Wednesday, June 29, 2005

If there were zombies on the bus, would he wake up?

On my way back from work, I ran into Ryan. Conversations with Ryan on the bus always happen this way:

We meet at the bus stop and begin to talk about courses and movies we've seen, people we have (or have not) seen since high school and the general unfairness of life, papers and tuition fees. Then we get on the bus in the middle of a lively discussion about philosophy and the ethics of euthanasia or placing cameras in public places. We usually sit in the middle, over the wheel wells, where two rows of seats face each other.

We sit across from each other, still talking until the bus lurches forward, somehow jerking all the energy from him. He stops midsentence, slumps forward, and is completely unconscious for the duration of the ride. It's kind of weird when he does that. I envy people who can fall asleep so easily.

I pull out a book and start skimming, hilighter in hand, pausing once to look up and notice that his hair has a little more grey in it today than it usually does. I have a hunch the reason has something to do with why he's so soundly asleep.

We step off the bus half an hour later, resuming our conversation almost exactly where it was interrupted. "Have you seen Batman Begins?" he asks, "It's good, but I hear Land of the Dead is Better." I hadn't heard much about it, save some rather creepy advertising in Toronto. Apparently it is really good because it has zombies that can think.

I don't know. Regardless of how gorey and violent these movies are, they always seem to make me laugh hysterically. I don't watch them in theatres lest I get chased out by a lynch mob of angry theatre patrons. My next bus comes and I take my leave.

It must have been a slow news week for the Peak.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005


I'm taking the bus home again and I've been thinking a lot lately. In the past couple of months, I've changed the name of this blog no less than six times. I am usually very indicisive about these sorts of things, finding that what to me may seem witty and cool on one day seldom lasts in my favour for more than a week.

That is why I am puzzled somewhat about why my current choice of title has lasted over two weeks now. It seems to have struck a chord with me. Why?

Well, physically the western terminus of both skytrain lines is Waterfront station. In spite of its faults, the skytrain remains my cheapest and most reliable option for travel in and out of the city that I love. Coincidentally, I lived for many years on the waterfront near the historic terminus of a major railway, a place that I desire greatly to return to.

Lacking a car, transit is the major way I get around: an hour and a half to get to school, two to get to work. The arrangement is less than ideal, but at the moment it works. I have to travel several hours on the bus to visit friends. They do not come out to see me, but I suppose they have their reasons and I choose not to dwell upon it. I waste a lot of time just getting to where I need to be, so much that I often feel that I'm going nowhere and accomplishing nothing.

In life, love and happiness I feel like I am in transit. Already this year I have had to deal with a number of unwelcome changes to my life. The only way that I have seen fit to manage is to tell myself that things will change eventually, that I am just travelling through this and eventually I will step onto the platform at a more desireable stop.

We're all looking for something. Right now while my life is in flux, all I'm looking for on so many fronts is a pleasant terminus. And right now I am a helpless passenger, or so it seems.

"Are you taking transit?" Carly asked me, as I left from work.

"Of course," I replied.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Anti-aging cream

My sister has set up my mother's computer to automatically sign in to MSN when it is turned on. It is not a wise thing to do on a computer that is fairly public, but it seems that she doesn't care about that.

My mother went to use her computer last night and immediately people started talking to her. She told me about the sad story that Mike told her, about hitting on a girl that he thought was his age, but turned out to have ID that proved that she was nearly twice as old as he was. He thought that maybe it was because she used newfangled age-reducing moisturizers.

And my mother, being the empathetic woman she is, asked him to find out which product she was using and then signed off. He probably thinks my sister is a real asshole now, but we'll let her figure that out herself.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Long cool woman in a fat dress

I always thought that I heard the lyrics to that song wrong, having inhereted a bad case of selective hearing from my father. Now, after watching a bunch of middle aged overweight women dancing on stage in black stretch velour I know that in spite of what everyone says, I was right all along. He really does say long cool woman in a fat dress.

When I went to call them to perform, their dressing room smelled strongly of alcohol. I have no idea what they were drinking, but they were a little out of it when they went on stage. They are really wonderful women, and I've never understood why they always have to wear such frumpy, unflattering costumes. Maybe I will learn when I am their age.

Overall the yearend shows turned out pretty good. They're getting too long for people to sit through though. I don't know how they're going to make them shorter without hurting feelings, but it will have to happen eventually.

It was really nice that Lisa managed to come out to the show, even though she was fired from the dance school. I'm not sure why she left, but she was always really nice to me. As always, she had nothing but praise for everyone afterward. It means a lot when people come out to cheer for you when they have good reason not to.

I went to see Love's Labour's Lost at Bard on the Beach today. For some reason or other I was having a hard time following the play, probably because I was tired from dance. Regardless, Bard never disappoints and my day wasn't wasted. I'll be back to see Hamlet in three weeks.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Dance recital number one

Before we went to the theatre we stopped in at Hon's for some soup and some sort of unusual dish with mushrooms and tofu. Walking out of the restaurant, dad opened his fortune cookie, which said "romance and travel come together at this time". He handed it to the person to his left, thinking it was my mother. Instead it was a big man with no neck. I saw that one coming, but sometimes it's more fun to let nature take its course.

Once again I am stagerunning and once again in spite of all the panic backstage I am the calmest person to be found. People ask me how I do it and the answer is that nothing good has ever been accomplished by mass hysteria, so I refuse to contribute to it.

I am always pleasantly surprised by the number of boys we have dancing. Dance always seems to get a bad rap as a 'gay' thing for guys to do, so the fact that we have 35+ in a dance school of slightly less than 200 is quite a feat.

The breakdancing numbers were really good. Their teacher is amazing. I wish that I had a picture of him on stage that I could post. Next year I will definitely take pictures for the website, if I can find time away from running around trying to find people who are never in the places where they're supposed to be.

Earlier this year I was seriously considering retiring my shoes for good. Then I agreed to be the school webmaster because it is ridiculous that the in this day and age they don't have a website. (It will be almost as unsexy as this blog. Whatever.) In exchange for that, I get free dance lessons, so I have to decide now what I want to do. I think I'll wait on that a little while longer.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005


Just about the time when I thought that I was going to have to wait until September for my weekly dose of Rick:

"I have to go now. I just looked out the window and Stephen Harper is behind my shed with Jason Kenny attempting to light my barbecue. I’m going to have to put the hose on those two. Whatever they are doing out there it seems unholy to me. If I’ve told Harper once I’ve told him a million times: “Be spontaneous and ingratiating somewhere else.”

Yes, that's right. Rick Mercer has a blog and I will be amused all day.

Remembering Leanne

During the summer of 2001, we all watched the drama in the news about a young girl who was murdered by her stepfather and the community that was devastated by her sudden passing. It went on for weeks.

It wasn't until I got back to school that September that I learned that Leanne had sat behind me in Latin class for an entire semester. Our teacher was the most affected by her absence and one morning when we arrived the lights were all off and she had erected a small candlelit shrine in the centre of the room. We spent the next hour sitting in a circle, sharing our memories about her.

"I'd like to pass," I said when it was finally my turn. The teacher, being the wonderful and naïve person she was, assumed at once that I couldn't speak because I was upset and moved by the experience. The truth was that as I sat listening to everyone's thoughts, I stared at her smiling face through the candle flames, racking my brain for something to say. There was nothing there.

After class, my friends pulled me aside. "You remember her," they said, telling all sorts of stories, none of which sounded remotely familiar to me. That night I looked her up in the previous year's yearbook, and that didn't help either. The photo from the shrine soon found its way to the front centre of the classroom, and she stared at me every day I went to Latin until I graduated, asking why I didn't remember her. It was a question I couldn't answer and I felt terrible about it.

Today, on my way to dance from the bus loop, I stepped off the curb and into a large crowd crossing the street. Behind me someone was laughing and I had to stop in the island for a second take. It was Leanne's laugh, or close enough.

I had thought that I had forgotten her completely, but then I heard her laugh. And while a single laugh isn't really a substantial memory it's better than nothing at all. I'm happy that I at least have something.

But it still bothers me that she seemed so completely absent from my memory. If I couldn't remember a person that I saw every day for a year, then what other things am I forgetting that I just haven't noticed yet? I think I'm losing my mind.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005


“Is that bus going to Coquitlam?” he asked me, “because I only like to ride the articulated busses. They don’t come here often, you know.”

“No, they don’t.”

“I bet that bus is going to Coquitlam, otherwise it wouldn’t be sitting there. Why else would it be sitting there if it wasn’t going to Coquitlam?”

“Maybe it is.”

“Are you going to Coquitlam?”


“Good, I am too. Actually I want to go to Haney, but that bus is always late so I’m going to Coquitlam and then I’ll catch the Haney bus there.”

“Why don’t you catch the Haney bus here?" I say. "It could save you some time.”

“What?” He looks confused. He’s about thirtyish.

“I mean the Haney bus comes in about eight minutes and then it will take about 10 minutes to get where you’re going. If you take the bus into Coquitlam and then transfer to the Haney bus there, it’s going to bring you right back here and take an extra hour and a half.”

He still looks puzzled. “That bus isn’t going to Coquitlam, is it? Because it’s articulated and why else would it be sitting there? Do you know what time it is? Let’s synchronize our watches.”

“Sorry, I don’t have my watch with me.” The bus to Coquitlam comes. I get on. He begins to ask the bus driver if the other bus is going to Coquitlam. “Who cares?” he says, “I’m going to Coquitlam.” And as the man starts to explain his love for articulated busses, the doors close and we leave him standing at the bus stop.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Killing time

In the buildup to the dance school's year end show, I'm going to take a breif look at what happened last year:

2 shows
1 severely deadbeat audience
1 good supported audience
5 kids AWOL
1 principle dancer AWOL
1 party missed
8 sprinklers run through
3 people noticed that I had lost weight and told me that I looked great
6 people told me that I look really good onstage
1 person thanked me for stepping in and doing props as well as running
3 people told me I did a damn good job running for SR
1 rude child who I almost slapped
4 major props lost or misplaced (not on my watch)

I talked to Alex today, who said that she hasn't been to rehearsals for the past few weeks because she just didn't feel like coming. I wasn't sure if I should be happy that she had seen fit to grace us with her presence today, or if I should strangle her for her utter disregard for the other members of our group. Once again Alicia didn't show. She's cut.

Somehow or other I ended up wandering through the mall for several hours with my sister. She chattered nonstop for the better part of four hours and to be honest, I don't know what she was talking about the whole time. I just wasn't in the mood to listen today. I got two pairs of pants because I was really impressed that I could fit into size six (compared to size 16 in grade 10). That's enough spending for me for a while though, at least until I get another job.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Father's Day

My sister and I look different from each other because we had different fathers, the milkman and the mailman. At least, that's what my mother says. Unfortunately the milkman no longer delivers to my neighbourhood and Canada Post doesn't deliver on Sundays so we had to make do with our biological father instead.

I made a couscous salad and some halibut for dinner which we ate in the back yard. I also baked a cake that was cleverly packaged to look storebought. We ate it and laughed as we listened to all our neighbours fight. Happy father's day to them too.

I wrote a nice letter to my mother's father today. I don't intend to send it.

Saturday, June 18, 2005


I sat down and joined in at the table where everyone was beading chokers out of leather and some sort of catgut-like substance. Children and their parents puzzled over poorly photocopied instructions, but all eventually turned to the elderly woman sitting to my left for help. "I don't know how to do it!" she finally said, flustered, "Just because I'm old and I'm Indian, doesn't mean I know how to do all this Indian stuff." She then gestured toward me, because I seemed to know what I was doing. And so I found myself, as genetically caucasian as humanly possible, teaching native crafts to natives.

So how, you ask, do I find myself in this situation? My dad was invited to an aboriginal potlatch event because of his support for the aboriginal education program in the local school district. They had even given him his very own custom made vest with a Haida motif on the back, though to be honest, I have no idea what it was supposed to represent. Usually you see eagles and whales, but this one looked kind of like a man with an afro. Maybe it was supposed to look like him.

I didn't have to go with him, but I went for lunch. The salmon is to die for. They've been cooking salmon here for thousands of years, regardless of whose theory of origins you subscribe to, and they have it down to an art. I have yet to discover their secret, and until I do, I will continue to show up at these things.

Some kids from local schools provided entertainment and some of it was really good. The entertainment however wasn't enough to distract us all from the woman who discretely shoveled the contents of her childrens' plates into ziploc bags, then sent them back for lunch. It's sad that in a country as well off as ours that people have to do stuff like that.

Then again, if I had had the foresight to have brought bags with me, maybe I would have done the same thing. It's good salmon.

Friday, June 17, 2005


Dear Vancouver,

Do you remember a time when the lady on the Skytrain used to say

The next station is
terminus station.

All passengers must disembark at

getting a full eight cents (or whatever it is) royalty whenever we heard that perky voice? They retired her when they put the Milennium line through and though the new prerecorded voice lady is nice, she just doesn't say it right.

She sounds so dummied down, saying "last stop" instead of "terminus station", and "passengers must leave the train" instead of "disembark". It was a sad day when the lady from the Expo line spoke for the last time, when the bells last tolled their signature chord, rewarded for years of loyal service by their quiet and unceremonious replacement.

I suppose that it is all completely insignificant in the long scheme of things.


I think I may have said earlier that the title of this blog is subject to change without notice. I can never seem to make up my mind about these sorts of things. In the meantime, this is something that will never change:

This is Frick.

People tell me that she is cute, but I think they're just being polite. She wasn't cute even when she was a kitten. She's never been a particularly nice cat either. For some reason or other I love her anyway.

I used to go swimming at the local pool and she would follow me there. She had an honoured spot on the wool blankets in the guard shack. The lifeguards used to call her "Freaky" and feed her all sorts of food that she wasn't supposed to have. I turned a blind eye to all this because whenever she came with me, I got to swim for free. I used to swim a lot.

Once my mom and I drove into downtown Vancouver from Port Moody on the freeway. Once there, we parked, spent a couple of hours and then drove back at the customary 10-15 km over the speed limit. It wasn't until someone flagged us down that we realized that Frick had travelled the entire distance in and out of the city tangled up in the roof rack. She was never quite the same after that.

Apparently there is another Frick out there, but mine was the first.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Hey woman!

I was expecting a phone call but I wasn't exactly expecting this:

"Hey woman!"


"How are you?"

"I'm fine."

"Are you sure? You sound different today."

"No, I'm okay."

"Wait a minute, this isn't Alicia, is it?"

"No, it's not."

"Shit. Sorry to bother you."

"No problem."

In other news, apparently there was a tsunami warning here and I didn't hear about it. So much for expensive early warning technology.

Sucked in

Zosie's upstairs vacuuming her floors again. She loves that thing to death.

She told me proudly that she had paid $3500 for it, carefully reciting all the reasons she bought it, or rather everything from the pitch the salesman had given her. It was like she was trying to prove to herself after the fact that she had spent her money well, that she had not been sucked in by clever marketing.

While she was eagerly telling me about pollen and her children's health I thought about how the same amount would easily pay for a semester's tuition, books and coffee. I guess our priorities are just different. I care about school, she cares about dust mites. She will continue to be employed at the Save On Foods while I, hopefully, will be able to find some more gainful employment. Then maybe I will consider buying an outrageously overpriced vacuum cleaner, even though in my house it wouldn't exactly get used very often.

She uses the noisy beast every day. Sometimes twice a day, which though not a problem right now, gets really irritating while I'm trying to study. I hope she gets her money's worth out of it.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Whatever would we do without you, Kim?

Dear Kim,
I love everything about you.

I love the way that you are so perfect. I really admire the fact that others are always wrong and you are always right, and you are never afraid to tell them that. I love the way that you try to educate others by stressing that they are not perfect and leading by example.

I love the way that you can always find someone to blame. For years we all thought that there was no such person, but to our delight, you found many. I love how it is always someone elses fault. I'm sorry that they're always trying to bring you down.

I love the way that you are so pretty. Your choice of clothing is impeccable. I love the way that you wear everything so tight that a roll of fat bulges out between your shirt and pants. It's very attractive.

I love the way that you work harder and suffer more than any of the rest of us. You really are the only person in the world who strives to achieve goals, who motivates everyone, who performs the best. It must be very, very hard to stay on top. The starving children in Africa, prisoners of war, and victims of genocide simply do not know your pain.

I love the way that you go to great lengths to remind us how hard you are working and how lazy we are. We used to forget that we are lazy, blundering idiots, but now with you here, how could we possibly forget?

I love the way that you are the centre of the universe. I love the way that you can use the fact that your every needs are not being catered to as an excuse for doing a half-assed job. I love the fact that you grace our presence with your constant complaints, and how we never hear the end of it whenever you don't get what you want.

I love the fact that your inexperience makes you better than the rest of us. You must have trained extra hard to be able to row so much better than us. No?

I love the way that you are not afraid to lie to people even when it is blatantly obvious that you are doing so.

I want to thank you Kim, for doing such a good job being yourself, and always giving us all something to talk about. I used to think the rest of us had nothing in common. Now I guess we do. I'm not sure what we would do without you.

Re: Sunday

Last Sunday was a mess. I left early from Steph's party so I could do a dance performance that I had agreed a long time ago to do. It was my understanding that I would be dancing at 2:00, but when I got there, they told me that the time had been changed to 3:30, and that the whole show was running nearly an hour behind. I was angry about that so I left without setting foot upon the stage.

Earlier that day I had had a rehearsal for another dance. First it was scheduled for noon, then 11, then cancelled, then on again. I didn't hear finally if anyone actually went. I didn't.

Becoming increasingly frustrating is the lack of organization and communication between my dance school and its performers. It is so bad that the monthly newsletter announces all sorts of events, but doesn't bother to mention dates and times. They expect everyone to look at the notices posted on the bulletin board at the school, but noone does.

So instead of getting angry about this, I'm going to make them a website that will have up to date information on it. That way, people like me can visit from home and know what's going on. I told them this and they got very excited. Too excited. Maybe I should have kept my mouth shut.

I got my Pleasure Craft Operator's Card yesterday. Watch out.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005


My next door neighbour soaks his feet in formaldehyde every night.

I imagine that hundreds of years from now, after worms and bacteria have eaten and destroyed practically his entire body, his feet will remain remarkably intact. He says it stops the smell. Some poor archaeologist will have a tough time figuring that one out.

Seattle, March 2000. Sparrow et al. had made the mistake of attempting to peel oranges in the backseat of Brad's van while we were trying to cross the border. When they asked if we were carrying fruits and vegetables, Brad and I said no, the border guards saw the oranges, long story short, we got searched. They confiscated everything.

We stopped at a grocery store with the largest freezer section I have ever seen. Most of our time in the store was spent running around, looking at all sorts of things you couldn't get in most grocery stores at home, at least at the time: bizarre freezer dinners, alcohol, organic condoms, soy water and ketchup that came in not one, not two, but thirty-six different types of bottles. People like us don't need monuments and tourist attractions for amusement.

Among the things that I took home with me from that trip was the remaining bagel of a bag that I had gotten from that store. I forgot about it and finally found it nine months after its fresh date.

It looked fine.
It smelled fine.
Hell, it tasted just the same as it had when it was fresh, whenever that was.

There was a time once when people used to assume that I was my sister's mother. I got younger somehow, and now I get ID'd everywhere I go. Was it because I lost weight? Is it that I wear my hair down more often? I will probably never know, but my bet is on the bagels.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Out to lunch

I deal with them all the time at work: the people who believe that my job is easy and that they might like to do the same thing. They have some really unrealistic expectations about what exactly we do and how much training and work we do. I guess that as professionals, we make our jobs look easy. What I don't understand is how I seem to be a magnet for this type of people.

The other day I was innocently scanning the water when a woman started asking me all sorts of questions about how she could become a lifeguard. She explained that she couldn't swim very well and she failed the CPR exam twice, but that she had been watching Baywatch reruns religiously for several months and now she knew exactly what to do.

I don't think she'll ever succeed at it, but I don't want to be the one to say it. I told her to get a pen and paper and as I dictated everything that she needed to do to get a lifeguarding job I couldn't help but notice that she wrote everything down wrong. She asked me if the courses were free, and I said that they all cost between 1 and 2 hundred dollars. She was a little upset by that. Then I repeated everything so that she would get it right but when she finally left, she still had it wrong. It doesn't matter much because I'll never see her again.

But what do you do when it is one of your closest friends that is completely out of touch with reality? Do you play the bitch and tell her what you think, or do you play the supportive friend and watch her flounder?

Why am I thinking about school?

I planned out all my courses late last night and they look like this:

I'm sad to say that even if this picture was more focused and big enough for people to read it, it wouldn't make any more sense than it does now. To be honest, I'm not sure exactly why I'm doing this now, because I got a late reg date and chances are that the courses I want will be filled by then. Oh well. One day I too will be a soon-to-graduate student with all the best reg dates and laugh at all the dumb kids that have to wait their turns.

I had a dream last night that Matt Good hired me to impersonate him on the internet and keep his blog updated. It was really weird.

Sunday, June 12, 2005


It was finally the end of the school year for everybody, so we had a party, and a good party it was.

It was nice to see everyone together again. The beautiful man was finally back from nine months in Quebec and it seems to have done him a lot of good. He also brought back a souvenir from his travels: the beautiful woman Mary-Lee. She's very nice, attractive, friendly and a little quiet, but that might have been because she didn't know many people there. A nice person, regardless, and I'm glad that he's found someone.

We set up a couple of amps in Steph's kitchen and started jamming. He on guitar, she on violin and Steph and I sang. I'm a terrible singer, but that's nothing that a couple shots of rum won't fix. Other people joined in sometimes, but mostly they came and went. We played all of the songs that we used to play when we were in high school, stuff by Pink Floyd, Billy Idol, Bryan Adams and David Bowie. Steph left after an hour and we started plunging into songs that Mary-Lee didn't seem to know. Gradually he started to forget the chords and I forgot the words and we just ended up staring at each other, smiling. It was fun because we haven't jammed in ages.

"It's 11:00. I'm supposed to stop playing now," he said, and I looked over at Mary-Lee, who had put down her violin and was now staring at us. We made an odd triangle. I suddenly felt really uncomfortable and left the room. I guess I shouldn't have felt that way. We're just friends, right?

Friday, June 10, 2005

But summer hasn't even started...

Your enrollment appointment for the 2005 Fall term commences:

3:30 PM, July 22, 2005.

After this time, you may access goSFU to enroll in classes.
The Website address is:
The Fall term code is: 1057

To view your enrollment appointment online, and to enroll in classes, you
must first pay your $100 enrollment deposit. Avoid line ups by paying via
telephone or Internet banking. Please allow five business days for your
payment to be processed; see for details.

You must also have an active SFU student computing ID and password. If
you have not yet activated your ID, go to Allow up to two days in addition to
the five business days for your enrollment deposit to go through the bank
before expecting the ID activation process to be complete.

If you do not yet have an active ID, you can still view the Schedule of
Classes and Course Catalog at or download a PDF version
of the Timetable from

For more details about goSFU, including tutorials and directions for
accessing help by phone (604-268-6930), email (, or instant
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Undergraduate Records
Simon Fraser University

Slow food lunch

Did you know that there is a fanlisting for Cauliflower? I didn't until today. Aparently the lowly vegetable has a fanbase somewhere out there in internetland. That's kind of cool, and I'm not surprised that it exists. I mean, if individual television episodes can have fanlistings, then why not cauliflower? Or brussel sprouts or mashed potatoes for that matter.

How do I know this? I was reading up on some old news on the Slow Food Vancouver website and somehow found my way to the fanlisting from there. I first heard about slow food several years ago, when I was passing through beautiful Cowichan Bay. It is one of those little places that was originally a fishing and logging town, but is now more of a place where retired people take refuge from the city.

I was hungry and I stopped at a cheese shop where a lady made her very own goat cheese from the milk of her very own goats. She then recommended that I check out the town bakery to get something to go with my cheese. It was a neat little place, specializing in artisan and organic breads and other such baked goods.

While I was there, I talked to the guy working the counter for a while. He was from Vancouver, like me, but he had left because life there is too fast paced. We were talking and the traffic reports came on for the city and he started to laugh. They were talking about stalls on the Port Mann Bridge and a five sailing wait on the Albion Ferry and an accident in the westbound lane of King George and it was all so far away. I started to laugh too. That's the reason why people move out to towns like these that aren't even big enough to have traffic lights.

We talked a bit about slow food and then he recommended another shop, where I went to get some really delicious candied salmon. In the time that it took to get lunch this way, I had a really nice walk, enjoyed the view and met all sorts of interesting people who owned the shops on the main street. I had a nice lunch.

This is how it should be, and yet for some reason or other we expect to be treated as comodities and sources of revenue for transnational corporations. Or at least that's what we put up with. Somewhere, somehow we just ceased to be human.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Alligators and hummingbirds

I put up a hummingbird feeder in my back yard a couple of days ago, and I wish they would start coming right now. These things take time, I guess.

I read this last night and then I read it again today because it reminds me of why I love Matt Good so much, not just as a musician, but as a really intelligent and genuine person.

One really good thing about spending lots of time home alone is that I finally have time to do things that I usually can't do because I'm so busy. One of those things is drawing. I hadn't done anything remotely art-related for years and then all of a sudden:

It's nice to know that I haven't lost it. Now that it is finished, I will carefully file it away into a box. If my mother were to see it, she would want to frame it and put it up on the wall, and I already have enough creepy self portraits staring at me as it is.

Just a dream

I had a dream last night that I got a very long, handwritten letter, blue ink on manila paper. I spread out the pages and they covered the entire table. It was from someone that I didn't personally know, but that I knew of, and had talked to a couple of times before. She had been sitting in a cafe in her country, and had just started writing, for no particular reason and had then sent it to me.

The letter had a little bit of everything. She told me all about her life, where she was living, what she was doing. She told me all about the best concerts she had been to, the best stuff she had done. The told me about the worst. She told me about the coffee she was having.

Then on to her family. She started talking about them and how she lived so far away, and how she missed them. She told me about her day, and included the mundane aspects like laundry and dishes, things that you wouldn't normally tell your friends you have done because they are so boring and one would hope that you did other more exciting things with your life.

She told me about her plans for the future, which like mine, are sort of penciled in, as if they could change at any time. She's doing an arts degree, or the equivalent, at college and she really doesn't know what she'll do with it. We're all in the same boat.

She told me about growing up in a small town, where everything and everyone knows each other. "You can't possibly imagine..." she says, and that's true. I can't. I grew up in a small town of 70 000. She talks about how knowing everyone can be both a good and a bad thing at the same time. I can see that.

She talked about the day she was having. She was sitting in a cafe, on the street, even though it was still kind of cold out, and looking at the sun glinting off the backs of the empty chairs there. She was penciling a letter to someone who she really didn't know, but was writing to anyway. Why? Why not? She is a very chatty person. She had just finished school, had the odd day when she didn't have to spend any time with friends doing anything. She had no arrangements, no commitments for the day, so she was writing to me. She didn't need to explain so much.

The waitress was a person who she knew fairly well. When she moved into the city, she had made a lot of friends with sympathetic people because she felt so alone after living in a small town. The waitress was from a small town too, only she wasn't studying, just living. Just getting by. She told me a little bit about her too, just as much as she knew. She didn't exactly like to pry. The waitress had been sick for a while, with some sort of illness whose name sounded really ridiculous to me, but that was the only part of the dream that was wrong or weird. While she had been off, one of the ladies from the night shift was called in to work her shifts and she was nice, but she didn't know the customers like the regular waitress, I think her name was Ana.

And throughout this, she wondered why exactly she was writing this to me, a person on the other side of the world who may or may not really care about what she was saying, why she was saying it. Why not? If you write a letter to someone you don't know, then it's just as good as anonymous, right? Maybe they'll write back, and maybe they won't, and either way, it won't matter too much what they know about you. You can divulge personal information to this stranger as if it were truly an anonymous plea to no one, but you would be sure that someone would get it, and maybe it would get read, which is better than posting it in a blog somewhere in the middle of nowhere.

And maybe this person would reply back. And maybe this person would be genuinely interested in what you had to say. And maybe this person would eventually become your friend, someone you never actually meet, but someone who you can trust to send your secrets to, because you never have to see their face, see their reaction when they read them.

She spent so much time and effort to write that letter that I kind of feel like I should write back, even though it was a dream.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Family dinner

My family was coming over for dinner today so I spent a lot of time cleaning, so as not to look like a complete slob. It was a cold and rainy day, so I made soup, everything from scratch, which is a lot more extravigant than everything else I've been eating recently. I haven't cooked anything in ages. I love cooking, but when there's nobody else home, there's no point.

When they arrived, I wasn't quite finished making dinner. When my sister found out what we were eating, she said something nasty under her breath and then proceeded to make something else to eat. While she was doing that, she was also getting between me and what I was trying to cook, which irritates the hell out of me. Dad decided to help me, but like my sister, he spent more time just getting in the way.

I finally got dinner on the table and then we had to sit and wait half an hour for Doo to finish whatever she was doing. In the meantime, dinner got cold, and my mother started asking me questions about things that I would rather not have talked about at the time.

After we finished eating, Doo disappeared somewhere or other and only reappeared when both parents ordered her to do the dishes. She complained a lot about it. After refusing to eat anything and being bitchy for the duration of dinner, the least she could have done was to be somewhat pleasant while doing the dishes. She couldn't even do that.

My parents were angry because she was being so bitchy and rude. I couldn't have cared less. All I wanted was for them to leave. I had been having a decent day before they had showed up, and there was still the chance that I could salvage some of it after they left. No such luck. Today they overstayed their welcome, but what am I supposed to do, kick them out?

I'm beginning to like this living by myself thing. That is, everything except the food.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Cox seat, here I come!

20 pounds by September. At least that's the goal.

I took a long hard look the other day at the things that I do and realized that I really miss rowing. I think it's sad that it took me a year to realize that. But at this point in time I can't just go back. I wasn't particularly fast to begin with, because I am so short. To tell the truth, I spent most of my time washing other people's boats, but it didn't matter too much because I liked it.

In November of 2003 I was in an accident and hurt my back. I wasn't able to hold my own in the boat anymore so I became very disillusioned and quit. I probably shouldn't have, but that's what I did. I kept telling myself that when my back got better I would go back to rowing. A year and a half later, my back has improved, but not as much as I had hoped for.

The fact remains that I have to do something. From March to May of 2003 I realized that I could no longer be competitive racing as an open/heavyweight. I dropped 25 pounds so I could be a lightweight by the summer. It was not fun, but I did it, became more competitive and received a million and a half compliments about how good I looked.

I think I'll do it again, only this time my sights are set on the coxswain's seat. Right now, that's the only way that I can continue to compete so I will take it. The only catch is that I have to lose another 20 pounds.

I can do it, only I won't do stupid things like I did last time.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Feng Shui

It was time for a change.

I feng shuied everything in my living room. It took all day, but I moved two book shelves out into other rooms, removed the coffee table and rearranged the chairs. It's much more open now. There's a lot more room for chi to flow, and if nothing else, at least I can walk between the living room and the hall without tripping over something. That has to be a good thing.

It is hard to say whether or not any of this will change anything. It is hard to say if I have just finally been sucked completely into the consumerist Trading Spaces dream of possessions=happiness. I can't help thinking that there is a way for people to be completely happy without the aid of worldly possessions, but perhaps I'm wrong. At least I managed to redecorate without buying anything, which at the moment, fits my budget just fine.

Now to unclutter the rooms that I just cluttered by rearranging the living room. I can't win.

I guess the problem is that I don't have enough space. Or maybe it is that I have too much stuff. I moved from a three bedroom house with attic and basement into a one bedroom basement suite in January, which means that most of my possessions are still in boxes. There just isn't enough room to unpack everything.

The more I think about it, the less I want to anyways. All I remember from the last few weeks at that house is fighting and anger. I remember packing everything and wondering why I was keeping it. Unpacking means that I will go back to the same old shit. I never want to go back.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Tourist in my own town

It was a cold, wet, windy day so I decided to do touristy things at Steveston, knowing full well that the tourists won't be out. I bought a flower pot from a new shop and the owner started cheering, giggling and thanking me profusely. I take it business has been slow. Oh well, I made her day. The pot will soon join all the other blue ceramic pots in my front yard. Maybe I have too many.

I also saw a very cool gargoyle that would have looked really cool in my garden, or even in my hall but it was much too expensive for me today. The best things always are. I guess I'll have to make my own. I will make a big dinosaur while I'm at it because there aren't enough giant ceramic dinosaurs in the world.

A quick trip to the boats tied up at the docks got me enough fish for several months. I'll keep it all in my freezer for the next time I feel like catching a salmon for dinner.

At the bookstore the little Japanese man watches from behind the counter as I thumb through a couple of Greek tragedies. "Thank you so much for coming, you always buy books when you come here," he says, quietly giving me a discount, unknown to the rest of the people in the store. I only visit that store once or twice each year, so it's nice that he remembers me.

In spite of the rain, the swans were still swimming on the river. I never figured out exactly why there are so many swans there and nowhere else, but they're pretty, so it doesn't matter.

Angry Woman Attacks Erin in Park

MAPLE RIDGE Patrons at a local park had an unwelcome visit from a woman yesterday.

At aproximately noon, people paying their respects to Canadian war dead at the local cenotaph were attacked by an angry woman who claimed to have served many years in the military. "She just came out of nowhere and started yelling and swearing at us," Abby said, "I don't know, she was weird."

The woman quickly got into an argument with a local resident when she yelled that he should join the military. She continued to harass park patrons for about three minutes before stalking off.

"I used to think that that kind of stuff only happened in the city," Erin said, "It's nice to hear that exciting things are finally happening in the 'burbs."

The woman may have been one of the many local homeless and drug addicted people known to live in the area, but at this time authorities are not able to verify this.

Friday, June 03, 2005

Bosco has left the building.

My phone number was assigned to me four years ago. It is unlisted so that in theory, only people who know me will call and I will be able to avoid telemarketers and political campaigners. For the most part it has worked.

About a year ago some people started calling and asking for a guy named Bosco. No big deal, just a wrong number, right? I'm guessing not, because over the course of one month, five seperate people called for him. Then there was another the next month and a couple more the next. After a while they stopped, and I thought that it was over.

Then all of a sudden, they started again. A lady phoned me at 2 am and our conversation was as follows:

(pause) "Oh, I thought you were Bosco."
"No, you've got the wrong number."
"No I don't."
"I don't know Bosco. Sorry."
"Are you sure?"

And it continued on from there before I finally hung up. She phoned back minutes later. I was a little surprised when she asked me if I was telling the truth. It's 2 in the morning, I'm trying to sleep and all I want is for her to leave me alone, why would I lie?

No. I really don't know. I might know Bosco. Maybe we went to school together. No, that can't be it. Oh yeah, I remember now! I stole his phone last Tuesday and now I'm just fucking with you.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

It's not called a murder for nothing

There is something wrong with the wildlife today.

When I woke up this morning my cat was sleeping in the sun on the back fence in our yard. While I watched, a gang of armed squirrels gathered and began to attack her from two sides. It was completely unprovoked.

While out on my morning run around the neighbourhood, I stopped at a park to look for a geocache that I knew was there. Now the trick to geocaching in urban areas is to be very inconspicuous and find them without anyone around you discovering what you are doing. The crows were making this very hard for me.

As soon as I stepped under the trees to look for the thing, some crows appeared out of nowhere and started dive-bombing me. I got pecked a couple of times and decided to leave. They're not called murders for nothing. I'll find the cache some other day.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

First post

I'm never completely sure how to begin a blog. I hesitate to say something painfully obvious, like "hey! this is my first post!" because I like to assume that whoever happens to read this noticed that already. But I'm also hesitant to jump headlong into posting stuff. You only start once, right?

I guess I should explain a few things. This blog is meant to replace my previous blog, which was angry and bitchy and oozing bad karma in every direction. There is enough bad shit in the world that I don't need to create any of my own. It also had some pretty sorry looking political commentary that was definitely not well thought out enough to see the light of day. There will be no more of that.