Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Surfacing... briefly

Me, in Queen's Park, while Maritsa tested out different settings on her fancypants camera
 ~

Dear friends,

I hope that you are all doing well! I thank you for keeping up with my academic as well as extra-curricular shenanigans. This past month has been nothing short of, well, insane. When I returned from a Thanksgiving visit in Montreal, I hopped right back into my studies and started to do research in earnest for projects and presentations that, at this point, are on the verge of being presented but by no means are on the verge of being completed. Oh, what have I gotten myself into! (I confess that I started to write that without the dangling preposition, but who on Earth says, "into what have I gotten myself!" unless they're a pretentious fool [I'm pointing at myself...]).

I feel that I should clarify that, with such a statement, I am neither complaining nor am I lamenting my decision to pursue graduate studies at this fabulous university of which I am honoured, privileged, and humbled to be a part. However, though I can't say that I didn't anticipate this amount of work, I must admit that I never expected that it would be lumped into such a short period of time. And I cannot even say that I am wading in it, or even floating in the sea of work; no, no, I am veritably drowning... but with an oxygen tank always near at hand--that would be you, precious friends and family! If it weren't for your faith, well... you know what acqueous submersion without access to oxygen equals.

Speaking of the support of loved ones, I was blessed enough to be visited this past month by my best friend and, two weeks later, my sister and my cousin. We walked, talked, laughed, and ate a lot, and these magnificent ladies were understanding and comfortable enough to indulge me in studying, bringing books of their own to savour at the local Starbucks while I studied for a couple of hours. It truly is lovely, moving, and strange to have family visit you in your new home with which they are unfamiliar, since, prior to this year, we'd shared the same space and the same small town.

The clock's tickin' towards 1.am. (edit: past 1 a.m. now), so I should get back to work (ha! I bet you thought I'd say that I should get to bed). I just wanted to check in to say that I am alive, very well, close to sane, and still cooking up a storm. A new friend and I recently had a passionate conversation about sweet potatoes, and when he said he made sweet-potato chili, I thought of those peculiar-looking orange darlings in my fridge and got to work--cooking, that is. Tonight, then, I made sweet-potato chili and Happy Herbivore cornbread. As the sweet-potato chili sits on the stove top and its flavours deepen, I'm writing and reading away about Paolo Volponi and his first novel, Memoriale. Check it out. (In English, it is The Memorandum.) It's a heavy but fascinating read.

Ok, I won't bore you; it's my research and not yours!

On that note, I'll save my full updates for my next post, probably around or after Christmas-time. Until then, darlings, I wish you a marvellous Thanksgiving, if you're south of the border, and a healthy, happy, and safe holiday season. I know you're all brilliant and considerate individuals, so I don't have to remind you to not drink and drive; instead, I will encourage you all to steal those darn keys from anyone who thinks they're "fine," and then give them a big hug.

Much love and blessings,

Vegan in Suburbia