Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year

I'm off to see Picasso and Jason McLean at the vag. Maybe I will be stunned once again by how beautiful Vancouver is, even in the rain. Maybe it will turn out to be sunny. Maybe there will be a protest there that I can take pictures of. How am I to know?

First Night's not on this year, not that I was planning on going, but still it's sad that we can't seem to have any sort of big events without an incredibly huge police presence. Other cities can do it. Why can't we?

I still think I should do some sort of year in review but I don't really want to. Other than having a party, I don't really think there's anything really significant about New Years. Is it when the school year ends? No. Is it when the fiscal year ends? No. Will January 1, 2006 be drastically different from today? Probably not, though I guess we have to wait and see about that.

How do you end a completely pointless post? Happy new year, I guess. Seems a pretty pathetic way to end the year. Maybe next year I will have something better to say.

Friday, December 30, 2005


I saw this car on Robson. Only on Robson.

It used to be called Robsonstrasse, because there were so many Germans around, and so many fine German restaurants, if there really is such a thing. Then it turned into funky little boutiques. Now it's nothing more than an open-air shopping mall with decent restaurants. No Germans. Where did they go? We just disappeared.

My mother and I do this German thing. It's weird, because there's nothing really German about us, except for some vague family history. You can find birth records, christenings, marriages, deaths for everyone and trace them all back to Europe, and that's where it ends. Try as you might, you can never find the people that were around before the ones you knew that came to Canada.

I don't think you're really supposed to be able to find them. People came here to disappear, to reinvent themselves.

They did a great job, because Canada is all I've ever known. We've all been completely uprooted from Europe and yet we do this German thing, as if we can't quite bring ourselves to do something Canadian, or even worse, there isn't really a Canadian thing to be done. It's weird.

I'm sure I had something meaningful to say, but words escape me.


A couple in the throes of passion, a malevolent glance and then the ugly little creamer is knocked off the table only to shatter into a million pieces across the floor.

You feel sorry for the little creamer? That is because you're crazy. You can buy a new one at Ikea.

I loved that little creamer. It did not deserve to die.

And yet somehow I still manage to find myself inside that wonderful feat of suburban big-box architecture, lured most likely by the irresistable temptation of an Ikea $1 breakfast ($1.07 after tax). Damn Swedes and their clever marketing.

I can't put my finger on exactly what it is, but there's something about Ikea that turns me into a little kid. It's just an inherently fun place to go, I guess, especially since there are quite literally a million and a half things to put on my head and a wide range of curtains to wear.

We all know what you get for the $1 breakfast, but guess what's for lunch?

Gravlax with a side of polyester rat.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Nothing for dinner

My dad says he's glad that I'm drawing again, but I can tell that sometimes he's not so sure. Seems to me that if you click that picture, you can see a bigger version.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Sunset over lumberyard

Fortunately, we had planned to visit my grandmother on Boxing Day.

Unfortunately, we had planned to visit my grandmother on Boxing Day.

Fortunately, we didn't leave nearly as late as we usually do.

Unfortunately, the car broke down about three blocks from our house.

Fortunately, we got it towed the two blocks back to the garage.

Unfortunately, that ordeal took us two hours. We could have pushed the damn thing faster.

Fortunately, we hadn't had our act together enough to actually phone ahead and order any food from Hon's.

Unfortunately, I was really looking forward to having some deep fried crispy milk.

Deep fried crispy milk!

Oh well. It's not like they have cool fortune cookies.

But still, deep fried crispy milk!

Monday, December 26, 2005

Erin casts her eyes upon the horizon

The problem with this time of year is that I feel obligated to make lists like everyone else of the best things I did, or my favourite albums or something. Every year, I rack my brains trying to come up with something meaningful to say about what I did for the past year, and I tend to come up blank. The fact is that by December, I can't remember further back than June.

Besides, I already did this back in August, and maybe I'll do it again next August.

So, I'm going to try something completely different. Predictions.

January I will be back in school with four classes, one, which will be hard but interesting, one which I will absolutely hate, and another two that I will complain about because everyone else is doing it, even though they won't be all that bad. Anticipating the fact that I will (once again) most likely not get enough hours over the summer where I regularly work, I will begin applying without discrimination for every lifeguarding job advertised. I will be one of the lucky bastards that gets to count ballots for the election on January 23, after having voted in one of the advance polls. I will most likely move into my apartment, or at least that is the hope.

February will be full of school-related things, though I'll find some time to squeeze in other things as well. I will consider breifly signing up for recerts, but I will decide against it. I will suck up to the rowing team, and they will agree to let me be a coxswain, on the condition that I lose 20 lbs. If not, there's always coaching. I may possibly go to a conference on AIDS in Banff.

By mid-March I will have loads of papers to write. A conservative estimate says that I will be called for at least 4 interviews. They are nasty 2-4 hour long cattle-call interviews where you always get stuck working in groups with complete idiots, all the while trying hard to not look like an idiot yourself. I get to do strength tests, swimming exams, practical skills and first aid assesments, take home exams and create lesson plans, all lovely hoops to jump to prove that I can do exactly what my certificates say I can. I get to do one at every place that I applied. I will begin inhaling Sudafed by the bottle. It will make me extremely jittery, which will add to the slightly paranoid feeling that I get every March, April, May.

This is about the time when I suddenly realize that all my qualifications are expiring and I freak out and sign up for all my recerts. Invariably I will walk into interviews with old certificates and promise profusely that I will update them later. I will walk out completely certain that I have fucked every single one up, though I probably haven't.

My sister and mother will go to Tijuana for a week. I would have gone with them if I wasn't so busy. They will have lots of fun building a school for impoverished children.

I will dance at two festivals and most likely place 3rd and DFL, respectively. I will hate my costume from the moment I see it.

April arrives in all its fury, plunging me straight into exams for school, exams for lifeguarding and personal interviews at every place I applied. I will screw up my first sit-down-and-talk-to-a-person interview and not be called back for a third. Then, as soon as I think that I'm finished, I will have to do teaching interviews. Once again, I will walk out feeling like I have screwed them up completely. In a moment of panic, I will realize that
I might possibly have scheduled my recerts at the same time as my final exams. When I check, they will not overlap, but will be dangerously close.

May will come. I will have considered by now taking a course like intro German for intersession, but someone will have talked me out of it. It doesn't matter, because by this stage of the game, I won't be able to scratch together money for coffee, let alone tuition. This will translate into me spending a lot of time sitting around, doing nothing and feeling sorry for myself. My parents will tell me that there is no reason why my apartment should be such a bloody mess if I'm at home all the time, I will agree completely with them, and that will do nothing to help my mood.

I will come up with an elaborate plan to escape to Norway and not act upon it.

In the beginning of June, I will get conscripted into service at my parents' house, doing mainly gardening, but also to redo the floor in the livingroom. I will get some hours where I regularly work, and as predicted, they won't exactly be enough. I will once again be the head backstage runner for our yearend dance show, where I will be hugged, kissed, cheered for, screamed at and praised for being the calmest person around. I will continue to hold my breath and wait for the phone to ring. Eventually it will, and I will proudly accept a second job, putting me further over the 40 hour work week than I care to think about.

July. I will work at one job, then I will work at the other. Then I will sleep. I will try my damndest not to blog about work so as not to get myself fired, and will choose instead to bore people with pretty pictures and stories about the weird-as-shit people I meet on the bus. Someone will phone me about going out and doing something social, and I will decline because I have to work.

August, likewise, will be spent working. I will forget my own birthday. I will suddenly realize that I have no life whatsoever, call Kathy, and suggest that we do something fun and non work-related. She will decline because she too has much work and little life. At around this time we will once again give up our crazy idea of writing a novel over the summer together. Alison will finally get back from living in Malaysia, and we will go for coffee, because that will be all the time I can afford to spend on her before September. I will order something matcha flavoured and suggest that we take Quantitative Research Methods together because I can't possibly go it alone.

Two weeks into August I will begin to run on autopilot, reading textbooks on the bus to work and counting down the days until

September, when I will go back to school, completely burnt out. I will have signed up for the highest possible number of courses that are completely unrelated to my major. Frosh week will bring with it lots of non-alcoholic fun, and Frosh weekend will be sure to involve plenty of alcohol. Everyone I know will use the entire month to do a lot of catch-up for the partying that they missed over the summer, myself included. I will consider getting a job shelfreading at the library, but probably won't. It will take me a while before I stop feeling like crap.

In October I will rediscover my groove, just in time for midterms. I will procrastinate more than ever, only to vomit forth papers faster than ever. The month will end with yet another awesome Haloween party that I will probably go to dressed up as a frumpy old lady.

November will be spent finishing papers and projects. It will otherwise be uneventful. I will finally take some time to figure out what all the nifty buttons and settings on my camera actually do.

December will be nice, relaxing exams. I will decide upon a list of things that I want to accomplish over the holidays and not complete most of them. We will either decline invitiation to or not hear about Christmas dinner with my father's family, but we will have some sort of get-together with my mother's family. Grandma may or may not be present, depending on how bad her MS gets between now and then. It's not something that I care to predict.

That turned out much longer than expected, though it's really more for personal reference than for you. Sorry. Cookies for me if I'm right.

Sunday, December 25, 2005


My grandmother never ceases to amaze me. There is no medical way possible that she should be as alert, happy and seemingly healthy as she is at her weight and age, with the amount of drugs she's on. Though she was kind of fuzzy on some things, like what her age was. I don't suppose it actually matters much.

We took her some books and a care package with some nice soaps so she doesn't have to use whatever they have at the hospital. She had some presents for us too: some soup mix, some clip-on old lady earrings for my sister, and two chocolate bars in a box for me. She thinks about us, and that's really all that counts.

We took Waking Ned Devine to watch with her and as always, it was hilarious. I'm not completely sure if she really understood what was happening in the movie, but it was a good way to make visits to see grandma a little more entertaining than usual.

Even still, as I was watching, I couldn't help not enjoying myself. Not only did I have a bad headache, I also couldn't stop thinking about Annie, the lady that lives across the room from my grandmother. She's always been in that room and she's always been an absolute scream. Last night though, she was so frail that she was having trouble holding her phone to her ear. Somehow I don't think she'll be there the next time we visit.

All the way home, we played upbeat music much too loud.

Saturday, December 24, 2005


Hello you canuck!

I just came home from our christmas gathering and the food were as always very good. I didnt eat too much due to the christmas dinner later tonight. I want to be ready for that. I always think that I am going to starve until the christmasdinner, but always end up emptying all the cans with candy. Oh well. There are always room for dinner anyway.

When we came home i spoke to some friends on msn. In fact i showed them that drawing you made. They were absolutely made up because they thought it was so good. My mother also saw it and she was really impressed as well. She appreciate good drawings because she is drawing a bit herself. And I definitely didnt get those skills from her. I am totally disabled and retarded when it comes to drawing. But you know that dont you :)

Anyway, 24th of December is the day we celebrate christmas, and there are many traditional things we have to go through every year. One of them is to try hearing the bells from the church at 5 o`clock. Thats 5 KM away. Sometimes we hear them, other times not. Well, most of the time we dont hear them, hehe. We need wind from the west to hear them ring :P

This is the first time I ever write such a christmas greeting, and it probably will never happen again. So now you can feel special :)

Wish you and your family a merry christmas, and see you later.


Tom Roger

The busiest shopping day of the year

That's me when I was six. Neat eh?

We were originally supposed to go shopping with my grandmother today, but she worked herself into a terrible snit and decided instead that she would scream at my mother on the phone. Oh well. I can't really say that my day was ruined.

Talked philosophy and religion on Santa's lap. Got a candy cane for my thoughts.

Du says I tired her out with shopping. I thought she was the shopper of the family.

Spent with reckless abandon on gifts for my mother with my father.

Talked dysfunctional family with my mother. Apparently my grandmother wants her sister, Sharon, to be invited to whatever kind of festivities we're planning to have. I forsee two problems with this. First of all, she won't come if she knows that I will be there, and if she does come, she won't bother to acknowledge my presence. We will sit and stare at each other from across the room until she leaves early. Then she will tell my grandmother that she wished that she had had a chance to get to know me. It's the same every year.

That being said, I think it's terrible that my grandmother is so hard on her for visiting her husband's grave all the time and even though she's miserly and she hates me, I still wish her a very merry Christmas.

I'm finished my shopping and I'm glad.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005


As soon as Du saw this picture last night, it ceased to be mine.

A few things occur to me this morning:

I have been struck recently by the amount of nutritional information written on the packages of British food. Why is it that in spite of all this information, the British diet is so terrible? I don't think British people are stupid. There must be some other reason.

It is the winter solstice. Regardless of if anyone really bothers to celebrate it or not, we all seem to notice it and think it's sufficiently important for us to write it down on our calendars. And yet, it doesn't really matter much in the long scheme of things. The days get a little longer, that's all, and yet we make a big deal of it. My cat doesn't care. She accepts and moves on. Maybe she's smarter than the rest of us.

I have come to the conclusion that Christmas shopping is a lot more fun when you actually have money to spend.

I'm not looking forward to January.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


Christmas always reminds me that I would love my mother more if she was easier to buy for. Every year it is the same. We all poke and prod at her to get us to tell us something, but she never really says much.

This year she would have us believe that all she wants is a new pair of slippers. The problem is that it is tacitly understood that mom is supposed to get the most presents. After all, it is also understood that we would surely descend into chaos without her.

The plan this year then, is to buy her tons of little things and then squirrel them away, so that when she wakes up there are gifts everywhere: the kitchen table, cupboards, the bathroom, her underwear drawer, etc. I'm not sure what else to do.

Du and I have been helping dad for a while with an anti drinking and driving campaign. The local liquour stores donated some of their bags to schools for kids to decorate with some sort of "happy holidays drink responsibly" message and then our job was to sort through them and pull out all the ones that were overly negative or wrong in some way or other. Some of the good ones were quite amazing, and some of the bad ones are downright hilarious. I think the one pictured today is very good, except that it kind of misses the point. Some of them kind of remind me of postsecret.

Sunday, December 18, 2005


Remind me to never let an eight-year-old mix my drinks.

On second thought, maybe I should.

Saturday, December 17, 2005


An office tacky gift exchange has left us with a copy of Dame Edna's autobiography. It has already made an impression on Du, who has taken great delight in being absolutely scandalized by some of the more ridiculous things she's read there. The only problem, of course is that she has to share her incredulity with the rest of us, which is getting a little tiring.

It's my cousin's birthday today, so we made what was to be a quick trip to the little terror's house to deliver some gifts, the crowning glory of which was a Dora the Explorer backpack, just like the one Dora wears. That got her pretty excited and she had to shreik and run around the room for well over an hour. Regardless, I think that she may in fact be slowing down, finally. Perhaps I'm being too optimistic too soon.

My aunt has finally learned what it really means to be a parent: lots and lots of crafts and glitter. Crafts and glitter that you don't really have the space for, but that you can't possibly get rid of because your very own kid made it specially for you. I know there are several boxes of that stuff in my house, somewhere, though perhaps some of it went missing when we moved.

She told us the epic story of the Santa Claus advent calendar. Apparently in my cousin's world, Santa has four eyes, three of which eventually ended up in the toilet. As I'm sure I've already said before, she's an interesting child.

Auntie Evelyn went back to 1962 to get my aunt a Christmas card. Inside was a letter that was pleased to announce that her granddaughter had phoned my grandmother and they've decided that my grandmother is still mentally sharp, in spite of her age. I feel somewhat obligated to point out that though my grandmother is rude, racist, cruel and completely lacking in grace, there is nothing wrong with her mind. The reason why she's living in a home is because she can't walk and she kept falling out of bed. Besides, Evelyn's older.

My aunt claims that she must have taken up smoking her own home grown. Maybe she's right.

I hear The Sound of Music coming from the opposite end of the house right now, and to be honest, I'm a little perturbed.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Margin notes

Tomorrow I write my last two exams of the semester/year. I am glad.

Quoth Abby: "Damn, I could swear that Dame Edna is a man."

That's because she is, Abby.

Good night.

Family history

Enough cats.

Alec liked to jog. He liked to jog to the post office.

Evelyn, my mother's aunt-in-law has taken it upon herself to write a biography of my great-grandparents for a publication about the history of the town where my grandmother grew up. I believe that this publication has something to do with the local museum, as in something kind of related to academic things.

See Alec jog. Jog Alec jog.

It reads like Dick and Jane. Evelyn, you see, is an elementary school teacher. Has been for years. My mother also contends that she is crazy. While I'm not sure about the insanity, she does have perfect handwriting, which does not bode well for her.

Alec had six cows. It was hard to get the cows in the corral but somehow Alec did it.

In Grandma's own words, "Yeah, he used to beat the crap out of those things with a whip. That's how he got them in there."

My mother was somewhat perturbed that when Evelyn named my grandmother, she used Grandpa Bill's last name, and that she should have used my grandfather Harold's last name, because he was the only person she had ever been married to. "But I can't do that, can I?" she said, "because that would have meant that heaven forbid she had lived in sin!"

"Your mother is sin," my dad replied.

"With a capital S," mom added.

Apparently I have to go Christmas shopping with Grandma on Tuesday. I'm not really looking forward to that.

Thursday, December 15, 2005


And to add insult to injury, I photographed the event. She has been bathed in "serenity", a sensuous blend of lavender and chamomile. Like she cares.

She's back

I left my computer on while I went to take a shower the other day, and this is what I found. Somehow or other, my cat wasn't the only thing that was crashed.

When I finally got my computer to work, the keyboard wouldn't work. No reason. I typed things and they just didn't show up on screen, which was extremely disconcerting to me, because I use a laptop.

I realize that what I am doing right now is in effect making up more excuses for not posting something for the past couple of days. I also realize that 'my cat crashed my computer' isn't really a very likely story at all. You've got to give me some credit for it though. I bet you'd never heard that one before.

I wish I could say my life has been interesting the past few days.

On Monday I had a not so good day.

Tuesday I had a staring contest with a Norwegian postal worker via webcam after he said that Norwegians were stupid and I disagreed. I lost.

Wednesday I wrote an English exam that was suspiciously easy.

Today another Norwegian tells me about some upcoming concerts here in Vancouver by fellow Vancouverites that I had never heard of, ie. Geoff Berner, accordionist extraordinaire.

The world is a strange place. I'm definitely not looking forward to the day when it ceases to amuse me.

Anyways, something interesting I found today: knitting as graffiti. So warm and fuzzy and rebellious at the same time.

I forsee a storm on the horizon. The other cat has taken up smelling, for lack of a better word, poopy. There is some lavender shampoo in the bathroom that no one ever uses...

Saturday, December 10, 2005


See how quickly it sneaks up on you? It's hiding in a song, an idle thought, some trivial thing that someone says to you, and all of a sudden you go from being perfectly fine thankyouverymuch to spending the rest of the week walking through air that has suddenly congealed around you. Suddenly you're wishing that you could just crawl up into a dark hole somewhere to wait out the storm.

If you were to touch me now, I would probably dent.

Friday, December 09, 2005


In his article, "The Long Tail," Chris Anderson describes a new market model for the entertainment economy. Briefly explain what is meant by the "Long Tail" and describe how blogs, tagging systems, and social networks reinforce Anderson's idea.

Just one of the questions I'm working on right now on my other takehome. Speaking of Anderson's "long tail" and social networks, some sort of glitch at has left me with a temporary subscriber account. I'm sure that that will amuse me sufficiently to keep me away from what I'm supposed to be doing right now.

The people upstairs are arguing right now. I can hear high heels clicking across the lino floors, punctuating angry sentences. There is special sound insulation between me and them, but it never seems to be enough to drown everything out. They're talking about her mother, who passed away not long ago.

She always seemed like a nice lady to me. Every time she saw that we had done something to fix up the garden, her face would light up, and sometimes you would find her sitting out there, enjoying it. It's very sad that she's gone. Though, I find it more sad that the people upstairs are always fighting. Seems like a terrible waste of time, especially since life is so short.

Besides, they're distracting me from my exam.

Speaking of distractions though, another article that I have to look at is here, and though the article itself loads just fine, I get a popup message that looks like this:

My question is why my browser seems to think I should care if the ads on a site don't work. I'm trying to think of some sort of clever analogy, but at the moment I'm coming up blank. I should get back to work.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Missing day

My watch says December 7, and that's where my mind is too. Somehow or other I just lost a day. Time does that to me sometimes. 30 days hath November. Best not to forget that.

I'm finding it more and more difficult to capitalize the words at the beginnings of my sentences. Apparently excessive use of msn has rotted my brain and left my pinkies completely incapable of making the long stretch all the way to their respective shift keys. Luckily Microsoft Word is there to ensure my strict compliance with societal norms and conventions of the English language.

I have found myself having a lot of impassioned, one-sided debates on moral and political issues with myself lately. I will be doing something like reading for an exam or washing the dishes, and suddenly I will start talking, often about views and issues that I usually keep to myself. I have no idea why I seem to feel like I should justify myself and my beliefs to my computer screen or the kitchen window but I do. Maybe I'm studying too hard.

I decided to get out of the house for a while to prevent myself from going completely crazy from working on my takehome. I hopped onto a bus and went to school for the sole purpose of picking up one of my papers that was waiting for me in the office. I took a book with me that somehow didn't get read.

The bus driver cheerfully informed me that bus service in my neighbourhood is being expanded and some routes are being revised. I can't remember the exact details, but they can be found here. It looks like many other routes are also changing too. If you use transit around Vancouver, you may want to check it out. Changes come into effect on Monday.

Arriving at school, I learned that I had forgotten my student card and as a result, could not collect the paper I had come for. So as not to go away completely empty-handed, I spent an exorbitant amount on textbooks for next semester. I'm not sure yet if that was a wise thing to do, so close to Christmas.

Coming out of the bookstore, I ran into Colleen from my English class. We rode the bus down the hill together and then she convinced me to go with her to get some coffee. But no sooner had she gotten her drink, she decided that she suddenly had to go shopping and left. Apparently she does this to other people too. I'm not sure if I am annoyed or not.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005


I'm letting my political economy takehome sit on the back burner right now. I have apparently seven more days with which to write no more than five double-spaced pages about Robert McChesney. Considering the incredible amount of information force-fed to us throughout the semester, this takehome feels more like a joke than anything.

Regardless, there are always critics, like the guy in the back row who thinks the exam is much too difficult for him to accomplish. He was also the guy who complained that it was unfair that late papers and assignments were penalized 10% per day. Some people are never happy.

I promised a friend that I would draw a portrait for him from a picture I have on my computer. It's not going as quickly as I would have liked, because Lou likes to help. You can see her helping there. She types too, just never the things I want her to type.

What is it about this time of year that turns me into a cat magnet? It would be really nice if I wasn't trying to study for my exams.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005


Today is December 6th, the anniversary of the Montreal Massacre and I feel I should say something. Maybe I'll say this:

My mother tells stories about how her father used to beat her mother regularly. One day my grandmother had had enough. She packed up her kids and left. I can't remember where they moved, but it was away from him. He arrived one day with his truck and stole their washer and dryer, drove them to his friend's house and left them in his front yard. Somehow or other, they ended up moving back in with him.

A few weeks later, the friend showed up on their doorstep with a garbage bag full of clothing. "He left the washer and dryer out on my lawn," he said, "and I didn't realize that there was still clothing in it. My wife said I should bring it back." Things like this happened more than once, from what I've heard.

I used to have this idea that he only ever touched my grandmother, that somehow or other, my mother was never affected. I used to picture her in my mind as a talented and outstanding student when she was in school. Maybe that's the way that she'd rather remember it. One day out of curiosity my father went back to their high school and made a copy of her transcript, and the sheer volume of absences marked in there told a completely different story.

She tells me sometimes about how he used to drive with her to the pub when she was little and leave her in the truck for hours on end while he drank inside. Then he would drive her home, drunk. My grandmother has a scar on her forehead from when he got into an accident once. Mom remembers little things, like how he gave away her dog to his friend without telling her, like how he stole and drank a bottle of wine she got in a Christmas gift exchange at work.

And one day she decided she had had enough. She left it all, and his entire family turned its back on her because it refused to admit that he was an alcoholic. She went out, got a master's degree, created a new family for herself and tried hard to not look back. She's always apologetic about the fact that my sister and I never really knew anyone from our extended family. I have never thought that she should be.

When he died, we recieved numerous phone calls from relatives that I knew only by name. Again and again we heard the same message that they weren't sure why she had divorced herself from the family, but that they knew he was an abusive drunk and his death wasn't exactly a tragedy. They had nothing but love and support and understanding for her. And the more times I heard this repeated, the angrier I got. Where were these people thirty-five or forty years ago, and why didn't they say anything then?

I can't help thinking that if someone had just said something, that things would have been different today, that I would have a family and that my mother wouldn't have to hold back so many tears.

I wish that I didn't have to hold back so many tears.

Not really a massacre, I suppose, but a little closer to home.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Hurra Torpedo

8:30 tutorial started with the standard five minutes of dumb silence. "So, what did you think about the readings?" Andy asked at last, just as Joanne walked in and sat down beside me, "Do you think that praxis will change the way corporate media will operate?"

Upon sitting down, Joanne immediately turned to me. "What are we talking about?" she asked.

"Praxis," I answered, "and corporate media." She smiled and hunched over the table, wrapping her fingers around her coffee mug, immediately launching into a criticism of camera phones that have mp3 players in them and bugs in new technology that she felt should be fixed. A girl across the room began to giggle.

"What does this have to do with praxis?" Andy asked.

"Well nothing, but new technology has problems that we have to sort out," she replied.

A guy was asleep in the corner. We woke him up to see if that would help stimulate some sort of meaningful discussion, only to find that he was completely stoned. The girl across the room began to giggle again.

"What do you think about the value of blogs and alternative media sources on the internet," Andy asked me, "will they change anything?"

"I don't know," I replied. Then he just had to remind me that that was what I had written my term paper on. The girl across the room giggled. I don't think she said a single word for the whole hour. I really could have used whatever she was on.

Some days are just like that. I'm glad that it's the last day of school.

I have just discovered that there will be a documentary on the strangely endearing Norwegian cult band Hurra Torpedo, and that clips of it can be found on Pip Simon's site. At the moment, I am thoroughly amused.

If you have absolutely no idea what I am talking about, I suggest you watch either this video (Windows media) or this one (Quicktime).

I have a takehome exam to pick up right now. Wish me luck!

Saturday, December 03, 2005


To make a long story short, my sister and I went to go see a couple plays that her friends were in at a local high school. The plays were written by the students and were extremely well done. I wonder why we couldn't have written our own plays when I was in high school. It makes so much more sense than doing Grease over and over.

Promptly after the play we got lost in the snow, looking for a Starbucks. We walked around for at least an hour before we finally found one about four blocks away, because evidently neither of our brains were working. If my brain had been working properly, I would have ordered a tall Cafe Estima, but instead I had a gingerbread latte, which on second thought, was probably a good idea, seeing as it was already about 9:45 and no doubt it would have kept me up much longer into the night than my latte.

The Starbucks closed at 10:00 and kicked us out. We wandered around through the streets until we were thoroughly cold, and then got a ride home from our parents who apparently accidentaly got stuck watching Harry Potter instead of whatever movie they had actually bought tickets for.

I'm afraid I'm not going to have much to say for the next week or so, because I should really be studying for exams.

Thursday, December 01, 2005


I think this is the first year I've really noticed the days getting shorter. I'm not sure why that is, but I remember people mentioning it and not really fully understanding what they were talking about. Funny how that happens.

I can't remember the last time it snowed this early in the year. I think it's nice for a change, though I'm sure that in a week the novelty will have worn off. For now, it's really pretty.

So far the snow has confined itself to the mountains. Rather civilized, I think, because you can drive up to it, enjoy and then leave when you get tired or cold. When you get home, there's nothing to shovel. I took my camera with me to Burnaby Mountain yesterday and I'm fairly pleased with the results.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Free breakfast

It's amazing how little it takes to cheer me up completely. I was hungry and half asleep this morning when I arrived at school, but luckily they were giving out free breakfasts to people once I arrived. I grabbed Kathy and went to investigate.

The food giveaway had taken on a festive atmosphere before we arrived. There were people running around in deliciously repulsive 80s fashion, hula hooping and a guy dancing around an assortment of fruit.

We had to earn our food by answering trivia questions like "what is wrong with this sentence? Your lipgloss is like so totally stellar" As Kathy said, it was a pretty nasty question to ask, because she talks like that all the time.

After it all, we finally got to claim our bagels and shotglass-sized containers of apple juice, found Nihar and Camila and laughed together at the guy who was still dancing around a pile of fruit.

Someone shut off the music in the middle of Summer of '69 and we yelled at them. Then they put the music back on. I practically danced out of the room at the end, conveniently not following Kathy and Lauren to the mall.

I am now in a very good mood.

The candidate

As I was sitting in my mother's office, Colin walked in and immediately turned to me. Apparently one of the people who has applied to be his assistant knows me from when I used to work weekends in an art gallery and he wanted a reference. I'm not used to being put on the spot like that, so I referred it to my mom, who also knew her through the same source.

"But I've already talked to her," he said. I looked to my mother.

"Just don't talk to him about her art," she replied, and we both began to giggle.

"Is this something that I should not be hearing before I interview her?" Colin asked.

"Yes," we both replied. He rolled his eyes and left.

What we were referring to was two very similar conversations that each of us had had with her on separate occasions, that went sort of as follows:

"Yeah, these paintings here are okay, but I don't really like flowers much. I don't suppose they'd put any of my paintings up here though."

"Oh, what do you paint?"


Walked right into that one. Okay, there's nothing really funny or exciting about that at all, but it kind of caught me off guard at the time, and the same went for my mother.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

I'm not impressed

We decided to film everything with my camera, so that everything would be the same quality and more importantly, in the same format, so that everything would be easy to edit. I gave out my email and phone number so that everyone who was filming could make some sort of arrangements to use the camera. Naturally that meant that one of my group members had to go out and use a different camera.

My camera spits out files marked .mov. Her camera makes mpegs. One works in imovie, the other doesn't. It took two hours to explain that to her. She kept insisting that they should both work. The rest of us had to keep insisting that it's a matter of Apple vs. Microsoft, apples and oranges.

Fast forward four hours or so. We're still editing things, and trying to film some sort of commentary to go in between interviews. Do you think we could come to some sort of consensus between us? It's a lot easier said than done. Every sentence of narration in that film represents at least 45 minutes of argument over the exact words to use. One person from our group got into the habit of saying "no, we can't say that," or "I don't like that," and then staring blankly off into space without offering a better idea.

Then, just about the time when you thought that she was just disagreeing with everything for the sake of disagreeing, she would come up with something brilliant. She decided all of a sudden that we would use clips from music videos in our project and proceeded to waste an hour and a half trying to download something onto one of the school computers and eventually came up empty. Not that it mattered much anyways. The music video footage had absolutely nothing to do with our project.

Then her second brilliant idea: a punk soundtrack for the interviews, which at best didn't really help anything and at worst, served to completely distract everyone from what people were saying.

Eventually, several hours of argument later, we were finished. The stats:

12 hours of editing to make
3 minutes of film that will count for not more than
10 % of our final grade

Biggest waste of time ever.

Saturday, November 26, 2005


Political economy isn't listening. He downs another double shot espresso, with plenty of sugar to cut down on the bitterness, wishing it was scotch instead. It's too early for scotch, he keeps telling himself, but he's already jittery. Got to stay awake. Time is money, you know.

"Hide you behind the arras there," says English to History, "Erin has oft neglected us of late and perhaps we may learn why." They did this last week too. Once again, history repeats this action. It doesn't matter. He won't see much. He's pretty nearsighted.

Once again, feminist discourse lights a cigarette.

From behind the curtains, history beckons to me to write a paper, do my readings, study, anything.

But the world beckons more.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Cold war

Midway into rinsing the shampoo out of my hair, someone upstairs decides that they will have a shower too, at the same time. The temperature is fine, but suddenly there is no water pressure whatsoever and I find myself standing there, waiting for whoever it is to stop irritating me. More often than not, I find that I have to stand there until the water gets really cold until whoever is upstairs smartens up and turns the water off. Then I have nice cold water at full pressure to rinse my hair out.

I wouldn't mention it except that it has happened twice this week.

While I was sitting in tutorial today, I happened to look out the window towards the adjacent building and the offices there. In one of the offices, two women were pulling shirts out of boxes. One of the women tried one on over her shirt, but the other was wearing a rather bulky sweater, so she pulled it off and put on her shirt. I don't think anyone else in the room noticed.

On the bus home, the girl in front of me was crying. Slow, quiet tears. I get like that sometimes too, sometimes for no reason. I don't think anyone noticed that either.

Thursday, November 24, 2005


The lady in front of me on the bus was struggling with the clasp of her necklace. "Here, let me help you with that," I said, doing it up for her. She didn't say anything. She didn't look back. I thought for a moment of how easy it would be to garrot the people sitting in front of me by pulling on their necklaces. It wouldn't work though. The chains were too fine and would most likely break. Gold isn't all that strong. It's a pretty crappy excuse for a metal anyways. The only thing it's really good for is sitting and looking pretty.

12 gauge wire, or maybe 10 would work...

My cousin's name is Garrett. I think it's a strange name for a little girl. I think about these things on the bus. My mind is a constant swirl of possibilities, outrageous scenarios, dangerous visions that I would never think to act upon. I've always daydreamed a lot.

I heard on the radio once that some psychologists said that it was possible that the abuse that happened at Abu Gharaib would not have happened if the US Army sat down with every recruit and made them meditate and visualize themselves doing terrible things to prisoners and then the eventual consequenses. I'm not sure if I believe everything I hear anymore. Erin tells me that even if you don't believe things you hear, they still inform your judgement. I guess I heard that too.

Walking down the street in the fog, I see cars passing by me and in the back of my mind I see each one swerve to hit me. I calculate exactly how far I would be thrown in each case, if I would be crushed against a telephone pole or end up in the ditch. Would anyone stop, or are they as confused by the fog as I am? The lady in the red Nissan knows first aid, but I'm not sure about the Ford pickup.

Some days I really wish I had some sort of reflective strips on my coat. It would be one less thing to think about.

My mom's watching Survivor right now, taking notes. I hear someone's going to get voted out of the office pretty soon. The tribe's been grumbling for a while.

I'm afraid the fog and papers have made off with my brain. It's okay, you can kiss me. I've had all my shots.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


sleep deprivation stop
papers to write stop
cramming for exams stop
crappy registration date stop
can't get into classes I want for next semester stop
currently feeling fucked over by school stop
want to scream stop

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Rat race

"Everything I've heard about your school is bad. Everyone always says it's all work and no party."

"It is. That's pretty much it. But I wouldn't say that they teach you a lot in university. What they teach you isn't really important. What you really learn is how to find information and who to suck up to."

"I heard of this guy who went to Harvard and got paid to write a paper on raves. I mean, they gave him money to go up and down the coast to all the parties, and then write about them. I should have done that!"

"You should have," I replied, "you could definitely do that."

"I'm thinking of going back to school," he said, "I've been drawing again, and I figure it beats working this crappy job for the rest of my life."

"Yeah," I said. "You can go back to school, learn some stuff and then use your degree to get yourself a crappy job in an office, just like I'm doing."

He chuckled a bit as he got off the bus.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Phone call


Erin, you're not going to believe this, but I saw a pepper pot.

A pepper pot like the ones in Monty Python?

No, it's a pot that looks like a pepper.

Oh. I see.

Yeah, that's the only reason I called you.


Thursday, November 17, 2005

Scenes from real life 2: cold rats

One day when mom opened the door to the crawlspace under the front porch stairs, she was confronted by a large rat. It was apparently the biggest, ugliest and meanest rat on the face of the Earth, or at least it was the way mom explained it. This came as no surprise to us, but nevertheless, she was disturbed enough to buy a large box of rat bait. The large rat was never seen again. However, she had had a litter of baby rats sometime earlier and they were soon hungry and wandering throughout the garden.

One by one, over the next couple of days, the cats brought three small rats into the house. Live. It further upset my mother that the cats let the rats go in the house. Live.

It took several hours for us to find them. Though the cats could easily tell you the general area where they were, young rats have a habit of digging into small places where they are not easy to catch. After extensive use of salad tongs, they were all finally captured. I did feel bad about the tongs. To this day I don't know if these squeaks were from pain, fear or surprise.

Now what to do with the rats? Letting them go was out of the question. We had been battling the infestation for too long. Poison? Too cruel to watch and too slow. Drowning? Honestly, how can you drown a rat? They can swim and they were so cute. Suffocation would take way too long. There was only one easy and humane option:

Hypothermia, the silent killer.

Long a humane method of putting my goldfish to sleep in our house, it seemed the least painful for all parties involved. Yet, somehow after the rats had been safely secured in coffee cans and packed away into the freezer, all was not well. The night brought my mother a nightmare, in which we all died suddenly and my poor aunt had to clean out our freezer...

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Blank slate

"I have walked these stairs."

It started about a year and a half ago, when someone scrawled this on the wall in ballpoint pen. This simple statement stayed there for a few weeks, until finally there was an answer.

"So have I."

and then, in other hands and colours:

"Good for you."
"I did too."
"Wow, you're special."

Over the next couple of months the comments began to grow in a cluster around this central statement.

"Elevators are for suckers."
"I did it with crutches, bitches."
"I don't need a stairmaster."
"Next stop Mt. Everest!"
"I don't get it. Are you disabled or something?"

Every time I went up that stairwell, I would stop for a moment to see if something new had been added to the collective. It was interesting to see what people had decided to add and I found it mildly entertaining in an odd sort of way. Simple things amuse simple minds, I guess.

I climbed the centre stairwell up to the sixth floor of the library this morning to find that the whole wall had been painted over. I find it hard to believe that the university can be concerned about some unoffensive graffiti on the walls than the chronically disgusting state of the washrooms. Clearly image here is only skin deep.

Speaking of writing on walls, I stumbled across this today:

the Bubble Project

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


Class this morning was all about web 2.0 applications, sites that involve interactivity, decentralization of content and sources and reliance on radical trust. Sites like, flickr, and Wikipedia, among others. Remember this guy? Well, he was at it again today. He was upset because on a site such as Flickr, someone could theoretically tag a picture of a garbage can with "cat" and screw everything up. The prof tried to explain to him that it wouldn't screw anything up, because for every one idiot that tagged a lampshade with "cat", there would be thousands of others who would tag pictures of their cats at home, and that would cancel out the pictures that have nothing to do with cats.

"But you're tagging what cat means to you, and that could be different from what other people think it means."

"Well, that's just the chance you have to take when the users define the tags," the prof replied, "though I wouldn't be surprised if most people's definitions overlap. Let's get a show of hands here. Who thinks a cat has four legs, a tail, fur and likes its belly scratched?"

Everybody who was still awake raised their hands momentarily.

Then the guy had to attack Wikipedia because anyone can edit it, which supposedly makes it a poor source of information. Once again, the prof had to explain that for every one idiot that contributes bad info, there are several other people who will spot the bad stuff and fix it. It works on radical trust that the majority can come to a consensus that is correct. But the guy would have none of it.

"It doesn't come from an authoritative source so you can't trust it," he said.

What, democratic consensus not good enough for you? What kind of authority do you want? Do you want governments that manipulate the truth to justify wars or corporations that do the same for profit? Do you want God? Is this the same God that got some guys out in the desert to write a confusing as hell book that no one can quite figure out, that somehow or other has allowed people to justify wars and persecution for the past couple thousand years?

I guess I shouldn't complain so much about the guy but he does it every week, this arguing just for the sake of arguing thing, and I find it really hard to understand that maybe, just maybe he might genuinely not understand. Today though, the concepts weren't hard. He was just being an asshole.

Half an hour and a cup of green tea later, I found myself venting to my mother over sashimi and gomae. I don't think she really listened much. Not that that's a bad thing. People tend to say incoherent things they don't mean when they're angry, so it's best to not listen too hard. Though in my case I meant everything I said and I've been angry about it for years. Sadly, I know that venting about it won't make it go away.

What I really need is some space.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Good night, or morning if you suddenly find yourself in Europe

I am currently

not awake enough to explain the picture above.

thinking that for having no relatives or real connection to Norway whatsoever, I get a lot of mail from there.

thinking I'm getting way too used to getting mail from Norway. Today it's Maestro by Kaizers Orchestra. Why did I not have this album before? Good question. I have no idea.

listening to said album on repeat because it is so good.
glad that my "stalker" sent it to me.
wondering if I'll get anything interesting in the mail tomorrow.

supposed to be working on school work.
tired of killing my hand writing the powerpoint lecture notes in my pol econ class.
seriously considering just taking my camera to class because I'm smart.
thinking that by smart I mean lazy.

glad that I got my wool coat out of the cedar chest because it's getting cold.

thinking I should be studying for my exams.
thinking I should be finishing a paper.
thinking that I think too much.

still listening to Maestro because it is awesome.

kind of cold.
boring as hell.

going to bed. Good night. Or good morning, if you happen to find yourself in Europe at this moment.

Saturday, November 12, 2005


My question for the day:

Is it just me or are fortune cookies getting boring? It seems like they all ran out of interesting things to say a long time ago.

"Your love of peace will affect the course of events"
"A zesty partner will be of assistance to you"
"You will inherit some money"

Yeah, heard it before.

I once talked to a guy who had gotten a job writing horoscopes for some sort of personalized mail subscription service. He was the first to admit that he knew absolutely nothing about astrology and that the stuff he did was mostly made up. He had been hired for his previous writing experience, more than anything, and the stuff he came up with was brilliant. I just wish that he wrote fortune cookies.

If I had my own chinese restaurant, it would have only the best fortune cookies, ones that said inspirational things like:

Even the simple act of breathing can kill you.
Aren't you supposed to be watching your weight.
The leading cause of death is life.
Stop being such a pussy.

Am I allowed to write on the backs of those little slips? If I am, I'd say:

One day very soon you will pass a stranger at the side of the road who desperately needs your help. You will never meet this person, though he or she would have been the love of your life.

In the mid 1500s a starving artist in Holland painted a portrait that looked remarkably like you and then died, obscure and unmourned.

Your best friend died before you were born. Your true love has yet to be born.

This Americanized Chinese food is filled with MSG and has no nutritional value whatsoever. You should know better.

I don't know. Maybe it's a stupid idea. Most of mine are.

Look, another chicken!

Friday, November 11, 2005

Lest we forget.

Can you hear that? The military planes just flew by again. I'll stop right now for a minute of silence, since it's 11:00.

11:01. Lest we forget.

Every year at school we would have a ceremony and every year it would be the same. Some presentations about the horrors of WWI and WWII, some cheezy poems and someone would always say a speech about how they didn't know what war was like, about how our veterans sacrificed themselves to bring us peace. Every year my question has been the same: what peace?

I think the problem with Remembrance Day is that we put too much emphasis on WWI and WWII. We have ceremonies, we look at veterans laying wreaths at cenotaphs and we notice every year that there are less and less of them out. We always talk about war as if it is something from the past.

We always seem to lose sight of the fact that the average age of a Canadian war vet right now is somewhere around 38. That's far from the hunched over old men you see hobbling down the street. We had people in Korea, Bosnia, the Gulf War, Rwanda and other places that I can't recall right now. We still have armed forces in Afghanistan, Haiti and the Sudan, among others.

The fighting didn't end at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. We have a long way to go yet.

I am not saying that we should discount the events of the two world wars. What I am saying is that we should not let them overshadow the conflicts that are currently happening. It seems irresponsible to me to talk about the horrors of war in the past without aknowledging the horrors of war today. I think Rememberance Day should not only be a solemn occasion where we look to the past, but also a celebration of peacekeeping and humanitarian efforts abroad.


I didn't realize I had fallen asleep in English until the person beside me gave me a shove and handed me a list of essay topics. I hope the prof didn't say anything important about the assignment.

I'm getting tired of English. I find that each day I get more and more apathetic towards it. I try not to, it just happens that way.

My prof is one of the most down-to-earth English profs I have ever had. At the beginning of the semester I was quite glad that she wasn't the type to use strange, esoteric concepts, flowery language and odd tones of voice. She seems to have realistic expectations for her assignments too. She even sounds interesting, being somewhat on the passionate side of her topic.

And yet, I can't quite get over the fact that every morning, and I mean every morning, she arrives to class and complains about how it's too early in the day and that she is tired and would rather not be there. I know that at least half the people there feel the same, so I really wish that she would just stop mentioning it.

I'm not entirely crazy about the books that we've read so far:

North and South, Elizabeth Gaskell
Features a protagonist that is entirely too perfect and so morally righteous that it's sickening. She spends the first half of the novel being an independent, liberated woman, and the second half being utterly hopeless and being completely ruled over by everyone around her. She says "oh" way too many times. The book contains many long-winded passages filled with flowery language and detailed descriptions, that are extremely hard to skim. It starts out painfully slow, and then all of a sudden, it changes pace and ends entirely too fast. Thoroughly unsatisfying.

Nice Work, David Lodge
Though I must admit that the mental image of a middle-aged man driving a sexy car through traffic blaring Jennifer Rush is kind of funny, I did not like this book very much. I think it centres around the fact that I didn't really like either of the protagonists. One was a conservative, middle-aged, sexually repressed prude, and the other was a liberated, overidealistic, out-to-lunch feminist. Though normally I would be drawn towards the second one, she was just too over the top.

A Child of the Jago, Arthur Morrison
Reads more like an anthropology textbook than a novel. It's really big on describing places and events, but lacks character development so much that I honestly don't care what happens to the characters. The descriptions of life in the slums of London should be horrific, I suppose, but they just don't seem to be any worse than what you'd see on the Downtown Eastside. And for some reason or other, descriptions of women fighting, digging their nails into each other and tearing out large patches of each other's hair just doesn't seem to bother me as much as it probably should. Maybe I'm just desensitized. I guess I just didn't like the way that the people in the book were so disgusting, savage and strange that they weren't human.

I think that's half the problem with the Downtown Eastside. Damn. Now I'm thinking, and whenever a book makes me think, I've got to conceed that it was good, at least sort of.

Trainspotting's next. Though I've already read and enjoyed that one, in spite of the gross parts.

Matt Good on Iraq
probably the most interesting graffiti I have ever seen (today at least)

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


"It's a woman's right to choose,
after all, she's the one carrying it."

Rob hands us the ad and we stare at it. Two Kenneth Cole handbags on a purple couch, with the above caption. Finally I look up at the guys sitting across from me. "What do you think?" I ask. "I don't know," one of them replies, "women should buy their own purses?" I cough incredulously. For a moment I thought they were joking but apparently they weren't.

The silent study room isn't really silent. More like relatively silent, if we must be exact. There is the odd rustling of papers, here and there, the ever pervasive hum of the fans somewhere in the ceiling. The sign on the door to this room proclaims proudly the fact that it is naturally lit, but around this time of year, it's hard to say 'light' with any kind of certainty. It isn't dark outside, but the abundance of fluorescent light in here renders the winter clouds oppressive.

A man walks in, involuntarily disturbing the peace, and quickly rushes to comply. Several eyes survey him as he fumbles within his bag to produce a textbook and some notes. Within moments he too is silent, and the eyes have reverted back to their studies.

Outside in the street, a man is shouting revolution or the second coming of the messiah. I have no way to know what he is saying or why. Political protest? Drug addict? It could be either. A few people leave their desks to look out the window. They can't see anything, so they go back to studying.

It would take a lot more than that to stop the the forced silence in here.

I feel like a spy here. I've infiltrated this place of holy sanctuary to write this, to talk about trivial things to Europeans that are staying up past their bedtimes to be on msn. It's getting close to exam time there, did you know? As much as I try to forget it, exams are always lurking over the horizon here too. Four more weeks.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Commodifying respect

This symbol is a part of our cultural heritage, right? Well, apparently not.

Apparently the little red poppies we as Canadians wear around this time of year are protected under copyright law. This copyright is agressively defended by the Royal Canadian Legion, as Pierre Borque found out recently, when he respectfully placed its image on Bourque Newswatch and was asked to cease and desist.

While I can understand the Legion's desire to protect the image of the poppy from disrespectful display, I think it has gone a little too far here. As Borque said:

What next, will Peter Mansbridge and Mike Duffy be banned from wearing their poppies during Remembrance Day telecasts ? Will Rick Mercer be blocked from using the poppy in a tastefully funny TV skit ? Will Leonard Asper have to erase his Remembrance Day website ? Will Charles Adler have to take it off while he broadcasts his radio show from the CAB convention floor in Winnipeg next week ? Will Jeffrey Simpson have to remove his while he pens his next G&M column ?

Not to worry, lads, apparently it is ok to wear it on your lapel, but not on the lapel of one's website. It seems a very sad situation, indeed.

I would say something, but Colby Cosh says it better:
I never thought I was helping to remove a piece of our cultural heritage from the public domain by buying Remembrance Day poppies. And I am certainly surprised to learn that "Remembrance" itself has become anyone's formal property. I won't pay for or wear one ever again. And neither should you.

Okay, maybe a bit harsh, but still, it bothers me too that they seem to be able to put a price on public display of respect for peace, tolerance and our war dead.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Box eyed

Sitting at my computer, my left arm always falls asleep to the point where it gets extremely hard to type and is painful for a few hours afterward. I think it might be that the top of my desk is a split level and my left elbow always hangs off a little bit. Perhaps that cuts off my circulation or pinches a nerve or something.

I guess that really means that I spend too much time in front of the computer, but there isn't much else to do out here. I suppose I could be drinking or smoking or getting pregnant. I'd like to say I'm too smart to do these things, but the reality is that I'm much too square. So I sit here, staring at my screen. The internet is my tv, slowly eating my brain.

I have a million and a half different things that I want to say here, but I just can't bring myself to write them down. They're a little too personal right now. Maybe later.

I keep thinking that I'm a fairly interesting person, but I don't think that really comes across in my blog. I'm afraid I just haven't been very inspired lately. After being chewed up by several papers and exams in short succession, I'm a little out of it, and the most interesting parts of my life right now also happen to be things I don't want to talk about. I don't even have any good bus stories to tell right now, because lately, I just haven't been able to stay awake.

Excuses, excuses. I have little respect for people who make excuses for themselves, even though I myself am quick to excuse them. What can I say? I am a hypocrite, but I have a funny feeling that the rest of the world is the same.

Matt Good says that the concert in Vancouver yesterday was the end of an era for him. While I definitely love his old stuff, the thought of him doing something different is kind of exciting. Variety is the spice of life.

In other news, my sister just forwarded this to me:

*With all the sadness and trauma going on in the world at moment, it is
worth reflecting on the death of a very important person, which almost
went unnoticed last week.

*Larry LaPrise, the man who wrote The Hokey Pokey died peacefully at age
93. The most traumatic part for his family was getting him into the
coffin.They put his left leg in. And then the trouble started.

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."
Martin Luther King

Friday, November 04, 2005

I'm ready to go off

[insert picture here, probably a bad one taken by me with an slr that is way way way too good for the crap I put it through. thank you.]

Right now I'm stuck with a small dilemma. I could eat now, at 10 in the morning, or I could wait till after class. I know that if I don't eat now, I won't for at least six hours, but I'm just not hungry. Profound, I know.

And in my head Polecon is sitting in the corner at the party because he's boring as shit. The social effects of Advertising can't lure me today, not even with empty promises of sex and fulfillment. She sits there, complaining to English who really honestly doesn't care, quite sure that she was only invited for easy credit.

Feminist discourse lights another cigarette.

I have just four more papers to write this semester. I can't be bothered with them today. My brain's fried.

I've finally come to a compromise with myself: I will eat half my sandwich now, to lessen the inevitable hunger that I will feel in the middle of lectures in a few hours, even though it makes me feel a tad bit too stuffed right now.

I apologise to all people that phoned me over the past week. I lost my phone a while ago and I only just found it today. I'm charging it up right now and it's making a creepy ticking noise. Hello timebomb.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

How do I get dragged into these things?

Simon asked me to wander with him and since I had nothing better to do than write papers that are quickly coming due, I went. We hadn't gone very far when he suddenly pulled me into one of the stairwells.

"When I was walking over here with Karen, I saw this really cute guy," he said, "and he's in that room right there." He gestured out through the stairwell window towards one of the tutorial rooms across the hall.

"I can never tell if they're gay," he said, "but you can."

So somehow the plan ended up being that I would go ask this guy if he was gay, because it's only slightly better if I did it than if he did it. I must admit that I wasn't exactly completely looking forward to walking up to a complete stranger to ask about his sexual orientation, but as fate would have it, the class wasn't out yet.

We stood in the stairwell and talked, and once in a while we would look out through the window at the guy in the class. "God," Simon said, "I feel like such a stalker."

Somehow or other, the class ended and everyone left without us noticing.

We are lousy stalkers.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


"How's school?" he asked me when he tired of talking to the other parents.

"Not bad," I said, "but five courses gets a little tiring."

"Are you going to go down to four next semester?" he asked.

"Probably," I replied.

"You know, five is good when you're starting out, I guess. But you shouldn't do it unless you've got one of those big scholarships and you have to do it," he began to lecture, "You know, you see them all the time. The drop out rate at UBC is 80 or 90% for people with scholarships. A B is a good grade in university you know. It's really hard for people to keep even a B average. C+ is actually a pretty good mark..."


That's what he tells people about his daughter, isn't it? That's how he justifies everything. I can't stand that condescending bastard. Just because she can't handle 5 courses and has a crappy gpa, doesn't mean that he has to assume that I am the same.

Okay, I do realize that I'm a tad bit biased because I've always thought he was an asshole but it's not like I don't have good reason. After seven or eight years I'm getting really tired of him assuming that I suck at everything I do.