no school – plus it was full of camp related jokes. Last summer they held it back to back in July and August. I managed it – as did a lot of other people, but I don’t think I would do it back to back again.

They heard our suggestion and this year the two sessions are split – one in June and one in August. That means that the first session of Camp is coming up in less than two weeks. I was considering writing the sequel to the novel I wrote in November, but I’m having trouble bringing it together. Instead, I’ve decided to write a new idea that has just popped up in my head. There isn’t much to it yet, but I have a bigger problem – a technical problem. The website for Camp NaNoWriMo (www.campnanowrimo.org) is up and running, but it won’t let me in. I’m not the only person having this issue, but it’s still driving me nuts. Technically I don’t need the website to write, but having it is a source of fun. They say they’re working on it (and I’m sure they are), I just hope they manage to get it fixed before kick off on June 1st.

Even if I’m having trouble getting into Camp I’m super excited for it. Come join us down by the Lake of Inspiration (I’ve gotten much better at canoeing after last year when I tipped!) and we’ll even make virtual s’mores!

Too bad I can’t rig up a tent to sleep in.

– Kali

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Summer Ups, and Summer Downs

Hello All!

Shall I start with the ups, or the downs of this summer? How about a little switching between? Here we go then.

An Up: I had my first class of History of Sexuality (HIST 461) today and I am absolutely in love with it! A major part of this love is actually for the professor, Dr. Georgia Sitara. She is such an enthusiastic, caring, kind, and helpful persona and professor that it is hard not to enjoy her classes. She genuinely loves the topic she is teaching, is passionate about it, and wants her students to enjoy it just as much as she does. This course is going to move fast with multiple readings everyday, our major assignment (a book review) due in a week, our midterm in two weeks, and our final in three weeks. Along with my one friend, I am fully expecting to love this class, it’ll be work but it’ll be worth it.

The Down: My dad has declared that if I don’t go back to his house in July, he is cutting all funds, help, and support. The fact that he still feels the need to control my life in such a harsh way (there was no discussion on his part, and none was allowed on mine) is a saddening thought and I am dreading the time when I have to go back in July. He even granted me permission to get a part time job (a specific one, mind you) while I am there. I dread the day I have to go back and look forward to the day when I can return to Victoria and people who don’t try to manipulate me in a bad Slytherin way.

Another Up, Because I need one after that: I was able to get my hands on all three Stars Wars movies in Blueray! (I suddenly got an urge to abandon this post and go watch The Empire Strikes Back then The Return of the Jedi, but I’ll finish the post and do my readings first. sighs.) I can’t really tell the difference between Blueray and DVD, but it is the only version they had and I wanted it! Now I have them alls *evil laugh and finger plotting accompanied by a happy maniacal laugh* In that same shopping trip at Walmart, I was able to also get the WHOLE Lord of the Rings widescreen edition on DVD! This also makes me happy. XD

That’s enough from me for now, as I’m sure you really didn’t care about anything I’ve said here. Enjoy the rest of your spring day!
~Rachel

“It’s Story Time!”

My friend Stephanie is originally from the mainland so she had never been into the Legislature Buildings the way people who have grown up here in Victoria have. So, she asked me if we could go to sit and watch the activities in the House. I hadn’t been since I was young and though I remembered it as a mind numbingly boring activity I agreed. This time it was a lot more interesting than I remembered it being.

We arrived at just after 1 pm and the House was on break (lunch I would assume). So we wandered around a bit. The public isn’t actually allowed to see much, but we wandered around anyway. There were quite a few official looking people with nametags wandering around, but we didn’t think they were MLAs (Members of the Legislative Assembly for you non-Canadians). At one point we ended up somewhere we shouldn’t have been, but we quickly got out of there and stood around awkwardly. At another point we followed all the dressed up people upstairs, but we didn’t think that was where we were supposed to go and when we asked someone what was going on they mumbled something about prostates.

Weirdly enough I was actually kind of nervous about going into the seating area. A worker told us where to go (up to the third floor) and we took the elevator because Stephanie had never been on it before. Unfortunately we accidentally went to a floor where we weren’t supposed to be so we just stood in the elevator hoping no one would notice us.

When we finally reached the place where we were supposed to be I made Stephanie ask the guards if there was room for us. There was. We had to go through a metal detector – which makes sense, but at the same time seems odd because really, they’re worried someone is going to what – take out a Canadian MLA? Heck, they’re not even that important!

They gave us a little floor plan so we would be able to see who was talking – although we could only see half of the room – the Opposition side. Almost everyone had either a blue striped tie (most of the men), or a scarf (the women). They were really pretty and Stephanie and I both wanted one – we don’t really anymore.

One thing we both noticed – and we both giggled over a little – was the fact that there was NO RESPECT IN THE HOUSE! Quite a few of the MLAs had their phones (mostly Blackberry) out and were texting at various times during the hour and a half we were there. They were also whispering with each other and passing notes! It was like watching a disruptive high school class. And, on top of all that some of them just weren’t there at all. Seriously, I could do that easily.

It started off just as boring as I remembered as they spent at least half an hour making welcoming statements to the important visitors (the ones Stephanie and I had seen with the nametags) and we found out that the scarves and ties were representing prostate cancer awareness. Following this they talked about bills that were on the table – but most of them were just moved forward to “the next sitting of the House after this one”. At one point there was a strange guy sitting next to us who smelled like bubble gum and kept murmuring under his breath – he left just in time for it to get good.

After the boring stuff they began the questioning from the Opposition – and boy did they question! First up was an attack on the Minister of Health about the lack of regulations in halfway houses and it was definitely an attack. One of the opposition members even started yelling.

I think the best part though was during a different “discussion” with the Minister of Health (and I can’t for the life of me remember what it was about) when one of the members of the Opposition kept yelling “Oh look, it’s story time, it’s story time!” because it was genuinely hilarious. This was a middle aged man shouting like a child on the playground – and these are the people we elected to run our province.

It wasn’t very comforting, but it was definitely entertaining. Stephanie and I left soon after story time, but I think I would go back.

And hey, if law/grad school doesn’t work out I know I’m capable of arguing like a child – I could be an MLA.

– Kali

Working: The Best Incentive for School

Don’t get me wrong I do actually like my new job. My coworkers are nice (I even spent my break talking with one of them about Doctor Who), but if I didn’t like school already working a minimum wage job would make me like it. After high school I ended up taking a year off. I was supposed to go to Dalhousie in Halifax, but my grandmother died and so I ended up staying home. Unfortunately, by that time it was too late for me to go to UVic that year so I that’s how I ended up taking the year off.

Although I hated it at the time I realize now that it has turned out for the best. If I hadn’t taken that year off I never would have been able to go to Wrockstock, I never would have done NaNoWriMo, and I never would have met Rachel (and likely any of my other friends either). However, at the time it was excruciating. I spent the year working full time at a Tim Hortons (yes, it did suck). The only thing that kept me sane was multiple countdowns – to Wrockstock, to Christmas, and then the long haul until I could finally start school.

I still had to work when I was at school (and still do), but it was only part time and I still had school to look forward to. My bosses always laughed at me since I was the only person who would rather it was Monday than the weekend. I just like school – I can’t even imagine that one day there will be no more school. It’s part of the reason that I’m pretty sure I’m going to get to my final year of my undergrad, panic, and then apply to graduate schools and law school hoping against hope that someone accepts me. Will the loans suck? Most definitely. However, I don’t even want to imagine a life without school – it just seems so depressing. Working a 9-5 job, not seeing my friends, going home and then doing it all again the next day = BORING!

Fortunately I still have a few years until I need to worry about that, but even though having the money from working is nice I would still rather be in school. Having to work full time for little money is a definite reminder that I love school. And heck, if I have to graduate into being a boring adult one day at least I might be able to get paid better.

– Kali

New Summer, New Phone

First University Phone

Ever since I graduated high school and started attending UVic, it has happened that I needed a new phone in the summer. The fist summer I needed a phone with a Victoria number, so I didn’t get long distance charges. After some research, my dad and I decided on going with Virgin Mobile and one of their myPlans. I chose just a simple talk and text phone that I actually liked having, and would still probably have if not for the whole suddenly freezing and not doing anything issue. It was the Samsung Link (Blue & White).

When I sent the phone in for repairs, they sent me another phone I was supposed to only have for at most a month. It ended up being three months I believe by the time all was said and done. Virgin Mobile sent my phone back to me saying that nothing was wrong with and it was all fixed. Glad for this, I went to turn it on and found out that it indeed still froze upon boot-up. So, annoyed, I sent it back to them again to fix, this time with a sticky note saying to try and turn it on. They sent it back in the same condition again. You can imagine how annoyed I was getting at this point, this was all during school time, verging onto exam period, and I was more than ready for this whole fiasco to be over with.

Exam period passed, and I went home for the summer. This is when Virgin Mobile called me and said that they couldn’t find anything wrong with the phone and that since I was having continued issues with it, they would remove the remaining money for it from my supertab. So I got a new phone, the Samsung Galaxy 550, and it is a great little phone, if the cheapest Android Smartphone on the market and you can tell. It would overload occasionally and shut itself off as well as heat up if you were trying to use too complicated an app for it (like FishTank, or whatever its called). I enjoyed the touch screen and the size is just right for where I keep my phone most of the time. The only issue now is with Virgin Mobile itself.

For the past, oh say about 5 or 6 months, they have been charging me steadily around $67 for my phone a month. My plan is supposed to be $47/month. Their reasons were varying, “You’ve gone over on your data” “Long distance charges” and other such whimsical excuses (I wasn’t going over my data, I checked). So, it has been decided by myself and my dad that I will switch away from Virgin Mobile over to Koodo. As a result, I will need to be getting yet another new phone and plan. This time one I won’t go over on or have any issues with (I’ll get 1GB of data, more than enough for me, and Koodo has no long distance charges within Canada, they call it National Calling and I think it is a great thing).

LG Optimus Black: The new phone-to-be

The new phone from Koodo, the LG Optimus Black, has a ton load of features I’m sure to enjoy (5 megapixel back camera and a 2 megapixel front camera, 2.3 Android operating system) and mixed with the new plan ($50/month Canada-Wide Data Plan with 1GB of data, 150 anytime minutes, unlimited messaging, unlimited evenings and weekends, call display, and voicemail) I should have no further issues with my phone, at all. I am looking forward to not having to get a new phone next summer. *pauses, thinks, then knocks on wood*

Hoping your phone experiences are better than mine,
~Rachel