Sunday, December 31, 2006

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Parents' anniversary


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

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

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

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

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

Year in review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, December 28, 2006


VanDusen Gardens

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Three things I learned today

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

My faves

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

antique santa

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


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

christmas potato

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

Monday, December 25, 2006

The haul

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

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

Oh, and the piece de resistance:

the best gift I got for christmas this year

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

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

Sunday, December 24, 2006


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Saturday, December 23, 2006

How to peel a potato

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

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

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

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

Friday, December 22, 2006



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


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


Thursday, December 21, 2006

You're sure you haven't been drinking?

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

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

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

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

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

A field guide to your boyfriend.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

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

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

Monday, December 18, 2006

Hug me!

give princesspotato more *HUGS*

Get hugs of your own

You know you want to.

Not biting

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

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

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

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

"Acoustic," I replied.

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

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

"Do you write songs?"


"You play other peoples' songs?"

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

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

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

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

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Posse is an irregular verb

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

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

The way the ox ploughs...

Sure, why not?

Isn't that kind of unorthodox?

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

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

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

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

True, that.

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

mater! liberos ceteros intellegere non possum!


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

You'd make a cruel mother.

That's where we agree.

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

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Internet, you have failed me

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, December 15, 2006

Let there be light

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It's late and I'm hungry

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

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

With avocadoes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rise up. Rebel.

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

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Today was an on day

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

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

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

smells like learning

Smells like learning.

blue sax

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

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

I have off days and on days.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


I'm drawing a map to oblivion.

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

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Super Hero Name: Erin

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

necessary funds
cheering squad

tests of logic
understanding bus schedules
impeccable taste in music

fabric softener
job interviews
relentless idealism

Signature Move:
folding kleenex into little squares

most likely blue

fuck, I don't know


Monday, December 11, 2006

Sounds like a disease

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

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

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

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

Or maybe I'll just get off the bus.

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

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

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

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

Lots of potential.

Almost gives me hope.

Ukuleles, so many ukuleles

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

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

Now we've done it.

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

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Shopping for mom

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, December 08, 2006

A confession

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

I have a slight confession to make.

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

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

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Poor excuse for a post

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Seems I'm getting neurotic in my old age.

Montreal -40°

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

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Yes, doctor, but what does it all mean?

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

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

im in ur land 3tin yr smrbrødz

And then I woke up.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

This is about as exciting as my life gets

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why did I not go then? Beats me.

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

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

Monday, December 04, 2006


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

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

I have had an altogether unsatisfying meal.

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, December 03, 2006

There will be a breif hiatus

Damn straight.

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

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Foreign film festival series, my place, time tbd

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Got to work on my public speaking skills.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Snow is fun

sitting duck

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

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