Friday, November 27, 2009

The Countdown Begins...

Only 3 more weeks until I'm in Chile!!! I CAN'T WAIT ANY LONGER!!! Why oh why is time so cruel that it seems slow down so painfully in the last few weeks?! Arrghghhg!!#%#@^!!@# And to top it all off, I have more work in these next three weeks than I had in the last three months of this entire semester! How the hell am I going to finish it all?! I mean, I can deal with school, but I'm also doing an honors project (a bacterial genomics project) and I need to finish certain experiments and get certain results before I leave because while I'm in Chile I have to start writing up my thesis!

So this honors project the biggest pressure for me...that and doing well in all my classes in this last year of school because it's my last shot to boost my GPA, which I need to be really high if I want my future educational plans to work out! So I can't just forget about school either and focus on my honors project. Usually when one is confronted with such a dilemma, one option usually has to take a bit of a hit and suffer a little since it's impossible to dedicate the same amount of time and effort to both, but in my case, that's NOT an option. I MUST do well in both! Kill me now. So with all these worries in my mind, it's impossible to think of the light at the end of the tunnel which is Chile :( I don't even find running relaxing anymore because as I'm running all I'm thinking about is, "I have to hand these calculations in to my supervisor NOW!", "I have to wedge three chapters of anatomy and physiology into my brain by tomorrow!", "I have to start this experiment NOW!", "I have a paper worth 40% of my grade due next week, and I haven't started!!!"....Nevertheless, I'm going running right now...usually the after-run endorphins calm me down a little.

When I do get a chance to think about the light (aka Chile), of course the first thing that pops into my mind is E...who I can't stand being separated from a second longer, and of course I think about E's family and all the people I miss. But strangely enough, the second thing that pops into mind is, the food!!!! Specifically, the "palta", which us North Americans lovingly refer to as the "avocado". I love this fruit (or is it a vegetable?) with all my heart. If I could, I would eat it with every meal. You can eat it sweet or salty. It goes with anything. Now before you wince in disgust at the thought of a sweet palta, go to Brazil where they make this fabulous avocado dessert, which conveniently I forget the name of, which is deeeliiicious!!!! They basically pure avocados, add lime and sugar, and you have an instant avocado smoothie! Okay I know it doesn't sound too appetizing when you've eaten avocados salty your entire life but trust me, it's TO DIE for!!!

Anyway, so while in Chile for the holidays, I plan to eat an avocado with every meal, and maybe even for "once",what the Chileans refer to as a snack or "tea time" and is eaten around 6ish, if I'm not all palta-ed out by then. I also plan to go to the market behind E's house EVERY day to buy a selection of fresh summer fruit and veggies! The markets in Chile are something I miss dearly. I miss being able to buy fresh, in-season, and cheap produce. In Canada, even when it's in-season, it's expensive, and it isn't necessarily fresh. I love love love the variety of things they have in those Chilean markets. I used to buy like a bag of cherries a day during the summer...then I come back to Canada and find that about 12 cherries costs the same as a huge bag of them in Chile...and to top it all off, they're not as plump and juicy and fresh as they are in Chile. So, to all the gringas and chileans out there reading my blog, next month, when you're buying your weekly produce, don't be surprised to see a crazy tall gringa moseying about the various markets with a palta in one hand and bags bursting at the seams with overflowing produce in the other :) Ahhh...that'll be the day!

Okay so now I'm off to run! Hopefully that calms me down a little!!! Until next time!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Snowboarding at My Beloved Mountain

This is just a quick post to let everyone know that I had the most incredible day snowboarding today! It was the
first day of the season and though there is no snow in town, there is a ton of it in the mountains! The conditions were great, the temperature was perfect, it was sunny and clear and just beautiful!

I love this mountain for many reasons: 1.) because I love, and have always loved, snowboarding, 2.) it is where I met my future husband, 3.) it is where my future husband proposed to me, 4.) I have a growing collection of wonderful memories at that place beginning when I was about 10, 5.) I used to work the winter seasons up there while living at the hostel...and anyone who has ever worked and lived at a ski resort knows how much fun that can be, and 6.) it is just so damn beautiful and I always tend to lose myself there and forget I am on planet Earth with all the million stresses of life waiting for me back at home. It's my happy place :)

So with that I'm off to bed because I have two projects due tomorrow so I have to wake up early to do the finishing touches. I don't know about anyone else but as for me it is physically impossible to study after about 9-10pm-ish. I just can't. I'd much rather get up at 4am the next day to finish things I didn't finish the night before than work late into the night. This makes it impossible for me to leave things until the last minute...which I guess is good in a way!

Alright so to close I'll leave you with some of my favorite pictures of the day :) Good night!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

What Is Up With The Weather!? Where Is The Snow!?

Is anyone else experiencing crazy weather these days? I live in Western Canada in a place that has very cold winters but very warm summers. Usually by November, we can expect to say fairwell to "above zero" temperatures until spring (and to all you Americans, that is "below 32" lol). However, it is now nearing the end of November and we have barely reached -2C so far! The other day I went running and I was running in my T-shirt and shorts. I have never run in a T-shirt and shorts in November before. It must have been over 10C! Today is no different and I plan on taking advantage of running in this warm weather because god knows how long it will last. Generally in the depths of the Canadian winter, I hibernate from running because getting up at 6am in the dark sub-zero temperatures is really not fun. Plus, the last time I tried running in the snow I got seriously injured which prevented me from running for months. So for now, I'll run this warm weather out as long as I can.

On one hand I'm happy about the mild temperatures, but on the other hand, I want my cold, snowy white Christmas! I love the month of anticipation and preparation before Christmas and that for me has always included snow. I still can't believe we haven't gotten a good dump of snow yet. This is really really weird. Global warming? I don't know...but everything in town is the depressing colour of mud since everything is dead and just waiting for the snow to cover it. Come on snow!

I haven't had a snowy white Christmas in three years now because for every Christmas, I've gone to Chile to be with E. I've always planned my trip to leave right after my last exam so I usually write my exam, and leave right away the next day in order to spend as much of the winter vacation with E as possible. This plan has always been really stressful or me since the last three weeks of classes I'm a basket case from studying and then get on a plane and leave just like that. Because of this I've never really gotten to enjoy the Christmas season here...which is sad and the only memory my family has of me over Christmas is the stressed out, sleep-deprived, crazy student. However, this year, it worked out that I get 4 free extra days after my last exam to just relax and enjoy the season here! There was a mix up of flights and they ended up moving my flight etc...long story.

So anyway, though at first we were a little bummed, now I realize it's for the best. I'll finally get to enjoy a bit of the Christmas season with my family, do some snowboarding, go Christmas shopping, help decorate the house and the tree, do some Christmas baking with my mom...all in 4 days! I can do it! It's going to be a condensed 4 day Christmas season for me ha ha! In Chile they don't really get into the "Christmas prep" as much as we do here. At least that's how I see it with E's family. No Christmas Christmas tree (well, no real one at least), no Christmas lights, etc...So I'm definitely going to take advantage of my 4 day Christmas season here!

I just can't wait until school is OVER and I'm free!

And with that, I'm off for a run. Here's hoping the snow comes soon!!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Classics

Here's a fun fact about me: I am completely obsessed with classical music. I don't know where it came from, but it's all I listen to. When I run, when I study, when I walk to catch the bus...there I am, listening to Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin, or Bach...I love it! I've found that it just totally clears my mind and takes all the stress away. It's also a lot easier to study to music with no words in it. I have to say that Beethoven is my favourite. His music is just so dramatic and different.

I happen to stumble upon "Immortal Beloved" on TV the other night and became so enthralled in the mystery of Beethoven's life. Anyone ever see that movie? It's movies like that that make me wish I could go back in time to relive those old romantic time periods where the most important things in life revolved around music, art, dance, and pleasure. Okay, maybe it wasn't as easy if you were in the poor class, but what hit movie in that time period focuses solely on the poor class. Most of them are all about royalty, balls, beautiful gowns, operas...the movies make those old time periods seem like one big happy party and it would be so nice to join it for a day :)

Anyway, that movie just got me thinking...what I wouldn't give to be able to go to an opera or symphony or ballet every night of the week. (I'm big into the arts). It seems that as our society continues to plow forward into modernization and globalization and such, the beauty and joy of the arts becomes more and more lost and forgotten. There is nowhere near as much importance placed on the arts as it was back in the day. It seems that the theater has suffered the most since now everything is on the big screen, even operas and musicals (Phantom of the Opera, Rent, Fame, Mamma Mia...and the list goes on).

Okay, back to reality. No word yet on E's job...he's supposed to hear from them this week. I'm going to be in Chile in exactly ONE MONTH!!! Yes that's right!!! And I am way too excited to be taking school seriously right now! Though I have to force myself to do so. On the agenda for December is spending as much time together as possible: first weekend in Cajon del Maipo to check out the location of the church where we'll wed and reception site, make the invitations, and plan a bunch of wedding details together (since E wants to wait until we're together to do most of the planning). We're probably spending Christmas at the beach house with the family, and for the big bicentennial New Years celebration we're definitely in Vina. It's gonna be a good one! I can't WAIT!!! And of course because I'm heading into beach weather, it's time to start trying to drop my accumulating winter flab! Extra running miles for me!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Wedding Planning from A Far...Don't Forget the Groom!

God it's so easy to leave out the groom in the wedding planning. I'm curious to know, if any of you have experience wedding planning, what proportion of the wedding planning would you say was done by you and your fiance separately and together? I didn't even realize I had been doing most of the planning until a long and controversial chat with E, after which, I felt pretty crappy. I always kind of assumed that it was okay for the bride to go crazy and take over the wedding planning, but am now worried that I might be turning into a bridzilla. I was also led to think that E wasn't that into wedding planning since every time I brought up the subject on Skype he would always say, "we'll see...we'll see...we can talk about it later..." etc.

Now, I'm excited about planning a wedding and I was busy looking at bridal magazines and bridal websites and dreaming about little wedding details from the day he proposed. So I can't help it if I get ahead of myself and dream about our wedding day. Plus, there are some things that must be decided before hand. For example, if we hadn't picked out our venue when we did, our date would have been booked within the day! I know in Chile this is rare since, in most cases, people usually leave wedding planning until a few months before the wedding but this place we wanted was really popular.

So anyway, in our conversation on Skype, E confessed to me that the only reason he didn't like talking about the wedding was because he didn't want to talk about it and plan it apart. Which broke my heart of course. He said that planning the wedding was a special time and he wanted to do it together, not by chatting on Skype. I understand his point of view but at the same time, I'm excited! I want to be looking at wedding stuff and talking to someone about it! And because of that, I've been the one to find pretty much most of our options so far regarding the wedding. Of course I've asked E about all of them and he either agreed or disagreed, but we've made the decision together. I guess the point is that he wants to be making the decision processes and the "looking" etc. together. And I can understand that. But still! Come on! I'm a bride! Am I really so in the wrong?!

Anyway, after that conversation I realized how easy it is for the bride to take over. E hasn't been looking at any wedding related things because he just wants to wait to do it together and here I am going and looking and deciding on everything. Anyone else have experience with this? How did you try to equally distribute wedding responsibilities? Or was it mostly left up to the bride? I guess for some grooms wedding planning isn't as big as a deal as it is to the bride, but in my case, I didn't realize it was as important to E. I guess I shouldn't have just assumed and bought into that old stereotype. Then again, planning a wedding from two different continents is quite a challenge.

So, I've decided that from now on, I will not be planning any more wedding-related details alone. We've planned all the important things: the venue, the caterer, the photographer (thanks to Kyle), the wedding dress, and the church (though we haven't reserved it yet because the priest won't let us since it's "too early" haha!). The rest can wait until we're together.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

I Love PJ Days...

...especially after a hellish week of school and staying up late studying. By yesterday, I was a basket-case. Okay I know yesterday technically marked the half a week point but it just felt like soooo much longer! I had a bunch of midterms this week, two of which were yesterday. I started studying for them way too late in the game because I underestimated how difficult the content was. This resulted in me pulling a couple all nighters. Not to be complaining all the time, but I can't remember the last time I had such a horrible day. Yesterday things were still unresolved between my mom, sister, and I, I was running on no sleep, with back to back midterms, and trying to force myself to stay awake to study for the next one! Anybody miss school yet? Lol.

So, what did I do today? Since I wasn't feeling great after being totally worn down, I decided to just skip my classes today, sit at home, and relax. Yes I know I'm so bad but sometimes it's totally necessary. I went for a nice long run this morning which helped me feel better and so I don't feel totally guilty about being a couch potato all day but it did feel great! However, now that it's almost the end of the day, I do realize I need to do some work and am just about to start reading over research for a term paper I have to do but thought I'd start things off with a post first.

Only 40 more days until I'm in CHILE!!!!!!! Even though it's only 40 days away, it seems like a lifetime away since I still have so much school work to accomplish and I don't know how I'm going to get it done in that amount of time! I am at the point of doing whatever it takes to just finish this semester and LEAVE!!! I can't wait for the day that I am on my connecting flight from Toronto to Santiago!!! Oh that will be the day!

I love traveling. I love almost everything...except the actual airplane ride. I just get so impatient and want to see E so much that waiting on a 10 hour plane ride just kills me! I get so impatient I can't even sleep! I also find that over the years I've gotten more and more anxious about the actual "flying" part of traveling and prefer to just get that part over with asap. Does anyone else have "flying" issues? I know a lot of you fly constantly to and from your home countries so how do you deal with it? I do however love everything about leaving a country, going to the airport, and stepping off the plane into a new world. I love the preparations that come with traveling and the people watching in the airport. An airport is pretty much one of the only places where the proportion of people from all over the world changes with every second and happens to be one of the best places for people watching.

Remember that amazing job that E is in the process of applying for? Well he made it to the final 3 and has passed all the tests they've thrown at him so far. Now he's waiting for his final interview with the CEO and then the decision will be made. He's got a really good shot at it so keep your fingers crossed! We're both waiting anxiously! I have a feeling he'll get it!

Okay so now off I go in my attempt at making at least part of this day useful. Homework, here we go!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Bad Day's Suck...

It's funny, I was recently reading everyone's posts and noticed the National Blogger's Month Challenge or whatever it's called and I thought to myself, "Oh hey, that's nice...what a great idea! Go bloggers go, now I'll have more blogs to read!". Not once did it occur to me, until now, that I too am classified as a "blogger" and as such should also try to take part in this challenge! I still can't get used to being called a "blogger", a term that, up until just a few months ago, I was barely familiar with. Oh life.

Anyway, just to warn you, this post is actually not going to be the peachiest post I've ever written. But I'm down, and I want to write about it because writing makes me happy. To sum things up, I had a fight with E last night, and this morning I had the fight of all fights with my mom and sister (I didn't think it was possible to fight as bad as we did this morning). The fight with E wasn't crazy, it was more of an argument but we don't fight much so it's always depressing when we do. Of course it was about some stupid wedding detail...

The fight I'm more worried about was the one with my mom and sister. It was a mess. Lots of things were said that shouldn't have been said. Now, before you make assumptions, let me just clarify that I am not the "fighting" type. I can't remember the last time my mom and I fought like that (probably when I was 13 and fighting about curfew?). I hate fighting and I try to avoid it and talk things through rationally and calmly. Usually I'm actually the peace keeper and the only one that stays calm in these types of situations, but this morning, we all lost it. I feel horrible and ridiculous because at this age, we should NOT be fighting like that.

I guess this is why they say a bunch of adults should not coexist together under the same roof. It's getting harder and harder for me to claim my own space and independence. I'm not going to get into details but it all started with my sister and I (we don't have the greatest of relationships) and then my mom got involved (in a peace keeping attempt) until finally, she got too involved and everybody was mad at everybody. I just thank god my dad wasn't there because he tends to let his emotions get the best of him and totally make things worse. To top it all off, I have two midterms tomorrow which I have to study like crazy for, but after all of this, I just can't find the concentration and motivation. I feel too shitty. God it's days like this I just wish I could drop everything and leave. Well, at least I'm at Starbucks in my own space...and it certainly helps that Starbucks put up all their Christmas decorations last night! Walking into Starbucks this morning was like walking into a winter wonderland! Christmas makes everything better.

Okay so, for now I'm just going to try to clear my head and then focus on my studying so I can get done as soon as possible and then just wallow in my emotions. Sorry for the depressing post! The next one will be happier! I promise!