Friday, June 30, 2006

Two days for the price of one

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So, where have I been?

Well, obviously I've been to the library, where I took these pictures.

I've been to work a few times. Today absolutely no one was in, except for two guys named Claudio. People kept phoning in with complaints about the government and I'd transfer them over to the two guys only to have the people phone back angry that they had gotten some sort of voicemail message. I couldn't figure out why. Then I realized that Italy was playing. Jesus Christ.

Last night I went for dinner with my mother to the Water Street Cafe, which happens to be my favourite eatery at the moment. As always I had the fish of the day, which yesterday was a baked halibut fillet marinated in a ginger chive sauce with rice, vegetables and a shrimp and pear salsa. It was absolutely delicious, though it could have used a little more salsa.

Tonight my dad decided we had to go to Ikea for some reason. I had an Ikea dinner.

You know those lawn decorations at Ikea that kind of look like terra cotta dildos? My mom's amusement at having some of those in her garden has reached a full-blown obsession. She bought five more today. She calls them Smedvik. I don't know why.

The hundred dollars was from a focus group that I was part of about my driving habits. I do that sort of stuff sometimes.

Right now I'm sitting on the roof of my apartment with cheese and crackers and beer. The beer is so black that no light can pass through. Looks like swampwater. The best kind in my opinion, though to be honest, I'd rather have a nice merlot right now.

Meh.

Can not be completed as dialled


I'm really busy. Please accept this hundred dollars in lieu of an actual post. Or I accepted it. Whatever.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Erin always bites off more than she can chew

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I have interesting things to talk about but I'm busy right now. I have a paper due on Friday, an application for a new job due tomorrow at noon and a whole whack of meetings and crap that I have to do all tomorrow afternoon, evening and night. My drivers licence expires July 5, but Friday night is the only time I have time to go and renew it.

People keep asking me about the magazine and student union and crap and my question is since when have I been the leader of all this stuff? I guess since now. Everyone must grovel at my feet now. Right now.

Today some guy phoned me to ask a question in some techie language that I didn't understand at all so I just transfered him to someone else in my phone directory at random. That person just happened to be female and the wrong person, so she transfered him back to me. I took his name and number and a message in the vain hope that maybe he would actually explain what he was asking in some way that I would understand but he didn't.

I phoned him back later and then transfered him to another woman to talk to, but stayed on the line to listen in to their conversation a bit. I'm not sure if I'm supposed to do that. From what I could gather, he was really stoned and he thought that all three of us were the same person, and that I just kept putting him on hold and then transfering him back to myself.

So yeah, I'm busy.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The five question game

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1. What are you studying, and why have you chosen to study that? (If you would like to also answer that favorite question of older relatives, 'And what do you plan to do with that?, feel free, but that part's optional).

Right now I'm studying communications with a minor in sociology and resource and environmental management. I decided upon communications originally because my parents wanted me to get into broadcast journalism, but now I find that cmns gives me the chance to take a lot of completely different courses (ie. political economics, sociology, computing science, film history, regulatory law, labour studies, marxist studies) that are all considered "communication". I figure that if I wasn't a cmns student, I would be stuck taking general arts because I wouldn't be able to decide upon one thing.

As for what I'm going to do with it... That's the million dollar question. Most of my colleagues are going into marketing, but I have neither the personality nor the desire to do that. Right now I'm seriously considering a master's degree in urban studies. Next year 3.5 billion people will live in cities and that number will likely double by something like 2012. I figure a degree like that could come in handy.

2. You have access to a box of magic pills, each of which bestows a different superpower on whomever takes it. You may only choose one pill. Which superpower pill will you choose, and what will you do with your newfound ability?

There’s the old standby talking to animals which are probably a tad more intelligent than everyone thinks, but only if I get to choose the animal. There are some things that I just wouldn’t want to talk to like the ants eating the dead clam in the middle of the train station parking lot this morning. Their conversation would go something like “Oooh, it’s dead and it smells! Let’s take it to the queen!” and I don’t need to hear that. Party tricks like belching fire or some other form of pyrotechnics would be cool. I could burn myself alive and then rise up again like a phoenix and rent myself out to protest groups worldwide. I could travel, support good causes and maybe even get paid to do it. I guess I could get the ability to blend in with my surroundings and be invisible or something, but I’m already good at that, so I’d have to choose teleporting. I could see a lot of the world that way and I could sleep in a little more and still get to work on time. Entirely selfish reasons, I know.

3. You can spend tomorrow anywhere that you'd like, doing anything that you'd like. Where will you be, and what will you do? Feel free to set details, such as the weather, however you'd like them.

Hmm... Though I'd like to save the world, I seem to remember promising a certain someone that I'd go see a Kaizers Orchestra concert with him. That being said, I'd have to go to Norway, somewhere. Since I'd only be there for a day, I'm alright with skipping the fjords, because I live in British Columbia and we have twice as many of them as Norway does. I might have to drag him to a museum or two though, because I'm a geek and I like that sort of stuff. I heard that The Scream went missing again. Did they ever get it back?

4. You are given the chance to time-travel, 1000 years into the past, or 1000 years into the future. Which time would you choose, and what would be the first thing you'd want to do once you get there (after dealing with the practicalities, such as finding yourself time-appropriate clothing)?

While I would hope that everyone had sorted out their differences and the problems with the world by a thousand years in the future, I'm quite tempted to believe that we won't, and that the world won't be a very nice place to visit by then.

The question is whether or not something interesting happened in 1006. Luckily something did. The largest and brightest supernova ever recorded happened between April 30 and December of that year, so I think I'd hang around to see that. Supposedly for the first three months it was bright enough to be seen by day and allow people read manuscripts by night, and it was seen by people all over Europe, Asia and possibly North America.

5. You have been given the ability to create a completely new food. Please describe that food in any way you can think of…type of food, food group, taste, texture, anything else that comes to mind.

I think that as far as food is concerned, I'm pretty happy with the variety that is out there. I'd want to try pretty much everything before I started creating completely new foods, just to be sure that they are new. That being said, if I had free reign in the food department, whatever I created would certainly be crunchy, though not so much as to break your teeth, and would neither be sweet nor sour. It would be the kind of thing that makes your house smell really nice. Other than that, I'm really not sure. I'm always creating new things in the kitchen. It's fun to mix weird things together to see what I get. I mixed apples, avocadoes and curry together once and it was surprisingly good. Who would have known? :)

This round of questions courtesy of Kimananda. The fine print:

1. If you want to participate, leave a comment below saying “interview me.”
2. I will respond by asking you five questions - each person’s will be different.
3. You will update your journal/blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview others in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Error does not compute

In response to Kimananda's question, the statue of the nurse in my previous post is on a highrise office building at the corner of Hornby and West Georgia in downtown Vancouver, kiddie corner to the Vancouver Art Gallery.

There are four statues, one on each corner of the building. Seems to me that they used to be on a separate building in the downtown core that was owned/used somehow by nurses. The building changed hands and eventually whoever owned the property decided to demolish it.

Enough people organized and lobbied against the destruction of the four nurses that the city council at the time declared that they were important to the heritage and appearance of the city, and that they must be incorporated into the design of the new building.

That's exactly what the architect did, and now instead of being placed at the level of the top floor, they are considerably lower down, making them a lot easier to see (and easier for me to take pictures of without a telephoto lens).

Anyways, I think that that's what the story is...

That particular nurse is right beside Christ Church Cathedral, which I think I might just go in and photograph tomorrow, if they'll let me. I'm not religious, but I know that last year they renovated the interior to reveal some rather ornate woodwork that had been covered up, so I figure it would be worth a visit.

At the beginning of the summer, my mother was having the hardest time trying to hire some students to lead architectural walking tours because nepotism is frowned upon in our society, especially when it comes to government grant money.

But seriously, if it has anything to do with local art, architecture, history, geography or geology, I might actually know, and I love to talk...

She asked me a couple of other questions too, but I'll have to get to them tomorrow.

I had one of those days today when I woke up at 5:50 and went back to bed only to wake up at 7:37. Nota bene: the train I usually catch leaves at 7:15. I threw on some clothes and ran as fast as I could to catch the 7:45 train and phoned in to work.

Usually when people are going to be late/sick, they phone me. I decided that it would be stupid to call me, so I phoned and left a message for someone else, who just happened to be away today. No one noticed that I wasn't there until it became a problem at 8:20 this morning. Luckily not a big problem, at least not for me.

For the rest of the day, things just didn't compute. I went to the drugstore to buy something, only to realize that I didn't have my debit card, or any kind of plastic, for that matter. My thought process was as follows:

Where is my debit card? It's in my wallet.
Where is my wallet? In my purse.
Where is my purse? Not with me.
Define not with me. At home.

I went to the library instead and found a couple of books that I wanted. Then I realized that I didn't have my library card.

Where is my library card? It's in my wallet...

I went back to my desk, only to find that one of the programs that I needed to use on my computer wasn't working. I phoned a computer tech, who took remote conrol over my computer and screwed around with it for fourty minutes while I watched windows open and close and the mouse fly around my screen.

Then I went home.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Twinning the Port Mann

nurseMy sister was telling me the other day that she had been sitting on the bus when some slob of a guy picked up a discarded copy of the Metro with a picture of David Suzuki, and proceeded to tell no one in particular that Suzuki was a genius because he said that the argon in the air that we breathe was the same stuff that Jesus breathed.

Which of course wasn't the reason why he was in the paper. He's come out to publicly oppose the twinning of the Port Mann bridge as part of the Gateway Project. I agree with him, personally. I can't think of any time or place where building an extra road or bridge has ever solved a traffic problem, just as building an extra smokestack on a factory has never ever encouraged it to pollute less.

This isn't the first time this has been debated in Vancouver. Seems to me that at one point in time during the 70s developers wanted to build some huge roads in and out of the city but some people with foresight decided against it. The result is that it is such a hassle to drive downtown that many people take public transit and there are some really vibrant communities like Commercial Drive which could probably do without cars altogether.

The current debate is more about politics and rivalries between cities in the Greater Vancouver Regional District than it is about what is actually good for people. It's sad that so many things are.

The guy though, obviously wasn't listening during chem class in school. Argon happens to be a noble gas, that means that it's inert, as in it floats around all day doing absolutely nothing, as it has for billions of years. There are many people that I have met who would also fit that description.

I have to clean out my fridge but I think I'll do it tomorrow. I've already cleaned my bathroom and vacuumed practically everything and I wouldn't want anyone to think that I'm not a slob.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Friday, June 23, 2006

Sleep deprivation



The other night I got a phone call just as I was brushing my teeth and getting ready to go to bed. It happened to be Jessica and her boyfriend who invited themselves in, in spite of the fact that I greeted them at the door with a toothbrush in hand and a mouth full of toothpaste.

When it became clear that they were going to be there for a while, I swallowed said toothpaste to be able to form complete recognizeable sentences. It gives me shivers to think about it, but at the time I had unbelievably fresh breath.

They agreed that I have the coolest apartment ever. He liked my spice rack and my collection of knives. I only cook with the best, though there's really only one or two that I use. I saw a guy on the Food Network once who worked wonders with a cleaver and that's what I've been aspiring to ever since. They're far more versatile than you'd think.

They also liked my Bedard prints, which I found under my bed one day. It is amazing how one can say so much with so few ducks.

All in all, they kept me up about an hour and a half past my bedtime and strangely enough, it didn't affect me at all that much the next day. I think it's just starting to catch up to me now.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

I'm psychic

sallyGovernment security check fingerprinting turned out to be the most exciting part of my day. They have this huge machine that looks like it came out of CSI with a red light and plates of glass for you to stick your fingers on. They squish them all over the glass and then the prints show up magnified to epic proportions on a huge monitor, while you wait to see if the computer is satisfied with the results.

The lady mentioned that the machine would have problems with me because I have the smallest fingers she'd ever seen on an adult, but it didn't seem to matter much. Besides, there are advantages to having small hands.

We discovered that all of my fingers and thumbs are loops, except for my right index finger, which is an arch and my right thumb, which is a whorl. But that was no surprise. Nonconformist bastards.

We finished the whole ordeal by agreeing that my eyes are grey and then arguing abut my weight. In the end, she took fifteen pounds off the weight that I gave her and put that into the computer. So be warned: there's a girl out there exactly like me who weighs 15 lbs more and likes to rob banks. She's not me. Clear? Then we must proceed.

Except I can't remember what else I was going to say.

Maybe something like how I have this coworker who came from Ottawa and she's constantly complaining about how she likes it better back there (which is stupid because Ontario has very few redeeming qualities) so in my head I thought, "well if you like it so much then why don't you marry it, eh?" and then she announced that next weekend she's going there and she's going to stay at the Marriott, further proving that I'm psychic.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Doesn't make sense to me either

IMG_3232_1I have to go upgrade my security clearance with the government tomorrow and I thought that maybe later I could take a picture of my blue fingers to show off, but I'm told that the government does all this stuff really high tech now and they use cool machines to take your fingerprints instead. You can rest assured that by noon tomorrow my fingerprints and picture will be safely secured in some data file vault thingie in Ottawa.

Someone ordered some new furnature for the office and it arrived today, not a moment too soon. One of my coworkers decided that he would use the top of the bookshelves across from the photocopier to staple some things together and somehow or other that made the entire thing collapse completely. It was time for a new one.

For my women's studies course I have to interview an inspiring woman and I'm at a bit of a loss at the moment. I have a week and a half, but still, it would be nice to do it sometime before the day it's due. A friend of mine who took the course interviewed her grandmother, but I won't. My grandmother is one of the least inspiring people I know.IMG_3236_1

She grew up on a farm, failed social studies 10 three times, dropped out of high school, became a nurse and did some really nasty things to mental patients. In spite of being a nurse, she used hemorrhoid medication as birth control and as a result got stuck with both my mother and an abusive sonofabitch for a husband. Now she just sits in a hospital bed all day, complains about everything in the world and tells weird stories about how she bit my cousin's ear off.

To think that my amazing, wonderful mother is literally the product of a misplaced anal suppository. There are things in this world that even I can't fathom.

And then once in a while I get a crazy half-baked idea like interviewing, say Christine because she writes stories and plays about issues that no one seems to want to talk about but should. And, I might add, she doesn't get quite enough kudos as she deserves for doing so. I mean, she's so cool she's even got a Toyota model and a Starbucks blend named after her. Her blog's a good read too, or at least I think so.

Mostly it's just time for me to go to bed.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Band

MarieAnd just about the time when I think I have absolutely nothing to say, I hear a band setting up outside. Thinking that I might possibly know the culprits, I go to investigate, only to have my worst fears confirmed.

Well, not worst by any means. It was a band made up of members of my old high school jazz band, including my favourite band teacher, Gord Hembruff and his black saxophone.

The cool thing about the music program at Moody Secondary is that pretty much anyone can walk in off the street and join, if they are willing to practice and show up regularly, and students benefit from the experience of older, better players from the community. It's been a launch pad for a lot of local talent over the years.

They played for about an hour and amassed quite the crowd, considering the whole event was pretty impromptu. Maybe they'll be back next week, maybe not. If they are, I'll be sure to take better pictures.

Keep an eye on the girl you see to the right. Her name is Marie Kim and as well as having loads of talent, she is one of the most cheerful and pleasant people you will meet. The only thing she really has to work on is having a good supply of jokes to tell while the band is having one of those moments where they are a lot less organized than she is. Other than that, she's awesome.

I miss band. I think maybe tomorrow I'll walk down to Long and McQuade to get some reeds and cork grease, the kind that I sometimes mistake for chapstick. I'm sure my sax needs it.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Magpies

IMG_3231_1So the Hawaii beach themed open house was wildly successful. Who would have guessed? Some people from other departments even dressed up for the occasion, and the pile of food there was massive, prompting some people to cross themselves and say grace in front of it. They're so starved for social events there that it's starting to scare me. Civil servants need to have fun too sometimes.

Had a nice walk down towards Coal Harbour with my camera today. I usually try to get about 8-10 km of walking in every lunchbreak because I figure it won't hurt me and it's the best way to explore the downtown core anyways. I discovered a nice little park that somehow or other I managed to not take any pictures of, which gives me an excuse to go back tomorrow.

Today, as always, I was drawn towards the reflections in glass windows. Tomorrow it'll probably be signs painted on brick, because I like that too.

Over the past couple of weeks I've felt myself becoming less and less enamoured with my music, all genres and I'm not sure what's wrong with me. These days I just listen for the noise, but mostly I don't listen to anything, and I think that's sad. Maybe I just need something new.

Tomorrow I go back to killing time writing letters to people that I don't intend to send in a little blue book until I'm granted the time to wander disinterested among people on Robsonstrasse who look like fashion plates.

As per request, I've put my alligator to rest. That rhymes.

I wish I had something interesting to say.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

You can't be jammin without Bob Marley

IMG_3212_1Yet another trip out to see my grandmother and another chance encounter with my aunt, who brought the piece of shag carpet with her that she calls a dog.

Grandma's insurance claim is finally going to court in September. In 1999 she had been in the passenger's seat of my uncle's car when they drove into an unmarked hole in a logging road. She broke her back and hasn't been able to walk since. She hadn't exactly walked much before (her enormous size will attest to that), but before the accident she had been able to get herself out of bed and on and off the toilet.

Up until now, ICBC had been quite reluctant to settle anything, presumably because my grandmother was in her mid 80's at the time of the accident and they figured that she would die and remove them of their responsiblility. But oddly enough, she's not dead yet, and they're getting tired of waiting.

She rubs her shaky hands together with glee at the thought of getting a cheque for fifty thousand. "We'll take it and divide it all up and you can all have some," she says.

IMG_3213_1"No, mom," Aunt Gay replies, "that's your money and you need it. And," she adds, "I hope you get more than that. It costs fifty-five dollars a day for you to stay here."

"Fifty-five dollars," she whistles, "good gall."

Conversation inevitably turns towards the selling of government assets to private companies, the price of base metals, the outsourcing of labour to China, Mexico and such. Construction for the Olympics is running far overbudget, and there's a labour shortage in spite of the fact that they're importing workers to pay them $5 per hour to do jobs that Canadians would do for 30. It looks like within 10 years or so it will be too expensive for me to live here in my home city, so if anyone has another country that I can crash in for a couple of years I'd love to hear from them.

Conversation is punctuated by Grandma's seemingly asyndetic remarks, such as "oh, there are horses," and "look, the chinaman is so frightened, he's just fallen overboard!" Maybe ICBC should wait just a little longer...

But that is an absolutely terrible thought.

A trip to a local farm has filled my fridge with some of the most perfect looking strawberries I've seen in years. If I had some pectin and some jars they would be jam by now. Maybe tomorrow. I'll have to go find my Bob Marley cd's to mark the occasion.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Hello Air Canada

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It's when I start answering the phones "Hello, Air Canada," that you've got to wonder exactly how much sleep I got the night before, especially when I neither work for nor have I ever worked for Air Canada. Sometimes when I'm tired these things just come out. If it isn't Air Canada it's just hello, and that isn't any better.

After screwing up enough times, I picked up the phone to answer a call but couldn't remember what I was supposed to say so I just sat there. I figured that it would be better for me to wait and say the right thing than it would be to say the wrong thing again and keep backtracking.

After about ten seconds of sitting there with the phone to my ear I selected the correct greeting and thankfully it was one of the managers from the office who was at the other end of the line. She needed me to find her a parking spot in the parkade within ten minutes, because I do those sorts of things.

When they reorganized the department they decided that instead of having a couple of people in each division handling things like continuing education, travel claims, borrowing equipment, buying supplies and such, they would centralize that stuff in one office on one floor. They centralized pretty much everything except for the parking spot bookings.

Consequently, I have one parking spot that I can give out to the first person who asks for it. The manager that called me was not the first person and unfortunately no one has ever thought to put together a list of all the other people who have parking stalls to lend out so I had no idea who to call. By fluke I found one and called her back with the number.

She was pleased and bought me a coffee. I needed it badly.

On Monday we are having an open house with some sort of beach theme and one woman brought in some 50's music today and began dancing around with one of those snakes you get from Ikea. It would have been really funny if I hadn't been having so much trouble answering my own phone.

Come Monday though, my desk is going to be the best decorated by far. Until then I'm going to take care of my headache.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Please state your emergency

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“Hi, who am I speaking to?”
“This is Erin.”
“Hi Erin, I’m trying to send a fax to Norway and it’s not going through. What do I do?”

I'm not completely sure why of all the hundreds of people in the building they decided to ask me that. All I know is the country code and that you have to dial 9 to get out of the building.

In high school we used to have phones in every classroom, and you could call between them by dialling the room number. But of course, Alex is an idiot. He decided that he would call a friend in 112 and dialled 9 to do it. When asked for the city, he said Port Moody, and then when asked to state the emergency and whether he needed police, fire or ambulance assistance, he hung up.

Whenever you call 911 from a school, they immediately send the police and a fire truck to investigate, and judging by the number of police that arrived, it had been an especially slow day at the station. The school administration was not impressed.

No need to worry about Alex though. He's still perfect as ever.

Came to the sudden realization today that though I had had the foresight to make myself a sandwich for lunch last night, I hadn’t had the sense to put it in my bag before I left home.

Luckily I had had a good breakfast. A while ago I made up a couple batches of scones and I froze the dough. Now all I have to do is pull out however many I want to eat and leave them in the fridge overnight. As soon as I’m out of bed in the morning I throw them in the toaster and by the time I’ve had a (short) shower, they’re ready to eat.

They’re absolutely the best with cheddar cheese in them, but I didn’t have any when I made them, so this morning I had whole wheat with walnuts and flaxseed. The next batch though will be cheese. Cheese is the best.

But today I splurged and had a yam roll instead of the usual spicy tuna roll. Delicious.

I have so many things to complain about work for today. Both Kathy and my my mother have been vented to so I'll spare you.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

World Cup

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Out on my daily rounds around the office I came across a tv that had been set up inside a small room. Instantly it became the centre of my attention until a man with a gruff voice and a business suit said that that room was the evidence room and shut the door. "Sure, hide the evidence," I taunted, and he started to laugh.

It was a soccer game. I can't remember exactly who was playing but no one had scored yet. I don't suppose I care much. I don't watch sports, I just watch the fans.

They're far more interesting.

Alright, a techie question:

Somehow or other I lost the permalinks for all my posts. How do I put that back in my template?

Work

IMG_2616_1Had a performance evaluation today. "I have no negative feedback for you," the lady said, "punctuality, compitence, professionalism and grooming are all good." No surprises there. I walk on water and talk with God. Too bad that that doesn't keep my room or my desk clean.

I got transfered to another department though. Anywhere the feds need me, since I'm only working there until September. This job's more interesting though. People who are overexcited that they've actually reached a real person phone me speaking a strange technical language that I don't understand and then I try to transfer them to someone who knows what they're talking about.

Exciting, I know. I hope that eventually with enough education I'll be able to get a job that is actually interesting. Until then, I can do worse than the government.

I went with my father to an anti drug and alcohol awareness thing with my dad today because my mother was unavailable and he's unable to do these things by himself. We saw a play about addiction written and performed by some students that he's apparently booked for the grade 9's at his school. The acting was reasonably good for their age, though the information itself was nothing I hadn't heard before.

The more and more I think about addiction, the more I see it as an essentially selfish thing. Now, before people jump on me for saying that, yes, I am aware that somewhere between 50-60% of the addicts in the infamous Vancouver downtown east side are people that the government dumped out of mental institutions with no intention of treating or caring for them after that. If these people had recieved the right treatment for their illnesses, they would not be there.

However, a few things come to mind. You could never invite Ashley to a party without making sure that Steve came with her. As a general rule, at some point in the night she would take some sort of cocktail of unidentifyable pills or drink way too much, go into some sort of convulsions on the floor or fits of vomiting and then pass out.

It sounds awful, but we always made sure that Steve was there because for some reason or other, he would always sit beside her and make sure that she was alright. And all I could ever think of is how awful it was that she'd consistently ruin his night. I can't remember how many times she did that before he'd finally had enough.

The other thing that comes to mind is how mine own maternal grandfather, old weird Harold fucked over his family again and again for the sake of impressing some drinking buddies, only to have them years later climb over his cold dead body to steal from his apartment before calling an ambulance three days after he died.

Nicotene dripping down the walls and a perfectly made bed.

Monday, June 12, 2006

And there I was, standing right across from a girl with the same name, only I'm cooler

sallySome days I'm in a cubist frame of thought, seeing things from all angles. Talking to Robert, I can see the back of his head, the growing bald spot on top, both ears, a mole on the back of his neck.

Other days I see in camera angles, storyboards, a long series of single shots, varying in scope and depth. I'll notice small insignificant details and hope that the editors will be able to make sense of it all.

Some days dialogue types itself out in my mind kind of like a screenplay:

INT - A GOVERNMENT OFFICE
ERIN sits down at her desk. MAGDALENA enters from her right with a new employee, OTHER ERIN, mid 20s, somewhat taller and heavier than Erin, dressed entirely in black. Magdalena points at Erin.

MAGDALENA
And this is also Erin. You have the same last name too.

OTHER ERIN
What are the chances of that?

ERIN
Just what I was thinking...

OTHER ERIN
Nice to meet you.


Other Erin sits down and opens a can of Coke.


When I was substantially younger I used to think in bad teenage angst poetry. I'm glad I grew out of that.

Now that I've actually made a conscious attempt at figuring out how my camera works, I feel like I can go out and conquer the world. Time for me to take really awesome pictures that aren't of my cat.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Parkour

curt
I think it's time for me to change all the links in my sidebar. I'm getting tired of the alphabeticalness of everything. There's also some interesting stuff that should be linked and some blogs that are sadly no longer.

Angus tells me that his blog is now officially defunct, and that he's set up a new site called VanPK, the PK standing for parkour. For those who are unfamiliar with the term, parkour practicioners believe that the shortest way from point a to point b is a straight line. The object of the game from what I am able to gather is to run that straight line as fast as you possibly can, regardless of the obstacles in your way.

I'm not exactly sure how my friends got into doing this sort of thing, but they seem to like it, in spite of all the injuries. Angus is not all that good at it though. We're quite tempted to start calling him Crash because he always manages to beat himself up so much. Curtis has unwillingly taken the moniker Medik because he always seems to be the one bandaging Angus up. I think they're crazier than shit.

There is a rather impressive lightening storm happening outside right now that I think I will go back to watching. If I was able to find my tripod I would attempt to take some pictures, but without it I'm pretty sure they would turn out blurry.

The snowball dance

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And finally I have those little kids that run up to me and hug my leg, telling me that I'm really good at what I do. Better late than never. They make all the bullshit worth it.

I've decided that I want Christian to teach me to breakdance next year. I should be able to fall on my head and spin around on the floor. The boys do it, so why can't I? I mean, I was thrown out of ballet for being "unladylike".

By the time I was four or five, the teachers had decided who would be the stars and who was just there to pay for the overheads of running the dance school. Being the token fat, uncoordinated kid in the class, I was of the latter group.

They decided that we would do some sort of snowball dance, so we all got styrofoam snowballs to take home with us. The plan was that we would skip around in a circle with these cape things on, throw the snowball out in front of us, pick it up and then get off the stage as fast as we possibly could. 25 seconds max. We were only there to pay the bills, remember.

I took my styrofoam ball home with me and guarded it with my life. That thing was in mint condition when I brought it back the next week. (You'll also notice that I'll never break the binding or fold pages of any books I have either.) The other girls, however, scratched theirs all to hell with their fingernails, and I was disgusted at how stupid and irresponsible they were.

In rehearsal we put on our costumes and practiced the thing over and over. Skip around in a circle, throw the ball, pick it up, escape. Got that, Erin? No one could quite trust me after the cupcake incident during the teddybear picnic dance.

So that's exactly what we did. Skip around in a circle, throw the ball, pick it up... but that's as far as we got. I threw my pristine styrofoam snowball in front of me, and the moment it touched the floor, another girl snatched it up and I was left standing beside a mangled piece of shit that they called a snowball.

She had obviously made a mistake. I explained that to her. The one she had brought from home was mutilated beyond recognition and the one I had brought was nice and new, and she had picked up the wrong one. I said that everything would be alright if she would just give it back to me. The teacher sided with the other girl.

Seeing as we didn't see eye to eye, I punched the other girl. Proper ladies don't use violence. I never went back to ballet lessons.

I'm still pissed off about that.

I really should go to bed. Not sure why I was up in the first place.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

I got new friends and they're fun

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So I arrived last night into the pandemonium that is a dance school year end show, full of noise, small children and panicked parents.

Normally I would have some sort of control over what was happening, but some lucky individual signed up for the responsibility before I could, so I was off the hook for once.

Perhaps as punishment for not coming to the rehearsals that were scheduled while I was at work, I got to stay in the girl's changeroom instead of the adult one this year, which I was a little miffed about because I like having huge mirrors and lots of lights in my dressingroom. However, with the complete absense of any sort of personal responsibility for any part of the show and the added stimuli of being in the same room with so many people far younger than me, I was bored and decided to make some new friends.

My new friends are a bunch of 12 - 14 year old girls dressed up like goth wannabes to re-enact the Halifax explosion in jazz form to Linkin Park.

They think I'm really cool and want to go to university just like me. They do google image searches for things like "poo" and then giggle at the results. They think I'm clever because one of them was reading some sort of wannabe goth magazine that I'd never heard of before and when someone said "ew, he has a penis," I replied "you'll find that the vast majority of men do." I thought that that was obvious, but maybe it isn't.

Since I wasn't doing anything responsible, they convinced me to do a whole bunch of irresponsible things, such as leaving the theatre altogether and running around and sneaking up into the balcony to watch the show. I say tonight we see if we can sneak onto the catwalk and then shoot the tops of people's heads with lazer pointers. I confiscated them from children who were up to no good.

For lunch today: clean-out-the-freezer pasta salad. My special secret recipe.

Bed survivor.

IMG_3126_1There's something very important that I forgot off the previous list, which became very evident when the train doors opened this morning, waking me up from my daily nap. Skunks.

Or, shall I say, dead skunks. Dead skunks in the middle of the road, stinking to high heaven. Who wrote that song? I want to say Chilliwack but it isn't. They announce them in the traffic reports on the radio every day.

Kevin says the best things happen in cheap motels and I second that.

One time we went to Victoria for Elk Lake Sprints and we had nine people in a room with two beds. We kept arguing about who should have to sleep on the floor until finally we came up with a solution.

Bed survivor.

Two people who had slept on the floor for the past two nights had immunity and gave everyone challenges, after which people were voted off the bed.

Challenge number 1: karaoke.
Out came the cd's and the girls with immunity assigned songs at random. Needless to say I was eliminated and got to sleep underneath the desk because I was the only one who would fit there.

Challenge number 2: sucking up to the judges.
Alright, that challenge wasn't exactly all that fair...

Challenge number 3: rythmic gymnastics.
This consisted of jumping up and down on the bed in as creative a way as possible. We let Baby Dave join in at this point, just so we could see him look like an idiot, and I don't think anyone ever told him that he was never really in the running. Poor guy nearly put his head through the ceiling. The best one though was Meredith, who fell off the bed and nearly went through the window.

Final Challenge: free for all.
Everyone still remaining on the bed began to wrestle and everything was legal. Last one on the bed wins. Some people decided that they would sneak under the covers and take their shirts off to pretend that they were naked, but even that could not save them from having their hair pulled and then tossed to the floor.

I can't remember who won.

Little Cam sat and watched the whole event with a bemused grin. He was something like twelve years old at the time. I'm amazed that we returned him to his mother in one piece.

I'm also amazed at how they let us come back repeatedly to that motel for more regattas, more noise and furnature abuse. I'm pretty sure they must charge a special surcharge just for rowers.

Somewhere I have more motel stories...

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Stegosaurus

Summer always seems to bring with it these things:

Pregnant women. That's when they all start to come out. Something to do with it being cold in the winter or something.

Ugly tattoos. People are all of a sudden wearing a hell of a lot less clothing and that means that we get to see all the ink that would otherwise be private, sagging, fading wrinkles and all. Sometimes I wonder at the significance of some of them. Are you really sure that the Chinese on your lower back means what it's supposed to, and is it really necessary to have Betty Boop on your ankle? Kim got a unicorn tattooed on her fat ass once and she asked me if I wanted to see it. I said no...

Vintage automobiles. I really like seeing them on the road, especially if whoever has fixed them up has done a good job of it. Few things bother me more than seeing a really old car with spoilers or flames painted down the sides.

Volkswagen kit cars. Yeah, sure it looks like a Rolls Royce but underneath the fibreglass exterior it's just a veedub. You can tell by looking at the taillights. That and they sound like beetles. Doesn't matter though. I still want one. One that looks like a dinosaur. A stegosaurus. They're kind of beetle shaped anyways.

Fat people jogging, which is good, because at least they're doing something about it.

Spandex, which can be both a good and a bad thing.

Roadtrips through the middle of nowhere that always involve cheap motels.

Ubiquitous warnings about E coli and the smell of cremated meat.

Motorcyclists on the road who don't use their turn signals and are just begging to be run over.

To many people illegally in the hov lane.

I was going somewhere with this, I'm sure. Work and sleep deprivation are rotting out my brain. When Aaron jammed the photocopier today I thought it was exciting. That's sad.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Stupid

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The people down the street want so much to get out of the neighbourhood, they're taking the entire kitchen, along with the kitchen sink.

Some days time is actually molasses, you can actually hear the slow grind of gears in your head trying to produce something remotely meaningful. You find that your eyes don't quite focus as fast as they should, and you find yourself cursing under your breath for making a stupid mistake just as you make a second, then a third. Then you just feel stupid.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Bernie

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So the three of us were sitting on the dock at Burnaby Lake, eating our lunches. The macrame artist, the marine biologist and myself, whatever I am.

The other two were debating the best way to have tomatoes in the sandwiches they brought from home. Macrame was in favour of hiding the tomatoe slices in between several layers of lettuce and biologist thought that keeping them in a ziploc bag and adding them in at the last moment. Either way, the tomatoes must be present, or else it isn't a sandwich.

I don't know. I just like eating leftovers out of mason jars, myself.

There was a sudden pause in the conversation as we all looked towards the lake, where a small family of ducks was swimming around. Two ducks, two ducklings. Suddenly we noticed a gradual swell from under the water that became larger and larger as it approached the family. They began to swim faster, and the parents, outswimming their children began to quack in alarm, flying into the air as whatever was under the swell broke through the surface of the water with a splash.

We took our lead from all the birds nearby of all species that began to fly around in circles, squawking, quacking and shreiking. The three of us also ran around screaming our heads off until we calmed down enough to fall on the ground laughing. Within an hour, we had sat down, each told our version of the story and made sure that we had all seen what we thought we had.

And for the rest of the summer there was only one duckling...

True story. Seriously.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Swimming

IMG_3091_1I've been a busy little beaver all day.

We had a whole-office meeting with the deputy minister in charge of our department and her next in command so we could swamp them with pleas for more money, staff and office space, all of which we're severely lacking.

The problem is that the people in my office have been given a mandate to accomplish twice as much as they did last year with the same number of staff, 4 on maternity leave, 1 on paternity leave, 2 out sick and 2 on vacation. They want to hire more managers, but to do that they need to hire more other staff and they don't have the money or enough desks for all of them.

The deputy and her assistant were polite and attentive. They spoke in politicianese, that language where you say lots but never actually commit to anything. Fact is that neither victims of sexual abuse nor indians are priorities of the Harper government. Such are the ways of the world.

When given a vague and noncommittal answer about having more funding and staff, one of the people answered that we were working on our staffing problems by breeding our own employees. Everyone laughed.

Afterward, I got really busy. We're all just treading water there.

My parents got a new fridge today and that meant that I was robbed of my seat on the way to their house, having to sit instead between the two front seats with my legs across my mother. The doors were on the wrong way so I switched them because I like wrenches. That's pretty much it.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Stories

IMG_3062_1So last night somehow I ditched my friends to take my dad and my sister out to a movie, or rather, dad took us out to a movie on my card. Not completely sure how that happened.

We saw Over the Hedge, because dad wanted cartoons and we'd seen pretty much everything else there already. It had its moments, but nothing to really write home about. There's only so much you can do with that standardized formula stuff before it gets really predictable.

We then sat around telling stories, one of which was the previous post.

Yesterday my dad was trying to write a letter to someone important at work when one of his students came in with a kettle. There were two plugs in the outlet, one for the lamp and one for the computer. Guess which one the guy unplugged?

It's probably karma, you know.

I can still remember the day when he decided that he would fix some electrical stuff while my mom was working on her master's thesis. He was doing something in the breaker box and flipped the wrong switch...

And I've never heard mom scream so loud.

Bunkbeds

IMG_3087_1Every time I think of bunkbeds all I can think of is how there was that one time when I was sick in the middle of the night. What do you do when you're on the top bunk of a bunkbed and you know you can't make it to the bathroom in time?

Lean over the side and vomit all over your sleeping sister, of course. And her dresser drawers, and the wall, the fishtank, half the carpet and your sister's sticker collection.

I went and told my parents and they were completely disgusted, but they found me another pair of pyjamas and a new set of sheets and I crawled back into bed and fell back asleep with the lights on, while my parents attempted to clean up as best they could without waking my sister.

You see, when my sister was little, she was one of the most sensitive girls known to man. Even the mention of throwing up would cause her to gag and unleash the contents of her stomach upon the world. If she smelled something gross, she would vomit. If she was angry or sad, she'd do the same. She was so good at vomiting on command that we considered selling her to the circus. Well, I did.

They definitely did not want her waking up.

Somehow they managed to change the sheets on her bed without her noticing, and they even cleaned the worst bits out of her hair. Then they set about spending well over an hour putting the room back in order.

I only noticed their efforts when someone poked me and woke me up about an hour and a half later, and I was laying in a pool of fresh vomit. They were too tired to be pissed off, so they got me yet another set of sheets and pyjamas and then we all went back to bed.

And though my sister has absolutely no recollection of the event whatsoever, she still won't forgive me for that.

Sometimes I wonder why my parents don't have more grey hair.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Annen communique

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I find it kind of funny that when they wrote in the email that there would be an emergency shutdown of the network for security reasons, they typed an i instead of a u.

My mom is off to a conference today, so she rode the skytrain to my stop. I showed her around my neighbourhood a bit before work started.

I think it's a little amusing how the Translink people spent all their time and money to create those safety squares on the train platforms. You're supposed to stand inside them so that if you're the victim of some sort of crime, it will be caught by at least four cameras, the only ones at the station.

Naturally, the platform can be full of people, but no one will stand in the safety square.

We decided to stand inside one just for the hell of it and waved to each one of the security cameras in turn. Then, as the skytrain arrived, we realized that the yellow square was nowhere near where a door opened on the train.

Great, so you spend all that time being nice and safe in the yellow square, only to be mugged as you step onto the train. I wonder who figured that out.

I'm off to forage for lunch.

Back now.

In the morning I was faced with the familiar problem: the Starbucks in front of me, the Starbucks kiddie corner to me or the Starbucks a block away. It is never an easy decision.

Sometimes I'll go to Blenz instead and support Canadian businesses, but I have more than a couple Starbucks cards and they're dying to be used.

There is a light on my phone that keeps beeping and I'm not sure how to turn it off. I don't really want to ask anyone about it because I don't want to admit that I have no idea how to use my phone, other than the
easy stuff like dialling numbers.

In my room in our old house I used to have a rotary phone and it was the coolest thing ever. I wish they'd make touch-tone rotary phones, then I'd switch back.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

It's my blogiversary, d'accord?

foggydew2009The people at work magically knew it was my blogiversary today so we had a party of sorts. Actually it was a huge conference call/meeting with people in Ottawa. We could see and hear them through our tv and they did the same on their end. They talked about a lot of boring stuff on their end while watching us eat cake on ours.

When they suddenly realized that that was what we were doing, they told us we were twats here in Vancouver. As far as I'm concerned, people in Ontario have always been twats so we're even now, except that we're much cooler out here in the west.

There was coffee available too, and I should have had some because I fell asleep during the meeting, right in the middle of the camera shot. I haven't been getting enough sleep lately. Too much school work.

After the meeting I helped Francie put away the cake and coffee and the funny thing about her is that if you talk to her enough, eventually she gets tired of trying to speak English that makes sense so she switches to French. And after a while of that, I get tired of trying to understand what she's saying and replying in a way that makes sense so I revert to oui, non and d'accord. D'accord has always been my favourite.

Then we had another meeting, but it was cancelled, then uncancelled then recancelled. Because everyone was in and out of meetings all day today, no one bothered to send me any work to do so mostly I read the newspaper and my books for school. At the end of the summer I'm going to beg on my hands and knees to see if I can keep my job during school. I figure that for all the work that I actually have to do, I could probably accomplish the same amount in two days a week instead of five.

I could really use the money, but the real reason is that I just like having one of those cool government security passes.

But seeing as it's my blogiversary, here are my favourite posts from the past year:

Preservatives
Pistachio Pudding
Jellyfish People
Pathetic
Queer Eye for the Dead Guy
Scenes from real life 2: cold rats
Fortune
Earl Smith
It was the 80's

Addendum to previous post

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Click, make bigger.