Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Mind the gap

There's a gap in per capita income between rural and urban Canada, and after staring for hours at four census' worth of data on the subject I find I'm able to write everything but the paragraph that explains why I'm writing it. Why am I writing on this topic?

Well, obviously it must be important because otherwise Statcan wouldn't have written so much on it. Other than that, at the moment, I don't really care much. I live in the city so I'll make more money than people that don't live here. Should I be concerned? Maybe. But I'll also pay substantially higher property taxes and I'll live in a shoebox shoved in a pile of other shoeboxes and work a meaningless job where I count beans and push paper all day long. It's a tradeoff.

I know that eventually, somewhere around 4am tomorrow morning I will suck it up and say something about agriculture and resource based industries providing the economic foundation of the country or something, with some sort of added footnote about how a lot of First Nations people live out in said areas where per capita income is very low and that means poverty along with all the other problems that they have and come to some sort of conclusion that we should do something to fix that because up till now we've been doing a pretty crappy job taking care of the people we stole the land and resources and culture from and abused in residential schools and turned into alcoholics and in general pretty much neglect until we find out that they're living on or near a piece of land that is suddenly worth something to us and then we try to cheat them out of that too with pitiful sums of money and tax free cigarettes.

Yay. That's one hell of a run-on sentence, if I might say so myself.

Julie's suddenly all excited that I dance, and she seems to think that after almost 17 years of lessons, I would actually be worth watching. She wants to know if she can go to see me at one of my competitions. While I'm kind of flattered, I also don't know if I really want her to watch me because first of all, our costumes will most certainly be ugly and unflattering and second, I'll most likely be outshined by my sister. Not that that's really a bad thing. She's pretty good.

Who else did I run into today? Oh, Nick and I had a laugh at Heddy Fry's expense, Mina and I had coffee and I ran into Steve, considered breifly telling him that I think he's one of the slimiest, most disgusting pieces of shit I've ever met, but I didn't. What purpose would that possibly serve?

Upon leaving school, I was attacked by a small blizzard and reminded of the fact that I really hadn't bothered to dress for the cold. Apparently it's still winter.

And that, my dears, has been my day. Thank you and good night.

Monday, January 30, 2006


Stephen Harper has a fansite.

It is gushing with prettiness and pinkness and love.

Are there no actors, no models, no rockstars, no athletes for these people to worship?

I feel icky now.

I'm going to bury myself in more useless numbers.

Advancement of science

Remember the other computer?

In short, someone let the antivirus subscription lapse on it and the thing got some sort of virus on that disabled the anti-spyware programs, the firewall and is preventing anyone from installing a new antivirus program on it. No one can get the virus off the computer because there is no antivirus program, and no one seems to be able to figure out just what files are infected.

What really needs to happen is someone's got to suck it up and wipe everything off it, but we've been sitting around for a month doing nothing.

My mom's friend is a computer tech and we let him have remote access to it. He found some files and programs on there that he's apparently never seen before anywhere else, so the computer's not getting wiped today, it's going downtown to be studied. That can't be cheap.

At least I know that we're doing our part to further the advancement of science.

I'm not looking forward to having my laptop suddenly be a hot commodity, but it seems that that is exactly what is going to happen.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Numbers upon numbers

I have stats on the brain.

Could you plot my mood on a graph right now? You'd have to find a way to turn it all into an equation. I was never all that good with those number things. It always seemed to me that stats are really dehumanizing. Even Marx, bless his soul, couldn't seem to think of people as anything more than a passive mass of proletariat flesh. You'd have to take into account:

I am bored as hell, and feel that I have quite literally wasted an entire weekend doing fuck all.

I have a large statistical analysis project due on Wednesday. It involves multiple hours of staring at graphs, tables and charts and then writing something about them. The course is both a waste of time and it's going to drag my gpa kicking and screaming to the nether regions of hell.

I have had a headache for the past couple of hours and it's not getting any better.

My sister is currently popping copious ammounts of bubble wrap. The sound of bubble wrap being popped is akin to fingernails on chalkboards in my mind. It makes me shiver just as much as hearing the sound of cutlery scraping across dinner plates, grates on my nerves like sleeping people grinding their teeth together and irritates me as much as chalk dust on my hands or dust between my toes. Maybe I'm just too sensitive.

There are a couple of people that I can't help feeling very angry at right now for no reason, other than they probably unknowingly did something to irritate me over the past week and probably don't know that I'm angry at them.

I guess hormones will do that. Stats + pms = not the best of combinations. I hate to say it but that's exactly what it is. Try putting that on a graph.

It's Chinese New Year, and guess what's for dinner?

Fungus, of course.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Night night

there's a big car race in newfoundland every year and I'm watching it on the telly right now
the cars race through little fishing villages in the middle of nowhere that I guess look kind of like parts of Norway
it's a tourism thing, because they want people to see the scenery and go there
but I guess you're supposed to watch the cars too
they're okay, I guess
there are some neat looking cars from the 50s with those wing things out the back and lots and lots of chrome
I've always thought those were cool
sometime after that, cars just got ugly
have you seen some of the new japanese and korean cars lately?
ugliest pieces of shit I've ever seen
I'm sure they run well and all, but you know how it is...

but I'm talking about newfoundland
it's pretty, I would go there in a heartbeat
but I guess it's not really the scenery that I like, though that's definitely a draw
for sure
it's the people
newfies are the nicest people you'll ever meet anywhere on this earth
they're so friendly and inviting
they speak what is probably the most charming dialect of english to be found anywhere in the Empire
we make fun of it, of course
but that's only because we suck and we're envious
very envious

okay, try this:
smile as wide as you can possibly smile
okay, now, keeping that smile, open your mouth up as wide as you possibly can
now say "air"
okay, that's the way they pronounce their r's
it's very charming to say the least
rick mercer did a standup tour across canada with some other comedians and they were always making fun of him for his accent
open up wide and say sars
yeah, that's what he sounded like
there was a british guy on that tour that sounded almost exactly like bob from bob and margaret
ever seen that show?
download it now. it's good

but back to newfies
the last time great big sea was here, I went half just to hear them talk
"wot wit you and all yer stairboks? You people in Vancoover drinks yer coffee and runs tree mer moiles a day than us."
they're awesome, but I think I've said that before
like I said, they are the nicest people in the world
I've never met one that I didn't instantly like
I'm convinced that it isn't possible
you should go there instead of coming here
out there on that godforsaken rock in the atlantic they're so hospitable
if you went there, people would invite you home for dinner, or maybe just tea
but that's better than you'd get here
we're all antisocial bastards here in the city

the cars just went through fortune
seems to me that that town was in a gbs song called french perfume
and they just mentioned george street from the old black rum too

something else I noticed though
why is dildo newfoundland so close to conception bay?
is the sole purpose of it just to make me giggle whenever I look at the map?
immature, I know
I'm allowed sometimes

but they do have nifty sounding place names there
not like here
we've got depressing place names like desolation sound
bellyup canyon
deadhorse pass
honestly, who would want to name their town horsefly?
my relatives, maybe
cause they live there
cheezus christ
you've got to roll the r in christ to say it the way that grannie höhn said it because she said it the best
but you're good at that, so I wouldn't worry
she probably could have taught you to dance too
she was good at that

there are little towns up the fraser canyon that are barely bigger than the signs they're written on
they all died when they pushed through a new highway and made the old one obsolete
boston bar
china bar
spuzzum was always my favourite
but there isn't much there now, dilapidated buildings
the railroad
genetically modified round up ready canola spreading like the plague
it's not supposed to be there, but what can you do?

why am I talking about this?
that is the better question
that erin, always talking
I've talked you to sleep I see

Friday, January 27, 2006

Conference call from Albania

I got a phone call from Albania today, as I was sitting in the laptop lab at school. All of a sudden my computer started ringing and I answered it, because I was half expecting a call from someone else, though I doubted that he would call me spontaneously while I was at school.

Instead there were two guys with foreign accents, and from what I could gather, they wanted naked pictures. I said no and hung up. The whole event was weird because I was signed in as invisible to skype.

It has come to my attention that my desktop wallpaper is attracting a lot of attention in class because it's a little out of the ordinary. I mean, who honestly would have thought that goats could be used as bulletproof shields? Jeremy Forson of course, and I must admit that some of his art, like, say, this one, are delightfully creepy. Don't ask me why I like it, I just do. I just have an odd sense of taste. I'll change it soon.

And speaking of art and taste and such, I'm thoroughly bored with the way this blog looks. I've actually been bored for a while, but I haven't bothered to change it because my sister likes the randomness of it.

Randomness is pretty much the only way it can be described. I honestly don't know where it came from. Maybe I was intoxicated at the time.

I guess my biggest problem is that this blog has never had an actual title, or at least it's never had a title that I've actually liked. I get bored of things easily. I always have.

And now for something completely different and most likely short lived. I was bored. I can't draw. How can you tell?

It's only temporary, I promise.

Thursday, January 26, 2006


Halfway to school this morning I became violently ill. Needless to say, I didn't make it that far.

I felt so disgusting that I came home and had a shower and brushed my teeth. That didn't help.

I am now sitting in my pyjamas in front of my computer, eating raw cookie dough. I doubt that that will make me feel any better but I don't care.

I'm allowed once in a while, aren't I?

I had been planning to empty out what's left of my bank account at the pub with Kathy today, but I guess that won't be happening.

I've noticed lately that the Peak opinion page is starting to look more and more like I Saw You all the time. I don't mind though. It's kind of nice to read

Saw you on the 145 last thursday morning. Thought about your eyes and how they reminded me of how I imagined a character in an ex-soviet writer's magnum opus I read once. Tried, with all my heart, to get to the back to tell you my name and couldn't. I know somehow you won't see this, and I'll never find you... Live a nice life, you are very pretty.
even though I know it isn't me. I guess it's a little too awkwardly wordy anyways.

I want the sun to come out and all my work to dissipate so that I can take some new pictures. It feels so wrong posting pictures of sunshine and flowers right now when everything is cloudy and grey.

Some thanks are in order. One goes out to my Norwegian stalker for cheering me up today. Another goes to the door that I walked into a while ago. Thanks for the bruise. Now everyone's going to think I've been abused both cruelly and unusually.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Wednesday's hump day

Good morning Wednesday, how are you?

Fine, just fine, Erin.

You looked pretty good this morning. The clouds were a really lovely shade of orange while I was standing at the bus stop, and the moon made a little appearance too.

Yeah, I thought you'd like that.

I noticed that the clouds are starting to disperse too. Does that mean that we're going to finally get less rain?

Sorry, I can't tell you that. That's Thursday's job.

I got stuck standing on the bus today.

Aww, poor baby.

Shut up. That's not what you were supposed to say. Have you seen the election results?

Yeah, I have, unfortunately.


Well, you were thinking the same thing, weren't you? You can't be happy about having a Conservative government.

No, I'm not. But at least it's a minority. Hopefully that will keep their pro-Bush, anti-kyoto, pro-life, anti-gay agenda in check. One thing I noticed though. The majority of the Conservatives' support came from rural ridings. No significant urban ridings elected Conservative MPs, representing a major rift between cities and everyone else.

Fucking rednecks running our country for us.

I wasn't about to say that...

Yeah, but you were thinking it.

Enough politics. There is a guy behind me right now listening to country music really loud on itunes. It's irritating the hell out of me.

Doesn't he have headphones?


How rude. Hey, guess what day it is?


Robbie Burns Day. There's free haggis and poetry readings in the Convo Mall.

Eh, I think I'll pass.

One thing else I noticed. Didn't Tony do the same sort of conversation thingie on his blog?

Yeah, maybe he did. Does that matter?

He linked you, you know. Right up there in the daily specials.

I hadn't noticed. That's awesome. Spreading the blogosphere love.

You've got to go back to class now. Six more hours.

Don't remind me.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


Once again, I was having trouble connecting to the internet at school today so I just started typing things. An entire post flowed from my fingertips as I sat there, staring at my screen. Once my fingers stopped moving, I began to read what had been written there and tears sprang unbidden to my eyes. Before long I was sobbing over my keyboard.

"Are you alright?" The guy next to me asked. He was playing something violent on his computer.

"Yeah, I'm fine," I replied. And I am. I couldn't possibly be better, and I mean that.

I don't think I can put that post up just yet though. It's saved, in case I change my mind.

Somewhere in the world right now the sun is shining.

Monday, January 23, 2006


Have you ever looked at a fat person and secretly waited (with some guilt) for them to sit down on a chair and break it? I swear I'm not the only one.

At our polling station, one of the clerks at a booth across from mine waddled in this morning, sat down on his chair and flattened it. Everyone in the room tried hard not to laugh because obviously it was an election and elections are serious.

The lady to my right, however, chuckled for hours.

One man was upset with me because Stephen Harper wasn't on the ballot, and he didn't want to vote for 'the local guy'. And though I thought that he would be perfectly welcome to move to Stephen Harper's riding and leave me alone, I had to explain to him which party each of the candidates were affiliated with. Of course, this information was clearly written out on each ballot, but you can't expect every white, middle-aged middle-classed male to be able to read.

The lady at the booth to my left had a lovely scouse accent, and kept telling people that if they brought back the ballots folded correctly, they would get 10,000 air miles. One man actually began to get out his air miles card to see if he could get a credit on his account.

"You promise?" he asked.

"Absolutely," she replied, "It's an election promise."

At that, everyone in the immediate vicinity began to laugh.

I felt sorry for that lady later when she discovered that one of her ballots had walked during the day. For all I know, she could still be there looking for it.

One lady explained to me that her daughter's name was on the ballot and wanted an extra one as a souvenir. She couldn't seem to understand why I kept saying no.

And after what seemed like a constant stream of geriatric men dragged by mail order brides, bitchy pregnant ladies, men with incredibly cute children and puppies all arriving to vote, I went home to discover that we have elected a minority government dominated by the Conservatives. Damn.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Diamond in the rough

The lady on the radio tells me that I can train from home with a kit to learn how to phase out coal energy and manage international summits. The question then is why am I in university?

Yeah, I think I could train from home to say "This way to the washrooms," or "Will you have red or white?"

It's always a tossup. Do you go for the red, which is good for you and pleasantly lukewarm? There are those who would say that the red turns your teeth pink but I never believed them.

The white on the other hand, is nice and chilled and you've got to appreciate that. You could turn it into a spritzer, which is kind of a wussy drink, but it's fizzy, and that's got to count for something. The object of these schmoozefests has never been to get drunk, or so I've been told.

There was a huge garage sale at one of the film studios today and they were selling off props and costumes from the X Files and other shows. We rushed down to see what we could find.

My conclusion? The 80's have come and gone, and there is nothing in this world that will ever convince me to wear anything that came from that decade. I came out decidedly empty-handed from the clothing department. My sister on the other hand found tons of belts and scarves that she liked.

It's funny going to places like that where there is such a frenzy to get ridiculously low priced stuff. Suspicious glances abound as people size up what treasures everyone else has found, comparing them to their own. My sister's vinyl watering can purse, for example, was the object of much silent envy, and it wasn't even for sale.

I was surprised that in spite of the high number of frenzied shoppers and the fact that most of the stuff there was junk, there were still some neat little gems to be found. In the middle of the fray was a blown glass budvase that looked like it was the work of a friend of the family. I got it home, cleaned it up and checked the name etched on the bottom to find that it was indeed hers. It now sits on one of the windowsills in my apartment and looks like it's always been there. A dollar well spent.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Brief political interlude

I hear everyone talking about tax cuts and smaller government all the time these days. Life would supposedly be better if the feds would stop taking our money and leave us alone. Personally, I don't think so.

The government doesn't offer stuff like welfare and free healthcare and pensions out of the goodness of its bureaucratic heart. The fact is that all these crazy Bolshevik schemes to tax the shit out of people and provide them with services is a direct result of the fact that people wanted them in the first place.

You have to remember that there was a point in time when life here really sucked, as in, sucked significantly more than it did now. Things were so bad that there was a general strike that shut down Winnipeg in 1919.

A little closer to home, a large group of hungry unemployed men sat down and refused to leave the downtown post office in Vancouver in 1937. My grandfather, like many others on May 20th, 1938, was tear gassed, beaten and forcibly removed by the police and the ensuing riot prompted the government to create make work projects to keep them employed. It was the first real attempt at welfare in the country.

If you look back at the history of public education and health care you'll find similar protests. The only reason why we have these things is because people fought for them. It wasn't all that long ago, really. Do we want to betray their efforts so soon?

In short, I like the NDP. They're warm and fuzzy. Election's on Monday. Go vote for someone. With any luck we'll get another minority that will fall so we can do this all over again within the next two years.

Authorized by the registered agent for the socialists inside my head.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Yukon Jack

The above is an accurate depiction of my mind this morning when I woke up and words failed me.

Have I mentioned that I like my political economics TA?

For starters, from the Yukon.

A bit of a renaissance man, actually. He's a teacher, a construction worker, community planner, plumber, master logbuilder.

He came to class wearing lots and lots of leather. His thesis? Something to do with Harley Davidsons as symbols within society.

He claims to have had the first cell phone in all of Canada, when he lived outside of Whitehorse and couldn't get a landline.

He has the biggest handlebar moustache I have ever seen.

He's my parents' age.

He's entirely unlike all my other young, apathetic, academic grad student TA's, which is really nice for a change.

Most importantly though, he's not Andy.

I wonder where they got him from.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

somewhere I make sense. you may not be there

If McLuhan is right and all communication technology is really just an extension of our bodies and senses then I am a very nebulous person indeed.

But then again, any chemist could tell you that the majority of our bodies is just empty space with nothing but electricity to hold it together. That's all that most matter is.

And people talk of fullfillment. Bullshit.

I don't know, I just work here.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Random acts of poetry

During my travels today I chanced upon a roving band of poets dressed as pirates and BC Lions brandishing manual typewriters. "You, girl!" they shouted as they approached. Once they had me cornered, they wrote a poem for me.

Click, read, enjoy.

In other news, Tony is my hero today.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


Arrived at school two hours early for no particular reason.

Went to tutorial only to find that it had been moved to a different room. Arrived at said room to find that it had been cancelled and rescheduled for some time between 4:30 and 8:30 tonight. Didn't know what exactly it had been changed to. Shock and frustration ensued.

Went upstairs to see academic advisor. Was turned away. Advice? Check online. Course changes are outlined there.

Attempted to sign into internet. Network too busy. Reminded myself that underfunded public universities in Canada lack sufficient infrastructure to support their students due to government cuts.

Found myself deprived of both school related information and my blogroll. Irritation and boredom took me all the way to the 6th floor of the Bennet Library periodical section. My fingers found the Malahat Review. The first story there? A Degree of Suffering is Required by Christine Estima, and was pleased to see that it has the same potent and visceral imagery that you tend to see on her blog, only this time in story form. Read through it much faster than it deserved, but it definitely cured my boredom.

Enjoyed it muchly. Will be back to read it again so as to be better able to comment on it.

Went to next class. Boring video. Poor sound quality. Lady quoting biblical scriptures. Was turned off immediately. Wasted an hour.

Finally got internet to work. Discovered that I was no longer in the class. Class full. Shock, horror, panic, and still that boring video.

Talked to Nick, sitting at the booth for the Conservative Party. Some days I actually admire his devotion to a party that I find so disturbingly wrong. He noted that he was sitting to the left of the NDP booth, which is kind of weird. I noted that from my vantage point, he was indeed sitting to the right. Pleased him muchly. Noted that the Liberals were nowhere to be found and the Greens appeared to be off on a tangent of their own. Commentary, or random?

Academic advisor out to lunch. Literally. Figuratively?

Must go back to class now.

Semester friends

I arrived at my research methods lecture only to be accosted by two girls that are evidently my best friends. "Remember me?" one asked, "I transfered in from McGill. Weren't we in co-op or something?"

I have no earthly idea.

The other one wanted to know if she could get some sort of exec position on the student union so I gave her a tentative date for the elections. The three of us chattered away about how even this early in the semester we can't stand our political economics prof because you can't understand what the hell he is saying. We're all going for coffee next week.

Ah yes, semester friends.

They're those people that you meet in the first two weeks of classes, spend every waking hour working with and talking to for four months, only dump each other for the people you meet the next semester.

Their adresses are scrawled in your notes.

Their numbers are on speed dial in your phone.

They fill up a special group on msn, a group that you never ever talk to.

And when you pass them in the halls, at first you'll stop to talk a little, then gradually your conversations will turn into mere acknowledgements of each other's presence, and within a year, you just ignore each other. And yet you can't bring yourself to get rid of their conact information.

Oh, semester friendships, how I love thee.

Monday, January 16, 2006

New dentist

As you can imagine, I was trembling in excitement when I got up at an ungodly hour this morning. I've had a toothache for a while now so I decided that I would go in to have it checked out. The appointment was nice and early, because I hate having dentist appointments after lunch, when I have food stuck between my teeth.

Since this was a new dentist, I had to go through the obligatory session where they pick at all your teeth and in my case, wonder why I am missing some very strange teeth for me to be missing. I have no idea why they took those out in the first place, but I seem to remember that when they pulled them, someone had to hold my head down on the chair, probably good evidence that they shouldn't have been pulled in the first place.

The diagnosis?

I do a good job brushing my teeth.
I don't floss as much as I should.
I drink too much coffee and my teeth are stained.
I had a filling thing that needed to be fixed. They fixed it.
Apparently I brush my teeth too hard in the bottom front and that's bad. I'll need some sort of scary sounding gum grafting if I keep it up.

The strangest thing of all though, was that I seem to have an extra tooth floating around in my gums. They said it looked like a baby tooth, but to me it looked more like a piece of corn. It's impacted some other teeth and that's what's causing my toothache.

What I don't understand is why no one noticed it before. It's not like I haven't ever been to the dentist, or I've never had an x-ray. Why did this thing only show up now?

It's going to take surgery to remove it. I think I'll wait a few more months.

The dentist seems to be a nice guy though. I like him better than my last one.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

And I've written pages upon pages

"Sorry, I've got to blow my nose."

And with that, his eyes were closed and his hands off the wheel. I considered reaching over and taking it for a brief second, but decided against it. He was always offended when I did that. "I've been driving for twenty years," he would say. Bullshit, you're only 26, I would think to myself, but I'd never say it. No need to start a fight. Far better to drive off the road.

Alison tells me that after living in Malaysia for six months, she is completely bored of it, so bored that she's moving to Rome. Today I envy her mobility.

I have a dentist appointment tomorrow morning that I have been putting off for months. I have finally convinced myself that it is stupid to keep taking drugs for a problem that could be easily fixed by a root canal, or yanking teeth or whatever the dentist decides to do. Though to tell the truth, I'd just rather put it off a little longer.

It's been two months since I last changed the name and template of this blog and I'm tired of it. I'm also out of ideas right now.

The Engine Driver by the Decemberists is officially my favourite song, until I decide to stop listening to it on repeat.

I was finished with this day at about 6:00 this evening, yet I am still up. I can't explain it.

Just things on my mind, that's all.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Abby says my vacuum cleaner's sexy

It's a well known fact that I don't clean. Some would even say that I am a slob, though I think that's a little harsh. I just have a higher tolerance for dust than other people do.

I got a brand shiny new vacuum cleaner to combat the growing number of irritating flecks of dirt appearing on my carpet. White carpet. Who in their right mind has a white carpet?

Unfortunately, the act of posessing a vacuum cleaner in itself doesn't ensure that your carpet will stay clean.

That's right, I vacuumed.

It was such a momentous occasion that people took pictures, none of which will be seen here. They're much too frightening.

Right now I'm watching an one of those crappy, nameless sci-fi action shows. You know the type: bad writing, bad acting, plenty of poorly done cgi and a confusing as hell plot. I have listened for nearly a half hour to my sister criticizing every single inaccuracy in the scubadiving scene. Now it's my turn.

Where was the ambulance call?

Shouldn't you check for a pulse before you start CPR?

And excuse me, where was the landmarking? She's going to cause some pretty serious internal bleeding the way she's doing it.

Since when has the procedure for CPR been four slow-assed compressions to one breath (that obviously didn't go in because she hadn't opened up the guy's airway)?

I hate to burst everyone's bubble, but when you're doing CPR on someone, that is because they are dead. They're not going to wake up no matter how much you pump on their chest unless someone shocks them with a defibrilator. I saw no shocking, so therefore, the guy in the show is a zombie. I would be worried about that.

I shudder to think of what would happen if I just collapsed unconscious somewhere...

Friday, January 13, 2006

They don't deliver like they used to

At 707 in New West we used to get our milk delivered in one of those big yellow Dairyland cube vans. Once a week the chocolate milk man would come and bring me a litre of chocolate milk. I think it was Tuesday.

Once in a while I would quite literally disappear off the face of the earth, only to be found a couple hours later, sitting on the front porch, waiting for him to return, regardless of if he was actually coming that day or not. I'm not a hard girl to win over.

The mailman had a slow, lurching gait like a zombie. If you happened to be out in the yard whenever he came by, he would shuffle up to you with some letters. Bills, mostly. Whenever he opened his mouth, the disembodied spirit of Boris Karloff began to speak: "I have brought your mail." That was all he ever said.

Arnie used to hang around the house and lie in wait for him so he could hear him talk, but to the best of my knowledge, they never met.

I have a weird hyphenated name and people used to take that and the fact that my sister and I don't look remotely like each other as proof that we were part of some sort of weird blended family like everyone else. When people used to ask though, my mom had a different story. "They look different," she would say, "because they have different fathers. The milk man and the mailman."

The majority of people would get it and chuckle a little. Some people, unfortunately, didn't, most noteably, the mother of my best friend at the time, who promptly refused to speak to us ever again. Some people take things way too seriously. Nevertheless, my mother doesn't tell that story very often anymore.

All I know is that I claim the chocolate milk man. He was the best. My sister on the other hand, clearly came from another planet.

In other news, I rolled all the pennies in my piggy bank and now I can pay my tuition. Joy.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

No one said democracy made sense

If anyone causes any sort of disturbance at my polling station on January 23, such as trying to vote twice or waving a gun around, apparently either myself or one of my colleagues is to:

a) don't worry, because the gun is probably registered

b) fill out one of the warrants supplied by Elections Canada

c) inform the individual that he/she is under arrest

d) inform the individual that he/she has the right to seek legal counsel

e) make arrangements to get legal counsel for the individual

f) make arrangements for the individual to be transported to the nearest police department

g) write up a report the incident

h) guard the polling box with our lives

I genuinely hope that I read my manual wrong, though it is entirely possible that I didn't. The rules were made up in Ottawa, which means they're bound to be stupid and impractical.

For example: my mother went to go get a passport. Because she works a couple of blocks away from the passport office, she asked if she could pick it up there herself. She could, of course, but that would cost her $10 to do. If, however, she lets the government waste money to send it by registered mail to our house, it won't cost her a thing. In Ottawa, this makes perfect sense.

"In all fairness," the Elections Canada workshop leader said to us, "if someone is waving a gun at you, give them your ballot box so that no one gets hurt. The worst thing that can happen is that you'll get sent to jail...

"But if that happens, at least you'll still be able to vote."

Apparently voting starts tomorrow for all the lucky people who wake up in jail in the morning.

I'm going to go reread that manual...

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


WARNING: this course puts your health at risk.

This was how we were greeted at our documentary research methods class today. The warning was followed by an unnecessarily long powerpoint presentation about every possible reason why we should drop the course. They included but were not limited to:

having a full course load

any possible concerns about your gpa

being prone to procrastination

being on academic probation

taking cmns 260 at the same time, especially if you've never taken stats

having a social life

having a part time job

being lazy

planning any sort of vacation during the course

having nervous disorders

pregnancy and/or breastfeeding

chronic health problems

He then went into a long diatribe about how he only ever gives out C's and how the course work takes at least 15 hours per week.

The room was a sardine tin of incredulous students. While I can understand that he wants to cut down the number of people in the class with horror stories, the fact of the matter is that it is a required class. People aren't there out of interest. They're there because they won't graduate without it.

So he's scaring us why?

Monday, January 09, 2006

Have filing cabinet, will travel

We got into our new student union common room today only to find that someone had stolen all our houseplants. This launched Heather into a huge rant about how pissed off she was and we took a long time to convince her that she shouldn't complain because we had originally stolen them from someone else a couple of weeks ago. Maybe whoever it was just decided to take them back.

Even though we had left instructions for the movers, we arrived to find that the most important things that we had wanted (ie. the filing cabinet and the two bouncy, squishy rolley chairs) were not there. We borrowed a TV cart from the audio-visual department and went exploring.

Our filing cabinet was still in the old room, with the 'please move this' sticker missing, as if someone had decided that they should just keep it there. It took the four of us to manhandle the filing cabinet into a rather precarious position on top of the cart. Our efforts were punctuated by the painful squeal of metal on metal. One of the bouncy squishy rolley chairs was in the room and we took that with us too.

You have to be truly suicidal to use some of the wheelchair ramps at SFU.

Luckily none of us are in wheelchairs and it really wasn't all that hard to do, especially since there were four of us.

Elevators are different. Out of the three that were available, no ammount of swearing could make enough room for that damn filing cabinet in the first two we tried. The third would have been the same, but with a little more manhandling and plenty of four-letter words, we made it fit.

I'm so glad we saved the chair.

Trips to the Chan Centre never disappoint. Yesterday, Jon Kimura Parker played a concerto by Mozart, something that I'm sure I've heard many times before, but it was completely different from the recordings. It's interesting how even though the notes are written down the same, everyone's interperetations can be so different. I guess you can say the same thing about live theatre too.

After the intermission, his brother, James, accompanied him on stage to play a duet that was really amazing to watch. Then their cousin Ian came out on stage and all three of them played together. I have never seen three Steinway pianos on one stage before, and I'm not sure if I will ever see that again. It was a treat.

I took pictures at the Chan, but my computer tells me that I no longer have space on my hard drive. I'll fix it tomorrow.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

She strikes again

I was rummaging through the fridge, looking for a kiwi. Mom wanted to do her ironing. Conversation ensued:

"Get out of my way or I'll smack you with this ironing board."

"Get out of my way or I'll throw this kiwi at you!"

"Well I'll use my ironing board as a shield!"

"I'll propel the kiwi through your shield."

"I'll defend myself with this knife!"

"I'll left-handed karatechop the knife from your hand!"

Then, being clearly beaten, my mother retreated to the shadows from whence she came. I sat down and began to eat. Halfway through the kiwi, I froze in fear, feeling the cold butt of a banana pressed into my back.

"So we meet again, Banana woman." I said, "I should have seen right through your disguise as ironing-board-and-breadknife woman. You got the better of me this time, but mark my words, I'll be back..."

Yet another reason why I have to move out. Soon.

Saturday, January 07, 2006


I was about to go to bed when suddenly I was lured into the livingroom by the sweet sound of the Bob and Doug MacKenzie theme song call.

I spent the next couple hours glued to the television, watching Strange Brew, which, though it isn't the best Canadian cult film, it's pretty good regardless, if you're not the least bit concerned about quality. Or meaningfulness. Or thinking.

I got up once during the whole ordeal to get myself some pea soup. Or at least, the soup had peas in it, the same kind as the Habitant pea soup. How Canadian.

The MacKenzie family dog saved the day and the end credits rolled over everyone's favourite hosers saying all sorts of inane things. Then suddenly the national anthem started playing and I stood up all respectful and with that, our national broadcaster signed off.

I went to bed feeling oddly enriched by the experience, and wondering why beer doesn't come in stubbies anymore.

Today is one of those days that you stumble across people like Peter saying nice things about your blog that are completely unexpected, but pretty nice to see. The internet is a pretty cool place.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Fire and brimstone

26 But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.

Thereby making Lot into a millionaire because salt was worth much more than gold at the time and proving once again that women are all stupid whores. Though it seems to me that Lot was being pretty stupid himself, because he could have gotten his daughters to look back too and make him into a multimillionaire. He didn't, and there's a word for that: righteous.

To tell the truth, I never really understood the Bible. Good thing I'm not Christian.

Our prof assigned us some readings for anthropology, so we could try and reconstruct a dead and gone culture from a dead and gone set of beliefs. I didn't just say that, did I? Damn.

She floats like a duck!

Nothing but sunshine and bunnies from now on. I promise.

Breakfast of champions

What to eat when you wake up in the morning feeling slightly queasy? Mushrooms of course. Mushrooms and noodles. But not exactly the kind of mushrooms that you'd find at the store. It's more like fungus. I'm eating fungus and noodles for breakfast. There's one that looks like a piece of crumpled up black paper and it's delicious.

A largeish chunk of tofu will make it into my bowl too. Not exactly the breakfast of champions, but I think I can live without the fat.

A cup of coffee, tall, dark, handsome. Fair trade, no less. Hold the sugar because that's gross. I'll have four cups of green tea too, while I'm at it, not because I want four cups but because that's how big the pot is.

And with that, my breakfast is gone, hopefully to never be seen by me again. I should have taken a picture.

It's come to my attention recently that there are no good places to eat out here in the suburbs. While this is not a new thing, I only noticed it recently because it seems that everyone and their dog has redone their decor, menus and jacked up their prices to appeal specifically to the up-and-coming middle class. Has the food really changed? No.

What we do have out here are crappy burger, steak and pasta places that masquerade themselves as upscale with contemporary decor that looks like Starbucks and extensive drink menus to woo people into paying $18 for a plate of only half decent pasta and $5 for a strawberry margarita that has sugar instead of salt along the rim.

Vegetarian? Vegan? Special dietary restrictions? Ocean wise? Fair trade? Slow food? Screw you, you're not getting any of that out here.

Okay, I'm being bitchy, and admittedly, it is getting better out here. But you can't tell me that that steak you're eating is actually worth $24. And it irritates the hell out of me when I go for lunch with friends and they exclaim constantly about the food when you could go downtown and get something nicer for half the price. It's stupid, but people don't know any better.

I toyed with the idea a long time ago of starting a little restaurant with $6 or $7 plates of pasta that just does lunch. It would have a really limited menu, maybe five different sauces for your pasta, three that are always the same, two that you could switch up depending on what's in season and what you feel like cooking. The place would have salads too, and soup when it's cold out. Good coffee, of course.

The problem with this idea, of course is that I have no intention of ever wanting to own and manage a restaurant, and most importantly, I promised myself that I would never ever get into marketting. What the hell else do you do with a communications degree? I'll let you know when I get one.

It's almost time for lunch already.


I woke up early this morning with a nasty migraine, which is strange because I don't usually get them in the morning. There's codeine somewhere in the back of the cupboard for this sort of thing, but I couldn't find it in the dark and I'm not massochistic or stupid enough to turn on the lights. I sat in the darkened livingroom with my hands over my eyes until I eventually started feeling better and then I shuffled back to bed. I'm still a little upset about how much time that wasted, not that I could really help it.

The specifics are vague, but from what I've gathered, someone (I won't name names) allowed the subscription to the antivirus program on the desktop computer to lapse. Now apparently there is a virus on the computer that is not only preventing a new, working version of the program to be installed, but also blocking all access from that computer to websites related to antivirus programs. Fun, eh? I spent several hours today exhausting every brilliant idea I could come up with to fix it to no avail. I don't think it will be fixed any time soon. At least my computer works.

I managed to lose an hour while riding the bus today, and turned up late to a meeting about the sprinkler and alarm system for my building. Where exactly the time goes while I'm on the bus will forever remain a mystery to me.

Tonight I got sucked once again into a game of Scrabble with the parents, which isn't really a problem, except that my father nearly always wins and I am most often dfl in the rankings. This is naturally not a good thing for my ego, though I guess it's good for my brain.

Often to my parents' chagrin, we play by the rules that everything in the official Scrabble Dictionary is legal. The beauty of this system is that when I'm lost for words, I just rearrange my tiles until I come up with a combination that looks like it might possibly be a real word. More often than not, when I look it up, I'm surprised to find that it's actually there. If it's not, I just say it is and the game continues like normal. More often than not, nobody notices, because that particular dictionary has some of the stupidest, most bizarre and archaic spellings of words you will ever see.

I guess some would wonder why I bend the rules like that, especially since I rarely ever win the game. The answer is simple. It's so much more fun to lose with interesting words that everyone fights over than it is with boring words that everyone knows.

I hate to be beaten at my own game, though, and that is exactly what happened tonight. After a breif and unusual sojurn into the depths of the dictionary, my father came up with what I thought at the time was a stupid word: tootle. They don't get much stupider than that.

To add insult to injury, my mother left for some reason near the end of the game and my father and I took the liberty of disposing of her last tile, an R. We tried a few different places on the board before I finally put it where it would get her the most points.

tootler (n) one who tootles

Stupidest fucking word ever. And with that, she managed to beat me by two points. Again. The things I do for my mother.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The world is flat

I opened up my textbooks this morning with the intention of doing some prereading before school starts next week. No such luck. Today my brain is fried.

I went instead to the pub with Kathy but it was closed for repairs. No such luck there either. We went in search of textbooks and cheap food and alcohol, but mostly we just wasted our time. I'm glad that we get to ride the busses for "free".

We searched the entire bookstore for Andy so we could harass him with a huge list of books that we could probably easily find ourselves. No such luck. He was nowhere to be found, that is, until we arrived at the checkout. We picked him out of the line and bugged away. I was thrown off momentarily by the fact that his name tag said "Sam", but it was him alright.

Usually we would take Lauren with us on these forays, but she's still on vacation somewhere and to be honest, I was kind of glad that she wasn't there today. Sometimes I get tired of listening to her complain about how irritating her brother is, household chores, homework for her (oh my god) three courses and not having the right shoes for a particular outfit, especially since her problems all seem to transcend the incredible limits of mortal suffering.

I can only hear about so much pain and anguish before my head explodes.

Somehow or other, every minute detail of everything we talk about manages to make it back to Lauren's mother, who then tells Kathy's father. If he were to heaven forbid hear about all the lewd and uncatholic things we get up to at parties, I'm sure she would never hear the end of it.

Since Lauren wasn't there, it was the perfect time for Kathy to admit that she was really shocked at how I wasn't the least bit hungover when I woke up at her house on January 1st, considering how drunk I was the night before. Not that that is really a surprise, considering the fact that I'm descended from a long line of charlatans, horse theives and raving alcoholics. But I guess that people wouldn't know that.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The end is near

I was pretty whiney a year ago tomorrow:

I hope you all had a great holiday. Mine, well, ranked somewhere near the one that I spent all Christmas in the hospital with an infection that was at first misdiagnosed as sexual abuse, and then they overdosed me on penicillan. Ask me about that Christmas and this one later.

I am, currently, at what is to be my house in about five days. Moving from a four bedroom house with an attic into a basement suite with a garage has been difficult to say the least, especially since nothing inside is finished. What is supposed to be my room has nothing on the walls, no boards, no gyproc, and is also about a third of the size of the room that I am moving out of. In addition, I will be sharing it with my sister, which means that our beds will be about a foot apart, and I won't have any room to put a dresser in the room for my clothes. Oh well, it's not like I would use it anyway. At least I have a closet.

Until there are boards and paint on the walls in my room, and also my parent's room, we all get to sleep in the livingroom together. Fun.

At the moment, my wishlist includes a washroom where I could have a shower (there is a bathtub, but due to caulking problems, hair must be washed in the laundry sink). I would really love to have a kitchen sink, a dishwasher and some cabinets, but I suppose I could settle with kitchen counters. We don't appear to have any of those yet. Maybe we will get a stove soon. (My sister says no.)

That is currently the situation I am in. What can I say? My house as it is is reminicent of the third world, though admittedly it hasn't been struck by a tsunami. I do however have my computer, and a faster internet connection than I did before, so I guess it isn't all bad.

My commute to and from school will be an hour longer each way. That adds up to a whole four wasted hours per day. I'm going to buy a laptop so that maybe I could get some work done on the bus. Otherwise, ask me about the commute in a week.

From the middle of nowhere, I am Erin. Signing off.

I don't whine that much anymore. But though I am now able to shower normally and have kitchen counters, the stove is still out in the garage and it would be really nice if there were cupboards in the kitchen. In spite of the fact that our house is beginning to actually look like something that people live in, I move out on the 15th. Joy. I'm not taking my cat. Sadness.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Hello 2006

New Years didn't fully begin until a guy named Andrew the geologist showed up and introduced himself with a large cooler of assorted alcohol to share. I'm still not completely certain why he was there or who he knew, but he was cool so it was okay. As always, there was plenty of truly terrible karaeoke and spin the bottle, this time with substantially more guys playing than girls.

I have come to the realization that falling asleep on people is much nicer than just sleeping on the couch or the floor. Though when you fall asleep, that means that other people use your camera. When I check my camera, there seems to be an unusually high number of nipple shots there. I did not take them, and I don't know who did. There are plenty of other, nicer photos there and they can be found here at the moment.

My apologies to Adam for giving him a black eye. People keep wanting the story behind that and to be honest, it's not really worth telling.

At this time last year, I was filled with all sorts of optimism and aspirations, some outrageous, others completely realistic and unfortunately, none fully realized. Faced with the possibility of another year of commuting 3-4 hours per day in and out of an isolated shithole suburb again, I just can't bring myself to feel the same way this year. Who knows? Maybe by December I will be pleasantly surprised. If nothing else, I won't be disappointed.