Friday, June 30, 2006

hiking (somewhat)

what a relief to be done the first set of courses...

i should backtrack. wednesday was great cuz it was the one time we had absolutely nothing due for the next day... so a bunch of us went for a walk. or a hike. something in between. we took off and headed towards the trail(s) behind the campus. it was quite an adventure, really... we encountered lots of brush, lots of insects, had some minor obstacles like a creek to cross and a muddy canal and some slippery slopes. but overall it was really pretty. i'm so pleased to have this kind of "access to nature" right in my backyard. there were a couple of pretty bridges and things along the way too... i took my camera along and took a lot of pictures. mostly the trees... next to the mountains, i'm just amazed at the trees here... they're so big and beautiful. gorgeous. and it was another beautiful day... anyway, we got lost and somehow ended up on this semi-residential street... and kinda walked down this street and that... passed by a trailer park... and we just kept walking and walking... then we hit the highway and started walking along it... ohh man. walking on a trail under the shade of trees is one thing, but walking along the highway is really not so pleasant. it was a looooooong and tiring walk up glover road, but we made it back to campus 2.5 hours later. i was exhausted. but it was good exercise... and i was using my ACG sandals that i got my mom to send me, and i could walk to the ends of the earth in those... i'm so grateful they came in time. oh yah! my package arrived on wednesday. my only regret is i wish i had sent for some shorts.

the "semi-residential" street

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

weather, good. garlic, bad.

today's weather was JUST. RIGHT. not a cloud in the sky... yet the sun wasn't scorching hot. it wasn't humid at all. and the breeze was cool. i just had to say that today was the perfect day.

oh. and i had another bagel mishap. i cut my thumb. i dunno how deep the cut actually was cuz i was scared to open it up. it hurt like a pinched nerve though. and the cut's about a centimeter wide. on the plus side, i cooked up some fried rice successfully! i'm progressing really well in the kitchen :D btw, if you ever buy those cans of tuna that come in different flavours, i don't recommend the garlic and hot pepper... the garlic is just WAAAY TOO POTENT in that tiny can.

my kitchen

Sunday, June 25, 2006

conditioner and sermon woes

i'm having a conditioner crisis. first of all, i bought pantene conditioner yesterday because i was absolutely fed up with my herbal essences conditioner that i got on sale for 1.99 at shoppers before i left. i totally chose the wrong scent! i shoulda gone with what i already knew... i mean, the shampoo doesn't smell too bad... and the conditioner seems alright if i'm squeezing the bottle to get a whiff. but as soon as it goes on my hair... yuck!! it's like they melted several wax crayons and mixed them into the conditioner. kinda like the effect of smelling a really yummy lip balm but then applying it on your lips and realizing it doesn't taste the way it smells... yah... so i'd had it with the conditioner and i told myself i'd spend a little extra on pantene to get something that smelled nice. so i bought a pantene conditioner at walmart yesterday and i used it this morning and i was like, WHAT THE HECK..... it's like someone decided to add a vial of strong cologne to the conditioner. the scent is borderline alcoholic... between something that smells like a wax crayon and something that reeks of cologne, it seems i'm stuck between a rock and a hard place.


i was not pleased... again... with the sermon at FLEFC today. it was a continuation of the da vinci code series... i dunno when it began and i dunno when it'll finish, but i really hope it's not like this the entire time i'm here. i find it really redundant to try to convince a christian audience what it already believes...
maybe in a workshop or during fellowship or on an evangelical night or something... but not in a church service. i'm not feeling refreshed on sunday mornings anymore, other than the worship songs. today the pastor posted two scripture references on powerpoint and didn't even get to it til nearly the end. instead the entire sermon was accompanied by slides that were all quotes from the book and other famous ppl for/against whatever point he was trying to make about the book... too lecture-style for me :(


Saturday, June 24, 2006

mountains!!! *drool*

i saw mountains today!!!!

mountains are the prettiest things ever :D i remember when i was in vancouver years ago, the main reason i wanted to come back was cuz of the mountains... i couldn't get enough of them. on the plane, i was nearly drooling on the lap of the lady next to the window... but when i landed it was kinda cloudy and so i didn't see any mountains on the way to TWU. and then for the past couple of weeks, it's been pretty cloudy. and the few times i left campus, it was also pretty cloudy and i saw no mountains, so i just figured that we were too far out and there were no mountains to be seen around here. thankfully, i was wrong... we went into langley city today to do some walmart/safeway shopping and the sky was clear so i saw the mountains!!! waaaah!!! i could stare at mountains all day!!!

it is getting steadily hotter here as well. i'm glad i was able to go to walmart because i needed to buy a fan.

some mountains (between two stupid wires...)

Friday, June 23, 2006

got the rice down

i messed up my finnish mimicry test today... booooo...

K and D came over after class yesterday to help me cook my rice. it was a success!! D was kind enough to give us her noodles, and K supervised the rice cooking... yesterday's meal was good. i cooked up some chicken breast that turned out quite well. yaaay!! gonna try to cook some rice again tonight.


success! woohoo! S poached some cod and we had a lovely dinner. there was a lot of ruckus going on below us... i found out there was a birthday party going on at the Globe (International Students Program) which is located on the basement floor of macmillan hall. Nv convinced me to go down and meet some new people. the Globe is a nice hangout... as for all the people there, i didn't even get half their names... a very interesting bunch though. they seem really nice.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

summer days and rice-dough

this morning i got up really early... for the most part, it was cuz i slept way too early last night. and accidentally too. doing homework on my bed has always been risky business. anyway, it was still fairly dark when i got up around 430 and wandered around, but by the time i got back to my room a few minutes later, i could already detect a faint glow outside... enough to not need a light in my room. actually, it looked like the sun might have already risen on the other side of the buildings, but i wasn't sure, so i went to the weather network to get myself some statistics and had to settle for abbotsford, the next big town over. apparently we're getting about 16.5 hours of sunshine, which is about 1/2 hour more than toronto is getting. weeee... however, the sun is often covered by cloud so i guess that evens things out a bit. as i'm typing this, it is 501 on my laptop, and the sun is supposed to rise around 504... though as far as i'm concerned, it's risen already... but the most interesting fact is it is about to officially turn into summer in about half an hour... 526am to be precise. i'm kinda glad to be awake to usher in the event :)

welcome, summer!!! how i've missed you!!!


1140pm - wow, what a day. well... not really... except for the fact that i butchered the rice. AGAIN. the first time was kinda funny, but this time i was actually quite depressed and disappointed in myself. so i cooked two cups instead of one and put less water so it wouldn't be so mushy... but then... i dunno what i did wrong. maybe i shouldn't have stirred it so much. maybe i should've just let it boil and not keep checking the top layer and thinking it's still too dry and adding more and more water. aiy. to make things worse, i decided to "fix" it by frying it, thinking in my head that maybe the frying would help some of the water evaporate and make my rice less soggy. so i added some oil to the pot, and then i added the rice... and stirred... and stirred... and stirred... and then i thought adding a couple of beaten eggs would work, but i think that made the rice even more sticky... i also added a whole bunch of other things, but to no avail... i completely butchered it. the rice looked more like mashed potatoes or a stuffing of some sort.
i could've picked it up from the pot with two fingers... it was knead-able. and totally bland cuz i didn't put enough salt. and... ugh. S tried to rectify the situation and so she took some of the rice-dough and spread it onto a baking pan and put it in the oven, and it came out as a kind of rice cracker. heh. it didn't taste toooo bad... i saved the rest of my rice-dough in a container, though i doubt i'll ever eat it. and then S went onto plan B (which she casually joked about at the beginning since neither of us seriously believed i would screw up dinner... go figure..). her beef stir-fry saved the day.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

blood jam and other profundities

today's sociolinguistics class left me a bit... "stirred." it wasn't just the one class, but an accumulation of stories and videos and testimonies from class and chapel and people here that are just rocking my worldview. and today was my tipping point. i can't explain it without going in-depth (and i won't be doing that here), but if anything, this little blurb will serve as a self-reminder for when my worldview began to shift yet again...... very different from what i experienced at tyndale.



saturday was a fairly non-eventful day for me. i didn't feel like going out, so i took a nap in the afternoon while S went into town with the others. Nv dropped by before going to work so we chatted for a bit... as part-time staff, she told me many stories about the TWU caf that confirmed my assumptions of the place. she also told me many stories about the TWU students, having lived in these dorms in the past. i was SHOCKED! it seems that immorality goes on in this Christian institution just like it does at any other university. it's not that i'm naive about such things... but the code of membership i had to sign to come to this school really threw me off. i found it conservative even in my standards. i just figured TWU would do a better job enforcing the students to adhere to the code. i dunno. and the worst part is, the non-Christian staff (in the caf anyway) see the things that go on and come to the conclusion that being Christian makes no difference then. Nv says the staff have actually said this to her. it's so sad.

dinner was good. i didn't cook any of it, that was probably why... sunday, i went back to the same church, except this time with more of the "macmillan gang" (our residence hall). it was a fairly nice day. i felt very underdressed... but i HAD to wear my runners. and as of right now, i only have one pair of pants to go with it, so... yah. i'm still not sure how i feel about FLEFC. but for now, i have no other choice.

we walked straight home afterwards cuz everyone had assignments to work on. we encountered a snake on the path... weee... and i've seen quite a few rabbits around too. they really make my bunnie look obese. anyway, sunday night was the first night i really battled to keep up with my schoolwork. i was up until 230am working on my paper, and i was THIIIIIIS close to just not finishing it and handing it in late. it's so hard with these intensive courses, there's no break at all... no days off... something's due everyday. and i'm struggling to keep myself disciplined about it. procrastination is a hard habit to break, it really is. thank goodness i did finish the paper... chapel worship was veeerrrry painful as i hadn't played in a while and D's guitar strings are really hard, and i gave myself huge blisters on my last three fingers while trying to practice on the wknd.

to top off my finger injuries, i had a little incident at lunch. i made myself bleed trying to pry apart a half frozen, partially cut bagel. i guess the ice numbed my thumbs cuz i didn't feel my skin ripping from the underside of my nail. i only noticed when i looked into the bagel to check my progress and saw RED all over. what a waste, i lost my appetite and ended up throwing the bagel, my thumbs hurt afterwards.

the past few days i've actually been waking up REALLY early... and it's not always such a good thing anymore. everytime i wake up, i panic thinking i've slept in cuz i know i didn't hear my alarm, and it looks like it's already 730.. but it's only 5am. and then it's too early to get up and start getting ready, so i continue to lie in bed, but i can't go back to sleep. by the time 830 rolls along i'm already feeling groggy, and by mid-morning, i'm fighting to keep my eyelids open. mondays are the worst cuz it's a 4-hour class.

this morning my mom called me at 530am. i dunno what she was thinking... but it doesn't matter, i was half-awake anyway, plus she's sending me a package, yaaay!!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

mega update: hello from langley!

sorry it took so long for me to update my blog, but it's been... well... let's just say there are a lot of things i'm having to adjust to. hehe. and i've also run into a few little problems and interesting encounters here and there... no big deal really, but they do tend to add up. so now it's my first full weekend here and i finally have some time to just relax and lounge around. i did keep track of the past week's events on my laptop, so i'll post excerpts to fill you in on my first week here in langley.


sunday - june 11

it has been one crazy weekend! i was gonna talk about my crazy monday (crazy pedestrians and sales associates and ttc bus drivers) but i think i'm over that now. sort of.

let me tell you what really sucks about booking a charter flight when you're gonna be away for two months: LUGGAGE ALLOWANCE. grrrrrr!! they allow me a maximum of 20 kgs... each piece of luggage on its own (i.e. empty) weighs about 5 kgs. i started packing around 8pm friday night and i didn't sleep unil 8am the next morning... having to pack and repack and take out things and repack and take out more things and repack... ugh. i slept for about 1.5 hours. i was still a few kgs over, but i had already gotten rid of half of what i was supposed to bring. about 1130 (my flight was 230) i was complaining to my mom that i should've just packed my stuff in duffle bags and she was like, "well why don't you??" so she went to pick up a duffle bag from someone she lent it to and i was frantically unpacking once more. what a difference in weight a duffle bag makes!! anyway, i barely made it to the airport on time, and when i checked in my luggage i was 1kg over but they didn't say anything. good, cuz that woulda cost me $7. anyway, skyservice (the charter i took) had really good coffee, surprisingly. the flight itself was not bad... though not too good either, but it never is when you're sitting in the middle seat with strangers on either side of you. when we passed over the rockies, my jaw just dropped... i can never get over how beautiful the mountains are. i wish i had my digital camera on me to take pictures.

someone from CanIL picked me up and dropped me off right at my residence. the TWU campus was pretty empty. i was shown to my room and it was so spacious!! not in a good way though... the desks are so far away from the outlets. maybe i'll post a picture of how i rearranged my room. what else. i met two of my floormates and had dinner with them that night. they made salmon and rice... mmm... they're both decent cooks. one's from alberta and the other drove up from missouri. then i met another floormate who came all the way from norway and i joined her and a couple of CanIL staff to do some grocery shopping.


i was supposed to meet N at 9am to go to church... so i was up late trying to set up my suite and rearrange things and get settled in and stuff... oh yah, after making a huge deal about bringing a cable to connect to the internet port, guess what i couldn't find in my bag. the cable!! all that repacking and downsizing, i ended up missing a LOT of things. a pair of sandals. my running shoes. warmer clothes. the weather here is crazy unpredictable, but i'll get to that later.

so i hear this weird noise and realize it was knocking. omg, it's N!! i slept in. my first day and i slept in. i'm sooo in trouble. i got ready in 5 minutes and we left for fort langley on foot. (the bus comes every hour so if we miss it, we miss it. and we missed it.) about 40 minutes later we arrived at the church, fort langley evangelical free church. interesting. the sermon was on the da vinci code and felt more like a history lecture, but i haven't read the book yet so maybe it was beneficial for a lot of the audience? and then N introduced me to another friend Nv and she has an awesome place she's renting close to the church. i've already made up my mind to find my off-campus housing in fort langley. it's the only borderline walkable town close to the school. we were gonna take the bus to willowbrook mall but instead we walked back to campus where N made some tuna melts for lunch and we had a picnic on the lawn with his roommate M and this other girl named grace. (funny story, grace and i were caught up in a conversation for a while and then afterwards, she was like... "umm... uhh... ann? is it? sorry, what's your name again??" it was hilarious! i can't believe she forgot my name!) and then less than an hour later the weather went from hot and sunny to dark and rainy and thundering and hailing and then the power went out. it was scary how quickly the weather changed. oh yah, i learned another lesson other than not to book a charter flight if you're going away for a long period of time (and if you have to, use duffle bags with wheels cuz they weigh a lot less). that is, cordless phones don't work when the power is out. USELESS.

i soooo need to buy some shoes. one day of walking and my old navy flipflops are already beginning to fall apart... i shoulda brought my runners or sports sandals, grrrrrr... but they were too heavy! the soles of my feet feel like sandpaper, and my legs are cramping from the flipflops.


monday - june 12

so yesterday my roommate S finally arrived and i think we're gonna get along just fine :) she brought a bunch of groceries with her and i already made her promise to call me to the kitchen every time she cooks something. i learned she's an RN from saskatoon, which is really cool... so now i feel quite safe... hehe. my prof across the hall finally moved in as well. N cooked some stir fry chow mein thingy and invited everyone to have dinner at his place, which was nice of him since i was just gonna eat my leftover T&T buns from saturday.

so then we had some tea and went back to our rooms, and i was really hoping i'd be able to wake up on time for monday since i slept in on sunday. before i did, i had borrowed an internet cable from grace to see if i could hook up my laptop. long story short, the other bed in my room was blocking the outlet and i spent a looong time trying to get the cable in but it wouldn't work, so then i gave up and went to sleep. the next morning i found out i was sticking it in the wrong way the whole time. silly me.

i woke up an hour early because of the sun, which was already shining at 5 something in the morning... this is a good thing, btw. the CanIL building is about a 5-minute walk from our residence hall. there was phonetics class in the morning, and at 930 we had chapel break, which was really nice... saw the other students (commuters and such). the biggest and most pleasant surprise today was finding someone i knew from toronto!!! there were two worship leaders today, one on guitar and one on piano... i didn't recognize her at first, but when the piano player was introduced as C, the name stirred up something in my memory, and i was like... I KNOW HER!! so afterwards i went up to her and said, I KNOW YOU!! and her first reaction was... "ohh! yah! from UofT??" and i was like, "no... from Perspectives class!" honestly, what are the chances i'd meet her here?!?! anyway, there was an orientation lunch and i was able to catch up with her on top of meeting some other new people. i'm so glad she's here... she's a year ahead of me since she started the MLE program last year, so now i know at least one person to turn to for help or advice.

we had language and society class after lunch. compared to the morning class (articulatory phonetics), this is more discussion-based, which is a fresh change from all the memorization and analytical work that all the other linguistics courses entail. though funny enough, i think i'm enjoying phonetics more... anyway, at lunch i found out that i can get "free water" at the CanIL building, and they have coffee and food for a small fee (i.e. 25 cents for coffee) that we put into an honesty box. eeeexcellent.

after class i went to the bookstore and bought my textbooks... of course i couldn't resist looking at the Bibles. and i dunno if it's just me, but for a university bookstore, the prices seem quite a bit cheaper than tyndale or mitchells back home. and i have a feeling i won't leave TWU without a hoodie or zipup of some sort :P

aaand..... that's about it. their computer lab is really nice... the CanIL building is only a coupla years old so the facilities are really nice in general. i've never seen it used til now but they have those new overhead projectors that use a camera or something so you can project sheets of regular paper. all schools should have those! it drizzled today but i haven't been caught in a downpour yet so i can't complain. for dinner i had another leftover T&T bun. got one more for tmw, and after that, i'm gonna start on the instant noodles :P


saturday - june 17

it has definitely been an interesting week. let me backtrack to wednesday... wait, tuesday... so there was an orientation on tuesday after lunch that only a few females showed up to... i wonder why no males attended the event. there have already been a couple of jokes made about how TWU females outnumber the males 2 to 1. it ended up being just a couple of icebreaker games and a quick tour around the campus. the trees around here are HUGE! i love it. they have this challenger course set up in between the trees and i'm hoping i'll have a chance to try it out during the regular school year.

i was a very hungry individual by wednesday. for lunch S and i tried the TWU caf...... i was NOT very pleased at all. i ordered a single burger, and it wasn't very busy so i expected it almost right away... but at the same time there was only one person taking orders and making them on the spot, so it took a while... still, people came after me to order and it seemed the guy neglected my burger because it took him 20 minutes before he finally gave me the thing, and when i finally ate my burger, it was overcooked and dry and hard. awful. i vowed i would never eat at the caf unless i absolutely HAD to... i.e. i was even more set on having to cook for myself. after class i ran into C and D in the comp lab cuz sheila and i wanted to go into town on the wknd and i wanted to know how to get to superstore. in the end, C offered to take us to superstore which was really nice of her. we got a little tour around the city of langley (which is different from the township of langley... the township includes TWU and fort langley, for example. i think the two are feuding or something. i dunno.) anyway, we passed by a tim horton's!! now i know there's at least one of those around here. and they have one decent mall. yah, i think all of the stores i'll need they've got here so i can't complain... it's just a matter of getting there, cuz the bus routes won't take me to all those places. finally we arrived at superstore, and i honestly don't remember it being costco-ish from when we used to go in regina. the prices are AMAZING!! i was making such a big deal buying stuff at walmart or shoppers (with my brother's discount) back home... i coulda bought all of that here at the same price or cheaper!! we spent a good coupla hours inside and i went crazy... first of all, i was finally able to buy a pair of runners since i have been obsessed about getting a pair since sunday... and they were only $10 too!! wow. that'll do. and i know i went to save-on on saturday (i cringe when i think about the price difference and how much money i wasted at save-on) but i consider wednesday at superstore to be my first official grocery-shopping-on-my-own-and-for-myself day. i bought over $100 worth of stuff, enough to keep me fed for at least two or even three weeks. i am so grateful to carmen... she totally went out of her way to help us out.

and so that night i made my very own dinner... chicken breast with rice. of course i totally butchered it. even with directions from my mom. but anyway, i was starving so it still tasted great. i didn't have a bowl big enough to hold it all so i put it into a giant tupperware and added some jufran banana sauce and ate most of it.

thursday was our first dictation test. even for detail-oriented me, the vowels are really really hard to distinguish... but it went ok. friday we had a pizza lunch at CanIL, and there were games and a movie afterwards. we watched pirates of the caribbean which i had never seen, and i really liked it. oh yah, D gave me her guitar for the wknd so i can pick my songs and practice for monday. kinda excited... if i had known i'd be helping out with the worship, i woulda brought my own guitar.

this morning i butchered my eggs... i didn't think i could go wrong with eggs, but it turns out i'm wrong. in meteorgarden 2, when jerry was learning how to cook eggs, i thought it was so funny... hah, now i can totally empathize with him!