July 2nd, 2011


10. Canada Day

Friday, Canada Day:

I’ll be darned. I can get wireless here on my DSi, but not on either of my computers. Oh well, it was fun to have internet while it lasted. ;-p I need a break from it anyway.

So today was Canada Day. A good day to have a barbeque, watch fireworks, and drink Canadian beer. I accomplished the latter two.

I drove all the way back to Sainte-Anne to do my laundry, as I had three concurrent loads to wash and dry. There, I saw some of my Languages at Work mates – they had planned to go to Halifax this weekend, but a vehicular mishap prevented them from going. A proud Honda owner stood on his roof, found it very hot, and attempted to hop off via the windshield. The windshield wouldn’t hold him, and there is now a heel-sized impression in his windshield surrounded by pretty bits of broken glass stuck in a holding pattern thanks to its being lamintated glass. Perhaps I should have taken a picture. He and two friends will be going to a salvage yard tomorrow to search for a replacement windshield. One of them will probably take pictures, which I eagerly await.

Instead of going to Halifax, they spent the day here and will camp in the Little Forest tonight. For supper, we ate at Pizza Delight. The place settings have “activities” for children on their undersides, and we summoned the server and asked her to fetch us crayons. Included in these activities is a word search, including several words that are very important for children to learn such as “PIZZA” and “DELIGHT”.

There was also a “Grill your own bread”, which is a grill at which one can grill one’s own bread. At first glance it seems like the best thing ever. But I’m not so thrilled with it, and here’s why:

- It takes forever for the bread to grill (or longer if you place it unluckily). I’ve made grilled cheese sandwhiches in better time. Actually, that right there is a way to infintely improve the value of the grill – provide cheese! I wonder if $5 for all-you-can-eat grilled cheese would be a viable business model?

- All you can put on the bread, after you grill it, is butter. There are different kinds of butter, but it’s still fundamentally butter. There is a garlic butter, but real garlic bread would be far better.

- In spite of yourself, you end up filling up on meh bread and don’t have enough room left to really enjoy your yum entrée. I’m serious – I came in hungry, but only ended up eating ¼ (2 slices) of my 15” pizza. That’s not all bad, though – I am a big fan of leftover pizza and just as I did last week I intentionally ordered a bigger pizza than I could possibly eat in one sitting just so I could have the leftovers. (All for me, hehehehe! Yeah, being single has its moments.)

Moving on, the fireworks were pretty neat. When I first got back into Meteghan, the place was dead – I mean, even by village standards. Ah, the fireworks must be starting! I reached the manor just in time to see the first volley skywards. It was a good show, though as I watched I envied the folks out on the fishing boats in the bay or farther away on land – for me, it was hard on the ears being so close! The high ones were merely explosively loud, the low ones were practically painful. When I got back to the house here, I learned that my hosts had been enjoying the show from the balcony, from which they had a great view! Darn! I’d seen the lights out and had figured nobody was home.

It looks as though I will not be the only one walking to work – my boss lives across the street! I’ve spoken with her on the side of the road twice already. We talk about various random things, but we mentioned the difficulty of obtaining a position in the library system (though I suspect it would be easier out here than in Halifax), and she said that being bilingual is a huge asset. I suppose I should have known that already. Maybe I should do the full year here and arrive at being bilingual all the sooner? I wouldn’t go wrong with such a decision, but it’s probably just as good to take IT like I was going to, as I could potentially get up to two more Explore bursaries (one for each year). After that I would only need a semester (and maybe a bit) here, not a full year. One semester out of pocket I could probably handle after a year of saving money at a job in the IT field.

Money, money, money. I’m going to have to shell out at least a bit for physio – the student policy I have only covers a maximum of $45 per visit to a maximum of $300 per year. Better than nothing, I guess.

11. Like this, like that

"How's it going, Will?"

"Like this, like that."

"Just 'like this, like that'?"

"Yes, because I can't feel my left hand!"

It's bugging the crap out of me that my feelings for this place may forever be tainted by the memories of pain. It's really annoying - for some reason it's worse on my left side these days. I also can't sleep on that side, whether or not I'm using the wrist braces. When I try my left side I can feel the pressure build up in the wrist and it'll start to pain almost immediately.

It could be worse, sure. I could be paralyzed or amputated. I could have a terminal illness. But you'll excuse me if the prospect of a life of chronic pain doesn't make me jump for joy. It's going to be 1) painful and 2) expensive, and I won't have the luxury to waste such a life writing blog posts and playing video games! ;-p

I have a new idea about it - I wonder if it could have something to do with my shoulders. I hurt more when I'm wearing my backpack, for example. I'm going to make another doctor's appointment - I may well have carpal tunnel syndrome in both arms, but I am not convinced that is the whole story. I wonder if I should get tested for diabetes and/or MS.

* * *

Nick drove Dan and me down here to the campus for the supper for the students who arrived today. I put my sheets in the laundry and made a blog post before eating - priorities first! Perhaps it is because I came when the food was already cold that the place was pretty quiet. It could also be that since the students tend to be younger in the summer session, there will be fewer travelling independently, and they'll for the most part arrive together on the busses tomorrow.

Anyway, for my part I'm going to keep an eye on Nick throughout this coming week - it's about 20km between campus and Meteghan, and if I can hitch a ride with him, so much the better for my bank balance! It really sucks that we all have to be so far away from each other. Then again, apparently last year the solution was to bunk everybody at a hall deep in the woods where there were no beds or showers. The participants were obliged to sleep in sleeping bags and to take their showers on campus, that being ~10km away.

If the French I've learned will stick with me longer than this pain, I'll consider this experience well worthwhile.