Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Spring has sprung, the grass is riz....

Despite the fact that the "first day of spring" was last week Monday, spring made its official appearance today in Ancaster. The sun was shining brightly, the quad was filled with the sounds of dripping water, and, the most telling fact of all, the hallway was filled with shorts and sandal-clad students. Kenny, Laura Moelker and I decided to welcome in the first day of Spring by lounging outside: granted, we had to sprawl on the concrete stoop because the grass had been marshified by the melting snow, but it was a happy way to spend an hour (or in Laura's case, skip a class) none-the-less. I don't know if it was the weather or the fact that I finished my last university seminar today, but whatever the cause, I've been insanely giddy and hyper for the past two hours now. I expect it'll wear off soon, seeing as how I'm planning to write a paper tonight, but it's kind of fun while it lasts. Too bad the house is empty right now. If the roads weren't all wet I'd be out rollerblading presently. That's another happy thing about spring... out come the roller blades! Sigh. What a wonderful time of year. I love the fact that we have changing seasons here. What a great place to live!

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Was it a morning like this?

As brother Dave pointed out, Easter isn't the same without singing this song....

: Verse 1
: Was it a morning like this
: When the Son still hid from Jerusalem
: And Mary rose from her bed
: To tend the Lord she thought was dead
: Was it a morning like this
: When Mary walked down from Jerusalem
: And two angels stood at the tomb
: Bearers of news she would hear soon

Chorus 1
: Did the grass sing
: Did the earth rejoice to feel You again
: Over and over like a trumpet underground
: Did the earth seem to pound he is risen
: Over and over in a never ending round
: He is risen hallelujah hallelujah

: Verse 2
: Was it a morning like this
: When Peter and John ran from Jerusalem
: And as they raced toward the tomb
: Beneath their feet was there a tune

Verse 3/Bridge
Was it a morning like this
When my Lord looked out on Jerusalem
He is risen Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Halleluja

Friday, March 25, 2005

The Court is Now in Session

The Right Honourable Joel Harsevoort is presiding over this People's Court: van Breda vs interview. Would the defendant please rise?

I swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God.

1. What is your happiest memory? Do you think on it often?

Tough question. I have a lot of favourite memories, but having to choose the happiest one is proving rather difficult. I suppose that I would have to nominate a camping trip at Presque'Ille Provincial Park. I'm not sure which camping trip, because they all blend together, but it's one of the ones that I took with my family sometime in between the ages of 5 and 9. While there were normal stressors in our household growing up, they seemed to dissolve once we got to our campsite. We'd unpack the hard-top trailer, get the bikes out and the four of us kids would be off riding the trails through the camp grounds, scouring for any remnants of useful firewood at abandoned campsites. Time, while it still existed, became irrelevant to our daily activities. Whatever adventures that we wished to undertake each day might have began in the morning before breakfast, or after a leisurely morning spent reading or skipping stones. I biked a lot with my mom-- out to the camp store, over to the lighthouse and visitor's centre, down to the boardwalk or out to Beach Two. Camp fires, barbeques, frisbee and baseball, thunderstorms and rain.... Definitely my happiest memory. And yes, I do actually think of it quite often. Oh to go back and do it again....

2. How did you like growing up in Belleville? Would you live there again?

I loved growing up in Belleville. I was one of those kids who thought that Belleville was a huge city: stands to reason, though: I never really spent much time in the GTA, though I spent a fair amount of time in London and Chatham, I only saw the outskirts and the farms (so I thought that Belleville must have been three times the size of Chatham) and we in Belleville were surrounded by such 'towns' as Picton, Bloomfield, Trenton and the vast country North of 7. It really is *somewhat* of a hole, I suppose, and that's perfectly understandable: the Quinte Area has (or had, at one point in the past five yeas) the lowest gross income per capita across Ontario. There aren't many big fancy houses and our main Pride and Joy is the Quinte Mall. But I still think it's a nice looking place. The houses all have their own nice big lawns, we knew all our neighbors growing up, there's nice places to go rollerblading and the like. Would I live there again? I wouldn't be entirely opposed to it, although all of my friends have since moved away, so it would be an entirely different experience.

3. If you had to choose...would you be loud or quiet?

Huh. No middle ground, eh? Again, hard question. I've never been the loudest person in any group of friends, that's for sure. But most of the time I'm not the quietest either. I think that I would choose to be quiet. I love watching people, and I love watching people interact with eachother. I don't know if I'd get as much of a chance to do that if I was loud, I would be the one that people are analyzing.
I don't particularly like to be the one that people are analyzing so I think I'd better just stay away from being the loud person. Besides, I get a kick out of it when the quiet people are just loud all of a sudden out of the blue now and then 'just cause.' I love catching people off guard. I don't think I'd like to give that element of surprise up just to be loud.

4. Since I think it's safe to assume that you do love choir, what do you love most about it? What was your favourite piece to sing?

I love singing under the direction of Dr T (I think that he's a phenomenally talented man and I feel honoured to be in his choir) and I love that choir has introduced all sorts of new folk into my line of vision that weren't there before. It helped cement a place for me at Redeemer when I was thinking of transferring to Calvin after Second Year, and I love the choir community for that. I'm fully aware that choir has an "elitist" image at Redeemer, and I'm terribly saddened that it does. Just like being part of a sports team would have done, choir has introduced me to friends in various years and disciplines at Redeemer, friends that I would never give up now. And I get to sing. I love singing. I love singing with other people that improve my singing.
My current favourite piece to sing is In Virtute tua Domine by Gorczycki. Gorgeous piece, and a lot of fun to sing. I don't know exactly what it is about the piece: it's not particularly the words, and I'm not the most knowledgeable in terms of music theory and all that jazz. I do know that I love the piece and that's enough for me.
Two close seconds: O Vos Omnes: Such a haunting melody and the words almost make me cry with shame. I think it's one of the most powerful pieces I've sung with the choir.
The Lord Gave the Word: I just get a kick out of that song. So much fun to sing, I know all of the melismas in the alto line, and I need something to represent the Messiah in my portfolio of tastes.

5. If you could live anywhere in the world for an extended period of time, where would you go, how would you go there, and why would you stay there for a long time?

England**. I know, not that creative since I've already lived there. But it's beautiful there. The landscape is beautiful, the architecture is beautiful (and if it's not where you are, drive half an hour and it will be there) and there's lots of sheep. I fell quite in love with it whilst there last year, and to be honest, past what I've already listed I can't tell you what it is. I lived in BC for four months as well but I didn't really feel that I was leaving my home behind when I moved back to Ontario. Even the rain and grey skies grew on me while I was there. Nothing makes you appreciate a clear sunny day better than two weeks straight of rain and drizzle, let me tell you.
How would I get there? I'd fly, I think. I'd fly into one of the London Airports, get on a train at Paddington Station, and ride around the country till I got off. I think that's what I'd have to do, because I don't know where in England I'd live. I'd love to go there for an extended period of time to actually not be a 'tourist' or a 'foreigner' anymore. I'd want to get a little flat and a job, and be British for a while. It really is a feeling of accomplishment when you've passed the line from tourist to resident. And plus, it would be so much easier to take off for a weekend to go to Italy or Switzerland if I lived in England. Yep, I think that England would definitely be the place I'd go.

**Just for the record I was very tempted to say Tuscany. But I don't know that I'd want to stick around there for an extended period of time.


Anyone else interested? Send me a note or leave a comment. Here're the rules.

1. Leave me a comment saying "interview me." The first five commentators will be the participants.

2. I will respond by asking you five questions.

3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.

4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.

5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions. (Write your own questions or borrow some.)

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Lewis on Weather

“We both like Weather. Not this or that kind of weather, but just Weather. It’s a useful taste if one lives in England.”
“However did you learn to do that, Mr Denniston?” said Jane. “I don’t think I should ever learn to like rain or snow.”
“It’s the other way around,” said Denniston. “Everyone begins as a child by liking Weather. You learn the art of disliking it as you grow up. Haven’t you ever noticed it on a snowy day? The grownups are all going about with long faces, but look at the children—and the dogs? They know what snow’s made for.”
“I’m sure I hated wet days as a child,” said Jane.
“That’s because grownups kept you in,” said Camilla. “Any child loves rain if it’s allowed to go out and paddle about in it.”

-taken from That Hideous Strength.

I think that I quite agree with this point.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Can I keep her, mommy?

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This picture really needs no caption. Other than perhaps, "Have you ever seen anything as adorable?!"
For a few more pics of banquet this past weekend, check this out. I don't have all of them up yet. They'll come in a few days or so.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Well it's that time of year again...

when I need to look for a summer job. And here I am again, enlisting you to help me. Be it in Belleville or Hamilton, I really need a job that will equip me with enough $ to get started in Japan come September. I'm willing to try my hand at 'most anything, though it would be *very* preferable if it was a mon-fri/8-4ish kind of job. So. Any ideas? Anybody? At all?

Loading the car...


On Saturday morning I woke up to Nick crooning (or belting, rather) out songs with the alarm clock. Brian was up in a flash to turn off the music and put a stop to the "singing", and soon Shanna, too, was up and at'em, and only Joel and I were lingering in our respective beds, hiding from the lights and the perky people. That was at 6am.
By 7:08am, we five were loaded into Nick's car along with our snowboarding gear and bound for Holiday Valley down in Ellicotville, New York. Come 10:30, we were strapped into our snowboards and standing on the top of the mountain.
I learned something important on Saturday: the more effort you put into snowboarding, the more it hurts to fall. By 12:30 I hadn't really hurt myself yet. I fell a lot, yes, but they weren't spectacular falls and they certainly didn't bruise my tailbone at all. I had pretty much mastered the heel edge but due to the fact that I was wearing Brian's old boots that were about 4.5 sizes too big, I was having more than a bit of trouble even attempting the toe edge. Every time I tried to lift my heels off the ground to get on to my toe edge, my heels both lifted about two inches from the bottom of the boot, leaving the boots and snowboard flat on the ground. That caused some nice falls.
However, as the day progressed the boys kept tightening my boots until the boots and feet weren't goin' anywhere without eachother, and I was determined to carve. After many hours and many, many hard falls (Brian says there wasn't any ice on the hills. I would like to disagree. I think that my butt found a lot of it), I kinda got it. I mean, I didn't look like a real snowboarder by the end of the day, but I don't think that I looked like the beginner that I was in the morning. But man was I ever exhausted. I figure that I fell about 100 times, probably more. Each time I fell, I had to push myself back up again with my arms. Legs took the brunt of the falls, so my arms took the brunt of the recovery. If you're in doubt of what that feels like, just try sitting down and standing up in one spot 100 times in a row, and you might begin to get the idea. It's tiring.
I was insanely thankful to Mr Harsevoort for sticking with me on the hills whilst the other folk did their boarding in the bushes.... Joel and I even had our falls coordinated-- when I was down, I'd look across the hill and there was Joel, crumpled in a ball. You have no idea how much of a difference it makes to have someone else in the same situation as you on the hill.... I really felt like that much less of an idiot, just cause I had someone to laugh with. Good work, Joel!
Anywho, I considered it to be well worth the pain. It's actually a lot of fun, once you can go down the hill without falling on your butt at all. The weather was beautiful, the snow was hardly even cold, and I had some excellent teachers (those vanOostens have got some good patience). Funny thing though...in the midst of recovering from the snowboarding, I came down with the flu today. Figgers.

Thursday, March 10, 2005


The cost of attending Redeemer and living on campus for the academic year 2005-2006. $11,082: the cost of tuition alone. 4.5%: the increase of tuition and fees from this year to next year. 100%: how much of Jenn's BA will be complete by the end of the 2004-2005 academic year. Extremely: how extatic Jenn is that she doesn't have to deal with RUC's rising tuition costs anymore.

I remember when I was in grade 9 and my sister and brother were heading off for their first year at Redeemer, the cost of tuition and housing came to no more than $11,000, if that. I thought to myself, well, when I go, it will cost me $44,000 for four years of college (for it was not yet a university), which is steep but managable. By the time I arrived four years ago tuition and housing was at $13,000. It progressed to $14,000, then $15,000, and this year $16,000. If I lived on campus all four years those little two letters behind my name would cost me $58,000. That's $14,000 more than I was banking on in the beginning... a full year of school (well, not anymore...). I realize that inflation is the name of the game, but something doesn't seem to sit right: my tuition is inflated by 4.5% every year, but why is my wage not being inflated to match? I'm making a guess that the average wage for a female college student during the summer is $9, give or take. If I worked 40 hours a week at $9/hour, five weeks a month and four months of the summer with no vacation and paid no taxes or benefits, I would make $7,200. That isn't even enough to cover the cost of tuition by itself, though it would just barely pay for room and board for the year. Am I off my rocker, or does something not sit quite right?

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Things long awaited

I opened my mailbox at school yesterday to find not one but four papers returned to me. I did not consider it so much unusual that I was receiving four papers back at one time, but rather that three of the four papers I had written the date "April 5, 2004" on them and had handed them in last spring. Talk about a long wait to get them back! These specific papers were being held hostage in Dr Mantz's office in ABU and after one last (a little bit rude, I'll admit)) email to him, he finally returned to me my long lost papers. They have fond memories written into them I must say, for two out of the three papers compiled to be my Independent Study on the one and only P.G. Wodehouse. (One of the papers also happens to be the infamous re-written paper of quagmire fame.)
Re-reading these papers gave me a strong desire to run to a public library and check out some of his Mr Mulliner books, for there is no other author that could quite get away with opening a short story like this:

"Right ho," said Algy Crufts. "The I shall go alone."
"Right ho," said Ambrose Wiffin. "Go alone."
"Right ho," said Algy Crufts. "I will."
"Right ho," said Ambrose Wiffen. "Do."
"Right ho then," said Algy Crufts.
"Right ho," said Ambrose Wiffen.
"Right ho," said Algy Crufts.

That's some kinda brilliant. These books are a riot to read, I highly recommend them to one and all for a summer read.

On a completely different note, I am now finally in the possession of my notebook. It's pretty.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away...

Last year today I was in Alicante, Spain, lounging on the white beaches along the Mediteranean Sea. Today I'm sitting in a very cold basement, preparing to head home for a weekend with my mom. Both have their appeal: Spain--well, need I say more? And home: well, it's home...'nuff said.
Brian's car is currently at cousin Rob Brouwer's shop here in Hamilton, Glendale Motors, I do hope that Rob treats it well. Perhaps I should call Rob and let him know that he's dealing with family... :P
That's all. Cheers.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Calling All Trekkies!

So, we're going to be watching a couple episodes of Star Trek The Next Generation Season Two at the Shack tonight, sometime between 9:30 and 10:00pm. Whilst my dearest shan't be there for much of it (On account of his car being troublesome) we shall be having some excellent company nonetheless. Send me an email if you don't know where the Shack is located, and I shall right that wrong.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005


Everyone's been talking about the fat dutch kid lately. I think it's the funniest thing I've seen in a long time, but has anyone noticed how bloody awful it is to get that song stuck in your head for two days straight? "Mai-ah-heee, Mai-ah-hooo, Mai-ah-haaa..." And On and On and On! It doesn't end. It was so plaguing me the other night that I decided to get the deal on this kid, and low and behold he's 19, from New Jersey, his name's Gary, he works at Staples and he wishes that he had never sent this video on to one of his friends... Doesn't make it any less funny though. Whilst I was looking at this information, I came across something else. I think that I'm quite a bit behind the times because this surfaced quite some time ago, but it's still cute nonetheless. And I'd much rather have "Ich ben Schnappi, das kleine krokodil..." in my head for the rest of the week.