Sunday, July 24, 2005

Weekend = Good

This weekend's been gooooood. We went out to the cottage on Friday, and I met my niece for the very first time. She's adorable. She's at about three months now, and she's just learning how to roll over by herself. I can't wait until she's up and walking - she's going to be absolute hell on wheels.

Andrea and I woke early on Saturday, had a nice leisurely breakfast, and then went for a swim. The water is extremely warm, but the wind was kicking up some pretty healthy waves, so I didn't stay more than about 20 minutes. I went upstairs, dried off, and spent some quality time on the porch with my brother-in-law and a couple of choice Costa Rican cigars.

We came back in early Saturday evening, had some dinner, and then went off to Riz's place for a little pre-drinking. Jake, Riz, Jason, Andrea and I spent a bit of time on the porch, working on the bottle of scotch that I keep at their place and having, you guessed it, another round of cigars. We then proceeded to the Elixir, where we spent the rest of the night having cheap drinks on their patio. It was a great night.

We (Riz, Andrea, Jason, myself, Yonek, and Anna-Lisa) did brunch at AquaTerra this morning. It was delicious. They gave us a free round of Mimosa (orange juice and champagne), and laid out another excellent spread. It took us about an hour and a half, just to eat breakfast.

Andrea, Riz and I rounded out the day with a trip to the local cinema, where we took in a showing of Wedding Crashers. Very funny movie.

Not much else going on, aside from that. Two weeks left in my course. I received another shipment from, so I've been able to get into The Dance of the Voodoo Handbag by Robert Rankin, browse through a Shelby Cobra photo book, and enjoy some choice Cuban music. I picked up CDs by both La Orishas (a Cuban rap group) and The Afro-Cuban Jazz Project. Excellent music, and very appropriate for the weather we've been having.

I'll leave you this Sunday afternoon with a question: has anyone noticed that shorts are apparently "out" in terms of fashion this summer? Andrea pointed this out to me - a lot of people are wearing pants this summer, despite the ridiculous heat. Anyone else notice this? Any thoughts on this particular fashion trend?

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Inching forward towards victory.

My interviewer has started to contact my references. My interviewer had told me that he would only do this if they were interested. Hence, I assess that this means that they're interested in my application. This leads me to raise my expectations from "cautiously optimistic" to "optimistic".

I'm going to have to go to great lengths to de-formalize my writing style after this course. They're a little bit anal about that sort of thing.

I'm looking forward to the weekend. It's not long now, but it seems to be dragging. I've had to put in a lot of extra hours this week, sometimes staying at work as late as 9:00 or 9:30 pm. Not exactly criminal, but it doesn't give me a lot of time for my personal life.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005


Busy, busy, busy.

This course is definitely keeping me out of mischief. I had to work late tonight, and will probably have to work late tomorrow. This is likely the busiest week of the course, but I'm still looking forward to when the course wraps up completely.

I heard back from King's College, and they've agree to push back my acceptance for a year. This is going to be my back-up plan, in case other things don't come through in the mean time. Best case, I'm in Ottawa and working by early October. Worst case, I study French for a year then go to grad school. It looks like a really good program, but I don't think I'm up for going back to school just yet.

My niece is flying in from Calgary this Friday. Oh yes, and so are my sister Jenn and brother-in-law Rudi. It's exciting to see them again - last chance we had a visit was back when Andrea and I flew out for my mother's 60th birthday. Little Sopia (my niece) wasn't even born then.

I'm excited by the prospect of getting a good night's sleep tonight.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Blog-Related Questions

1. If you could have anyone (living or dead) visit your blog, who would it be?

2. What's the creepiest phrase that has ever appeared in the "keyword search" portion of your hit counter (if applicable)? (If not applicable, the creepiest comment.)

3. Name one change that you've been meaning to make to your blog that you've been putting off.

4. If someone read your blog but never met you, what do you think they'd think of you?

Eye of the Storm

The interview went well. Very well. I think I have a real shot of getting the job. I won't find out for another six weeks (give or take) but in the mean time, I'm excited about the prospect of having something long term.

I've tried to defer my enrollment at King's College. So far, no word as to whether or not this is going to fly.

My course is going well, but is a little on the intense side. I should probably do somewhere between four and six hours of homework over the weekend. I'm really not sure if that's going to happen.

Andrea has the new Harry Potter book, which means that I will soon be reading the new Harry Potter book. She's not going to sleep until she finishes it, and she reads remarkably fast. This means that I should be able to crack into it by the time I wake up tomorrow morning.

If I do get the job, it probably won't start until sometime between the middle of October and the end of November. It's a long time to wait, but I figure I'll be able to keep myself occupied in the meantime. The time will likely be used to get a start on my French lessons (which, despite the best of intentions, have not advanced significantly) and to work on some more effective habits when it comes to diet and exercise. I don't consider myself to be in dire need of assistance, but I think I need to start eliminating the bad habits that are going to cost me in the long run.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Postedy Post

I haven't been writing much lately.

Things have been very busy over the past little while. I'm on course with work, which is eating up a lot of my time. All in all, I'd say that the course is going well. It's very interesting: lots of material on how to improve analytical thought. All the same, I'm looking forward to when the course wraps up and I get to (officially) become a Man of Leisure.

My interview for the position in Ottawa is tomorrow. I'm excited about it, but nervous at the same time. I've had about as much preparation for this interview as anyone could reasonably expect to get, but I can't help but think that there's isn't more that I could do.

My mother officially has control of the cottage for the next two months. It's great having her out there (and all the family that typically follows her out that way) but I do miss having the place at my beck and call. I'll be moving my stuff back in there on around August 31st, and hopefully I know what I'll be doing for the fall soon afterwards.

We went to Clear the Beer Fridge at Clark over the weekend. It was a lot of fun, but it took forever to get into "Clark Proper" (ie. upstairs, vice the patio). We managed to kill some time by hanging out on Riz's patio, eating some fantastic pizza and drinking some very strong scotch. I was in rough shape the next morning - don't bounce back quite as fast as I used to, these days.

I'm trying to defer my entrance to King's College of London for a year. That would be the ideal back-up plan, because it would allow for all of my current employment applications to terminate before I have to make a decision. Not that I wouldn' t like to go back for my Master's, but it's a lot of money and a lot of school all at once. I think I need a few years to work and gain experience before I hop back into academia once again.

We went to brunch at AquaTerra. It was $18, and it was fantastic. We were there for about two hours, and had about 5 platefuls each. Delicious.


Thursday, July 07, 2005

Here I am in the Thunderbird we rented. It went very fast. Posted by Picasa

Here we are, enroute from San Diego to Palm Desert. Posted by Picasa

This is Dad's place in Palm Desert. I'm still kind of surprised he let us stay there. Posted by Picasa

Self portrait of myself lounging by the pool. I never smile in photos. I do not know why this is. Posted by Picasa

Here I am. I am in my Happy Place. (Note: Beer and cigar.) Posted by Picasa

I like to take pictures of my feet in exotic destinations. Here are my feet by the pool in Palm Desert. Posted by Picasa

I like to take pictures of my feet in exotic destinations. Here are my feet on Dad's patio. Posted by Picasa

Apparently, the hotel we stayed at gives you cancer. This sign was prominently shown on the entrance to the hotel. Posted by Picasa

This is a sleeping panda that we saw at the San Diego zoo. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, July 06, 2005


I'm home. I've been very, very busy lately. And the past week has been entirely eventful.

The trip home went as well as can be expected, as far as death-traveling is concerned. Death traveling is when you travel for more than 15 hours in a stretch. We flew from San Diego to Washington D.C. (with a connection in Phoenix) and then proceeded to drive 8 hours from D.C. to Kingston. No breaks.

While exhausting, we did have a chance to catch some beautiful fireworks displays during the drive. They started just around sunset and went until around 10:30 or so, and ranged from private displays to big-city spectacles. It was really cool.

After about seven hours of post-trip rest, I had to prepare for my course at work. This involved a trip to the cottage to pick up some supplies, and ended with a rather large surprise.

Apparently, I've been accepted into graduate school.

While I'd received a letter of rejection from King's College of London earlier, they apparently were not referring to both of the two programs that I was applying to. And so, rather suddenly, I found myself staring down the barrel of an acceptance to the Master of Arts in Intelligence Studies and International Security.

(I know. Very bad-ass.)

It's become my official plan B. Ask me a year ago, and I would've been all over it. But I think the job(s) I'm pursuing right now would be more rewarding and provide more useful experience. This isn't to say that I'm not likely to take the Master's later, but I think taking it now might be a little bit too much, too soon.

That, and it costs absolute boatloads of money.

If you include the lost wages from my potential job, we're talking a cost of $130,000 (including living expenses) for one year of school.

So yeah, it sounds good, but I have a feeling that it's going to stay as a plan B.

Anyways, I must retire for the evening. More to follow (including pictures of the trip) later.