In Finnish: Hyvää Joulua! 

We just got back from Hanna's grandparents' place, where, in true grandparent style, we were plied with all sorts of delicious Finnish Christmas food (I took pictures of every dish - all will be up on DUTCH MY LIFE once I have access to my laptop again). We had rice porridge (delicous!) and fruit stew, pulla (little balls of sweetbread), jouluutorttu (flaky pastries filled with plum jam), taatelikakku (date cake) and rahkapulla (cream-filled sweetbread with lemon and raisins). I also learned how to say "thank you" - kiitos

Hanna's family was there: her siblings came with their children (adroable!). Her whole family is apparetly coming over to her house tonight, so I will get to meet even more Finnish people (and fail to communicate, due to the language barrier - but I have developed he general strategy of thanking everyone copiously and smiling all the time - seems to have worked so far...)

Can't really believe it's actually Christmas, though! I donät know where the time went! But last night, we decorated the Christmas tree, and today, we laid out the presents under it (literally a mountian of them - feels just like home!). I hope Hanna and her family like the gifts I brought- I'm thankful that the Gluhwein survived the trip here. 

Suffice to say, life is quite exciting at the moment, and I feel so lucky and blessed to be able to celebrate Christmas with Hanna and her family - not that I don't miss mine, but seriously, this is something special! :D 



Dec. 4th, 2011 08:48 pm

Well, technically it's been a week since I was in Germany (and if you want to get reaaaally nitpicky about it, I've been in Germany once before, to visit Tante Freidl - but I was in grade four then, so that doesn't count for these purposes), but I'm just getting to the post now, because a) there's a lot to process and b) NO TIME OMG.

Let's start the journey!
Nuremberg, part 1 )

*He's also famous for writing the Mare Liberum, among other things, which formed the basis for international law. But he's most famous for the escape he orchestrated, involving his wife, a book chest, and a serving girl.
I still can't believe this place. I still don't understand how this - any of this - is real. I'm still grappling with the fact that with one plane trip - literally, from August 28th to August 29th - life can change so drastically. Groningen is amazing. The people I live with are amazing. Everything is amazing and I am constantly in awe (and I know, I know, give it a few weeks and see what I'm saying then, but right now I'm living in this crazy happy bubble and everything is beautiful and nothing hurts.)

In the two weeks since I've been in Groningen, I've met people from all over the world. I'm making plans to visit places I've only ever known as names on a map - if that. One of my friends, Hanna, is from Finland, and has graciously mentioned invites to her home near Christmas time. Apparently they can hunt moose there by the light of the Northern lights! There are jokes going around about Oktoberfest in Munich, which I am so, so down for. It's crazy.

And that's probably the most extravagant experience for me: I am surrounded by people - and it's awesome. Over the last two weeks, I've been talking to people, connecting with them, initiating and carrying on conversations - and it's been fun! I never knew just being with people could be this enjoyable; is this what normal people feel like all the time? Even though school is already in full swing (I read three chapters of my Industrial-Organizational Psychology textbook this weekend and I have an oral presentation due on Thursday), I'm able to sit with people and just chill, relax, without stressing about projects or deadlines. I'm actively seeking social contact, which is so novel for me that I'm having a hard time believing it myself. This is so different from anything I'm used to; I smile at people in the mornings, say hi to them, even just sit quietly as they talk around me, all of us just doing our own thing - it feels like acceptance, community, and it's such a completely addictive feeling. How have I never experienced this before? It's so liberating, and I never imagined it could be like this.

Ho-leeeee shit.

One week. One week, OMG you guys, where did the time go? This time next week, instead of answering questions about vacation accrual or filing invoices, I’m going to be in Holland, trying to catch a train from Amsterdam Schiphol airport to Groningen.

I leave on Sunday. I can’t even.

Read more... )

Um, you guys, we interrupt this broadcast to tell you that Jack Layton is dead. WTF. Hello, mindfuck. It somehow doesn’t seem possible, and yet. :/

(My flight doesn’t seem possible either, but man, I gotta start packing.)

PLUS ONE REC: Can't Go Back The Same Way You Came, Thor (movieverse), by Pell on AO3. THIS IS PERFECTION. IN WRITING. It is at once understated and heartwrenchingly brilliant, and you all need to read it yesterday. Like, it'll make you cry, it's so good.
Today, my doctor tells me I am officially underweight with a BMI of 17.6 (it was hovering around 19 in May). She says I am officially putting myself at risk of heart problems because my body will start rerouting energy from protein - heart muscle - in order to function.

...Whoops. >.>

I am going to try and unclench the excessively tight sphincter of my mind and fix this.

Um, in happier news, Chloe's friend, Melissa got me a Pottermore account last week! We spent the weekend celebrating - by reading copious amounts of fic and watching The Pacific. (IDK if I could personally ever get into the fandom. The series was brilliant, from what I saw - the battle scenes! characterization! holy gut-wrenching perfection, batman! - but I kept getting thrown out of the loop because on the one hand, the Japanese were "the enemy", and on the other, they're my grandparents...).

Something else I learned recently: conscientiousness runs very strongly in my family. In Ye Days of Olde, when my dad, my uncle and my Oma were new to Canada, my dad had a job as a paper boy, delivering newspapers around Toronto's St. Clair E./Birchmount area, which was not the nicest part of town. One morning, he got off the elevator in one of the apartment buildings on his route and discovered a large pool of blood in the hallway, seeping out from under one of the doors. Probably, most people would have turned around and called it a day. Not my dad. In his own words: "I thought to myself, people need their daily newspapers!"

I feel like that somehow explains so much about my family.

*pokes LJ* Hey buddy, you done glitching yet? I’m running out of excuses to delay filling out my Off-Campus Activity Safety Planning Form; I’ve had the tabs open for months. I mean, not that reading about the hazards of travel in the Netherlands isn’t interesting, but it doesn’t really hold a candle to the steamy, sexually-charged and beautifully angst-ridden awesomeness that is the relationship between Erik Lensherr and Charles Xavier. (Killing will not bring you peace, Erik! Neither will cupcakes, nor transfer directions to the train station in Groningen, s2s.)


Read more... )

Is anyone else having trouble believing July is almost over? WHERE DID MY SUMMER GO ;ALKSDJF;ASKJT;A I can’t even. Then again, I can’t even a lot of things right now, so that’s pretty much par for the course.

1. [ profile] cherishedsaulie , Oliver and I ventured forth to Canada's Wonderland today. It was great! We hit up lots of rides*, suntanned like bosses and generally had a good time**. I am super-sunburnt, but it was totally worth it. (Also, it was Oliver's first time on a roller coaster, hooray!)

2. HP7 in - count 'em - 6 days. I AM NOT READY. Part of me really wants a commemorative tattoo. The other, sensible parts are thoroughly beating that part over the head with Hogwarts: A History.

3. Oh my god, exchange, can you stop costing money right about now? Kthx. :/

*Including the merry-go-round, which we thoughtfully livened up by pretending we were riding along the rainbow road from the Thor movie. Few things in this world are as epic as [ profile] cherishedsaulie 's and my twin cries of "For Asgard!" as the ride began.

**I also had fun doing a 30-second improv dance performance for cherishedsaulie set to Dancing Queen. Which I possibly wouldn't have done if I'd known the diving team was also watching. The guys' appreciative looks were nice, but mostly weird...


Jun. 19th, 2011 05:58 pm
I sent my dad a text at seven am this morning saying Happy Father's Day! :D You're awesome!. This afternoon, we suntanned on the back porch together, reading magazines. The pork tenderloin I'm making for dinner is finishing in the oven as I type. Hopefully it will be tasty, and then I can declare this Father's Day a success. (Wish me luck: I also made rice balls for the first time, because we're having Grandma and Grandpa over for dinner, and I like to cement my Favourite Grandchild status whenever I can. The rice balls look ridiculous - and not in the good way - but I'm hoping the grandparental instincts of "My offspring's offspring are so talented!" will shine through and save the day.)

Completely unrelated, last night Chloe, her friend Melissa and I watched Brokeback Mutants X-Men: First Class again. Equally enjoyable the second time, and now I am going to read fic FOREVER! (Seriously, beautiful angsty, slashy goodness is beautiful.)
Spent all day in the kitchen today. I'm such a good housewife. I have baked many things!

Read more... )
1. Saw Billy Elliot: The Musical last night with Mom, Dad and Oma. OH MY GOD IT WAS FANTASTIC. OH MY GOD. I wasn't sure how I would feel about it, since I'm not really a musical theatre kind of person but ;LKAJSL;DFKJA;SLDK IT DESERVES ALL THE PRAISE EVER. I know squat about music, but everything sounded awesome and the entire thing was just so well done. No words! The set and costume design was amazing; the story was funny in parts and sad in parts, and just beautiful all around... and the dancing. Oh my. The choreography was absolutely brilliant and incorporated a range of styles a;sldkfjalk I still can't get over it. I loved the first scene with the cops, and the background dancers in Grandma's Song, but my favourite part (ok, aside from all of Expressing Yourself, because goddamn, the kid who played Micheal... just, damn~) was the dance with young!Billy and future!Billy. Beautiful, flawless, fierce, wonderful perfection; cue me writhing and dying in my seat. Ballet, guh. And the boy playing Billy was absolutely phenomenal; how so much talent fits into one body, I have no idea but it was wonderful.

2. I mailed my exchange paperwork yesterday. *FINGERS FUCKING CROSSED*

3. I want a boyfriend.
This morning, I finished rereading Deathly Hallows. I won't have a heart left after that movie. lasdjfl;ads;l it's been so long, but oh man, I remember how much I love the HP series.

(What with work and all, I feel like I've been away forever, but I think life is going to be much less stressful if I just avoid the internet for a bit. Just until the weather warms up.)


(I am not thinking about how I did, nor everything I ate today, nor all the exchange stuff on my to-do list. I AM ~HEPPI.)


TORONTOOOOOOO, HERE I COME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 24 hours!
Exams: 3/5*

Dear body:

WHAT WHAT WHAT ARE YOU DOING. Stop dying on me! Exams aren't done yet, you cannot keep collapsing all over the place halfway through the day. I require the ability to complete sentences until Thursday at 5pm! I have to study like a mofo for French and Biopsyc, and that is dependent upon your ability to continuously maintain adequate muscle tension and to actually concentrate for more than 30 seconds at a time! This zoning out business has got to stop.

No love,

a;sdlfjasdklf I am going to fail all the things. I am panicking now, but I cannot concentrate enough to study, which is new and unsettling. Thoughts start forming in my mind and then before I can complete them, they get obscured by white noise. So dumb.

As long as I can make it til Thursday, all will be forgiven.

*Exams I have a shot at passing: 0/5


I can't believe dance is over! There is a gigantic gaping void in my life now, where dance class used to be, and I can't believe that it's all gone by so fast.

Recital was a huge success! :D I haven't gotten much audience feedback (parents don't count; I think they were more preoccupied with my haircut), but on Saturday, the crowds were amazing, and being on stage felt amazing, and the other dancers were amazing, and it was all ~so beautiful~ ;asldkfjals;d I AM WHELMED BY THE AWESOME!

alors on danse~ )
I wish we could all just dance forever. ♥________♥

*I keep wanting to make self-deprecating jokes about people seeing me in my underwear, and then I remember that for Videodance, my costume was underwear, so it's a bit late to be worrying about modesty, I guess.
I am vacillating between hey, this is just a normal day, I can do this and ohmygod so many people are drunk and everyone I know will be getting drunk and DO NOT WANT DO NOT WANT DO NOT WANT.

Sometimes, I feel like party behaviour is this giant, invisible bully because hearing Everyone Else getting sloshed at 10:42 am makes me feel awful about myself, sitting in my room at my computer. WHAT IS THAT, EVEN? This is when I miss Toronto something fierce, because at least there I know people who don't consider going to bed at 11pm a moral flaw.

UGH I wish I knew more people who believed in moderation. Or plans that didn't involve hiding in my room tonight, IDK.
It is sunny out, and the sidewalks are clear! Pleasepleasepleasepleaseplease let it be summer soon!

Countdown to lunch with family: T-34 minutes! (I could be productive now, since I got back from the gym at least 2 hours ago... but LOLOLOLOL PRODUCTIVITY IS FOR PEOPLE WHO PLAN TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN LIFE ://////////)



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