windemere: (geekin' out)
It's such a strange thing; graduating. You've done all the work already. You've already been told you have received your degree/diploma/whatnot, and it is therefore mostly an excuse for a party.

I was really too tired today to party and it's not nearly as fun without alcohol anyways.

Day 2 of jet lag is always my worst, so I didn't sleep last night and I spent the morning going flat out - on foot - here, there, and everywhere. By the time we got to the reception I just wanted to lay down, or pass out - it was a toss-up.

There ceremony was great (short) and everyone said all the right words. It wasn't particular special (PhDs are treated like MAs are), but at least we got to go first. And then wait for everyone else to do it! The woman beside me kept up a hilariously running commentary under her breath about the pomp and circumstance so I was incredibly entertained.

We stood outside in the freezing (literally) cold too
much and my coat would fit over my robes so I was just a bit miserable. But Bob made my mother tea and is now the greatest person ever because he waited with my parents for a cab after the reception ended for 30 minutes even though he was supposed to be back at work.

Everyone was super nice and huggy and Ross said great things about me to my parents and to me. And I caught up with a lot (though not all) of friends. Not bad for 2.5 days in the city!

All that is left is coffee tomorrow morning with my 'new' twin Dr A (me being now Dr A as well) and to pay pilgrimage to Richard's tomb, something I should have done on Wednesday. Supposed to rain, so I hope our dead king appreciates my sacrifice.

I miss this part of my life already and I won't ever have it back. It was challenging and interesting and incredibly easy. Unlike the years to come.
windemere: (wedding)

More than a few people told me I was crazy to fly 10 hours across the planet for a weekend wedding. Those people don't know my family very well.

I have never won the 'came the furthest distance' until last night. The rest of the family got lumped together under Toronto, and the two from Calgary got a mention, but I was the 'one from London'! Wearing a fascinator, of course. A woman from Denver complimented me to high heaven on it.

I won't say I've been to A LOT of weddings but I have been to quite a few. Last night was the best one. It was a great choice to have it at their newly finished (renovated, not built) old farmhouse in Denver. Their neighbour's house is the oldest in the city!! My cousin has a double lot so plenty of room for the ceremony, dinner tables and a dance floor (the driveway). The theme was red, black and white, just really classic (the red was the roses in bundles). They put Christmas lights on the trees and strung them up across the garden. Every little detail was taken care of, from food to drinks to designating other people to take care of things. Everyone had a clear role and it was so organised without seeming like it at all! If anything went wrong, us guests never knew about it!

They had a lovely couple who sang and a great guitar player for the ceremony as well as a live band from Colorado Springs for after. All the music was familiar classics you'd have at a wedding but all sung live. My cousins performed two songs to welcome the new bride Lyndsay to the family. Great fun and really well done. The food wasn't anything fancy, just well cooked, still hot and very good. And they severed dessert before 10pm! They also had late pizza delivery which was welcome after all the dancing. It was just all well done. The ceremony was simple and beautiful (and non religious). Read a passage from the Dalai Lama which I thought was perfectly chosen and then Bride and groom did their own vows. Kind of wedding I want, to be honest.

So great to see quite a bit of the family and talk to them all. Lyndsay (the bride) was so sweet and told me how surprised and excited she was to get my RSVP about coming and the nice letter my parents sent her as they were unable to come. And Shawn was just, clearly, so happy and in love last night. It's a good look on him. Standing at the alter waiting for Lyndsay to walk down the aisle he looked terrified! :)

I'm just really greatful I could be here and share that with them. We have a family brunch this morning, though my favourite cousins have to fly home and will miss it. Whenever I'm.away from my mom's side of the family I love our reunions. Rein was sooooo happy to see me and surprised too! Least someone was! He's the closet thing I have to a brother and we just naturally have become very close over the years. It's nice to have that to fall into whenever we see each other. He hugged me so hard last night I couldn't breathe!!

I won't say that things are perfect. I've been updated on a lot of things in recent days and I know the next years may be very difficult for my family and things are going to get very bad. But at least we had this. Right now that's what matters most. I'll post pictures a bit later when I'm not on my iPhone.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

windemere: (Family)
I will not be around (no computer) for the next two weeks. Try not to do anything terribly interesting while I'm gone, yes?

I will be in Denver and London dealing with various members of my 'blood relations means never having to say You're Kidding' family. Yes, proper use of icon is proper. Special doesn't even begin to describe them.

And then I'm taking a holiday to recover from my holiday. I should be backback by September 8th.
windemere: (epic fail)
That day wherein I suddenly remember the parental's 40th anniversary is in a week and I have a) no card and b) no red gift.

Thankfully, I have no solved that problem, but wow did I nearly fail as a daughter!
windemere: (don't tempt me)
My family is all buddybuddy right now. Which for most people would probably be great, but it just really worries me. I mean, my great-uncle, who's son is getting married in 12 days, is actually going to walk down the aisle with his ex-wife at the wedding and pretend that the last 30 years of not talking never happened. It's just...OMG I CAN'T DEAL.

Parents leave for Vienna tomorrow. Aunt least for Denver Sunday. I leave for Denver next Thursday. I really wish we all got airmiles....
windemere: (there yet?)

Right, the wedding RSVP is going in the mail. Yes it is. Now I have to go.

:P Tragic.

Also, I found a hotel in London for £40 a night. With an ensuite. I think that counts as a minor miracle. I will bring earplugs, turn the lights out (there's NO WINDOW!!! :D) and sleep for 24hours after my whirlwind tour of America...mostly by aeroplane. I heard Denver is nice, though. but windy.

Damn, I forgot about the wind. It's outside too. Crap.

I just want everyone to know that I am expending more effort for this wedding than I am ever likely to do for a friend (other than people I'm besties with, of course, or pseudo-related to). And it is going to be SO MUCH FUN!

windemere: (Default)
Would you look at that? The family finally got their ducks in order. Apparently my mother has done a 180* in the last week. I am going to attribute it to her being ABSOLUTELY OVERWHELMINGLY PROUD OF HER DAUGHTER and not, you know, other things. Yeah, because that sounds better.

=> London to Denver return (direct) and a few days in a nice hotel in London showing the parentals around a city they have sworn never to visit. The Aunt will inevitably be pissed about something, but other than sharing a hotel room with her (and making her pay for meals), there's really no other interaction needed. I can enjoy Denver on my own, if needed. Ooh, now I'm thinking of a side trip to Vail for day! [Totally because I wrote a fic set in Vail, you understand.]

Anyways, right now, things are PRETTY DAMN AWESOME on all accounts, except for that one where I'm losing my mind.

So, no change there really.

The only downside is that I won't get to see you J! Ah well, I shall have to make a trip out west at some point, if you are still there. ;)
windemere: (inspire)
I know I have a good life. I don't like it when people remind me, because I'm just like everyone else in that I'm not always happy with my lot in life. That's pretty much human nature. I've gotten better in recent years though. Love what you have and all that.

But there are days when I don't need the reminder, because it's slap bang in my face how amazing my life is. Yesterday was my grandmother's birthday. Now, she died 7 years ago, but we tend to visit the gravesite (the family plots) on that day, mostly because it's a great time of year to clean the garden area up and plant. [And because the other date of choice is May 16, which is about 12 hours too close to my birthday to warrant spending time in a graveyard.] So, yesterday, my mother, aunt and I went off to Toronto to Park Lawn to clean up the gravesite (there are four gravestones in the family plot area, as my great-grandparents are burried there on both my mother's sides). Then we went to our favourite Bloor Street restaurant for lunch and met up with one of the cousins who lives up the road (she's my favourite - shush!). We had a great catch up over pasta and veal and then drove back to my parent's house.

That would have been a pretty good day right there, because there were no arguments or yelling! [Or deaths] But then I took my little baby and drove out to Brantford following my aunt to the airport (airfield) there. And then she took me flying in her adorable little Cessna up to Owen Sound to find the [cousin mentioned above]'s farm they bought a few years ago - to be close to the ski lodge in Collingwood - and took pictures. Cousin's husband has wanted a flyover shot for a while (he used to own a plane too and is in fact putting in landing stripe on the farm property because a lot of his friends have planes). We managed to find it first, which was pretty good from 5000ft I think! Then we flew a loop back in very bumpy winds (oh well) and I still made it back to Burlington for 6pm.

So, really, a spectacularly awesome day. I know that.

5 days left. Big thing I've been putting off to do. Oh, and that book review that's due to the museum journal in June. Oops.

Oh, and I may have gotten a new computer. Completely accidentally.
windemere: (Default)
Three posts in one day and all of them useless.

The Aunt has gotten so lazy she's taken to copying me on emails she sends my mother. Who she still bothers to talk to on Skype, even when she never answers my calls.

Also, she's apparently decided her partner is well enough to venture off to Palau in four days(he's been sick for weeks). This might be the stupidest idea she's ever had, because I can't imagine being further from good health care then the other side of the world, smack in the middle of nowhere! I'm just really worried about him.

And on a completely unrelated note, we seem to be missing a flatmate. She was gone by Christmas, though no one is certain what day she left, and classes have now been back a week and she's still absent. I can't help but wonder, because I tend to worry about things that are not remotely my problem. She was a nice (if loud) girl and I do hope things are alright. She's either missed a week of classes or (worse) exams.
windemere: (Rome burning)
Yes, I'm going to be negative. The Aunt left for a two day trip to Florida today...in a plane...her plane. Her plane that's been in pieces for two months and has had TWO test flights since they put it back together.

So, I'm going to be trawling the CBC and whatever US sites I can find waiting to hear about a Cessna 152 crashing into the ground.

Yes, I'm that pessimistic about this whole thing. My mother will be doing the same thing today and tomorrow.
windemere: (Default)
Finally. I did manage to write 2000 words today that aren't awful -

STOP SLAMMING THE DAMN DOORS PEOPLE!!!

- but it was meant to be 3000. I sort of ran out of steam on constructivist theory, which, can you blame me? I can make it up later, or simply add something else to that section. There is research I did for this paper that so far isn't planned to be part of it. I might add it in later. Fixing the damn thing will be December 26-January 1st problem.

Preliminary plan to make a weekend trip down to Gillingham (Kent) in January to spend a few days at a nice B&B, visit a dear friend of my parents, and tour two museums that have been on my To Visit list for a while. Obviously, January is not ideal, but I'll take what I can get. It is, however, cheaper. Then it will be Germany and hockey! [And more museums].

So, the latest one was 13,000 and change. There was also the 6,000 one on the weekend. Everytime I think I know my daily word limit, Twilight surprises me. I think I'm starting to understand why the books are so long. SM probably couldn't stop. For which I can sympathise. Unfortunately, unlike SM, I'm not making money off of this and so would prefer it fill up less of my time. The world has definitely tilted if I write more than I read. It's not right.

The good weekend approacheth, but I have to get through the next 3 days first. Bugger that.

Oh, the Aunt deigned to email again, with a subject line instead of a body message, followed by a one line dig about Kindle. It's heartless, but after I get my Christmas presents from her, I'm not talking to her until Easter. Because I am just that much of a hypocrit. Thank you very much.
windemere: (Helen)
My cousins people! Are awesome! Seriously, I've had a pretty shitty day and tonight I find I have mail! A beautiful letter from my cousin Amme and a pair of red furry gloves that look so warm and cozy I think I'll wear them inside! My family, f-list, are bloody amazing sometimes (and other times...).

This makes up for my aunt this morning who is now officially on my shit list. Totally makes up for it. Now I wish I was spending Xmas at the farm(s) with the family! They're all going to be together this year.
windemere: (Default)
I think I'm getting better at answering those emails I'd really rather ignore. I figure this is good practice.

In completely unrelated news: Seriously, my family people. I should stop being surprised. It's just, they keep catching me off guard. And being nice. It's...weird and stuff. I have no idea how to take it!

And on a really positive note: the boathouse will not be falling down this winter. The boat, however, may still be a write-off. Oh well. It's just, there's no insurance claim if it stops working on its own, rather than because the roof collapsed on it.

And even farther off topic: I was $15,000 richer today...for about 4 hours. Ah money, how I will miss you.
windemere: (Default)
Okay, so I might have been a little off Monday night. To be fair to me, I was going on prior (recent) experience and I think that's a valid excuse. To be fair to my aunt, her moods can change on an hourly basis, much less a monthly basis.

The last two days I have been happy. My version of happy, which I know is less than most people's and involves a lot more things that fall under 'material' than is probably alright, but happy nonetheless. Since I expected to be miserable for 40 hours I'm pleasantly (gratefully) surprised.

It almost felt like life used to when I lived in east Oakville and Nana was still alive. It had that same sense of freedom and loving family and excitement. There were old friends and fantastic food and guilt free shopping and downtown Oakville and bitching about the weather and talk of travel and understanding and agreement and enjoyment of life. And now I'm terrified to ruin the whole thing by agreeing to go to Florida (which is back on...sort of).

I also understand that she wants me to come to Florida, if for no other reason than Todd is driving her around the bend and she wants someone else to spend time with. And that's a valid enough reason, I suppose. I love Todd and the pups and it could be a fun week. And I wouldn't need to spend much money. But I feel like it could all end in disaster and ruin what good there currently exists between the two of us. What good we've built in the last 2 days, and I realise that doesn't seem like much, but after last year it's a huge step in the right direction. I don't want to take one back now; not after everything. Not after December and family and falling outs and horrible letters and guilt trips and accusations. I don't want to go back because we've all been doing that for two years now and I'm really very tired of it. But is that a valid enough reason for me not to go? Not to at least try?

I swear that my waxing philisophical will all make sense soon. I've been reading and we all know that ends badly right? LOTR had me in a daydreaming mood and a 'I remember HS fondly' mood last week. This week? Well, onto a different series of books, can you tell? I probably shouldn't read that Stephen Hawking book next week. That could be disastrous.

The world tilted another 90*. I am still waiting to see if it tilts back.
windemere: (Default)
There is nothing quite like being ignored by your entire family in the same day. Seriously, it's like I'm not even here.
windemere: (Default)
Sometimes I wonder where I went wrong in life. Which is a bit pointless really, since time travel doesn't exist and I couldn't go back and correct my mistakes anyways. And it's even more pointless since I can pin-point exactly where it was that I followed the sign that said 'easy life' rather than the preferred route of 'buck up and find your courage'.

I'm being philosphical today. My 22 year old cousin just got back from a month in Uganda digging wells (or something). Her 24 year old sister leaves next week for Tanzania to...teach English (or something). She also plans to do a PhD sometime before she's 30.

I WANT OUT OF THIS COUNTRY. AND TO DO SOMETHING BRILLIANT WITH MY LIFE.

Urgh

Jun. 17th, 2010 03:32 pm
windemere: (Default)
The last time I was that drunk was May 2007 after six glasses of wine and too shots in a taverna on Santorini. I regreted it after the fact, of course.

Not quite as much as I'm regreting last night. Note to everyone, when your older cousin announces that he's never seen you drunk, don't rise to the bait.

I think I might have to do the PhD now. I recall something about a contest of who had had more years in university. I'm currently losing. But 3, at least.

I hate ceasars. I hate hangovers more.
windemere: (Default)
My mother's great-great-great grandmother married by father's great-great-great grandmother's brother.

This explains so much.
windemere: (Default)
This is a good news and disaster news post. It's one of the few times in my life where everything has gone wrong and one end and everything right on the other.

You have to understand that two years ago my nana died while we were in the Bahamas and it took us two days to get home. I hoped to any god that would listen that it wouldn't happen again. Clearly, the gods think I'm not worth the trouble.

We left on Tuesday. On Wednesday my mother's first cousin died of a sudden stroke. We'd seen him ten days before at a party. The same day my cousin's aunt died after a ten year battle with cancer. A day later my cousin's step-father died (her mother died two months ago). The same day my cousin (the one who's aunt died) had a friend die quite suddenly. I have returned to Canada to find that grandmother not only has cancer again, but is scheduled for surgery on the 28th, when I am in Greece. She will be going from the hospital to a nursing home afterwards. The doctors have clearly stated that since this is the second time in six months she's developed a tumor, it will probably happen a third time within the year. And probably be much, much worse.

My cousin is about to declare bankrupcy from paying her husband's hospital bills for the last two years. Her sister, who's husband died last Wed. (see above) will likely be following suit as they are broke and were only getting by because they both worked.

And I had the best fucking holiday of my life. (See next post)
windemere: (Default)
You know what the most depressing thing in life is? Attending a party where there are no less than 20 gorgeous guys, and every one of them is taken.

I've resigned myself to being single. It's better this way. Really.

On the upshot of the weekend, my cousin's wedding was simply wonderful. She looked gorgeous (not that she ever looks otherwise) and there were no problems. Although the minister droned on about marriage and commitment for about 10 minutes too long. And her bridesmaid colour was fushia. Not that I'll hold that against her, because her bridesmaids all happened to look good in the colour. Still...PINK?

But the reception was just perfect; if I get married here, I shall have my reception there. And my pictures too.

But now it's Monday morning, and I'm still tired from 2 plus midnight nights and early mornings afterwards. It's going to be a long week. But at least parents are gone...:D

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windemere: (Default)
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