Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Doc and Katherine’s Canadian Adventure

Whereby we travel to the glorious land called “Windsor.”

A-way back in January, while Doc was visiting me in the Great White North (henceforth GWN), he lamented that he had never been to that exotic locale that lies even further to the North, that which is called “Canada.”

He also decried the lack of that fine dish, “poutine,” in the GWN, that dish which is native to the land even further north of here.  Thus, we set out to find the true poutine, the pleasures of which could only be enjoyed in the glorious land of Canada.

And so, we found ourselves a mere 45 minute drive from my home in the GWN, across (or rather, under) the gently flowing river that divides this land from that, in the place called “Windsor.” And how differently exotic we found it to be!

Alas, we stopped not to sample the nectar on offer at Canada’s favorite coffee chain; in our quest for poutine we carried on.

After winding our way through the strange alleyways of the hamlet of Windsor, we found ourselves at a local eatery called Gilligan’s.

And such delights did the menu offer! Hamburgers and french fries! Beer and soda (pop)! Desserts and appetizers! And, most gloriousfully of all, the most cherished poutine.

Not satiated with this singular delicacy, we further sampled the exotic specialties trumpeted by the menu: chili cheeseburger and bacon cheeseburger topped with such unusual garnish as peameal. Indeed, the addition of this peameal proved to be a culinary masterpiece in itself.

We marveled at the gourmet French-labeled ketchup.

It must be gourmet, 'cause it's French!

It must be gourmet, 'cause it's in French!

Our hunger finally sated, we set off to explore the paradisal river front. My budding cinematic genius was in full evidence.

Detroit, lovely as ever.

The benefactor of the riverside park.

The benefactor of the riverside park.

Doc by the river, with Detroit in the far distance.

Vandalized sign by the garden.

In case you couldn't read the sign... Canadian delinquents are just here to help.

We warmed ourselves with a sampling of nectar from Canada’s *other* favorite coffee chain (now owned by Wendy’s).

And then, we finally resigned ourselves to returning to the homeland, the GWN, consigned always to yearn for the exotic adventures awaiting us in Canada. And poutine.

The End.

Advertisements

White-out

Happy Winter Solstice, first day of  Hanukkah, and fourth Sunday of Advent (if you count those sorts of things)!

I celebrated by taking 6 hours to drive from Ann Arbor to Chicago. Why? To visit my parents. Oh, you mean why did a 3.5-hour drive take 6 hours? Oh, you know, a little bit of snow on the west side of Michigan. Something we all like to call “winter weather” here in the Great White North.*

Things were pretty nice up until about mile 90 headed west on US 94 (note that the exits count down as you head west on 94… mile 90 meant I had 90 miles left before I hit Indiana).  Then, the snow started drifting across the highway. It was pretty at first; it looked a bit like smoke from dry ice, or fog or something.

I’ve read somewhere that being able to appreciate the beauty of disasters is a sign of good survival instincts. As in, you’re not so focused on the disaster that you’re flipping out, and are therefore more likely to keep your cool and get through it.**  I like to think that my appreciation of the snow drifting across the highway (and, at times, my car drifting across the highway along with it) was a sign that I was calm, cool, and in control of the situation. Or at least, in control of my car.

Around mile 60 things got bad.

How bad? I paused to take a picture to illustrate my drive:

white-out

Can you see the trees in the distance? How ’bout the lights of the car in front of me? Yeah, neither could I.

I drank too much coffee at the start, and needed to take a, um, pitstop. I spent 10 miles trying to exit, but couldn’t see the ramps.  Finally I managed to find an exit, thankfully with a Panera.  Lucky me, they had closed off part of the highway just after I exited for a 100-car pile-up. I managed to miss most of that traffic while taking my soup-and-coffee break.

Amazingly, I saw cars *flipped* on the side of the road. FLIPPED! Do you know how fast you have to be moving to flip your car over?! Pretty fast. I averaged about 30-40 mph for roughly 50 miles. That is fast enough to slide off the road (which luckily I did not do) but not exactly fast enough to flip my car (I don’t think…). Maybe in an SUV or a van.

The white-out abruptly ended about 10 miles past the Indiana border. I’ve never been more relieved to be driving in the Chicagoland area. And I doubt I will ever feel that way again.

*Southern Michigan/ Northern Indiana and Illiniois is so NOT the Great White North. But apparently, peeps from more southerly climes seem to think it IS. Oh, so funny.  So innocent.

Scaredy Cat

My girl-cat, Sofi, was always the one provoking kitten play-fights with Speckle. Not so anymore. Speckle is quite a bit bigger now, and noticeably bigger than Sof. He picks on her like no other– yet when he can’t find her he wanders the house meowing pitifully.

Today I heard a cat-yelp, then silence. A few minutes later, Speckle was wandering around whining.  Neither my roomate nor I could find Sof, however.  After calling for her a few times, she appeared briefly, then darted back into my room.  She was hiding under the bed, and then suddenly disappeared.

As it turns out, she clawed/ gnawed a hole in the cloth bottom of my box spring and crawled up into the frame.

I think Speckle picked on her a little too hard, and she hid up there. She wouldn’t come down for nearly an hour.

While I was eating dinner, she finally emerged and curled up in my lap, purring and biting at my hand.

No place like…

home?

Well, it’s certainly good to be back. I have been home for two weeks — minus one week up north, during which time I left my camera at home! shock. so there is no evidence to share, other than the assurance that I rode my bike lots (funny story relating to that, ask if you’re interested), ate a ton of vegetables and very little sugar (my mom’s a good cook), read very few anthropology-related things, and generally chilled out.

Other activities:

I painted my office a lovely shade of creamy yellow, with one wall a slightly darker shade. It is much warmer and more cheerful and I am more likely to want to study in there this year. The cats like it too.

I organized and sorted and categorized and filed all of the relevant articles from undergrad and the first year of grad school, except for the two survey/ intro courses from freshman year that just xeroxed sections of books. Those made more sense in their original binders. Then I took all of my books off of the shelves, assembled a new shelf, and put the books back on the shelves in new categories + alphabetical order by author. DAMN I am organized!

I helped my friend/ former boss/ mtbing buddy and her partner move in to their new house yesterday.  It’s funny, because I helped her the last time she moved (into her apartment).  Some of the furniture was familiar, and of course the bikes were very familiar. You know you’re moving- house the right way when you feel it in your legs (and not your back) the next day.

I went on a baking extravaganza for my friend in St. Louis who just moved into a new apartment.  Correction: his roommate moved everything (including his cat) into a new apartment while my friend was in Guatemala (with me).  It would be rough to come home to a totally new place. Hopefully massive amounts of sugar (and cat treats) will make it better. I don’t think I’m spoiling the surprise by writing this, because I don’t think he reads my blog (Doc, if you do read this, sorry for ruining the surprise. But you kind of knew what I was sending. Don’t tell Szasz, though).

My former roommate’s wife went into labor! No word since Thursday night, though. I’m beginning to worry just a teeny tiny bit. CALL, Kyle!

A friend of mine from the K’iche’ course is in town visiting her sister, so we are having a mini-reunion already and going for drinks tonight.

And finally… I am off again tomorrow morning at 5 am. Woo! I am taking a week-long photography workshop/ class in Rockport, Maine. I am a little nervous (what if I find out that I suck?!) and kind of wish I was staying at home to get organized some more, but I think it will be fun once I get there. Never mind that I hate (hate, HATE) flying. I should have planned to drive, because then I could have visited Erin and her new puppy (and Ryan) in Ithaca. Alas, perhaps another weekend this fall. After all, I have Fridays off, and my first class on Monday doesn’t start until 1. Hmmm.

Still no internet at home.  I don’t mind it so much; it forces me to get out of the house, and to use my time online more efficiently (read: I spend a lot less time on Facebook), and I am WAY more productive at home without the temptation of checking my email every ten minutes (or checking to see who’s online that I can talk to). Plus, I am less likely to go on a midnight book-buying binge on Amazon.com.

If it were up to me, I wouldn’t give Comcast a single DIME more (rude, greedy bastards with terrible customer service… seriously, the woman I spoke to about *setting up* service was even rude!!), but I am overruled by my roommates.  So the addiction continues, next Thursday. 😛

And now, time to head back home! It is so hot out that my shirt will be soaked by the time I get there. Lovely. But… the leaves are already changing, which means it is almost my all-time favorite time of year! Fall 🙂 Hooray!