Thursday, August 31, 2006

I got a head full of something and nothing to show



When my sister sleeps over we're up to no good.

My mom made some sort of remark about how it was both weird and stupid that Lebanon's flag has a tree on it because there aren't exactly vast forests in the Middle East. I started to tell her everything I knew about Lebanese cedar trees and the structure of the Lebanese government before the civil war. She gave me a hug and said "You know all these things. How do you always know all these things?" But I don't know the answer to that. I just know, that's all.

I could probably tell you just as much about the government's Indian Treaty No. 8, Japanese porn, the history of the CBC or the geology of Sugarloaf Mountain. I could tell you that Active Pass used to be named Plumper pass, and how and why it got changed (it wasn't because it's active) or the significance of the 8+ in competitive rowing programs in the Lower Mainland and Victoria because I wrote a bullshit paper on it and got 96%.

I could appraise your antique floor and table lamps and explain to you why clear glass made before 1914 turns purple when you leave it in sunlight. I could tell you all about the Victorian practice of making jewellry out of the hair and teeth of your loved ones. I know the difference between Mexican and Canadian sterling silver and chances are I can tell the difference between the two by looking.

I know where the very first toilet in my city was located. I read economics textbooks for fun. I could take you out into the forest and tell you the name of every single tree, most of the flowers, some of the mosses, nearly all of the birds. I know rocks too, both the kind you see outside and the expensive ones.

But mostly I just shut up because no one is interested in that crap and it doesn't get you friends or dates or laid or anything, really, other than weird thoughts in your head.

I had a dream last night that Lindsay had a baby that looked like, well, a baby, except that when it was newborn it could see everything, which was kind of creepy and weird.

I owned a spiral staircase in Cuba and damn it was one hell of a staircase.

I went for a bike ride through a brand new housing development in Whistler with my dad and they had paved the streets with deflated wooly mamoths. I wondered who was going to vacuum them all.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

And puffins, I think they sometimes go quite high too


Our receptionist left to spend a few weeks in Montreal at the end of last week and entrusted her job to a temp, which isn't in itself necessarily a bad thing. She's a nice enough girl. However,

(and it is a big however)

She's starting to get on my nerves because she screws things up. Now, admittedly, she hasn't been in the position for very long, and a lot of it is innocent little mistakes that can be blamed on her lack of experience. Fair enough. And these aren't really big, serious things, but they're enough to irritate me.

I found out yesterday that instead of giving my mail to me, she somehow or other thought that she should photocopy the front page of each thing I got and then send everything else to Ottawa. The reason why is completely beyond my comprehension. I went and talked to her about it, phrased it in a really positive, friendly sort of way, something to the tune of wow, thanks, but you really don't have to make all that extra work for yourself when all you need to do is drop the stuff in my inbox. Problem seems to be solved, I hope.


But now, when I get mail in, instead of stamping the date directly on the front page, she feels compelled to stamp a post-it note and stick that on there instead. This would be fine, except that a) post-it notes fall off and then I have no idea when the hell I recieved it, b) post-it notes just happen to increase the likelihood that the photocopier and fax machine will jam, c) this is the government and everything must be date stamped and finally d) a dated post-it note stuck to an original document is not all that kosher in a court of law.

I went out to talk to her again. Explained that she was doing a great job and that there must be a lot of things for her to remember and get used to. Then I told her that I would prefer to have her date stamp documents directly, and I brought out an example of something I would recieve, just so she would know what it looked like. Great.

When I went back into the office, I found out that I had not been the only person to have spoken to her about that subject, and that at least three other people had already done the same. So, has anything changed? No, not yet. In fact, she didn't even bother to change the date on the date stamp so now everything has post-it notes with the wrong date, which I have to then go and restamp with the correct one.

And then there are fax confirmations. She date stamps them too, in spite of the fact that the fax machine automatically prints a date on them. Not a big deal. I can live with that. But there's more. For some reason or other, she feels that she has to staple them all together. That in itself is alright, I guess, except that she doesn't staple them all all together. Instead she staples some and not others in random numbers and sometimes she gets really creative and staples my fax confirmations to things that have nothing to do with what I faxed. It's driving me fucking nuts.

I kick myself for getting worked up about such stupid things. I need more sleep.

sing it with me

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

A painting of Jesus wandering for a dartboard, you know he's seen you naked a million times

IMG_3591_1I'm very tired and I could fall asleep right here, right now, were it not for the fact that I'm contractually obligated to be awake for another hour and fifteen minutes. An hour and fourteen now, not that it really makes much of a difference.

It bothers people when they find out how much time I sit in here with the lights off, but it bothers me when lights are on just for the sake of being on, just as it bothers me when music is played just for the sake of having background noise. It's unnecessary. When I think as far back as I can remember, I can't find a single time when I've ever heard silence, like real silence. And yet some people insist that there is a void and that they will fill it. This is something that I have yet to understand.

So often I'll sit here, at my desk, with one lightbulb on in the entire apartment, in front of my window, blinds open. People ask me why I leave the blinds open, exposing myself to the view of anybody who cares to look (and they do). Would that not encourage stalkers, they ask, but the way I see it, in order to stalk me, someone would have to first be sufficiently interested, and I'm not convinced that that would happen.

And, if someone happens to look up and see me here, then I've accomplished one thing in that I've proven that I'm here, and that I didn't just leave a light on to fool people.

A friend of mine forwarded me a rather long email about all the ways you could protect yourself from being raped, and while I can appreciate her concern, it went straight into my trash. Apparently I am to cut my hair short, always take elevators, avoid a multitude of places at a multitude of times, change the way I dress, speak, act and be constantly looking over my shoulder, unless I'm being escorted by a male companion. Too bad that none of those precautions would save you from the fact that statistically it's more likely to happen to you in the safety and comfort of your own home or church or peer group with people you know and love and trust.

I don't think paranoia and fear is the solution to anything, and I'm paranoid about enough other things as it is.

I deal with this sort of stuff at work so much that sometimes I end up thinking about it at home, especially when I have nothing better to do, like now, when I'm sitting in a dark apartment with one light on, in plain view of whoever cares to see.

Some nights I bore myself to death.

Monday, August 28, 2006



I want to buy a piece of property on Holdom Street in Burnaby. I will start up a restaurant there that serves tex-mex food and lots of barbecued stuff and cheap beer and has a sort of wild west theme to the decor, kind of like how Lone Star used to be. The restaurant will be named Texas. Texas on Holdom.


I also want to open my own bank, called Jesus Saves and Lends. The beauty of bank stocks is that they always go up, same as tobacco company stocks, and, well, if I have to pay extra taxes to put smokers in hospital, I may as well be making money off of it. Coincidentally, Kraft is owned by tobacco companies too, so eat your mac and cheese, please.


Some days I feel like spearheading the movement to repeal the law of gravity because it's so damn arbitrary. Who's with me?

Saturday, August 26, 2006

10 songs

IMG_4306_1You know the drill. Place your mp3 player on shuffle and record the results, which in this case are very surprisingly not embarassing at all. I posted this post, but apparently didn't publish it.

The Tea Party - Interzone
Not my favourite Tea Party song but I still like it. They're one of those bands that I've liked on and off for a very long time. Though sometimes the whole spirituality and religious overtones thing starts to irritate me, here are days when I really like the harder guitars and eastern influences to their music, and Jeff Martin really does have a hot voice.

Matthew Good Band - Haven't Slept in Years
I really like a lot of Matt's songs that sound like this one, kind of slow and not necessarily sad but, you know. It sounds stupid, I guess, because everyone says this sort of thing, but it's almost that because he grew up maybe a kilometre away from where I did that a lot of his songs, especially ones that are mildly depressing are ones that are always seem to mean a lot to me.

The Doors - Riders on the Storm
Another person with a really lovely voice. I grew up with the Doors and for as early as I can remember they were playing on the radio or the turntable or the cd player. My dad likes them so much.

Moist - Alive
While I'll be the first to say that Mercedes Five and Dime is not my favourite album because it's the closest Moist ever came to outright pop, I like this song, and for some reason or other, it's one of those ones that I seem to find myself singing under my breath some days. Not sure why.

...As the Poets Affirm - Snow White Wings in the Bottomless Blue
I don't know much about this band at all. Seems to me I heard about them from people who liked Mogwai and Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Tortoise and such. What I do know is that this song is kind of on the lighter side for post rock, nice and long and instrumental-like.

Queen - No-One But You (Only the Good Die Young)
Written for Freddie Mercury after he died. I'd be pretty proud if someone wrote a tribute song this nice for me.

Dayglo Abortions - This is How a Punk Song Goes
Okay, I'm not entirely sure why I have so many Dayglo Abortions songs on my computer. Mandatory Cancon, maybe?

Sigur Ros - Hun Jord
Probably my most favouritest Sigur Ros songs ever. I love the way that if you turn it up loud, it fills every space in the room. There should be more songs that do that.

Great Big Sea - Jolly Roving Tar
Great Big Sea neither are nor will be my favourite band, and I'm not all that fond of their studio albums at all, because they simply don't capture the energy they have on stage. That being said, the band seems to be in a state of constant tour and they're here at least twice a year, and I never miss a show. They're just so fun.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Chicken feet are the best

IMG_0606_1I haven't been able to get my left eye to stop twitching for a couple of days now. It's one of those things that causes you undue stress because you figure that chances are no one is able to see it, but there might be someone out there that just might. And then you go into the washroom to look at it and see that it's twice as conspicuous as you thought it was before and then you figure that definitely someone can see it and no one wants to bring it up. And that thought consumes you for the entire day.

I've got a low-grade headache that I've been nursing for a few days as well. Sometimes it's worse, sometimes better, and it seems to enjoy migrating between the back of my head to that space right between my eyes. I don't get them as often as I used to, and that 's a good thing.

I have one more week of work left and I really hope that some time next week I'll finally have something to do again. I haven't for two weeks and it's bothering me.

Went for dim sum with some people from the office yesterday. It's always better going to these places with Chinese people because then they don't automatically bring you out a fork because you're white, and the people can translate the menu for you, because sometimes the English in those things really sucks.

Deb was a self professed dim sum virgin, so we threatened to buy all sorts of things like chicken feet and bull testicles, but the worst we ended up with eventually was something that was written down in English as "fish maw" and seemed to be like tripe, only fishy. Too bad though. I was really looking forward to having some chicken feet.

Saved by the bell

The night before last I had a dream that the receptionist from one of the places I used to work really wanted me to do the Grouse Grind with her, which I thought was weird at the time because she is pretty overweight and not the least bit health conscious.

I was busy that day and I wouldn't be caught dead with a person with a fanny pack so I tried my best to get out of it, but she kept following me around.

Finally I convinced her that it wasn't a good idea because it was starting to get pretty close to dark and it was snowing to boot. She quickly disappeared.

I went down to a greengrocer with a Filipino girl whose voice was really familiar but whose face I couldn't place. Something by Ray Charles was playing on the radio and she asked about it. "It's Ray Charles," I said, to which she replied that she thought Shakira should do a cover of the song. Had I heard of Shakira?

Of course. She can't sing but she's certainly got the dancing thing going for her.

We walked inside the greengrocer to look at all the veggies and there seemed to be an unusually high amount of mushrooms there, and some strange varieties that even I haven't tried before.

I wandered over to a section with some fungus that looked a lot like pieces of sponge spraypainted gold. Sometimes when grocery stores try and sell you weird exotic stuff that you've never heard of, they have a little writeup about them with the medicinal properties, cooking suggestions, history, etc. to convince you to buy them. This was no different.

I became fixated on a little sheet of paper that told me that these mushrooms would become toxic if they came into contact with melons or squash. I was about to put a few into my basket with a canteloupe when my alarm cut in and woke me up.

Last night I had one where everyone I knew had sappy, cheezy I love you emoticons on msn.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Pictures speak for themselves

Would the Joker's next move be in a generally upward direction, then?

site via my alien sister

Deconstruct some of your bones

IMG_3820_1Good morning, magic 8 ball on Michelle's desk. Are you well today?
As I see it, yes.
Good. I like good news. Wasn't it cold in that meeting?
Most likely.
So it wasn't just me?
Do you ever get tired of having people ask you stupid questions?
Better not tell you now.
Questions like does he really like me?
Will I get an A on my exam?
Answer hazy. Try again.
Is my sister really an alien adopted from another planet?
Am I asking stupid questions?
Signs point to yes.
Do you actually like being cheap entertainment at parties?
Don't count on it.
Do you ever feel limited by just yes and no? I mean, the world's not just black and white.
Does that make you feel sad?
Signs point to yes.
Do you want to change?
Why not? Are you afraid?
Most likely.
You sound like one complex piece of plastic.
Is our conversation over?
Will we meet again?
Most likely.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006



I missed my train this morning. To wait on the platform for the next train takes the same amount of time as getting on a bus to go downtown, and one would assume that that would be what I'd do, because sitting in comfortable, padded seats for twenty minutes, reading a book beats nearly an hour of standing and frequent stops.

I am not a creature of reason in the morning. I prefer movement to pretty much any course of action, so still on autopilot, I began to walk up to the street to the bus stop.

I ran into Mcgoo for the first time in at least two years, and even today he still has the uncanny ability to know exactly what is going on inside my head just by looking at me.

When he saw me, he stopped and stood in the middle of the sidewalk. I stopped too. We stared at each other.

After a while he said "it was you who brought the glow-in-the-dark plastic Jesus, wasn't it?"

I nodded.

We went our separate ways.

Long story.

Monday, August 21, 2006

I'm an eagle, you know


If you've got a mom who's willing to swear under oath that you're a child between the ages of 8 and 18, like me, you could have flown for free in a little Cessna plane at the Pitt Meadows airport on Sunday.

Flying around in little planes happens to be a lot of fun, especially when you can see your house, and Mount Baker. It's a volcano, you know.


The mighty Fraser kind of almost looks blue from up there, even though you know it's not. And Surrey looks fugly, but you knew that already without having to fly over it.


When you hop off the plane, a nice lady ushers you over to a clubhouse where she gives you a certificate that says you flew in a plane and to your delight, it has been signed by Harrison Ford himself, because you're that cool.


When you go in search of the mastermind behind all this, he threatens to kill you because you've discovered his secret, but you outwit him with a belly rub, and run out the door.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

My blog is beautiful on the inside


This is what this blog looks like in graph form. But what does it all mean?

blue: for links (the A tag)
red: for tables (TABLE, TR and TD tags)
green: for the DIV tag
violet: for images (the IMG tag)
yellow: for forms (FORM, INPUT, TEXTAREA, SELECT and OPTION tags)
orange: for linebreaks and blockquotes (BR, P, and BLOCKQUOTE tags)
black: the HTML tag, the root node
grey: all other tags

Some of the ones on flickr are awesome. I bet yours looks cooler.

Analyze that


This was one of those days when I stumble into the shower half asleep, only to step out, dry myself off and launch into an impassioned monologue about how Freud was a dipshit that obviously didn't know a thing about women.

Dismayed that I'm out of milk, I begin to dump yoghurt and fruit into my blender. Before I press any buttons though, I turn around towards my livingroom to scream "Penis envy, my ass!" and drive home my point with not chop, not puree but li-qui-fy.

"It's more like power envy," I shout, pouring my li-qui-fied breakfast into a glass. "I mean, what the hell would I need a penis for anyways?" I pause to answer that question in my head while I gulp down the first glass, slamming it down on the desk beside my computer. As I log on to msn I arrive at the conclusion that I've got a system going right now and it works pretty well, so no point in changing it.

There's nobody online to talk to. Jesus fucking Christ.

The li-qui-fied blueberries that I just ate turn the toothpaste foam in my mouth a purple-black colour that appeals to my more morbid side. I spit, then smile into the mirror. "I could write my name in the snow, you know. It'd be easy because my name's short."

But it never ever snows here, so I pluck my eyebrows and go to work.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Four lousy credits


Now that I have the chance to reflect, I've decided that taking summer classes while working full time is a crappy idea that I never should have tried. Sure, I needed the credits. Sure, I had the time. But taking classes has deprived me of three months of summer reading, which, now that regular classes are starting again, will take me a very long time to make up.

At any given time I'm reading five or six books consecutively, because whenever I find something interesting I start it, instead of doing the logical thing and putting it aside to finish the book I'm already reading. Whenever someone hands me a book to read, I start that too, unless it looks like it's not something I'd like to read.

With that in mind, I wanted to get a couple out of the way, because over the next semester I will undoubtedly pick something else up, and as soon as I get my hands on my texts for the fall I will read them instead.

First in the queue was Alice Sebold's Lucky, for no reason other than it was the first one I grabbed, and it's short-ish compared to everything else. It had already made the rounds between my mother and sister, and came with a warning. The first chapter is hard to get through, but it gets easier as the book goes along. It's a personal memoir, dealing with the author's life.

Life, in this case, a subjective term that means a period of time that ends with the writing of the book and begins, unfortunately for her, with her rape as a college freshman. The event is played out in great detail, which is why the first chapter is difficult. The rest of the book details the trial and conviction of the rapist and her long road to recovery, with a particular focus on how the way that the justice system and society in general chooses to deal with these things is inherently flawed.

Much of the book made me very angry, and that's a good thing. There's no point in reading a book if it doesn't make you feel something. My favourite parts, though, were the passages where she described the little town she grew up in. They have a lovely, evocative quality about them.

But seeing as it's finished now, I'm on to another book that makes me angry for a completely different reason. The anthropologist and filmmaker Hugh Brody was sent by the government to talk to the Beaver Indians in northeastern British Columbia, to figure out exactly what their land use was, draw a line around it on a map and then the government was to take away the rest for oil exploration and such.

The whole book is about how this task in itself is entirely more difficult than it sounds, partially because culturally and linguistically we don't see eye to eye and because even today government policy is inherently racist in nature and makes no attempt at understanding the people and institutions whom it serves to destroy.

Unfortunately, I don't think I have the time to finish it before I start reading for fall. Just as well. I've already bored you to death.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


Hey! It's someone's birthday!

Before I forget, it's someone very special's birthday today and I figured I should mention it. I don't talk about him much here because otherwise this blog would sound unnecessarily boring and girlie and gushy. But the truth is that he's the reason I sound reasonably sane most of the time.

I had considered doing something absolutely rotten like knitting him a 1920s-30s style bathing suit like the ones in the pictures and posting it anonymously to his address but somewhere along the line it would have been stamped by Canada Post and then he would have known it was me. Besides, knitting takes time and patience, as does mailing things to Norway and I have neither time nor patience these days.

His loss.

Mostly I just wanted to use these pictures. I've been sitting on them for a year and I love them, even if it does kind of look like those guys have been castrated. Not that I really, really pay attention to these things. Just saying.

Anyways, I'm not sure why I'm mentioning this because it's already tomorrow in his time zone and therefore not his birthday. I'm an idiot.


My short career at the Department of Justice


Around 2:30 today the receptionist called over to me. "Hi Erin, I've got so-and-so from DOJ on the line for you. Go ahead." Which wasn't inconcievable to me because I send things off to people at the
Department of Justice all the time. And the little voice in my said, oh fuck, I haven't been emailing the right things out or I put the wrong things in the wrong envelopes or they're looking for documents that I
didn't even know I lost and now they're calling to give me shit for it.

It was a name that I didn't recognize, so I wrote it down on a post-it note.

"Hi Erin, I'm calling from the Department of Justice," she said, "would you mind if we put you on speakerphone?"

We? Speakerphone? Had I really fucked up that badly?

When she called she had caught me trying to modifying a template for a letter, and working through a labyrinth of file directories trying to figure out where the hell I should save it. None of it was making any sense to me.

I finally found it in one of the most obscure place imaginable on the server. Once I did that, I realized that it wanted to save as a .doc, but I didn't want that so I changed it to .dot. That one little change
made the computer decide to save the file in the templates folder, instead of where I wanted it to save. I held my hand firmly over the bottom end of my phone and then told my computer to fuck itself.

"Alright, Erin," the lady continued, and she introduced the other two people in the room. More names that I didn't recognize.

"We've called to offer you term employment until March 2008."

"But I have to go back to school in September," I replied, not sure if I was supposed to be surprised or confused.

"Are you going back to full time studies? You didn't mention that on the application form."

Application form? I didn't mention anything on an application form. I explained that to her. She sounded incredulous and I sounded delusional. She began to consult with her companions, who suggested that they had the wrong Erin.

"Are you Erin Elizabeth?" she asked.

"No, I'm Erin Actually," I replied, and gave her the number for the other Erin in the office, who just happens to have a name similar enough to mine that the receptionist always mixes us up.

From then on my brain was turned into mush and I sat and stared at my computer until I went home.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

My very first consumer product recall!

It's like a rite of passage, or something. Apparently I have one of those batteries that spontaneously combust inside my computer. Dell's recalling and replacing them and for the time being I'm plugged into the wall.

If you've got a Dell laptop too, you may want to check your battery, if you haven't already. It's free family fun. Now to watch my mailbox. I love getting mail.

Apparently HP is recalling some batteries too, so you may want to check those too. I'm starting to sound like a PSA...

Monday, August 14, 2006

Ne pas écrire dans cet espace

IMG_4160_1Ever get the feeling that you've just wasted a day?

Like in spite of being praised for your work ethic, you fall asleep at your computer at work with someone breathing down your back and still manage to put out the same amount of work by the end of the day.

Or sitting on the skytrain and realizing that you've long since missed your stop, even though you didn't have to be on the damned thing in the first place.

Sitting alone in a room, eating dinner at school for no reason. Watching the houses go by on the bus, lulled into a false sense of boredom.

Getting off the bus in front of Sev, deciding against buying stamps, chosing instead to close your eyes and navigate home by feel, because you know this place off by heart.

This house beside you is a grow-op and that vacant lot down there at the end of the block is where Ming's used to be. It always smelled like juicy fruit and five-cent candies. The Mings had five children and you played with one until they all moved to the top of the hill and you never saw them again.

Over there is where the bus used to stop, and over there is where you had a huge nosebleed when you were 8. Here is where you first met the little cat with the forked tail that belongs to a boy named Steven. You used to be his lunch monitor. His teacher used to bring you cookies that her husband had baked until he died. After that it was novelty socks that you never wore but still have to this day.

And you don't open your eyes until you find yourself face to face with the bumper of a car in the centre of five lanes.

And when you get home, you find your bedroom ransacked.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Tom the tragedy

My sister and I spent the majority of yesterday making the mother of all strawberry shortcakes for my grandmother. It was a massive, three-layered monolith made with real whipped cream that made a lasting impression on everyone.

Somehow or other it got me thinking about those stupid little jump rope songs that we used to sing in elementary school. I had a teacher who was quite perturbed that we didn't know any of those songs and sat around doing nothing during recess, so she took it upon herself to teach us in P.E. class.

It would always happen the same way. We'd go

Strawberry shortcake, huckleberry pie
Who's gonna be the luckiest guy?

and skip through all the letters of the alphabet until we tripped. As a testament to how inaccurate these methods of divination can be, each person landed on a random assortment of letters. Either it's inaccuracy or we're all just promiscuous. I don't feel like commenting on that.

At any rate, in spite of how random it was, more often than not, I'd land on the letter T, and then we'd scratch our heads to try and think of guys we knew with names that started with T.

"Tom!" someone would shout far too loudly with a giggle and I would protest. There were only two other boys with names that started in T, and both of them were Trevors. People don't like ambiguity much. That's why we have organized religion and that's also why I always got stuck with Tom.

Eeeew. The thought of it was akin to eating bugs.

I used to spend time over at his house, true, but that was only ever because my parents got off work so late and I wasn't quite old enough to walk home alone. We got along but we couldn't be considered friends by any stretch of the imagination. In spite of his best efforts to be tough and manly, he was undeniably geeky, and unlike certain people who are cool for embracing their inner geekiness, he continued on trying to be what he so obviously wasn't.

He had glasses, for starters. Not nice glasses but the ones that give you bug eyes. He was kind of skinny, in spite of claiming to have muscles, and contrary to what he would have you believe, his sisters, both older and younger, used to beat him up regularly. Even so much as a dirty look in his direction would send him crying to his room.

But all these things could be overlooked, but for one thing. He used to make up his very own swearwords. In a day and age when we used to resort to using boring old words like whore, damn and bastard, his absolute favourite cussword was, wait for it, "fartknocker".

Or maybe it was "fart-knocker". As far as he was concerned, that was the absolute nastiest thing that he could think of to call anyone. He used that word religiously until he was at least 15 years old.

Some people are a completely different kind of cool.

Since then he's been diagnosed with a disease that has left him really short and pudgy, and with difficulties digesting the food that he eats. Not something that I would ever wish on anyone. Sometimes you can still see him on the street, wearing the same fisheye glasses, chains hanging out his pockets and bandanas with skulls on them. They still don't help. Poor guy.

Grandma's 90th

Grandma on her 90th IMG_4173_1

My grandmother turned 90 yesterday.

As much as I tend to complain about her, she has a lot of things to her credit.

Somewhere out there she's got the scientists absolutely baffled. After all, how on earth does a woman with the physique of Jabba the Hutt manage to outlive the majority of other people in the world?

Is it that she has so many pieces of miscellaneous electronica inside her that she's halfway to being the bionic woman?

Is it that my uncle sends her red wine so she can drink a glass before bed every night?

Is it that she reads books to blind people?

Is it that she paints nothing but flowers and sailing ships?

Is it the strange and delusional worldview she's come to have after being separated from reality for such a long time?

I'm not sure I'll ever know.

I wish her another good year.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

My parents' house


Good morning.

I am at my parents' house being mobbed by cats, and at the moment, a particular little cat who enjoys typing on my computer.

&Yyyyyykll,;, Hello to you too, Lou.

Life's not so bad out here. I remind myself of a parasite, like one of those sucker fish that you put in with your goldfish to eat all the algae out of the inside of your tank. Only I eat leftovers.

From what I'm told, babies are kind of like parasites in people's bodies. If you stick a foetus in a man's abdomen, it will live there pretty normally as a parasite until it has to come out. My mom always says I'm her baby, so I think that justifies it.

Some of the leftovers are pretty dubious looking, but when push comes to shove I'm not all that picky. For breakfast today I ate something with clams in it, and perhaps some pasta, though you can never quite tell with these things. I also ate some of whatever we had for dinner on August 4th. Whatever that was. Someone has to do these things.

They got new toothbrushes a while ago and I'm not quite used to them just yet. They're very space-age, with bristles sticking in every possible direction to attack every possible crevace in your teeth and little rubber tentacles that massage your gums into submission. They all combine to make a contraption that is entirely too big for me to stick in my mouth and hope to get every tooth.

Ah, but it's better that way. At least with all these newfangled features your teeth will finally be clean. Like mine weren't before.

The handles of these toothbrushes are like gripping hot dog weiners, rubber hot dog weiners.

We are in the middle of baking the mother of all strawberry shortcakes for my grandmother, because it's her 90th birthday today.

Friday, August 11, 2006



There's a reason why they mail me bank statements every month. I think I just found it.


Needs to fulfil lifelong ambition to be a cartoonist:
do you know a 4 letter word for a purple fruit?


Needs to fulfil lifelong ambition to be a cartoonist:
HEY fuck yeah
that works perfectly too
cause M down is MISOGYNY
i couldn't figure it out thanks


Needs to fulfil lifelong ambition to be a cartoonist:
that helps lots cause it was one across
i was like purple fruit?!?!?!!?!?!?!?
wtf is a purple fruit?
a homosexual holding his breath?
but that wasn't 4 letters


Needs to fulfil lifelong ambition to be a cartoonist:
questionmark is like 12 letters
that doesn't fit either

Wednesday, August 09, 2006



In other news, I'm back at work and I'm incredibly busy. Joy. It is slowly rotting out my brain.

I cleaned out my fridge for lack of anything better to do.

I heard that coroners coat their hands in vaseline before putting on their gloves, then coat the gloves in more vaseline before putting on a second pair. That way their hands won't smell like death when they go home at night. I really should have done that before starting. My hands are going to smell for days.

What's done is done.

I've had one of those days where you wake up to find that your apartment smells like gas because the toilet has no water in it whatsoever.

The hot water is kind of on the coolish side when you have a shower.

The milk is chunky when you go to eat your cereal, so you eat mango salsa on your cheerios instead.

You completely miss the mail run at work, so the thirty or so letters that you had intended to send have to sit in the outbox all night.

The gremlins make off with the piece of paper that you wrote your password for the litigation database on, because it can't be the same as all your other passwords.

You tell someone that you lost it, and she says that she's done the same thing, gives you the password from the guy down the hall and it's something from a tv series that you thought only your mother watched.

You become so absorbed in your work that you walk headfirst into a wall, and someone accuses you of trying to break up the establishment.

When you get home, there's no hot water, just air.

And when you go to the washroom, you realize that your underwear is on inside out.

That explains it. That always explains it.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Fungus among us


Long weekends mean trips to lots of hidden little places, hidden places like Bob's Brook. I don't know much about the place, other than that there's a BC Hydro sign that says it's an environmentally sensitive area and cyclists must dismount.

The water tastes reasonably good, especially if you're thirsty. I don't understand people who freak out about drinking water directly from the stream. It's Canada for chrissakes, not Mexico or Nigeria or something. Nothing in there will kill you.

But I did find something really interesting in my travels:


Fungus. Huge orange fungus.


That made my day, seriously.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Blogger meetups are geeky, to say the least, but Kevin asked me to post this. 'Tis posted.

Except, now that I think of it, that just happens to be my grandmother's birthday and we're going to do some sort of family thing with her, I think. Damn.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Get a room

IMG_4007_1As always, the beaches were packed by the time we arrived. I have no idea how many hundred thousand. Luckily the tide was on its way out, so we had only to claim some sand in front of the people who had arrived earlier in the hopes of having the best spot and wait for the ocean to recede.

The people sitting behind us were interesting specimens, to say the least. As we set down our blankets, some of the older members of their party began to complain that we were sitting in front of them. The daughter of the group, who was all of about 14 years old snapped back that we didn't look like the type of people to drink too much and cause trouble so they should just leave us alone. She then proceeded to yell at the father for plying her brother with alcohol so many hours before the event.

So began the evening.

Both father and son made light work of a couple mickeys of somethingorother and in under an hour were completely plastered. Father and dishrag girlfriend then began alternating periods of beating each other up, making out and licking each other. Daughter did her best to try and break them up and instil some sort of decorum but was pretty much powerless.

Extended family and friends began to show up as the evening progressed, followed by a thick cloud of smoke. They were just as rude and crude.

Du and I ended up getting kicked a couple of times and they weren't too careful about not kicking sand onto our blankets. Each time though, daughter was in like a shot, doing damage control, apologizing for the actions of her father and brushing off the sand. It must be terrible to have to live around that, especially when you're not really taking part in any of it.

Except for the smoking. Damn, she could smoke like a pro.

We amused ourself with a game of travel Scrabble. I had one of those games where it doesn't matter what you do, you're always one letter short of a decent word, like "aggregate" or "bagatelle".

The fireworks, though. I've already said that they were some of the best I've ever seen. Mexicans sure know how to put on a good show. The show lacked a lot of variety in colour and types of fireworks, but it definitely didn't suffer much. It was well synced to the music and had some of the biggest fireworks shot far higher and wider than I've ever seen. I had a lot of trouble trying to photograph some because they were so huge.

Filled my memory card before the show was over. Apparently 1 gig is no longer enough for me.

The show would have been absolutely perfect had the drunk and the dishrag kept quiet, but unfortunately parts of the show were punctuated with "Ben, Ben, I love you!" Some people really need to get a room. Preferably a room that locks from the outside.

Soul man


Dad: If theres one thing Ive learned, its that having kids makes your life go by very fast. When I do it again, I wont have any.

Abby: But what if you come back as a shoe? I wouldnt want to come back as a shoe.

Me: I dont think shoes have souls, Du.

Abby: Oh yes they do!

Viva Mexico


It was my birthday and I had no plans so I went to the games store in Gastown.


Then I went to Cupcakes on Denman.


Then I went to see Mexico compete at the fireworks. It was one of the best shows I've ever seen.

More after I have some sleep.

Friday, August 04, 2006

I am a leper and you will celebrate my birthday.


Birthdays passed:

16 - I dragged a bathtub from the back to the front of a Canadian Tire because I was frustrated with the poor service I was getting on that particular day.

17 - can't remember, honestly, which was not due to intoxication of any sort

18 - I got two scholarships in the mail, which bought me a year's worth of tuition and my computer.

19 - I worked a weird split shift, 8:00-9:00pm. I had 4 hrs off in the middle. Dick let me take out his single because he's awesome. I didn't go out that night because it was a Thursday and I had to work the next day. The only birthday card I got was from my bank, congratulating me and outlining all the new charges there would be on my account.

Oh yeah, and I can't forget that my sister made me a cake out of graham crackers, gelato and blackberries that she'd picked herself. Have to mention that.

Initial plans to go camping this weekend are scrapped when Kathy wrecked her car. Kathy later decided to spend the long weekend with Jess, Gina and Andrew in Victoria, then invited me along. The plan, I guess, was to visit every gay bar in the city and get absolutely plastered.

What's wrong with regular bars? I asked, and the reply was that at gay bars guys don't hit on you.

My initial reaction was one of surprise. I mean, guys pick up girls at bars? This phenomenon is something that I swear I have never seen before. I've certainly never been party to such an exchange. I must be a leper or something.

Don't sleep with me. My fingers will fall off.

So yeah, my friends are in VicCity this weekend and I'm not.

There's a package waiting for me at the post office and I don't know what it is. I'm intrigued, and I'll pick it up as soon as I can find the proper identification with pictures that places me at that particular adress. That could be difficult. I might have to suck it up and go get a new driver's licence.

Thursday, August 03, 2006



I went to see the Czech Republic at the fireworks last night, and I took a little over a hundred photos. It wasn't until I got home that I realized that my camera had not been on autofocus so every single one is blurry. Have I mentioned that I haven't been having the best of weeks?

Regardless, the show was reasonably good. I liked their choice of big band jazz music and it went with the display quite well. The end of it though, was absolutely pathetic. Anticlimactic to say the least. It just sort of ended abruptly, without one of those massive bombs that fills the sky while you wait for it to blow your eardrums out milliseconds later, or a sudden yet impressive unloading of all the fireworks you can fire in the space of thirty seconds.

But then again, I'm a little biased, being a loyal supporter of the Chinese team, regardless of if I see their performance or not. They're always the best. Trust me. I've been going to see the fireworks since I was six days old.

Only back then, in the 80s they used to shoot lazers into the smoke too, which was pretty exciting. My mother and I had a conversation about just that the other day. I don't think we were really listening to each other but we were on the same wavelength, which pretty much describes the both of us on the best of days:

Her: They used to have lazer shows on during the fireworks.
Me: Yeah, they were pretty cool. Because everyone in the world likes two things: lazers and cats. They should have had cats in the show.
Her: Everybody loves cats and lazers.
Me: And cats.
Her: Those shows should have had cats in them.
Me: Maybe the cats were shooting the lazers. Lazers and cats.
Her: Cats and lazers. Because everyone in the world likes two things: lazers and cats.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Just when I was getting comfortable


Time to say something interesting.

Well, for starters, I more or less lost my job today, for reasons that were completely not my fault and beyond my control. Details do not belong here on my blog. I'm not angry, just a little sad. A lot of things make me sad these days. I'm getting soft in my old age.

In the middle of it all I got a text message from someone very special who just happened to be thinking of me, being pretty much the only other person who knew that I was being let go today. Was nice of him. Cheered me up a bit.

The people in the office that I used to work at have left me with well wishes, lunch plans, job references and enough school supplies for the next two years. I'm set.

Other than that, I don't have much to say. Even my pictures are boring.