What this blog – heck, my life this upcoming school year – will need is a schedule. I’ve fallen off on daily updates after posting only two a few days ago. I know I’m capable of maintaining a daily blog; as I said earlier, I kept one going religiously during my year at grad school in Toronto. (It’s here, for the record.) Looking back at certain entries, it’s clear I stayed up late a lot of nights, updating in the wee hours of the morning after study and paper-writing sessions. My internal clock (and Samantha’s) doesn’t foresee repeated 4 a.m. bedtimes in the near future. So a schedule will be necessary.

Samantha and I took a whirlwind trip to Peterborough this past weekend. Today is my parents’ 47th wedding anniversary. The four of us went out for dinner at The Keg to celebrate. Mom is moving slow these days. She’ll be seeing a neurologist soon, and is looking to schedule back surgery sometime in the fall. Samantha and I went to the Riverview Park and Zoo with my sister Sarah and niece Laura. We rode the train around and avoided the nipping emus as I explained to Samantha how my friends and I successfully avoided security patrols and drank in the zoo when were teenagers.

We drove around Peterborough, me pointing out old friends’ houses where I played Nintendo for the first time, or watched movies with nudity in them for the first time. Our Enterprise rental this time around was a Nissan Frontier, the first pick-up truck I’ve ever driven. It handled well in and out of Toronto via the 407. We grabbed it at an Enterprise in Thornhill because it was cheap, but the place was so far out there it almost wasn’t worth it. Almost. I’m sure we’ll forget how tough it was to get out there the next time we’re comparison shopping.

While in Peterborough, we caught Justin’s new reading series, KEYBOARDS!, at the Garnet on Hunter Street with Elisha. Scored some material from their nascent “bird, buried press,” along with a few Justin originals fresh from his typewriter on stage. At one point we got into a bit of an argument. I carried it with me through the next day, but arguments are for getting over. They’re necessary sometimes, too, especially if you believe you’ve got a point sticking up for. And family are the easiest people to knock heads with. And Justin is family.

Work compounded stress a bit yesterday. One day out of a few hundred I’ll send an email to management and tell them to lay off; I was already over the aggravation that fuelled yesterday’s email by the time they got back to me. I’ve worked for the company for a few years now, and I’d like to think we’ve worked out most of our gripes with our respective approaches. For the most part, we leave each other alone. Once in a blue moon, I’ll spend the better part of a day pulling my hair out.

Which brings us back to schedules. I’m planning to work full time while attending school, a fact I’ve not brought to the attention of my employer. I’ll have 12 hours of class per week, plus 37.5 hours of assigned work (though that usually ends up being less), plus study and paper-writing time, plus time spent writing in this blog. I’ll also have Samantha, who transcends schedules. She’ll be busy this fall too, involving herself in a couple of new jobs, plus editing courses. I’ve started printing out calendars and sticking them to the fridge. Apologies in advance to our friends, who will no doubt wonder if we’ve been swallowed by the earth.

Today was relaxing. I stopped by Ryerson to pick up my student card, but the photo I sent them had been rejected for being too small, despite my best efforts to size it according to their guidelines. I was looking grimy in the moment, so I decided to head back tomorrow morning to have a new picture taken. Samantha and I looked for the buildings in which she’ll be working to help deaf and blind students take notes in class. We then went to the Eaton’s Centre and picked up some candles to get the place smelling nice, a bit of icing on the cake after spending the summer loading fixtures into the apartment to make it feel like home. After arriving back, we went to the gym for a bit and watched “Apocalypse Now,” a plan long in the works.

Tomorrow is program orientation, from 12 to 4. I’m a bit nervous. It’s been nine years since I’ve done something like this. After two and a half years of planning, I’m going to get my first real look at what I’ll be in for over the course of my second Master’s degree. I’ll be meeting profs and fellow students. I’ll be seeing if I have what it takes, again, to see a program through and do well. And maybe end up with something incredibly worthwhile on the other side. No pressure.

I need a haircut drastically. Samantha scheduled one for me. I sure do love her.

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