Monday, February 2, 2009

These days are fleeting...

My weekend in Kingston was bliss. It was so relaxing and so refreshing, but it was over before I knew it. School begins anew tomorrow.

After attending morning service at St. James Anglican, Evey and I stopped for lunch at Stooley's Café. It's a very student-oriented venue - another place that I passed by often but never got around to eating at. I figured that I really ought to catch up on those experiences I skipped over as a student at Queen's.

Stooley's had a warm but modest feel. With old-school radiators, soft-drinks served in jam jars (with a straw), and comfy looking booths, it sported a rather distinctive atmosphere. I opted for a Western sandwich and cream of broccoli soup.

The sandwich came with a serving of Stooley's "famous" French fries (at least I assume these fries are the same as the so-called "famous" ones that you can order separately - wouldn't it be odd if they had two different kinds of fries?). To be honest though, they were nothing spectacular and were actually a tad too salty. The food average at best, and the prices were a bit on the steep side. Still, I was pleased to be able to give it a try and to experience Stooley's warm and unique ambiance.

After lunch, Evey (who is minoring in music) stopped to practise organ. Now I've never actually seen an organ console up close before, so I was absolutely astounded by its complexity. It included three separate keyboards as well as a plethora of buttons and pulleys that needed to be periodically adjusted. The buttons and pulleys acted to compound the sound of each key, so that hitting one note could produce multiple sounds simultaneously, deeply enriching the experience.

If that weren't enough, the organ includes a completely separate set of keys that are played with your feet! It seems easy enough to hit keys in succession with your fingers, since each finger is attached to the hand, and thus you can estimate where each finger is in relation to the other in order to attack keys without looking... but knowing where you feet are accurately enough to jump from one key to the other completely baffled me. Needless to say, I was impressed.

After organ practise, Evey and I took a few hours to just relax, listen to some music, and enjoy one another's company. Evey made me a pack of my favourite Korean instant noodles for dinner. They are cooked with yummy black bean sauce and, unlike most Korean edibles, are not spicy. I remember cleaning out her stock of these particular noodles last year.

Before I knew it, it was time to catch my train for Toronto. We said our farewells, and I bid Evey and my relaxing Kingston weekend farewell. Interestingly enough, I spotted one of my classmates waiting for the same train and stopped to exchange a few words. I had picked him out of the crowd by the unmistakably in-your-face blue backpack sported by first-year medical students across the country. Sure it is a bit of a tacky and pretentious fashion statement, but I hope you'll forgive us this one vanity.

I used the train ride to catch up on the episode of Battlestar Galactica I had missed on Friday. After I had finished, I considered watching an episode of Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles, but decided instead to savour the Battlestar experience. Indeed, this week's episode represented what was perhaps the most intense piece of television that I have watched all year.

It was a return to all out action, with a mutiny aboard the flagship Galactica. It was simply amazing to see the command crew fight back, operating their weapons with the reflex and accuracy of a Western cowboy - drawing and firing in just a split second. Pinpoint accuracy on a hair trigger. It was mesmerizing. Of course, there was plenty of dramatic acting to support the blazing guns. This is the greatest show ever...

From Oshawa to Toronto there was a new set of people behind me having a particularly loud conversation. One was an arrogant young man describing the primacy of science with all the smugness of a second year undergraduate course in evolutionary biology and a feeble first year course in philosophy. His black-and-white portrayal of knowledge and undeservedly haughty, know-it-all attitude were distinctly irritating.

I arrived in Toronto about 10 PM, and swiped my transit card only to be rejected by an indignant sounding bleep. I forgot that while I was away, February had crept up on me. I took the subway up to Finch and was planning to take the bus home, only to discover that most York Region buses had already stopped running (a stunning and dissatisfying revelation). I ended up cabbing home, with the fare coming up to a whopping $15 despite the short distance travelled.

With that, my weekend was truly over. Like a reflection of life itself, it was... too short.

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