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Friday, November 1, 2013

My Life in October: Ferrets, Rainbow Rowell, and Stress-Induced Illness

Another month come and gone before I knew it. In some ways October was a really good month for me and in other ways really bad. I'll start with the bad to get it out of the way: I experienced a string of debilitating headaches and stomachaches this past month due to stress and fell behind in my studies and my blog reviewing. I've started seeing a doctor and a counsellor to help deal with it though so hopefully I will get my health back in order this month. Sorry for not being around much in October!

My main stresses this month revolved around my studies (or lack thereof...), my teaching gig (I now have a newfound respect for teachers because I only teach one 3 hour lab a week and I'm finding that the time that goes into preparation and marking is taking up the majority of my time over my thesis), and my crappy landlord situation. That situation came to a head this month when I realized that it had been two months and the landlord had still not fixed any of the outstanding electrical problems in my apartment. My boyfriend and I came to the decision that we would threaten to report them to the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board to bring them in for a hearing and break our lease. Well, that got the ball rolling. The good news is the next day all our outstanding electrical problems were fixed. The bad news is the electrician also found out that someone had tried to use unsafe speaker wire in the living room which is apparently a very serious and scary fire hazard. Oh joy! And so it goes on.

But moving on to the good because some awesome things happened this month. First, I adopted two ferrets! Apparently in Ontario, landlords aren't allowed to have a "no pets" clause in their lease and can only evict you if your pet is being disruptive (and it's laughable to think I care what my landlord thinks at this point). I miss having a dog, but knew I couldn't afford the money or time at the moment so ferrets seemed like the cheaper and easier version of a dog.
(photos from my Instagram)
Their names are Mü and Stela (both girls), based off the scientific genus name for ferrets, Mustela (yup, I'm a bio nerd).
The ferrets are just enormously and intensely cute in every little thing they do. They are hugely playful and silly and are obsessed with tunnels, boxes, and hammocks. The only downside is it seems to be their heart's desire to want to poop in the entryway instead of in their litter box. They are being clicker trained and it seems like they are clueing in because they will actually go into their litter box and PRETEND to poo in order to get a treat and then scamper off to the entryway for their real poo! Sneaky ferrets!

I also had the pleasure of attending a Rainbow Rowell signing this month! Rainbow was fantastically funny and entertaining. She spent a significant amount of time with each person in line, which meant a really long wait, but a more worthwhile meeting. And thankfully I had Zahida to keep me entertained for the long hours in line! I had a blast with her and it was great to finally meet her in person after 3 years of blogging together. I also got to chat with Shelly, Christa, and Andrea!

I couldn't tell you what's going on in these photos because it's always such a blur when I meet the authors I worship. Who knows what I might have been rambling to her about! But at least you can tell that I was really, REALLY excited. My face hurt afterwards from grinning so much. Also, you might not be able to make it out, but I am wearing a skirt with a print of the map of Middle Earth (from this Etsy shop)!

Rainbow accidentally spelled my name wrong in my copy of Eleanor & Park. I assured her that she could just write over the misspelled name, but she insisted that she sign a brand new copy at no cost, which was awfully nice of her. No idea what happened to the one with the misspelled name. Anyways, it was a pleasure to meet her and I can't wait to read Eleanor & Park!

There was one TV show and one movie that stuck with me this month:
I finally started watching Mad Men after years of wanting to and I completed the first two seasons in October. Holy crap - the misogyny in the 60s was insane! It's crazy to think this was the decade my own parents were brought up. I'm so happy to be a child of the 90s. Anyways, I've been liking Mad Men so far and look forward to continuing with season 3.

I left the theatre after watching Gravity in IMAX 3D with sore knees from clenching them so hard! Yes, this movie was INTENSE. But also SO beautiful. I was in awe the entire time due to the gorgeous cinematography. Highly recommended.

Blog Posts in October:

Well, I didn't quite make my goal of posting 2 times a week in October, but at least I managed to post more than I did in September. Unfortunately, the same couldn't be said about my reading - I've barely had any time or will to read this past month - boo!

My Life in September: Elizabeth Wein, the Kobo Aura, and Keeping Busy
Canadian Thanksgiving Thank You Giveaway
Top Ten Best and Worst Series Enders
Waiting On Wednesday: HarperCollins Winter 2014 Catalog
Waiting On Wednesday: Random House Winter 2014 Catalog
Review: The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas - 3 Stars
Review: Man Made Boy by Jon Skovron - 3.5 Stars
Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell - 5 Stars

Best Book Read in October:
As I mentioned in my review of Fangirl, Rainbow Rowell made a fangirl out of me. I'm not normally a contemporary fan, but I was a HUGE fan of Rainbow Rowell's characters and dialogue. Fangirl was also obviously a highly relatable story for me, one that I could identify with my entire being. So there's that. But I would also highly recommend this one to even people who can't identify with the story exactly. Fangirl was one of my favourite reads so far this year!


  1. Your month sounds intense, Eilidh! I hope you start feeling better soon...boo on headaches and stomaches and stress in general!!! Hopefully now that your landlord has fixed things and such some of your stress will get better, and school always seems to be a stresser, but maybe it won't be as much once you feel more settled. It's probably still tough being so far away from home and being stressed...I know for me whenever I get stressed, I like to go home to my parents' place. Your ferrets should help though! You can cuddle them! And they're both so adorable...I totally love your names for them, too....so awesome!!! :D

    Thanks again for getting me a copy of Eleanor & Park, Eilidh!! :D And I'm so glad you had fun, it looks like it was such a fantastic signing and Rainbow just seems so super awesome!! :D Also, I'm glad you loved Fangirl...we may just make a contemporary fan of you yet. ;D haha

    I hope November is less stressful for you and I'm looking forward to more DA chats!!! :D

  2. Aww your ferrets are SO ADORABLE! I just want to cuddle them and their names are so cute too!And I can't believe I didn't notice your skirt! And Rainbow Rowell is truly the best author ever. It was awesome meeting you! And I also started watching Mad Men and I am still on early season one but it is really good! I find Peggy really annoying though, hopefully she gets better (but according to my sister she doesn't)

    I'm sad to hear about your increasing stress and I hope that you will have a less stressful month. Teachers definitely deserve a lot of respect, teaching is so hard!

    Have an awesome and stress-free November! :)

  3. Sucks that you're having major headaches, I hope you'll start to feel better soon and find ways to lessen that stress. :) Don't worry too much about blogging for now, we'll still be here when you find the time to post!

    Your ferrets are SO CUTE. I died from the cuteness of them haha.

    Also, Rainbow sounds like one of the best authors ever, not only from her books but her kindness! Hopefully she'll be coming to Edmonton soon! One of the many benefits of Toronto are the signings that go on there!

    Best wishes!

  4. Your ferrets are adorbs!!!
    I've always wanted one or a bunny but so far, no dice :(

    Your landlord sounds awful, he sucks.

    Teaching can be very hard, with all the planning and thinking of stuff for your students to do, but you'll get the hang of it!

    I totally squealed when I saw your pictures with Rainbow Rowell! I'm such a fangirl of hers now!! I've loved all three of her books so far (that almost never happens to me!!) And Fangirl was fantastic.

  5. Aw, such cute ferrets! Reminds me of Moody turning Draco into one. And aw, you got to meet Rainbow! I remember reading your review of Fangirl and seeing as you loved her book so much, I'm elated you got to meet the author. Such cute pictures and a beautiful post, Aylee!

    Sarika @ The Readdicts

  6. What smart ferrets! I have a cat who's very naughty and scratches anyone who passes by her. Now I'm thinking of replacing her with a ferret, lol. Fangirl is also my best read of October! You're so lucky you got to meet her. I also want my copy of Fangirl signed by her. :(

  7. Ha ha ... your ferrets sound hilarious! I love that they "pretend" to poop just for approval. And LOVE their names!

    Aww .... you and Rainbow are so cute! That's awesome that she gave you a new copy after spelling your name wrong. How sweet of her!

    Here's hoping your landlord smartens up!

    Have a good November!

  8. I hope you're feeling better! Take your time and think of your health :) I'm not such a fan of ferrets, haha, but I love their names and they look kinda cute ;)

  9. I'm sorry about all the bad this past weekend. That's great you're taking care of yourself and getting some things done though! Your ferrets are adorable. I find pets just make you smile and feel a bit relaxed...when they aren't doing the wrong thing! LOL

    Sounds like you had some fun things happen this month too. I haven't been to an author signing in a bit. I tend to be working most nights they are around me. Bummer!

  10. I am sorry to hear that you weren't feeling well this past month. I hope the doctor and counsellor make a difference. You have gone through some major changes these last few months, and overall, you're doing great. One day at a time. Take care of yourself! I love your pictures with Rainbow, you look absolutely giddy and I think that's exactly how I would be if I met an author I admired. You seem to be striking gold in the author meetups.

    I also saw Gravity this month and I was so stressed out. Open water and deep space are my big phobias and that movie. But the view was beautiful! What a crazy movie.

    Have a fantastic November Aylee!!!

  11. I'm sorry to hear that you're having trouble with your landlord! That's the worst. Your ferrets are just cutest though! Completely adorable :)

  12. Such a wild and crazy life you lead. Hopefully you will get your headache and stomach problems worked out. Stress can be miserable to our health. Those ferrets though are too cute for words. I love their names. Maybe they will help you feel better quickly. I'm happy you got the landlord thing worked out, well sort of, too bad you ended up threatening him/her. Whatever works! Sounds like it lit a fire under his/her butt and saved you from having a fire too. Take care Aylee, November has got to be a better month for you!

  13. Love the ferrets! They are adorable!
    I LOVE Mad Men! Enjoy watching the rest of it :)

  14. aw, I hope you start feeling better soon! I hear you on stress-induced illness, unfortunately :( Hopefully things become less stressful, and at least now you have adorable ferrets to make you smile. *HUGS*

  15. I'm sorry to hear about your health issues. I am prone to stress headaches myself so I know exactly how it is.
    Ohh, but your ferrets are adorable! They are fascinating, I never even considered them as pets but maybe I should have.
    I saw Gravity with my boyfriend a while back and loved it. You're right, it's so visually impressive, I was in awe.
    Welcome back, Alyee. I hope November will be more peaceful for you.

  16. Glad some things are looking up. I hope everything else works out soon. The story about the ferrets and pretending to go to the bathroom is hilarious. Also, I saw Gravity on Friday night and it's definitely a 90 minute clench fest.

  17. Aw, I hope your health starts improving this month, Aylee, and hopefully things will be much better with your landlord now that they know you're serious about your complaints. The ferrets you've got are adorable. Do they require a lot of care?

    It was so good to finally meet you at Rainbow's signing. Hopefully there will be other events that I'll see you at!

    1. No, the ferrets are pretty easy to maintain. Except, you know, all the poop, heh.

      Hope to see you again sometime soon, too!

  18. Great to see that the landlord situation was sorted out. Things like this are pretty stressful so I hope you feel better as time passes.

    Those ferrets are so adorable! I've been thinking of buying a goldfish for myself but the thought just occured to me yesterday so we'll see if I do get one.

    I've yet to read a Rainbow Rowell book but I'm pretty sure I'll love them because I'm all about contemp.

    I thought of starting Mad Men a couple of years ago but then held back. Your thoughts on it have made me want to watch so I just might.

    I didn't blog myself much in October 'cause it was such a busy month but now I hope I can do it with full force.

    I've heard so many good things about Gravity and I really plan to watch it this month. Going all sci-fi because of sci-fi month y'know.

  19. Aww HUGS! I'm so sorry to hear you still haven't been feeling your best Aylee. It's understandable, you've been through a lot of big changes recently. Just moving to a new apartment can have a lot of kinks and pitfalls but it sucks that such a long-distance move was met with such a shitty landlord >:( I'm glad you and the bf finally got things done, and caught that safety issue before anything bad happened! Yikes!

    Anyways, YAY for new animal family members ♥ Loving a pet will definitely brighten up your days :D You still managed to do a lot of good quality posts in October (man, didn't the month just FLY by?) And congrats for sticking to it with teaching, studies, classes and everything else that's going around!! PS- you look adorable in those Rainbow pics with your Middle Earth skirt :) Hope you had a great Halloween and here's to a fantastic November!

  20. O sweetie. I'm so sorry to hear you've been having a hard time. *hugs* But I'm also glad to see your new babies and see you having fun. I'm so envious that you got to meet Rainbow. She seems so awesome. Thanks for the update. Please know we love ya and are rooting for you.

  21. Sorry to hear about your living situation and stressful job. My sister is a teacher and I could never! Dude those ferrets are adorable! I love their names! And you met Rainbow Rowell?? So lucky! I loved Fangirl! She looks like such a fun person with a bubbly personality! Yes I make assumptions from pictures alone haha. I actually was considering starting Mad Men, too! We just got Netflix a couple weeks ago and it's on it and my husband said we should start it.

  22. Aw, I hope you feel better and November is sick-free for you, Aylee!
    I love your LotR skirt. :) And very cool that you got to meet Rainbow Rowell. She does sound like such a nice person.
    My boyfriend and I have also been watching Mad Men. Ridiculously misogynistic, but also just an addicting series in general, I think. And I agree with all you said about Gravity. Normally I don't care about seeing movies in 3D, but I decided to appease the bf and see it that way - and it was totally worth it.
    Also, I just looked at that etsy shop and I may be very much interested in buying that LotR map infinity scarf lol.

  23. I'm sorry to hear you've had stomach/head issues, I know how debilitating those can be, and I'm glad to hear you're seeing a doctor. Hopefully they won't bother you as much anymore. So awesome that you got to meet Rainbow! I love that she took the time to talk with fans, and that she gave you a new book so she could get your name right. LOVE HER!! I love Mad Men, but I get so offended on behalf of the women in that show sometimes it's more stressful than entertaining for me. And speaking of stressful entertainment, YES Gravity was so beautiful and stunning but also intense. I probably won't watch it again, but I'm so glad I saw it.

  24. *hug* I hope that your stress induced illnesses have abated and that you're feeling less stressed out altogether. Stress sucks the big one in so many ways!

    The ferrets are adorable, I have always loved them! Never had any myself, but if I ever end up with another pet other than a cat, it might be a ferret! I had an art teacher in middle school who'd bring her ferret in on a leash and let it walk around and check us all out, it was pretty cool. :D

    I haven't seen Gravity yet but it DOES look SO intense and I'm looking forward to when I do get the opportunity to see it.

    I haven't watched Mad Men either, but I've been on the lookout for a new series that has a lot of seasons/episodes out to get into.. maybe Mad Men should be it..

    I haven't read Fangirl or eleanor & park, contemporaries are iffy for me, I'm very picky about which ones I'll read because I'm mainly a thriller/suspense/mystery lover - although my reading does span a lot more than that, I mostly gravitate to those genres and sub-genres. I'm going to check them out though since you loved them so much and they do seem very popular, I've seen them around everywhere. :)

    I hope you have a better start to your new year than these past months have been for you *hug*

    April @ My Shelf Confessions