Bad News

Things were going just a little too well. That changed.

A couple of weeks ago now I received a Facebook message from my mom’s old boss asking me to call him. When I did he dropped a bomb on me that I definitely did not expect – they had found my mother dead in her apartment.

Within 24 hours I was on a flight to Victoria BC because I had to be there as the next of kin. My friend’s parents paid for the round trip flight using their points even. Everyone both at the school and back in Victoria has been amazingly supportive. I was only able to stay for a week and it was a whirlwind trip – including cleaning out the old apartment, meeting with the funeral directors, holding a small memorial, etc. At this same time we were in the midst of course selection for next year as well. It has been a hectic and chaotic time.

I’m (amazingly) back on track now. I don’t think I’ll need exam deferral (which is good because that would be a real pain with the whole castle thing) even though I’m still a little bit behind where I wish I was. Though, I imagine that’s how a lot of people are thinking at this time since we have our last day of classes on Friday!

My mom and I were always really close – she was a single parent and I her only child so it was always us against the world. I miss her and I always will. With that in mind I thought I would share some of our favourite in jokes here to be preserved.

  1. “You lost me at DNA” – this started when I was in grade 12 and studying for a biology test. I was explaining how DNA and RNA work (not that I remember any of it now) to her in order to help study. I did well on my test, but she was soon lost.
  2. “Why can’t you go get pregnant like a normal girl?” – In case it hasn’t been obvious I’m not exactly a wild child. As much as my mother accepted her geeky, fandom obsessed kid sometimes she just wished I was a little less weird. I think this was said for the first time when I was about 18 or 19. Somewhere in there.
  3. “What’s my password again?” – I definitely got this question too many times to remember when it started. For some reason she was absolutely useless at remembering any of her passwords or emails, etc. Sometimes she would even call me while I was in class and I would call her back, panicking that something was wrong to find out everything/everyone was fine, but she needed her password NOW!
  4. “You know I’d love you even if you were a lesbian…” – Uhhh thanks mom? I’m not, but it’s good to know you’re not a homophobe I guess.
  5. “Why didn’t you tell me I dress like a teenager!” – My teenaged cousin came to visit and my mother realized she owned the same clothes. I did tell you mom, I really did.

We were nothing alike in looks or personality in a lot of ways, but we shared a sense of humor that I will always cherish.

  • Kali

Power Poses

I’ve been negligent I suppose and I apologize. Second term has been a whirlwind of classes, reading, and the beginnings of our exposure to oral advocacy.

Oral advocacy is not a thing I’m good at. I get super nervous speaking in front of people. Sure, I’m better than I used to be (thank Model UN!), but I definitely still get very nervous. I’ve heard on multiple occasions people say that this seems surprising because apparently I don’t seem that way when I’m speaking normally.

Partially I suspect this is because I don’t feel like I need to impress my friends when we’re just talking normally. Sure, once upon a time I felt more of a need to impress my friends and that’s not to say I don’t care what my friends think of me – because I definitely do – but it’s still less pressure than speaking in front of my professors or even, one day, in court.

So far we’ve had two main oral advocacy exercises – one in Criminal law and a moot (basically a practice court situation, but only the part where you make your argument, not the bit with witnesses and stuff) in my Introduction to Legal Skills (ILS) class.

The Criminal law one was definitely more nerve wracking – that was partially because of the professor being more intimidating and partially because of the subject matter. My criminal law professor is one of the biggest names in Canadian criminal law – he literally wrote the textbook – and the case we were arguing was one about consent in sexual situations. If I never hear my professor say the phrase ‘kinky sex’ ever again it will still be too soon.

The subject matter for my ILS moot was drier – contractual interpretation of an indemnity clause – which was something more comfortable to talk about even if a tad boring. But, honestly, what I think really made the difference was two main things – my comfort with my professor and the fact that myself and my partner did some power poses beforehand.

Power poses are basically just things like putting your hands on your hips (Superwoman pose) or doing the Nixon ‘peace sign hands in the air’ thing, etc. It sounds dumb and honestly I felt a little silly at first, but it does loosen you up and calm you down. Or, at least, it did for me. There’s even a TED Talk about it so that must mean it works!

See!

  • Kali

Welcome to Toronto

I spent a few days in Toronto before coming up here for school. Just figured I would share some of the best parts of the short but sweet trip. I didn’t fall in love with Toronto instantly the way I did with New York City, but I did fall in love nonetheless.

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The CN Tower at night!

I ran into this festival at the harborfront.

I ran into this festival at the harborfront.

  One of the things I love most about cities is that you can just go out wandering and you’ll find something interesting to do.

Comedy of Errors in the park

Comedy of Errors in the park

I’m eternally grateful that someone recommended heading out to see some Shakespeare in High Park. It was brilliant and I would go back without a doubt. I highly recommend it if you’re ever in Toronto.

What do you see?

What do you see?

The Religious Studies student in me needed to take a picture of this sign. When I first saw it I read God is Nowhere – which seemed odd given it was a booth done up by a church. But, on second glance I realized it could also say God is Now Here. Apparently the pastor planned it that way to get people to give it a second look. It certainly worked!

Hard at work at the Osgoode Hall legal library

Hard at work at the Osgoode Hall legal library

On my last day in Toronto I took a tour of the old Osgoode Hall where there are courts and the home of the local law society. Seeing this in the library there made me feel just that much more like lawyers are not so different than me. I’m not sure who was using this computer – be they law student, articling student, or lawyer – but whoever they are, I salute you.

I miss Toronto already, but my new place is starting to come together, my roommate wll be here tomorrow, and on Tuesday orientation begins and I will be able to officially call myself a law student. Weird.

  • Kali

Family BBQs

Imagine this: its early Sunday afternoon the sun is shining, a gentle wind is blowing, tables and chairs are set up across the backyard, and a pig is roasting over a spit. This was the scene of my last family BBQ, and boy did we have a lot of fun.

I’ve only been to one pig roast before, and I’m pretty sure that they didn’t cook the meat long enough because it tasted a bit off, so I had no idea what to expect from the meal, other then the usual massive amount of food. Papa built the spit himself 25 years ago, and just loves having any excuse to pull it out. I was very pleased to taste the pig and find it delicious and moist. Everything tasted delicious as usual.

I think the cherries in the eye sockets made her look demonic...

I think the cherries in the eye sockets made her look demonic… but the apple looks delicious.

There were so many of my relatives there, half of them haven’t seen me since I was a toddler if at all, but that was what made it so much fun. I got to spend the afternoon wandering from one group of relatives to the next, catching up on all the latest family gossip. We even had relatives there who live in Japan and have for the past 20 years, it was really nice to see them for the first time in my memory and hear the stories that generation had to share.

All in all, it was a pleasant afternoon that stretched into the wee ends of the day and accompanied by delicious food, hugs, and smiles.

  • Rachel

Hey Look, We’re Not Dead!

We went, we’re back and we’ve been remiss in blogging. Oops. We had all these grandiose plans to blog, we were even making up titles for each day while we were gone, but then, well, for me it was post trip apathy, for Rachel I’m not sure. I seem to get that way most times I go anywhere, the first time I went to Wrockstock I almost lost NaNoWriMo because of it!

Anyways, this is just going to be a very short post with a promise of a longer one later today – I’m going to meet a friend for milkshakes.

The short version of how the trip went was that the flights sucked (almost all were delayed), the Con was FANTASTIC, I was right about New York (it’s my dream city), and we managed not to kill each other.

I took a lot less pictures than expected because I was too busy having fun, but I’ll put up the pictures I did take. Rachel also took less pictures than expected, but that’s a whole story that, trust me, will be shared.

Suffice to say that being back is, well, kind of depressing. On the plus side I have school to look forward to next week, but the last couple of weeks have been hard.

Sorry about the silence.

– Kali

54 Days!

Stuffies

One of these things is new – and it’s Doctor Whooves.

Time flies when you’re having fun I suppose. It’s been far too long since either of us posted.

Plans for the Baltimare-Manehattan trip are coming along nicely. Passports are valid, flights have been booked. Really the only thing left to do is find a hotel for NYC. I’m super excited and I’m pretty sure everyone at work wants to kill me because they’re tired of hearing “Guess What? __ Days!”.

School is out for the summer and I’m working full time again. Oddly enough it seems very different from last summer. Not only is Rachel no longer here, but I’m spending more time with other friends including one I’ve made at work. Even work seems less stressful and like it goes by a lot faster than it did last summer. I suppose we’ll see if that’s still the case after our trip.

As always I’ve got my timetable all picked out for next year. Actually, I have two picked out in case something goes wrong (I can’t get into a class or something) and I’m looking forward to school. It seems like this past year went by really fast and it’s crazy to think I’ve only got two more years of school. I’ve got to actually start studying for the LSAT soon (even though I’m not even sure I want to be a lawyer anymore) and my friends are even beginning to graduate. I’m trying not to worry about it too much, but sometimes I can’t help myself.

Rachel seems happy at her new-ish job and she successfully booked the time off for our trip as well. I’m still surprised I got the time off to be honest, I really thought my request would be ignored considering it usually was when I asked for one day and this is 10 of them.

Other than being excited for my trip I’ve been doing some reading again – I have a no reading for fun during the school year policy – and it’s good to be returning to my favorite genre (fantasy). And I’ve been mostly keeping up with writing 500 words a day as I swore to after NaNoWriMo this year. I’ve missed a couple of days here and there, but I can count them on one hand. The once a month meetings with my fellow writers had helped in that regard. I also got to fill out the form as a returning ML last week so it should be another fun, but busy, November.

Looks like I have a lot to look forward to!

-Kali

Attempting Chocolate!

Hello!

So the other day I baked cupcakes. Again. But these ones are chocolate cupcakes, my first time making cupcakes that aren’t vanilla. And it’s not like I found a chocolate cupcake recipe, oh no, I decided that it would take too long to look a recipe up and just adapted my white cupcake recipe which I have practically memorized. It wasn’t hard to put a little less flour, and a little more butter and milk to adjust the recipe to the extra chocolate powder. Personally, I haven’t had one yet, but the uncooked batter was delicious.

The texture of the cupcakes was a little more mousse like then my white cupcakes.

The texture of the cupcakes was a little more mousse like then my white cupcakes.

The chocolate cupcakes took a little longer to cook, but that could be because I filled the cups more so as to have bigger cupcakes. According to my dad I need to fill them some more then next time I make cupcakes.

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For my next batch of cupcakes, I was thinking about making both chocolate and vanilla batters and putting both batters into the cup to bake. I have to wait until all of these cupcakes are gone, though, since that would essentially be a double batch of cupcakes.

Aren't they all so pretty?

Aren’t they all so pretty?

The original vanilla batch is getting a little dry by now, but they are still good and still cute!

Have a good day!
Rachel