It’s been a while

Hello readers,

I’m sorry it has been so long since I’ve updated you on all the new things that 2012 brought me.

For those of you curious I did indeed successfully complete my new year’s resolution…just didn’t quite complete this blog.

I’ll be updating the monthly pages with all the new things I did in the tail end of 2012.

In the meantime, I’m working on a new project all about FOOD!

Take a look: http://socialnoms.wordpress.com/

I’d love if you guys could give it a follow.

Much love ,

~B

 

Wearing the Green Apron

September 25th, 2012 

I had forgotten how scary the first day of a new job can be. It had been a long time since I was completely out of my comfort zone at work. After years of camp and working at a tiny theatre with 11 other friends, anything else as quite daunting. But in the spirit of trying new things, I accepted a job as a Starbucks barista and officially became a “Starbucks Partner”.

170. Working at Starbucks 

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Although my time at Starbucks was short lived, I learned a ton. Before this, my corporate work experience consisted only of a very short 2 week stint at the local WalMart stocking halloween costumes. I had never properly been through a real, tested employee training program. Everything was so official and bureaucratic. Nothing like the camp staff training I’m used to.

My actual experience working at Starbucks was great. Yes, the hours are long and the customers are stuck up beyond all reason. Yes, there was a LOT to learn very quickly. Yes, it is definitely a high-pressure job. But the company culture is unbelievable. They really do treat all their employees like family, as I learned a few weeks into my working there. I got to work for a company I love and got a job I never thought I’d have. The other people at my store were extremely warm and welcoming, and made me feel comfortable right away. They like to have fun on the job at Starbucks. The benefits are awesome for a part-time job and I am definitely missing the employee discount.

Eventually though, it became just too much to balance with school. I was sad to have to leave, but also relieved because the stress damn near killed me. (Don’t worry, you’ll hear all about it).

Would I recommend trying this? - As far as part time jobs go, Starbucks is a fantastic option. I would honestly recommend that anyone apply who is interested.

Would I try it again?  – I left on good terms and was invited to come back in the future if the circumstances are right. I’m not planning on it in the immediate future, but I wouldn’t hesitate to work for Starbucks again someday.

Lots of love and lattes,

~ B

P.S. In case you were wondering, I did indeed write this post while sitting in a Starbucks. Typical.

Wuck Festern

September 18th, 2012 

I was far more excited about this new thing than I should have been.

You’ve all heard me praise my University up and down. Yes I do complain about the awful food, awful internet and lack of study space, but overall it’s still a great school with a hell of a lot of spirit. Part of that spirit includes poking fun of the stereotypically stuck up, self-centered students of one of the Universities nearby.

169. Wuck Festern T-Shirt 

Despite the mocking memes of the internet I have wanted one of these shirts since my first day of school.

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This was basically my reaction:

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Yes, I did apply to Western. Yes, I was accepted to Western. I could have been a Mustang. I have many intelligent friends who go to Western whom I respect. I also know a lot of people who go there and fit the stereotypes perfectly. So I continue to poke fun in their honour.

Would I recommend trying this? – If you go to any school aside from Western than yes. If you go to Western, then there’s always this:

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Would I try this again? – I wear it to the gym all the time. Wuck Festern.

Lots of love,

~ B

Who Do You Belong To?

September 15th, 2012 

Sometimes your sister calls you at University and says “Hey what are you doing Saturday night?” and you say “Well uh I don’t know probably gonna sit around and watch glee and drink wine” and she says “Or you should come with me and dad to a rock concert” and you say “uh that’s weird but ok”

167. Sheepdogs Concert

In what my dad dubbed a “team building event” for his business, he took myself, my sister and my sister’s friend to Toronto to see The Sheepdogs.

“Who are the Sheepdogs? I don’t know them”, was my first thought. So my sister told me to look up their biggest hits called “Who” and “I Don’t Know”. She wasn’t being sarcastic.

Not too shabby for a Canadian band.

168. Echo Beach 

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What I liked most about the concert though was the venue! Echo beach is this incredible spot right downtown Toronto, where they’ve built an outdoor stage right on the sand. You can see the whole Toronto skyline and it’s beautiful at night. I got some great pictures! (above is not one of mine, but I wanted you to see the whole stage).

Dad and I brought lawn chairs, set up camp ad drank whisky on the sand while listening to several opening acts. It was a little chilly, but I’d never seen a outdoor concert before so it was really fun. My sister made friends with a crazy girl standing in front of us and they had a dance off. We watched the funniest scene where this girl was so drunk she kept falling over in the sand and couldn’t get up on her heels. It was like  a live viewing of Bambi. People smoked pot next to us. A blonde girl was far too enthusiastic for her boyfriend’s liking. Sometimes watching the crowd is more entertaining than the actual show.

Would I recommend trying this? - If you haven’t heard of The Sheepdogs you should give them a listen. They are gaining popularity quite quickly and I feel like they’ll be around for a while. And Echo beach is awesome.

Would I try this again? - I would totally see them again, they were great.

Lots of love,

~ B

Third Time’s the Charm

September 10th, 2012 

Here we are yet again faced, with the bittersweet “Back to School” time.

Remember when Back to School used to mean a trip to WalMart to buy more pencil crayons, lined paper, and highlighters than we could ever dream of using?

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166. Third Year University 

Even though while writing this I’m currently half way through my third year, I’m still not quite used to it. High school feels like a distant, foggy day dream sometimes. I’ve come so far since the beginning of my University career, and it’s strange to think that it’s more than half way done. Yes, at times it’s miserable. Yes there are times, particularly during exams, when I wonder why I go to all the trouble. But I love my university and I remain optimistic that my education will someday have a direct connection to a career I enjoy.

The claim is that third year is the most difficult of the four years of my program. So far, I must agree. There was one course this past semester that nearly killed me, and this is only barley an exaggeration. They key they say is just to push through until fourth year when we are finally granted the freedom of choosing our own business courses suited to our individual interests. Here’s hoping I find the willpower and dedication to make through another semester of mandatory courses.

To those of you also in third year, believe me I understand your pain. Too far in to give up, but no where in sight of the finish line. Just keep up the good work friends, we’ll make it out of the library eventually.

Lots of love,

~ B

The Other Dream Job

September 5th, 2012 

I’m proud and yet somewhat ashamed to admit that I am a certified Starbucks Snob.

Yes. I am that girl. I know the Starbucks menu. I’ve sampled nearly everything at some point or another. I know the staff and they recognize me. I have specific drinks for certain moods, temperatures, seasons and time of day. People around school notice if I don’t have Starbucks, or even occasionally if I’m drinking something that’s not Starbucks. I got the gold rewards card proving that I spend more money on Starbucks than anybody ever should. I just can’t help it.

It’s not entirely my fault. Blame the lack of nutritious food at my university and the absurdly expensive meal plans. Sometimes you gotta burn through a couple hundred dollars in 2 months and sometimes that means daily trips to the campus Starbucks. And sometimes those habits stick with you throughout the rest of your schooling. It happens to the best of us.

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The point of this is, I had always thought that working at Starbucks would be an incredible part time job. Turns out third time’s the charm for applying because I finally got a call from one of the local stores asking me to come in for an interview!

165. Starbucks Interview 

I did the unfathomable this day and took the Go Bus from Uxbridge to Waterloo, stayed in Waterloo for an hour for my interview and then bussed all the way back. Yes. That means approximately 10 hours on the bus and in layovers.  I can’t for the life of me remember why I felt compelled to do that but I did. I packed my laptop and an interview outfit and change of shoes in a purse. Upon my triumphant return to Waterloo I got changed for my interview in a different Starbucks two blocks away.

Interviews have always come very naturally to me. I like to talk to people and I’m not generally shy around strangers. This interview was no different and went incredibly smoothly. I knew their product line inside and out and the manager interviewing me was very personable and an alumni of my University. Easy connections there. I even got free Starbucks to sip on before, during and after my interview. I left feeling great and got immediately on the next bus back home.

Would I recommend trying this? - Job interviews can be terrifying, but are a necessary, unavoidable part of life unless you win the lottery or are the child of a celebrity couple.

Would I try this again? - Oh I have a lot more job interviews in my future.

Lots of love,

~ B

Hoop de Hoop

September 3rd, 2012

As a child, I was hopelessly awful at many physical activities, but the one that always baffled me was this:

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Hula hooping has always been a complete mystery to me. How does the awkward suburban family do it? How do they defy the laws of gravity like that? No matter how many times I tried, I just could never hula hoop. That is until I was invited to this.

164. Hula Hooping Workshop 

I have the coolest friends. The Empress had a friend running these awesome donation based Hula Hooping workshops in Queens Park.They were called “Hooping for Homos”. Mruh and BooHoo, another friend of ours from camp, came along to learn the mind-baffling, majestic art of hula hooping.

Turns out there are proper weighted hula hoops which make hooping much easier! Who knew? The bigger and heavier the hoop, the easier it is to use!

By the end of the hour and a half workshop I was thoroughly bruised around my waist, sore and tired. But I managed to keep a hoop going for longer than my previous record of 2 seconds! I was actually becoming passable by the end. I learned it’s all about the abs. This was clearly my problem all along, as I have no abs. Childhood mystery solved.

Would I recommend trying this? - Yes! It was a lot of work and was very tiresome. But I had a lot of fun and it’s a great workout.

Would I try this again? - I tried hooping at home with the non weighted dollar store hoops. Not the same.

Lots of love,

~ B

We Bleed Maroon?

September 1st, 2012

Well hello there lovely readers. This post is bringing us back to the usual blog layout and marks the 2/3 mark of the year! University has caused me to think of the calendar year in 3 separate chunks based on semesters. I’ll be honest with you though, September was a slow month for trying new things. Between heading back to school and still recovering a little from camp I found it difficult to keep up. I do have a couple big ones to blog about though, the first of which made me feel very old.

163. Moving My Sister Into Residence

So the big day had finally come, my baby sister was off for her first day of University. She opted out of coming to my University, even though she got accepted. I suppose she wants to explore the world on her own. So she’s now at McMaster University in Hamilton, the armpit of Ontario.

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First of all, their school colour is Maroon. Newsflash: EVERYONE BLEEDS MAROON. Literally, that is the colour of blood.

Ok, so perhaps I’m a bit biased because I love my university. In all honesty McMaster is a very reputable school and they sure know how to play football. Their move in day was a lot of fun, and it was hilarious to see it from the other side (the not being cheered at and harassed by spirited strangers side). Of course I egged on a couple of the McMaster kids claiming that my university was better and that I would much rather be a majestic Golden Hawk than a Maroon Marauder. Fact.

Would I recommend trying this? - I felt very old and out of place. It’s really weird to see my sister all grown up and in university.

Would I try this again? - You will read eventually about my trip to  McMaster/Hamilton and I will resist colouring your judgement until then.

Lots of love,

~ B

The Life and Times of a Summer Camp Counsellor

June 24th – August 2012

Ok ladies and gentlemen, the day has finally come for me to blog about summer camp.

Now, when starting this blog, and even making this New Year’s resolution almost a full year ago, I knew that my 2 months at summer camp would ultimately be my downfall. I’m not going to go on about how wonderful summer camp is because any of you who know me are already aware of this. And for my followers who don’t know me personally, it’s likely you have either been to summer camp or know someone who has. I know I’m not alone when I say that this, but the 5 years I spent as a camp counsellor have had an immeasurable impact on my character, my beliefs and the person I am today.

Unfortunately, due to the nature of the job, my opportunities to try new things this summer were extremely limited. First of all, the camp I work for is in an isolated, remote location, far away from any real taste of civilization. Additionally, this was my third consecutive summer working for the same camp so it was very routine, as I had been through the whole experience before. Along the way there were lots of little new things: playing a new character, having a camper with a new physical or emotional challenge, working with new staff members etc. But unlike the rest of my year, these aren’t things that are monumental or scary or exciting on their own. They all add up together to provide an overall experience of the 8 weeks we spend there.

For this reason, I don’t have a list of numbered “new things” to share with you. So instead, I’m going to write about a few of the big things I accomplished and some of my difficulties during what was presumably my final summer as a camp counsellor.

Despite being restricted by the job, I managed to accomplish a few notable things this summer. A couple favourites were breaking into an elementary school, borrowing a friend’s car, eating “vegetarian” (with some cheating), turning 20 years old, going on Maid of the Mist, and cruising in the camp mini van. Beyond those, I tried a few new restaurants around Grimsby/St. Catharine’s. In addition to running my own events, I got to help out other staff members in their planning, which was really rewarding. I also got to help out with the Leadership program, which I myself participated in years ago. Even though my job was very similar to previous years, I did my best to try some new things and I have so many hilarious stories and memories from this summer.

On the other hand, my summer was also very challenging. A lot of my close friends did not return to camp this summer and it affected me much more than I was expecting it to. I had a different support system than I was used to and it was a strange adjustment. Besides that, many of my friends from school spent the summer in their first co-op work term, an opportunity I had given up to be at camp.

Camp is unbelieving draining, not only physically, but emotionally as well. For the first time in 7 years, I spent time at camp feeling really down and lonely. It completely caught me off guard. I was jealous and resentful and even at points regretted my decision to return. Looking back now, I know that most of those feelings can be attributed to lack of sleep, and the major change in routine, diet, exercise and stress that camp involves.

Finally, I struggled with having to say goodbye to camp. Although returning for Summer 2013 was an option I considered, in my last days there this summer I knew I had to move on. On the very last night of camp we always have a big party for all the staff. It usually gets pretty wild. Everyone gets hammered for the first time in 2 months and there is always drama. I waited until everything had mostly settled down and took a long, slow, night walk all across camp. This got interrupted by a good friend who gave me the best pep talk I’ve ever had. He almost made me cry – and that’s a big deal. After choking back a few tears I went and sat by the campfire, which is one of my favourite places in the world. I can’t think of any other time I’ve been that overwhelmed with emotion. To this day I’m amazed with how much camp has become a part of my life.

Overall though, I could never regret returning to a place that has so many happy memories for me. Camp, and this summer camp in particular, has genuinely has changed my life forever and I’ll always be grateful I could give back to a place that gave me so much.

So that’s my 2012 summer experience in a nutshell. I could go on forever about the benefits of summer camp and how I wish every child could have a camp experience. I’m sorry this post is so different from the other ones, but there’s no way I could possibly describe this experience in a numbered list. So for now, I’ll just leave you with this:

 

May The Road Rise Up To Meet You

May The Wind Be Always At Your Back

May The Sun Shine Warm Upon Your Face

The Rain Fall Soft Upon Your Fields

And Until We Meet Again

May Good Fortune Hold You

In The Palm Of Her Hand

 

Lots of love and yellow hats,

~B

 

STD’s and Sundaes

June 19th, 2012 

My last few days in Waterloo for the summer were packed with running errands and cramming for my final exam for my spring course. Most of these errands were pretty standard: pedicure, waxing, banking, packing, the usual. But there was one extra check-up I went to.

161. Sexual Health Clinic 

After my friendly visit with the masseuse some clever friends of mine from the ghetto advised me to go get some testing just to be 100% everything was good. I love these girls, always looking out for me.

I walked all the way to the health clinic. Poor choice because it was one of the hottest days of the summer and by the time I got there I was sweating like crazy. I felt like I was crossing the dessert just to get my privates probed.  After a long time in the waiting room they finally called my name. I had to unstick myself from the plastic chair and follow the nurse into a tiny doctor’s office. Thankfully I got a kind, young, female doctor which made life much easier. After asking me all about my medical and sexual history she sent me to pee in a cup and that was it. I didn’t have to get probed after all! Of course, there was nothing to worry about, but it was nice just to have the peace of mind.

162. Marbles

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After successfully dodging showing my vagina to another stranger, I figured I should treat myself to some lunch. One night during a tipsy walk through Waterloo with Roomie #1, we came across this charming little restaurant called Marbles. They have a really nice patio and a cozy interior.

I got the sliders which were all delicious:

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Pulled pork, beef with crispy onions and black bean with guacamole. Super tasty.

And that was followed up with this:

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If that’s not food porn, I don’t know what is.

Would I recommend trying this? - Taking care of your health with doctor’s visits and comfort food? Absolutely.

Would I try this again? - Yes for both.

Lots of love,

~ B

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