Monday, November 8, 2010

I visited the supermarket today and, despite that Halloween was only 8 days ago, they’ve already replaced all of the Halloween displays with Christmas ones. Doesn’t commercialism warm your heart/make you want to take a shower?
In any case, I spent a few minutes trying to decide between mango and lemon yogurt (I eventually got one of both) and nearly soiling myself when I accidently typed in the wrong code when trying to purchase bananas. Bananas, for your reference, cost about $8 Canadian for 4.5 kilos, parmesan on the other costs $122 for exactly the same amount.
You may wonder why in the world I would need 4.5 kg (10lbs) of bananas.
The answer of course is world domination and choir practice.


P.S. I had Spanish class on November 1st, "el Dia de los Muertos" or "the Day of the Dead." It's at the same time of year as Halloween, but it's far more serious. It still involves candy though. I have several "Dulces de Los Muertos" in my backpack.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Friday, July 9, 2010

Day 5


I'm starting in the morning again because I've quite at lot of time

before class starts and I didn't forget the iPod I'm writing this on

in my dorm room.

I'm tempted to start waking up earlier than 7 because of the major

rush of English as a second language students when I'm in the

cafeteria, but I already wake very early considering the first event

in my day is an 8:30 class in a building less than a five minute walk

away. It's not the lines; the only food I want has no line whatsoever

unlike the sausages and eggs; it's just hard to complete my finicky

tea ritual when I'm trying to stay out of the way of the flock of

people trying to get coffee and I can't go far because I need the

cream dispenser. *sigh*


Spending four hours in class without eating gives me a headache but

when I went to get food during a break there was no one manning the

till. Since I couldn't just take something I'm now very, very hungry.

Today I finish my marionette: he shall be an evil overlord with a fine


Class today was good and I think I did well. I'm beginning to

understand future simple and I'm able to communicate well with the

councilors. The best part of class came after our professor had people

repeat a several words a few times for pronunciation, when he mentioned

the difference between dessert and desert the entire class started

chanting "dessert, dessert, dessert."


I finished my marionette and he is a handsome fellow! His name is

Monsieur Amicable (Mister Friendly) he has a dark cape scary eyebrows

and horns and I like him very much. I used him to talk to the

councilors and to arrange going on the trip to Buchart Gardens.


I forgot to eat supper today, perhaps I shouldn't admit to that since

I will likely be reprimanded. Low blood sugar is a problem for me

because I don't feel hunger

We went on a pleasant hike today, though I wish the pace were more

relaxed. I was about 10 metres behind a few minutes into the walk and

over 30 metres soon after. I dawdle at the best of times and I slow

terribly On hills. I'm like a old junk car that's bought during

financial straights and kept for sentimental value.

I finished the day with a hour long hot shower because with my

previous shoulder ache, various muscle aches from walking, and my...

tailbone pain from soccer it's starting to hurt.


Day 6


Started today nearly mixing up my two kinds of medication and since I

only have anti-anxiety and a sleep aid, that might have ended the day

as well. I’m not planning on operating any heavy machinery, but I’d still rather not drool on anyone today.

I was at the cafeteria a bit later than usual today and apparently

it's even busier at that time. The line up was terrifying but my usual

2-3 bananas were still easy enough to obtain. Class was alright, but I’m a touch frustrated with the time limit given for our tests, ten minutes isn’t long enough for me to answer even half of the questions and though I know it isn’t a serious exam it still upsets me.

I have a blue 4 on my face and we’re going to have an in-house Olympics.


My team won. Weird. That was pretty fun though. When everyone left I

was left behind again. Oh well, At least only one person got covered

in egg.

I feel too warm by far but I should eat before the next activity.


Went to the beach and made a sand castle, I worry that I am missing

the point of these activities because I don't talk much while doing

them. I still feel very warm; perhaps I've had too much sun.

It turns out there were too many people signed for the three day camping trip and they had to draw names. Mine wasn’t pulled, but I’m not upset, I’ll have other thing to do.

French Phrase of the Day


Vouloir c’est pouvoir.

(French proverb)


Wanting to is being able to.

(Translation of French proverb)


This one is interesting, because rather than being an example of my usual word-salad, this is a common proverb. It’s similar in meaning to ‘where there’s a will there’s a way.’

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Day 4

I don't feel very confident about today's class, though this is likely
my usual paranoia and superiority complex. Though I did end up
explaining Quebec's provincial motto "Je me souviennes" for the class
which helped my mood a little.
At least now I know some of the rules behind future tense.
My main problem in French immersion so far is neither understanding
nor communicating, it is in fact the same problem I have in English:
social skills. Particularly now that I do not know how to say all the
social niceties that I do in English.
I'm having some trouble finding people to speak to in French, most of
the immersion students switch to English when ever The councilors are
out of range and the councilors and professors seem too busy. The

other students often ask me how to say thing though.

Played an exciting/exhausting game of soccer for two hours today and
received another back ache from an interesting fall, I drank around a
litre of liquid afterwards. I also saw someone eat French fries with
tater tots on the side as the entirety of their meal. Healthy no?
Apparently there are a couple of students here who have no desire
whatsoever to learn French. I wonder why someone would enter into a
course they can receive nothing they need or want from. I heard one
say he only wanted to see the west coast which... though he is in one of the advances classes.... 
We're going into the city soon to play pool. Most of the planed
activities are not favorites of mine but they're very enjoyable when
allowed to be. There is a minimum participation goal of 7 events a

week, but I'm just going to go to them all if I can.

I'm far more tired than I usually am at this time, even accounting for
the time zone difference. I spent today playing pool and talking to a
guy named Trevor who is very determined to learn and is taking
French for the first time. It was nice to talk to someone equally

enthusiastic about this.

French Phrase of the Day

Il faut écrire un roman pendent manger un citron.

One must write a novel while eating a lemon

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Day 3


I woke up today to a back ache significantly worse than is has been for the last four days. I think I may have done something moderately serious to a muscle of my right shoulder, but I have not an idea what considering the most strenuous activity I generally participate in without stretching is a slow walk or power nap.

Today was the first day of lessons and I am ever so glad. I feel far more comfortable when I'm in a classroom than when I'm in a summer camp-like one. In any case I am feeling more confident now that I've had my first lesson and I know I understand what's being taught.

According to my results I'm in level four out of six (one being the easiest) but my instructor mentioned that I may want to try five, because I may not find four challenging. This part of the conversation was pretty amusing:


Le professeur: You might find this too easy because of your strong French base.


Jessie: I've only been studying French since September.


LP: Are you kidding?




Either I should take this as a complement or it's a combination of my French last name and my tendency of mimicking accents.

The cafeteria signs amuse me; they give both the retail price of the items and the price for students in residence.


Bananas                                      0.45                          0.65

Chips/Candy                               1.25                          1.25


The administration strongly suggests you have a banana.



I started making a marionette today, (crafts being my favorite summer camp-like thing) and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I was also late because I didn't know when it started, that was upsetting. Next we tour the city! On a bus...



Huge spider in my bedroom. I don't know spider in French but this guy has a legspan an inch long. I'm going to defenestrate him immediately.



My first time in a double-decker bus! We just took a tour of the city and around half the students are staying in the city and the remaining half are returning to the university, I'm with the latter. It was a nice trip and I got tea at the Empress. Note I did not have tea, I just purchased some as well as a tea bag squeezer.

There seems to be a French children’s song called "Je suis une pizza."


French Phrase of the Day


Pourquoi est la soupe une femme?

Why is soup a woman?

Monday, July 5, 2010

La Maison Francaise - Day 2

Day 2


First thing today I took a shower in the communal bathing room on my floor. That was pretty nice, though I can see why the curtain is weighted down. It is far too friendly and keeps trying to touch me.

Today I'm going to scope out the cafeteria and see if I can find some serviceable tea making implements, hot water at the very least.

Next we all take a placement test and are grouped according to the results.


The test today was about what I expected. The first two "easy" portions I completed masterfully, the third "advanced" level I might as well have spun a wheel because I was guessing. After that we were led away in groups to have oral interviews. I think I scored somewhere mid to low-intermediate, but we won't receive the score until tomorrow. I also spent a half hour lost looking for the cafeteria, disoriented and cranky because I hadn't eaten in hours, angry at everything from passing bystanders to stop signs and bunnies. I'm really, really not a nice person when I'm hungry.


My new student ID is now in the works and I'm outside the building waiting for it. I've been using the sun as a compass point because it's much easier to use a map when one knows which way is north. I'm in the north and the sun move eastward during the day, therefore the sun is to the southeast around mid-afternoon, very helpful. They say there will be a campus tour at 3:30, but at that point I think I will finally have lost myself enough times that I know where everything is.

I may simply look through the bookstore instead.


I have my new ID and I must say I look completely stoned, as I do in all my important documentation.


Why are there urinals in the women's washroom?


There is a karaoke bar in the student union.


Went to a campfire on the beach today, I think it was enjoyable; other than the prevailing wind pattern that blew smoke in my eyes and my non-existent love of bus rides that is. The social part was nice and the ocean was pretty.


The students of the program have a certain amount of points to use on food during their stay and it recommended that they use no more than 950 points everyday. I don't think this system will be a problem at least for me as in one day I've used a total of 430. Others may have more difficulty, as I know of at least one who used over 800 by 1:00.


French Phrase of the Day


Les lapins nous regardent. Toujours.


The rabbits watch us. Always.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

La Maison Française Journal de Jessie -Day 1

July 4, 2010



Mom and dad just saw me through security, so now I'm on my own. So far

my original flight was canceled and the airport experienced a power 

outage, but i am rerouting through Edmonton and the power returned

shortly after. Both good omens and bad, though such things have no

control over what will happen or even what is likely to happen.



My first flight was overbooked by one passenger and slightly delayed,

no doubt the staff of the airport are experiencing a great deal of 

stress today. Due to the delay my arrival time was 11:00 instead of

10:20, as my next boarding time was 11:05 this was... distressing. I'm

not one for emoticons but I believe T_T is appropriate.

My current plane is a larger, more tech-heavy model in comparison with

the last. Every passenger has a personal screen, headphone Jack, USB

port, and a funny-looking electrical outlet which I think is both

North American/European plug compatible.

I fell asleep on the last flight though it only lasted approx. 55

minutes, this habit will no doubt land me In trouble one day. Perhaps

I'll take a bus to Calgary and end up in Costa Rica because of an ill-

timed nap.



I have arrived at the university of Victoria, it is bunny-covered as usual. I forgot my luggage at the airport, but I've already contacted someone about it and they are bringing it to the university.

So far I've discovered that Vancouver Island has an prodigious cougar population, a large portion of my more vocal classmates speak little or no French at all, and that is why the course councilors are talking slowly and pantomiming.



My first afternoon of French immersion and so far it's pretty nice. I took a nap earlier because I was cranky and a wee bit paranoid which isn't the best combination when I need to talk to people.


Well-meaning French councilor: Bonjour!

Jessie: Bonjour...

WMFC: Comment ça va?

J: *kidney punch*


J: Très bien, merci.

Bad Jessie.

All that and only one huge mistranslation! (Simon aime la délicatesse d'un bébé lapin, does not mean that Simon eats baby bunnies.)



French Phrase of the Day


Il y a une cuillère sur le toit du bâtiment.

There is a spoon on the roof of the building.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Hal 9000,You're Trying to Seduce Me!

The robot apocalypse is upon us!

Well, not quite yet, but soon.

Although the robots are using a strategy I certainly never would have expected. In fact, I do believe humans are being trained to find non-human traits attractive!

Most of todays paragons of beauty have been in some way surgically altered: their lips inflated, their faces stretched, their noses shaped and thinned.  The pictures in magazines have been photoshopped as to not show a hint of human imperfection, be it blemish or bulk. Don't think it's only looks though; more and more popular songs are auto-tuned to some degree. Most of these songs just sound like the singer happened to be wearing a bucket for the entire recording session, but it's getting to the point that some of the new tween starlets could be replaced R2D2 and snare drum.

Of course this robotic plan has the notable flaw of how many humans find not-quite-human looking and acting things creepy and even terrifying such as zombies, realistic dolls, clowns, and the Burger King guy.

Keep watch dear reader! Perhaps you do not gaze adoringly at your laptop or PDA this day, but ready for a time when you watch the mannequins in the shop windows just a little too long.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

My Head Hurts / West Edmonton Mall

An invigorating day! Spent quite a bit of time in the water park with my family ('tis a family vacation after all.) First a wave hit me in the face, then a tube hit me in the face, next my head was squashed between two tubes one of which was in my face, then a small child fell off of his tube into my face, and finally a person, whom I could not determine the gender of, drove their tube over my head and drove the ground into my face.  Next all of us went down the tropical typhoon, *cough* toilet bowl *cough* and I hit the water face first as well. I have a bit of a headache now... in my face.

The West Edmonton mall is an interesting place, a huge mall with myriad stores, fountains, statues, a skating rink, a theme park, and a water park. The water park is a personal favorite, both because of my love of swimming and my general ambivalence towards shopping. My sister plans on one day bringing me with her on one of the rides in the amusement park, which I shall most likely submit to with little fuss, as I don't find them particularly daunting even if I'm not especially drawn to them.

I don't really like malls, there are too many people in them.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Cleaning Made Festive

Today I cleaned my van and what did I see?

A rubber duck on the dash!

Today I cleaned my van and what did I see?

Two overcoats

And a rubber duck on the dash!

Today I cleaned my van and what did I see?

Three textbooks

Two overcoats

And a rubber duck on the dash!

Today I cleaned my van and what did I see?

Four pairs of shoes

Three textbooks

Two overcoats

And a rubber duck on the dash!

Today I cleaned my van and what did I see?

A Nanaimo bar!

Four pairs of shoes

Three textbooks

Two overcoats

And a rubber duck on the dash!

Today I cleaned my van and what did I see?

Yogurt… probably

Nanaimo bar!

Four pairs of shoes

Three textbooks

Two overcoats

And a rubber duck on the dash!

Today I cleaned my van and what did I see?

 A bag of melted chocolates

Yogurt… probably

Nanaimo bar!

Four pairs of shoes

Three textbooks

Two overcoats

And a rubber duck on the dash!

Today I cleaned my van and what did I see?

One Can of strawberries

Bag of melted chocolates

Yogurt… probably

Nanaimo bar!

Four pairs of shoes

Three textbooks

Two overcoats

And a rubber duck on the dash!

Today I cleaned my van and what did I see?

Nine musical scores

Can of strawberries

Bag of melted chocolates

Yogurt… probably

Nanaimo bar!

Four pairs of shoes

Three textbooks

Two overcoats

And a rubber duck on the dash!

Today I cleaned my van and what did I see?

Ten rubber bands

Nine musical scores

Can of strawberries

Bag of melted chocolates

Yogurt… probably

Nanaimo bar!

Four pairs of shoes

Three textbooks

Two overcoats

And a rubber duck on the dash!

Today I cleaned my van and what did I see?

A Biography of Lincoln

Ten rubber bands

Nine musical scores

Can of strawberries

Bag of melted chocolates

Yogurt… probably

Nanaimo bar!

Four pairs of shoes

Three textbooks

Two overcoats

And a rubber duck on the dash!

Today I cleaned my van and what did I see?

Twelve pens and pencils

Biography of Lincoln

Ten rubber bands

Nine musical scores

Can of strawberries

Bag of melted chocolates

Yogurt… probably

Nanaimo bar!

Four pairs of shoes

Three textbooks

Two overcoats

And a rubber duck on the dash!

...I need help.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

One day a man walked into a bug store. He went straight to the counter and said to the clerk, “I need a bug, a big bug. I don’t care about color, lifespan, or genus; all I care about is weight and wingspan. I need a big bug.”

The clerk thought for a moment before he responded. “Well, I don’t know exactly how big you have in mind; maybe you could give me an example.”

“Well,” Said the man, “Do you have any big moths? Like a Great Owlet, or a Hercules. A Swallowtail butterfly perhaps?”

“Hmmm... no, we don’t have any moths that big and we don’t have any butterflies at all right now, very popular you see.”

“Alright, do you have any long bugs?” Asked the man, “A stick bug, or praying mantis, I’ll take a large grasshopper if pressed.”

“Unfortunately sir,” Apologized the clerk, “We have no such bugs at all, and the grasshoppers have been exceptionally weedy this year.”

By now the man had become quite irritate; after all, no self-respecting bug store was ever so terribly under-stocked. “Well what do you have then? Dragonflies, mayflies, horseflies, at the very least you must have spiders!”

“Now sir, spiders aren’t insects, they’re arachnids!” Gasped the clerk, clearly scandalized.

“I don’t care what they are!” Growled the man, “I don’t care at all, just get me the biggest bug you have!”

“Oh, in that case we might have just the thing,” The clerk then reached under the counter and pulled out a box with two weevils in it, one was about the size of a man’s thumb and the other was the size of a child’s.

“Finally! Alright, I’ll take that one,” The man pointed directly at the smaller bug.

“But sir,” Said the confused clerk, “I thought you wanted a big bug, that one isn’t big at all.”

The man scoffed, “Don’t you know you always chose the lesser of two weevils?”

Friday, February 12, 2010

My mother and a few others recommended keeping a diary on my person and writing in it as a form of de-stressing. So earlier this month, I purchased a small notebook and I have began to write my thoughts in it. Looking back on my stream of conscious is rather amusing, so I thought I would share some highlights:

Found a note in the math lab, it contains a quote by someone named after spit.

-Saliva! xoxoxo

How heavy is my backpack anyway?

56.4 Lbs apparently.

"It's like hitting a horse, eventually you give up!"

Onward! To victory, ruin, and cucumber sandwiches!

I don't understand Theodore Roosevelt saying "It's da bomb," as used as advertisement for the college bar.

The crowd was a sea of murmurs and a half-dead trumpet played from the ceiling.

He's the guest lecturer, not the guest lecher.

Think tanks! Use anti-tank dogs!

I'm leaving, so I win!

Xenophobia, run!

The Secretary of Defense is a white elephant.

There's democracy in my shorts.

Pretty lights.

Rewind Moscow!

Congress says: La la la la!

Internally constant, but seriously flawed.

Save the whales!

America has lint.

Don't kill him, he owes me money.

Nice F-16, but where will we put it?

Don't panic until I tell you to!

Je ne comprend pas.

Je suis au nord-ouest.

Don't be sad plasticine people.

Bento Macaroni

I went deaf briefly, that was both odd and frightening.

Quoting dictators is a terrible way to make friends.

It is an easy enough thing to find someone who is relatively average; however, to find someone who is completely average in all possible aspects is, at the very least, statistically unlikely.



Friday, January 1, 2010

January 5th is registration day at school, only next Monday now. While I wouldn't say that I am excited about this new semester, I am inordinately happy. True, there is no reason why I should not be happy, but all the same I have no doubt that few others would empathize with my feelings.

I've been researching heavily into bursaries during the holidays. My family is neither rich enough to afford my tuition, nor poor enough to warrant funding; so instead I am going to attempt to obtain the majority of necessary funding through awards. I have already entered into 11 different awards and I am attempting a 12th.

Wish me luck,