Monday, October 31, 2005

Happy Haloween

I have pictures from our Haloween party, but I don't feel that they really do it justice. However, I have a lot of work to do right now, so commentary will come later.

Friday, October 28, 2005


The wind picked up outside, making my father irritable. "Have you got a flashlight?" he asked me, "There could be a power outage." Not surprisingly I didn't have one in my desk, so he grumbled something and went to his bedroom.

Mom was already in bed by the time he got there. "Do you have a flashlight? The power's going to go out," he said.

"Of course I do," she replied, "on my night table, right here."

"And does it work?"


"And do you have any extra ones, just in case?"

"Yes, under the bed." She got out of bed, dug around underneath it and produced two headlamps.

"And do those work?" he asked.

"Of course," she replied, putting one on her head.

"You're naked, wearing a headlamp."

"Yeah, so?"

"That's weird."

Thursday, October 27, 2005

I am not a multimillionaire

Erin is a constant source of interesting and useless information. Apparently ladybugs are extremely promiscuous and have a high rate of STD infection. I honestly didn't know that. She says that I should be on What Not to Wear because of my harsh criticism of women in their 40s and 50s who dress like frumpy old ladies. I don't know. The thought of me on a makeover show is kind of scary.

Okay, I confess that I was probably the only person I know that didn't buy a lottery ticket for yesterday's draw. Maybe I'm an idiot. I just can't even begin to fathom what I would do with $54 mil completely tax-free. I would probably have to rent an army to keep away my new 'friends'.

One of my profs said that we should all invest in Google, because it's worth 88 billion and growing. He seems to believe that it will eventually take over the world, but we shouldn't fight it because it seems to be a fairly benevolent company. Sounds good to me.

My parents first met on this day, 32 years ago. This also happens to be my sister's birthday. Happy birthday Du.

I saw this today and had to supress a bit of a chuckle:

From Daveberta via CalgaryGrit. The other provinces are there too.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Narita International Airport

We arrived at Narita Airport some time just after 7 that evening. A quick trip on a bizarre little commuter train brought us to the edge of the constant rush that is Tokyo to a run-down shopping mall of sorts, though it seemed to be mostly vacant, except for one store that appeared to be a drug store and enticingly enough, had english signs inside. We didn't go to Japan to read English, so we didn't enter.

We set up on a green, overstuffed couch in the lobby of this shopping centre and my parents said that they would be back later and left. We had come well prepared, with a blanket and three rented VHS tapes, not that we could watch them. We had no TV and I'm pretty sure that the Japanese use pal instead.

Eventually we got bored and started exploring. We found an escalator so we took it downstairs. There wasn't much on that floor either. We took a second escalator to the next floor and it took us to a small room, about the size of our livingroom. It was completely empty and had no doors to anywhere. People kept coming down the escalator, walking around aimlessly and then going back up, and we followed suit.

Once at the top, we went back down again, then up. That too got boring very quickly. More importantly, we were hungry. We hid our video tapes underneath the blanket on the couch and headed out to forage.

It was quickly getting dark as we crept through the streets like shadows, stealing the food that people had left out in bowls for feral cats...

And then I woke up.

I went to my computer to find that no one was on msn because it was 7:06 in the morning. Then my computer froze so I screamed at it. I was attacked by a large bowl of fruit salad as I went in search of breakfast and unfortunately had to leave a huge sticky mess all over the floor. Then I was in a hurry to leave for school and forgot my camera, so once again, no new pictures.

An unlikely story, I know.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Lost and found

It seems that autumn is here again. Can you believe that I took this picture a week ago?

I must confess I have a terrible habit of writing off people that I've known for a long time. I shouldn't but I do. It just seems that if I've known people for a while and I'm not good friends with them, I give up hope of ever really getting to know them. Julie was one of those people. We knew each other, but we never really talked. Now we talk all the time.

Maybe it's because we both live in crappy basement suites right now, or because we went to the same school. Maybe it's because we have the same major. Maybe it's just the simple expedient of being both stuck in the same brutally awful class together. Maybe it's just the fact that we've both severed our ties to the cliquey bullshit that went on in high school.

When I first came to university I fully expected to meet a lot of new people that I hadn't known before. I had no intention of meeting and befriending people that I already knew. Funny how that happens.

Tomorrow I'm going to take my camera downtown again. The urban decay fascinates me and renders practically everything photogenic. Not that I'm supposed to say that. I'm supposed to make you believe that I am actually good at photography. Sadly, I can't help thinking that this city is naturally beautiful and I'm just an idiot with a camera that happens to be here. We shall see what I come up with.

Saturday, October 22, 2005


Another morning. As much as you try to prolong the night, morning always comes to steal it from you, and then you have to go through this whole charade again.

It reminds me of that old fairy tale. I can't even remember where it's from. Certainly not Disney, if that's what you're thinking. It's that one where the ungrateful daughter puts on a pair of enchanted shoes that compel her to dance and dance and dance. And as she figures out that she will probably dance until she dies from exhaustion, she asks the world for forgiveness... We all know how Disney would end this story. We North Americans sure like our happy endings, but somehow I don't think the world is all that forgiving.

I think Shakespeare had something to say about it, something about life being a tale told by an idiot, signifying nothing.

Last night as I lay awake my mind was a wash of half a million scenarios with you in them, not one of them working out quite right. They were fun and fanciful at first, and then gradually they became more and more realistic, drab, dull, until you and I padded off in opposite directions into the night, disinterested.

Sometimes I wish that that was what we'd do.

Like yesterday I am fighting once again to stay awake, not because I need sleep, but more because I'm bored. I have plenty of things to do, I just have no desire to. I've found lately that I don't really feel like doing anything, and yet I get to the point in the afternoon/evening that I am so bored that I just go to sleep for lack of anything better to do. Then I lay awake for hours thinking of everything and nothing at the same time.

This too will pass, right?

Friday, October 21, 2005


I like to put While We Were Hunting Rabbits by Matt Good on repeat sometimes. What is so special about that song? I don't know, to be honest. I like the bass line of it. It's 8 minutes long.

It's one of those songs that I like to put on repeat and every time it ends, I stop for a moment and think that another 8 minutes of my life has passed. Does any of that matter? I suppose not. The fact doesn't bring me any satisfaction, but it doesn't make me feel bad either.

It is currently 4:45 on a Friday afternoon and I'm fighting to stay awake.

It is currently 4:45 on a Friday afternoon and I should be doing something infinitely more exciting than sitting around trying to stay awake. Evidently I have no life. I don't suppose I'm alone in this. Everyone I know is half asleep with work and midterms and papers to do. There was a pub night tonight for applied science majors but now, because of the strike it is cancelled.

A lot of things were cancelled today. I went to school, sat in an empty lecture hall for an hour and then left. I just wish that they had been a little more clear about what exactly was happening today. If I had known that no one was going to be here to teach classes, I wouldn't have gone. But when I asked yesterday, they said they were going to be there.

I have a million and a half people to phone. Not tonight. It's 4:45 on a Friday afternoon and I'm going to bed. Good night.

Thursday, October 20, 2005


"That's the great thing about flashcards," Erin said, "Everyone benefits. I pass my midterm-"

"-And I get to know all sorts of useless information," I added.

"Exactly," she replied, "and you seem to understand this stuff really well so if you ever take social psychology, you will probably pass."

"Yay." Like that's ever going to happen.

She tells me that the ideal place to take someone that you like on a date is the Capilano Suspension Bridge. You see, when you get someone out there on that little bridge, they get scared and excited and then if they see someone that is goregeous, (ie. you) they think they feel that way because of you and not the fact that they are standing on a little bridge over a huge canyon. It's called misatribution of arousal, apparently. She seems to like messing with people's minds. I guess that's what psych majors do.

Sometimes it's weird to talk to her because we did a lot of things together in high school and yet our memories of them are completely incongruent. "You remember Sean, right?" I ask, and she doesn't, even when I describe him in all the detail that I possibly can. She doesn't remember half of the other people we knew either. What she does remember is a lot of weird little events that I could have sworn never happened. I don't know how to explain it.

My cat likes looking at my computer so I thought it would be fun to turn on my webcam and let her watch herself. Bad idea. She attacked the screen. I won't be doing that again.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


It was one of those rare days when it actually got colder as the day wore on. I left my home near sea level and ascended into the dense fog that they call school. Sometimes when you're secure in that concrete prison it's possible to forget that you're actually inside a cloud.

It's like the kingdom of Heaven only different, filled with fog and dying leaves, pot smoke and apathetic kids who can't really afford their tuition but are somehow there anyway. There used to be strikes here, protests, demonstrations and activism, however shortsighted, overidealistic or ineffectual they may have been. There used to be a pulse here, but pressing my fingers against the walls of the establishment, I feel nothing. It's cold.

All dead things go to heaven, or so they say. My heaven's got ivory towers and hungry people and one hell of a suicide stigma. We sit with our laptops in the pub, the hallways, the overcrowded laptop labs. Over coffee I'll tell you I can't focus on anything, that I can't seem to think this semester. As we look out the window, Rob says that the scenery is an adequate depiction of the contents of his mind: vague, nebulous and monochrome.

I feel the same way too. Evidently it isn't just the wireless that permeates our brains. I wish he'd get his coffee maker to work. I wish he'd stop saying "um" all the time. I wish for a lot of things. I know I shouldn't wish away my life, but I don't see the harm in it today. After all, tomorrow will be another day, regardless.

These are the days when I sit down and evaluate things, when I realize once again that as much as I try to fight it, my life is still on hold. After eleven months I'm still living out of boxes. I still feel like a refugee in my own home. I begin to think that I've spent too long out here, in this shithole suburb in the middle of nowhere, with its wonderbread, white trash people. I know I shouldn't be so prejudiced, because in spite of everything, I too am just a working-class fuck like everyone else.

But the fact remains that I have no desire to stay here. No matter how much I unpack, how many old things I throw away, I can never make this mine. It's only a matter of time until I leave, in one way or another, and the waiting is killing me.

For lack of anything better to do, I find my fingers dialling what seem like random numbers on my phone. "You sound bored," he says from the other end of the line. Fuck, is it that obvious? He's such a nice person and yet I can't stand him. I don't know why I called in the first place.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

My cheeks hurt

I smiled when I woke up and checked my email, when I spread the peanut butter just perfect across my bagel. People tell me I'm funny about the way I eat, and I don't think it should really matter. But today, that was far from my mind as I ate my kiwi. It was very good. Good kiwis always make me smile.

I beamed from ear to ear as I walked four blocks to catch my bus. The fact that the bus was both late to pick me up and late to drop me off did nothing to wipe the smile from my face. I missed my connection and that didn't seem to bother me either.

I was still smiling when I walked into my exam 10 minutes late. I smiled all the way through it, even though the prof had decided to put a lot of really obscure shit on it that I don't even remember ever seeing, and that he had told us not to study. Once outside, I continued to smile as I heard that practically everyone had the same problem, and as I began to realize that many people had actually had more trouble on the exam than I had.

It's late and you get the picture. There was nothing all day that could possibly make me upset. Why? No reason, really, or maybe I just don't want to say. I don't know.

Monday, October 17, 2005

I'd rather have a bottle in front of me...

At one point in time I had a strong desire to cut off my left shoulder. Not my arm, just the shoulder, and perhaps a bit of my back while I was at it. At the time, the frustration at the pain and injury that I felt in my back was adequate justification for amputating the thing altogether. And then I got thinking...

I would need a very sharp knife. Everything we had at home at the time was much too dull. It would need to be sterilized, but more importantly, I would be opening up a huge wound that would probably bleed a lot, and I was never quite sure how I would be able to stop myself from bleeding out. I was also not sure how I would prevent the whole thing from becoming infected.

Then there was the question as to who would do it. In our wonderful public healthcare system, they tend not to perform elective surgeries, especially ones that are completely unnecessary, because they waste the taxpayer's money. I also doubt that any respectable surgeon would willingly cut through all those muscles and render my arm half useless without a good reason.

My problem? I think too much about things.

I seem to remember explaining this to someone over a caramel macchiato at Starbucks once, a couple of years ago. I was completely frank and nonchalant, and the person across from me was incredulous. "You're not serious, are you?" he asked, and I said that I wasn't. But that wasn't exactly true. I was completely serious at the time, but it's not always a good idea to let people know that.

I look as normal and conservative as fuck, but my mind is anything but. I don't often say what I'm thinking because I get so many strange looks. The stuff that comes out of my brain is often completely different from what people expect of me, so I'm better off saying nothing. Otherwise I have to explain too many things and no one ever completely takes me seriously. It's not even frustrating anymore, I'm so used to it.

I was thinking earlier this evening that my family would make the perfect candidates for a reality TV show. We'd be just like the Osbornes, only funny, especially because no subject is taboo at the dinner table and when someone pokes me in the side I scream. Quite literally, it would be hours of entertainment because we are so weird.

The cameras would catch us at our best, when we're debating the similarities between commercials for spark plugs and Trojan condoms, or when I just spontaneously decide to dance in parking lots. Or maybe when dad goes to switch over the laundry and pulls an impossible knot of bras out of the washer. Perhaps they would catch us talking to the cats as if they are rational, intelligent beings, or when I forget simple words for things and substitute ones that are much more vague and complicated:

"Can you please procure the liquid beverage for me?"

They would most likely have to bleep out half of everything that we said, but that's what they do with the Osbornes anyway so I don't see that as a problem.

I think we should do it. I mean, it's not like there isn't enough crap on the television already.

Sometimes I wonder if I could just amputate the weirdness out of my brain. I would never do that though. I would think too much about it first. That's the problem. I think too much.

Recommended reading: Indestructable

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Mall adventures

It turns out that going to the mall is less boring than I would normally have you believe.

We turned our backs for mere moments and Kathy's purse was gone. You'd think that one of us would have been smart enough to have watched it. You'd think that one of us would have seen something. Evidently we are all idiots.

I lent her her my phone and in the time it took for her to cancel her credit cards, the theif had already made two purchases. Kathy likes to walk, and while she was on the phone, she managed to cover the entire mall too many times for me to count. We spent the next couple of hours following her around, both because we didn't want to leave her and she had my phone.

All in all, I think Lauren was more upset than the rest of us. Eventually she went home. I spent another hour and a half walking around the mall with Kathy, because she didn't have her housekey and couldn't go home. I made sure that purse or no, she got the boots that she had been eyeing all morning.

She's going to spend most of tomorrow trying to replace all her ID, and I'm going to hand in her assignments. Other than that, life is normal and boring.

Saturday, October 15, 2005


"Yeah, and then she had to start talking about how she couldn't stand Garrett, and how my aunt is such a twit for allowing her to act up."

"Let me guess, she doesn't beat her children enough?" my mom said.

"Exactly," I replied. "And grandma says that everything that she says about Garrett being well adjusted and making lots of friends is bullshit. That she's going straight to jail. That one day she's going to make friends with the wrong man and then we're all going to be out there looking for her. 'I'm not going to be out there,' she said, 'I'm going to be in bed.' And then she offered me a spot in her bed during the search."

"Whoa, aren't you lucky," mom said with much sarcasm.

"What I don't understand is why she gets so worked up about it. What am I supposed to do, walk up to my aunt and say she raises her kids wrong and that I could do better?"

"I don't get into that whole childrearing criticism thing. It won't do anything except make people angry. And yet your grandmother insists on being bitchy about these things. Oh god, please let me never be like my mother."

"It's okay, mom," I replied, "because by the time you're her age, euthanasia will probably be legal."

Mom practically choked on her food, then burst out laughing. "My very own daughter!" she exclaimed.

"Aha! Who's the favourite child now?" Du shouted.

I don't think I meant it that way.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Don't need no education...

I've managed to avoid talking about the teacher's strike (CBC, CTV) for a whole week. People who know me well already know whose side I'm on. I was a student in the public school system when Gordon Campbell and the BC Liberal Party were first elected in and I got to witness firsthand the cuts that he made to our education system.

From the beginning this government has shown that it is not willing to negotiate in good faith with its employees. That's nothing new, and the current situation where 42,000 teachers and 600,000 children are out of school in beautiful British Columbia is yet another example of this. None of this surprises me in the least.

But here's something that does:

The Honourable Madam Justice Brown of the BC Supreme Court decided yesterday that the teacher's union was not allowed to use its resources to pay teachers strike pay or to allow them to communicate with each other.

I am puzzled. Does it not say in section 2 of our Constitution that we each have the fundamental freedom to communicate with each other, assemble peacefully and associate with whomever we want to? Am I somehow reading the Constitution wrong? Does it not apply to teachers as well as normal people?

I don't think I understand.

A guy arrived here in the middle of the night to ask if he could park his car in front of my house. He had apparently had way too much to drink and had decided to walk the rest of the way home. He then walked off in the opposite direction of the way his car was pointing. In retrospect, everything about the event was kind of bizarre. His car isn't there anymore.

Recommended reading:
The history of ARPANET because I need to study for my midterm, and
Tony Pierce because he's awesome and I completely didn't expect him to link me yesterday.

Good night and have a pleasant tomorrow.


My grandmother decided last Christmas that she would buy me underwear. My aunt promptly talked her out of it. I'm glad. To this day, I honestly don't know what I would have gotten had Paula not intervened. Something tells me that I wouldn't really want to know anyway.

As a child growing up I became all too used to getting clothes on special occasions that were either small enough for dolls or were so hideous or bizarre that I wouldn't even dream about wearing them. Last year she went to the trouble of getting my mother a birthday present a couple months late. It was a lovely little cd filled with cheezy sound effects and midi files entitled "The Sound of October". Please note that my mother's birthday is in May.

Last Christmas we moved from a house into a basement suite, where we had no room whatsoever for anything and were constantly butting heads about where to put stuff, what to throw away and the fact that none of us had any personal space. It was not a nice way to spend Christmas. Enter my grandmother, who thought she'd help out by giving us more tacky useless things that we didn't need and didn't have room for, this time a plastic singing reindeer choir.

Evidently buying gifts is not her forte.

I was informed yesterday that she had bought me a birthday present and that I was to drop by and pick it up. Naturally I was not quite sure what to expect, especially since my birthday is in August, not October. As you can imagine, I was extremely surprised to find that it was a porcelain music box. A tad bit on the corny and oversentimental for my liking, but a very nice gesture regardless.

I spent the next two hours demoing everything my computer can do, because she has never seen one before. "How the hell are you going to get a man with that little thing?" she asked, "It's too small. You can't ask a man to carry that for you."

She wanted to hear me play some music, and naturally, not being able to find anything in my mp3s that she would like, I eventually settled upon something that she would neither like nor understand: Kaizers Orchestra. "It sounds like a fucking construction site!" she said, "and you don't know what they're saying." I explained to her that all you had to do was ask a Norwegian to explain the lyrics to you and then I had to explain how that was possible through the internet. I don't think she understood.

Then she wanted me to explain to her if the computer could tell her if certain people were idiots or not. I told her that it really depended on who the person was in question.

Apparently Auntie Sharon has a computer that she wants to sell and Grandma wants me to get it for her. I don't think that will happen. Auntie Sharon has been spending the past 20 years pretending that I don't exist, and from a practical perspective, the computer is a 6 year old dinosaur and not a laptop, which would definitely not work because Grandma lives in a hospital bed. I've tried to explain this to her before.

She just doesn't understand. She never does.

Reccommended reading:
Daniel Regelbrugge on Matt Good's blog

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Okay, who's the lazy one?

Who is more lazy, us or the British?

Erin and I were talking about accents today and that question came up. We noticed that the way things are spelled is not the way we pronounce them. I think it's called diglossia. She noticed that the British pronounce t sounds in the middle of words more than we do. "We're just lazy," she said. And it's true:

They say butter.
We say budder.

Therefore, we are lazy bastards here in the colonies.

"Aha! That's not completely right!" I said. She had forgotten something. Yes, the British pronounce their t's, but they forget about their r's.

Yeah, we may say budder.
But they say butta.

Who's lazy now? And what the hell is wrong with our language that neither of us can pronounce it properly?

"Oh my god! You're right!" she shouted, laughing. "Remember Peter Pan? They were always calling him Peeta. It sounds so much like pita. How do they know that they aren't calling him Pita? There's no difference."

I'm afraid I don't know the answer to that one. All I know is that there is a world of difference between Peeder and Peeta, and English is probably the stupidest language in the world.

"But they pronounce the r's at the beginnings of words," she said, gradually gaining her composure. "Yeah, otherwise we'd have guys running around with names like Odja, instead of Roger," I replied, "Hello, my name's Odja!" Once again, the people on the bus tried really hard to ignore us.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005


I need a new muse. Mine is very irresponsible. She's taken a couple of 'sick days' to fill her days with drinking, poledancing and all sorts of lewd behaviour. Now she is no doubt sleeping off her hangover in the arms of some unknown guy she met at the bar of a cheap motel. I'm not sure at this moment if I should cut her pay or fire her. I guess both are against labour standards laws at this point.

Regardless, it appears as if my muse is going to be on extended leave, and I am in need of a temporary replacement. Please forward all applications to magnopere at gmail dot com. Thank you.

In other news, I talked to this guy the other day and he sounds really nice. In spite of it all though, I have so much else on my plate that I'm just not interested right now. I told him that I'd call him back and I haven't yet. I probably should. Though practically all of this is disagreeable to me, I feel bad for hanging the guy out.

Once again I am digging into my reserves for photos. I could list a thousand excuses but I won't.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Slime of slug and boolean logic

aka My grandma and the damage done

There are a couple of small scratches across my computer screen that have been staring me in the face since August. I ask them nicely to go away, but they insist on continuing to irritate me with their presence. My question for you is how exactly do I make them go away? I wish that it was as simple as skinning a cat alive and boiling the skin with rosemary and hensteeth until it's nice and tender and rubbing the whole soggy mixture over my computer while chanting binary.

But no, I have these little scratches on my screen that taunt me every time I look at it. The only explanation I can think of for them is the time in August that I took pictures of our house for Grandma and brought my laptop out for her to see them. "What's this?" she would ask, poking my screen harshly with her fingers, still dirty from her dinner and throughout the whole ordeal I would try to gasp a little plea for her to stop abusing my computer. Each time she jabbed the screen, everything around her finger discoloured and I got that disgusting shivery feeling that I get when people scratch their nails down chalkboards. At the time, it was all I could do to not faint on the floor, because there really wasn't much I could do, was there?

One can't very well scream at their own grandmother.

When I got home, I had the unpleasant task of wiping the pork chops and applesauce off my computer. It was then that I first noticed the scratches.

I wish it was as easy as collecting slug slime under the full moon and boolean logic. Instead it's as easy as staring at these damn scratches in the middle of my screen.

Yesterday was Thanksgiving, and I gave thanks for the fact that the wireless internet at school always works. My internet was completely down, and in spite of the fact that it was a stat holiday, I had a paper due, to be submitted online. School is the last place I planned to be on Thanksgiving Monday, but at least the assignment got handed in.

As per usual, I can find very little else to be thankful for at this time of year, aside from the cliche: family, friends, health etc. It's just that October's never been a particularly good month for me.

A belated happy Thanksgiving to all you lovely Canadians out there, and happy Thanksgiving in advance to you Americans, in case I forget. Knowing me, I probably will. Nothing personal.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Quality assurance

For service in english, press 1.

For technical assistance, press 1.

For internet support, press 1.

For residential internet service, press 1.

Please hold while your call is transferred. Your call may be monitored for quality assurance.

Your call has been transfered to the internet support department. Please stay on the line and wait for a customer service representative. Your call may be monitored for quality assurance.

Hi, this is Trevor Linden from the Vancouver Canucks reminding you to get your Molson Canadian NHL pay-per-view package to see 18 unforgettable games.

Hi Trevor, I think it's really cool that Shaw now has hockey players answering their phones, and it's really cool that I could pay money to watch you on TV, but that's not really why I phoned. You see, my internet connection is not working properly, and though you are a good hockey player, I don't think you will be able to help me. In fact, at the moment, I'm really not interested in hockey at all. I just want my internet to work. Now, if you'd kindly piss off and put a customer service representative on the line, I'd be much obliged. Thanks.

Then I got a lovely "we're not able to answer your call right now because we're busy and you were supposed to take a little longer to talk to Trevor" message and I left my name and number and hung up.

I continued to struggle with my internet speeding up and slowing down at random, making it so that one moment everything was fine and the next things were timing out left and right and even msn messages couldn't get through. Suddenly it got really fast. At that particular moment, I was called back by a customer representative in India who told me in perfect English that there was nothing wrong with my connection.

After I had hung up, my connection went back to being screwy again. Lovely.

Saturday, October 08, 2005


I saw the new Wallace and Gromit movie yesterday and it was hilarious. It only goes to show you that in spite of everything, base humour like a naked man wearing a box that says "may contain nuts" never gets old.

I seem to remember us having some sort of plans that involved going away this weekend, because it's Thanksgiving and that's usually what we do. However, since the teachers's strike has left my father, for all intents and purposes, unemployed because he will not cross the picket lines and consequently won't get paid, we're staying put this year.

Suddenly we found ourselves sitting around with nothing to do. What better time then to look at old pictures? We spent a lot of time laughing at each other's bad hair or bad clothes or the strange stuff that we managed to catch on camera.

So we walked down to the video rental place, singing songs because neither of us give a fuck about what the people in this shithole neighbourhood thought about us. And we kept forgetting all the words to the songs, so I don't think that we managed to actually finish one from start to finish.

Ryan was there again today. I think he must live there, somewhere behind the scenes, maybe in the little closet in the back where they keep all those adult films that we're not supposed to watch. He's always so pleasant. "Ryan," we said, "Triplets of Bellville is never here, and that bothers us." He checked the system and figured out that it had been stolen a while ago and no one had bothered to tell us. We sighed and left.

Friday, October 07, 2005


Was it the seemingly thousands of graduands in bright, flowy robes and their happy, smiling parents that appeared out of nowhere to stand directly between me and wherever I wanted to go?

Was it the fact that the work at school just keeps piling up? Or is it that I had a midterm today, or that I didn't get enough sleep last night?

Was it the hangnail that I couldn't stop picking at during tutorial? Was it that as I made a bloody massacre of my finger underneath the table, Rob stared straight at me and asked me about my take on the readings, the ones that I should have read but didn't, because I'm the only one that ever talks? Was it that he is hot, like Terje Vinterstrø of Kaizers Orchestra and Skambankt and he's got a nice smile, and yet he says 'um' so much that sometimes I just want to kill him?

Was it that that damn hangnail wouldn't stop bleeding for nearly an hour? Was it that it caused me to think that I might possibly not be getting enough vitamin K in my diet? K for koagulasjon, naturally. Was it something about how the Danish always manage to find the weirdest ways to spell things?

Was it that I haven't been able to find my watch for a week and I seem to be lost without it?

Whatever it was, I was really bitchy all morning and eventually ended up being really mean to some people on msn. I immediately felt bad about it, once I had signed out and seen myself safely onto the bus, so this, then, is my open apology. If I was mean and angry at you today, it was probably not your fault and I'm sorry.

Leaving the laptop lab, something on the ground caught my eye. It was a $20, one of the old style ones with the loon on the back. I walked past it a few steps, then suddenly realized that there was a $20 on the ground, and it soon found its way into my pocket. But even that irritated me, because it was crumpled.

A man just won an Ig Nobel prize for inventing prosthetic dog testicles and I'm only mildly amused.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Your sunlight's like an open fridge

I suppose I have to say something for myself. Don't get me wrong, I've had an incredible amount of things to say, but for once, I just couldn't find the time to type it up, and now that I'm here, sitting over my keyboard, tickling the keys, I find that nothing is there. I really don't know what to say.

Yeah, I know. Excuses, excuses.

A guy left a message for me on my phone on Tuesday, and I haven't gotten around to calling him back. I know I should, but it bothers me that though he left his number, he didn't bother to tell me who he was, or what he was calling about. He had my name right, though. I hate it when people do that. I don't even know when I'm supposed to call him back. What am I supposed to say? "Hi, I'm returning your call. You've already got my number. Call me." No. I hate telephones.

There's a guy that sits near me in my political science tutorial that appears to like smelling my hair. He hangs around outside the room until I arrive, usually early. Then he follows me in and when I sit down, he stands behind me and leans over my shoulder. Then when I say something to him, he takes a step back and starts talking like a normal human being, almost. I think I'm more annoyed than creeped out at this point.

Today was the beginning of fall convocation at school and as per usual it meant that there was an incredible number of people filling the hallways, especially since the weather outside was so terrible. It was virtually impossible to go anywhere, though today I wasn't so upset about that because seeing people in their red and blue robes is a welcome change to the grey, prisonlike monotony that usually is school in the fall.

I managed to forget to wear my shoes again today, even though it was raining. I'm not sure how I did that.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Political economy

Julie's a fighter, but today she gave up. "My hand will never be the same," she said to me during the break. "We've got to start doing stretches before class or something." After that, she surprised me by not taking any notes at all for the rest of the lecture.

I, for one, tried my best to look interested in what I was listening to. Once in a while I smiled as if our prof had just told a joke, which I suppose I shouldn't have done, because it could easily have been interpereted as me laughing at his poor English. He didn't seem to notice or mind. I was just another happy student in his eyes. Yet for the whole two hours the contents of my brain were as follows:

hand arm hurts stop. must get out stop. can't read writing stop. slides flipping too fast stop. must escape stop. escape stop. please send reinforcements...

running in a constant string of dots and dashes, out on a wire to God knows where.

Then somehow my thoughts floated somewhere else to a time and place where I was middle-aged, widowed and driving an Audi through a foreign land...

And all of a sudden, the prof was talking about what sounded like MadonELL sweatshops. "Have you any worked MadonELL sweatshop?" he asked, "Come on, is no embarassment. Work is work," he continued when no one in the lecture hall raised their hand, probably because no one understood what the hell he was talking about. Then it suddenly dawned on me that he was probably talking about McDonalds.

The next think I knew, the prof was talking about Kinsey. Or at least that's how he pronounced it. What the hell does Kinsey have to do with economics? I have no idea. Perhaps he was actually talking about John Maynard Keynes instead.

"He's such a nice man, but I can't understand him," Julie said as we walked out. I agree.

Before class, a lady came and talked to us about going on academic exchanges. It's actually an idea that I've been toying around with in my mind for a while now. I've been talked out of it a couple of times already. I think I'll just apply for the hell of it and not tell anyone until I go. Or at least, that's the way that I usually do these things...

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Pillow clouds of poison gas

I'm sure I told someone that I would make October my blogging month. I'm sure I said that I would be sure to post at least one post each day this month, all the way till Halowe'en. It looks like I'm off to a marvelous start.

So, why no post on Saturday? The truth is that I don't know. I wrote three separate things that would have qualified as posts for this blog and I chose not to post them. I'm not sure why. They were neither angsty, nor offensive nor particularly revealing, the regular reasons why stuff doesn't make the cut to be here. Now they sit in bizarrely-titled notepad documents (yes, because that is my program of choice) on my desktop.

So let's talk about my desktop for a little while, shall we? Is it too much to say that it is a fairly accurate depiction of my mind? There is very little empty space there. Instead there is the occasional program and what seems like hundreds of random thoughts scattered across my screen behind little shortcuts. It's rather chaotic, really, because nothing there is organized in any sort of way that makes sense. It's one big mess. But somehow it all works out, just like my mind.

I opened up my school-issue agenda book this week and found this in the fun facts section:

"In 1965, Paul Martin paid $470 in tuition fees per year at the University of Toronto. In 2004-2005, tuition fees at the University of Toronto were $4,107 per year."

I am not sure why exactly it is there. I was puzzled at first as to why they had to mention the prime minister. After all, he's rich and he no doubt got through school just fine thankyouverymuch. What the hell does he care about tuition? Then I flipped the page and found:

"Between 1985 and 2001 the Consumer Price Index, the average annual change in the cost of goods and services, rose 55%. Over the same period the Tuition Fee Annual Index, the yearly average increase in tuition fees, rose 261%."

Once again I was not sure what to think. Why give me this information?

"Money allocated for social programs in the 2000 federal budget: $2.5 billion. Money allocated for personal and corporate tax cuts in the 2000 federal budget: $58.3 billion."

"On July 31, 2005, the total outstanding Canada Student Loan debt reached $11,032,000,000.00."

Yeah, I know we're fucked. I just don't understand we have to be constantly reminded of it. It's cruel.

As for the three posts I wrote yesterday. Maybe I'll post them when you least expect them. Maybe I won't.