Almost over

The semester went by so fast! Only two more days of school to go, one more essay to hand in, and four more exams over the next two weeks before I am free! For about 3 weeks. My week of hell (last week, part of this week) is winding down. I’ve got a 2,000-word essay to write about song lyrics and life writing. And I’ve got to find some time to finish up my research work in the lab before the holidays – and finally submit my time sheets so I get paid!

Well, this was short. I needed a break from school work – and I feel like I needed to update here as well.

Plans for the break – maybe find a part-time job; relax; sleep; work on a few extracurricular projects; sleep; relax.

Trip back home (ish…)

So back in September, I went back to Europe for a week and saw my grandparents, whom I haven’t seen in forever! Last time I went back was about 12 years ago (holy, I really didn’t realized that it was really such a long time ago until now). I have to admit that while going on a “free vacation” made me happy, leaving two weeks after school just started didn’t make me really happy. But, I went, and brought some school books along with me (which I didn’t read, of course).

We (me, mom, and dad) flew into Hamburg after a seriously long flight with ridiculously uncomfortable seats. I’m used to 3 hour flights, not 8. I’m used to watching one movie, not three. And I’m used to getting one “air meal,” not two. And our journey wasn’t quite done yet. We picked up our rental, which turned out to be a Fiat Punto, and had a long drive….

… from north to south Germany….

… making a pit stop at a McD’s (which had a different delicious flavor to it!)…

… before finally arriving in Poland. The official reason for going to Poland was to finalize all the paperwork with selling my mom’s home. Both my grandparents (her parents) were now dead and my mom didn’t see the point in keeping the home anymore. One person was deeply interested in buying the home for his daughter, so my mom let him have it. Unfortunately for us, he started all the renovations, so 90% of the house was “under construction.” The bathrooms had no doors, the rooms had no doors, the windows had no curtains. The only room still in one piece was the kitchen. And this was one tiny, tiny apartment by the way. Two tiny bedrooms, one tiny “living room”, one small kitchen, one bathroom with a toilet and one bathroom with sink/shower. Small, small home. My mom’s (old) home. Mr. P was the old man buying the house.

He lived on a farm nearby…

… with real roosters!!

He was a nice old man. He seemed slightly nervous and worried, but then I realized that he was buying the place for cheap on paper, and then giving my mom cash for the actual price she asked. I don’t know… it was confusing. I didn’t involve myself in their matters. Instead, I went to the “famous” aquarium mall my brothers and sister kept talking about. From what they told me, my grandparents (the one’s that are still alive and living in the city) bragged about this place, so when my brothers/sister went, they were disappointed because they were expecting some gigantic marine land-type of exhibit. So when my brother told me about it and how it wasn’t that great, I was expecting to see a fishtank in the middle of the mall. It wasn’t actually that bad. Nothing to brag about though. The malls in general were relatively empty. It was like no one shopped. But the outdoor markets were the place to be. They kind of reminded me of our flea markets… kind of… Anyway, my dad ended up stocking up on a crap-load of smokes. He also bought 3 cell phones. I bought…. nothing really. First and foremost, I didn’t have any money to spend. And there wasn’t really anything I wanted to buy. And even buying souvenirs and lil gifts for my friends was hard… which reminds me, I need to give R some magnets still!

But I hope to go back someday. In fact, I was supposed to get one of those European ID cards, but I couldn’t because I needed to present my Polish passport, which was stuck in Canada. But my dad’s willing to go back with me so we can get that done, which would be neat. Like a dual citizenship. And with that, I will leave you with the best part of being in Poland (aside from seeing my grandparents)…

Fresh sunflower seeds to nibble on everyday!!!

Writings: vampire origins

If I were to create a world where vampires existed… Hmm. What story could I tell of how they came to be? I realized my origins could take one of two theories – a scientific one and a magical one.

I was going to post the details but I thought against it. I’ve decided to take the magical route, and I’m now writing the nest story that I’ve been able to wrote in years!!! You have no idea how great that feels.

I am writing once again.

Lose those Love Handles

This has been in my inbox since 2006, so I though I’d post it up here for safekeeping. Maybe I should even start doing several of these exercises.

1. Crunches
Crunches are an effective exercise for achieving a toned abdominal region. Increasing the amount of muscle in this region will also help reduce the appearance of love handles. There are a number of exercises that target love handles specifically, also called oblique abs.
One such example is elbow to knee crunches: Cross your left leg over your right leg. Twisting your torso, bring your right elbow to your left knee. Try as many reps as you can and repeat on the other side. With the popularity of the stability ball, the exercises that target the abs and oblique region are endless.

2. Strengthen Your Lower Back
Toning your abdominal muscles is a key step in shrinking love handles. But whenever you work out your abs, you must also build up the muscles in your lower back to balance the strength in your torso and trim down back-at.
Try this exercise: Lie on your stomach and lift your feet and knees off the floor. Flutter kick your legs as if you were swimming for 15 seconds. Rest and repeat.

3. Side Bends with Dumbbells
Standing up, hold one dumbbell at your side. Slowly bend your torso sideways, lowering the weight towards the floor. Slowly straighten up to a standing position. Do 15-20 reps on each side. This is a great exercise that directly targets the muscles under your love handles.

4. Drink the Daily Recommended Water
You should drink at least eight, 8-ounce glasses of water a day. This will help your body metabolize stored fat into energy and curb your appetite.

5. Reduce Sodium Intake
Sodium can be found in table salt, seasoning, condiments and other processed foods. Excess sodium leads to water retention, which contributes to making problem areas like the gut and love handles seem even more prominent.

6. Cut Calories
The golden rule of weight loss – To lose it, you have to reduce the number of calories your body stores. No matter how much you work out, you won’t see results if the amount of calories you consume is greater that the amount you burn. So, in order to get rid of love handles, you must consume fewer overall calories as well as less fat and sugar. Also reduce your alcohol intake, as it contains a lot of empty calories.

7. Get Into Cardiovascular Exercise
Your number one weapon against those unsightly love handles is cardio exercise. Burn those calories so that they aren’t stored as fat. Try hitting the treadmill, swimming, any active team sport, or walking.


Today, I’m signing up for the gym. It’s decided.