29 August 2005


I seem to be having some problems receiving my shawmail (and sending my work mail). So for now, please email me at nikosilvester at hotmail dot com (if you aren't already).

27 August 2005

I Am Here

I'm writing this on a public access terminal at the Halifax Library, where I have just been trying to log onto the student loans site to re-print the form I need to send (because the other times I sent it, my printer apparently cut off the bottom of the form--if they'd told me that when they sent the letter saying I needed to send it, this would have been sorted out ages ago, but what the letter actually said was that they hadn't received it. Now, of course, I can't remember my username or password (and none of usual usernames seem to be the right one). And I can't recover that info, because I don't have my student loan number. Argh. If only I could just plug in my laptop, where password manager has all that for me (I tried to get it offline last night, but it won't even load the page). Anyway. I will ask Deva later how soon she can re-connect internet access at her (or rather, our) place. Then I can just plug in my laptop and do it from there (assuming she has a printer--if not, I guess I'll be going out Monday to buy a laser printer, which I wanted anyway).

So basically, it's one thing after another on this trip. Maybe it's some kind of test, to see how badly I really want this graphic design school thing. First one of my flights was an hour and a half late (this I discovered before I ever left Victoria, fortunately), and everything had to be rescheduled. I ended up flying Victoria-Calgary-Ottawa-Halifax instead of Victoria-Vancouver-Toronto-Halifax. I had to spend the night in the Ottawa airport which is, I must say, the least welcoming airport I've ever been in. And it was cold. And then I almost missed my flight to Halifax, because I had to check Bast in at the last minute (that's what they tell you to do) and the agent who had her tag was really busy trying to reschedule some family's flights and didn't get to me until it was nearly time for my plane to leave. I got to security as they were calling general boarding, but then they had to test my laptop. I zoomed off to my gate, only to discover that it was no longer my gate. There was no plane there. For a long, horrible moment, I thought that it left without me. Then I finally thought to check the monitor, and found out where my plane really was. I got there just as the agent was about to page me for final boarding. Phew! And now this student loan thing.

Oh well. I'll get through it. I've seen the NSCAD building (from the outside) and it's gorgeous. It's a pretty quick bus ride from home (no transfers). And speaking of home, Deva's place should have enough room for me--for now, anyway. Once I start getting more of my stuff, it could become very cramped very quickly. I'll just have to only get the essentials sent out. Really only two problems with the place and they are both things I can deal with. One is that Deva smokes (which I already knew) and the other is that Deva snores (and I discovered that a pillow over my head muffles the sound enough that it becomes almost like white noise, which then drowns out any other sounds that might wake me up). Anyway, I should be off. So far Halifax is lovely, despite all the annoying things. And despite the fact that I am still more than half asleep.

Also, I have located the piercing studio that I researched before I left, and if they are not busy, I'll probably get my nose pierced before heading home today. Then I must shop for assorted toiletries, extra litter box (so far Bast is dealing with the new place, and is even tolerating Deva's boy kittens as long as they keep their distance), and other necessities. There is a WalMart right close to the apartment--we walked across its parking lot to get to the bus stop (which is actually, conveniently, a bus terminal/exchange, so lots of buses go there). Right. I was going to log off.

25 August 2005

I'm Off!

Or I will be in an hour and a half, heading downisland for the airport and a long, long day of flying (made longer by the fact that I had to stay up all night to finish everything that needed finishing). Ah, well. This time tomorrow I'll be in Halifax. Probably asleep.

22 August 2005


I have to admit, I love technology. I don't know as much about how it all works as I'd like, but I adore cool stuff. In between packing boxes and organizing yesterday, I suddenly decided to import all my cds into iTunes on my Mac. I'll be playing them off the computer anyway, since I won't be taking my stereo when I move, so why not just store them on the harddrive? The actual cds will go in a box to be sent out much, much later. That means, then, that I won't need my discman (unless I decide to burn cds from iTunes). So then I started to think I should buy an MP3 player or iPod. An iPod makes most sense, in a way, since I have a Mac, and it uses the same audio format. On the other hand, a PSP can play music, games, movies, and display pictures and all kinds of stuff. But the music has to be in MP3 format (I think). I checked, though, and iTunes can import into MP3 format, too, or convert exisiting files. And there's a nifty bit of software from PocketMac that makes sync between Mac and PSP easy (and it's cheap). So this is all a very long way of saying that I spent most of the money I made on eBay selling my precious, precious toys to buy an even more precious, and very, very cool PSP. And a bigger memory card to put songs on. Yep. I love cool stuff. (Like I really needed another game system. I am a geek. Truly.)

ps I managed to close the Netscape window by accident, and said "argh, there goes my post!" (or something like that). But then I remembered something about Blogger I'd never tried--I calmly opened a new window, logged back in to Blogger, clicked on "create post" and then clicked an intriguing little link right above the text window that says "recover post." Lo and behold! it filled the box with the post I'd just typed but not saved. Only the title was missing. Did I mention that I like technology? (When it works, anyway.)

21 August 2005

Makin' Stuff

So I spent the entire day yesterday, working on my piece for the new student Postcard Exhibition as NSCAD. Fortunately, I knew what I wanted to do, and aready had some sketches to use. I made a . . . i never did figure out what the proper term for it is . You know those pictures in pop-up books that you pull the tab and the overlapping bits slide and a new picture slides into pace over the old one? Anyway, I made one of those. The top picture is a more-or-less realistic white raven holding a fountain pen surrounded by the text (in a sort of messy, hand-drawn old-stye serifed font--I don't know the name of the actual font I copied, I'll have to look it up someday) "Quoth the Raven." Then you pull the tab (which instead of saying "pull" has a raven footprint on it), and the second picture has a very stylized, Celtic-y black raven holding a quill pen (and it has its beak open), and has the text "Nevermore!" around it in a warped sort of Celtic calligraphy hand. The border of the whole thing is a grey background with what look like abstract red shapes, but which are bits of the word "tap" (as in "tap tap tapping at my chamber door") zoomed in close (in something resembling a Celtic half-uncial script).

I think the NSCAD student union keeps all the pieces after, but I scanned it at pretty much every step (except the finished piece, alas). My intent is to make a few of them to send out to people, since I never got around to a holiday chapbook this year. But I need to work on the engineering a bit more, because the original tends to stick a little bit. Anyway.

If, by some chance, you happen to be in Halifax on the 9th of September (it's a Friday), you can go see the show in the evening. The info I have doesn't specify a time (it just says "evening"), or even a place (presumably somewhere on the NSCAD campus, maybe even the Anna Leonowens gallery).

Probably no one I know will get to see it (except Deva and Ryan, of course, who live in Halifax), but it'd be cool.

19 August 2005

Friday Things

Er, yeah, haven't been posting much. Very busy getting ready to move and all.

1. Got my hair cut. It's now quite short. About jaw length. It's been shorter, but I keep startling myself when I walk by the mirror. I don't look quite the same, but I like it.

2. Today's Fey might be the last for a little while. It's the last I have done, and I don't know how long it'll be before I have time to do more and get my computer delivered and set up and all that. I'll try to get a few sketches and filler bits up before I go, but don't be alarmed if there's a hiatus.

3. And speaking of Fey, the latest page is here. And I'm going to try the Blogger photo thing and put it up right here (but don't click on the image if you want to go to the actual Fey page; use the link above for that).

Oh, yeah, and I did notice that I forgot to put the page number on. I'll fix it later.


I've been meaning to post these for a while . . .

Here's the arctic tern photo I was going to enter in the Animal Planet contest, but it was too blurry. Imagine what a cool photo this would be if it had turned out.

And here's one that came out better. Except I forgot to enter the contest. Sigh.

Both of those were from when I went to do archaeology in the arctic, in the summer of 1995. Wow, that was a long time ago. Here's something more recent:

I took that when I went out for an afternoon walk the day after my birthday, using my brand-new digital camera. Much as I love my manual-everything SLR, it's big and heavy and I'd never even have thought to take it along. The digital is teeny, and I happened to have stuck it in my pocket.

Here's another owl from earlier this month:

We often hear owls around here, but we rarely see them.

12 August 2005

Friday Again!

These weeks are going by waaay too fast!

And here is page 48 of Fey. (Yes, sorry, more gargoyles. We're almost done with gargoyles for now.)

Now, I have to walk down to get the mail, and get back to packing. It looks like a war zone in here (without the dead bodies, I'm happy to say), but things are getting done.

11 August 2005

I Dislike . . .

. . . seeing my own books on the shelves of used bookstores (well, books that used to be mine). It makes me unhappy, like I've betrayed them somehow, by casting them aside, unwanted. Silly, yes. I tried not to look at the shelves and the stacks of unprocessed books when I went into Ulla's Bookshop today to pick up a cheque for the books I traded in. I especially hate seeing my old books there when I'm taking money for them. It's not so bad when I get credit and take home new books to replace them.

09 August 2005

Desert Island

You truly do figure out which books you'd really want on a desert island when you have to pack up all the ones you own for storage, and organize them by which ones will be condemned to storage longest. I'm trying to keep the highest priority books to ones I'll need very soon for reference and ones I haven't read yet but really, really want to. I'm finding, though, that there are some books I just want to have with me, even though I've read them and may not read them again right away. Some are favorite novels, some are books of short stories or essays, some have lovely art, and some are more than one of the above. It's really hard. I have to keep reminding mysef that I'm not losing the books that get packed, that I'll have them back again eventually. (I'm sure to a non-book person, this is complete nonsense--if you're a book person, though, you probably know exactly what I mean.)

06 August 2005

It's Really Real Now

Yes, I just went and booked my flight through Air Canada online. The good news is, it leaves Victoria in the afternoon, so there won't be a rush to get to the airport. The bad news is, it arrives in Halifax at 1:30 am.

Of course, there's still the small chance that Visa might decide to decline my card, due to me buying the tix online (like they did when I tried to buy my computer), even though no one but me could use the tickets anyway. We shall see. Now, it's back to mad packing, so everything is ready to be either stored or shipped to me or taken away to use my family and friends.

Edit to add: That is, the flight leaves the afternoon of August 25, and arrives the morning of August 26.

05 August 2005

Friday Things

1. The newest page of Fey is up: page 47. More gargoyles. Sorry. I like drawing gargoyles.

2. The fabulous, marvelous, divine Deva--a friend I met in grad school and who lives in Halifax--has decided to make me part of her family and is helping me find a place to live when I get there. I'm going to come up with some very cool way to thank her (suggestions are welcome, as I can't think of anything grand enough). She's got Helena's old landlord's phone number and means to look into things this weekend. I think that should mean it's safe to book my plane tickets now.

3. For a while now, I've been collecting this "constructible stategy game" called Pirates of the Spanish Main. You buy little booster packs, and each one has a couple of sailing ships that you punch out of a plastic card and put together, plus a cardboard island, some treasure pieces, and crew tokens. Then any flat surface becomes the board. It's a cool idea, and to actually play, each player only needs to buy a single pack (unike some CCGs where you have to buy many, many cards to get good ones to play with). I already liked the concept and the way you don't have to buy a lot to play (not that I've actually played against anyone but myself, but I will!), but then I discovered something that made me feel that weird "brand loyalty" thing (or maybe company loyalty). WizKids (the company that makes the game) has an offer going where you can send in your empty packets and receipts and get free stuff! I like free stuff. So few companies offer it any more. I can't tell you how many "Jedi points" I saved from Star Wars stuff, only to find that you couldn't actually redeem them for anything (or if you could, it was US-only). Anyway, so I can collect Pirates packages and receipts, send them in, and get free pirate ships and little mini-busts of pirates (okay, I really only want the ships) that were originally only available as tournament prizes. The last time I got a cool mailaway was The One Box for my Lord of the Rings dvds. The time before that . . . I think it's lost in the depths of history. Maybe back in junior high when I sent away for some exclusive Transformers toys. (Yeah, okay, I am a geek and a big ol' freak, you don't have to tell me.) It's kind of a stupid thing, but it made me disproportionately happy (as you can tell from the length of this babble).

4. Packing goes. It goes slowly, but it goes.

5. Last night I made a delicious pizza. The crust was a little boring, as usual, though it did crisp up nicely around the edges. I put roasted garlic in the sauce, and onion, ham, mushrooms, roasted green peppers, monterey jack cheese and mozzarella cheese on top. Yum! And there's more left for tonight.

03 August 2005


I started the big pre-move purge a while back, with the worst garage sale ever. Then, a couple weeks later, we had another one--this time at my aunt's--and I did rather well (sold a lot of books, oddly enough). Now I'm continuing to get rid of stuff--toys, mostly--with two mammoth eBay listing efforts (see my stuff here). I don't really want to think about the hell that will ensue when the auctions end and I have to pack stuff and mail it (boxes! I need lots of little boxes!). The stuff I listed on Saturday (mostly Lord of the Rings figures) is doing quite well. Just under 1/3 of the items have bids on, some quite a bit higher than I'd expected. Another handful have watchers. Today I listed a pile more (mosty Star Wars and misc figures). I don't expect them to do as well, though I have a couple of things that might go highish. I hope. We'll see.