Monday, December 31, 2012

Goals and Things 2013: Part 1

Today in my teenage angst, I review 2012; the goals I had then and what I have achieved now.

In January, I had four goals for the year. They were simple, attainable (mostly), and they were going to happen. This is the segment from last year's post at about this time.

  • My dad and I are running a 5K in May. We run but we don't enter races. This is a motivating tactic to expand our training and general running practices. A 5K isn't much but races are scary. So we're starting small. 
  • Achieve 3.5GPA for both my semesters this year. I was close last semester and still might make it as I'm still waiting on one mark. This might be a bit of a stretch but having the aim on the outset of the semester gives me motivation to work hard from start to finish.
  • Save tuition for my fall semester at Regina. This is a bigger deal because the school to which I'm transferring doesn't hold the provincial support and subsequent tuition subsidization as the school I now attend. So because I live at home and have generally small needs it's attainable but saving money still requires a decision every month to put that chunk of money away.
  • Take my Harmony 4 exam in May or August. That's a vein of classical music theory. The variance in time depends on my teacher. She'll decide when I'm not too stupid to actually write the exam. Oh bless her heart for dealing with me. She's wonderful. 
So, I look back, and I think, pretty darn good, Hannah, pretty darn good. 

Come February, I fell down the stairs and sprained my ankle. Just before this, I came across a book called (I'm not kidding about the title of this book) Half-Marathon: You can do it! I thought it was funny because, as if. Also, no I couldn't run a half-marathon. But as it turned out, I really could. The plan was simple and something I could probably stick to. I looked up the race info on the Queen City Marathon and decided to sign up. I'm always motivated by paying money to do something. If I've paid for it, it's going to happen. A combination of Suzy, CandyCorn, and my cell phone, ended with a ridiculous week off of work and my introduction to the Virgin Suicides. It also put training on hold. Four weeks out of commission, I was concerned. But my dear friend Jenn, convinced me that I would bounce back, and to just give it time. I listened.

In March, my best friend had her baby. PAISLEY!!!! Talk about the best thing to ever happen to my life. Legit. She is so amazing. Both Paisley and her mom. Motherhood is kind of crazy right? How do you even approach motherhood? But Karlie's been seriously killing it. And Paisley is a healthy, hilarious and brilliant baby. I am so beyond blessed to have her in my life.  
This was at the beginning of August.
This was at the beginning of December. She is too much.

Fast-forward to April, school finally ended for the year. I did not meet my hoped for GPA of 3.5. I did however nail down a solid method of studying psych and embracing objective fields of study. 

May allowed for an amazing change of pace - employment wise. I got the summer student position doing children's programming at the Library, where I work anyway. So I got to go on leave from my current position, which was sweet. As weird as it is to be a part of a union, there are a lot of super boss things about it. Also! the first degree I did was a BA in Ministry. This, I recognize, is a weird major. People often say, "so you could, like, be a minister?" And I respond, "well, yes, but mostly I learned the dynamics and intricacies of doing children's programming. So it's nice to know that I get, every once in a while, to put that to use. Anyway, the position itself, spread over thirteen weeks was kind of sucky but it provided extra funds for the fall semester, another goal, so you know, two down. 

Come August, I had been doing training for the half marathon for about two months. It wasn't going super well. I had put my gym membership on hold for two months because I figured I would just run outside, but unless I ran at night, the sun was far to hot and murderous to run at all. I was consistent enough with my long runs to feel about 50% confident, which wasn't exactly what I'd hoped for. The eleventh of August brought about my Harmony IV exam. In the world of classical music, this is pretty advanced, and after struggling through a good measure of my time with my instructor, it was truly as advanced as I was going to get. I wrote the exam and called her after to say that we might have gotten lucky. I think I for sure passed and I might have even gotten honors! At this level, you have to get honors to move on to higher levels of study. I was kind of hoping to get one or two marks below honors to ensure I couldn't continue. I got my grade back on September 12th, however, and I did indeed achieve honors; four marks higher than necessary. This felt like a major fluke, but whatever man. At that moment in time, I killed that crap. 

At the start of September, I began my fourteenth semester of undergraduate work at the University of Regina. I've been doing this a while, so I don't really care anymore how all of this goes down, but I noticed almost immediately, the difference of being in a classroom. Professors are amazing. 4/5 of my profs were just beyond great. One, I am willing to blame for not achieving (yet again) my hoped for 3.5 GPA, but I did a bunch of personal bests grade wise on individual assignments as well as a few exams. So I'm satisfied. I also had an incredible philosophy professor, who convinced me, simply through is presence and a little bit of his teaching, that philosophy is the best thing ever. So I've decided on a philosophy minor/will probably finish the degree over the next decade. Ha. 

Also in September, I raced the Queen City Half Marathon. This was quite the experience. I was so nervous the day before. I felt like I was going to my ultimate doom and Darth Vader's theme song was following me around all day long. I was also super sensitive and felt like whining "you guuyyysss, just leave me alone! I'm going to die tomorrow!" But the day came. I painted my nails, and suited up, to run forever. And I survived. Handily. I came in 9 minutes slower than my goal time, but my goal time was already a bit of a stretch. There are people all along the course that take pictures of you and then dangle those pictures over you, wanting you to pay for them, and I'm like, no way man. I'm gonna screen shot that.
It was just so fun you guys. So much more fun than I ever knew was possible.
I'm pretty sure I'm passing Paisley here. She was crying so hard. But I was so happy she came.
I call this my hardcore finishers face.
Like, as if right? Look at her sad little face. And look at me and Karlie laughing at her. Hahahaha.

And that covered the goals I had for last year. I feel like it might have been my best year yet. Possibly because I had actual goals to work toward, but mostly because of Paisley. Ill be back tomorrow to tell you about my plans for 2013! Not that I really truly know what they are yet.

I'll make some up. 

Friday, December 28, 2012


Today in my teenage angst, I reflect upon the human experience of loss.

About a week ago, this girl that I sort of knew, though I'm not sure we ever actually met, was in a car accident and died. When I got the news, I didn't react. I thought about her family and I was sad. But I didn't cry. I was never overwhelmed with emotion. Though, as I was re-watching How I Met Your Mother, I cried a little harder than necessary at the death of Marshall's father.

As I said goodbye to people before they travelled home for Christmas, I had an overwhelming sense of doom. You know, that realization that at any moment, anyone could be taken from my life. I pride myself on the ability to achieve a level of empathy that allows me to see people in their contexts.

This generally gives me a sense of the "big picture". This is a great thing, and a really awful thing. In the immediate of a horrific moment, I can see the goodness of what can and will arise from that moment. This, I suppose, would be my gearing toward optimism. On the negative end, this removes me from the importance of the moment and I end up trivializing it. I don't like, trivialize it out loud, but in my mind, it becomes small. I don't like to talk about it, I try not to think about it, I watch more TV.

Having (sort of) experienced this measure of loss, I am forced to realize that I'm kind of lost when it comes to loss. All I want to say is that we don't have to be sad now because some sort of goodness will come out of this! So let's not be sad but instead talk about fun things and be normal. But it's not normal. It's loss.

It's like when you have a bunch of marbles in a box. They all line up pretty well and they look good. Then you take one out. There's a hole. It looks incomplete. But then the marbles move and roll and adjust to the absence of that missing marble. This seems like a stupid example because the presence of the hole and the marble adjustment is almost instantaneous. But it's relative right? Everything is relative. I just like to think about that inevitable adjustment. And after the adjustment, sometimes the marbles line up even better than before. This doesn't make the missing marble unnecessary, by any means. If that marble hadn't been present, the marbles wouldn't have realigned themselves the way they did when it was taken away. I'm coming to realize that maybe there is a lot to be said for the time leading up to the adjustment, however short it may be.

And now I wonder if this is something you have to experience to really understand. But I'd really rather not.

Thursday, December 27, 2012


Books books books books books. Today in my teenage angst, I looovvveee literature. Mostly because I love language. I love the power that language has to work for good; to provoke thought, and widen worldview; to understand other's experiences and the way we see the world.

Last year I set out to read 12 books. I read 32. Granted two of those were graphic novels and the majority of the list was juvenile fiction, but I have a craazzyy amazing list of books to recommend should you be looking an amazing (and probably simple, but awesome) read.

Read in 2012
Casual Vacancy - J.K. Rowling (I'm still reading this, but I'm pretty sure I'll be done by the new year)

I've linked them all to their Goodreads page. Most of them I've rated 5/5 because they were largely amazing. If you have a question about any of them, let me know. I really love talking about why I think books are amazing. I think about it a lot, so you can imagine the relief it is for me to talk about it. Ha.

This year, I've lengthened my list a little because, once again, almost all my books are YA or JF. Though I have some exciting picks from the adult side of things. And here they are.

And Nothing But the Truth - Kit Pearson (JF) (also one of my favorite authors of all time)
Bridges of Madison County - Robert James Waller (AF)

Alright. So I'll let you know how these go. I'm realllly excited. Also this semester, I'm taking entirely psych, so I'll have a lot of light reading needs. Yay!!! I hope you're seeking quality reads for the coming  year as well. It's worth it, I promise. 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Top Ten.

Today in my teenage angst, I noticed I've had a pretty good year. I've gotten two promotions at work, did a crazy amount of stuff, became more attached to the internet than I knew was possible, and basically ruled the world. That's a joke. Not a very funny one, I know. Here are my top ten favorite things of the year.

10. Upbeat Patrons: I work at a library, as most people know. The two years I've been at the library have been an experiential upheaval. People are weird, and people need a lot of love. I've learned, most of all, to give people the emotions they need, rather than the ones I feel. This can go a long way. It doesn't however, take much to make my day. Flirty/super-adorable old men, bonding over a great movie, precious old ladies who can't hear, jokey couples, are really all it takes. And for every mean/angry person who has accrued six hundred dollars in fines, there are seven awesome people looking to make your day. Everyone remember that.

9. The closing of Blockbuster: Okay, I know, this seems weird. But it has a lot to do with #10; kind of. My sister loved Blockbuster. And I mean loved, we'd go and wander around forever before deciding on a movie, and while I did get a lot of awesome previously viewed movies (including The Royal Tenenbaums in an amazing collector's case with an amazing insert. See below.), the closing of Blockbuster, undid some strange agreement between the library and the big movie rental places. This agreement prevented us from ordering new releases, lest we divert business from them with our free loan periods. NOW!, though, if it's out on DVD, we've got it! And if we don't have it, we'll get it! It's legit the best.

8. Netflix: Some obscure old stuff, that Netflix Canada has weirdly secured the rights to (aka, Manhattan Murder Mystery), the Library doesn't have, can be seen here! Also, Netflix availed me to Buffy. Which was the greatest three months of my life. Minus season six. Which we should all admit was the worst.

7. Top Knots: As my hair has been getting longer, longer than it's been since I was six, it's been getting more high maintenance. I just cannot wash it every day/every other day/I really need to stretch it out as long as possible - aka use cans and cans of dry shampoo. Top knots have been the ultimate solution. Also, because I have sensory processing issues, it gets it off my neck.

6. Tumblr: Ahh Tumblr. How grateful for you am I??? The #1 most grateful. During the Election season, I was kept so up to date, I could hardly handle it. My anxiety disorder my have been aided and abetted by this constant onslaught of information, but I was none the less grateful for it. Newsweek and Brooklynmutt were/are pretty awesome on this front. Also, endless memes of Hillary Clinton "saying" awesome stuff? Priceless. Here's my tumblr, if you're interested.

5. Hello Giggles: Speaking of Tumblr. I find the actual Hello Giggles website to be a little daunting. But the information guys, the information! They have about a billion writers, some of which are seriously amped in the way of challenging my worldview and making my aware of issues and the impact that thinking thoroughly about them, can have. Their tumblr channels links to these articles, always with an eye-catching picture, and almost always gets me to read them. Good work, HG, good work.

4. Fandoms: Furthering the blessed nature of tumblr, my media obsessions (Buffy, Television in general, Harry Potter (still), John and Hank Green, etc.) are allowed to fully flourish as they are shared with the thousands of others that love Awesome as much as I do.

3. Smart Phones: I got my first Smart Phone at the beginning of August. I love this thing so dang much. I have never been in better contact with my best friends. Through the wonder of Instagram, Tumblr (my first and immediate app download), and Twitter, I've made friends across provinces, that I would never have met otherwise. The first twitter conversation I had with Nova, of Glitter and Doom, Erin, of Charlie Foxtrot, and Suzy, of Suzy Krause and the Skyscrapers, was admittedly weird for me, but just so fun.

2. Exercise: I committed early on in the year to running a half-marathon. In september, that goal was smashed into the ground when I crossed the finish line. Nine minutes behind my goal time, but whatever you know? You can't always get what you want. I'm just kidding. I love putting stress on my body. I'm often stupid with this, in that I'm often very sore, but it's fun. I love exercise for how hard it is, and how great I feel after, and how I get to read Runner's World with purpose. I really want everyone to love exercise as much as I do, but it's hard, and I get that. We all just really need to commit to finding the kind of exercise that we can enjoy and look forward to doing. Also, joining a gym is a solid way to get on this, because when you're paying for it, you go. Mostly.

1. Paisley: Does everyone remember this best face ever???
She is truly the best thing to every happen to me. She has also stilled any maternal itch I had going into this year. Which, I feel is opposite of the way it usually works, but I'll take it. Also, her mom, my bff Karlie, is doing such an amazing job. I feel like it's easy to assume someone awesome is going to be an amazing mom, but until you watch her in the middle of it and realize how huge motherhood is, you can't really know how amazing that person is going to be. And she really is killing this. It's like she's providing for Paisley's needs, keeping her from sticking gross things in her mouth, and anticipating her future needs simultaneously. And she never loses it. Or at least I've never seen that. So I'm going to continue believing she never loses it. I just feel so lucky that my Best Friend had a baby that is the best baby and seems to love me, and continues to welcome me into her life. What the deal, right?

Monday, December 17, 2012


Today in my teenage angst, exam week(s) have been an acca-bitch. PS. I'm watching Pitch Perfect on the side, right now, and it is hilarious. Thank goodness for Mean Girls type movies. Oh man. And I'm jealous of Anna Kendrick.

I went into exam week wishing it wasn't spread over two. But I had my three hardest exams in the first week so whatever right? You just do what you have to do. The worst part was that amid studying for exams, and doing my regular job hours, I was training for my new job. Which, by the way, is totally going to kill. Awesome kill, that is.

Throughout the week, I got three coldsores, a ridiculous cold that took me out of commission for two days, and wanting to die. I cancelled a bunch of stuff and added an attempt at more sleep and failed. I want just so badly to be only cognitively tired, and not battling the break down of my body at the same time.

Luckily, How I Met Your Mother is now on Netflix and I'm taking full advantage. Tomorrow, I have my second last exam, Critical Thinking. It's been a pretty bad semester due simply to that class. Logic, even in its basest form, is hard. Critical Thinking, is not hard. Unless you have a linguistically simple human, marking your assignments, instead of your professor, who reads your midterm and deems the low grade due to your nuanced and sophisticated language. I'm sorry, what? I will feel so free, once it's over. As Suzy would say, Good Graish.

Hey guys! Didja know, I have an Instagram page? The pictures featured in this blog are Instapics! That's my name for Instagrammed pictures. Hahahaha. I'm just so cool guys. You can find me at And just the last part for your phones.

The parents I was babysitting for on Friday, offered me this beer. It was so tasty; partially because it's legitimately tasty beer, but mostly because it was free.

Also, I introduced Secret Santa to the Library this year and totally killed it on my gift. The limit was ten bucks. I bought an eight dollar monogrammed mug from chapters and spent a dollar on those little baggies from the dollar store. My person really loves loose leaf tea. I happen to have an endless measure of loose leaf tea. Now, understand about me, that I am not a crafty person. My conceptualizations almost never materialize. This time, however, I totally rocked it. From my frontal lobe straight out to my finger tips, it turned out beautifully. I'm awesome. 

Happy Christmas, guys. I'll probably talk to you before then.