Canada, week 5

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I’ve officially been here over a month.  I wish I could say I’m feeling more settled now, but the truth is, I’m pretty sure this thing will still feel impermanent in another month, in two months, in five months.  Honestly, I don’t know how long I’m going to be here.  I could stay an extra year on a postgrad work permit, I could get a more permanent job here, or I could do a host of other things.  I have next to no idea what I’ll be doing this time next year.  So no, I really don’t feel settled, per se.  It’s a disquieting feeling, after spending so long in the same place (or same two places, rather, counting Norman).

But by the same token, I think this strange floating unsettled feeling is what I need right now.  I told a friend shortly before I left Tulsa that I think a part of my psyche thrives on some baseline level of chaos, of unpredictability, and what is grad school but an onslaught of chaos?  I’m a dancer, after all–I like being on my toes.

Anyway, that’s enough reflection for now.  Here are the highlights from last week!

When Twitter friends become IRL friends:  I hung out with the one and only RJ Lackie in Toronto on Friday!  We spent four solid hours talking each others’ ears off while wandering around the Ryerson campus/the Yonge Street area and it was AMAZING.  I’ll talk about some of the other cool stuff we saw elsewhere in the post, like…

The coolest board game shop ever:  Hairy Tarantula is only marked by an unobtrusive sign on its recessed door.  The shop itself is at the top of a long, narrow staircase, the walls of which positively explode with color.  It’s basically an attic crammed with every board game and comic book you could possibly imagine, and even more you couldn’t dream up if you tried.  I had zero idea board games were this much of a Thing, but now my eyes have been opened.

Hamilton Comic-Con:  I went on Sunday with my classmate Brittany.  We saw Denise Crosby and David Prowse (only from a distance, though, because autographs and photo-ops are expensive), and we were also lucky enough to catch a Q&A session with Brian Herring, one of the puppeteers who piloted BB-8.  It turns out there are actually seven different versions of BB-8 used in TFA, for different types of shots.  Oh, and that scene where BB-8 clunks his way down the stairs in Maz’s place?  That totally wasn’t planned.

Also:  I may not have met David Prowse, but I did meet Darth Vader.

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Uhhh… R2B-8?

The Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum:  Admission to the museum was free with a Comic-Con ticket, so Brittany and I checked out the planes afterwards.

A truly gorgeous view:  The scene outside the museum reminded me of Iowa.

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Speaking of gorgeous:  This is St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church, on James Street.  I can’t deal with all the pretty churches here, seriously.

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A very important announcement:  I miss dogs.  Like, a lot.  So if somebody in the HamOnt area needs a dog walker or a dog sitter, or just has a dog I can pet, hit a girl up.

What I’m watching:  CARMILLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

Coffee:  Cafe Pamenar, in Kensington Market.  I got my first-ever cappuccino there, on the recommendation of the barista there (who bore a delightful resemblance to Lin-Manuel Miranda), and it was fantastic.

Food:  RJ introduced me to the wonder that is Salad King.  The name is a little deceiving–it’s actually a Thai place with a kooky sense of humor.

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I feel like the three exclamation points completely undercut the message here.

I had the Siam noodles, and oh my god I’m drooling at the mere memory.

ALSO, editing after the fact because of course I forgot something:  shoutout to Aberdeen Tavern!  I was lucky enough to go to dinner here on Tuesday night, with some of the professors from my department (among others) and a visiting scholar, Virginia Eubanks.  Unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend any of Dr. Eubanks’s lectures because of class and other obligations, but she’s doing amazing work.  She got to work with Barbara Smith on the book Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around, and the talk she gave last Tuesday was all about digital regulation of the poor–great timing, since I had to read a chapter from Foucault’s Discipline and Punish for a class last week.

…oh, and I suppose I should mention the food, too.  The spaghetti carbonara I had was unreal.

Music:  Oh boy, do I have some jams for you this week.  Google Play and the Songza stations they acquired continue to be excellent.

That’s all I’ve got for now!  Till next time!

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