Tuesday, January 30, 2007


IMG_5019_1I interupt this broadcast for an important announcement:


Thank you. You will be returned to your normal programming shortly.

I really, strongly want some chocolate. At the moment, it's not a want but a need. Alas, I have none. I have chocolate syrup, but it is not the same. I also have hot chocolate powder, but recently my parents switched brands to a far richer, more chocolatey tasting hot chocolate so now the stuff I have tastes kind of like sugar and food colouring in comparison and I don't really feel like drinking it anymore.

I thought that maybe I could make myself something chocolatey flavoured, like brownies or pudding from scratch with some cocoa powder but I don't have any of that, even though my mom insists that I do. I don't even know how to make chocolate pudding from scratch but I figure it must involve cocoa powder and sugar and milk.

Other than that I really have nothing to say. Here I was, studying diligently, completing an assignment that I thought was due this Friday but apparently it's due next week. I guess that means I'm ahead. You don't notice how much time you waste commuting until you don't have to do it at all. My apartment's starting to look strangely clean.

I still want chocolate.

What will he run away from next?

Monday, January 29, 2007


IMG_5018_1Something about taking my camera downtown today made me see shots everywhere:

A person in silhouette, leaning towards the huge window in Harbour Centre, with the fog floating below the mountains behind.

Stacks of chairs in empty rooms.

Sunset reflected off of Gastown's towers.

Sunset turning the naked marble ladies on the Sun Tower golden.

A woman leaning against a wall in twilight.

An old man feeding pigeons out his window in an alley.

And yet for some reason or other, I took none. I have an irrational fear of everything. I have a very rational fear that I will never outgrow that.

My dad informs me that his mother fell out of her wheelchair on Saturday. When she gets left in her wheelchair for too long, she gets impatient and sore and tries to climb back into bed, which, for a ninety-year-old, three-hundred-pound woman who is unable to walk and has difficulty pulling herself up in bed, isn't the smartest thing to do. Unfortunately for her, her wing of the hospital was understaffed at the time. She's in a lot of pain and has been in and out of consciousness ever since. The shock of the fall has caused her to come down with an infection, which at her age, might be more serious than it sounds. You never know.

With that came the news that my grandmother's roommate, Margaret, suffered a massive stroke on the same day and her family is there on deathwatch. I'd be sad to lose her. She's such a delightful woman and she gets along with my grandmother so well.

I don't really need any comforting words. I'm just writing stuff down.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Grass stains

IMG_4529_1And here we were, watching the news on the television, and my mom complains that the grass stains on the kid in the liquid Tide commercial are incredibly fake. "Look at that," she says, "it would never be like that. You'd never have grass stains like that."

I turn towards the television to see a smiling kid with a patch of green running diagonally from his shoulder across his chest. On one leg, there is another green patch on his upper thigh, and on the other leg, a green patch on his shin, below his knee. "You get those circles on the knees," she said.

"And on the elbows," I replied, "and maybe around your wrists." She knows these things because she's someone's mother. I know them because I'm someone's child. Obviously people who work for advertising agencies are neither. I've always been convinced that they are sub-human and this only confirms it.

The chest "grass stain" confused me though. I sat there for a while, puzzled, before I thought of the solution. "That kid had to have been dragged face down by his feet," I said to her, "that's the only way to explain the stain on his chest..." Mom started to laugh.

"But it kind of goes over his shoulder, doesn't it?" Mom didn't reply. "So that means that instead of being dragged flat along his chest by his feet, he'd have to be dragged at about a 45 degree angle, I'm guessing, with his feet at an altitude of a metre or so..."

"But at that altitude, coupled with the bagginess of his shirt and the friction of the grass, the shirt would bunch up near his chest and result in very different grass stains, possibly even on the inside of the bottom hem of the shirt. Not to mention, he'd have noticeable abrasions on his face and possibly chipped teeth..."

"Alright, enough!" Mom said, still laughing. "Stop being so intelligent!"

Tomorrow my sister's going to rescue me from school downtown so we can go eat Ethiopian and browse all those awesome hipster consignment stores that we love so much. If I suddenly come home with a custard yellow herringbone chiffon dress with matching bolero jacket and crenoline you will know who to blame.

Well, actually, I'm still on the lookout for a decent tweed jacket. I haven't been able to find one that fits me in a way I find satisfactory yet, even though I've been looking for a while. When I find the right one I'll know, and then I'll spend too much on it, no doubt.

I'll take my camera if the fog lets up.

Saturday, January 27, 2007


I'd been feeling kind of intimidated by the nice heavy cardstock and hard cover of my sketchbook for a while, but it was only a couple of weeks ago that I came across a binder full of cheap looseleaf blank paper that I must have taken from the school lost and found in my dad's office one year, just before summer.

The nice thing about it is that not only was it free, it's also got crappy paper in it, so I don't have to worry about wasting perfectly good supplies. Lots of odd stuff seems to come out of my pencil on those sheets.

Whereas before I was doing stuff like this:


Now I'm doing stuff like this:


Is this a good thing? I don't know. I honestly don't know.

The History of Shopping Carts is something particularly interesting that I read today.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Hocus Pocus by Focus

When I was 7 or 8ish and my dad and I were home alone, sometimes we would crank the stereo all the way up and listen to lots of vinyl. We have a lot of it. One day he pulled out a copy of the album Moving Waves by Focus, and explained that there was one song that I absolutely had to listen to because Thijs van Leer had such an amazing voice.

It was so weird and different that I never forgot that day.

What can I tell you about this song? It's Dutch progressive rock meets yodeling. Yes, yodelling. See for yourself. It is awesome and entertaining.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

I may not be interesting, but this is

Dirty Car Art.

I read a lot

I'm beginning to I'm beginning to think that maybe this online education thing is making me into a very boring person. All I do is read. And read. And read.

Then I sit down here and do I have something interesting to post? No.

Today I read three separate articles with different opinions on Simon & Schuster's takeover of Distican and sometimes when I read these things I think that really what we need to do is shut down the border and tell America to stop treating us like we're their colony, but that won't happen, so abandon hope.

Then I read a bit from Schumacher's Small is Beautiful, about how a) the best approach to foreign development is to stop telling people that they need help all the time and only offer assistance when they ask for it and b) we should stop looking at fancy schmancy technologies all the time to fix other peoples' problems for them, because all that does is make them more dependent on us for spare parts and oil and such. Makes a hell of a lot of sense.

Then I read the last bit of a novel for sociology about a Jewish cyborg. I'm not entirely sure how a machine can practice any sort of religious faith, but meh.

Oh, and then there was an article about technology and control.

Yep. That was my day.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Oh Alphonso


Off the plank with ye!

I still have a bruise on the palm of my hand from Friday, when I jumped out of Kathy's car at an intersection and hit the crosswalk button with a little too much enthusiasm.

I lost my phone last Wednesday and I've been kind of weird ever since.

My jeans have passed into the realm of the truly sacred by sprouting a hole in the crotch. I have nothing against holy jeans, really. A rip here, a bit of fraying there can look kind of cool, but when an old pair of jeans gets a hole in the crotch, I find that I have the strong urge to not wear them for anything other than hanging out around home or maybe doing yardwork.

off-the-plank-with-yeI always get concerned that people will look at me and then think that I have some sort of malignant crotch rot, which is really stupid, because assuming that people are kind of like me, they don't spend a lot of time staring at and noticing those sorts of things. Regardless, I don't like wearing pants when they get too many holes in them.

I finally got paid for the work I did over Christmas. I think I'll go buy myself a new pair of jeans. A pair that doesn't have holes.

This post sucked. Alright, off the plank with me!


Frankly, I'm sitting here at a loss for things to say. I took down yesterday's post because it makes me sound far crazier than I actually am. Well, that depends on the day, really.

So, for the four or five people that read that post, let's get some things straight:

1) I live in an area that is kind of wooded and sparsely populated. I hear noises, sometimes, and sometimes those startle me. Not all that often, but sometimes they do.

2) If I'm not going far, I tend not to lock my door, especially when there's no one else around. In this case, I walked around the side of the building, across the lawn and back. That classifies as not far, and therefore it would have made a lot of sense if the door had been unlocked when I got back to it.

3) The door was locked.

4) I was holding my keys in my hand at the time.

5) My short term memory has been going to hell in a handcart lately.

6) Two explanations: I forgot that I locked it behind me, or someone has walked in and locked the door behind them. One benign, the other, maybe not so much.

7) What do you do when faced with two equally plausible scenarios? Go with the lowest common denominator and choose caution. Unlock the door, call loudly up the stairs so you can be sure that if there is someone up there, they will hear you. Then you walk away for a while, giving that person, if they're there, a decent amount of time to show themselves out.

8) Returning a while later, it is only reasonable that I put all my suspicions to rest by checking all of the closets, armed with a large knife.

9) I don't do this often.

True, I was kind of panicky and maybe a touch irrational at the time, but underneath all that there was some rational thought there.

I'm not completely nuts.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Feedback loops

I am, at the moment, reading a rather dense article on cybrnetics.

I'm finding that I am understanding the examples used to explain the major concepts, but not the concepts themselves. It's a hell of a lot of fun. Honest.

I will have something more interesting to say tomorrow. Until then, I don't know, look at my hair or something.


Don't look now, but I'm number one.

Saturday, January 20, 2007


IMG_3590_1 Deciding that waiting an hour and a half to go bowling was out of the question, we retreated from the haze of cigarette smoke and back to a white hatchback with fogged windows.

"We could go skating..." I suggested. I'm not sure why. I hate skating like the plague, but the promise of a truly Canadian pasttime minus the beating each other up part seemed to pique the others' interests.

Half an hour wandering the bowels of Burnaby finally landed us at 8 Rinks, after trying a couple other rinks that strangely enough didn't have Friday night drop in skating. The rink was surprisingly not as busy as we had expected it to be, and the crowd was decidedly our age and really good at skating.

After my effortless display of how retarded I look on skates, my friends took pity upon me and hooked me up with a walker, one of those things they give to little kids to help them keep their balance. From then on, I was the token senior citizen on the ice, which led to much silliness all around.

From then on, that walker and I were inseparable. Walker, I love you. You make me feel invincible.

All talk of courgardom aside, I kind of think it would be cool to be old and hot and unhinged. It seems strange, I guess that I seem to be waiting for old age to bring me some sort of liberation, but if you consider the fact that for a goodly-sized portion of last year there was quite a large faction in my brain that was a touch suicidal, I'd say we've made some improvements. I don't have to die, I just have to get old so one day people can excuse me for my weirdness, and maybe then I'll be cool and pretty and liked.

Until then I'll just be me.

Friday, January 19, 2007

I'm starting to like this online education thing


Your questions answered twentyfourseven

IMG_4961_1A somnambulist is someone who walks in their sleep. Yes, I am one. No, I didn't just use the name to sound cool.

The musical notes for every good boy deserves fudge are coincidentally EGBDF, as in Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge. Funny how that happens.

The line "it's like riding a unicycle on a dental floss tightrope over a wilderness of razor blades" is from a Matthew Good song, 21st Century Living, to be exact, off the album Avalanche.

"great big sea newfie rap instruments used" Hmm... I'm not sure what you're talking about, but I'll put my money on the bodhran, pronounced BOR-on. Only a moron can't play a bodhran.

Okay, sending a fax to Norway can be a little tricky. Whatever you do, you have to resist the temptation to dial 9. True, that will get you out of the building, but only for local numbers. No, you must instead dial 47. I learned this through trial and error. One day you too may learn the ways of the fax.

For the last time, I don't know Bosco. Please stop calling me.

The fish in water thing is sort of a metaphorical way of saying that some things are hard to see because they're ubiquitous. In other words, you don't notice them because you couldn't possibly imagine or understand having things any other way. The person who discovered water was not a fish because the fish's whole world is water. Living in a world without water is completely impossible, and having it around seems so natural to the fish, it's not something the fish would notice, let alone question. Same goes for dominant ideologies. They're everywhere. You don't notice them unless you're looking for them precisely because they're everywhere, embedded in the way we think, act and experience reality.

Yes, I'm pretty sure Ikea sells three-pronged extension cords. The exact kind of extension cord you get would depend on what country you're in.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Holiday

So... The Holiday.

Maybe it was just Brown's incessant belching and farting, but for some reason or other I just couldn't get into it. Sure, I'll say I don't really like chick flicks, but the truth is that a good one, a really good one will make me bawl my eyes out.

I just didn't empathize with the characters at all, which is weird because there was nothing wrong with the acting. I'd say that everyone's performances were entirely believable, including Jack Black's, which was very, very shocking to me. Very shocking. You mean, he can act? Well, apparently he can.

It may have had something to do with the fact that during the film I had this overwhelming sense of disorientation brought on by the fact that some people had showed up at my door about an hour and a half earlier and whisked me away to the movies in my pyjamas.

We had ended up after that at a family restaurant that looked more like a gift shop than a restaurant because all the furniture and miscellaneous decor was for sale, where something or other led me to relate the following story:

So, we were watching this documentary in class that was put out a couple years ago by Project Censored about important news that doesn't make it into the mainstream media and one of them was about how women's cosmetics are full of all sorts of carcinogenic shit that will kill you. And in the opening line, they followed this woman around the bathroom and this very authoritative and grim sounding man said something like "on any given day, a woman will use soap, shampoo, conditioner, cleanser, toner, moisturizers, apply makeup, perfume, powder herself and douche." And then Callan, who was sitting beside me, leaned over and poked me in the ribs to ask me quite innocently, "so, Erin, how often do you douche?" to which I replied "Callan, you are a douche."
Which surprisingly enough made people laugh. A lot.

We tipped. Well. No one should have to put up with us.

But this is a review of the movie. Which would have been kind of a sweet movie, except that it was perhaps half an hour too long. It was nice up until the point where they seemed to be prolonging it unnecessarily at the end, just so that we could see yet another moral dilemma, another crisis of conscience, another change of mind, another hardening of resolve.

Not to mention, the story had no closure in the end, even though it pretended to. When we had finally struggled through the excessive corniness of the last twenty minutes, it ended without one of the major problems being solved. Grargh!


As I was standing at the bus stop, I saw something in the dark out of the corner of my eye.

At first I thought it was a squirrel carrying a piece of garbage, but its tail was far too skinny. No, it was a rat. A Norway rat, because living on the waterfront all my life has made me better acquainted with rats than I'd like to be and I've come to know the different species in the area.

No, it was two rats, no, three, all fighting over a piece of garbage. Running dangerously close to my feet, in and out of the bushes, squeaking at each other.

Then all of a sudden it was four, then three, then I couldn't tell. Then after that seven. Seven distinct rats all chasing each other about for the pleasure of having whatever it was in their little mouths, driven so crazy with lust for whatever the hell it was that they abandoned all caution and fought for it about my feet and over my toes.

And there I stood until they all scampered away, thinking to myself that that must have been an altogether ridiculous scene that I had just passively taken part in and thinking that if it had been my mother in my place, she would have most likely jumped out in front of a moving car to get away from them.

Me? I'm not scared of rats.

So began my evening.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Best hummus I've ever tasted

My mom has the habit of frequenting eating establishments where suits kind of look out of place, even if they really aren't. We visited another such place for lunch yesterday, a place that she had described to me beforehand as "a place that's run by a bunch of Lebanese skateboarders who don't smile much but make good lentil soup."

She went on to explain to me that the other day one of the guys behind the counter was wearing a tshirt on which Alice Cooper was looking kind of like Medusa, with snakes for hair. One of the patrons got really excited because it was such a "like, cool tshirt, man, it's, like, Medusa, and that's cool," and the guy behind the counter tried to explain that it wasn't really Medusa at all, but the guy, who was quite stoned, wouldn't have it. Finally mom stepped in and said that it was Alice Cooper and the staff turned, smiled and said yeah.

My mom's cool.

So that's where we ended up. The place is called Nuba. It is indeed run by thin young men who wear touques and baggy jeans with the elastic waistbands of their underwear hanging out. It's won some awards, and for good reason. The food was quite excellent. Not the sort of place for claustrophobes though. The whole restaurant was maybe three metres wide, and that meant that tables, if you could call them tables, protruded from the bricks of the wall and stopped abruptly about a foot later.

It seems to pull in quite an interesting clientelle. As we sat down, two men passed us to leave, the bling on the one catching my immediate attention. It was a large, black sand dollar in a heavy gold setting on a heavy gold chain.

Shortly after, two new men took their place at the counter, the more gaudy looking one wearing some sort of embroidered Navajo blanket jacket, a plaid shirt and baggy pants with a psychadelic design that made my eyes temporarily crosseyed. They ordered coffee. Turkish coffee, served in little demitasse mugs from one of the coolest looking flowery enameled kettles I've ever seen. I bet it was good stuff.

I thoroughly enjoyed myself. How can you tell?

Mr. Forgetful

The blue screen of death stole the post that I wrote this morning. I will remember what I wrote eventually, but in the meantime, I bought this book from Sophia Books yesterday because Mr. Forgetful was always my favourite, even though I couldn't pronounce his name.


Monday, January 15, 2007

During the course of which my mother and I demolish a piece of tiramisu

Snow"Margaret just keeps repeating the same things, the same stories and she'll ask you the same questions every fifteen minutes and everything is so delightful."

"Oh, that's just adorable dear!" I chime.

It's a favourite pasttime of ours, disecting people. I do it with my parents. Can't do it around my friends because it tends to creep them out.

"You know, it's the things that she doesn't say that really hit you," she says, sipping her huge late carefully, so as to not disturb the foam.

"She always says he was a good man. She repeats that a lot, and that they never wanted for money, and that they had a nice home. But it's what she doesn't mention that's more interesting. I'll bet he was a company man."

"Had a job with good pay, long hours and unfulfilling work," I add.

"Came home grumpy all the time, and the reason why she's so incredibly cheerful and nice is to compensate for him. In keeping with the times, children would most likely be seen and not heard. They would be her responsibility, as would be cooking and keeping the house clean. They lived in a picture perfect house. It would have been absolutely pristine. She is the sort of woman who would make sure she had fresh lipstick on by the time he came home. Goes with the times."

Sunday, January 14, 2007


This is the moment you've been waiting for! Welcome to the exciting post in my blog where I unveil the best of the worst photos that never made it into any of my posts. And the nominees are:

January 13, 2007 024_1

Erin peers ominously past an ugly pile of cigarette butts in the snow.

January 13, 2007 019_1

Abby shoots lightning out of her right eye.


When there is ass to be kicked, I'm there.

VI Trip 001_1

Erin squishes a squishy cow menacingly.

And the winner is...

Hell, I don't know. No one's voted yet, though my moneys on the ass kicking.

I got bored of the newspaper bird

wind-up aligator

⇐ It's a different aligator, so no whining.

Still haven't fixed the sidebar. Yes, I noticed.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

That's my sister.

January-6,-2007-001Abby walks by on her way to the washroom and kisses the grey cat.

Sally (the cat) sits there with wide eyes, looking very concerned.

Dad + myself, in unison: Did she kiss you, Sally? Yuck!

My sister used to be the kissingest huggingest touchey feeley little sister you could ever hope to have. She'd wrestle you down and then plant the biggest, wettest, grossest kisses on your cheeks at the same time that I was one of those kids that just didn't like to be touched.

Lou has taken up assembling puzzles. She hasn't quite gotten it down just yet, because I found a piece halfway down the hall. But maybe she'll figure it out. I've never seen her sit so still for so long before.

She's the most ADD little cat I've ever seen.

I saw Charlotte's Web today, and I enjoyed it, even though it was kind of overly sentimental at the end and the first couple of minutes were kind of weak-ish and had me a little apprehensive. I never know what to think walking into a film like that. It's a book that I loved to death when I was younger, and I played the animated video almost to death, or at least until the vcr ate it. It makes me so angry and disappointed every time people don't do a good job of translating childrens' books into film. But this one was pretty good.

The Stuart Little movie sucked ass.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Things I hate today:


  • tole painting
  • rustic cutesy artsy craftsy handmade-looking decorative crap that serves no purpose other than to just sit there and look handmade craftsy artsy cutesy rustic
  • furniture that is prematurely aged and made to look "antique" by people who beat the shit out of it in random ways that in no way shape or form correspond to how furnature would be beaten up and abused had it actually been old and well used
  • that crackle paint that you buy in hardware stores and craft stores that you paint on things to make the paint look like it's cracking and peeling off
  • the practice of hanging copper pots and kitchen utensils off of your livingroom walls as a means of decoration
  • those Jack-In-The-Box burger clown car antenna balls and people who put those on their cars

I mean, ugh!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Last night's dinner

IMG_4959_1Well, Just for Jonathan, and seeing as he seems to be doing more cooking than art these days:

Among the other things I got for Christmas was a cookbook written by local restaurant owner Vikram Vij. Usually I'm not all that big on following recipes or measuring ingredients, so I can only say that dinner yesterday (and coincidentally today) was inspired by a recipe from that book and goes more or less as follows:

You need:
8+ green onions (the more, the better)
1 cup of plain yogurt (I used sour cream because I only have strawberry yogurt)
1 tbsp Mexican chili powder (or in my case, chipotle)
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground cayenne pepper
salt (I don't really have any salt in my kitchen so I just skipped it)
1 eggplant
2 cups tomatoes
vegetable oil

It's pretty easy. Mix the spices in a bowl with the yogurt, add the chopped up veggies and stir them until they're all coated. Heat oil in the pan at medium-high and saute the veggies for threeish minutes. The sauce changes colour a little. Reduce heat, cover and let it simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and serve.

The recipe said to discard the hollow green parts of the green onions but I like them, so I threw them on top when the whole thing was finished cooking. It was good, perhaps a little spicier than I would have made it if I had completely made it up, but that's what leftover yogurt is for, and/or just using less spices. I think it would probably be good if it had been cooked with coconut milk instead of yogurt/sour cream too.

I already posted a picture of this, but you can refresh your memory here.



As much as I complain about it, it sure is pretty when it stops falling from the sky.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

This is just too much excitement for me

IMG_4942_1I must admit to feeling some pangs of anxiety when I woke up and saw snow outside. I had two meetings to go to up at SFU but since snow makes me paranoid, I bowed out of the first one, which was to take place around noonish. Good thing too, because the streets out there were a mess and the snow was falling in flakes the size of quarters.

Eventually though, it started to lighten up a little. I saw a hint of blue sky out there, and the news on the radio said that the snow was clearing up and so were the roads. I checked the SFU road conditions and found that everything seemed to be clear.

I set off just as the snow started again and made it up Clarke Hill without much incident, except that at that time there were two stalls that had completely blocked traffic on its way down. Trapped in the lined up traffic behind the stalls was an ambulance, its lights flashing ineffectively and a snowplough unable to get to the three or four centimetres lying on the pavement and causing so much trouble for the cars ahead. Not that it would have mattered much. The snow was falling so fast that it was impossible to keep even the main roads clear.

Things weren't all that good at Production Station either, because one by one, the busses started to come down off the mountain only to drive off somewhere else with their 'sorry, not in service' signs on. Translink sent a supervisor over to tell us that they weren't sending any more busses up or down the mountain because conditions were too dangerous.

This wasn't that big of a deal for me, because the falling snow made me progressively more paranoid about being outside and not being able to get to school gave me a good excuse to go home. Gradually people began to disperse from the bus stop. The girl who had stood in front of me in the line just stood there and shrugged. Her bags of groceries pinned her as a rez kid. I hope she made it up the mountain somehow. She didn't have a jacket with her.

I phoned a friend to let her know that I wasn't going to be at the meeting, only find out that she was stuck there, perhaps for the night, and her friend had apparently been on a bus that had slid out of control into a fallen tree on its way down.

It doesn't matter which direction you choose, it seems that all roads lead downhill from that point. Down steep hills with an increasing amount of fluffy ski powder for you to slide in. I chose the route with the smallest incline, which may have added a good two hours to my trip home, but did wonders for my peace of mind. The rest of my trip was uneventful, except for the fact that my last bus broke down halfway home so I walked the rest of the way.

I could show you pictures of snow, but frankly I've seen enough of it. I made some curried eggplant and tomatoes for dinner. You can look at that instead.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

I have a tooth that hurts

IMG_4511_1I woke up in the middle of the night because I have a tooth that is bothering me. I seem to remember asking the dentist last time I was in about getting it pulled out because it was sore, but he said that it should wait.

They're wisdom teeth, you see, and my dentist wants them to grow in so that he can just pull them out himself instead of sending me to a dental surgeon to have them cut out. The only problem with that is that I have a really small mouth, so small that they had to pull 6 teeth out to make room to straighten the rest. I'm quite afraid that letting the buggers grow in naturally will move them around again and the last thing that I want is to spend my tuition money on getting braces again.

So my dentist and I disagree, I'm now losing sleep and it's not quite noon yet and I'm pretty close to consuming the maximum recommended doseage of ibuprofin written on the bottle. Thankfully the drugs are taking the edge off of it, however my ear is still itchy. Does your ear ever get really itchy when your throat is sore? Mine does. It's like that, only tooth related.

Perhaps I'm just being a little paranoid, but I know that my dad ended up in hospital with a nasty infection because no one thought to take his wisdom teeth out and seems to me my mom's became impacted and she needed some really fantastic painful surgery to remove hers because they became fused somehow to her bones. (My parents don't have pregnancy or wedding horror stories, only dental ones.)

But seeing as I share a lot of genes with them, is it not reasonable to assume that I have a higher chance of having these weird dental conditions and mishaps than the average person? I explained my reasoning to the dentist and he doesn't listen. He's got dollar signs in his eyes.

There are about 12ish dentist's offices along the same three blocks or so near my parents' street. They're like vultures, they are, especially if you've got dental insurance. It seems like they'll find every possible reason to get you in the chair, and a lot of times, at the end of your appointment you'll find that they did more things than you asked for, and then you get charged for it all.

I don't trust the bastards. We wouldn't have this problem if dental care was publicly funded.

Am I the only one who's noticed that since the government stopped funding eye exams the optometrists have had to resort to using scare tactics, making up scary stories about sudden blindness and stuff? It's kind of funny that we didn't hear about how we could suddenly drop dead or go blind when we didn't actually have to pay for eye exams.


Monday, January 08, 2007

In which I got a phone call from a 13 digit number

IMG_4906_1My phone informed me that it was full yesterday and I began to empty out a whole bunch of old text messages, the majority of which were ones that said that I had voicemail messages waiting for me. I ran into one that was from an unusually long number, 13 digits. It took me a while to figure out who it was before I realized that it was a Chinese number.


Purely by coincidence he phoned me later that evening, which I wasn't expecting because long distance between China and Canada must be expensive.

He was calling because there was an earthquake in Taiwan a little while ago which broke some of the fibre optic cables under the ocean between China and the US and has slowed down considerably the access to internet in the little town where he is staying.

Meanwhile, somehow or other he managed to hurt his ankle and wound up in hospital for it. He won't say how that happened, but knowing him, it could be anything, really. What's unfortunate for him is that at this moment, he is the tallest person in China, which, aside from making him strangely attractive to gay men, means that his crutches are a good four inches too short. That added to the fact that he has to walk to work every morning means that it isn't exactly healing all that fast.

His roommates got a dog a while ago but no one has really bothered to take care of it. Because of that it's a pretty sad dog and he's decided that it has to go, but that means a difficult choice: eat it or send it to Canada. One is cheap and final, though he'd still have to live with the roommates afterward and the other is expensive and arguably harder on the dog, because it would spend at least a month in quarantine once it was here and be surrounded by lots of unfamiliar people for months.

I wonder at the wisdom of getting any kind of pet in the first place, especially when none of them intend to stay in China for more than a year. The person he went there with was sent there so she would "grow up" and obviously she hasn't.

Sometimes I worry about people.

Saturday, January 06, 2007


do not pull this alarmWhereas yesterday morning's breakfast conversation may possibly have run as follows:

D: "How is the new showerhead we got you, Erin?"

E: "It's alright. It's got a million different settings and I haven't quite found one I really like yet. I haven't tried them all yet though."

M: "Yeah, it's got some pretty super amazing massage you while you shower kind of settings on it."

E: "I noticed. Well I tried one and it was like a gentle mist pampering you with loving caresses. Yeah, totally ineffective for washing. And then there's this one that is like a hard pulsating stream, which is okay when it's on your scalp or your back or something but when it hits your nipple... Ouch. But I'm sure I'll find something I like."

A: "Speaking of nipples, your cat is really weird, Erin. You know how you kind of have to rearrange your bra a bit before you put it on, like make sure none of the straps are twisted? Well I was doing that and then she licked my nipple. It must have been because it was sticking out or something."

E: "Aww, you're lucky it was her tongue and not her claws."

A: "Yeah, and then she started licking my bed."

Breakfast conversation today was more about polychronic vs. monochronic time.

Then, when all is said and done, we get to sit and watch as my mother becomes quite absorbed into gently peeling the membrane out of the inside of her eggshells.

This is why I go home for the weekend.

Friday, January 05, 2007

I've always wondered what would happen if I poked it with a needle

First Stanley Park was ravaged by a windstorm, now B.C. Place Stadium's roof has collapsed.

No more marshmallow bondage today.

The best theory I've heard on the radio so far is that the Rolling Stones caused it. They haven't been here for a while, so I guess they used telekinesis or something.

That's two landmarks down...

Damn you, platypi for not fitting in

My sister brought it to my attention the other day that platypusses are an eighth of the size that I had previously thought they were. Naturally, I had seen them on tv and assumed that they were smaller-than-bears-bigger-than-breadboxes but apparently not.

My world is forever changed.

Upon writing this post, it has come to my attention that I do not know what the correct plural form of platypus is. I know it's definitely not platipusss because putting more than two of any letter together is wrong.

Raymi says platypus', which could be right, but looks kind of posessive to me.

I looked it up on wikipedia and they say 'platipuses', but if it's spelled that way, then wouldn't the pronunciation be platipoooses?

All I know is that it's probably not platypussies either, because that just sounds weird and pornographic.

Alright, the Oxford English Dictionary says

Plural platypuses, platypi, (rare) platypusses, (rare) platypodes. Forms: 17- platypus, 18 platibas, 18 platibus, 18 platipus, 18 platthypus, 18 platybus, 18 platypaus.
That's settled then.

FYI, a platypussary is an enclosure where platypuses are kept.

I think this blog is going downhill.

Actually, maybe it isn't. Around this time last year, I wrote something about salt and how incredibly valuable it was to people in ancient times, and explained that though they make it sound like a really incredibly bad thing in the Bible the fact that Lot's wife turned into a pillar of salt was actually quite a good thing. It's the ultimate Biblical rags to riches story there. Convince people to sin and defy God or whatever and you'll make millions. Being righteous pays. No more nagging wife and you get a pillar of salt to sell on the open market to boot.

Maybe this exploration of odd topics is just a seasonal thing.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Twenny-seks kroner

IMG_4816_1So, I was sitting at a bus stop beside a smallish parking lot in Oslo, waiting for someone, but the dumbass wouldn't show. A bus drove up with a flashing number 16 on it, but though there were many route numbers on the sign, 16 was not one of them, so I didn't get on. Good thing too, because after my stop, the bus turned into the parking lot and vapourized just as it was about to drive through the shop that was behind me.

A couple more 16's drove by, each turning a different direction after passing my stop (it was a 5-way intersection) which kind of confirmed to me at the time that it was a good idea not to get on one of those because I had absolutely no idea where the hell they went.

Finally a different bus arrived and it was getting quite dark, so I got on. My mom was on there. I don't think I talked to her much, but I don't usually talk to people much on the bus. My trip cost me 26 kroner. I have no idea whether or not that is anywhere near what people would actually pay for bus fare but this was a dream so I'm allowed to pay whatever I want.

I ended up at a swimming pool that had lots of screaming kids in it and a mosaic of small, red bricks set into the pool deck. I soon found that each brick corresponded to a letter of the alphabet, and that when I pressed them, the letter came out, sort of on a screen. An ephemeral screen that was seethrough, floating in the sky that only I could see.

I tried to spell out some words, but they were tricky little bastards, those bricks. Some of the letters were repeated and they were in random orders, not to mention, there were no marks made on the bricks that gave any indication whatsoever as to which letter was associated with each brick.

So it was a matter of systematic trial and error, until I could find some sort of pattern, which I didn't but I like puzzles so I was absorbed by it for quite some time until I woke up.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Loose ends

elephant"I just love these oranges," Peter said as he handed one to me, "they're so easy to peel, otherwise I'd like them just about as much as other oranges."

"Yep," I replied, "they're good for making elephants," showing him my peeled orange.

I was surprised at the reaction I got out of him. He just laughed and laughed. In 43 years of life, he'd never seen anything so incredibly cool. I thought everyone made elephants.

So, not only did I make an elephant out of an orange peel that day, I also made his day. I do believe that that is the corniest thing I've ever said on this here blog.

Oh, and just so you know, pictured below is the coolest thing I found in my fridge the other day, not the least because it didn't smell like a thing and it didn't just have mold, it had little mushrooms too. I decided to dissect the noodles and found that the middles of them had turned a dark maroon colour. I forgot to take a picture of that, so you'll just have to take my word for it. It was awesome.

Alright, the template is a little buggy in spots and I've probably already noticed that. However, if you feel like pointing out the obvious, feel free. That's what the comments are for.

To tell the truth, I'm getting a tad tired of the newspaper bird but Kevin says that I'm not allowed to go back to using the aligator.

And to the person who arrived here searching for "yoga pants sexy ass", yeah, I'm working on it. I've got the pants. The ass is going to take me a while. Patience, my son.

it came from the fridge

Erin dreams in oils

I had a dream last night that had as a backdrop paintings of the Canadian wilderness a la the Group of Seven. I'm trying very hard to find one specific painting that I saw when I looked out the window as I was wearing a poncho that I had pulled off a rack. Seems to me the tag on the garment stated that it was worth exactly $408.

Admittedly, a google image search is not always the best way to search for fine art, but depending ont the artist, you can usually find the major works. It will bug me until I find it.

There was one spindly little tree - a lodgepole pine, I think. Tall, skinny and lacking branches, except for a scrubby little bit at the top. It was off to the left and nearly a silhouette. I say nearly, because there were traces of dull green and dark umber on it, though it's hard to say.

In painting there's a difference between pigment black, black created out of things that are undeniably black, and the kind of black that you get when mixing red, yellow and blue. The kind you get from mixing is much warmer, and that's about as accurately as I can describe the colour of the tree.

Juxtapose that with the sky - gold, limitless. The clouds billowy and white, shaded with a warm umber, just to remind you that the sun is setting soon.

I can't find it, so maybe I just made it up in my dream. I do that with epic poetry sometimes.

Anyways, in my dream, eventually my sister convinced me to exchange the outrageously expensive poncho for one my mom made out of an Ikea blanket and sewed all my brownie and guide badges on.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007



So, I cleaned out my fridge today and I was going to post some pictures of the things I found in there, but they were so hideously disturbing that I have decided not to. It's all in the past now.

I'm going to set a little personal challenge for myself now, a non-new year's resolution personal challenge, to go a month without letting anything in my fridge go rotten. Seeing as it's January and therefore the beginning of the semester, I think I might just be able to do it.

Instead I'll show you a picture I took of the rather iconic Helen's sign from the Burnaby Heights. I took the picture because sadly, neon is a dying breed and I happen to know that the owner of the sign is becoming kind of elderly, so who knows what the future holds for it.

I like it though. That little girl just keeps swinging back and forth, day and night.

Monday, January 01, 2007

New year, fresh start, blurry cat


Hello apartment.

Hi Erin, haven't seen you in a while.

Nope, you haven't.

Not since last year, in fact.

That joke's getting kind of old.

Alright, alright. Well, what are your plans?

I think I need to clean up a little.

I was hoping you'd say that. I feel disgusting.

Come on, disgusting? You're actually not that bad. I mean, you've been worse.

That doesn't excuse it.

Yeah, I know. I should do better.

You haven't had anyone over since Alexis almost got eaten alive by the hairball behind the bathroom door. That's pretty sad.

Hey, that hairball's gone. Abby flushed it down the toilet, I think.

Doesn't matter.

You're one tough apartment to keep happy, you know that?

Yep. But what would you expect from someone with white carpets?

It's the white carpet every time. Drives me fucking nuts.

You really shouldn't get upset about things you can't change.

Yeah, I know. But I guess I can clean the fridge.

Yep, you will. Tomorrow. I'll haunt you until you do.

I'm too old for this shit.

IMG_4839_1The girl that may possibly be a Robyn sits down beside me with a half-filled bottle in her hand and tells me that she's drunk and she doesn't want to finish her drink but that she has to because it's open. "No, you don't have to finish it," I said, but she did anyways.

There comes a time when you have to step back and evaluate the situation and ask:

Are people enjoying themselves? Yes.
Am I enjoying myself? No.
Will the consumption of more alcohol and/or ilicit drugs improve the situation? No.

Too many nos and you should take yourself out. Say good bye to someone who cares, knock on the door of the bathroom until you get a response (someone's been in there for an hour) check for pulses on the people who are passed out and put their bodies into 3/4 prone so they won't aspirate on their vomit and make a quiet exit.