Jan. 28th, 2013 10:48 am
I have been putting this off because I did not know what to write and I didn't want to cry, but I do want to remember it and LJ is good for that. My Dad had a stroke on Thursday. I was at school seeing a client when it happened. I came home Thursday night and will be here until tomorrow night. The last few days have been really hard. Friday was the worst. His condition seems to be stable now but there was significant damage. Family and friends have been awesome.

I don't know what will happen, but things will never be the same.
So it's been kind of a weirdly emotional day for me today, probably because of a long talk with my Dad and then going to see Les Miserables (I cried through 70% of the movie, and fell totally in love with Hugh Jackman. You know-- the usual).

Then tonight I watched the Babbler Slideshow. <3. Oh my god, guys, I miss you all so much. Whatever else goes down, even after some huge conflicts and disagreements, you guys have been there for me forever and that means everything. And we've seen each other grow up-- Seriously, the pictures from BP03/04? We were so young it's ridiculous-- and I kind of want to thank you all for putting up with me when I was stupidly young and shy and awkward. I love you all like crazy and I cannot wait to see you again. I also really want to re-live Chicago BP (all of it, from drinks at Serena's to getting lost on the way to White Castle), even if it does mean doing 24 hours on a bus again.

Sometimes I'll go awhile without needing any of you or talking to many of you, but I am always glad that you're here for me and vice-versa. <3
I have not updated in forever. Things are good, and crazy-busy. I love my life. I also love 'Some Nights' by Fun, the new season of Glee, most of How I Met Your Mother, and scarves. <3

I saw the new James Bond film, Skyfall, a couple weeks ago. (MILD AND OVER-GENERAL SPOILERS AHEAD).


That one scene was totally rape-y, right? It was not just me? I could barely believe it. I expected better of you, James Bond of 2012. That was probably a mistake on my part.
This is long, but it's important and I ask that you please all read it. It's one of the first public entries I've made on LJ in years, and it's public for a reason. I stand behind these words.

It's about time I wrote this. If I weren't such a coward, so worried about being disliked, I would have done this a long time ago. But I'm doing it now, for so many reasons.

I'm writing this because I'm going to Sam and Andrea's wedding next summer. I met Sam in undergrad. She and I learned to make sushi together, with only somewhat disastrous results. I hugged her and told her it would be okay when her first girlfriend broke up with her. She kissed me once (all tongue, because she's Sam) in a hotel room in Chicago. And when she got together with Andrea and moved away, I kept one of their house plants. They are so freaking sweet together, and I am writing this because I cannot wait for their wedding and I *hate* that there are people who think their love is wrong.

I am writing this for Marc, who is one of the bravest men I have ever met and who always called me 'Honey' or 'Sweetheart' when we saw each other in the hallways at school. His smile consistently made my day. I met Marc in undergrad at Waterloo, too, but I knew *of* him before that. When Marc was in Grade 12, he (like me) went to a publicly funded Catholic school in Ontario. He wanted to bring his significant other to prom. His school said no, because his significant other was male. Marc went to court. His school wanted to cancel prom over the issue, but the court ruled that they were not allowed to cancel prom and that students must be permitted to bring dates of either gender. Marc has put up with a hell of a lot in his life, but he always comes up smiling. I'm writing this because I believe that what he went through in Grade 12 should NEVER have happened. It was unfair, hateful, and wrong, and "freedom of religion" does not give anyone the right to be hateful or to discriminate.

I'm writing this for my friend Ashley, who's been hurt by so many people (including myself) over so many years. This is the hardest paragraph for me to write, and I'm sorry if I don't do this justice. Sometimes words are just hard. But basically, Ash is amazing. She worked in a school for a few years and went to huge lengths to support her kids. She's fought injustice, over and over, in ways that I can only hope to do someday. And she's repeatedly been told, over and over, by friends and family and media and government, through their words and actions and non-actions, that *who she is* is wrong. And that's terrible and hurtful and infuriating, and I am not going to stand for it anymore.

I'm writing this for the thousands of people who have been hurt, bullied, assaulted, tormented, abused, and murdered for being nothing other than who they are.

I'm writing this for me. Hi. I'm Steph. I slept with a woman once. She was fun and funny and confident. She has beautiful hair and the cutest, tiniest hands. I liked it a lot, and I would do it again. I have kissed almost as many women as men-- For the most part, for no reason other than because I wanted to. I am not ashamed of doing these things. I have never been ashamed of doing these things, because I have never believed that they were wrong. But I have, frequently, been made ashamed of admitting to these things.

I have been lucky, because I date men and have had boyfriends and people only see what they want to see. I have been far too lax about this. I am far too willing to let people see what they want because it makes my life easier. Other people don't have that option, or are brave enough not to take that option, and they are hurt every day in stupid, frustrating, indescribable ways.

So here is what I am saying: If you think that loving men, or loving women, or loving both, is wrong or is a sin or means that someone is in any way worth LESS than someone else... I cannot support you anymore. If you think sleeping with other honest, consenting adults under certain circumstances but not others is a sin, I cannot support you anymore. If you think that being born in a body that you don't identify with is wrong or a sin, I cannot support you anymore. You're hurting people I love deeply. You're contributing to a society where some people have rights that others don't. You're contributing to a society where children are being made to feel so wrong and worthless that they are DYING. I can't be complicit in that anymore.

I won't.
Fucking November. Bad things always happen in late October and early November. I am always so relieved when December hits.

My Dad had a farming accident tonight. He got some of his clothing caught in the auger. I cannot even express how dangerous that it. It's the first thing you teach farm kids. You stay the FUCK away from a moving auger.

He will probably okay. He's so so so lucky. He broke two ribs and scraped himself up a bit. They're keeping him in hospital overnight because they're a bit afraid that internal bleeding might start. If it doesn't, he should be able to go home tomorrow. 6 weeks recovery. So freaking lucky.

I have a conference in Seattle this weekend. I have been looking forward to this for MONTHS. I will probably still go, unless Dad gets worse over night. Fingers crossed that everything goes well. I want... I want to be home. I want to go to Seattle. I want a lot of things. God, Daddy.

My friends are amazing. <3
This has been one of the busiest school weeks yet. Lots of 12-hour days, trying to finish up an assessment. Joys.

Anyway, so I'm headed to a conference in St. Louis from Thursday (November 18th) to Sunday (November 21st). Two questions:

1) Anyone going to be there? (Pretty sure this one's a long shot). :)

2) Katie or anyone who was at BP03-- If I have a few spare hours over the weekend, is there anything touristy or fun I should check out?
So I'm supposed to be doing readings for my Ethics class tomorrow, but the course webpage is down... So instead, I'll blog for the first time in FOREVER!

First, I finished my summer practicum, and even got some good feedback at the end (apparently I was a 'dream' to work with, and did an excellent job writing, and my supervisor was very sad to see me go). So, sweet! I am super-happy to be back in Waterloo and back to my apartment (*clings*) and my normal life. Big cities are apparently not my thing.

School is eating me alive, but I kind of like it. Sure, some days I have to work 14 hours just to get caught up (forget being ahead!), but at least I feel productive, and I enjoy a lot of the work. So that's kind of cool.

And... the real reason I'm posting... This weekend I ran my second-ever 10km race!

The first was last October, with my friend Andrew, in Waterloo. I had trained pretty consistently all summer for that one, and it was a good (slightly downhill, mostly flat) course. My time was 63 minutes and 25 seconds, which I was pretty happy with.

Fast-forward to this year. Because of the whole 'moving to a new city and being miserable 4 days a week, and also being sick half the summer and quite far from suitable running spaces' thing, I didn't really train much between May and early September. When I got back to Waterloo in September, I ran 10k just to see if I could. I could... Very slowly (for me). My time was around 80 minutes, and even then it wasn't easy.

Determined to get my 10k down to under 70 minutes before my October race, I started interval training. Right about then, school started demanding 60+ hours/week of my time, so I barely managed 2 runs a week. Ugh.

Saturday was race day, and I was super-excited. I had no lofty goals at this point-- Finishing without walking seemed like a good goal, and I also kind of hoped to finish under 70 minutes... But I wasn't sure if that second goal was going to happen.

Saturday morning, I got up at 5:30 AM and finished packing for the race. My friend Serje picked me up around 6 AM, and we grabbed coffees and bagels and hit the highway. We got to the Toronto Zoo just before 8, picked up our race packs, and got to our respective corrals (he was at the front, with the 'elite' group; I was at the very back!) with about 10 minutes to spare.

It was a gorgeous day for running, and it was really nice to be running with so many other people! I quickly settled in around a bunch of people running at my pace, including some people in costume and a couple pairs of girls who were running and chatting. The first 4k flew by. Around the 3k marker, our path ran alongside a section where the faster runners were already doubling back. I wasn't sure how far they were (turns out they were on the 6-7 k stretch), but Serje and I actually managed to pass each other in opposite directions and got to wave, which was awesome.

The course was hilly and the path wound and curved a lot, which was fine-- I actually like hills-- but it may have slowed me down a bit. Running at the zoo was kind of awesome; there were trees and gorgeous leaves everywhere, and we passed a zebra and some buffalo, which was super-cool! The volunteers were awesome and very encouraging, too. I'd definitely race this course again!

I even managed to speed up a bit at the 9km mark, and ran as hard as I could (not that fast, even, at that point-- Id left most of my energy behind on the course) the last 500 m. I crossed the finish line at 71:25 gun time. :)

I spent the rest of the day hoping my chip time was under 70 minutes. I figured it probably was, since I started in the last corral, but I wasn't sure. We spent the afternoon at the zoo and had a blast, and got home after 4pm.

Official chip time: 68.45.

I love races. And running, in general. I was a little sore Sunday, but went to yoga this morning and then still felt like running this evening, so I donned my new race shirt and went out to tackle some hills. :)
I am going to try to to update semi-regularly, so let's see how this goes. I want to do the 'update every day' meme that Jessie and Cer and Kelly are doing, but that won't happen at least until practicum's over on August 26th, so we'll see if I still remember at that point.

Speaking of which... Practicum is OVER on August 26th! Two more weeks! I am so excited to get back to my regular life and my friends and no longer hate the sheer volume of people I have to see on a daily basis. I will never ever ever be a city girl, apparently. Aside from hating Toronto, though, practicum is actually going pretty well. These last two weeks are going to be intense and nerve-wracking (lots of client contact hours as I try to finish up three assessments), but hopefully I'll manage okay.

This weekend I went to a wedding. Erin's one of my very good friends and we lived together for the last year of our undergrad and the first year of grad school... She is absolutely adorable and she and her husband (Mark) are ridiculously well-suited, and I am all kinds of happy. I cried like four times during the wedding and speeches (and the father-daughter dance). And our table got singled out to sing some Taylor Swift during the Maid of Honour's speech, which was amazing.

Okay, off for a run now that it's cooled down a bit. I'm training for a 10k in October, and while I know I can do the distance I'm still abysmally slow. Gonna go do some intervals to try to help with that.

Did I mention that practicum is over in two more weeks?! :D
So as some of you know, I started running in June, just for fun.  I followed a training program, and by August was able to run 10km without stopping to walk!  My very first 10k run was incredibly difficult-- I actually almost stopped at one point-- and it took me 71 minutes to finish.  Ouch!

I kept running through September and October, though not as much or as often as I should have.  I was doing 2 runs a week instead of 3 or 4, mostly every week.  I figured I'd still be okay to run the  Kitchener-Waterloo Oktoberfest 10k, but didn't have any big expectations for a good time.  I figured 68 minutes would be a good goal, because my "easy run" speed is usually about 11 minutes/mile.

The first few kilometres of the race were fantastic!  I'd always run alone before, so it was competely awesome to be surrounded by so many other runners.  There were people of all ages there-- kids, adults, seniors-- and it was just a fantastic experience.  There was this one kid, about 10 years old, who kept sprinting up to wherever I was, and then falling back and walking, sprinting then walking...  So cute.  There were also a few parents running with kids keeping pace with me, which I was completely impressed by.

The first four kilometres just FLEW by.  I could hardly believe it when we hit the 4km mark and the people running the 5k race turned off to run to the finish.  (The 10k people, including myself, kept going).  I hit the 5km marker at 31 minutes and change, which was pretty motivating, and I didn't even really feel tired!

I wish I could say that kept up.  There was a water station at 6k, and I grabbed a cup and promptly spilled it all over myself, but I was still going strong.  By the 7k mark, I felt my energy starting to flag and began to concentrate on simply finishing.  I felt like I slowed down a lot here, and I was near the back of the pack so there were only a few people within my sight.  A lot of the people around me were stopping to walk.  It was tempting, but I had vowed to finish without walking, so I carried on.

An ambulance passed when I'd finished about 7.5 km, and I saw the woman who they were tending to.  She was talking, and I assume she's fine, but that was a little scary

The last two kilometres were difficult, and I didn't have much left to give at the end.  I tried to sprint the last few hundred metres, but only managed to speed up a little-- I guess I need to work on pacing.

Final chip time:  63:35.  :D

Now I want to do it again, but three minutes and 25 seconds faster!

Click through for a post-race photo! )

It's finally the weekend, so I have some time to update. 

First, the big news:  I ran 10 km (6.2 miles) without stopping for the first time EVER yesterday.  It took 71 minutes, which isn't a terrible time for a female first-timer.  :D  And to think that just eleven weeks ago I was struggling to run 5 minutes straight without walking!

I'm going to keep training about three times a week, with some interval training to improve my speed.  My first official 10 km race is scheduled for mid-October, and I'd like to finish it in under 70 minutes.  Under 60 minutes would be absolutely insanely awesome, but that's mostly a pipe-dream-- It would mean shaving a full minute off of my pace on each kilometre, which isn't exactly realistic.  So as long as I keep a fairly consistent three runs a week from now to the race, FINISH the race without walking, and avoid injury, I'll be pretty happy. 

Other news...  Hm.  Life's been pretty boring for the last week or two, which is nice-- I'm working on a paper for school and getting a fair bit done, and I've been reading a lot. 

Oh, and for those of you wondering about boy-drama, the guy I had a date with last week left on a 11-day yoga retreat shortly after our coffee meet, and so we haven't managed a second date yet at all.  He should be back sometime this weekend, I think, in which case we're going to see a movie together. 
I've gotten into this really annoying place, lj-wise, where I don't update because I have so much to say and so little time to write...  and then things in my life keep happening and then I have even MORE to say...  So I'm breaking the cycle now, and writing *something*.  Anything.

I went to Europe.  It was *brilliant*.  I want to go back.  I went for a conference, which was nice because it meant that airfare was paid by the university, and I got to go with my friend Shannon from my lab.  We spent three days playing tourist in London (we spent an entire day in the British Museum alone!  The Tate Modern was also awesome.  Plus both museums were free, which was fantastic because EVERYTHING ELSE in England costs an arm and a leg!). Seriously, food and entertainment in Europe are super-costly.  I don't understand how people LIVE.

Anyway, after London we spent an afternoon in Cambridge WITH MARK which was awesome.  We got to meet a couple of researchers at the unit where Mark works, and he took us on a somewhat rainy walking-tour of the city. The university buildings are really pretty.  Next was the conference in York, which was fun. A bunch of people met us in York (Jason, Shahnaz, Nigel, Serje, Drs. MacLeod and Fernandes, etc.). I presented at the conference, which seemed to go fairly well-- Two scholars in my field who's work I really really respect were both in the room watching, though, which was terrifying.  The clubs in York were also pretty cool-- we went to one with beds in the actual bar, which was really weird but also awesome because we got to lounge around drinking and taking American-Apparel-type photos.  Only slightly incriminating.  :)

Then we went to Amsterdam-- That was fun too, though the downtown was kind of a giant frat party and the red light district was TERRIFYING and completely surreal. We also saw the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, which was really sad.  I cried, and then the next weekend I told my Dad about it and made HIM cry.  :(  Finally we went to Leiden, which is about an hour away from Amsterdam, to stay with Shannon's cousin Jenny and her husband. They were really nice (I learned to make homemade pasta!) and it was pretty much the perfect end to the trip.

After Europe I went home for my birthday-weekend, and there was ice cream cake and lots of family.  Mmm.

Then the next weekend was Hillside, which is this really fantastic outdoor music festival in Guelph, Ontario.  I went last year and loved it, and this year was just as awesome.  I went with a few friends from the department, and it was just a wonderful, hilarious, tasty (omg vegan pizza!) weekend.  Everyone needs to listen to "Your Rocky Spine" by Great Lake Swimmers.  It's my favourite love song since "Such Great Heights" by Iron and Wine.  It's also slightly reminiscient of Such Great Heights, so those of you who loved that (and who wouldn't?) would probably love it.  I also loved Kate Reid, who is this hilarious gay singer-- Highlights of her discography include "I'd Go Straight For Ridley Bent" and "The Only Dyke at the Open Mic".  The weather at Hillside this year wasn't great, though-- The last day was so rainy that I ended up taking off my flip-flops so as not to lose them in ankle-deep mud, and we had to push the car out of the mud at the end of the night on Sunday.  Craziness.

Ugh, I have more to write about (school- finished my M.A. thesis, and running, which is going really well but is starting to get pretty tiring)-- but the rest will have to wait.  I'm late for my friend Ester's birthday party, and I'm not even ready to leave yet. 

Be prepared for angsty boy drama, though, because I had an exceptionally good coffee date today.  *sigh*.  I hate having good dates when I'm emotionally unavailable.


Jul. 3rd, 2009 09:59 am
OMG, guys, I am leaving for Europe in a matter of hours IDEK.

Remind me never to travel again-- What if I die there and they NEVER FIND THE BODY?!

Seriously!  I am leaving all my THINGS and 98% of my friends and I won't be back for almost two weeks!

Okay.  Breathing.  Freak-out done.  OMG I hate travelling until I'm actually doing it...  This will be so much better once I actually leave.
First of all, Happy Canada Day!  Looks like it's finally clearing up after raining all afternoon, too, so with any luck we'll be able to see fireworks tonight!

It's been a really long time since I updated...  Busy summer, I guess.  I leave for a conference in the U.K. on Friday--like, two days from now--which is very exciting and a little bit terrifying.  I still have a fair bit of planning and a whole lot of packing to do before I leave, but I'm sure we'll get it figured out.

I handed out a semi-final draft of my M.A. thesis to my readers on Monday, and it should be approved pretty painlessly, which is nice.  I want to get one more paper submitted before the end of summer, and start planning my research for fall, but there should be plenty of time for that after I get back from Europe.

I've taken up running!  I don't even know.  I was looking for something new to add to my fitness routine, and one of my friends who runs sent me a running program that starts with a lot of walking and then gradually works you up to a 10k.  I'm on week eight now, I think, and this morning I had a fantastic 6k run with only three minutes of walking (and about 40 minutes of jogging).  In May I would have considered running for 40 minutes to be impossible, but I did it fairly easily!  I plan to sign up for a 10k fun run in October, and with any luck I'll finish it in under an hour.  Wish me luck!

I also signed a lease on a one-bedroom apartment the other day.  I figure I'm going to be in Waterloo for another four years, and it's about time I stopped living like a student and started living like an adult.  I love the apartment-- it's on the 17th floor and has a gigantic balcony and I'm so excited to move in!

I'll be sure to take lots of pictures in Europe, and I'll update you all on the trip when I get back.  I'm so excited to see Mark, too, in his natural habitat.  :D
Can my DC-area friends check in if they're okay, please?  I don't even know if any of you use public transit regularly, but please say hi so I know you're safe.  <3
This was an annoying, inadequate, confusing week.

I don't even want to talk about it.  Basically, some things were stolen from my office, and now it's dealt with, and it was annoying.  And I feel bad/guilty.  Things will get better; they always do.

I get to visit Jewel for three days starting tomorrow, though, so that should be fun.

I read 'New Moon', from the Twilight series.  It was terrible.  I will likely keep reading the series.  It would be nice if the protagonist were at least a tiny bit likeable, though.

I also read 'The Kite Runner', which was FANTASTIC.  <3  I'm going to see if I can find 'A Thousand Splendid Suns' at the library.

Off to the gym now.  Endorphins may help.
Thanks to Serena and Tori for the subject line.

In the next few days (by early next week, really), I need to decide whether to do my Ph.D. at Waterloo (which is home and comfortable but will present few new challenges and, while it will get me to where I want to go, will not be *fantastic* for my career) versus moving to Vancouver and getting it at UBC, which is new and scary and very very far away from everyone I love (but where I could learn oodles of new things and be part of a very vibrant, productive lab).

I don't know how I'm supposed to choose. Everyone's very supportive.  My family says I should do what I want (but I don't want to be alone in Vancouver if my Dad gets sick again).  My friends say I should take the best opportunity (but I want to stay with them).  I do want these new things, too, I'm just.  Not sure.

I don't know how to decide.


Mar. 4th, 2009 09:14 pm
Just got another offer.  Why so many CHOICES?  :(  I want to go to all the schools.
My life is all interviews, all the time.  Phone interview with a prof from Queen's tomorrow; in-person interview at Waterloo Monday; then, a flight to Northwestern on...  Thursday, I think?  I should maybe buy a ticket for the airport shuttle.  (Yes, I have a plane ticket.)  I will probably hear from York and Ryerson in the next week or two, as well.

It's kind of fantastic.  It seems likely that someone will let me be a clinical psychologist when I grow up.

Not knowing where I'm going to be next year is strange.  2009 will be a balancing act, I think.

Love isn't good enough of a reason for me to stay.  It's not.  It's not.


Jan. 25th, 2009 11:48 pm
I have a phone interview on Tuesday night with a prof from Northwestern!  :D  Very excited.  It should go well, since she does all sorts of fantastic things that I love, and her emails are just adorable.  So friendly.  I'll let you all know how it goes!
It has been very, very cold out lately.  We're talking -20 degrees Celsius many, if not most, days.  Brr.  I'm taking a lot of scalding showers.  I'll make it up to David Suzuki in the spring.  I feel especially bad because I FINALLY got around to watching 'An Inconvenient Truth' this week.  Reminders.

It's been a really, really long time since I updated.  I spent three weeks at home without Internet at the end of December, which was kind of fantastic (I got to spend lots and lots of time with the parents), but it was also *long*.  It was a relief to get back here, to my work and my routine and familiarity.

I went snowboarding over Christmas.  I actually got sort of good at it, but my tailbone hated me for two weeks afterward.  Gah.  So much falling.

I got one of the Moosewood cookbooks for Christmas, and my New Year's Resolution was to make at least one thing I've never made before every week.  So far it's going really well--  Roasted veggies over pasta, baked tofu, and spinach-feta risotto.  All were delicious.  <3  The risotto was tonight, and I have enough packed up in individual tupperware containers in the fridge for lunch for a few days. 

I applied again for clinical programs.  Nine schools.  I'm hoping for four interviews and two acceptances, but to be honest I'd be pretty happy with anything that ends in at least one acceptance.  I didn't apply anywhere that I wouldn't go.  One of the schools I applied to is the palce where I'm currently working on my Master's, and my current advisor got a call last week from one of the clinical people, asking about me.  My advisor thinks I'll get an interview.  I am not so sure.  I'm not counting on anything.  I've failed too many times at this to be anything but cynical.  But this-- This is the last time.  If this doesn't work out, I walk away. 

I hope it works out, because I've never been good at walking away.

Americans:  How awesome is your new president?  :D  So awesome.  I had a really good conversation with my Dad yesterday, actually, about Obama, and how he inspires confidence, and how we love that there's *hope* back in the world again.  Now we just need someone like that in Canada.  I actually have surprisingly high hopes for Ignatieff, if only because the alternatives are all so dismal and at least I trust that he's *smart*.

Tonight's plan includes reading about K.C., a Canadian man with acquired brain injury that resulted in memory loss and taught us things about encoding and retrieval processes!  Yeah, you all wish you were me.  It's cool.
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