Saturday, September 29, 2007

love, life, and the institute of marriage

I spoke last night with an old friend, whose phone calls I have, unfortunately, been terrible at returning. Finally connecting, he told me, among other things, he is splitting with his wife. This means the first three friends of mine to marry are now also the first three friends of mine to divorce. This is an unsettling trend.

Paul and I have been together over four years now, and while we have no plans to marry, neither do we have plans to not be together forever. We know several couples who have been together for a shorter (sometimes significantly) period of time than we, who are married - are those relationships more valid than ours? It depends on who you ask. I've certainly felt the 'unmarried shun' from some people, like the invitations addressed to 'Paul and Guest' (what, you think he's going to bring someone other than his common-law partner?), or the uncle of mine who didn't bother to include a picture of Paul on the family tree wall at a family reunion (not that Paul minded - I quite frankly would have liked to escape the wall myself).

Then there was my mother, who, when we made a comment about how the uber catholic grandparents would have been happy only if we had slept in seperate tents while camping, said, "even now that you're married?", and when I reminded her that we weren't, said, "oh yeah. I just feel like you are.".

I know being married is no more a guarantee of longevity in a relationship than not being married isn't, my first three friends to wed a perfect example. I know I don't need other people to validate the bond between Paul and I, and I know a piece of jewellery or a certificate isn't going to increase the strength of that bond. We don't need to stand in front of a crowd of people and profess our love in order for it to be real, but incase our lack of matrimonial status is confusing for any of you, here it is, pure and simple; I love Paul. And Billywilly. And the Bogowogo Man.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

you'll have to excuse me, I'm not at my best . . .

I keep thinking about doing a blog update, but couldn't seem to find the time, until now. I'm recovering from my first cold in over a year which has really flattened me more than I thought it would. The last two nights I went to bed at 7:30 and 9pm respectively, and I think one more night of solid sleep may get me back on my feet.

So, what's been going on? Well . . .

I've started classes at UBC. It's such a different experience than the last three years I've been taking classes at Langara. I feel generally much more relaxed. It's very serene to finish work and then leisurely stroll to classes in buildings I can literally see from work - much different than the mad dash across town, eating while driving, parking then running to class and maybe getting there on time. I don't think I realized how hard that was on me until I stopped doing it. I have, however, developed a bad habit of just working right up until 5 min before my class starts, which means I'm putting in close to an hour of overtime each day. I need to stop doing that. I also need to stop walking back to my office after class, where I inevitably get stopped and asked questions and end up working for another 1/2 hour or so.

The department I'm in is small, only about 1,200 including undergrad and graduate students. It is close knit, and a lot of work is put in to fostering a sense of community - weekly dinners where you hang out with fellow students and professors being just one example. I feel awesome about being in this department, it feels like the right fit, like coming home.

Sitting in lecture halls with 200 - 350 other students, rather than in small classrooms with 40 students max still feels bizarre to me. And I'm paying twice as much for this? Mmmmkay.

So what else?

I got a haircut which I hate. I think there were two problems; my hairdresser and I had our wires crossed when we were discussing the cut, and she was in a rush to get out of there. I was her last appointment of the day, and the person who went before me changed her mind about what she wanted half way through her cut, meaning I was sitting with dripping wet hair waiting for my turn for nearly an hour. Also meaning that my hairdresser, who just returned from mat leave, ended up working much later than she was supposed to and wanted to get the hell out of there and get home to her baby. Anyways, the result is hideous to me. A week has gone by and I still hate it. To me it looks like I had short hair which grew out badly. Anyways, it'll grow and I'll get over it. Pictures will NOT be posted.

And also?

Paul and I celebrated our fourth anniversary together! We did it up proper and went out for a fancy dinner, which thanks to a generous gift certificate from my old calculus tutor, Muna, didn't really break the bank at all. Afterwards we went out dancing and had an awesome time. Good times had by all.

That's pretty much it. Back to studying I go. Chemistry.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

glorious summer holidays

Aaaaaahhhh, the long awaited blog update . . .

The calculus exam over, Playland conquered, and rest and relaxation on the menu, we packed up and headed to the blissfully tranquil Sunshine Coast. The majority of our time was spent chilling at our property on Soames Point, just a few km away from Gibsons, BC. My family has an acre of waterfront property (which my Grandfather had the foresight to buy a long, long time ago, athough he did not, unfortunately, buy the property next door due to it's hefty pricetag of $500.00) which has awesome views of the mountains, harbour seals slapping away out front, easy beach access, good training grounds for Paul, great vegetable gardens, fruit trees, blackberries . . . needless to say, I wish I was still there. I didn't accomplish much, other than reading three books; the final installment of the Harry Potter series, the 100 Mile Diet (which should be required reading for every human being), and Charlotte's Web. We also picked more blackberries than will fit in our freezer (most are still in the deepfreeze at the cabin), drank copious amounts of beer, and ate more doughnuts than I'd care to admit. I woke up every morning and made a cup of tea, then wandered down the terraced garden to check on which vegetables had ripened overnight; peas, beans, beets, zucchini, a variety of lettuces, potatoes, lots of fresh herbs. What didn't come from the garden came from a neighbour's garden, or from the organic farm just past town.

We took a two day respite from the cabin to travel further up the coast than we'd been before. We headed off to Earl's Cove (I drove, and Paul rode his bike the 84km of non-stop hills) where we hopped on another ferry and glided into some really unspoiled paradise. After just less than an hour on the ferry we arrived in Saltery Bay, where we camped for two nights. It was so fantastically awesome, so relaxing, so beautiful, I felt overwhelmed with joy on a number of occassions. We pimped up our camping gear with a new delux queen-sized air mattress, so the sleeps were perhaps more comfy than in our bed at home.

This vacation, along with some choice reading material, has really made me desperately want to live somewhere I can grow things. Paul and I had some pretty serious talks about the possibility of living on the coast in the future, and either making work happen from there or commuting to town. We can figure out the logistics later.

Some pictures of the glorious holiday:

The view from the house.

On the ferry to Saltery Bay.

A feat of extreme engineering - our campsite.

Some wine and cheese on the water at Saltery Bay.

Soooo gorgeous!



And the cutest dog in the entire universe.