Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tweet tweet! (off topic)

There are 25 people following @DanielleConolly on Twitter. I feel so loved!

When Twitter first appeared, I had no idea what it could possibly do for me. Ditto Facebook. Why on earth would I want to spend all my time reading inane messages from people I already talk to anyway?

Was I ever wrong!

Not only am I enjoying tweets from classmates, ranging from "im so lost, this is scary" to "Hello to all, I'm part of the Twitter word!", but I'm also 'following' people I never thought I could have 'conversations' with, such as Jian Ghomeshi and George Stromboulopoulos. I can't even begin to describe the joy of reconnecting with former classmates and out-of-town family via Facebook. And the possibilities of connecting with other amazing people -- professionals in my desired field(s) of employment; humanitarians I admire; future employers; etc. -- are almost endless.

So - hi everyone! Welcome to my Twitter feed! Let's hope for minimal spam.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Mother Nature Saves City Lots of Money

Are you wondering where the snow is?

So are Winnipeg's seasonal equipment operators - the people who drive our city's dump trucks and snowplows during winter. Usually, Winnipeg would have had one or two large snowfalls by now, and certainly much colder weather than we're currently experiencing. There's a picture of me at age 1 sitting on my parents' front yard, on a snowdrift half the height of their garage door....it was taken on Remembrance Day 1986.

This month, Mother Nature seems to have decided that Winnipeggers deserve a break. We're saving energy, because we don't need to exert ourselves to shovel, keep upright, or simply stay warm on freezing, icy streets. We're saving on our heating bills because we haven't yet had to set our furnaces to max power. And the city doesn't have plow crews out on the streets because, well, there's no snow.

Anybody who spends their time primarily outdoors must be feeling relieved. The Downtown Biz foot patrols are likely enjoying the decreased risk of frostbite, as are people who commute by walking, cycling, or buses that don't arrive on time/often enough. I can't say I mind the unseasonably warm weather either; it means slightly more comfort for those who don't have a safe, warm roof over their heads on a regular basis. Only slightly more - the temperature is dropping below 0C during nights.

But for now - thank you, Mother Nature, for saving us a little bit of energy and warmth.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sale: 50% off all clothing!

If vintage/secondhand shopping is your thing, don't miss Value Village's sale! TODAY-ONLY: 50% off all SECONDHAND clothing! This includes shoes and 'accessories' (which I'm guessing are things like jewellery and scarves and mitts, but don't quote me). There are 4 VVs in the city: 1560 Regent, 1729 Pembina, 942 Jefferson, and 1695 Ellice. You've got from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. today, so don't miss it!

I think I'm going to make a serious attempt to replace a pair of jeans that I loved, which were recently overcome by large holes at the knees. :(

Friday, November 13, 2009

Cheap ways to de-stress!

It's almost midway through November, and I find myself tearing out of the house, hair slightly more unkempt than usual, just-printed-and-stapled assignments trailing from my bookbag like streamers. There are bags under my eyes, my computer laughs maniacally at my attempts to get it to do as I wish, and I don't remember what I ate for breakfast. Is anyone else in the same boat?

As students, there's a lot of stress in our lives right now as we try to recall and apply everything that our brains are soaking up in class. We've also made school a priority over working, so we don't have unlimited funds at our disposal. How can we calm down without breaking the bank? Because the beer does add up, guys.

1. Go for a walk! Or a run, or a bike ride, or go rollerblading...half an hour of exercise can get those endorphins pumping and burn away stress as well as calories. (I need to do some more of this, myself!)

2. Have a bath. Sure, showers are the only option when you're pressed for time, but a nice hot soak in the bathtub will loosen up tense muscles. Add some scented bubble bath (guys, I'm talking to you) to truly pamper yourself.

3. Make yourself a nice cup of tea. Coffee and hot chocolate both contain amounts of caffeine that can actually rev up your system and make you feel more stressed. Decaffeinated or herbal teas, on the other hand, don't contain caffeine and can help you feel relaxed. Some teas can even help with insomnia. A personal favourite of mine is chamomile tea - no matter what I'm going through, a cup of chamomile tea will calm me down.

4. Do something other than stare at a screen before going to bed. Scientific research shows that looking at computer or TV screens before going to bed actually makes it harder for you to fall asleep! If you want to increase your chances of getting a good night's shut-eye as soon as your head hits the pillow, turn off those screens and read a book, or the newspaper. Maybe do some journal writing. Whatever slows down your pace at the end of the day - and oh, your iPhone screen counts too!

These are just a few suggestions. Feel free to share your own! Let's get through the next month of CreComm adventures as calmly as possible! (Ha, ha!)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Student Bottomless Passes!!!

Image of '09-'10 programming gratefully borrowed from the WSO's website.

You love the sweeping scores on movie soundtracks. You're smitten when the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra accompanies your favourite ballet piece (Moulin Rouge, anyone?). You'd love to attend a few symphony shows...but with tickets costing as much as $60 for a single show (yes, even for students), what's a student to do?

Luckily, the wise people at the WSO have realized that attending classes, studying for exams, and furiously procrastinating on assignments can leave us without much time to earn money for "extras." They present the Student Bottomless Pass, the opportunity to view as many shows as you want in a given twelve-month period, for only $75 per pass. You have to pick up the tickets yourself, but this is a small drawback since once you've purchased the tickets, the WSO will find you the best available seats in the house. And if you hate attending alone, you'll like this last part: bring a friend - your mother, your great-uncle, your boyfriend, your wife's great-uncle - and pay only $10 for the friend's ticket. The friend does not also have to be a student.

(This is the point at which my mother said to me "I could have been attending for $10 a pop the whole time you were in University!" Sorry, mom.)

So if gorgeous classical music is your thing, here's an inexpensive way to get the thrilling orchestral experience. And kudos to the WSO for a smart campaign to hook future listeners now, so that they'll want to pay full prices when they graduate.