Canada, week 13: special edition!

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Hey all!  It’s been another relatively slow excitement week/fast grad school week, but I’m bringing you another update anyway, because oh my sweet lord you all will not believe what happened to me on Sunday afternoon.

I’d spent the whole day inside, working on a term paper, and I was about fed up of being indoors.  “Hey, self, you know what would be a great idea?” I thought.   “Walking over to the Second Cup in Westdale Village and getting coffee.”  So I got dressed and headed out.  I was on King, approaching Marion, when I noticed there was a weird traffic snarl up ahead and a lot of people on the sidewalk ahead of me.  There was a police officer standing in the middle of the intersection directing traffic, and one of the cars up ahead was at a slightly weird angle, so at first I thought there’d been a car accident.  But as I got closer, it didn’t look like anything was actually damaged.  “Huh,” I thought, “I guess all these people are just doing their holiday shopping.  Supporting small businesses.  That’s so nice of them!”

I made it across the street, still a teensy bit confused as to what was going on, and approached a small knot of people, all of whom were standing behind a dude in a bright safety-orange vest.  This vest had a neon-yellow X on the back, and on one stripe of the X was written “GOOD WITCH.”  As I got closer, I saw that literally everybody was standing still.  The people hanging out behind Mr. Orange Vest were just chillin’, and there were people further down the sidewalk just chillin’.  Nobody was moving at all.

Honestly, this was the point at which I really should have turned tail and gone back home, because clearly I’d stumbled into something.  But unfortunately, three of my several Tragic Flaws(TM) were at play here:

  • I can be singleminded as all get-out.  When I really want something, like coffee, I’m frelling getting it no matter what.
  • I can be PAINFULLY oblivious.
  • To put it charitably, I’m inquisitive.  To put it uncharitably, I love poking my nose into stuff that has nothing to do with me.

Anyway, I sidled up to a nearby couple and said something like, “So this is the holdup, huh?”  I figured they were normal people like me who were temporarily inconvenienced by whatever the heck was going on.  They looked at me a little weirdly, and I don’t remember precisely what their reply was, but I got the distinct feeling I was missing something.  Unfortunately, these folks didn’t have time to disabuse me of any of my half-baked notions as to what the sitch was, because at that moment, somebody (I think it was Mr. Orange Vest) was like “k, y’all can go now.”  So the people around me went, and I went.  And this is the fourth-best part of this whole ridiculous story, because somebody (Mr. Orange Vest again?) called out something like “take your time, don’t be in a hurry.”  AND I JUST ROLLED WITH IT.  It took me about 0.2 seconds to start moseying, easy as you please, even though I literally had no idea what was going on.

I kept moseying down the sidewalk, and it was at this point I noticed one of the shops (don’t remember which one) had been temporarily replaced with a fake shop bearing the marquee “Bell, Book, and Candle.”  There was a rack of really cute jackets on the sidewalk near that shop, which initially got my attention.  There was also a really attractive guy browsing the rack, which was the second thing to get my attention.  I looked through the jackets for a bit and then casually asked him, “So what is this all about?”  He looked confused and asked me if I was actually looking at the jackets, and that’s when it hit me:

Literally everybody else in this entire area was an extra, and I was the utter nincompoop who’d wandered right onto set DURING A TAKE, WHILE THE CAMERA WAS ROLLING.

I completely short-circuited, in part because Jesus Woodrow Wilson Christ what have I DONE, and in part because this guy’s face was distracting me big-time, and I just mumbled something like “oh my god, I’m so sorry, I’m just gonna–” and I didn’t even care, I just strolled right outta there, getting in the way of at least three other people in the process but like heck I was sticking around.

The third-best part of the story is that the full extent of my bumbling came to light in front of this ridiculously attractive man, right?  The second-best part is that I was wearing SWEATPANTS.  I’d almost dressed kind of cute earlier, when I was getting ready to leave the apartment, and then I was like “but sweatpants though.”

And then the best part–guess what else I was wearing?

My deerstalker.

I literally crashed the set of a TV show, in the middle of a take, while wearing sweatpants and my godforsaken DEERSTALKER.

So yeah, that’s pretty much the most embarrassing thing to happen to me since the Klahom face, and if I somehow make it into the background of this show, I’ll ascend to another plane of existence and scream.

Here ends the story.  Till next time!

(P.S. I guess I know what I’m bingewatching over break.)

(P.P.S.  The coffee was still totally worth it.)

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The Cask of Amontillado, aka What Did I Just Read – The Masterpost

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Look, I know I said it’d be a while before I livetweeted anything again, but I just really felt like livetweeting something last night.  So here it is, my complete livetweet of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Cask of Amontillado.

Let the WTF-ery begin.

  • yall…………………. I don’t want to do schoolwork so I’m going to livetweet a thing
  • specifically The Cask of Amontillado because apparently it’s been a meme on tumblr lately and not getting the jokes has been rly frustrating
  • (also, for the first time, I’m literally only doing this on my phone so I’m just gonna be switching windows constantly lmaoooo)
  • K LET’S DO THIS
  • “The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult I vowed revenge.” wasting NO time, I see
  • “You, who so well know the nature of my soul”–
    cask-mariah
  • “I must not only punish but punish with impunity” – okay, Frank Castle, chill the eff out
  • this whole bit about what exactly counts as revenge has me like
  • (and all of that was just the first paragraph, good lord)
  • apparently the nameless narrator dude has literally done nothing to this Fortunato dude and Fortunato is still sh*tting on his entire life
  • “he did not perceive that my to smile now was at the thought of his immolation” – holy cow what did this guy DO to you
  • omg yall Fortunato’s weakness is wine and now my mental image of him is basically John Thorpe
  • our narrator is a wino as well. the frat bro jokes on tumblr are starting to make sense now
  • oh boyyyyyyyy y’all this is happening during the carnival season. we’re in for some topsy-turvy ish
  • right so dude’s at this carnival and he meets his friend who’s wearing motley, yada yada
  • OH WAIT. FORTUNATO IS THE ONE WEARING MOTLEY. FORTUNATO IS A F***ING COURT JESTER OR SOME ISH
  • so wait wait wait is this bloke seriously on the warpath because a motley fool insulted him. is this what’s happening here.
    • note after the fact:  probably not but the mental images this conjures up are too fun to abandon
  • I literally feel like I’m reading the sequel to Twelfth Night here
  • Thirteenth Night: Malvolio Strikes Back
  • so Mal (just gonna call him that till we get a name for him) about shakes Fort’s hand right off and is like “I got some gr8 wine my dude”
  • like……….. is he gonna put cyanide in there or what
  • anyway at the news that Mal got some Amontillado, Fort basically completely short-circuits and all he can freaking say is “Amontillado!”
  • in case yall thought I was kidding:
    2016-11-25-22.27.14.jpg.jpg
  • he’s like a parrot. or Hodor
  • pardon me while I play a quick game of Who the F is Speaking
  • (DIALOGUE TAGS ARE IMPORTANT, KIDDOS)
  • okay I think Mal just invited himself the f over to Fort’s place like wow rude
  • wait I think Fort just said Mal had a cold? has he been talking like Goofy this whole time?
  • well that certainly complicates a lot of my mental pictures
  • oh WAIT NO I got it all wrong, Fort was the one who invited himself over to Mal’s place
  • man I literally got everything completely backwards
  • again, dialogue tags are muy importante
  • that makes this whole bit funnier:
    F: let’s get drunk at your place
    M: but, uh, you’re busy!
    F: no I’m not
    M: uhh, you’re sick tho?
    F: …no
  • Mal, my dude, unless this is some lady-doth-protest stuff here, you don’t actually seem that eager to get your revenge on Fort
  • bro. bruh. honeybruh. Mal is literally putting on a mask and cloak to LEAVE this carnival
  • and he doesn’t even call it a cloak, either, it’s a “roquelaire”
  • he’s so extra I can’t
  • so as per the typical carnival scene, none of Mal’s attendants are at home, but rather they’re getting lit
  • this guy has ATTENDANTS ffs why is he bothering to revenge himself on a LITERAL MOTLEY FOOL
  • oh and he doesn’t call torches “torches” but “flambeaux” like why is that necessary
  • “flambeaux and pitchforks” just doesn’t roll off the tongue
  • so anyway they go down this long spirally-af staircase and get to–wait, CATACOMBS?
  • Mal, my dude, my guy, I was expecting an actual wine cellar, not a graveyard
  • and these aren’t just any catacombs, they’re his family’s. literally “the catacombs of the Montresors” like what the actual f
  • do people generally get turnt in their family graveyards in this era or is Mal just a giant weirdo
  • heyoooo.
    2016-11-25-22.58.24.jpg.jpg
  • anyway.  moving tf on
  • “The gait of my friend was unsteady, and the bells upon his cap jingled as he strode.” Mal ffs WHY are you messing with a JOKER
  • like seriously what did this guy ever do to you that he wasn’t expressly permitted to do in his literal job description
  • is Mal literally just going to asbestos Fort before they even get to the wine
    2016-11-25-23.10.05.jpg.jpg
  • I have been laughing for approximately 40000 years because (1) this is Poe’s version of coughing, and (2) honestly same tho
    2016-11-25-23.18.43.jpg.jpg
  • “My poor friend found it impossible to reply for many minutes.” – WAIT BRO AND YOU’RE JUST STANDING THERE THE WHOLE TIME?
  • holy cow, my dude, you are vicious
  • “‘It is nothing,’ he said, at last” – Fort, you complete wafflebrain, you almost hacked up an entire lung back there
  • he’s already drunk as all get-out, though, so he has an excuse for being so wafflebrained
  • “‘Come,’ I said, with decision, ‘we will go back… you are happy, as once I was. You are a man to be missed. For me it is no matter.'” UM
  • drunk or not that is some ominous effing phrasing right there
  • “A draught of this Medoc will defend us from the damps.” yeah that totally isn’t wine you’re about to give him. that is totally not wine.
  • AND GUESS WHAT POPS UP WHEN I SCROLL LIKE TWO INCHES DOWN MY TIMELINE
    <blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>The perfect mini bar for wine lovers <a href=”https://t.co/MThObfcvqG”>https://t.co/MThObfcvqG</a&gt; <a href=”https://t.co/gyYKKlY6I4″>pic.twitter.com/gyYKKlY6I4</a></p>&mdash; BuzzFeed (@BuzzFeed) <a href=”https://twitter.com/BuzzFeed/status/802368283563343872″>November 26, 2016</a></blockquote>
    //platform.twitter.com/widgets.js
  • “‘Drink,’ I said, presenting him the wine.”
  • “He raised it to his lips with a leer.”
  • “‘I drink,’ he said, ‘to the buried that repose around us.’
    ‘And I to your long life.'”
    DUN DUN DUNNNNN
  • Mal rn
  • okay so I guess that particular wine wasn’t poisoned or anything? lord
  • yay time for a genealogy lesson with Mr. Malvolio Montresor
  • k I’m like 99% sure Mal is making up his family’s coat of arms just to be dramatic
  • “A huge human foot d’or, in a field azure; the foot crushes a serpent rampant whose fangs are imbedded in the heel” – like come on Mal
  • oh and Mal just got to their motto, – time to Google translate this ish
  • update, an approximate translation would be AIN’T NOBODY MESSIN WITH MY MOTHERF*CKIN CLIQUE
  • “The wine sparkled in his eyes and the bells jingled. My own fancy grew warm with the Medoc.”
    k like
    I know this isn’t gay
    but
  • “I paused again, and this time I made bold to seize Fortunato by an arm above the elbow” – don’t mind me I’m just writing fanfic in my head
  • so there’s even more of this “nitre” stuff deeper in the catacombs. I looked it up, and apparently it’s saltpeter.
  • which, like, can explode. right?
  • Wikipedia said it’s used in rocket propellant and fireworks and gunpowder so I mean
  • wouldn’t it be hysterical if Mal’s plan backfired quite literally and he Guy Fawksed them both
  • Mal is at least trying to act concerned for Fort’s cough and Fort is like “I literally don’t care, just give me more wine”
  • “I broke and reached him a flagon of De Grave” are you kidding me Mal. De Grave. could you BE any more extra jfc
  • ahahahah Fort chugs the flagon and tosses it aside while flipping it the bird and Mal is just like
  • I would just like to formally state that I have no idea wtf is going on
    2016-11-26-00.03.22.jpg.jpg
  • like first of all where did this freemason conspiracy stuff come from, and then second, a trowel????????
  • is this gonna be some Chekov’s Trowel ish
  • man if anybody wants to explain that particular digression to me, after I’ve finished here, feel f***ing free, bc I got nothing
  • ANYWAY so there’s apparently much more twisty turny stuff going on in the wine cellar from hell
  • so yeah remember the bone church from The Phantom of the Opera? well this is basically a bone crypt. not kidding ya
  • “the bones had been thrown down, and lay promiscuously upon the earth” – nO.
  • I just found this gif and I regret my entire existence
  • I s2g if they don’t find this godforsaken wine soon
  • there are crypts within crypts in this literal hellhole
  • WAIT WHOA MAL JUST CHAINED FORT TO THE WALL IN THIS CRYPT
  • Mal, ever vicious: hey, that’s a lot of nitre there, sure you don’t want to get outta here? TOO BAD MOFO I’VE GOT YOU LOCKED UP
  • “‘The Amontillado!’ ejaculated my friend”–BROSKI YOU ARE CHAINED TO A WALL WINE IS THE LEAST OF YOUR PROBLEMS RN
  • Chekov’s Trowel, yall, for real
    screenshot_2016-11-26-00-21-45-1.png
  • Mal is literally going to wall this guy up in the wine cellar from hell what a way to go
  • this is about the worst time for Fort to sober up, so of course that’s exactly what happens
  • at one point Fort just starts screaming and Mal’s all
  • omg Mal’s about to finish walling the guy in and Fort decides to get all Joker on him
  • Fort: lollllll you’re even putting the last stone in this is hilarious
    Fort: you can stop now lmao
    Mal:
  • “No answer still. I thrust a torch through the remaining aperture and let it fall within”–oh so now you’re gonna flame the poor guy too?
  • he literally just rebuilds the crypt wall and leaves Fort there I’m
    is that it
    is that the entire story
  • not even any sort of backstory for why he hates the guy so much? nothing?
  • sure. I guess.
  • so I guess that’s the end of it. poor Fortunato’s bones are buried at the arse-end of some giant crypt and nobody ever finds him. cool

Well, that was fun.  I’ll be back soon with another Canada post.  Till then:

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Canada, week 12

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Sorry this is late again, y’all–I had a draft of a research proposal due today, so I’ve been working my tail off on that.  (Grad school, where you give yourself crash courses in international relations at 1:30 in the morning.  Yayyyy.)

It’s going to be a short post this time around–this week has been a bit sluggish, much like the week before–but I’ve still got a few things for y’all.

First deerstalker sighting of the season:

20161120_124150

Not exactly the world’s best picture of me, but…

I was at the rally in Toronto on Saturday.  There were some really great speakers, lots of people showed up, nothing got ugly, and now I’m hoarse from all that chanting.

What I’m watching:

  • On a whim, I rewatched Epic, and my observations about it from back in 2013 still hold.  The animation perhaps isn’t as brilliant as Pixar’s, but it was still a really fun movie–save for the sheer baldfaced nature of the antagonist’s villainy.  That felt uncomfortably relevant.
  • On that note, I’ve also rewatched Shrek recently, and my god, I’d forgotten completely about the part where fairy tale creatures are literally being rounded up and sent to “resettlement facilities.”  Y’all, we basically just elected Lord Farquaad.  YIKES.
  • The latest few episodes of The Cate Morland Chronicles are basically perf.  This show is one of only a few things that’s brought me genuine no-holds-barred joy in the last couple weeks.  (Also, cause of death:  Canry.  Gawd.)

Coffee:  I haven’t actually written about Second Cup yet, so let’s give that a go.  Second Cup is a chain here, akin to Starbucks, but it differs in a couple respects.  I’d say the drinks themselves have a little less variety than at Starbucks (though I do love their caramel corretto latte), but the baked goods are markedly fancier, more akin to Crimson and Whipped Cream in Norman or CHOCS in Tulsa.  There’s a Second Cup in Westdale Village, right near my apartment, which makes it an attractive study spot except for the distinct lack of outlets.  I swear, everywhere there should be an outlet, there isn’t one.  It’s mildly irritating.

Perhaps the biggest difference between Second Cup and Starbucks, though, one that’s particularly prominent at the moment, is their holiday cups.

screen-shot-2016-11-22-at-6-06-29-pm

*gasp*  Can it be?  No mention of Christmas?  Not even red or green???????

(Seriously, nobody tell the Starbucks protestors about this.  I’m pretty sure they’d actually short-circuit.)

Food:  I live right near Phở Rồng Vàng, right, and yet somehow I’d never been there till Thursday evening.

OH MY GOD WHAT WAS WRONG WITH ME.

The restaurant itself is so avocado-green on the inside that I felt like I’d gone back to the 1970s, but THE FOOD.  SWEET JESUS.

yum

Full disclosure, my dad is an excellent cook and makes wonderful pho, but even so, what I had at Phở Rồng Vàng might actually be the best bowl of pho I’ve ever had.  Maybe.  It’s a close freakin’ call.  It was a huge bowl, too, though I only ordered a medium, and yet I still absolutely inhaled it.  I’m honestly barely exaggerating.  It was HEAVENLY.

I also finally hit up Caribbean Flavah, which is in the same building as Phở Rồng Vàng, on Friday.  They have a super cheap lunch special, so I tried my first jerk pork along with rice.  The pork was a teensy bit fatty for my taste, but it was still super good.  The guy who boxed up my meal drizzled some of the pork broth on the rice as well, and I don’t know if that’s what made it so spicy, but dang.  There was actually enough rice in that little box for two meals, so later that day, I cracked an egg into it and nuked the lot.  (#gradschoolkitchen, amirite?)

Music:

That’s it for this week!  I should be back next Monday afternoon.  Toodles!

Well.

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(I couldn’t find it in me to title this post “Canada, week 11.”  This isn’t really going to be about Canada.  Sorry.)

I’ve been thinking a lot about Kitty Genovese lately.  When I first heard about her, in my freshman year psychology class, I was enraged.  My professor went on and on about the bystander effect, and I still absolutely could not accept that people could witness such evil and do nothing about it.  At the time, I used it to justify my general (and frankly, very much affected) disdain for human nature, but I think deep down I was crushed because I wanted so badly to believe that people were better than that.

Kitty Genovese’s real story was slightly different from what I heard all those years ago.  She was a lesbian, for one thing–I’m not sure why my professor never saw fit to mention that.  There were around 49 witnesses, as compared to the 38 the New York Times initially reported, but not many of them witnessed much, and two neighbors even came to assist Kitty while she was dying.  One psychologist, Frances Cherry, has even suggested that in line with research conducted by Gerald Borofsky and R. Lance Shotland, people didn’t intervene when Kitty cried out for help because people in general don’t tend to intervene when a man’s attacking his female SO.  But even so, the bystander effect has been tested over and over again, and it’s shown up in cases far less ambiguous than Kitty’s.

That’s partly why I’m so terrified right now.  I’m terrified that not only will the most marginalized among us suffer horribly under a Tr*mp presidency and at the hands of Tr*mp’s diehards, but also that the unaffected will be silent.  That we’ll see suffering right in front of our noses and do nothing about it.

Look, I get it.  I get that it’s easier to freeze or flee than to fight.  I get that confronting bigotry and violence is terrifying, that most of us would rather shrink back and keep our heads down so the nasties don’t get us too.  It’s so tempting to go into survival mode right now, to just look out for yourself and maybe your family, to not make waves.  Believe me, I understand.  There’s nothing I’d like more right now (well, besides world peace) than the power to turn invisible, just so I could go back to the States and walk around and not feel like I’m exposing myself to possible danger every time I’m in public.  I can’t count the number of times over the past few years that I haven’t even dared to talk about politics on Facebook.  I’ll like some political meme or another, and then I’ll think I won’t share this, though, because I don’t want to start arguments.

Thing is, though, the waves are already happening.  Tweety McTangerine and his minions have done a collective cannonball into the deep end of the pool, and the waves are rollin’.  We have to splash if we don’t want to drown.  We have to swim.

And we have to help others, too.  Yes, it’s scary, I get it, we’ve been over this.  But we (and when I say we I’m mainly talking to my relatively privileged white friends here) absolutely have a responsibility to help others in distress.  We have to step in when we see racism or Islamophobia or sexism or homophobia or transphobia or anti-Semitism or, or, or.  We have to educate ourselves, listen to what people of color/women/queer people/trans people/Muslims have been trying to tell us for ages, get rid of all our assumptions and assume we know nothing.  We have to fact-check.  We have to organize.  We have to support existing organizations that are already doing good work (and there are so many).  We have to get out the vote.  We have to talk to people we’re tempted to block on Facebook, and my god, that one is so so so important.  Take it from me, having to debate your own legitimacy as a human being worthy of respect is exhausting and frustrating and emotionally draining.  We cannot ask marginalized people to do that work for us.  We have to first know the burden and then share the burden, however we’re able.

Now I want to take a minute to address my marginalized friends, because I know and love so many people who, like me, will be ten kinds of screwed very, very soon.  I’ve got three things to say:

  1. I’m so terrified for all of you, I love you, and I swear right hand to God that I will do everything in my power to help you.
  2. Please don’t listen to the people who are urging reconciliation with the other side, who tell you to just accept that this Animagus who got stuck halfway between human and blobfish won “fair and square,” who insist you’re upset over nothing.  You have every right to be upset–and every right to stay upset, for that matter.  Hold onto your anger.
  3. With that said, though, please take care of yourselves.  The next four years (maybe only two, if we can get out the damn vote for the midterms) will be exhausting, and being pissed off will only get you so far.  There are so many forms of rebellion you can engage in.  In the last episode of Inhuman Condition, Linc says something that’s been rattling around my head for the past week:  “The most radical thing we can do is love each other harder than they can hate us.”  The people poised to lead the US come January want us to feel nothing but fear and shame about who we are, what we believe, who we love, and it’s for that precise reason that we have to chase joy anyway.  Anger and terror will fuel us, sadness will ground us, but love will heal us.

I wish as much as anybody that Captain America or Ms. Marvel could swoop in to save us from ourselves right now, but we’re not in the MCU.  There are no caped crusaders in this world. Nobody’s coming to save us.  We have to be heroes, every single one of us, both for ourselves and for others.  Even after this crapshow of an election and its aftermath, I still wholeheartedly believe that we can fix what’s gone wrong–but it has to be all of us.  We don’t have Captain America, so we have to be the Avengers.

So c’mon.  Let’s put on our masks and go save the world.

(Cue the music.)

Canada, weeks 9 and 10

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Hey all!  You may have noticed I didn’t post an update last week.  It was a slow excitement week and a fast grad school week, meaning there wasn’t all that much to report.  So I’m making one post about the past two weeks!

Here are the highlights:

  • York University:  My fellow RAs and I took a day trip up to York for research purposes, not last Thursday but the Thursday before.  The campus itself is a little dreary–OU people, imagine the basement of Dale Hall as an entire campus and you’ll basically be picturing York–but I got pictures of a couple cool spots.
  • Steel City Jazz Fest:  I got to go see Jazz Connection for free on Friday night, and it was AWESOME.  The first tune they played was “Count Bubba,” which I remember playing in my high school jazz band, so that was a trip and a half.
    The venue itself, The Pearl Company, was perfect.  It’s a multilevel theater space; we were on the second floor, which I guess is more for performances like this, readings, the like.  The seating was the biggest mishmash of chairs I’ve ever seen in my life, and the whole place just had such an endearingly rough-hewn vibe.  I really hope I get to attend more events there in the future.
  • HIVEX2016:  On Saturday, I woke up super early and got abnormally dolled up for Hamilton HIVE’s annual young professionals conference, HIVEX.  It was well worth the early alarm; I learned a layered method for pitching an idea, listened to a presentation on storytelling in branding, and got a lot of tips about media relations (how to do interviews, how to interact with reporters, etc.).  And that’s to say nothing of the lunch they provided.  I hadn’t had pulled pork since…….. well, I don’t know how long it had been precisely, but I hadn’t had it since I moved here.  My inner Southerner was very happy.
  • Jackson Square:  Lemme tell ya, being in a mall in an entirely different country is a surreal experience.  The ceilings were so much lower than those in Woodland Hills, back home, and I didn’t know any of the stores.  It felt more like an airport terminal than a mall to me.  With that said, though, this part (which is technically part of Hamilton City Centre, whatever) did remind me of Woodland Hills a little:
    20161103_113210
  • I keep forgetting to shout out James Street Bookseller, right near Cafe Augusta.  The place has a great atmosphere and a nice mix of really old and really new books.  Plus, Guillermo del Toro had been in there literally the day before I stopped by.  So there’s that.
  • I saw my first Mountie over the weekend!  Didn’t think to get a picture, unfortunately.

Along those lines, here’s another episode of Minor Differences!

  • I’m pretty sure what Americans call business (in the context of university courses and majors), Canadians call commerce.
  • Here, people call it a washroom rather than a bathroom.
  • Unions are gigantic in Canada, especially in Hamilton because it is/was a steel city.  Apparently TAs, RAs, and sessional (adjunct) faculty have their own union; that was actually one of the first things we learned about at our TA orientation, so I was all like
    I asked one of my professors about it, and he said Reagan basically gutted unionized labor in the States during his administration.
    At any rate, there’s been a lot of fuss over the past couple weeks regarding our own union’s negotiations and a strike vote.  It’ll be interesting to follow what happens with that.
  • Speaking of, what we call adjuncts in the US are sessionals in Canada.
  • Canadians aRE OBSESSED WITH THE ELECTION PLEASE GOD MAKE IT STOP.  (Side note, I’m wildly jealous of Canada’s month-long election cycle.  I’m so tired.  I’m just so tired.)
  • British spellings.  Still not used to those.
  • Toronto versus Hamilton, on the subject of saying thank you to bus drivers.  This debate legit almost tore our class apart last week–it was hysterical to watch.  The Torontonians among us were adamant about not saying thank you to bus drivers, and the Hamiltonians were horrified and insisted that of course you say thank you to bus drivers.  I was just sitting there like
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  • Plum sauce is huge here; people eat it with chicken strips a lot.  I’m not entirely sure why it’s such a big thing, but I’ve been converted.
  • Apparently there are no go-buttons you can press at crosswalks?  I’ve been looking for those pretty much the whole time I’ve been here, and I haven’t found a single one.  Not that the ones in the US are actually super effective, but I’ve realized it’s nice to have that illusion of control.
  • Card readers.  I’m so used to having the cashier swipe my card for me, but in Canada a cashier will literally just hand me the swiper and I have to do everything myself.  Not a bad thing, necessarily, just something to get used to.

On the next episode of Minor Differences, in some future post:  education.

Now for another episode of Gorgeous Hamilton Churches!

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This one is right across from Durand Coffee.

What I’m watching:  Dark Matter season 2.

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I liked the first season a lot, but this season has been absolutely brilliant so far.  To say it leveled up feels like a giant understatement.  The writing is so tight, nobody’s been OOC so far, and they’ve doubled down on the moral complexity from season 1.  (I’m only on episode 5, so no spoilers!)

Coffee:  Mulberry Coffee House, on James Street.

Great atmosphere, fantastic chai, readily available outlets.  They don’t have wifi, which kind of limits the circumstances in which I can actually go here, but I honestly got so much done on my presentation for research methods in the three or so hours I was there.

Food:  Again, I didn’t really have time to go anywhere special this week, but I just want to give a shoutout to Williams again.  They have fairly cheap grilled cheeses, and I had one last week, and it was soul food.  I needed that grilled cheese.

Bonus, though:  it’s time for another episode of Grad School Kitchen!

I haven’t found Hot Pockets here (maybe I haven’t been looking hard enough, but whatever), but when I was at Shoppers a couple weeks ago, I did find “pizza pockets.”  They honestly taste like knockoff Hot Pockets with a weird-flavored crust, but I found out just the other night that if you spread goat cheese on top of ’em, they taste really good.

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Music:

That’s it for this fortnight!  I’ll be back next week, hopefully, and I’ll tell you all about the presentation I’m giving tomorrow in my research methods class… 🙂