Friday, June 27, 2008

I get to thinking about the future...

It really is astonishing what graduating from college will do to you. At least for me, I have started re-evaluating most everything. I get to thinking of the future.

I am home for the summer, working, chilling, rediscovering, reconnecting. And it's been a process, full of transitions, changes, gearshifts. Brings to mind the adage... the only thing constant in life is change. I went from being a student to working parttime as a research assistant and a translator. Once a dorm-liver and a meal-plan devote', I now live in the room adjacent to that of my parents and frequent the kitchen for meals. A campus of 6000+ shrunk to a household of three in a major metropolitan city. It means I spend a lot more time alone, it means a lot of thinking, it means a whole new routine.

And with those changes come mindshifts as well.

My summer job as a research assistant is nice somewhat fulfilling work, researching projects here and there, assisting others in their endeavours, making things work, tracking academic material. But I get to thinking of the future, I recontextualize the work in a post-college life. Do I want to do this for the rest of my life? What do I like about this job? What don't I like? What would I really like to be doing? A continuum expands forward, a far-reaching unstructured shapeless road that extends and disappears without notice.

My father mentioned over dinner the other night, after noticing my comments and sensibilities lately, that I may want to consider Interior Design as an option in the future. And I thought, hm. Considered a bit of what might be involved, and did not recoil at nit-picky details or cons of the job. Of course I need to do more research, but to be able to entertain a career and become indulged in reverie was nice for once. I'm through with academia for now, that's for sure. I've continuously refrained the fact that my job needs to be dynamic, concrete, visual and creative. But beyond adjectives, I haven't been able to name a specific job beyond the internships for which I've applied for next year. Interior design, I can see a future there... I must get to digging.

Up until now, time has been structured. But now... grad school becomes wild and expansive, work could extend on for who knows when, relationships float into a fluid and dynamic space. Chances are now you'll meet people at random parties through no one in particular or anywhere else... the gist basically is, the structure is now up to you. How do you want to live? Where do you want to be in 6 months? (Don't ask 5 years, that's unfair). Do you want to get married? Will you have kids? What do you want your life to be about? How often are you going to go out and party? What is, in fact, your definition of a good time... a satisfactory life?

Questions, questions, questions. All intensely personal, local, driven by a one-person story that only one person knows completely. So I wonder, try things out, and think a lot. I get to thinking about the future, and I also get to dreaming.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

e-xcited for wall-e

call me childish, or just flat out call me a child, but whenever the commercial for the new pixar flick comes on, I get giddy. It may be because the little robot (whose name is Wally or Wall-e for the technologically inclined) puts a bra over his eyes in the first few seconds. Childish innocence, a confluence between toddlers and robots, I revel in it.

Check it out for yourself:

the cutest thing ever. especially the way he says his voice at the end. seems to be an intergalactic love story. who couldn't love a robot? where's my movie-going buddy abby when i need her?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Commuter Sights

The past few days have been strange in terms of changing place and starting a whole new routine. Along the way, I've seen some funny/strange things...

- My sweetheart of a mother dropped me off close to where I would begin work yesterday and I had a half hour to kill so I walked up Ste. Catherine. Seemingly all of a sudden, the street cleared and a noticed policeman after policemant mounted on motorcycle forming a sort of motorcade down the street. And in the distance I heard blaring. A parade? A protest? The noise approached and there I saw it, a float in what must be a parade. No wait, just one float. No no, not a float at all but 20 people in rows pedaling the 'float' along for some sort of fundraiser. Way to stop traffic.

- As I walked by the fountain in the park near my house after my first day at work, I heard noises. I looked up and saw a guy playing a sitar. Weird. Walking a little further I saw he was accompanied by a friend on a guitar. Ok, cool. I thought nothing of it until I walked even further. There, next to the sitar and guitar player was another guy. He was playing what I believe to be called the mouth accordion (my roommate Susan had one and it consisted of a pipe you blew into that led to a piano that you played). An unlikely trio.

- This morning I auditioned for Kaplan (went well but they need a 12-month time commitment) and once again, I had time to kill. I decided to pop into the Bay, that big ol' department store downtown, to browse around. I wasn't completely wary and found myself in a place few people want to go. I found myself in the gauntlet of perfume saleswomen. You know, those middle-aged or downright old-aged women all dressed the same, made up as if in warpaint, ready to sell and spritz and hand out. Those women, always ready to pounce. I gasped (on the inside) and kept my eyes low to the ground. I escaped unscathed and unscented.

- As I walked to the bus stop from the McGill library, I came across a broken fence. Not only was it a broken fence, but a damaged car and a blocked road. A tree had come down in the storm earlier that day. I had been sitting in my office at work tracking down books and articles when it went dark outside and a vicious rain started. This was the type of storm that made me want to curl up into a blanket and snuggle, if with no one else with my stuffed bear Henderson. The storm came complete with the orchestral theatrics of thunder and lightning. And I saw later what it had done. This tree was massive and felled. Luckily the house was intact and the car's windshield was only minorly damaged.

- This afternoon on the sweltering busride home the doors opened at one stop to the sounds of laughter. I saw two Jewish boys (earmarked by the tallis and yamacha each was wearing). One was pushing the other in a wheelchair. And the kid in a wheelchair (who was slung into it, not a usual wheelchair rider) was laughing, laughing laughing. Laughing so hard you could still hear it after the doors closed. Mirth.

Just a few sights along my daily journeys so far...

Monday, June 09, 2008

Then, Press the Shift Key

Today, I started my first day of work. And with that first day came new building layouts to remember, a bevvy of names to remember, and new mental notes of tasks to complete. Three days ago I was in Cambridge. Four days ago I graduated. Immersing myself in this new environment makes me realize just how stunned I am at this rapid shift in rhythm. A new routine can't be established in a day, it's kinda like Rome and its required timespan for construction. Throwing myself into it more fully, I guess I am hoping to find new comfort in a daily routine.

I am realizing more than anything how much I miss my friends: saying hello to my roommates while one of us is in the shower (now, I have my own bathroom), being surrounded by students in the dining hall (now i just go down the stairs to the kitchen) or just being able to call up friends and meet up like that (now it takes time, days, weeks). I miss the physicality and quasi-instantaneity of my friends. I now realize I need to start over with the introductions, the same sound bites of conversation, beginnings.

I know that this will probably be the rest of my life, constant introductions and beginnings. It comes as a bit of a shock given the timespan of the last week. Last Monday, I was meeting my dear friend Susie for dinner before enjoying the cool evening, little get togethers, and crashing early. My parents would arrive the next day for the Graduation events, mobs would ensue. And here I am now, typing away in my room after my first day of work. Where is that shift key? I must have inadvertently pressed it.

Sunday, June 08, 2008


I returned home almost trapped amidst all my stuff in the backseat of my father's car. We JUST managed to get everything in, parting with some items along the way. Since I've been home, however, going through the stuff,a snowball effect has initiated. Sorting, sifting and purging the stuff from school has led me to sort, sift and purge the stuff I have at home. It is no easy process, but a lengthy and overdue cleansing.

Stuff. Shit. Crap. The words we use to describe the ensemble of our possessions are either vague or derogatory. There's little reason to wonder why. We don't actually need as many possessions as we own. The things we don't actually cherish get relegated to that shapeless crapfilled group, the junk. Why do I hold on to all these things? Do I really need all these books? Couldn't my life be simpler without things, stuff, junk, shit, crap? I might be able to breathe better. I might be happier. In today's day and age, we do have less stuff, but the junk appears on our computers and the organizing scheme takes on a whole new dimension. But I digress.

I do love organizing, I won't lie. There is something satisfying about finding that hideous t-shirt and putting it in a pile to be given away. I've been going through my clothes to accomodate those items I've been living with these past few months at school. I've been organizing the spaces around me so that they are more liveable to me. I'd like to keep my belongings down to what I need and a few things that have memories attached. I'd like to flow more with trends, get rid of things as they get old and unusable. It is perfectly acceptable to catalogue away the memories, but you need to ask yourself what do you really need?, what can you easily be without?. All of a sudden, with school finished, I find myself plunging into these questions and looking through the volumes of stuff I own. I've got so much stuff; and I need to purge a lot of it in order to reorganize this space, my childhood room in the house my Dad designed, so that it will become my own once again.