June 29, 2010

Farewell, Dear Brain Cells

Filed under: Food for Thought,Life's Like That — Chantelle @ 12:02 pm

I heard once that your hair is made up of dead cells. My hair grows ridiculously fast (take into account that I again have almost an inch of roots showing and I just got my hair dyed exactly 1 month ago). Does this mean that my brain is dying at a ridiculously fast rate? Does this mean that it is regenerating new brainy goodness, or is it just lost forever into the abyss?

Sometimes I feel like my brain is slowly crumbling away. Everytime I have a hard day at work, I come home and it takes me just a few seconds longer to form sentences. When I do form those sentences, the words often come out all jumbled. (What do you mean, the open was freezer?) Stuff like that.

It isn’t as though I am incompetent. Sometimes I feel like I am though, especially at work. I am constantly trying to portray myself in the best light. I feel bad if my answer has to be “I don’t know, I’ll find out”. I mean, I should be able to remember simple things like, which ad corresponds to which magazine without looking it up, right? But I forget.

I am constantly shoving stuff in my brain. Every day I spend somewhere between 8-9.5 hours at work. Shove, shove, shove. Then, I’ll either go to night class and shove 3 hours more stuff into my brain, or relax and completely turn my brain off.

So with all this stuff shoved into my brain, shouldn’t some of it come out as being… um… coherent?

Here’s the thing. If I try to think things out first, I look like I’m mentally slow. People look at me like, aren’t you going to answer? But then when I finally do answer I can give a proper answer.

But in lieu of looking slow at work, I often try to answer while I’m thinking about it. This results in the dreaded stutter. That’s all there is to it. If I try to explain or answer something at work that I haven’t had time to think about ahead of time, I stutter.

Not like the “T-t-t-today junior!” stutter that has become so popular, but… more of a stumble I suppose. I’ll be talking and then all of a sudden my tongue will be this big thick thing, that is not moving the way it should. The word will be lost, and I’m stuck looking like I have no brain cells left, trying to say whatever word it is. I don’t understand this.

When I’m relaxing with my friends, I very rarely get like this.

When I am singing, I don’t get like this.

When I make a speech, I don’t get like this.

When I am performing, I don’t get like this.

Why do I get like this, when I am around superiors?

Last night marked the end of my Summer 2010 night class. I still have my online class, but with free Monday and Wednesday evenings, comes more free time, and possibly even more sleep. Could this be the answer?

After my final last night it felt like my brain had completely shut down. I couldn’t form a coherant thought let alone a coherant sentence. I must have burnt off at least a thousand brain cells as I wrote my 20ish pages to complete the exam. Farewell, dear brain cells.


June 28, 2010

Hey, she forgot something…?

Filed under: Events — Chantelle @ 4:21 pm

Are you wondering how the Waterfront Craft Art Festival went?

I actually only spent about an hour and a half there, but was glad that I went all-the-same.

River Landing Spraypark

It was a really hot day, and the spray-park was full of kids playing. I spent the morning out garage-saleing and was out til about 3pm – and yes, I ended up with a sunburn (oops!)


These beautiful works are by Charley Farrero. He is a ceramic artist, and is also the person responsible for the “boats” at River Landing.

Carved Bronze

This piece was really neat. This is from the gallery of  Tom Schultz. They tried to explain to me how it was made, but it completely went over my head. All I can tell you is that it is sculpted bronze, and the bigger pieces are worth thousands of dollars.


I wish I could tell you who made these pendants, but I honestly have no idea. I took a picture of them because I felt that it may inspire me in some of my jewellery making (although I don’t make my own beads).

Crazy Dog

This one is neat. It is by Jim Nodge, out of Craik. He had a whole bunch of sculptures made by random, every day metals things. The lady behind the counter (his wife) talked some about how she sometimes comes in second to his work for importance in his life. I think this was the most talked about table at the event.


Finally, this table is full of homemade silver rings. I bought one myself actually, it has three bands and is tied in a knot. I absolutely love it. It is amazing some of the work that these guys do. (Again, I don’t know who the maker of these rings was – sorry!)

Did you know that I also figured out how to downsize my pictures a bit! Now my blog will have enough room for me to write longer than a few months! If you notice old posts being edited, that is why. I have too many large pictures on here taking up too much space.

Also — my Women’s and Gender Studies final is tonight, so wish me luck!!

Congratulations Dana!

Filed under: Kudos — Chantelle @ 11:35 am
Congratulations to Dana, my cousin who graduated from high school this weekend. She was the class valedictorian, left with a multitude of awards, and somehow still made it sound like ‘it was nothing’.

Dana and I

 I, on the other hand am not so humble and would like to say that she was the smartest, most beautiful one there.

Dana dancing with her escort.

Congratulations Dana!

June 25, 2010

A Quick Bit of Motivation

Filed under: Change — Chantelle @ 12:24 am

I guess I lied. I’m posting tonight. And I’ll probably post in the morning again too. I just have too much to talk about that is bubbling up at once.

I need to get to bed, I have to be up at 6:30 for work. But I thought I’d share this realization that I came to tonight.

It is no secret that, like almost every girl in North America, I am trying to lose weight. I gained a bit of weight in the latter part of winter, and was pretty depressed about it. After losing 30 lbs in the fall and early winter, I went and gained back 10 lbs. I couldn’t think about anything but those 10 lbs that had managed to creep back up on me.

I am starting to get back on track now. I finally broke through my major plateau weight, and am steadily losing weight now. (It probably helps that I have had the flu for about a week though, although I am not willing to officially admit it, as I have been going to work and attending class as I cannot afford to miss either).

However. Elsie and I went out to see The Musical of Musicals: The Musical tonight. I had been planning my outfit for awhile, and had decided, ‘Perfect. I’ll wear my white dress with the flowers, with my purple shoes. That’s bound to put me in a summery mood.’

Well, I put on the dress, and it was at least 4 sizes too big. I was shocked. Then I realized – the last time I wore that dress was last summer, before losing weight. I may have gained 10 lbs, but that still means that I am 20 lbs lighter than I was last summer.

Maybe it is time to focus on the positive aspects of my weight loss instead of the negative.

What do you do to keep on track?

June 24, 2010

Editing is Important!

Filed under: Life's Like That — Chantelle @ 2:32 pm

I will have a flurry of posts for you next week. This week however, I am up to my eyeballs is work/school assignments/social events. Just wanted to let you know I haven’t forgotten about blogging either — just haven’t had time to breathe! (I will also explain the title next week).

June 20, 2010

Happy Father’s Day

Filed under: Events — Chantelle @ 11:48 pm

There’s fifteen minutes left of Father’s Day.

Just enough time to give a shout out to the best father I could ever ask for.

Happy Father’s Day Dad!

Only the best dad ever

June 17, 2010

Registration Day

Filed under: Life's Like That — Chantelle @ 8:23 am

Ahh yes. The day that every self-minded student loathes.

Every year is bad. You start by submitting a Student Plan to the head office of your college in January. They then mail out to you and give you permission (Or don’t give you permission) for the classes you wish to take. You then have to take that, and turn this into a schedule that is both possible (ie/ can’t take two classes at the same time), and manageable (ie/ I like to take all five classes in one day Tuesdays and Thursdays and then take M/W/F off, but many people can’t handle the 8 hours straight of class that this requires).

There are three problems standing in your way still:

– most of the classes require pre-requisites

– you have a very specific course outline for your degree that you must follow for the classes to count

– many of the courses are only one day of the week, at one time, during one semester.

Once you have managed to figure out what your schedule will be like, you must start the waiting game.

I don’t know if the experience is the same for everyone, but I’m a worrier. I worry about whether or not I will get into the classes (when you are in a smaller college most classes only have about 40 seats), I worry about whether I will get the schedule or not, and so on. These things are both very important to me – as I mentioned in an earlier post, I am paying my way through school by working my way through rather than taking out a loan. If my schedule is completely convoluted, it becomes very difficult to find a job.

To make matters worse, the university has four release days for classes – one for each “year” in the program.

Thus, they open the doors for registration at the exact same time, for a large number of people in the year you are in. Thousands of people. Unsurprisingly, this causes the server to crash. So there you are, sitting at your computer, praying to get into your classes, and the computer is blinking a message at you saying the site does not exist or is temporarily down for maintenance.

This year was different then most. In the fall, the time that I was registering for, I will only need two more classes to complete my degree. Thus, instead of trying to get 5 classes into the system, all of which I need equally as much, I had one class that I really, really needed, and one that I could sub in about 10 different classes to make it work.

My prerequisites for this year were as follows:

– Get the last commerce class I need to get my degree

– Get into a senior level elective so I can finish my degree

– Have only night classes so that I can work full-time  in the fall.

You’d think that this wouldn’t be too bad.

Last night, I broke down and started crying. This topic has been on my mind since the last day of April, when I decided that I would take summer classes, so that I would only have a couple classes lef t in the fall, so that I could continue to work full-time, so I could move out of my crap-shack.

Yeah, I understand that by getting such high expectations I could be setting myself up for disaster. But I really have my heart set on moving, because:

A) Gilles goes back to Moose Jaw for school again in the fall, and I don’t know that I can handle two months in that apartment without him. I don’t feel safe there. Ever since our apartment window got smashed in December, I have had a hard time feeling safe — but that’s for another post.

B) We have two sets of furniture jammed into a one-bedroom apartment. I do not joke when I say that I have literally pushed something up against every inch of wallspace, whether it be one of our two couches, one of our two rocking chairs, our three bookshelves, our entertainment centre, etc.

C) We are always visiting people. Whether that means us visiting them, or them staying in our apartment. However, due to the fact that it is a jam-packed one-bedroom apartment, someone doesn’t get a bed. We would really like to be able to provide a bed for our visitors.

D) I am tired of having to “creatively” store my stuff. For example, my sewing machine is balanced on top of Gilles’ player equipment, on the top shelf of our pantry. Example 2: my puzzles have taken up residence behind the couch. I cannot wait for the day that everything has its place, and thus, our apartment can stay clean longer than, oh I don’t know… an hour?

Anyway, today went well.

Yes, the server crashed again just as I was about to register.

But, instead of taking 3 hours, 3 days, or even 3 weeks, the site was back up in about 5 minutes.

Yes, I was sitting there refreshing and clicking and praying the whole time.

Yes, I got into both of my classes!

My (school) schedule in the fall is as follows:

Monday: Business Policy from 7-9:50pm

Tuesday: Modernist Writings and Contexts (English) from 6-8:20pm.

I am excstatic. (Okay I have no idea how to spell that word).

This means that I can start applying for jobs now, which means I can start interviewing for jobs, which means maybe, just maybe, I’ll get a job, which means I can start looking for a new place to live, which means I can move!

All thanks to registration day. Yay!

June 16, 2010

Saskatoon Graffiti

Filed under: Schoolwork — Chantelle @ 10:24 am
Skateboard Graffiti along Spadina

One of the assignments I was given for my Women’s and Gender Studies class this week was to take a picture of some graffiti, write a sentence or two up about why you like it, and email it to the prof. It was a simple assignment, not worth much — so of course I fell in love with it.

This is the picture that I chose to send in with the assignment. My write-up about it is just about how it could be seen as a political statement – that pedestrians and bikers have designated walking areas, while skateboarders are continuously shoved into skateparks and out of the public’s eye.

So, being me and absolutely falling in love with any “artsy” assignment that I’m given, I called up one of my best friends and asked her if she would come take pictures of graffiti with me. (BTW Elsie – feel free to steal the pics :D)

We took a lot of pictures – and I consider all of them to be good ones, so I thought I’d share them with you instead of just letting them fester in the camera.


"Carrot" traincar in the yard by Erindale


Tar? Water? Some sort of symbolism here?


The sheaf of wheat in this picture looks distinctly evil



Cons 125 - Constable 125? Hmm.

Does this remind you of Mario Bros.?

Declaration of Love



Losing face




Keep Going





Environmental Mural - Oddly by a huge power box



No cars...



side view





Roof Top Deck with Stickers









You must learn!

Audrey Hepburn

Wine Rage

I don't know what this means but I like it


Whew! Sorry these pictures are so… all over the place, but I can’t seem to make them line up proper at all… WordPress is hard to post pictures in!

June 15, 2010

Urban Gardening

Filed under: Life's Like That — Chantelle @ 9:22 am

Sometimes, I really miss the farm. It’s quiet and it’s secluded, so you can be as loud as you want and no one cards. But for the same reasons, I love the city. I love the hustle and bustle, the fact that no matter what time of night it is, there is always someone awake, doing something. There is always something to do, something to see.

But there is one factor that I miss about the farm more than any other, and that’s the fresh vegetables. Sure, I am still able to grab some vegetables from the garden when I go home to visit, but I find that it is not the same. They are just as good, don’t get me wrong, but they aren’t as frequent. I have a rush of vegetables at one time that I have to use up lest they go bad, and then I have none again.

So last year, for the first time, I tried growing a garden in the city. Garden is a very loose term in this context. See, I live in an apartment. Worse, I live in a basement apartment. There isn’t enough light that comes in the windows to keep anything alive, and I do not have my own space outside like those with decks do. (But yes, I am seeing the difference in the cost of my rent). But still, where to garden?

Transferring the plants into pots

At some point last spring I was garage saleing, and came upon a ton of pots that they were selling for dirt cheap. (I’m talking like $0.25 each). Inspiration struck. I bought up about 8 of them, and ditched my garage saleing efforts to go on my merry way over to a greenhouse.

Last year, my garden was an utter failure. Most of my plants died of “heatstroke” (dried up because I’m not home during the afternoon), and the others just got really stringy and didn’t do anything. One of the reasons why I think this is, is that I didn’t give them enough of a chance. I started my garden last year in late June, and didn’t actually pot the plants for a few days after I got home. Another reason is that I wanted to see the plants grow a lot myself, so I bought the smaller plants rather than the more mature ones.

This year I have a different strategy. While I couldn’t help but not plant them until Friday (the 11th), I bought the biggest plants that I could find.

Oh yeah. You might be wondering where I am putting all these potted plants, if I can’t grow anything indoors?

The parking lot of course.

My Beautiful Garden, freshly watered

View for scale


It’s not as bad as it looks. The window behind the plants is my own kitchen window, and the car that parks right beside them is my boyfriend’s, so I know he isn’t going to run them over. A lot of people have asked me why I’m not more scared of people “vandalizing” my plants – dumping them and throwing them and what not.

Reason 1: Last year, I kind of was. But I reasoned with myself that the pots only cost $0.25 each, so if it all gets wrecked it’s not like I’m in a financial hole.

Reason 2: I actually left my pots out all winter because I didn’t have anywhere in the apartment to put them.

Reason 3: As sketchy as the neighbourhood has become, my neighbours that are in my building themselves, are amazing. One of my neighbours actually watered my plants for me, unasked, when she realized that I was gone for the weekend.

Reason 4: The area is lit up really well, and there is a lot of traffic in the area due to a mini-golf course and a (baseball-machine thing that shoots balls at you?) across the back alley, and one of the most popular gas stations/car washes on the next block over.

This year, I decided to plant: tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflour, daisies :), green bell peppers, hot red peppers, and tiger lilies :).

I have another item that I will be planting soon, but that is a surprise for another post.

What are your thoughts? Do you think it could work?

June 9, 2010

Saskatoon Waterfront Craft Art Festival

Filed under: Events — Chantelle @ 8:04 am

I am so excited. (Yeah, that’s totally not like me, right? Ha!)

But seriously. This weekend for the first time in a long time, Gilles and I are actually staying in Saskatoon. Let the earth stand still and the gods revel in its silence. I know, right?

I have been wistfully planning for a weekend when I am actually at home and have time to do things on my own agenda for awhile now. I have dug through my (endless) list of things that I want to do, and have decided the following:

  1. Housework, be damned. That’s more of a weekday (Okay, Tuesday and Thursday) thing anyway. This weekend, I am going to clean up what little mess that I make during my daily activities, and no more. No more! Wow, that feels good to put into print.
  2. I really, really want to get my “garden” planted before it gets to be too late in the season and nothing has enough time to grow. I’ll explain more about my “garden” in a future post – it deserves a post all its own, and some pictures to go with it.
  3. I haven’t gone garage-saling in a really long time. Like, since the very first weekend of the garage sale season at the beginning of May. Whoa. Plus, I would really like to find a cool, funky lamp to light up the dark, empty corner in my living room.
  4. The Saskatoon Waterfront Craft Art Festival is in town!

Were you wondering when I would get to that? Seeing as it is the title and all, it probably merits some talking about.

To be honest, I hadn’t even heard about this festival before it showed up on my company calendar at work. As soon as I saw it though, I knew that I had to be there. After all, crafts? Art? Outdoors?

There was only one thing that was keeping me from going. Gilles’ uncle Ray just got back from serving time in Afghanistan at the end of April, and Gilles has been trying to set up a time for us to go visit him in Edmonton. Now, I know that this is a worthy cause to miss the festival — but I really, really want to go to this festival! I was a good girl though, and didn’t let on how much I really didn’t want it to be this weekend that we went to visit. I just let Gilles be in charge of plans, and remained uncommitted whenever he asked me if I wanted to go this weekend.

Meanwhile, this festival was chewing at me like only this kind of thing can. I wanted to go, bad. When Gilles told me last night that we wouldn’t be going to Edmonton this weekend after all, my heart was singing.

So, if you are at the festival on Saturday, (it’s only on Saturday — 10-5 I believe — but admission is free) make sure you stop by and say hi!

The picture below is from one of the exhibits last year – lifted across the festival’s website. You can find more here.

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