Saturday, November 27, 2010

19 DAYS!!!

In 19 days we will be in snowy (?) Vancouver......

I am so fucking excited.

We left 95 days ago today, and since then, I have been making a list of things I want to do when I get home.  Here is a sample (the real list is much MUCH longer)....

- eat sushi, like, everyday,
- go to a movie and get an extra large popcorn and Diet Coke...maybe even some Reese's pieces,
- go to Staples,
- get a Starbucks and walk through Chapters,
- buy a fabulous new fall/winter outfit,
- wear my red coat from Paris,
- go to the mall with my mom,
- drink milk,
- go to Denny's and get a Grand Slam,
- get my hair done,
- go to Sephora/MAC and play with all the expensive make-up,
- get an Earl's salad,
- eat my weight in my mom's delicious Christmas treats (namely tarte de amendoa and rolo de chocolate),
- annoy my brother,
- eat Smarties and Ketchup chips
- get a Slurpee (I don't care how cold it is outside)

The list goes on and on.  Hopefully, I have enough time to do everything.  I plan on sleeping very little and maximizing my time in Canada.  I'm sure that the time is going to fly by too fast.

What I imagine snowy Vancouver to look like...

For the next 17 days though, I need to focus on school and getting straight As so that I can justify buying myself a ring I really want from Tiffany's (no, not an engagement right....).

Isn't she a beauty? I reserve to right to pick out a different ring once I get to the store though...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Hagglin' like a mo fo.

Welcome Khemarint and Monique. I'm hoping you're the Monique I know in Dominica, and I'm hoping that Khemarint is someone really really cool. We'll count you as two people so that our tally is now 14 followers! We are all the coolest!

Prices are flexible in Dominica. It's the way things go here: people see you're white, assume you're a student, assume you have lots of cash, and charge you more than they should. You're supposed to come back with a counter-offer, but I have zero experience with this, and thus far have pretty much always accepted the grossly inflated price. Really, in the end, the difference is so marginal by Canadian standards that I let it go. Plus I suck at confrontation. Here and there I've gotten better - for instance, a week ago I haggled for a pineapple, bringing the price down from 12EC (4.50 CDN) to 10EC (3.75 CDN). Ballsy.

This is very much like when I haggled with the pineapple lady.

But this weekend was a milestone. The campus was holdings its "Arts and Crafts" fair, held once a semester. Generally that term is reserved for crappy pieces of make-it-yourself nonsense, but for this event there was genuinely awesome, locally made stuff. One of the things I bought, which I can't name because it's a Christmas present, was priced at 150EC. I really wanted to get it. With gravitas, I inquired if 130EC was ok with the vendor.

"Yeah sure," he said, in his laid-back Caribbean accent.


I secured the item, handed over the cash, and scurried over to Denise to brag about it. There I was, a twenty dollar bill heavier than I might have been if I was a lesser man. But I wasn't. And so I'm ballin'.

But then Denise used my money to buy other stuff.

So now I'm poor again.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Dominica 1, Canada 0

Denise and I just ordered delivery from a cafe that's five minutes away. What we ordered:

-two long john donuts
-one apple fritter
-one Java Chip Chiller
-one beer

Total cost: 12$ CDN.

Sometimes, this place rules.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Assorted thoughts.

Locals here say "good night" as a salutation. It's very strange. It always feels like they're trying to hurry you away when you're simply telling them hello.

So I've settled into my position as Island Thrift Manager. More stressful than I'd thought it would be, I've taken on quite a bit of a project in trying to get it organized and more presentable. I've never been in a management position, and even though the company is pretty tiny, it's still a strange position for me.

Not much else, really, just felt like blogging. Go Leafs Go!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A heartfelt post...(the title was Mark's idea...no surprise there...)

Today I did the coolest thing that I have probably ever done...

cut        into

It was so fucking awesome.  

Sad, obviously, because our cadaver had a pretty rough body, and what I can imagine, a pretty rough end-of-life.  However, as a scientist and future physician, today was amazing.

We are doing a cardiovascular unit right now.  Even before today's dissection, I had been giving a lot of thought lately to being a cardiologist.  Specifically a neonatal or even prenatal cardiologist (I pretty much want to be Addison Montgomery from Grey's Anatomy).  

Although I've always thought the heart was really awesome, it wasn't until I started learning about the development of the heart from embryo to fetus to baby to adult and all the ways that this can go wrong that I considered making it a profession. Mark says that being a cardiologist makes sense for me....not totally sure what that means.

It turns out that being a cardiologist has the biggest return-on-invest (financially) out of any medical speciality.  Throw on a subspecialty of "neonatal" or "prenatal", and I have the potential to one day be sleeping in a water bed filled with molten diamonds on a pillow made of fluffed platinum.

Of course, the irony of all this is that my own heart is a piece of shit that only really works when it wants to.  I mean this literally and not in the emo sense.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Orion is sideways here. Which I suppose makes his belt more of a tie.

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Battle of the Boxes.

Before we begin, welcome to Stephanie, the latest follower of our blog. This is by far the coolest group of people I've ever seen.

We just got a package from Denise's parents, filled with (surprise) Decadent cookies from Superstore, men's razors, granola bars, and scar cream for our multiplying mosquito bites (Denise openly acknowledges that the inclusion of this one was because of her superficiality). We've pretty much demolished the cookies. Mmm.

We're also awaiting a package from my own parents. Somewhere in there, I'm sure, are more cookies. All this is gearing up for Christmas treats, of course. The real question is: who will send more packages in the long run?

Will the Sousa family claim the throne on the awesomest amount of packages, or will the McLeans battle for the title?

In all honesty, we're trying to create a bidding war, like children of divorced parents at Christmas. But seriously, we really doubt either set of parents is going to man up on this one. (Cough).

Who will be the victor? Or will an underdog sibling or kind friend seek to win?

Feel free to email us for our address, btw.

Friday, November 5, 2010

What I bought myself for being awesome...


Both from Victoria's Secret.  I got 3 free lip glosses with my purchase, and only went $15 over my $100 budget, which, considering that I was super under on my last gift (it cost $50), I figured I deserved it.

I don't care that I can only wear that dress for 3 weeks....I am going to rock it.

Denise (obviously)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A long catch-up post...

Greetings friends,

Finally, after weeks of studying, I have free time.  Theoretically, I COULD be studying right now, but frankly, I have decided that I have earned the right to a day off.  It’s a national holiday, so nearly everything on campus is closed anyway, making this a perfect day to sit in a café (/the only café) with my laptop, my boyfriend, and my In Style magazine.  I got a head start on relaxing yesterday and went to the pool with my buddy Suzie, where we talked about fall fashion, and all the beautiful things we can’t wear here…

This past Monday, I wrote my 3rd midterm (they call them Minis here….which I guess is supposed to sound less scary than midterm).  Despite honestly thinking that I had potentially failed, I was pleasantly surprised when my grade was released (A is for Denise is Accidently Awesome).  Now, as a reward, I get to buy myself something online (up to $100 CAD), and have it shipped to my parent’s house.  I do this every time I get an A.  The goal is that I will do SO well in med school that I will have a heaving pile of presents waiting for me when I get home at Christmas, in addition to all the ones my spoiling parents buy me.  I am having a hard time deciding what to buy myself this time...any suggestions?

In less recent news, Mark and I were considering adopting a puppy from a friend of ours (hi Kate! And Happy Birthday!!).  He is SO cute.  It was the first time since Bowser died that I actually considered having a pet again.  Unfortunately, it didn’t work out (our landlord gave us a bunch of reasons, all fair, as to why we couldn’t have a pet in our current apartment).  Fortunately, the dog did find a home.  With a face like this, how couldn’t he?

Rocky Balboa

I guess Mark and I had the option of moving into a pet-friendly apartment and taking the dog, but we really like where we live, and our landlord.  Also, I was afraid that with each semester becoming busier than the last, that all the burden of caring for a dog would fall on Mark, and that isn’t fair either.  I’m sure once we settle, he will have a dog, but the timing right now just didn’t work out.  L

On a less sad note, and in even less recent news, I had the luxury of going to Winnipeg a month ago for my cousin Jennifer’s wedding, in which I was a bridesmaid.  It was so fun and so sad at the same time.  I wanted to stay!  The first thing I did in the Toronto airport on my way up to Winnipeg was order Starbucks….obviously.  It tasted even better than I remembered…..

Iced grande sugar-free-vanilla non-fat caramel macchiato = heaven.
And yes, I was so excited that I got a barista to take a photo...

The next thing I did was order a Caesar at the bar….I may or may not have been a little bit drunk for the Toronto-Winnipeg connection…no big deal since I wasn’t flying.

I have no idea why my eyes look so small in this photo....

Due to a problem with the plane, I got to Winnipeg late (2am when it was supposed to be midnight).  My cousin Denine’s boyfriend, a ginger named Mark, picked me up from the airport and drove me to the mother-of-the-bride’s house (my mom’s cousin Natal).  The wedding the next day was rad.  I loved having an excuse to wear make-up and get my hair done.

Denine's Mark - my surrogate ginger while in Winnipeg
Me, my folks, and my bro.  The blonde girl, who is clearly not related to us, in my brother's girlfriend, Danica.
She's cool and stuff.
The next day, my family went over to Mark’s parents house for brunch.  We were all flying out that afternoon.  We Skyped with Mark while we were there….which was very awkward and cumbersome, but really fun.  Mark’s niece is the cutest.

Old photo, but you get an idea of the level of cute we are dealing with here...

I was welcomed by crazy rainfall when I landed in Dominica (we almost didn’t land because the weather was so bad).  By the time I got home after the 1 hour cab ride, I was ready to die.  The airport-to-Ross drive is probably the most nauseating ride I have ever been on.  Luckily, I had Mark at home ready to take care of me!

So…..I guess that’s pretty much it for now.  I think I am all caught up on my news.

T-43 days until I am back in Vancouver.  Yeah!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Delight in lying.

I had my first substitute teaching shift of my career today. Taught four classes for a friend of mine who teaches at the school. He decided to take the day off and visit a nearby island.

The children kept asking me what happened to him, and I told each grade a different story. Depending on who talks to him when he returns on Thursday, he was: (a) horribly injured in a skiing accident and helicoptered from the island, (b) vanished in a poof of smoke after a science experiment gone terribly wrong, (c) was mangled by a pack of wolves while trying to protect small children, or (d) offered a modeling contract which was effective immediately.

I love lying to students. I feel like it's good for them. They learn to be skeptical and not so naive when I tell them that under my new regime, mistakes are punished with push-ups.