So you know how I had been avoiding Twitter…

…until now? I finally took the time to get an account set up. You can find me at http://twitter.com/AliKira if you're interested. It'll take me a while to get used to the technology, I imagine, however the learning curve won't be too bad, after all, I've been reading tweets for quite some time. I'm actually not sure who all HAS twitter, but I'm intrigued by the whole concept. Ever since Facebook started having a News Feed AND a Live Feed, I've been enough less of an addict that I finally figured I'd try my hand at twitter. After all, social media is VERY relevant to my areas of interest…

Posting because I need to do something productive

I feel like I'm some sort of huge wimp. I'm not, of course, trying to wimp out or anything, but the fact that falling down a mere 5 steps at the Legislature on Wednesday causes this much back pain is just ridiculous in my mind, particularly since when I fell I was most concerned about my left ankle, which seems to be perfectly all right. I'm more than mildly worried about the fact that this pain has been dogging me ever since Wednesday afternoon. It's been affecting my concentration on things such as school work and my RAship. It's been interfering with my social life. It's been distracting enough to alter my sleeping patterns. So yes, it's worrisome.

I promised myself if it was still annoying me by Wednesday (or probably Tuesday) I'd go to the University Health Centre and bare minimum get a perscription for a massage or something. I doubt that there's anything terribly serious wrong, given that I can walk and stand and seemingly function like a normal human being. That said, I really want the pain to just go away.

I mean really, the fact that I keep forgetting to EAT this weekend says something about the whole thing. Honestly, food is IMPORTANT, and yet I keep neglecting my basic needs. Sure homework is of import too but it's also not getting done like I want it do, nor is my RA stuff or really much else at this point because it's taking me longer and my concentration is imperfect.

So there it is, me griping online. *sighs* I feel like I've been a complaining brat these last few days, and I really hope that I haven't been supremely annoying, particularly to those with whom I've interacted, but the fact is that I'm neglecting myself a bit in the process, and I shouldn't be. Heck, there's a lot of things I shouldn't be doing, but I'm not about to stop living my life just because my back hurts. I didn't stop what I was doing when I had a concussion, why would I stop now?

But yeah, my apologies to those I've interacted with lately if I've at all seemd out of sorts or been complaining more than my fair share. I really am trying not to be… but I'm really not used to my back being the part of me that's hurting — nearly anything else, and I'd almost expect it.

May your life be interesting… IS a curse (but would I have it any other way?)

Today has been a good day. I hurt (primarily my ankle and elbow and arm and shoulder) but that's just my luck of falling down the stairs as we exited the Alberta Legislature building. But let's backtrack a bit.

So my day started with my 9am class as usual and it was a pretty great class: we learned a fair bit and had some good discussion. At the end of class, as we prepared to head off to our library tours it was mentioned that the WCB had a hostage situation. This would eventually mean the postponement of two library tours (both Alberta Government Libraries) because of the hostage situation and the lockdown/evacuation of that area.

I went to an excellent reading by Shawna Lemay as part of the CLC's brown bag series. Bert Almon was there, as was Tom Wharton, which gave me a chance to sort of catch up a bit. I truly enjoyed the reading, particularly how she dealt with some rather interesting topics.

Then it was off to meet our group for the tour. Fortunately, my tour to the Alberta Legislature wasn't cancelled. Instead we had an enlightening tour complete with Shaw TV crew to film parts of the experience and interview me for a segment (watch Shaw TV for a segment eventually?). I was the only one in the group particularly comfortable with the whole public speaking/being on TV thing which was why I was chosen.

The tour included some pretty awesome stuff, including some vaults, a fabulous window, a great storage closet etc. It was great tour and I feel that I really learned a lot. Finally we left. Security was a huge presence on our visit — possibly linked in part to the lockdown a block or so away. I fell on the stairs as we left the Legislature, so I ache from that (yay tension *sarcasm*) but I'm not terribly seriously hurt or anything.

So I came home and learned more about the WCB hostage situation by searching online.

As I said it's been an interesting day. And it's really too bad it has meant the cancellation/temporary postponement of two library tours. I'm definitely not leaving the house again this evening — my ankle still doesn't much like stairs, so no karaoke for me.

What is comfort… what is accomplishment… what isn't…

This week I've been musing a lot (in my head not online) about my personal ideas of comfort, happiness, accomplishment and well the opposite. While I've had quite a few LJ-posts I've wanted to make, I haven't had the time to work them out just yet (they probably will still come), and delayed posting to this venue for a bit, partly in hopes that I would write those blog posts for academic purposes instead. I'm sure I'll get to that anyway at some point. I'm also debating making my personal website/webspace look better, and many other things. Those things will, of course take time. And yes, I think that time is limited — in my life as always, so choosing just what to do, and just how to spend my time is pretty important.

But yeah, musings:
Positive:
Well, I've most certainly been a lucky guppy lately. HUCO/SLIS is such a great fit for me mentally. I've never felt more 'at home' in a program than I do here. Sure, I've much to learn and I'm still struggling with getting everything that I want to get done done… but in the grand scheme of things that's not a huge issue, of course.
I feel comfortable partly because of the people: awesome people such as Calen, Peter, Eric, Dan, Shannon, and all the wonderful people in SLIS or HUCO alone (if I tried to list everyone I'd inevitably miss someone, so just listing those who have roles in both depts at this stage). The profs are mighty awesome as well. I don't feel like I'm a little fishy in a big ocean in which I'm only being pulled along by the current with these profs, instead I feel like I can swim with the others, though perhaps it'll be quite a while before I can swim quite as fast or as well, but it's a pretty awesome ocean just the same.
I've even had the time as of late to read: perhaps not more than snippets at a time, but I have, and this helps me rejuvenate my mind, and body too.
Television, DVDs, and online visuals also contribute to pleasure, which is a darn good thing.
And I feel like I'm on top of my school stuff (though not certainly ahead).
My RAship is coming along as well. Certainly it'll be a bit before I'm really producing scads of stuff, but I'm excited to do my research and other tasks. Probably a good place to be.
Also CKUA's fundraising drive is beginning tonight which totally means the best tunes this week! I adore CKUA's fundraising drives.
So yeah, I'm a happy one these days. It's remarkable the mental shift on occasion.

Less-than-positive:
While I've been riding a wave of enthusiasm as of late, I'm not all sunshine and roses. It's easy to get into a temporary mental funk. And that happens frequently enough. I'm NOT a machine and can't treat myself as such. I CAN'T do it all as much as I might want to. And I'm certainly not always social enough for my personal happiness. Goodness, spending time with people who care about me matters to me. I need to feed my emotional center as well as my body and brain.
I don't often complain specifically online. It's just something I don't do in the same way as I might in person: I limit my comments to pretty general statements more often than not and do this for many reasons, the most noteworthy of which is that the internet is a public venue.
But yeah, I do need to be taking better care of me beyond the school thing. I'm totally getting into a school groove, but I definitely need to spend more time on 'fun' things to provide balance. And this includes being more physically active and making more time for social activities.
And I need to come up with a halloween costume. Then again I have ideas I may just need accesories. To be what, I don't know.
And the apt isn't perfect. I'm noticing more imperfections all of the time — like the drywall is cracking and it never has done this to this extent before. Which is entirely weird seeing as I've lived here since 2000.

Quiz from Beth

Instead of having the normal work break, I am filling this out, seeing as Beth emailed it to me:

1. What is your occupation right now? Graduate Research Assistant, and Customer Service Specialist Front End/Health and Safety Co-Chair
2. What color are your socks right now? Red!
3. What are you listening to right now? not much of anything right now
4. What was the last thing that you ate? awesome popcorn at the SugarBowl!
5. Can you drive a stick shift? Can I? Unlikely (though I've once tried), do I want to/should I: no!
6. Last person you spoke to on the phone? Beth's dad
7. Do you like the person who sent this to you? Of course!
8. How old are you today? 27
9. What is your favorite sport to watch on TV? Ice sports
10. What is your favorite drink? Something interesting that ISN'T alcohol, coffee, caffeinated pop, cola, or energy drinks. Today I had some excellent iced tea, hot tea, and chai latte for examples.
11. Have you ever dyed your hair? No. I don't want to.
12. What is your favorite food? Edible food of the yummy variety! 😉 I love food! (NOT Cilantro!)
13. What is the last movie you watched? Rock, Paper Scissors: The Way of the Tosser
14. Favorite day of the year? I like most days of the year, actually
15. How do you vent anger? writing, going for a walk, exercise and/or reading.
16. What was your favorite toy as a child? Uh… Garnett Caldwell, my cabbage patch kid.
17. What is your favorite season? Spring and Fall.
18. Cherries or Blueberries? Cherries
19. Do you want your friends to e-mail you back? when I email them, usually I do.
20. Who is the most likely to respond? people who haven't filled this one out yet or recently who want to procrastinate
21. Who is least likely to respond? the opposite from 20.
22. Living arrangements? I live with my roommate in my apt
23. When was the last time you cried? Uh… I know it was recently, but I can't recall why. I think it was while watching some sort of creative work.
24. What is on the floor of your closet? stuff that's stored there, in bags.
25. Who is the friend you have had the longest that you are sending to? When I send stuff to be posted online, it is hard to tell what the best answer would be for this.
26. What did you do last night: went to a lecture, went to a reception, came home, caught up on email/online stuff and worked on a lit review
27. What are you most afraid of? Am I really afraid?
28. Plain, cheese, or spicy hamburgers? I love cheese!
29. Favorite dog breed? Uh… I don't know enough about dogs to answer this.
30. Favorite day of the week? n/a
31. States I have lived in: I haven't lived in any states, just provinces.
32. Diamonds or pearls? Diamonds are frought with ethical/moral debates, pearls are less problematic in SOME ways, but I prefer the look of diamonds, so I dunno how best to answer this… cultured diamonds are an interesting concept. I also like imitations of both.
33. What is your favorite flower? I don't really have one.

Brief Update Post Winnipeg

So I survived the Winnipeg adventure. Not that that should be a surprise to anyone, really, it being CKI and that having been my life for many years. Regardless, it was a FTC, people attended from THREE schools (yes that's right, three!), and Louis provided some great entertainment in his winning the Softball season to cap it all off. Really inspirational, really. The weekend would have made a great movie if it were written by the right writer.

Anyway it was fun to volunteer Run for the Cure — I missed walking it though. I really need to do some more walks for charity in the coming years — if you're planning on participating in one, I'd appreciate the invite. It's good for both my body and my mind really.

In other news, I bought some new earrings and a necklace on this trip — so I've essentially managed to replace the one I lost in Regina, though of course antique earrings are never the same.

This week has been pretty insane in the 'how busy can Ali be?' area. I did Read-In Week twice (at McKernan School and at Windsor Park Elementary) which was super fun and reminded me of the joys of reading aloud. I really love reading to people, particularly children. Hopefully I'll only continue to participate in this in future years!

Beyond all that I've been getting mildly involved with various things on campus, learning TONNES, and getting mildly (okay more than mildly) overwhelmed with the sheer volume of stuff I've been researching. I need to amalgamate everything effectively and who knows how good I'll be at that in the end. But whatever.

And I'll probably write a few posts about the non-class lectures I've been attending at some point this week or next, so look to read those as desired. There's some interesting stuff to take in on campus these days!

In Winnipeg at the UofM

Yesterday was an adventure. Poor Louis wasn't having a terribly amazing day (unfortunately) though we certainly did have a great lunch and dinner. I was amused at the quality of food available at the lunch place we went to on campus — in fact it even had lots of yummy vegan options. I had some VERY filling Green curry with yummy garbanzo beans, rice and pita, a smoothie, and yam fries. Interestingly, as table markers, they had some of the most interesting objects including Yosemite Sam and Bugs Bunny, which were our table markers. This was excellent.

Last night Octoberfest was on their campus, and to put it mildly there was a lot of unacceptable behaviour
including destruction of property, noise, inebriated people, and generally not the greatest of aftermaths. Regardless, it was amusing.

Today we did some workshops, Books for Africa stuff, and watched Validation again (yay!). The rest of the day should be a good quality adventure!

Not bad for a jaunt to Winnipeg!