Thursday, March 30, 2006

Another week

For a while I was getting better at this updating thing, apparently that's gone by the wayside...
Although truth be told, it's not been that exciting a week. It's the final week of my course (again, already - need to register for next month) so I just had an exam. It was ok, it was just an essay (yay for it not being pure hard grammar!) and I picked the topic about whether natural fur should be sold... oooh controversial! So we'll see how that goes.
I also really really need to call Columbia College in Chicago, to see if they'll let me enroll for the summer as a "student-at-large", a description which I find almost as funny as the "exceptionally talented alien" on the US immigration forms... basically it means a student who isn't aiming for a degree at that college, but I'm not sure what their position is on international students-at-large... or what forms I'd have to fill out. As a safeguard I have all the forms I can find downloaded on my little USB stick, so when I find out all I have to do is print and write...
Also, I find this really funny. And this, because it's how I feel every morning.
I apparently need coffee.
Anyways, Rob's here this weekend, woot! We're going to go and see butterflies at the Jardin Botanique, which will be fun. Yay butterflies! Be prepared for lots of pictures of things that may or may not be butterflies... After that there's a show at Main Hall (which is where my housemates played last week) with bluegrassy-type bands, including Luther Wright (who did a fantastically bizarre bluegrass version of Pink Floyd's The Wall with his band The Wrongs). Lisa has made me promise to go, so I'm dragging Rob along too :) boyfriends are good for that.
Good thing Gmail autosaves now, Internet Explorer (boo) decided to close on me. Grr.
I still have half an hour to type randomness at you. I could spend it doing something useful, of course, but where's the fun in that?
So do I buy coffee now or do I rely on the fact that we're probably going to the cafe in a bit, as we never do anything remotely resembling work after things so strenous as tests... ok that's not a fact, but still better that I spotted the typo that left "tests" as "testes". As long as I didn't do something like that in my exam, we'll be ok...
Coffee is thicker than water...

Thursday, March 23, 2006

It's been a week?

Really? Wow...
So I talked to the immigration lawyer, she said that basically the immigration people will just turn me down if I simply ask for an extension as they'll assume I'm just trying to work illegally. Silly American immigration, not everyone wants to live in the States! She suggested that I register for classes instead, so most of last week was sending off frantic emails to colleges in Chicago asking them about their summer courses... I'm thinking something completely unrelated to my degree would be nice, perhaps photography (then I can learn how to use Rob's fancy camera) or philosophy or comparative religions... something "fun". Still waiting for replies from most of them though. Boo.
St Patrick's Day weekend was a lot of fun, if a lot of the same place. We ended up in the Cock and Bull on Friday as it was the only place without queues to get in of about 2 blocks, and the guys were playing there on Saturday so we were there again... but it was good, the atmosphere was great and we made friends with the staff of the newly-opened kitchen (which is always important I feel). Saturday daytime involved lots of watching films and general chilling out, and Sunday we tried to catch the parade but pancakes came first so we missed it... we still caught the hordes of people enjoying being able to drink on the street though. Surprisingly it wasn't too bad, there was a festival kind of atmosphere rather than the "let's get drunk and cause trouble" that tends to happen in Britain.
But now I'm ill, and it sucks. The other girl in my class was ill last week, and now both me and the teacher are coughing away quite merrily... So I took two days off class, and am still the only one in today. Four hours of French when your head feels like cotton wool is challenging!
Anyways, back to it with a coffee I think. I've got an appointment with someone to see whether I can get more meds here (the ones Gulya bought me in Russia are running out) so I have to hang around here till 3... I'll no doubt write some more when I have nothing better to do. Don't you all feel loved? :P

Coffee is thicker than water...

Thursday, March 16, 2006

It was spring

But now it's snowing again. Hmm.
I had an exam this morning, it seemed fairly ok but then I don't have the marks yet :)
This afternoon involves calling the Tullochs' immigration lawyer to see what she reckons is the best plan for me to be able to spend four months in teh US and actually be allowed to do stuff like volunteer and take classes etc... it sounds like a lot of work! But in a good way, if it lets me spend time with my boy. Aww sweet.
And that's about it for now, last night I was revising and reading (as if I've almost finished the third Harry Potter in French! Means I need to go and buy the other three). Woo my life is exciting like that. Although it is St Patrick's Day on Friday, which is apparently a big thing here in Montreal, so that's going to be a party!

Coffee is thicker than water...

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

I'm reading far too much into this

But I've decided that Harry Potter himself is the last Horcrux in which Voldemort has stored part of his soul.
The more I think about it, the more it makes sense. I was reading the second book (in French, get me) and I got to thinking. If Voldemort gave some of his powers to Harry accidentally while trying to kill him (eg the ability to speak Parseltongue, the fact that he can feel when Voldemort is happy or angry etc) then does that not mean that a part of Voldemort resides in Harry? We already know (I think) that Horcruxes can be living things - there was the snake with a funny name that I can't remember. One of the conditions of making a Horcrux was that someone had to be killed, which in this case would be Harry's mother. It makes sense to me that if someone was to split their soul it would weaken them incredibly for a time afterwards, and everyone knows that Voldemort disappeared after he failed to kill Harry... so what if he made Harry a Horcrux, either on purpose or accidentally? It would be a great way to end the series of books if to eliminate Voldemort Harry had to die, and would stop any temptations Rowling might have to keep writing after the seven books are over.
Yes, like I said, I'm reading far too much into this but it came to me in a flash of inspiration. Let me know what you think, I'm off back to my French class and the joyous subjunctive!

Coffee is thicker than water...

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Intensive French classes

The only problem I have with there being only two of us in the class is that when the other girl doesn't show up (like today) I have one on one French tuition for four hours. It's exhausting and I've only been here an hour and a half!
Luckily for the next hour or so we're watching some Quebecois comedy show (I'm not sure whether I'll understand it or not) and then it's the traditional cafe outing. Yay Fridays.
Later will be going to see my flatmates play at the Crescent St Pub. Now, this pub is right next door to Brutopia, which means that Danielle and myself (and possibly Lisa, when I get around to inviting her) will be going there first for raspberry blondes (which is a lager, not a kind of person) and then ginger beer. Oh yes.
Tomorrow I'm planning on shopping in cheap outlet type places. Six months with just the clothes I can fit in a suitcase means that I'm now rather bored of what I have (it's a hard life, isn't it?) so it's time for some retail therapy!
That's all for now. I do quite like being able to use a computer lab with high speed internet (although they don't have FireFox, which I think is a serious error and results in me having many many windows open at once) so I think I'll be more inclined to update more often. Hahaha you don't get to escape my ramblings (well yes, you do, but it's not nice to ignore me).

Coffee is thicker than water...

Friday, March 10, 2006


Which although it is a strange name for a post, is the name of the group I saw last night. They were awesome!
Let's start with the venue, the Lion d'Or. It's a stunning old dance hall kind of place, very classy. There were tables set up around the edges with tablecloths on them and stuff like that, like a proper cabaret style.
The first set was the guy (I think he's called Ben, but I'm not sure) with all his electronic stuff (ie laptop and many wires leading to various boxes of fun) providing the beats, and then another guy on a drum kit playing along... it was crazy madness, and absolutely brilliant. If you closed your eyes you couldn't really tell who was doing what, but it's quite something to watch a drummer actually playing the drums in drum'n'bass!
The second set was even more extraordinary, involving five or six violinists, two cellists and a soprano opera singer... once again it was the guy doing his electric thing, and conducting his mini-orchestra (yes I know there's a technical name but since I can't remember how many people were playing I can't say it was a septet or something). The result was... very "Rob" is the only way I can think of describing it at the moment! Kind of Delirium. I would never have thought that German opera could go well with electronica, but it worked.
Unfortunately we had to leave before the end, as it was time to catch the last metro... but if I get chance to see them again, I'll be there (possibly with bells on, as the saying goes).
Anyway, that was my night. Now I'm back in LaSalle learning French, with a shiny new student card (which has a really stupid photo... why am I not photogenic in any way shape or form?) and it's time for coffee. Mmmm coffee.
Coffee is thicker than water...

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

A mixed bag of stuff

I got a phone call from my mum the other day telling me that my great-grandad had died. I wish everyone at home the best and I want you all to know I'm thinking of you even though I'm far away. Keep me up to date with what's happening. Rest in peace Grandad, I'll miss you.

On a more positive note, I managed to find somewhere that wants to teach me French! This I feel quite proud of. I'm now attending College LaSalle 5 mornings a week from 8.30am to 12.30ish. That's early for me, but it makes me get up and do stuff - I can come home at 1ish and feel like I've done something (and feel superior to whoever's just getting up when I get home). So far the course is a little slow, but since there are only two of us in the class I think I can cope! The teacher is a Quebecer this time, so he's a little harder to understand, but he's fulfilling the Francophone stereotype (it's entirely my stereotype, but people keep reinforcing it) of being crazy. So that's fun. On Fridays we apparently spend the last hour of the class in a cafe, which as anyone who knows me will also know, is my favourite place for doing things like that. I did after all revise for my A-Levels in a pub.

Tomorrow we (Spencer, Danielle, possibly Lisa, and I) are off to see some kind of show that involves mixing drum'n'bass style beats with a classical quartet... I'm intrigued! There's a website which you can check out here which has some samples, which I haven't checked out because I'm on dialup but I'll let you know what it's like. Exciting stuff!

Also exciting is trying to get a visa for the US that will let me stay for longer than the 90 days I get on the visa waiver programme (which I'm spelling the English way cos I'm English. Go figure). So far I've managed to fill in a nice form with a barcode (oooh technical) that will apparently make it all easier and quicker, and I've booked an interview at the Montreal consulate/embassy place. Only thing is, the earliest available interview date is the 10th of April. That's a long time away! So now I wait, and try not to be impatient. But it is kind of bizarre that for a country with "secure borders and open doors" all I seem to be able to find are doors that are closed and reluctant to open for anything slightly beyond the norm.

Really I just like complaining about immigration people in general. I should wait until they've actually been mean before I complain too much though!

That's all for now. I should be getting a student card tomorrow that will let me use the computer labs at LaSalle, so I might even get around to posting some pictures soon...
Coffee is thicker than water...