Brianna Is Awesome

Dreaming with both eyes open

Word on the Street September 29, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Brianna @ 4:01 AM

This past Sunday I had the joy of attending Word On the Street in Vancouver for the second time. It was a bit of a hassle getting there, as the transit system in Nanaimo on Sunday seems to be scheduled specifically to impede one’s ability to get anywhere. I walked to the ferry terminal from my apartment, and felt powerful when I made it there 17 minutes faster than Google Maps insisted I would. Of course, Google Maps does not officially endorse jaywalking, or back alleys.

On the ferry I met up with several lovely Creative Writing ladies, including Kaitlyn Till, whose own post about this event will likely be less rambling and more informative than my own. We staked our claim on a group of eight seats, which was not enough to contain us all. Of course, ten women are going to make a lot of noise, and more than a few of the other ferry passengers gave up on sitting near to us.

thank you hipstamatic

Kaitlyn and Sherry

And then, of course, came the bus. We got off a stop too soon, but luckily the route was a straight line. None of us minded the extra two block’s walk. Our very first destination was the Information Tent, where we picked up our $20 cloth bags complete with Treasure Hunt Tags, which meant that we could fill these bags with every student’s dream: Free Stuff.

And off we went. After fueling up on sushi, Kaitlyn and I began our trek. We hit up, most notably (for me), the booths for OCW Magazine, Geist, and Prism. We loaded up on copies of these magazines, and others, as well as paperbacks. There were, of course, Official Booksellers, but the huge neon red “RENT” flashing in my head kept me from perusing too seriously.

Of course, my school had a booth there as well. We stopped by, and I got a picture of the school newspaper:

The Navigator

This is the paper my boyfriend writes for! I’m guessing that if you are reading this blog you go to my school, and therefore should be reading The Navigator already. If not, you should start.

We stopped only for lunch (a bucket of fries, for me) and took in the local scenery. By which I mean our gorgeous waitress. After lunch we were off again, stopping only to rearrange out loot in order to reduce the amount of pain our poor shoulders were in.

Photo by Becka Raynor

We had a few moments to check out the book reading featuring Susan Juby, an author as well as one of our professors. She read from her memoir, Nice Recovery. We unfortunately had to duck out right after, missing the Asking Questions portion of the reading, in order to catch a bus. And then it was on to a ferry where we once more scoped out seats. In the Way Things Go, the ride back was longer and less pleasant than the ride there. But of course, next year will bring another Word on the Street, and new adventures. For now, I get to relax, rest my aching shoulders, and sift through my enormous pile of swag. Homework be damned.


Summer September 6, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Brianna @ 11:29 PM

Well, it’s over. Perhaps not according to the calendar, but every single student’s internal freedom-clock is ringing. Tomorrow, I join legions of students for the return to university. For me, it will be my third year. Four more semesters, and if all goes according to plan, I’ll set out into the world, degree in hand. With the end of the summer comes the end of my blogging-sabbatical. I’m going to force myself to document my adventures, even if it is only for my own benefit.

I went to campus last week to buy a bus pass, and I felt a familiar feeling as I scaled the steps. A sense of uncertainty, hope for the future, and a little bit of fear. When I first started university, I was a terrified 18-year old fresh out of Nanaimo Christian School, living in the dorms and hoping to earn an English degree to go on to teach high school students. Two years later, I’m a different person. I officially declared my major in Creative Writing, plan on being an editor, and have an entirely different outlook on life.

Every time I step foot on that campus, I am a different person than the time before. And that’s a good thing.

Over the summer I did a lot of things. I turned 20. I got a new job. I almost went on a roadtrip. I started writing, then stopped. Then started again. I visited my family. I hit bottom a few times, but never gave up. I got closer to figuring out who I am. I did a whole lot of other things that sound like cliches. I realized that I actually have a great life. I surrounded myself with the people I really care about.

And I can’t wait for the next few months.


“If”, Not “When” April 27, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Brianna @ 1:10 PM

While talking with my roommate about a week ago, we came to the sharp realization that all of our friends are getting married. I don’t mean the circle of friends we have in which the average age is in the mid-twenties, I mean the group of people we graduated with. Two years ago. Both my roommate and I are 19, and by not being engaged we stick out like sore thumbs. Even the people who are not nearlyweds are in committed relationships, and it seems only a matter of time before they, too, tie the knot. Hayley and I are both in relationships, and while I can’t speak for her, I can safely say that my relationship is serious enough that I’d be upset if my boyfriend kissed another girl, but we won’t be picking out china patterns any time soon. Or ever.

That’s right, I have no immediate plans to marry, move in with, or even say “I love you” to my current boyfriend.

And apparently, this makes me abnormal.

I jumped into a conversation that two of my friends were having about marriage, chiming in with my choice of song for walking down the aisle (Conquest by The White Stripes, for those of you who want to know). Only, I didn’t say “when I get married”, I said “if I get married”. This was apparently the only part of the sentence they heard.

“What do you MEAN, ‘IF’? Of COURSE you’re getting married!” is usually the response I get. Um, no. I think I should point out once more than I am 19. I should be thinking about finishing my degree, finding a job, and finding myself before I ever even consider marriage. I will confess that last year I was right on board with the rest of my classmates, waiting for the day my then-boyfriend would propose. Of course, it was when I realized that that could actually become a reality that I realized I had to end our relationship. (There were other reasons, not just my fear of commitment. But that was certainly the final straw.) There are times when I think “Man, I could be engaged right now”, and it sends shivers down my spine. I take that to mean that I made the right choice.

Another thing that gets me is when I say that I don’t want children. The response is generally “Oh, you’re going to have kids, of COURSE you’ll have kids! You’re only 19, you only say that because it’s cool to not want babies.” It’s like a 19-year old isn’t allowed to make decisions about her own body. Of course, as a fertile young woman, not wanting to get married as soon as possible and have as many children as I can makes me selfish, somehow. But if I’m not allowed to be selfish about these two huge, life-altering things, what can I be selfish about?

So, there you have it. Society, stop telling me how to be happy. If I decide to get married, it will be when I am good and ready. I won’t make the mistake of rushing into a marriage with my high-school boyfriend before I’m even 20. If I decide to have children, it will be because I actually want them, something I definitely do not want right now.

I realized yesterday that where I am right now is not where I thought I’d be now a year ago. I also realized that I am the happiest I have been in a long time. I’m halfway to my degree and an excellent career, am living with an awesome friend in an awesome apartment, and right when I realized that I was okay with being single, I found an excellent dude. Life is going well, and I don’t need any embellishments- like a diamond ring or a baby bump- to validate it.


Drinking and Blogging April 21, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Brianna @ 11:51 PM

Okay, so three sips of wine hardly counts for “drinking”, but it’s a start. We’ll have to see what happens.

(And by “three sips”  I mean “an entire bottle” but let’s not waste time on semantics.)

Since it’s been a while since I’ve last updated this thing (man I’m so unreliable) I’ll take the time to fill you in.  The iron pills are awesome. I actually feel like a human being, instead of a piece of soggy toast that has been animated and forced to join society. Unfortunately, my month’s supply has run out, and I figure that it is only a matter of days until my energy level returns to its former sub-par levels.

Which would suck, because I need a load of energy for my job.

Yes, my JOB.

I’m employed! Go me! It’s not the most prestigious of jobs, and it’s not the job I have mentioned previously, but they pay me money to work for them. I had come to the conclusion that I interview really well, but no one actually hires me. So they’d like to talk to me, they think I’m awesome and have a great personality, they just aren’t going to pay me. Ever. Oh well, that has all changed. I can now pay my rent + other bills, with perhaps a bit left over. Hurrah! Also I can walk to work, which is also a bonus.

In other equally-boring news, I’ll be officially halfway to my degree once I finish my final (only) exam on Friday, at noon. Hurrah again! This is a Big Deal, I must say. Unless you are one of those people who scoff in the face of a Creative Writing degree.  Well, my friend, you are in the wrong place. But thanks for reading.

And now it is time to end this post very abruptly. I realize that I am a mediocre writer to begin with, and I shudder to think of the quality of my writing with a bottle of white coursing through my veins. I’ll check in and provide you with a more coherant update in the next few days. Hopefully sooner.

No guarantees.


The Story So Far March 26, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Brianna @ 7:02 PM

So, I have an interview on Tuesday! This is a Big Deal. And the cool thing is I actually want this job. It’s not a situation where I want the job simply because I want an income, I legitimately want this job. I don’t want to give too many details, but it’d be different from anything I have ever done before. And so far I have worked at a chain coffee shop, a bookstore, and been a cell phone saleslady. So this should be exciting. I am determined to rock this interview and get this job. For sure.

I finally got the results of my blood test back. It went pretty well. I don’t have Celiac Disease! So I can continue stuffing my body with gluten for as long as I want. As long as that gluten isn’t oats. Those still do terrible things to me. Another cool thing was when my doctor pointed out that the iron in my blood is extremely low.

“Oh yeah,” I said, “I knew that already.”

“No, really,” she replied, “it’s lower than you might think.”

This was a little distressing. “…how low is ‘low’?”

“I couldn’t find it.”

Probably not a good sign. So she stuck me on these neat iron pills. I found out that the maker of these pills, Palafer, could basically sponsor the Creative Writing department at my school. I was telling my classmates in editing class about my sweet new iron supplements, and two (three?) of them whipped out the exact same pills. It seems that being a writer automatically equals an iron deficiency. I feel truly included now.

In happier news, I’ve noticed that my whole “diet and exercise” thing is actually working. Who knew, not stuffing my face hole when I’m bored and lifing weights every so often was actually a good idea.  Today, I noticed actual definintion to my arms. That’s right, I have biceps now. I’ve never had biceps. And now my legs, instead of just looking nice because they’re long, look good because there’s muscle there. And this is after only two weeks! It’s pretty cool.

In closing, Brady thinks that every time I mention him here he looks like a complete jerk. So instead of mentioning how I’m blogging on his bed while he ignores me for Call of Duty 4, I’ll mention that he took me out for dinner last night. And he was very nice.


This Is Only Exciting For Me March 20, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Brianna @ 8:32 PM

I am very good at organising things. I’m putting it out there now. I am so good at sorting. I mean, I worked at a bookstore for nearly a year and a half. I managed to keep the freaking craft section tidy over the Christmas shopping blitz. That has to impress someone.

My boyfriend is very good at buying CDs. He is also very good at just shoving them into his CD-shelf wherever they fit. He’s been doing this for a while now (being a bad girlfriend I have no idea how long he’s lived in his house). One night, gazing at the bookshelf-turned-CD-case, I said “I bet I could sort that for you”. The response I got was a scoff, and the warning that many people have tried, and many have failed. I refused to let it best me.

So, last night, during a party, I defeated the CD mess. That’s right. I left a party to organise CDs. I told you I like to organise things. Of course, the fact that my boyfriend came upstairs with me meant that everyone else in attendance assumed that we went upstairs for far less innocent reasons. Every so often someone would open the door, prompting me to scream in agony as they knocked over the T, V and W stacks.

(I’d almost prefer to lie about what really happened. Saying “yeah I organised CDs while my boyfriend passed out to Back in Black” does not sound like the best of nights.

Believe me, it was so good. So good.)

The entire thing took me about two and a half hours. At four in the morning I shook Brady awake.



Not quite what I was expecting. Of course, being drunk and half asleep may have contributed to his lack of enthusiasm. In the morning he seemed much more appreciative. When he removed one from its new, proper home I felt a rage I have not felt since watching old women paw through the recently-groomed knitting books section. It took all of my willpower not to launch myself at him, reminding myself that he was probably going to want to listen to them at some point in the future.

This is probably why I don’t have a lot of friends.


De-Blooding March 11, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Brianna @ 1:49 AM

This post won’t really be coherent, you should expect more of an information dump.

So yeah, I had blood drawn yesterday. No, I’m not doing the heroic thing and donating blood (though I’d like to), I had to give my blood for a series of awesome tests. Basically, I have a bunch of freaky allergies that may be pointing to more sinister things. Which is totally awesome. I bet you all want to be me. I have to wait until Tuesday for results, and man am I ever excited. I can’t wait to find out what’s wrong with me. Augh.

On a happier note, I’m almost done with school! Come the end of the month I’ll only have one exam, and then I am officially halfway to my degree. Which is a little terrifying, but I’m not going to think about that right now. I just have about one million different projects to finish up with and then I can breathe easier. In fact, I should be working on this one project right now, but instead I’m blogging.

My methods of procrastination are getting more creative. Bored with the standard of “cleaning everything I own”, I’ve moved on to more practical things. I have a cardigan with a massive rip in one of the seams. What do I do? I dig out a needle and thread (thanks mom!), and mend it myself. The surprising thing is I actually did a pretty good job! It’s a black cardigan and the cuffs are slightly ribbed, so you can barely tell that it’s been stitched up unless you really look close. When my roommate got home I mended three holes in a sweater of hers. I feel useful.

But I won’t feel so useful when I fail this class because I do not have my presentation ready. Time to get back to work.