Sunday, March 16, 2008


Part one of our holiday is nearly over as we leave Chicago tomorrow afternoon and fly to New York. Chicago is an insanely friendly city and much more beautiful than I had expected. We've had a great time here with two of Kyle's co-workers and their spouses. This weekend was a big deal in Chicago because it's St. Patrick's Day weekend. We headed out early on Saturday morning with about 10 000 other people to watch the annual dyeing of the river. It was insane to see how they were able to colour the river lime-green. The streets were filled with people of all ages and ethnicities wearing green clothing with slogans like "Irish drinking team" or "Kiss me, I'm drunk". I just love how people of different backgrounds can get past their differences and unite in a celebration of Irish stereotypes. We joined in the celebration, wearing green beaded necklaces and enjoying some green beer at an Irish Pub.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

It's time for a new scene

For those of you who are wondering, my thesis defense went really well... aside the part where I tripped over a power chord and unplugged the projector before starting my presentation. The committee asked me questions for an hour and a half before sending me out and deciding on my mark. As they deliberated, I stood in the hall with a dear friend who sat outside waiting for the full two hours. After about five minutes, they called me in and told me that I had passed. It feels great to be finished.

To celebrate, Kyle and I are heading out on a three-week trip. We're going to Chicago, New York, and then to Egypt. The past few days have been filled with preparations for our trip.

This week we were due to get our second Hepatitis vaccine, which will allow us to eat ice cubes and borrow other people's nail clippers while we're in Egypt. When I went to the university clinic to get my injection, I was told that I would have to wait at least 90 minutes to see a doctor. Not wanting to wait, I took my vaccine home with me. When I got home, Kyle and I made a list of people we knew who could administer the vaccine, which came conveniently packaged in a ready-to-use syringe.

As we made our way down our list of medical professionals who might inject us in exchange for a bottle of wine, we called a friend of Kyle's whose wife is a nurse. Kyle's friend told us that although his wife wouldn't be able to help us, he was going out for wings with a buddy who also happened to be a nurse. On their way to the pub, Kyle's friend and Nurse Buddy popped by to give us our needles. It was a bit awkward to invite a stranger into our home, shake his hand, and then roll up our sleeves for the injection. He did an awesome job and the injection was painless. He was so good I almost wanted to check the floor to make sure he hadn't missed my arm and spilled my $57 vaccine all over the floor.

Problem solved! We were injected and ready to take on the world. However, because Nurse Buddy didn't want to take our used needles with him to the pub, Kyle and I were left with two syringes to dispose of. Not wanting to throw them in the garbage, we wondered how we could get rid of them. In a stroke of genius, we decided to drive downtown and dispose of the needles in the safe boxes intended for drug users on the street. Under the cover or darkness we crossed town, walked through the seediest park we could find, and dropped our needles in the bright yellow safe box. I did feel a bit uncomfortable using services intended for addicts and homeless people. However, I figure that the government resources used to dispose of our Twinrix needles are much less than what would have been required for a more legitimate vaccination experience.

We'll be gone until early April. I'm not sure how often I'll be accessing the internet but I hope to post a few times while we're away.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

The best policy?

Friday as I was walking on 17th Ave, a guy held out a baseball cap full of coins and asked, "Spare some change for marijuana?"

I kept my money but I sure did appreciate his honesty.

Monday, March 3, 2008

T minus 46 hours

Things have been quiet on the blog front this week. I will excuse myself because the oral defense of my thesis is on Wednesday afternoon. However, the truth is that I haven't been studying all that much. I'm a smidge nervous but mostly I feel ready and excited. I can't wait to be finished!

Background by Jennifer Furlotte / Pixels and IceCream