Archive for September, 2008

Funny, I was just talking about old friends

I mentioned old friends from McGill in my last post, and today I got an email from my mother about a very close childhood friend, who I haven’t heard from since we left high school.

Seems that Jenn has a captain’s license and has been doing deliveries to Florida. This probably means she has a better license than me (although possibly not larger, tonnage-wise), which pisses me off. I’ve always been the sailor, she, the envious friend. Perhaps that explains it: she worked toward something she wanted, I picked it up because I could. But it still annoys me.

Anyway, my mother says she has an apartment in the town we grew up in (better her than me, I suppose). And last week she was arrested. For assault and battery. On a guy.

Um… what?


I Miss McGill

There. I said it. I’ll always miss Montreal, but I never thought I’d miss McGill.

I miss my tiny Atmospheric Science Department. I wish I’d discovered how wonderful and close everyone was before my final year. How grad students mixed with undergrads. How we were all contained in a few floors on a corner of campus. I wish I had found this place to fit in earlier.

I miss Shawn, my TA turned close friend. I miss Andy, one of the few people who I believed, like myself, would be more at home in the mountains north of the city. I miss Claire. Claire belonged in the city and belonged at McGill. She actually was the sort of student that the admissions people thought they were getting in me. I miss Eyad, a post-doc who hung out with all us “kids” instead of the professors.

I miss poker night. And Jenn, and Straub, and Aa-ron and E-rin. What became of all these people? What did they do with all the money they took from me?

I might have picked the wrong major, but I couldn’t have picked better friends. I often wondered if I had the same passion for the subject as everyone around me, and I still don’t know that answer. I did always doubt my own intelligence. I never felt smart enough to hang with the cool kids, although nobody ever hinted that was true, and so many of them were always available to help me study.

I miss Ellen, my unknown high school rival, who became my sailing crew. She had the love and the passion and the confidence to run the sailing team as the rest of us graduated or disappeared. I miss David, another sailor, who loved learning and loved life, and could always make everyone laugh. I miss the people I had little adventurous road trips with: Ginny, Mike, Tom, Andreas. Even Ariane.

I miss people from my relatively social first year, when I lived in a dorm, and before anybody knew anybody, or before anyone transfered. I miss my brat pack from McConnell, Christine the dreamer, Emily the sophisticated, and Lisa the beautiful, all three of whom eventually transferred. I miss Anna, Melissa, Allison, Thomas, Brent, Rick, Jerome, and all the others I never saw after our one thing in common – McC 4 – was left behind.

I miss Heather. She was supposed to be my roommate after first year. How different would things be for me now if she stayed in Montreal and I wasn’t forced to live alone then. Maybe I wouldn’t be such an introvert. Maybe I wouldn’t be so intolerant of others in my space. I’m not angry at her. I never heard from her again, though, and never knew how to contact her.

I’m angry that Partial Differential Equations was too hard. I’m angry that one class prevented me from enjoying my final semester. I’m angry that my diploma doesn’t say June 2005. I’m angry that I didn’t have that diploma to start finding a job right away. I’m angry that I got stuck here instead. I’m angry that my self worth has disintegrated. I’m angry that I failed. I’m angry that I still can’t overcome that failure.

And I’m lost.

Yes, I’ve been MIA.

I was on vacation!! Which I desperately needed. I went off camping, because I didn’t want to stay in town and can’t afford much else.

After a little postponement for Hanna and dinner with a friend from far away, I left about a week and a half ago. I spent the first couple nights in a state park way down east, which was very beautiful and very quiet. I had a site on the water, and empty sites all around me. I heard coyotes at night. On Tuesday, I visited West Quaddy Head Light, the US’s easternmost lighthouse, then planned to spend late afternoon/dusk near a pond in a wildlife refuge, but it started pouring. Instead I crawled into my tent and hid out. All. Night. Long.

There wasn’t much in the way of hiking up there, so I headed west, to a park with lots of mountains and hiking trails. I did some hiking and some biking and a whole lot of reading. I highly recommend “Looking for Alaska” by Peter Jenkins; I want his life. I also did some drawing, but without a digital camera, I can’t show you those or pictures taken while on vacation. I do have a birthday coming up though (coughhintcough).

And because deep down I’m a glass-is-half-empty kind of person, here is the vacation summary: I was gone six nights. It rained three of those nights. There were frost advisories two other nights. An RV ran me and my bicycle off the road. The bike was ok (I cushioned its fall), but I managed to mess up my shoulder pretty good.


(Former Hurricane) Hanna passed through here early this morning. We seem to have escaped unscathed, although there are lots of puddles and twigs on the ground.

I went in to work early on Thursday to use the computer and try to figure out where Hanna was going and what its impact would be on us. I passed my predictions on to the decision makers at the company when they arrived for the morning. Company Owner didn’t even know that I studied Atmospheric Science and have any knowledge of weather forecasting, but he actually listened to me, perhaps only because my immediate boss has been on vacation.

I said the storm center would likely pass to the east of us, meaning we would not see the highest winds here. Company Owner then decided that we would only do minimal preparations, instead of going into full on storm/disaster/panic mode, as he had been planning to start Thrusday morning. The company cares for millions of dollars of one-of-a-kind property, and based on my forecast, we decided we’d be ok.

My forecast wasn’t 100% correct, but we are ok. I didn’t sleep too well last night, but maybe my usefulness around the company has increased.


There is a Chinese Proverb that states: "A bird does not sing because it has the answers. It sings because it has a song." This is my song. I don't pretend to have the answers.