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.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Fine print

IMG_4550_1Hello, you have reached my voicemail. I am temporarily out of my mind.

Please leave a message with your name and number and you will be entered in a free draw. Winners are chosen every second Tuesday and receive an all-expenses-paid phone call from myself about the subject that they specified in their message.

No purchase necessary. It is the winner's responsibility to answer their phone at the time that I call. Those who do not leave their phone number will be automatically disqualified because I am a dinosaur and do not have call display.

Winners are obligated to answer a skill-testing question. Previous skill-testing quesions include:

Use the word 'lorf' in a sentence.
Explain the difference between parameters and statistics.
How many letters are in the name of the capital of Albania?
Name the tune that I am humming.

Rules subject to change without notice.

Thank you and good luck.

Monday, November 13, 2006

A post in which I talk about knitting

IMG_4707_1A while ago I noticed that the Lewiscraft at Lougheed Mall was having a closing out sale and all their yarn was 70% off. I absolutely loved this blue yarn so I bought all the store had. I used it to make a ribbed touque and then, since I wanted to learn how to knit cables, I made a really big cabley scarf so I could wear them both this fall.

I just realized that I forgot to put any sort of picture or mention of them on here. That's probably because I don't feel like having this be just another one of the seemingly millions of knitting blogs out there. I also never figured that anyone other than the standard knitting crowd would want to read something like that.

It has just occurred to me that the top of that touque looks kind of like a pom pom and it is NOT! I knit it in a round circle with four double pointed needles like a big sock, only I decreased it to four stitches at the top (not like a sock) and made that into a tail, which I tied into a big knot to finish it partially because I was being lazy and partially because I made up the pattern to sort of be like a hat that I saw someone wear in class one day.

But anyways, it seems I've found the way to someone's heart even though I haven't actually done anything.

Speaking of knitting, I've been woking on a sweater for a while now, and I probably wouldn't have mentioned it at all, other than the fact that I saw someone on the bus this week wearing something very similar to it and I really liked it, which is a good sign. A lot of times I start working on a project like a sweater and by the time I get to the point where I have to start sewing all the pieces together, I'm tired of it or the colour is wrong or I've finally decided that I will never ever wear it.

But this one is cool, because the pattern came out of a magazine from 1979. I'm really starting to get into this retro thing. Actually, I was always into the retro thing in mind, if not in practice. I have a secret love of plaid shirts that I tend not to act upon.

I've been on the lookout for a decent tweed blazer for a while now and I haven't found anything to my liking. Nothing too exciting. It just has to be tweed and kind of fitted in some sort of size that will fit me. Elbow patches are fine.

Anyways, the sweater blazer has a pattern that looks like this only more blue:


And before anyone accuses me of being domestic, I'm pretty good with torches and nail guns too. The saddest thing about having my parents move is that they had to pack up the workshop so I haven't been able to cut any stones or do any silversmithing for almost two years, which is a pity. We bought a brand new oxy-acetelene torch a while ago and I haven't had the chance to try it out yet. It sounds fun.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

I'm an exceedingly thrifty individual

IMG_4507_1I had two blankets when I was little. One was a green and white patchwork calico quilt named Nanny, which was a gift from an obscure relative from the US who I'm not entirely sure if I'm actually related to. I seem to remember absolutely adoring that blanket, before it went into long term storage a long, long time ago.

But at one point in time I was so attached to that blanket. My daycare had a policy where they would keep peoples' blankets overnight to wash them so that they could hand them out to kids for nap time every day. They tried to do this with me but no way in hell was I going to let the bastards get away with keeping my precious blanket so my parents got me one of those blankets that Ikea used to sell and left it there. Its name was something that I could pronounce easily, but the spelling I'm unsure of. Ohurssplenkkhid, maybe. I'll just call it the blue blanket.

The blue blanket has had a permanent place on my bed ever since. And before people go all tounge in cheek on me, it's not because I'm particularly attached to it. I sleep just fine without it, especially since it's a permanent resident of my parents' house and I don't exactly live there anymore.

The reason why I still have it is more a matter of utility than anything. After 18 or so years of constant use, it still retains the majority of its properties as a blanket.

I have more than a bit of a Depression mentality, which has come from living in a situation where there wasn't enough money for new things. So, even though I could buy a lot of new things, if I can make the old things last a little longer, chances are I'll do it. Some people would call it stingy, but I think it's common sense.

I'd been meaning to do myself it for a long time, but I guess my mom heard me mention it. She took the blue blanket and ran it through the sewing machine to stop it from fraying around the edges so much. Now it looks like I'll be able to get an extra five years out of it, easily.

Sometimes I worry about myself.

Saturday, November 11, 2006


IMG_4660_1I had a dream last night that the fish tank really badly needed to be cleaned, but the fish had suddenly multiplied and there was more fish in the tank than water. If I used the siphon thingie to clean out the tank, I would surely suck up more than a couple of the miniscule fish babies and so I decided that I would strain them out and put them in a different tank.

I don't have fish anymore, so I'm not entirely sure why I dreamt that. I also know from experience that every time my fish had offspring, they ate them. Damn cannibals. As if we didn't feed them enough.

Today my photoshoppery turned out all bitmappey, my knitting turned out all basketweavey and my muffins turned out edible.

My paper writing turned out incomplete, not that I was meaning to really finish anything today.

I'm reading Encountering Development: The Making and Unmaking of the Third World, by Arturo Escobar for school. When I went to the library all copies of it were already out, but luckily they have it online as an ebook too. All I have to do is log in through my school account and then I can read.

Sounds cool, eh? Sure, except for the fact that it has told me that it is in the process of loading page 7 for about three hours now. No problem. You just restart and refresh the thing, which puts you right back at the cover page, from which you can flip through the pages one-by-one until you get back to where it froze.

You can't copy and paste if you want to quote from the thing. You can only print out pages and then type them up, but there's a limit as to how many pages you are allowed to print because of copyright law. I guess you could just have more than one window open and type from there, but there's no guarantee that the text size will be big enough at that point for you to be able to read it.

It brings me unlimited joy.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Lonely as the sound of lying on the ground of an airplane going down

IMG_4515_1If there's one thing you can say about normal, it's that it is stable.

It's taken me almost a week to get back to this way. As late as last weekend I was feeling really good but as of this week my head feels like a waterlogged sponge, saturated with absolutely nothing and things just don't compute. At least it's nothing I'm not used to.

I'm not entirely sure what it is, but it's something to do with the gutters and the rain outside but there's a noise that I hear about every two to three seconds that sounds a lot like the your program just performed an illegal error sound. A cross between Windows and Macintosh.

Tomorrow I'll have something worthwhile to say. Until then, I sleep.

It's best to be asleep when you're not accomplishing anything meaningful awake. One time I woke up in the school cafeteria to the realization that I had been boring a hole through Yuting's left shoulder with my open eyes for about twenty minutes. "What the hell are you looking at?" someone asked and I honestly couldn't say.

I look at something and my eyes unfocus and suddenly I'm looking beyond it and only seeing a distant blur. I could spend hours sitting like that. I came across a blog the other day where they refered to it as the hundred-yard stare. Whatever it is, I've got it down to an art. I don't suppose that's a good thing.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

It's like riding a unicycle over a dental floss tight rope over a wilderness of razor blades

gogglesI emailed my prof over the weekend about a paper I was writing. I had picked a topic but I was having trouble relating it directly to the course content, even though in my mind I could see how the two were sort of related.

He made my day on Tuesday when he sent me a list of authors and theories that I should use. That is, until I started actually researching and found out that nothing even remotely similar to my topic has ever really been done, at least not that I can find. You go into your first year of university wanting to distinguish yourself and go where no one has ever gone before, creating new theories and crap and getting those A+ grades that are reserved for the exceptional few by being creative and stomping on virgin ground and then when the time comes to write papers and things, you can't find any possible way to say things that haven't already been said.

Multiple times.

And so you lower your standards and go for those A- grades because that's respectable too and you don't actually have to come up with anything new, and life is good. Besides, groundbreaking theses are for grad school.

And now you find yourself stuck in a position where your prof is quite enthusiastic about your topic and has obviously taken a decent amount of time to try and help you out, and this is the third class you've taken with him so he kind of knows you and you lack the imagination to come up with a different topic in the next five days. I would be very grateful for more time and a hundred more pages.

So, what to do? Ignore the stack of books you brought home from the library, of course. For the first time in weeks, the television turned on and I sat there through Survivor and Deal or No Deal, eating potato chips and knitting. I never do this. Ever. I feel like such a slob.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Public relations

roof of maggie bensonIt's when they turn the camera at you and put you on the spot with something random like "was the senator bribed to change his mind about stem cell research?"

And then you say something like "The senator accepts donations from the public to finance his campaign like every other politician does. He has changed his mind about stem cell research due to the overwhelming scientific evidence released during the past two years that suggests that stem cells could provide a real human benefit."

"Do you think this looks bad?"

"No, not at all. He has researched the issue and has formed an informed opinion that further research could provide a real human benefit."

And meanwhile you're thinking why the hell is my knee shaking if you flub a line step out of the frame and ask to say it again I need to fix my hair fuck I just repeated the word 'bribe'.

I never used to be like this...

Guy sitting right beside me in class today:

Don't even think about it until you stop being absolutely utterly repulsive,
aka: stop drumming your hands on the table and cracking your knuckles
and I don't care if your name's spelled with a G or a J because I'm trying to listen to the prof.



Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Showering 8:15

And there was only a sliver of soap left and Erin said "Lo! There is only a sliver of soap left!" And she divided the sliver into two slivers of soap so there would be two slivers of soap instead of one.

And then Erin said unto herself "Lo! I have created two pieces of soap from one. I shall bathe and be clean." And it was good.

And Erin turned off the water and squeezed out her hair. And Erin took hold of the shower curtain with the tips of her fingers and pulled gently.

And the curtain rod fell upon Erin's head.

And Erin stood there.

And Erin laughed.

And Erin made up her hands into fists and beat them upon her breast and roared.

Monday, November 06, 2006

it's the standard deviation of the parent population I said in consternation to the man standing at the station in degradation waiting for the train

I find stats is filled with little epiphanies. I sit and stare at the page until all of a sudden I realize that if x-bar is the mean of something then maybe y-bar is also a mean of something, like maybe the mean of y or something.

My life is exciting.

My sister took a picture of the Threadless shirt that we got her for her birthday. It's so cute it almost makes me sick.

Another Christmas project for me: I'm going to photoshop some of the stranger things in my sketchbook and see how they fare there. I haven't got much to lose.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Beyond Words

IMG_468311_1My prof had suggested it to me, and then I had forgotten all about it until Alison called. "We should go see this documentary that's screening downtown," she said, and asked me if it was alright if she brought a friend along. "I don't know if you've met..." she started.

"Blonde and training to be in the RCMP," I replied, to her surprise. Apparently the other friend did pretty much the same thing to her when she mentioned my name, only she said something to the tune of "she was at your birthday. We ate Thai."

I arrived a little early to find that seating was already quite limited. My friends arrived during the very beginning of the show, so there wasn't exactly time or room for them to sit anywhere near me.

The film? It was called Beyond Words: Photographers of War and I would definitely recommend it.

The idea behind it was that there are so many famous images that come to mind whenever we think of certain conflicts, and yet most of us have never had the chance to see the people behind the cameras and hear their stories.

Some questions that the photographers wrestled with in the film were how to draw the line between making art and depicting human misery, how to decide whether an image was fit for print or too graphic, or whether or not their work actually made a difference. Each person had a different answer to each.

While on the one hand, photographers are always looking for good pictures, ones that are visually arresting, descriptive and suitable for publication, the point of the game is to evoke compassion and empathy, not have the reader say "wow, nice shot". One of the photographers showed a picture that he had taken of a soldier propped up by two comrades, his arms spread out, across their shoulders. Both his legs had been wounded and his head lolled to the side. "It's the classic crucifixion," he said, "but you have to be very conscious and not frame it as such."

Another complained about how the medium of photography makes it difficult to show what's actually going on. He had been in stationed somewhere in former Yugoslavia, photographing a near-constant stream of refugees, and was frustrated that while the situation he was in was chaotic all his photos were composed and orderly.

The film drew a parallel between two people with similar stories about pictures of people kicking severed heads. One decided that that was not fit for print, and the other decided that it was something that the public absolutely had to see. And yet each was extremely well respected, each a professional with tons of experience.

The general consensus for the last question was that war photography doesn't really make a huge difference. There is no picture to end all wars, and repeated images of human pain and suffering don't seem to be able to motivate people to act against it. And yet there was a bit of hope there, a little bit of idealism and a belief that over time, what they were doing could help, and the knowledge that things that have not been observed and recorded never really existed in the first place.

It's strange how some images gain new meaning when you hear the story behind them. The one that comes to mind was a series of pictures of a little girl in a Bagdhad hospital. Visually, they weren't all that good, as the photographer had taken them as quickly as he could, without thought of composition. What made them powerful was the fact that this hardened professional was brought to tears describing how he watched her die.

A part of the film was dedicated to a criticism of today's lowest-common-denominator infotainment journalism, and the fact that there really aren't very many places for war photographers to sell their photos to anymore. The profession appears on the decline, and may possibly be dying out. Journalism is becoming increasingly patronizing, commercially oriented and in spite of all the hope and glamour of the internet as a 'democratic' medium, I don't see it changing much. Those in charge seem to think that we should be spoonfed.

The only other question that I would have wanted answered was whether or not the presence of the photographer affects events and peoples' actions. In the discussion after the film, filmmaker Greg Kelly said that though the question was asked in interviews, no one was really prepared to answer it.

Some of the images were graphic and apparently too graphic for the film to be shown on anything other than CBC Newsworld, and I think that is a shame. It's well worth a watch.

Saturday, November 04, 2006


IMG_4662_1One of my friends participates in NaNoWriMo religiously every year. Every November her blog becomes 4-6 posts per day of something to the tune of "I wrote another 50 words this morning!!!!!!!!" or "what should I name this character?" and I have to limit my visits to once per week to avoid being completely irritated.

Sadly, I lack the ambition and the time to write a 50,000 word novel in one month, but it turns out that there is something out there for me after all: NaBloPoMo. The rules are simple: post once a day or die. Then when you're tired of posting, click on the randomizer and comment nicely on people's blogs.

I must say, I'm pretty impressed with a lot of the blogs I've come across. They kind of put mine to shame. I'm also pretty impressed at the number of people who have stumbled across this blog as a result of it. So, hello, if that's why you're here.

I showed up for practice this morning only to find that my guys weren't there. It just so happened that the novice women needed an extra person in their eight, so I decided to help them out.

There was a time when I would have been incensed by even the thought of going out in a novice boat. For lack of a better description, it feels crappy to be in one of those boats. The balance is all over the place, you get splashed a lot, the rythm is rushed and chances are you'll smash your knuckles open and make a mess of your shirt. But nowadays I'm a little more forgiving.

Sure, it wasn't a good row by any stretch of the imagination, but everyone in that boat seemed to have a pretty good attitude and they were at least trying. I can appreciate that. Still, I'm becoming rather fond of my men.

Since then, all I've done today is stats. Exciting, I know.

Friday, November 03, 2006


IMG_4661_1Right now I'm really liking the illustration of Silja Goetz. Kinda collagey and vectorey and random.

Winter break project for me: I'm going to cover my fridge with moognets. I've been thinking of decorating somehow anyways. The walls in here are that sort of creamy off-white that screams out "rental property!" at the top of its lungs.

What it really needs is a new coat of paint, something really bold, like a maroon or a rich red or golden orange or something. My room at my parent's house is a rich green that I like, especially coupled with navy blue and stained wood, like it is.

The problem with these things is that I tend to get bored or lose interest fairly quickly. My tastes change, as does my sense of style, though I think that might be levelling off, finally.

I both love and hate makeover/renovation shows. The idea that you can just radically change your surroundings has always appealed to me, because I've felt pretty pidgeonholed all my life. And yet, in some of these shows I wonder whether the end product is more designed to fit peoples' personalities or the individual vision of the designer. Certainly it's usually better than what was there before.

The thing that bothers me is knicknacks, art and mementos, though. Some designers insist upon going out and purchasing these things, and filling up brand new bookshelves and cabinets with them. I look at these things and think they're nice, but I wonder what the point is. Any sort of art in your home that you didn't pick out yourself and don't have any sort of aesthetic or sentimental connection to is a lot like those bland pieces of crap that they hang on the walls of hotel rooms. It's just there.

And yet, I still watch them. I don't much understand it.

Amateur trepanning


I haven't actually finished a drawing lately, but it feels good to be doing it anyways. I've been starting things, which is far more than I've done in the past few years.

I have two good friends and a couple of random strangers to thank for rearranging my head early-mid last month, and since then I haven't been able to get over how good I've been feeling lately.

Beyond that, nothing I've typed within the past half-hour has made any coherent sense. I really have to go to bed.


Thursday, November 02, 2006

A post in which I list a lot of only semi-related things


I'm listening to Surfer Rosa for the first time in years, and I'm quite convinced that the Pixies were the only good things to come out of the 80s. I mean:

bad hair
ugly clothing
bad music (I mean, even Queen and Pink Floyd sucked in the 80s)
Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, Brian Mulroney
3rd world debt crisis
Tianamen Square
Microsoft Windows
bloody US-supported coups in Nicaragua, Angola, Cambodia, Afghanistan etc. etc. etc.
late 1980s recession
Jane Fonda
shoulder pads
Beta losing to VHS
John Lennon assasinated

Not to mention, if Wayne Gretzky hadn't been so successful playing hockey in the 80s and forsaking us to play on American teams, we wouldn't have to listen to him tell us on the tv that we should buy jeans, wallpaper, pillow cases, cereal, chocolate bars, action figures
hockey sticks
Ford trucks
Esso gas
Big Macs
Campbell's soup
Primestar TV
Nike clothes
Hallmark Cards
CIBC banking services
Zurich Insurance
the Olympics

Besides, I still think Bobby Orr was a better player. The only reason the stats don't show it was because the rules were different and the seasons were shorter. Does The Great One have a number that rhymes with his name? Quod erat demonstratem.

Rocket Richard was pretty cool too.

Okay, I'll make exceptions for Ghostbusters and Back to the Future and M*A*S*H.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


IMG_4659_1This is where I say something intelligent and you applaud.

This is where I leave you hanging on my every word. This is where I say the things that keep everyone coming back for more.

Where I say all the things that I know are undeniably true. Not many things are undeniably true, but there are a few things that are, namely:

Godleb Gutjahr is a horse thief and should be shot on site.
Things fall in a generally downward direction.
The cord on my coffee grinder is too short.
Some people are stupid and wrong, but you can't let that get to you or else you'll be angry all your life.

This is where I say that the above are the only things that are true, and the rest of everything in the world is contested.

This is where I stop stuttering in public, stop putting people to sleep with the monotony of my voice.

This is where I say something that makes this post worth reading.


I got nothing.


This is where you comment kindly.