There are so many tasks I could be doing now, but I choose this one: writing a bit of a summary of what I've been doing these last few days (other than using Foursquare and Twitter to the hilt that is).
The last time I wrote was before meeting up with the bulk of people on this trip or doing much of anything of note. Well, Sunday, I met up with my friend Scott and we walked down to Tuscany Village where I ate Ali Baba Pizza and drank a Starbucks strawberry smoothie as we talked and caught up in the very nice warm sunshine. I rather had a good time though I did manage to somewhat sunburn myself (it's pretty much better now — a deep tan, mostly to my left arm, part of my legs and a little sliver of skin near my neck). I didn't realize just how damaging the sun had been until my walk back to the University campus.
Later in the evening, after an adventure trying to find each other, I met up with Callie and joined her and her husband Joel for an absolutely delicious dinner at their cozy home. We ate out on the patio where the hummingbird and squirrel provided entertainment. I rather enjoyed the delicious meal: salad, nasi gorang, rubarb crisp, and peppermint tea. We also played a great card game that I had never had the pleasure of playing before, Mag Blast (and I'm not just saying it was a great game because I won, either). Joel did a great job explaining the instructions and we had a good time.
Monday began classes for the week, and in the evening there was the opening reception at the Bard and Banker. The hockey game was on but the Canucks lost abysmally. We ended up with some appetizers and then ordered oyster burgers and mussels for dinner (the salad was perhaps the best part). Afterward we walked about downtown, and I picked up an expansion to a board game (finally got the red deck for Killer Bunnies!), and a wonderful thesis motivator that looms over me, even now: a Giant Microbe! I got the large version (as it was at a great discount) and it will be hopefully a great motivator to work on my project, now that H.I.V. is a huge part of my area of study.
Tuesday lunch was the grad student lunch so that was pretty great — I'm glad I arrived early enough to get well fed. In the evening, we went to Sen Zushi for one of the most delicious sushi dinners I've had in a long long time. The fish was absolutely fabulous: I had Tenzaru Soba and a Sashimi Salad (which had large pieces of sashimi on top of a salad with dressing to dip the salad in!). A great red bean dessert topped off a good meal. We also walked around a bit, I picked up a neat necklace (50% off) that I wore all day today, and Ashley did some successful shopping.
Today we stayed closer to campus. We walked to Sampan Chinese Seafood Restaurant in the evening (well, we could have watched the Canucks, but they lost so badly last time… and again this time *sighs*) and ate Seafood and Tofu Hot Pot along with some shredded duck and vegetable dish. Very delicious. Ashley took advantage of the Blockbuster going out of business sale for some cheap beverages (junk food and beverages are 50% off just as the movies are!). It was a good walk (9km round trip I think). I'm happy to have gotten some exercise!
As for the course, I'm learning a bit about Radiant CMS, Fabulator, and coding I guess. This is one area where my attention to rules is quite valuable as I'm occasionally in the position where I can help my fellow students in the class. It's hard to believe the class is more than half done now though, gosh time flies! Tomorrow I have plans to meet up with a friend, Friday I will hang out with the University of Alberta folks again, and Saturday I will spend time with another friend to round out the more enjoyable aspect of the trip. As for getting thesis work done — I've been doing a lot of thinking, and I think I'll get a bit further with it when I get home most likely if not a bit more done here. I have been sending RAship emails while here, and otherwise staying busy with school-related stuff outside of this course as well, so it is not like I'm getting horribly behind (I hope!).