So far this summer…

April 24, 2008 at 3:27 pm 4 comments

** I have an important request at the end of this post, for anybody who doesn’t feel like reading the weighty tome that I’ve just vomited**

  1. I’ve seen old high school friends
  2. Been to the library for a book
  3. Been to the gym
  4. Been to St. Catharines to retrieve the rest of my stuff from the house

Let’s work backwards through that list.  I went back to 184 Highland Ave. yesterday because my first move-out day last Sunday wasn’t enough to get all my worldly possessions out from the clutches of the home where I’ve lived the past three years.  That was with one large-ass van with the seats taken out, one Jeep Laredo, and one pickup truck.  I still had to make another trip.  What a royal pain in the ass.

This is fair warning to anyone that will be moving wholesale out of their place at the end of their university term (either this year or next): start doing it now, for the love of God.  You don’t need that much stuff.  Do.  Not.  Even after you account for all of your essentials (clothes, toiletries, cooking utensiles, books, etc) and all of your fun stuff (music, DVDs, other books, booze, etc) there is still at LEAST 40% of your belongings in the house that you never even considered.  I’m talking computer cables, reams of printer paper, binders from first year, textbooks from first year, old magazines in the bathroom, spatulas and potato hand-mashers, more plates and coffee mugs than one person will ever realistically need, a second pair of slippers, a beach ball you got from Virgin Festival, and if you think about it, most of your clothes that you never wear.

I fucking hate moving.  Hate it.  It’s not because I have a sentimental attachment to the place (although I do, kind of.  A lot has happened in that old house) but because it’s such a bitch to do.  But it’s done.  I shook hands with Sean, turned on my heel, and left that house for good.  My key stayed there.  It was a little strange to leave it so unceremoniously, but I had a long drive home and days of unpacking to face, which was a little daunting.

However, I no longer have a place to hang my hat in St. Catharines, not for an evening or a weekend or a school year.  That chapter, as they say, is finished.  Strangely, I just received word the other day that I snagged a place in the good residence at King’s College.  It’s a residence SPECIFICALLY for people in my program, with only 12 (private, thank god) rooms.  Best of all, it’s right above my classes, so very little public transit to deal with.  Also, it’s ten minutes from downtown.  I’m pretty stoked on that.  It’ll force me to pack light: computer, cables, and clothes.  Anything else I need, I buy.  Move-in day is August 14.

Secondly, I went to the gym.  I use the rec centre here in Aurora because it’s usually empty and has pretty much anything I’d need to use at a gym, without those massive universal machines that exercise everything except your private bits (cock pushups, anyone?).  I make the commitment to go every summer, and I usually make an honest effort.  Two summers ago I went, literally, three times every week at LEAST.  Last summer it petered off a bit.  I’m sore as fuck right now, and it’s now two days after my workout.  Maybe I should commit more time to stretching.  The only thing I hate about the rec centre is that it’s often full of old dudes who could probably kick the everloving shit out of me.  If I go to a regular gym I expect to see a bunch of juicers just itching for a fight, but at the rec centre?  It’s the seniors I’m afraid of.

Thirdly, I went to the library.  I grabbed a copy of “A History of the English-Speaking Peoples” by Winston Churchill.  I’ve been on the lookout for it FOREVER after hearing that it was an excellent read.  And you know what?  It is.  The copy I have is a one volume edition that has been edited down from the original four volumes that Churchill wrote, about half the original’s length with all the good parts left in tact.  It’s astoundingly good.  Straight up glorious English history, starting from the Roman rule and moving forwards.  I woke up this morning around 3:00 am and couldn’t get back to sleep, and ended up reading until 6.  My only complaint is that the book is mostly politics (isn’t everything?) and deals in the main with kings and the rough formation of the modern English state.  But whatever, Churchill was a beautiful writer and the book kicks ass.  I intend to get the continuation of Churchill’s version after I finish it.

Jesus, this post was a novel.

Before I go:  Anybody who has any kind of experience with digital SLR cameras, drop me a comment or something with your best advice on how to get into them.  I’m looking to get a Canon Rebel XT with some of my tax return money (thank god for the government) and getting better with it through the summer so I can document my Nova Scotia year properly.  When I say advice, I mean anything having to do with:

  1. Lenses (is it worth getting a second one?  What should I look for in a wide-angle?  A zoom?)
  2. Helpful guides that you recommend? (a For Dummies book, maybe?)
  3. Tips on how to get the best beginner results (if any).

Or anything you can think of.  I don’t know how many of you are into this kind of thing, but if you have advice GIMME GIMME GIMME!

Churchill didn't need to do cock pushups


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As good a time as any Before After

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. K  |  April 25, 2008 at 12:52 pm

    For the SLR… if you look at my Facebook pics, the album called ‘A Visit from the Willson’s’, those were all taken with an SLR. My friends have a Nikon and they let me play with it when they were down. They had a pretty wicked zoom lens [I’m sure there’s a technical name, I just don’t know it] on it. The rest of that is me having a basic photography knowledge and playing around with the shots.

    That may not be the best help, but I’ve used one and I’m pretty sure I want one. Now to just find the money…

  • 2. katie  |  April 26, 2008 at 9:07 pm

    feel free to begin travis’ and I canon vs. nikon debate…. ;)

    I worked in a camera store for a while, so let me give you my typical speech + actual advice since I’m not trying to sell you something right that second.

    I would hold out a little bit. I know both canon and nikon are releasing new models (the XSi for canon and the D60 for nikon) and the specs on them are absolutely incredible. Both of them are bigger/better versions of previous models (the XTi and the d40x).

    A really neat feature on the D60 is a stop-motion feature, which can take up to 100 pictures and string them together at a speed of your choosing (so you can make a peter gabriel video!) I’m not sure if the XSi is going to have anything too different from the XTi, but I’m confident that the XSi will have a 3 inch screen. Which comes in a lot more handy than you’d think.

    But I dunno if either are out on the market yet. I know the last I heard was that they were in production and were going to start shipping soon, but whether they actually have… I dunno. But at the same time the XTi is super solid itself, and I’m sure once the XSi comes out they wil hardcore drop the price on the XTi’s.

    Basically Canon is known/marketed for sports/fast moving subjects while Nikon is known more for portraits. It doesn’t mean Nikon takes shitty sports pictures or that canon’s portraits are balls, but some of the features on the cameras are better geared towards one over the other. So you have that to think about. But for most people who’ve never had/used an SLR it’s not really that important, and you’re probably not going to lose anything going with one brand over the other.

    Nikon and Canon both have great consumer packages where they will offer the same camera body, but with different qualities of lenses. This way if you’re a newbie or don’t want to drop a whole lot of money, you can still get an excellent grade body and can pick and choose the lenses. Then, later on if your hobby turns into a passion, you can upgrade lenses, but you’ll still have a solid body.

    I also have about 54 other things to say, but I think wordpress comments have a character limit. In short: take me shopping with you, or come over for a chat.

  • 3. katie  |  April 26, 2008 at 9:12 pm

    I know the Canon xti has a package where you get the body, a standard 18-55 lens, and then a telephoto zoom lens (70-300). These aren’t the highest quality lenses, but I used both for years and had no problems getting money for the pictures I took with them.

    They aren’t very versatile and don’t let you adjust anything like depth of field, but I can’t imagine that if you’ve never used a camera before you’d be thinking “I want to get one of those shots where there’s a football player running and he’s perfectly in focus but the background is very soft and blurred….. WHAT DO YOU MEAN I CAN’T DO THAT”

    So yes. Nikon offers a camera + 18-55 + 55-200 lens and Canon offers a camera + 18-55 + 70-300 lens. The canon lens will get you in closer, but depending on what you’re wanting to take pictures of, that might not matter.

    I’m going to stop now.

  • 4. katie  |  April 26, 2008 at 9:13 pm

    ok… one more.

    I actually have a for dummies book that came with my last camera. If it didn’t actually come with the camera bagI would have been offended that mom bought it for me. ;P

    I don’t think I’ve ever used it, so if it’s still sitting on my shelf, it’s all yours.


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About Upper Lip

It's mostly a collection of sweet links and copious amounts of talk talk talk. I like it more and more every day. And yes, even the ugly blue/green color scheme is not without a certain charm.

Yours Truly

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April 2008
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