Sunday, December 31, 2006

Remember to not do your laundry. It's important.

IMG_4853_1Polar Express was indeed a good movie, just for the visuals alone. It's amazing how much more advanced the animation has become even since Toy Story, and in 3D it's pretty impressive to watch. Even if you think kid's movies are corny or you don't like Tom Hanks, the visuals are worth seeing. However, I remember liking the book a lot so there's nothing really wrong with the story, isn't there?

As far as restaurants go, the Water Street Cafe is one of my favourites. There are a lot of restaurants that I find somehow disappointing, either because the food sucks, or because the menu prices and descriptions make you expect larger portions than you get. Such things do not happen on Water Street. The food's always excellent and unlike some places, that doesn't break the bank.

I'd say the hilights were the rare ahi tuna in a sesame soy sauce, today's pasta of the day which had portabello mushrooms, grilled tomatoes and a blue cheese cream sauce and my desert, which was a flourless chocolate espresso cake with a black cherry sauce. Very rich. Almost couldn't finish it.

In spite of a nasty headache, I've been having a pretty good day.

My mom has eagerly been plotting unplugging the washer and dryer on January 1st so that no one will do any laundry on that day, because she gets weird about that sort of stuff, and though we are willing to accomodate her, some past tenants upstairs have been dumbasses who won't. However, dad did something completely unprecidented and told Zosie upstairs that mom's really superstitious and that if you do laundry on January the first she will kill.

And you know? They're good with that upstairs. You see, mom has never bothered to just tell the people that live upstairs that the world will end in fire and brimstone and Burberry if they do laundry on January 1. Instead, she just unplugs the appliances and pretends they're broken. I come by my weirdness naturally.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Parents' anniversary


It is my parents' anniversary today so I have a feeling I'll be out and about and not really blogging much. For the ammount that they spent on their wedding, they've got it down to just over 50 cents a year. Not bad, not bad.

Mom wants to go see the Polar Express in 3D at the IMAX and she calls the shots around here so we're going. I'll probably even have fun. We're going to the Water Street Cafe afterwards and I will most likely have the fish of the day, because it's always a surprise.

Seems to me I have a friend that wanted to do something with me tonight, but I won't be able to come because I'll be having dinner with my parents. She emailed me about this earlier, and I emailed back saying I couldn't come, but she probably hasn't checked her email at all. Then she'll be pissed off, which is stupid, really. I respond to people using the medium that they chose to contact me with. If you leave a message on my voicemail, I'll call you. If you email, I will email. It's not my fault if you emailed me and then don't check your email for a week.

Oh well, we'll cross this bridge when we come to it.

In the meantime, I wish I could weild an xacto knife half as well as this guy does.

Year in review

sallyThis would be about the time when I'm supposed to think of something thoughtful to say about the previous year. Seems to me that around this time last year I instead turned my thoughts to the future and made some predictions based upon previous experience, which turned out to be completely wrong because this year was unlike any other year.

Seems to me that at the beginning of this year, the vast majority of my friends were either living abroad, or other similarly inaccessable places, occupying vastly different timelines, so that I didn't see anything of anyone. I filled the void with extracurricular activities, because that's pretty much what you do and now I've got far too much to do, really.

I moved into the apartment where I live right now. I was impressed by the number of windows and I kind of still am. The jury's out at the moment on it. On the one hand, it's substantially closer to where I grew up, school and work. On the other, it allows one to all but retreat from the outside world, into the safety of 900 square feet of white carpet.

My spring semester wasn't stellar. I was stuck in a documentary research methods class that dragged everything else I did down and nearly drove me nuts. Then it was into summer where I actually worked for most of the summer for a change, because I ditched lifeguarding once and jumped blindly into office work.

So I managed to land myself a job in the federal government over the summer doing stuff that tons of adults get stuck doing for the rest of their lives, which soon had me all contemplative and such, wondering just what the hell I'll do with myself and came up blank. That makes me sad. But there's good news. At least I'll have a decent, stable job to get me through school. Well, maybe. Depends on the politicians.

I have a bad habit of glorifying things in my mind. I jumped back into rowing and somehow it just wasn't the same. Maybe it was just that everyone's new and I've lost my street cred, but I just felt like I was getting in the way all the time. Maybe it was just because I was coxing and I really suck at giving orders, but anxiety about coming to practice was keeping me up through the three hours I would normally sleep each night and in the end I have to conceed that I fooled myself once again. One thing I miss though is that I used to be in shape when I rowed and that felt good. I have yet to find something that really replaces that.

Speaking of glorifying things, I kept waiting for people to come back from wherever they happened to be so that we could go back to being friends and doing stuff together, then one-by-one people began to reenter my life. To my disappointment, I'd outgrown about half of them, which wasn't exactly a good thing, because the number I started with was pretty small. These things happen, I guess.

Good news was this past fall was my best ever semester at school. Yeah, I'm a geek and I'm over it. I'd like to think that I'm getting good at this school thing, because it sure beats working for a living.

Recently people have begun bugging me about the fact that I seem pretty unencumbered relationshipwise, pretty much all the time. To appease these people I propose that I should wear a large sticker across my forehead that says "Hi, my name is Erin. Fuck me." That is a new year's resolution. I'm such a fucking leper that I don't think I'll see much of a response.

But I'm not going to let peoples' criticism spoil what was otherwise a relatively good year. I credit one very good friend for preventing me from going completely insane through the simple act of talking to me every single day. Some days that would end up being the only conversation I'd have for the whole day. That in itself is quite the feat because I'm not always the easiest person to talk to. The man deserves a medal, I think.

That would be this year as it stands. Don't ask me about next year. I have no idea what it holds.

Thursday, December 28, 2006


VanDusen Gardens

It's time for me to say something because Peter wants novellas.

Apparently if you roast chestnuts over an open fire without first making a goodly sized gouge in them, they will explode. Luckily I never found this out the hard way because the beauty of language is that it allows other people to share these things with you. In this case, my friend's livingroom turned into a warzone so that mine never has to.

In spite of the song, I had never tried roasted chestnuts until last year, when suddenly we decided that we should try them, just to know what we were missing. Seems to me it was at the Stanley Park miniature train, where they decorate the forest around it with lights every year.

This is not one of those sentimental 'I went to the park with my parents and had roasted chestnuts for the first time' stories. No, it is a 'I was cracking open a nut when it exploded and a large, sharp piece of chestnut shell landed in my left eye' story.

Furthermore, it is a 'it was very dark and my mom didn't have her reading glasses on while she was trying to fish the damn thing out while we simultaneously shuffled down the line towards the train' story.

It is the sort of story where my dear mother, even though she can't see anything without her glasses holds a mini flashlight between her teeth, and gouges blindly at my eyeball with fingernails and kleenexes that may possibly have been previously used. Meanwhile, she's smacking me on the side of the head and telling me to shut up because I'm complaining that my eye hurts.

It is a story about the kindness of strangers, wonderful people who recognize the oddly comical and bizarre situation we are in and decide to lessen my misery by holding the flashlight steady enough for mom to fish the shell out. In which it takes several minutes for my vision to return to normal.

It is a story far too stupid, random and embarassing for me to even mention to you.

Tonight though, was not nearly as eventful, chestnutwise, though there were indeed chestnuts. After I finished work I met my family down at the Spaghetti Factory, from which we adventured down to the VanDusen Gardens to see the Christmas lights. Luminous.


Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Three things I learned today

owl drugs from the shoreA Uriah letter is one that contains good news, like a promotion or something that would be useful to the person whom it is commending, but at the same time, it is something that is not necessarily welcomed. Unwanted good news. Congratulations, your family just married you off, or you've ben promoted to a better job but you have to leave home tomorrow. Sometimes it's just bad news. Those sorts of letters that you would rather not know the contents of.

Youtube is accessable on government computers, at least it is in my office. Though in practice no one really bothers. I certainly don't.

Jethro Tull was actually a real guy before he ended up being a progressive rock band with a rather flamboyant flute-playing frontman. He was a British agriculturalist who is most noted for bringing the Industrial Revolution to the farm, and helping to provide the foundation for modern agriculture. He invented the seed drill and made modifications to many farm machines that are still used today.

My mom says that she's always impressed by how much I know. I'm tempted sometimes to think that she's the only one. These sorts of things only really interest me, anyways.

I'm going to be posting some older pictures that I've taken over the past year, but haven't made it to the internet yet. Who knows, maybe I'll even talk about them.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

My faves

I did say I was going to show my favourites, didn't I? The photos of them aren't all that goood but here goes.

antique santa

It is just not Christmas unless the little antique Santa is on the tree. He's very old and very small, so everyone has to pay extra attention to make sure he comes out of the box.


Me circa 1991. We used to have a family friend who did the craft fair circuit every year, and she specialized in painting pastoral scenes on old farm equipment and sawblades. Every year my parents would send her some pictures of my sister and I and then she'd paint them onto ornaments for us. That one is my favourite.

christmas potato

I think I could bore people for hours on ths subject so I'm just going to cut to the best one: the potato. It's not glittery or shiny or pretty in any way, whch may just be the reason why I like it so much. Maybe it's just that glass potatoes are such odd things to be hanging off a tree. I don't know. It's my favourite this year.

Monday, December 25, 2006

The haul

Thanks to Peter for sending me a card with polar bears on it. :)
And thanks to Kevin for the snow. :)

Other than that, I got an official Hon's House of Noodles apron, 250 gigs for my computer, some photopaper, a sweater, a set of glasses that look like mason jars, watercolour pencils and a kilo of truffles.

Oh, and the piece de resistance:

the best gift I got for christmas this year

It's so fricken irreverent. I'm going to have to work on my toasting skills though.

My mom likes the skirt that we agonized over forever before buying, which was good, because it was expensive and we really liked it. It's always a tossup buying her clothes but she really needs some new stuff for work because a lot of her wardrobe looks very early 90s and is getting kind of threadbare.

Sunday, December 24, 2006


santaWent to see my other grandmother earlier this evening and she was in pretty good spirits. However, we arrived in the middle of a documentary about Bing Crosby's Christmas specials, so she mostly ignored us, occasionally clapping her hands whenever a little kid sang on the television and occasionally telling us exactly what was happening on the TV.

We spent most of our time instead talking to her roommate Margaret. Margaret is a really delightful woman. Somehow or other, the world just never ceases to delight her. The moment you walk in to the room, she has to tell you that you're absolutely goregous and then she'll find something about your outfit - your purse or your shoes, your coat or something you've got in your hair - and she'll chuckle and exclaim that it is absolutely wonderful.

She's got kind of a raspy whisper of a voice, like she's constantly lost it, and whenever she finds something that she thinks is particularly adorable, her face gets paralyzed in a sort of caricatured joy, while a bit of a raspy gasp escapes her. Then when she's finished with that, she'll tell you that something's just adorable or wonderful or something.

Then she'll tell you all about how her son brought her newest grandchild in to see her just the other day and it was the most adorable little child you've ever seen. She was only this big, she'll say with her hands out and then she'll show you pictures. Then she'll tell you about how she has such wonderful grandchildren, and then about how we're all sooo good to my grandmother and how lovely the flowers are that we brought in. She'll say that her husband was a great man when he was alive, and that Grandad must have been because Grandma thinks the world of him.

Then, because she's starting to lose her short-term memory, she will find something about your outfit - your purse or your shoes, your coat or something you've got in your hair - and she'll chuckle and exclaim that it is absolutely wonderful. She'll repeat practically everything she's already said to you a couple more times during the conversation.

My grandmother, when she's not absorbed by the television, is much the same way. I think the two are well matched. They both have such short short-term memories that they can keep each other amused for hours with the same stories repeated over and over.


IMG_4763_1So, for people who preach to each other about how religion is crap and such, we sure do Christmas in a big way. Which is to say, we don't do the Jesus thing, but we definitely do the tree and the presents. Those things never really had much to do with Jesus anyways.

My sister brought Hip Attachment over because his family does Christmas but they've never ever had a tree before. Soviet thing, I guess. I don't think he knew quite what he was getting into, really. Poor guy was quickly bored, and dropped one accidentaly, to have it explode into little shards across the floor. Thankfully not one of my favourites.

We've got 600ish ornaments, all glass, and some years they don't all fit on the tree. It's always a race to put up the best ornaments, because we all have a lot of favourites. I'll have to post pictures of my faves up here later. There are quite a few.

My mom said that the way the curtains were right now, that our big balls wouldn't fit up in the windows, but I proved her wrong. As far as I'm concerned, we absolutely have to put up the big glass balls in the window, just so we can shout out that we have the biggest balls of 'em all!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

How to peel a potato

One of my coworkers sent this to me, and I must admit it is pretty cool, even though potatoes are white death and living with diabetics I pretty much don't eat them. Not to mention, I think mashed potatoes are disgusting.

I'm going to shut up before I'm burned as a heretic.

For the record, I tend not to peel vegetables at all. Most of the time I just give them a good hard scrubbing with a brush. You'd be surprised at how much of the nutritional value of foods is destroyed by peeling them. However, when I do peel things, I use a good sharp knife, peeling towards my thumb. Better control that way. Peeling away from yourself is for idiots because it's inefficient.

Who would have thought I had such a strong opinion about these things?

Friday, December 22, 2006



Gary's a natural model. A hint of a camera and she strikes a pose.


Kenny hasn't quite got it yet, but I don't think that anyone really minds.


Thursday, December 21, 2006

You're sure you haven't been drinking?

IMG_4700_1You know it's time for everyone to take vacations when on your first full day back at work the receptionist grabs hold of one of the accountants, drags him down to your desk and announces loudly that they're both having an affair, only to have another accountant walk by and announce that he's their illegitimate child.

A single lightning strike around lunchtime threatened to implode the windows of our building, then backed off, laughing at how startled we all got. Displaced air, so I'm told. That's all sound really is.

You don't realize just how many people Translink moves at a time until it all stops working for some reason. Some sort of police incident at Waterfront Station and they shut down Burrard, leaving what seemed like thousands of people crowded around on the street, looking kind of dopey.

It's not art or innovation or even life that drives the world, just routine.

In a strange turn of events, the spinach I was eating for dinner suddenly took on the consistency of chewed up roast beef, which made me gag so much that I had to spit it out. I swear, roast beef is one of the most disgusting foods I have ever had the chance to eat.

A field guide to your boyfriend.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

This post appears in the place of a post that disappeared mysteriously

In which:
I sort of mention that yet another one of my friends is moving away,
and how we went for dinner and drinks after work,
and I forgot to tell about her stories about working in the flowershop from hell,
but whatever I'm going to bed good night.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Hug me!

give princesspotato more *HUGS*

Get hugs of your own

You know you want to.

Not biting

IMG_4746_1I'm going to get off my ass and play my guitar, I thought. I dug through the closet at my parents' house until I finally found it underneath a good half-inch of drywall dust. One of the cats had left cute little paw prints down the side of the case.

I set off into the rain. For whatever reason the bus ride to my apartment took more than twice as long as it usually does. Bus drivers, bus riders, all bitchy. Things are behind schedule. Not enough busses. Rain. People expect normal all the time and get frustrated when they don't have it. Me? I'm just calm. Sedated would be a better word, I guess.

A guy sat down beside me and began talking to a gangsta wannabe looking guy feeding a baby. Those standard baby-related conversations. Months. Weight. First word. How much does he eat? I don't know why people are interested in these things.

"Electric or acoustic?" he asked. Caught me a little off guard.

"Acoustic," I replied.

"Looks pretty small for an acoustic," he said. Long curly hair, thick beard. A button from the Canada pavilion at Expo '86 on his jacket, shopping bags of who knows what, warm brown eyes.

"I have pretty small fingers," I replied, holding up my hand, "and I've had this guitar since I was 12."

"Do you write songs?"


"You play other peoples' songs?"

"Not really. I haven't really played in a long time."

"I ask because I'm a producer," he said, "have my own little studio and I'm always looking for talent. You sure you don't write songs?"

"Yeah, I'm really not all that good," I replied.

I got home finally to find that one of my strings is broken. Figures.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Posse is an irregular verb

IMG_4699_1It's early in the morning when I can't sleep that these little things cross my mind. I start to have little conversations with myself, conflicting monologues that may or may not make sense:

Boustrephedon, that'd make a good name for a kid.

The way the ox ploughs...

Sure, why not?

Isn't that kind of unorthodox?

I challenge you to find anything where I am orthodox. I think it would be an alright name. Uncommon maybe...

And let me guess, if you had a kid you'd raise it in some bizarre foreign language.

Well not bizarre, maybe. All I really know is Latin. But that's a good language. Language of scholarship, you know. All that conjugation keeps you sharp.

You can't hae a good understanding of English grammar without it.

True, that.

But no one uses it anymore so it's pointless. It would be absolutely rotten of you to do that to a poor defenceless kid. I mean, naming them some random Greek word for zigzag is bad enough, but what would they do if you sent them to school?

mater! liberos ceteros intellegere non possum!


No sympathy from me. I thought that's what Sesame Street was for.

You'd make a cruel mother.

That's where we agree.

And that's where I decide that I've had enough. My neck is sore and this is accomplishing nothing. Caffeine cures all, even at 4 am.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Internet, you have failed me

I'm somewhat upset right now. For some reason or other, there's a certain song that I want to hear, but it's not coming on the radio and I can't remember what it's called so I can't exactly request it, can I?

I mean, I could sort of sing part of it to whoever's on right now, but every time you end up singing the lyrics to a song to radio people is when they actually put you on the air and then someone recognizes you and then that confirms how weird they think you are.

So, it's a band that has Randy Bachman in it. I can't remember which one because I get them all confused. It's the song where they say "I've been hanging around libraries, been talking about books..." and list off a whole bunch of prairie towns every chorus. It's a very Canadian song. I've searched for bits of the lyrics, and usually this would yield results but there's nothing, absolutely nothing.

Until then, I guess I have this very not-Canadian song:

One that I'm fond of nevertheless. I like the video. Don't think it's official because they left one of the verses out of the song but cool nonetheless. The Decemberists ♥

Friday, December 15, 2006

Let there be light

IMG_4738_1Somehow the grilled cheese french toast sandwich wasn't quite as good as I really wanted it to be. I will blame it on both the fact that it really needed decent cheddar cheese and not whatever kind I was using, and also on the fact that I absolutely hate french toast. It's the most disgusting thing you can possibly eat for breakfast.

Or dinner, as the case was. My power was out all night and well into the morning so I had to resort to granola and yogurt with statistics and a solar powered calculator as my only companions.

Just as well though. I needed some uninterupted study time.

No, I'm not a fan of that tablecloth, in case you were wondering. But the arborite underneath is far more frightening.

Alison was kind enough to phone me to remind me that it is indeed Friday. Friday. As in I have an exam tomorrow.

If my head wasn't attached to my body I would lose it.

Days and times and names of people. These are the things I'm not good at.

It's late and I'm hungry

I'm really hungry, but I think I'll just go to bed instead.

But rest assured, when I wake up I'm going to have French toast. No, a grilled cheese French toast sandwich.

With avocadoes.

Don't they know what it means to me?!?!

right from the bucketI'm checking the CBC schedules right now because nothing says holiday spirit like that movie where they keep saying "you'll shoot your eye out, kid!" I used to hate it, but now I can not find the words to express how much I love it. It just isn't Christmas without it.

Over the years it's become pretty much the only Christmas special that I can still stomach.

I don't know what it is about the holiday season that allows people to pass off unimaginative, sentimental schlock as entertainment but honestly, it's got to end. Too many people are wasting their time and money producing too much Christmas music and tv that have no redeeming qualities whatsoever.

Not like A Christmas Story, where we suffer pain and anguish along with Ralphie, because even though it makes you look retarded, you have to wear the pyjamas that your aunt gave you. Because no matter how cool they seem in your own mind, some things are never quite what they're cracked up to be. Because part of growing up is learning that even things that are sacred in this world like Little Orphan Annie are just there to make you buy stuff.

Just like the pain and anguish that I feel at the sudden realization that A Christmas Story (1983) is not going to be aired in my area on the CBC. Bastards. Sometimes I think their management is deliberately trying to force public broadcasting down the drain. Sick fucks.

So it's over to Global, the only other channel I get. Watching any Canwest station tends to give me a dirty feeling. Something about the rebroadcast American crap, or maybe it's something to do with the fact that the Aspers own pretty much all print and broadcast media from Manitoba westward and that creeps me out.

A quick check of their programming schedule shows nothing. Plenty of Christmas specials but not that one. There's a word for that. In IB History 12 we had to come up with a skit about Palestine and Israel, and Ingrid and Heidi ended up being comical little old Jewish ladies who threw random Yiddish words into their conversation with myself, a dumb American tourist who sang a song about a civil war in Lebanon. They had a word for absolutely nothing, which they would shout out comically, but alas, I have forgotten it and wouldn't know how to spell it even if I had remembered.

But that would be a fitting word, because Global is owned by a bunch of Jews who obviously don't know the good Christmas specials from the bad. Not that being Jewish necessarily determines that one would lack good taste as far as Christmas specials go, because there are many others who are unable to distinguish between the two.

Namely, those people who actually bother to sit down and watch all the mindless drivel that is disguised as holiday programming.

Iesu fucking Christus. Don't tell me I'm going to have to rent the damn thing! I was absolutely hellbent on watching it for free.

Which is to say, free in a very simple sense, but not free in the sense that Mr. Dallas Smythe would have interpereted it. You do pay for the crap you watch on tv by wasting your time sitting through all the commercials. The commodity to be sold is not the programming but you, which is then marketted to advertisers who want you to buy stuff.

This whole process of putting commercials on the air for you to see costs a lot of money, so that means that all your nifty consumer products that the television tells you to buy are far more expensive than they need to be because part of the price you pay is part of the price it costs to advertise them to you. Thus, we, and the middle and working classes especially, are effectively financing our own oppression.

Rise up. Rebel.

Public broadcasting is cool though.
So's this.
The Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children tells me I shouldn't be eating meat. Not that I'm bragging or anything.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Today was an on day

I made the long sojurn downtown through the storm to the office where I worked over the summer for a bit of a surprise visit. A well, received surprise visit, methinks, because I found that there are three people there that are actively gunning for having a position open for me whenever I so choose to take it. Never hurts. As much as I sometimes complain about working, as far as I've seen, working for the government is far better than working for anyone else.

I left them some candy and got invited to the Christmas lunch next week. Mom's special secret recipe candy works every time.

Next it was off to school, where I got some new books:

smells like learning

Smells like learning.

blue sax

My parents have been gradually filling my apartment with little knicknacks and things and I'm not sure if I find it irritating yet or not. One such thing is this neon saxophone lamp. I think I'd probably like it better if it was holy grail shaped so that I could yell insults down at people or lure in unsuspecting knights but meh. You work with what you've got.

For some reason or other, today I had the good sense to know that my parents were going to drop by without calling ahead, so I switched on that particular light (because a good 99% of the time it's turned off) and put some water in the kettle. It had just started to whistle by the time I heard my mom coming through the door. "Hi! We've come for tea!" she called as she entered the kitchen to see me already pouring the water into the pot. My dad was happy to see that the neon light was on because he thinks it's cool, I guess.

I have off days and on days.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


I'm drawing a map to oblivion.

When I get there I will send for you and I, and I will give you directions.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Super Hero Name: Erin

IMG_4734_1Special abilities:
opening up a black, existentialist hole of anxiety, guilt and depression that swallows things up
being ultra polite to strangers
recycling and composting
saving up for retirement

necessary funds
cheering squad

tests of logic
understanding bus schedules
impeccable taste in music

fabric softener
job interviews
relentless idealism

Signature Move:
folding kleenex into little squares

most likely blue

fuck, I don't know


Monday, December 11, 2006

Sounds like a disease

fishesIf I get stuck behind another guy on the bus who has to make the clever observation to the person on the other end of the line that the name KY Market sounds a lot like KY jelly, I'm going to scream.

No, I'm going to wait until he expands the clever observation into a joke about how it's a lube market. Then I'll scream.

Nope, wrong again. I'm going to wait until he chuckles and says that it's a faux pas, and pronounces it fawx pox.

Fawks pox. Sounds like a disease. I'm going to let it grate upon my nerves and then I'll scream.

Or maybe I'll just get off the bus.

I feel so drained these days. I've opened my sketchbook several times over the past week only to stare at it, willing the pages to somehow become less blank. Pen and ink, pastel, carbon. I don't care, but nothing comes.

I've heard that some artists and writers are afraid of blank pages, that they have one purpose and that is to be filled. Without the injection of meaning, blank pages represent failure. I tend to see it the other way. Think of all the meaningless drivel there is out there, wasting paper and space. Think of all the times when people have aimed at something brilliant and then failed, all the times when an inoportune brush stroke has marred something I was doing completely beyond repair.

In the past month I've been working on some drawings for people for Christmas presents and I started rushing myself, working a little too fast until all of a sudden I make a mistake that I can't possibly undo.

There's none of that with blank sheets of paper, just potential.

Lots of potential.

Almost gives me hope.

Ukuleles, so many ukuleles

My sister woke up on my couch this morning, read some Sartre then made me scrambled eggs for breakfast partially because that's her one forte in the kitchen and partially because I haven't bought any groceries for forever and all I have is a dozen eggs, some frozen fish and some lentils.

We walked to her choir concert, which was good and then we ended up at a ukulele concert after that. My mom had bought tickets for the thing so that we could safely say that we had done it.

Now we've done it.

I enjoyed myself more than I thought I would, to be honest.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Shopping for mom

free sample bubble teaThe rule every Christmas is that no matter what, everyone has to spend the most on mom.

This is easier said than done, though, and more often than not, we end up showering her with all sorts of gifts that she didn't really need in the first place. She's so damn hard to shop for.

However, if there's something that she really needs it's some new clothes. Other than turtlenecks and jeans, she hasn't really bought anything for herself since the late 90s and it's really starting to show. A couple of the jackets she wears to work are getting pretty threadbare around the edges but she's got nothing really to replace them with and like me, she's not the type of person that will go out and buy new things for herself.

The problem with my mother though, is that the fashion industry has a vendetta against her right now. She likes: high waistbands, straight legs, no pleats, gathers or elastics and natural fibres. All clothing around either has low-rise waists or is made out of polyester in garish colours with lots of pleats. Teenager or frump. There is no middle ground.

My sister and I managed to find two pairs of almost satisfactory pants and a really nice wool skirt that she may or may not like but we hope she does because we like it and it was expensive. In the past I've had moderately good luck at buying or suggesting clothes that have a reasonably high probability of being worn.

Buying clothing for my mother has to be a group effort. I've got my mom's hips, so any pants that fit reasonably comfortably in my size (comfortably is a relative word because I hate pants with waistbands that are encroaching on my bra) are a safe bet one or two sizes up. But since I'm relatively flat-chested, my sister has to try on anything that goes on top, though it's never quite as precise that way.

Free sample bubble tea and sitting on Santa's lap makes me smile every time.

Friday, December 08, 2006

A confession

I heard on the news today that there are some people in the States that send their kids' lost teeth to labs for stem cell research instead of leaving them for the tooth fairy to take. Rotten parents. Of all the ways to get out of getting out of giving their kids money.

I have a slight confession to make.

Once upon a time when my sister was 7ish she lost a tooth and forgot to say anything about it to anyone. I only heard about it in the morning when she was upset that the tooth fairy had missed our house. I told her that the tooth fairy was really busy and that lots of kids must have lost their teeth on the same day.

That night while she was sleeping, I stole the tooth and dumped the contents of my piggy bank on her bed. The tooth fairy in our house never left less than three dollars, but seems to me he/she was particularly generous that night.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Poor excuse for a post

Kathy and Camila abducted me and we ended up having lunch at Metrotown. They had gone into Chapters earlier to find Christmas presents for people but instead came out with books for themselves. Kathy had managed to find a book about scandals involving famous historical people and serenaded us. Sure, you probably knew that Jefferson had a black mistress, but did you know that she was his wife's half-sister? No, we didn't know that, but I've never been much into paparazzi stuff.

But did Kathy know that between Camilla and I, we are almost an authority on Japanese porn? Not for the obvious reasons though. She adores anime and you're bound to run into that kind of stuff sooner or later. Me? It's a communication student thing. Japan's repressive censorship laws has resulted in some truly disturbing stuff. It's academic. Honest. Stop looking at me that way.

I'm not entirely sure how these things come out in conversations anyways.

Communication's the best discipline though. You get to write papers about television and sex and jeans and the like and have debates about modernity, Marxism and democracy.

We ended up downtown at some point, doing nothing in particular. I really don't have much to say.

For the past while, every few mornings I've been woken around 7ish by thumping and a radio downstairs. I'm guessing that it's people cleaning, but they're odd thumps that almost sound like someone's climbing the stairs to my apartment and then the talk radio almost sounds like someone's turning on my television.

I know better, but my overactive imagination's been screwing with me a lot lately, so there have been a few times when (and I'm embarassed to admit it) I've been genuinely scared to leave my bedroom. I just lay there in bed, thinking that I should put some clothes on until I finally decide either to go back to sleep or to check out what's happening. But there's never anyone there. That's something I could have and often do tell myself before I get up to go check.

Seems I'm getting neurotic in my old age.

Montreal -40°

Let it be known that I liked Malajube long before Bell started selling phones with their music because I'm cool.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


kissesAt any given time I've got at least five books going that I'm unable to finish because life always gets in the way. However, because I have the unusual treat of having a really relaxing, anticlimactic exam period, I found myself thumbing through a book that I put down mid-August about Johannes Kepler and his mother, entitled Kepler's Witch.

I'm kind of like Sir John A. in that I can open up a book that I haven't read for a couple years and find the exact word I left off on, regardless of if there was a bookmark there or not. Though, that's about where the similarities end, I guess, because I didn't build a railway, I've never been prime minister and I'm not in the habit of declaring that Liberals make me sick before vomiting on the floor of the House of Commons. I'm still young.

Kepler, you might remember was the guy who confirmed what Copernicus suspected, which is that everything revolves around the sun, and provided the groundwork for Newton to come up with the laws of gravity.

I'm finding that the prose kind of wanders a bit, occasionally circling back upon itself, and that irritates me. However, it does a good job of situating Kepler's life within social, political and religious context, without which you can't really understand his accomplishments much. Context is always everything.

Context being the Protestants and the Catholics beating the shit out of each other over matters of faith during the counter-Reformation, when in truth, their ideas weren't all that different from each other. Not much has really changed since then, even though we tend to use history as an example as to how we've changed and become better.

Church history has always fascinated me, and I've never been sure why. It's certainly not for a love of religion. My Marxist upbringing made sure of that. Perhaps I derive a perverse sense of pleasure out of how irrational religious devotion seems to be. Perhaps I just want to understand.


I was wondering if and when that picture would make it back onto Matt Good's site. I always liked it a lot.

Yes, doctor, but what does it all mean?

I was standing in the dark on an empty stage in a theatre that looked vaguely like the Queen E but wasn't. I just stood there for a while, looking into the darkness in the back rows of the main floor.

Suddenly my phone buzzed and I started typing a reply. The banks of lights switched on to blind me just as I was sending a message:

im in ur land 3tin yr smrbrødz

And then I woke up.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

This is about as exciting as my life gets

It seems that the older I get the more aprehensive I get about going to the dentist. One would think that it would be the other way around, but I guess not.

I was no stranger to the dentist when I was little. I inherited a disorder from my mother that made all my baby teeth emerge already rotten from my gums so the majority of my teeth at any given time were enamel veneers. They used to get chipped and broken and they used to fall off, and my awful rotten teeth used to get cavities really easily so I found myself in the chair quite often.

Can't remember a single time when I was scared about going to the dentist. I mean, I always got a new toothbrush and a toy and I could choose between eight different flavours of flouride. Going to the dentist always gave me the chance at having the satisfaction of being able to bug my sister about how I was on the cavity-free wall and she wasn't. The only downside was that I would be forced to not eat anything for an hour and that of course would make me so malnourished that I'd be forced to stare death in the face. Death and the clock.

So why have things changed? I honestly don't know.

About three or four months ago I had a filling fall out and the tooth got really sore. That was about the same time that the dentist's office started leaving messages on my voicemail wanting me to make an appointment for a checkup. Not able to reach me, they called my mother, who told me I should make an appointment and then she gave the dentist's office my landline number too, where they started leaving messages as well.

A rational person would likely consider the following:
I obviously needed dental work and my tooth was causing me discomfort.
My dentist obviously wanted to see me.
My mother wanted me to see the dentist.
It costs absolutely nothing for me to get dental work done.

Why did I not go then? Beats me.

The appointment went well until he ground the shit out of something and hit a nerve. I thought I'd let him know by squirming around in the chair. He was so pleased that I had let him know of the sudden sharp pain I was feeling in my mouth that he decided to shove one of those big, scary looking needles in there along with everything else.

My mom doesn't have any teeth. Sometimes I think it would be better that way.

Monday, December 04, 2006


I don't know what posessed me to put some leftover cheese sauce that I made in January or February in the freezer for later when it really wasn't all that good in the first place. All it means is that I cooked some broccoli and added the cheese sauce to it and it just didn't taste all that good. It didn't taste all that good in the first place; I can remember that. So why did I save it? God knows.

It's missing a rather crucial ingredient, that being Keens Dry Mustard. Just doesn't taste like cheese without it. Don't ask me why. I don't understand that either.

I have had an altogether unsatisfying meal.

So, Tuesday as I was coming home, I saw a fire across the inlet. Kathy tells me that at roughly the same time her restaurant got an order for 50 burgers to go, some with cheese, no tip. no tip, (This last part was emphasized, though, I told her that she should consider that a donation to the fire department and she conceeded.)

My mom picked up a newspaper a couple days later and that was how we discovered that the house that had burned down belonged to noneother than someone we know quite well. She's the sort of person who you give an inch and she takes a mile.

The sort of person who fits into the category of working-class Brit who moves to the colonies and expects you to worship him/her because they're from the mother country and that makes them superior to you even though their accent pins them as dirt poor and uneducated.

The sort of person who is only really here because she's too lazy to really make it in her own country and we have a lot of quality free healthcare and education for her kids to exploit.

Not that I'd wish for anyone's house to burn down or anything...

Sunday, December 03, 2006

There will be a breif hiatus

Damn straight.

There will be a breif hiatus while I finish some school work. In the meantime, perhaps you should check out Married to the Sea.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Foreign film festival series, my place, time tbd

There are many things I don't like about the holidays, but gingerbread lattes are not on that list. I ask for them at Starbucks at other times of year but people just look at me funny.

Going home to visit my family has been one big love-in for the past two weeks and it's a welcome change. My dad suggested that we go see a movie but there's absolutely nothing on right now that all four of us find interesting. We decided to rent something instead.

There was a time earlier this year when my sister and I rented two or three movies every weekend until we had exhausted everything in the available selection that we felt like watching. But that was at least six months ago, and luckily they've changed their stock around and gotten a new shipment of foreign films. I saw at least five movies that I wanted to see, but out of consideration for the parental unit, we got Akeelah and the Bee. Haven't seen that one yet but I've heard it's good.

Next semester I have school one day a week. That means that every time my sister has a pro-d day I'm going to have a foreign film festival in my apartment. We can line up a whole bunch of them and then invite anyone who will show up, most likely my sister's friends because mine aren't into that stuff.

As per unusual I haven't been shirking my duties at MetVan this week. I even collaborated in a project to tell the world how indebted it is to Vancouverites for being such wonderful, beautiful, intelligent people: Vancouver's Seventh Gift to the World: "Living First"


I'm watching the Liberal leadership convention on TV right now. My mom and I had a pretty big debate this morning on the subject and she succeeded in changing my preference from Rae to Dion. As much as I like Rae because regardless of how he's labelled, he sounds like a nice, grandfatherly NDPer, I have to conceed that Ontario will never vote for him. And as much as I complain about Ontario being a big stuck up bully in federal politics, that doesn't change that that is exactly true.

So, Rae's out anyways. That's not really a surprise, as much as it kind of hurts.

So, I have to side with Stephane Dion. I don't like Ignatieff. Never have. He is clearly an intelligent man and I respect that, but he can't seem to come across as anything other than condescending and arrogant. Dion, on the other hand, I like how he's got a good, direct way of speaking. He's also well educated and it's clear that he has some vision, which I think the Liberal Party really needs right now.

Come on, someone's got to dump Harper out. Anyone.

I'm optimistic though. It's clear that all the candidates who ran represent a strong future cabinet, and a new face for the party, and it's nice to watch democracy on the TV.

As much as I like the NDP, we need a strong opposition. I'm not much of a political commentator. That's why you never hear me talk about it on my blog. That's why you won't hear much about it until I run for PM.

Got to work on my public speaking skills.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Snow is fun

sitting duck

The discussion in class today took a sudden turn when one of the girls took a look out the window and exclaimed that there was a large snow sculpture of an erect penis in the middle of the courtyard.

Not that I was surprised. University, after all, is kind of like an extended adolescence.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

I'm having a ramen day

If I had to describe my mood using only food, I'd say ramen. I'm having a ramen day.

I only eat ramen when I'm pissed off. There's something about the excessive salt and the lack of nutritional value that compliments my mood perfectly.

I hate it.

I just ate a large quantity of it and I hate that too.

Back on the side of the side road

IMG_4716_1We got up there, we found all the garbage in there, and we decided it'd be a friendly gesture for us to take the garbage down to the city dump. So we took the half a ton of garbage, put it in the back of a red VW microbus, took shovels and rakes and implements of destruction and headed on toward the city dump.

Well we got there and there was a big sign and a chain across across the dump saying, "Closed on Thanksgiving." And we had never heard of a dump closed on Thanksgiving before, and with tears in our eyes we drove off into the sunset looking for another place to put the garbage.

We didn't find one. Until we came to a side road, and off the side of the side road there was another fifteen foot cliff and at the bottom of the cliff there was another pile of garbage. And we decided that one big pile is better than two little piles, and rather than bring that one up we decided to throw our's down.

That's what we did, and drove back to the church, had a thanksgiving dinner that couldn't be beat, went to sleep and didn't get up until the next morning, when we got a phone call from officer Obie. He said, "Kid, we found your name on an envelope at the bottom of a half a ton of garbage, and just wanted to know if you had any information about it." And I said, "Yes, sir, Officer Obie, I cannot tell a lie, I put that envelope under that garbage."


We walked in, sat down, Obie came in with the twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one, sat down. Man came in said, "All rise." We all stood up, and Obie stood up with the twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy pictures, and the judge walked in sat down with a seeing eye dog, and he sat down, we sat down. Obie looked at the seeing eye dog, and then at the twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one, and looked at the seeing eye dog and then at twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy pictures with circles
and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one and began to cry, 'cause Obie came to the realization that it was a typical case of American blind justice, and there wasn't nothing he could do about it, and the judge wasn't going to look at the twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy
pictures with the circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining what each one was to be used as evidence against us. And we was fined $50 and had to pick up the garbage in the snow, but thats not what I came to tell you about.

Let it be known that I borrowed a lot of the way that I talk from Arlo Guthrie, though that's not necessarily a bad thing, just thata no one knows who the hell he is anymore.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

It's snowing again

IMG_4717_1I'm too lazy to go into my template to figure out exactly why italics turn purple.

Oddly enough, I ran into Kathy today and since my tutorial was cancelled, I ended up spending some time with her and her friends from class. Apparently they have a prof that teaches the history of science and he is sufficiently goregeous and intelligent that they fantasize about him and want to jump his bones, so to speak.

I'm intrigued, to say the least. Will investigate and report tomorrow.

Now that I have met these people we're going to do something fun and non-school related after exams. I'm liking the sound of this. The beginning of this semester started out very promising and I ended up doing an uncharacteristically large number of social things, but that has long since dried up.

I took my camera to school with me in the hopes that the day would be as goregeous as it was yesterday, but no such luck. It's started snowing again, so taking pictures off the roof wouldn't have produced anything other than static.

I've recently come back into posession of some of my old journals and some of the content is pretty appaling, though that's really no surprise considering my age at the time they were written. Bathos and angst and isolation and crap. But still, there's some stuff that, while bad, is kind of interesting, like a rather existential poem that I wrote about bugs that die squished to your windshield, that wasn't actually about death.

I'll spare you.

Right now the ninja turtles are practicing out in the falling snow under my window. They're pretty hardcore.

Not again

I don't usually post forwarded emails, but my friend is really concerned at the possibility of having his marriage certificate revoked and I'm pissed off at the thought that the Conservatives insist upon making this an issue when there's poverty and Afghanistan and Kyoto and rising tuition and a brain drain and healthcare crisis and such.

After almost a year of waiting, it's now virtually certain that a vote on Mr. Harper's motion to re-open the divisive equal marriage debate will take place in December, likely the week of December 4.

Last week, following a CEM press conference urging the Prime Minister not to break his promise of a fall vote, Justice Minister Vic Toews told reporters the vote would take place before Parliament breaks for the holidays on December 15. He said the prime minister has made a commitment and he will honour that commitment.

Meanwhile, on November 9, over 40 religious leaders signed the Declaration on Marriage and sent it to all MPs and Senators (see it at They have been mobilizing their congregations, especially focusing on 50 MPs who are most likely to change their votes. We're hearing from some MPs that in the last few weeks they've seen a huge increase in correspondence from equal marriage opponents and are not hearing from those of us who are against re-opening. It's important that they hear from us too!!

Our task now is to shore up our support and ensure that Mr. Harper's regressive motion is defeated by the widest possible margin. That's because following the defeat of his motion we want Mr. Harper to publicly state that the issue is settled. The wider the margin, the greater the chance of getting him to admit that this issue is settled, not just in this Parliament, but for good! If he doesn't admit that it's settled, then it's an election issue. AGAIN!!

It's time to take re-opening off the political agenda, so that equality opponents will lose any ability to de-legitimize our marriages. It's simply unfair for this to continue, and for LGBT people to have to go on defending our marriages, our families and our sexual orientation and gender identity.

Please go to and contact your MP. In these final days, the best way to do that is to call their constituency office, which is a local call. You can find your MP's phone number on the Canadians for Equal Marriage website or the Parliament website. Phone calls really get noticed, they take only a minute or two, and all you have to say is something like "I support equal marriage and urge [MP's name] to vote against re-opening this divisive debate. Over 12,000 same-gender couples have been married in Canada and that hasn't hurt anyone. It's time to move on."

We know a strong majority of MP's currently intend to vote against re-opening, but if all they hear in the lead-up to the vote are calls to 'restore traditional marriage' some of them may change their mind. Memories are short, so even if you've already contacted your MP, it's important to contact them again, and to do so immediately.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

In which Erin falls asleep in the front row of two separate classes lectured by the exact same person

IMG_4728_1Things can't be going well when all of a sudden I hear "I'd better wrap this class up before Erin falls asleep," and all I can do is mutter some half coherent apologies.

My ta's pretty forgiving though. He's a long-distance runner who uses unconventional teaching methods and is one of those kinds of parents who makes it quite obvious that he derives a genuine joy from his kids. It is people like him that make me regret having rated other ta's as excellent on the end of course evaluation forms in the past, because in hindsight he's one of the few I've ever had who really deserves it. It is people like him who make me dread next semester when SFU has forced me into 80% correspondence courses. Having classes at school forces me to do good things like meet interesting people and be social. Absence of school and/or work turns me nocturnal.

I handed in the huge paper-in-lieu-of-a-final-exam today, which ended up being an inch thick with apendices, which would be two and a half centimetres if you're metrically inclined. I am, but growing up with the outdated model of parents, I tend to switch between the two arbitrarily.

It helps though, because then when you're in Ikea with your family and your sister really badly wants a Billy bookcase of her own, you can discourage your father from picking up the model that's 40cm wide using language that he understands, ie. (with elaborate hand gestures) that's like less than a foot and a half.

I got this shirt in the mail today and I'm resisting the urge to squeal. I'm sure that Canon did not have this sort of thing in mind when they created Digital Rebels, but in my defence, I do occasionally take decent photos with some artisic merit.

Monday, November 27, 2006


IMG_4714_1Living right at sea level in a city that rarely if ever gets snow I'm not all that used to looking outside my windown and seeing ten centimetres of white. It only takes about four to shut Vancouver down and turn driving into bumpercars.

All the more reason to not go outside.

I went upstairs into my loft and it was freezing cold. Something about having twelve windows in such a small space. Whatever it was, it was sucking all the heat up and out of my apartment so I had to fold up the ladder and close the door.

Unfortunately for me, it was no ordinary ladder because I have high ceilings, which meant that folding up the ladder is a bit of a traumatic experience for someone as short as I am. The bottom two sections only stay together when they are folded on top of the top section, but unfortunately for me, I lack the height to reach that high.

So instead, I have to tiptoe on a footstool placed directly under the ladder, where I'm in perfect position to have the whole contraption fall down and smack me in the collarbone when I fail the first time to push it all the way up. Some days I wish the world didn't make me feel so disabled.

I have friends that still want to live up there and I think they're crazy. Cold in the winter and and in the summer that's the place where all the dust and bugs go to die. Not to mention, I can't get my vacuum cleaner up the ladder so the carpet up there hasn't been cleaned since the building was built.

Listening to the radio now. Private schools are all closed but that's no surprise. Something about the combination of outrageously expensive tuition and organized religion that turns people into pussies that faint at even the hint of snow. Not like us public school kids.

The role call of schools on the radio reads like a list of possibilities. Stenberg? Um no. UBC? Sure, if I do well on the lsat. Trinity Western? You know you have to sign a contract stating that you won't drink, swear or engage in premarital sex to get into that school? Emily Carr? Don't mind if I do.

But fortunately for me, my school is on top of a mountain, a cold and icy mountain and the computer servers there are down so no paper from Hell due for me!

Stats assignment is still due though.
  Math transcends both language and weather.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Musical interlude.

Sure, it's cold and miserable outside and chances are your power is out and you're dreading going to work tomorrow because traffic's going to be nuts but cheer up. It's the first snow of the year.

With any luck they'll shut down the hill tomorrow so that I don't have to hand in my paper.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

In which I do some detective work

Just so you know, if you use the Faroese and Icelandic versions of Google, my blog comes up first for the search "make love to a faroese girl".

When I found that out, I was intrigued, so I decided to see what exactly Google was linking to. That brought me to my May 2006 archives, where on May 31st we celebrated my father's birthday and I recited haiku about venerial diseases and made my mother laugh.

On May 30 I was pissed off at my keyboard at work because it was a French one, and not an English, which means that the backspace button is only 1/3 the size I'm used to. On May 29 I ate a sprig of oregano straight off the plant and it burned.

May 28: "Sometimes I even get bored of breathing but you can't very well just stop doing that. Sure, you can hold your breath but once you pass out and turn blue you'll automatically start breathing again when you hit the floor. Try it. I promise it works. That is, unless you do it while you're knee-deep in water or something. I don't intend to." Seems to me someone quoted that and I was flattered at the time.

May 26: The boy that lives upstairs from my parents abducted my cat for a playdate and she made a mess of their couch. May 25: train derailment resulted in me getting to work on time rather than early. May 24: I discover that this blog can not be accessed from government computers and you'd have thought that I would have guessed that without trying it.

May 23: I got a copy of Kaizers Orchestra's Viva la Vega from the most charmingest, kindest, handsomest Norwegian I know. I popped it into my dvd player, squealed loudly and promptly neglected my blog.

May 22: I more or less formally moved out from home. Sort of. Well, it was sort of the end of a couple of months of sort of moving. That and "I spent my time in the shower today contemplating the similarities between cigarettes and ziggurats and couldn't find any. I finally settled upon the word plectrum. Plectrum. Plectrum. It's just a cool word."

May 21 wasn't a very memorable post but I admitted that my parents are the only accidental cult members I know and Peter thought the title was catchy.

May 20: my dad and I explored the lingerie section of the Bay. Irritation ensued. May 18: I quoted Marshall McLuhan: "We are the genitals of technology." May 17: I had a fight with a photocopier. May 16: I got lost downtown looking for Howe. May 15: Edna the census lady informed me that my place of residence doesn't exist.

May 14: my grandmother told once again the completely fabricated story about how she bit my cousin's ear off. May 12: I was at an NDP party for the NDP Party. Met Svend Robinson, Jack Layton and Joy McPhail. They're pretty cool. May 10: "I just can't resist the seductive charm of a plywood woman who offers me chow mein."


On May 9 I mentioned the Faroese language, because Kimananda gave me the letter F.

May 8: "1. And in the beginning there was breakfast"... "3. And Erin was made to stand and wait for the bathroom. And Erin danced up and down and crossed her legs and got pissed off until someone let her in. May 7: honour box manure.

May 5: Cinco de Mayo, the international celebration of my mother's birthday. May 4: my dad made the stupid mistake of telling his mother-in-law that we missed her birthday because we were visiting the other grandma. She responded by telling the man next door to "drop on his head".

And the second aha!

May 3: Uncle Lloyd tells a joke: "So, I email Marilyn and say do you want to make love tonight? and she emails me back, no. Must be a default in the damn computer program or something."

Sneaky Google. It picks the most obscure words and phrases possible from my blog just so it can lure poor, misguided Scandinavians in with the promise of sex. Case closed.

Though to be fair to May 1st:

"My father suggested that I lay down on the train tracks and rest my ear on the rails so I could listen for trains approaching and my sister suggested that I just leave my head there.

I said something that bothered my sister at some point or other today and she kneed me in the crotch, which both anatomically and otherwise was a pointless waste of time."

Pictured above are the best pictures I took in May.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Exercises in spontinaeity

In an effort to be more spontaneous, I wandered the library at school today.

This in itself doesn't sound spontaneous, and it wouldn't be except that I had a set agenda in mind. I was going to pull a bunch of random books from the stacks that had call numbers comprised completely of odd numbers.

Then I was going to find a book about the letter U or something titled "You" or "Ewe" to stack my books against. If all went according to plan then I would take a picture of it and title it "the odds are stacked against you, my friend." But even though there is apparently a book on personal health and hygeine entitled "You" in the library, I was unable to find it. Something to do with it being located in the pedagogical curriculum section where only student teachers go.

And, unfortunately for me, books specifically about the letter U only exist in Sesame Street. I don't know this for sure, but I figure it's a reasonable assumption because my university has a pretty largish linguistics department and if they don't have such books, they probably don't exist.

Not to mention, I'm not in current possesion of my own camera. Our relations are a little strained at this point, as it has decided to move in with my sister for a few days. It tells me that it's because I forgot it under the seat in the car, but I know the real reason has more to do with my extensive use and abuse of the autofocus.

I'm thinking that we can overcome our differences fairly soon though.

Until then you're going to have to settle for a crude picture of a lobster that I drew for no apparent reason.


I do believe that I haven't written a decent post here in quite a few days. Actually, I'm willing to admit that I haven't written anything reasonably good in at least a month. I'm stuck in a bit of a rut, to be honest.

I'm in one of those states of mind right now where I have been sleep deprived such that I lack basic mental faculties. It is exactly this that reduces me to saying "please confer unto me the liquid beverage," when I clearly meant pass the orange juice. I lose words and then substitute bigger ones in their place.

It's one of those nights that I feel I have to explain Aubrey Beardsley, Alexander Pope and The Rape of the Lock to everyone awake on my msn list for no particular reason other than the fact that I too would be pissed off if someone cut off a chunk of my hair.

I'm supposed to be working on a comparative media analysis of coverage of controversy surrounding continued deployment of Canadians in Afghanistan and the Senlis Report. It's not exactly going as well as I want it to.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thanksgiving is like, so last month

IMG_4588_1It's going to take me a while to figure out these American people to the south. Why they insist on having Thanksgiving a month late is beyond me. It's clearly an October thing, which means it's done and over with and that puts us a full month into Christmas shopping season already.

I mean, feeling obligated to buy random crap for your relatives that you're dreading seeing and will probably fight with is far, far too important to leave to just one month of the year. Americans, of all people, should know this, what with their easy credit and credit cards and such.

I mean, shopping in the States is weird. Most of the time to write a cheque or use your debit card you have to show a credit card for id. What is with that? You can't live without them. The whole point of using the other two options is that the credit card never ever has to enter the picture so you don't have to pay it off. Your bank settles with merchant's bank and then it gets paid with no middleman.

Less middlemen means less interest charges, but I guess that's not the point.

We were shopping in the States one time and my friend used her debit card to buy some groceries. The cashier looked at the card, swiped it, bagged the purchase and we walked out, not completely sure if she'd actually paid for it or not. That was weird.

And then you come home and find that the exact same pair of shoes sells for the exact same amount only, in Canadian dollars, which is to say, cheaper, and the bagels that you bought in Seattle sit in the back of your breadbox for nine months before you discover them and they're not moldy.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Modern World

A couple of people have been trying to sell me on Wolf Parade for a while and I'm not sure if I'm completely convinced just yet. However, if there is a song to do it, it's probably this one. I've been listening to it all day.

I'm going to have to change my opinion sooner or later because as far as I'm concerned practically all the music coming out of Montreal is good. French or English.

Not to mention, it's what all the cool kids on are listening to.

Some things came up in class today that I half feel like commenting on, but I have a feeling that they would come out inflammatory. Some days it's best to keep one's mouth shut.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The only problem with glasses is that they make things blurry, really blurry

After careful review of the diagrams provided in the National Peakographic this week, I have concluded that I am well on schedule to graduate within the next ten years. However, if the bastards don't give me the classes I need any time soon, it may take me far longer, thus delaying my slow descent into grad-studentdom even more.

I'm doing it again. About two years before the end of elementary school I was bored out of my mind and dying to get out. Then because middle school was only two years long, I had outgrown it the minute I set foot inside the doors. It was boring and juvenile and its sole purpose in life was to make me miserable.

Then in high school I was fine until halfway through grade 11, when it too suddenly got boring and juvenile and I told the senior sail to go screw itself and almost didn't go to my own graduation.

So it really comes as no surprise that being an undergrad can only bring one so much satisfaction. Now I find myself following random grad students around just for the hell of it. Then at evening documentary screenings downtown I end up in odd conversations like:

he says: Hey, I've seen you before. Aren't you a cmns major?
I say: Yeah, so are you. You're always in [name of prof]'s office or talking to the guy who has no legs.
he says: Yeah... I am...

Evidently I'm not inconspicuous enough.

I can imagine that I'll get bored of sitting around in a nursing home one day, too. I'll decide that it's too juvenile and boring for my tastes and doff myself. Until then, I can aspire to look more like a grad student, which is to say, looking like the fourth year pictured below, only more homeless and more alcohol.


For now, I've almost made the transition from looking like a third year to looking like a fourth year, according to the charts. (Though, it must be noted that I had taken up wearing hand-me-down sweaters to school as early as the second semester of my first year. Sweaters with moth holes, no less.) The beard is going to take me a while though, as to the best of my knowledge, none of the women in my family were able to grow full moustaches until they were at least 35.

But that can wait. Honestly.

Monday, November 20, 2006

My posts never seem to start and end on the same topic

And as us, the three prospective candidates for prez next semester walked up towards the upper bus loop, somehow or other we each stopped at the same time, looked at each other and burst out laughing. We were all thinking the same thing, which was to say that we were thinking about the girl that I mentioned in this post.

I have to admit that when I walked into that particular meeting I was more than a little surprised to see her there. Not that I want to admit that I judge people based upon their appearance, but honestly, when you go out of your way to make yourself look really weird in a bad way, then chances are it's going to affect the way I think about you. In this case it was a miniskirt that didn't cover anything, straw blonde dyed, straightened and fried hair, fake eyelashes, white glitter makeup, platform shoes and those contact lenses that make your eyes look purple. Not to mention, she wrote with a pen that was about the same width as a large banana and chewed with her mouth open.

And aside from crumbs, nothing that came out of her mouth made any sense. I mean, it was sort of English, but that wasn't the problem. You can understand someone even if their language skills are poor if there's evidence that whatever is coming out of their mouth is as a result of coherent thought. I'm quite convinced that she was completely out to lunch.

Not that it matters much, since we haven't seen her since. The only thing that matters is that we still all think of it simultaneously and it still makes us laugh.

We are horrible, horrible, intolerant bastards.

But I know how it's going to be next time we have elections. We're going to sit around, waiting for someone to run for president until I cave and get elected. Oh well, at least I won't be responsible for the student union mail lists anymore.

Looks like Kaizers is finally doing some new material, which is really cool, except that none of the clips showing up on youtube are of particularly good quality. But I don't think I've ever shared my love of Kaizers Orchestra with the people of this blog before, so it's about time I share something. But what to share? Maybe Mann Mot Mann or something.

Old song, but one of the ones I like better. I must say that the first time I saw the actual music video for this song, I had to watch it a second time, just to make sure that I had seen what I had actually seen, because it was more or less illustrating what was happening in the song. But the song's better live and the music video has crappy animation.

I won't even make it into an open plea for donations to the Erin-badly-needs-to-go-to-Norway fund, though such a thing exists and certain individuals have been known to make the plea on my behalf. I mean, every blog these days seems to have a tip jar, just like every coffee shop and fast food place also seems to have a tip jar, and I wonder if anyone actually profits from such a thing. Then again, Tony's readers have bought him a car and ipods and stuff...

But no.

The Shostakovich Project

IMG_4579_1Dmitri Shostakovich fascinates me. His music seems to dance an ever-changing line between tonal and atonal, just as the man was forced between praise and persecution in Soviet Russia. His style is difficult to pin down, at times quite melodic and beautiful, at others, almost fugitive. I don't to a good job of describing it.

At any rate, I was at a concert yesterday: the CBC Radio Orchestra presents the Shostakovich Project, which was six short tribute works by new Canadian composers using Shostakovich's signature DSCH motif, as well as some longer works written by Shostakovich himself.

The CBC Radio Orchestra is the only remaining radio orchestra in North America. It does two series of cheap concerts per year, where they record new music for the radio and spend a lot of money commissioning new works from new and contemporary Canadian composers. And at the low price of $15 per ticket, kids on a budget like me can go see big names like Jon Kimura Parker and Yegor Dyachkov and still afford lunch for the following week. Sure, they don't wear uniforms, but they make up for that with talent. With all this talk about axeing the CBC, it would be a pity to lose it.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

My first ever caption contest

November 17, 2006 039_1
I did say retarded, didn't I? I honestly don't know what I was looking at there, which gives me an idea. Caption contest.

This is the only time I will ever let anyone put words into my mouth.

Come on, you know you want to...


I came across a blog not too long ago where someone was complaining about how they thought that Will Ferrell wasn't at all suited for Stranger Than Fiction, which is stupid. Just because he spent 10 years on Saturday Night Live doesn't mean that he should always be stuck into only comedy roles, especially when he's clearly capable of doing other things.

Like doing a very convincing job playing a kind of boring yet intelligent man who discovers with certainty that he is going to die and then begins to live. As far as I'm concerned, the plot about the writer was the part that really made the story though. I can't think of a single movie where I haven't liked Emma Thompson, and it was the inclusion of her character that made it avoid blatant cliche.

I suppose I could mention how the first 20-25 minutes of the film had a couple of shots that I quite liked, but I won't. I have a habit of disecting the set design, the lighting, depth of focus and the angles, but I'm the only person in the world who is interested in these things.

So, the final verdict is that I liked it and it was worth watching, unlike the last two films I saw in theatres.

But, more importantly, we went for pizza afterwards and that's where I read in the newspaper about Diefenbunker. Diefenbunker? Let me explain:


This is John Diefenbaker, 13th prime minister of Canada.

Not to be confused with this Diefenbaker:


who was one of the stars of the tv series Due South.

In the height of the Cold War, Diefenbaker built Diefenbunker, which was where the government was going to take shelter when they dropped the bomb. Not sure how they would go about ruling the people outside of the bunker but meh.

At any rate, the Diefenbunker is located four stories underground the town of Carp, Ontario and can apparently be booked for private functions. And, I must say, that the only way that anyone could ever convince me to go through the incredible expense, excruciating boredom and shameful conspicuous consumption associated with a regular wedding (not to mention the time wasted on the frivolous details of planning such an affair) is if we did it in someplace weird like that. Otherwise it's a shotgun civil service.

No amount of wasted money can be substituted for the actual living with and loving someone for the rest of your life part. That and I've never been one for ceremony.

Saturday, November 18, 2006


Alright, seems to be fine now. Will undoubtedly need tweaking in the near future though.

I worked on this late into the night on Thursday, only to put the css into blogger and have it not work at all. All of the posts were displaying on top of each other so it looked like a dog's breakfast.

I have a sneaking suspicion that I will get bored of the newspaper birds very soon though. I don't know. They were the first thing I could find on my computer.

My template was irritating me

So, apologies for any weirdness that may occur within the next few hours.

Friday, November 17, 2006


IMG_4611_1Registering for classes next semester is proving to be a seriously painful ordeal. I've been trying for several hours and so far I've managed one class. Fuck you, SFU.

I need another scholarship, not for the money, but for the convenience of being placed first in line to register for everything. I thought I'd finished with registration headaches when I finished second year. Bastards.

Right now I want something warm and chocolatey. Not hot chocolate.

And I want to play Yahtzee. It's been ages since I've played that game. I'm pretty decent at it, you know.

I was so pissed off that I took a bunch of retarded photos of myself with the cat, but the only one that did turn out halfways well-framed and unblurry makes me look like I have a paunch. It will never be posted here.


Well, give me a few minutes...

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Post-paper blur

IMG_4603_1I had gotten an email from the library telling me that when I had returned some dvds earlier this week, one of the cases was empty. It seems that in a post-paperwriting stupor, I had forgotten to take the disc out of the player. I was late catching the bus because it took me far more time than you'd think it would to find an empty cd case to put the thing in so it wouldn't get scratched.

It's not the first bus that makes you late. I've found that regardless of if I miss the first bus or not, I can still manage to make it to class anywhere from fifteen minutes early to ten minutes late.

So, first bus, train, then an unusually long wait at the station for the 145. The lines snaked out the bus shelter and had flooded the traffic island by the time a bus finally arrived. I was lucky enough to manage to get on through one of the back doors and we were off.

Other than the fact that I was about five minutes late at that point, things were going relatively well.

However, while we were approaching the intersection at the bottom of Gaglardi, there was a loud thump, the bus lurched forward and the front end of it dropped about a foot before it came to a halt. The driver did a walk-around and then uncerimoniously asked us to leave the bus.

We stood at the side of the highway for a while, hitching rides until everyone had been picked up. I caught another bus.

I finally got to class half an hour late, and decided not to disturb anyone, so I took the dvd back to the library and then wandered around until the class break.

Apparently I didn't miss much. At the beginning of class the prof announced that there was a quiz and he was immediately peppered with questions and never got around to it. Then someow or other the prof and the guy who always sits in the front row got into a rather explosive argument.

You know the guy. He's always eating jam straight from the jar, checking his email and asking useless questions, the kind that I'm guessing are supposed to challenge the prof and make you sound extra intelligent, but instead, waste time and make you look like an idiot. He always manages to start some sort of pointless argument over a completely moot point.

I've said it before about another guy. Twice. I don't mind when people ask legitimate questions for clarification or extra examples or bring up important points that the prof seems to have overlooked, but if it's something stupid and leads to a conversation like this:

"Do we have to memorize the equations?"
"No, they will be provided for you, just like they were on the last exam."
"What will the equation sheet look like?"
"It will look the same as the last one, only it will have more equations on it."
"Do we get to see it before the exam?"
"Yes, it's been posted on the website since the beginning of the semester." (he says, while demonstrating where to find it on the website on the big screen, only to find that that one page is missing)
"So, where is it, exactly?" (smiling because he's finally nailed the prof with the incredibly humiliating evidence proving that oh my god! one miniscule piece of the huge, complicated course website doesn't work!)
"It seems to be missing. However, if you click on this link here, it will show you the equation page for the final exam, which has all the same equations plus a few you haven't learned yet."
"But the equation page for the second exam isn't available?"
"No, it looks like it isn't."
"So, we won't get to see it before the exam?"
"No, I guess you won't."
"So, we won't get to see it before the exam...."
"I don't think the marking on the last assignment was fair."
"Why do you think that?"
"Well, you marked the answers wrong because I calculated all my own z-scores -"
"Why did you do that? All the z-scores are in the table at the back of the book."
"Well, I was calculating them myself..."
"You don't need to do that. I spent a lot of time putting that table together and I'm pretty confident that all the values are correct."
"But they were marked wrong..."
"In this course, all the answers are based on the values in the table. I would suggest you use them."
"But what if they are wrong?"
"I'm pretty confident that the table is correct. You're welcome to use anything you want, but if you want to get the answers right, I would suggest you use the table provided for you."
"But I wanted to calculate them myself..."
So, I can only imagine what he said today.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Contrary to popular belief, I may in fact like small sections of my family

IMG_4461_1Where do you go when there's a huge windstorm and all the lights are out? To the hospital, of course. The lights are almost guaranteed to be on and there are plenty of friendly old people there to brighten up your day.

The trip there, however, may be a tad problematic, because there is an unwritten law that says that when all the traffic lights are out, people must take to the streets and sit idle for hours until they switch on. These people are creatures that rely upon light for their brains to operate. In the dark, they are completely incapable of doing even the simplest of tasks.

  1. Whichever vehicle stops first has priority.

  2. If there is more than one vehicle at the intersection, yield to the one on your right.

It was my uncle's birthday today. He does this creepy old bastard routine for fun (kind of like come here little girl and have some of my chocolates and let me feel your boobs...) and every time I see him, he looks more and more the part. What is he now? 66? 67? Elegeble for seniors discounts at any rate.

Apparently the plan was that we were going to have fish and chips, but having the lights out everywhere not only makes people take to the streets, it also has them swamp restaurants so that you have to wait at least an hour and a half just for take out. My aunt and uncle went out foraging and found that someone had cleaned out the entire shelf of roasted chickens at the grocery store too. "Nine chickens," Lloyd complained, "what the hell are you going to do with nine fucking chickens?"

Luckily I was able to bake a pecan-chocolate-caramel cake thing under the manifold of the car.

Lloyd was up to the same old same old. Kind of full of himself, yet kind of likeable at the same time. He's got a million and a half stories, so at least time with him isn't boring.

Apparently Sir Francis Drake once lived in the old family home, which was in Glostershire, not Wales. GLOSTERSHIRE! But Vic had highfalutin ideals and that's why he came all the way out here to the colonies. At least, that's the way they say it in the mother country. You've got to love'em there. They all have such beautiful blue eyes, like the old man did and I bet they only get beaten up half as much for having our surname.