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.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Dear brain

Dear brain,

You've got to help me out here.

I've noticed that lately you've been a bit of a cop out. I had an English paper to write and I did you the favour of reading the book, picking a thesis and lining up some relevant quotes. All I asked in return was to come up with something brilliant to go in between them, to fill my paper with pedantic intellectual bullshit and get it up to an acceptable wordcount. But could you do it? No, no way in hell.

You're stubborn, I'll give you that. Under different circumstances I'd be inclined to admire that about you. However, today I just can't tolerate it.

I'm pretty sure you failed me yesterday in my exam too when I needed you to criticize Locke's theory of property. I don't think my demands are all that unreasonable. It wasn't like I was asking you to cure cancer.

Even doing simple things like updating this blog once a day are getting hard. Especially when it's 2:55 in the afternoon and you're already trying to put me to bed.

Whatever will I do with you? Under the circumstances, it's very difficult for me to get some sort of divorce from you. Even though you're a bit of a deadbeat, I can't help thinking that I need you for some reason or other.

Please let me know what I can do to make you work better. I can't do any of this alone.


My body