Monday, April 30, 2007

Conversation starters

IMG_5444_1I find it kind of funny that these days anything that we do that grandma doesn't approve of gets pinned on my aunt Sharon. It's not fair to her, I suppose, but it's still kind of funny how much grandma seems hellbent on turning her sister into an absolute demon. Grandma takes stories and rearranges them until they're satisfactory to her.

And yet I can't bring myself to feel overly sorry for my aunt. She has gone out of her way to shun me since the day I was born, to the point of being extremely rude in my physical presence. Every time I have met her, I have made a point to say hello and each time she has looked at me and then walked away without saying anything.

I don't expect everyone in the world to like me, but from my blood relatives especially, I expect a minimum level of politeness and respect, none of which I have ever received from her. On the other hand, she showers my other cousins with gifts, up until a point, because she can't stand to actually spend any money for anything. This favouratism is a sore point between her and my grandmother who thinks all her grandchildren should be treated equally.

As always her excuse is that she doesn't know any of us so she can't start a conversation, like, not even about the weather or school or any of those banal things that people talk about when they don't know what to say.

But I leave it up to her because if I had to start the conversation I'd still ask something like: How was your hysterectomy? or Are you sure that after twenty years of working at a mental hospital that a little bit of the crazy didn't rub off? Do you hate me, or do you just hate me? What kinds of cat torture methods would you recommend? I've been trying to get mine to act as feral and insane as yours without success...

I wouldn't do it to be rude, I just don't know what to say either.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Got to replace those dead azaleas.


We craigslisted a bunch of stuff and then we took the money down to the local Rhododendron Society's plant sale and bought a bunch of plants, three of which are pictured. I always feel good about supporting local charities and groups - scouts or soccer teams or gardeners or school projects or whatever. Somehow or other it's all good for everyone.


It was my grandma's birthday so we had dinner with her too. Pizza. Mom wasn't sure of the phone number, but I assured her that if you dial 310 and then any combination of 1s and 0s for the remaining four numbers, you'll get a pizza place, and they'll probably deliver. That's how it is in Vancouver.


As I was telling her this though, she fell asleep in the chair. The annual conference has been on at her work this week, so she's been leaving home at 4am and coming home around 9ish. Yesterday was the last day but she hasn't recovered yet. She's been kind of spacey and her driving got really bad for a while there, so we made her pull over and surrender the keys.

I hope she sleeps well tonight.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

I have never been a fan of houndstooth.

IMG_5435_1I'm thinking that today is the kind of day that you could find yourself walking into the local Sally Ann thrift store just for the hell of it. It's the kind of day when you suddenly become enamoured with wool cardigans and kitschy salt and pepper shaker sets.

Yet, passing by these beautiful objects, you stop to inspect the blazers, looking for the ever elusive vintage tweed coat that's just perfect which you've been craving for almost a year now. Instead your hands rest upon one particular coat: boxy, wool, with an impossibly garish houndstooth in royal blue and white, a cross between Girl Guides and circus clown.

And in order to confirm that you aren't just hallucinating, you pull it out of the rack to have a closer look. It is every bit as loud as you thought it would be.

Suddenly there is another hand on the pattern, in addition to your own, well manicured, bony, clear veins in pale skin. "That's a nice coat," she says, smiling. She shuffles away, herself a collage of gaudy, mismatched colours and prints.

I think the happy happy turtle needs a name. He's making himself quite at home on my desk. He even found a plant. Plants offer better opportunities for camouflage than Visa bills.

I was thinking of something like Terrence or Harold, but it most definitely can not be Harold, because I have a thing against naming children after family members, especially family members I don't particularly like.

Oh, and some concerned readers have mentioned that they believe that wild animals belong in the wild. I agree. This turtle's plastic.

My future career in espionage.

IMG_5230_1can I call you peepers?

no the hell you can't

whoa attitude

well, if you were offended you'd have attitude too

offended? I didn't mean to offend you

well, you did

what would you rather be called then?

I'm not sure. not sharon


what would be an appropriate name for a mole on your right breast?

I don't know. you're asking me? you're the mole and you didn't like my last suggestion

true, that

but mole, it's like you're a spy. we could be a crime fighting duo, you and I

how so?

well, I could walk into places all innocent-like and then you could peek out of my shirt and take pictures of stuff. they'd never know

still dreaming of a career at csis, eh?

it's a possibility, yes. but I'd probably have to shut down my blog, at least if I was out doing intelligence work

and you sure as hell couldn't talk about all our exploits then

nope. all the things I can't talk about on my blog. sometimes it drives me nuts.

I can tell

is it just me or did you get bigger this month? more oblong?

just your imagination, dear

Friday, April 27, 2007


I put out a call earlier asking for people to recommend some new and interesting stuff for me to read but I've also been mining other peoples blogrolls looking for things to amuse myself.

So, via Rekabek I found the photos of snailbooty.

The whole photostream is full of morbid, yet humourous collages and photos made with dolls, action figures and all sorts of other ephemera.

Now, I bring you my favourites:

death takes an art class

what fresh hell is this?

hush puppy


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Recommended safe distance.

IMG_5292_1So we were almost out of Costco the other day and going through that ritual running of the gauntlet where they sort of half almost check to see if the stuff written down on your receipt is the same stuff in your cart when all of a sudden a woman completely oblivious to her surroundings bent over right in front of us, leaving her enormous buttocks a prime target for the front end of our shopping cart.

I noticed this first, and maybe I could have said something, but me being me, my eyes then travelled towards my father to see if he had noticed and then back to her butt, to witness what would happen if he didn't see her. He did, finally, and stopped barely a centimetre from her still upturned butt. There was a look of sudden relief on his face.

We stood there and waited until she started walking again. We were pretty much stuck behind her because there wasn't any room to go around. She was talking to her friend about something that required a high level of articulation and full-body gestures and suddenly she stopped and bent over again. Once again she narrowly missed being ploughed over by the shopping cart.

In driving school they don't tell you what the safe following distance is for when you're following an obese woman with a shopping cart. They really should because obviously we weren't maintaining a safe distance behind her.

She began to walk again and that was about the time when we finally made it to the employees who draw pictures on your receipts with felt markers. Once through that ordeal, dad started pushing the cart and almost immediately narrowly missed her giant upturned ass as she bent over a third time in front of us.

Meanwhile I was thinking LADY, YOU ARE TEMPTING FATE.

She stood up and turned around as she was stepping out the door, so for the first time we were acquainted with her face. Once free of her, we made a B-line to our vehicle, where conversation ensued:

"God, she looked like she had been run over by a lawnmower."

"Oh, I was going to say she had a face that only a mother could love."

"She looked kind of like the back end of a horse," I supplied.

"So we're all in agreement?"


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

I think I might have left it on the counter.

IMG_5396_1Ever go looking for the tape or a pair of scissors in the fridge or something? I just had a moment like that. Only, for me it was that I got up to go to the washroom and took a water glass with me. Why I did that is beyond me. It's not like that's where it was supposed to go, and it was empty, so it's not like I was going to take a drink on my way there.

I just took it there with me, and then decided that I would carry on as usual, only with a water glass on the counter.

It reminds me of the days when I used to sit for hours in the bathroom, reading. A lot of the time I'd just sit on the side of the bathtub or put the lid down on the toilet and then I'd be in there for two, three, maybe four hours, until someone told me to get out or my butt got sore from sitting in places that really aren't made for sitting on for that long.

It was nice though, because I always had to share a room with my sister so I never had any private time, and also because if my parents saw me sitting and reading for longer than an hour at a time I'd be put to work doing chores.

I figure they must have known what was going on though. Either that or they were just really negligent, because I'd like to think that if my child was having three-hour-long bowel movements regularly I'd want to take them to a doctor or something.

But I guess where this is going is that one day when I was sixish I smuggled an entire package of oreos into the bathroom and was having a great time sitting on the toilet, reading and licking all the centres out of the cookies.

Long story short, I got caught and it was explained to me that the bathroom is not a place where you eat things. You can eat in your bed or on the couch or you can eat grass, but you can't eat oreos in the bathroom.

This blog is open for business

IMG_5394_1I find it sad that a lot of my favourite blogs are dropping off/dying/becoming inactive for unspecified periods of time, but oh well, there's not a lot I can do about it. Maybe they'll come back. If not, I'll miss them.

But seriously. Are there any cool blogs out there that I don't currently read that someone could suggest to me? You're allowed to suggest your own blog if you want, as long as it's not in the form of a link request because that irritates me.

I've been looking, but I haven't really found anything exciting lately. I have, however, found a lot of stuff I don't find particularly interesting, namely:

People who use pretentious language. Don't use big words to make yourself sound smart. Use them because they're relevant to what you're trying to say or leave them out.

People who had a boring day and then try to convince you that it was boring by writing a boring post about it.

People who do nothing but copy and paste news from other sources into their blogs. That's nice, but where's the commentary? If I wanted just straight news, I'd read the BBC or something.

But here I'm just complaining. I shouldn't complain. It's easy to complain, but not as easy to do something constructive, I know. Arguably I shouldn't be the one dishing out criticism anyways because no one really reads my blog. Well, correction, five people read my blog. I love you five people.

And, unlike others, this blog isn't going away. You're stuck with me. So there!

Monday, April 23, 2007

I was bored.


These are the thoughts that enter my head.

IMG_5421_1What? You're telling me that Labradorite doesn't sell? But it's positively labradorescent. I'm going to make myself a crown of labradorite and a big marble column to sit upon and then I can flash deep blue in the sun and look down at people below me. Having fun down there?

Then at some point I'll become disgusted at my own vanity, and throw myself down from my marble column, or break it down piece by piece and use the stone to build schools for the poor. I'm a big fan of affordable education.

I figure I wouldn't want to fall to my death but being zapped in an electrical storm would be fine, so maybe I'll sit on my column and get whipped by the wind until I do. Then you can take it afterward and build schools. Beautiful schools. Change the world.

Scatter my ashes in the ocean. I wouldn't have it any other way. I'll crawl up and down the coasts, infiltrating every crevasse, every subterranean place where water likes to go, and when they finally pump the Ogalla Aquifer dry with their idiotic, state-subsidized unsustainable agriculture, I'll still be hiding out, underground, even as pillow clouds of algae bloom in the Gulf of Mexico. You'll never find me.

Note to self: don't fall to selve's death.

Are we clear?


Sunday, April 22, 2007

Lights are out and I'm a mouse

IMG_5420_1I spent today moving stuff around the carport with my dad and setting up our lapidary machines.

I have been experiencing some trouble with my eyes lately and at times I've found it very difficult to look at my computer screen. Instead I find myself pacing around my apartment, trying not to focus on anything or strain my eyes, or closing them, which makes them more sore.

In all honesty, I could be feeling better right now, but I don't know how to make that happen. I wish it was as easy as a wonder drug or telling people what's going on in my brain, but it isn't, so I will continue waking up in the morning until I don't.

There is someone who has become preocupied lately with "bringing me out of my shell" for reasons which are beyond me. The fact is that we stand polar opposite from each other politically, and it irritates the hell out of me that she makes a conscious decision to not recycle a single thing. I'm really good at getting along with people I don't like by maintaining a polite, friendly and aloof demeanour. I think it's better that way.

Sometimes I wonder what would happen if I actually did say what I was on my mind, or shared my blog or my sketchbook with the people whom I consciously choose to keep a healthy distance from. On the one hand it might be a good thing to let some things out, but on the other, I'm not sure if I could handle the stigma. I hide my achievements as much as I hide my faults. I just hide. The closer I can come to disappearing the better.

I'm beginning to think that I wouldn't be able to handle it any other way.

If only I didn't have those manic days when I get out there and brag and drink too much and get myself elected for stuff and talk too fast and say stuff I don't mean and get good grades and attract everyone's attention, I would succeed. I just need to hide.

Friday, April 20, 2007

It's like feng shui only different

IMG_5266_1I can't stand the thought of throwing anything in the garbage so I compost and recycle the shit out of absolutely everything I can, but living in an apartment means that I have no back yard with which to compost anything.

My parents have a yard and a compost box.

My parents absolutely abhor the thought of paying to dump their garbage, like they have to do in their city. They don't produce a lot of garbage themselves, but the cats do. They have three cats.

Garbage disposal where I live is free. All you've got to do is throw it in the dumpster.

It's a reciprocal thing, and it happens every weekend.

We have a word for it. Fling shit. It's like feng shui only different.

They take my buckets of kitchen waste for compost and then we all throw bags of cat shit into the dumpster. I wish I could say it is a fun thing.

The new car is incredibly deluxe so in addition to having next to nothing for suspension, it also has no light in the trunk either. This means that we had to fumble around in the dark to find all the bags, and the ones I grabbed were wet. I don't care how much you call that stuff rainwater, that's not what it smelled like.

I stuck my hand in my mom's face for confirmation. You want to know how to make her scream and laugh hysterically? That would be it.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The pearl

IMG_5265_1This past weekend I went with my parents to the rock and gem show in Abbotsford, where we purchased, among other things, over a kilo of A grade Afghani lapis, a large nodule of turquoise, tiger's eye and some holly blue agate. I'm pretty excited at the thought of cutting it all.

I always have a look at the display cases at these things, out of curiosity. A lot of the stuff there for whatever reason doesn't appeal to me: boring or ugly jewellry, poorly executed sculptures and carvings, cliche'd subjects and in general, there tends to be a fair bit of what I would consider to be mediocre work. In this, judgement is subjective though, and some people are obviously proud enough of these things to put them on display.

Oftentimes I curb my judgement by telling myself that a lot of these people are self-taught and do this as a hobby, or are not particularly experienced, and that trying is better than doing nothing at all. And further, some people actually like oval stones of substandard quality in silver and gold settings purchased from a catalogue. I don't. Some people do.

Still, other forms of stonework, such as intarsia, clearly take a lot of time, effort and skill to do well, and in spite of being done well, I still don't like it. It's just not my thing.

The display cases for the members of the Creative Jeweller's Guild are usually pretty decent, though, and what stood out most from there was Gunter Otto's jewellry, featuring stones hand-carved in freeform geometric designs and set in silver. It was different and kind of creative. I liked how he could turn otherwise boring stones into things that were nice to look at.

Moving on down the line there was another case by someone else that had some decent stuff in it. I glossed over everything and then was immediately drawn in by one particular piece. It was a freshwater pearl, roughly stick shaped and a little over a centimetre long. At the base of this pearl there was another, rounder pearl fused to it. The whole pearl was set in an upright position to the bottom of a plate of silver that had been shaped to look like a male torso.

The piece was called "masculinity." I didn't take a picture.

Perhaps the three of us are immature, but it spawned a lot of jokes that involved John Steinbeck and pearl necklaces, or Dick Cheneys, as Christine likes to call them. I come by my dirty mind quite naturally.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Walking disaster.

IMG_5264_1I think I'm a hazard to my own health today.

I woke up fatigued and achey and lethargic, had a shower because it seemed like a good idea at the time. I figured it would help wake me up too.

When I got out of the shower, I towelled myself off. I have a habit of doing this flick thing, where I bend over and flick all of my hair into the bathtub before wrapping it up into a towel turban. I'd like to think that it helps my hair dry faster or something, but really it just makes a cool sound, and perhaps the sight of my wet hair flying through the air looks cool too. I've never checked.

Needless to say I bent too low on my flick and conked my head on the side of the bathtub.

I decided that I would have a soft boiled egg for breakfast, just for a change, and stuck the pot of water on the stove to boil. Shortly after I heard and smelled the unmistakeable signs that I had turned on the wrong element on the stove.

Shortly after that, I pulled the boiling pot off the stove and tipped it on the way to the sink enough to hit my foot with some hot water.

If I had been hit by a car I would not have been surprised.

Monday, April 16, 2007

I want to Spock you like an animal.

It was only a matter of time before someone did this. Not necessarily good to be watching it at work though. Depends on your work, I guess. Not my work.

And for heaven's sake don't rhyme it.

IMG_5203_1Don't give me any of this wilted rose bullshit, or black knots of pain or shattered hearts. Tell me the real story. What happened, how it made you feel. Tell me about her coffee cup, pulled warm from the dishwasher, how even after ridding the rest of your apartment of her the lipstick still remains, pressed lips on porcelain a reminder of the morning before.

Will you enshrine it, enthralled, or give her a second chance? The garbage can beckons, as does the hungry floor. It would be so easy to smash it and sweep the pieces out of sight, out of mind, as if it never happened. The momentary satisfaction of throwing it against the wall would create a mark that will force you to remember it afterward.

Or, if you're the practical type, plunge it into the sink, give it a hard scrub and be done with it. Just cut the pretentious flowery cliches. They speak nothing of your pain, just of your trying far too hard to be a poet when everyone already is.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Meet Lou.

There comes a time in every blogger's life where they are tired and uncreative and badly wanting to go to bed such that all they can think of is posting multiple pictures of their cat with dumb captions. This is one such occasion.


Ugh, she picked me up.


And now she's kissing me.


This is humiliating.


Look away and think of England.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Spring cleaning

Ah the joys of spring cleaning. I've been busy digging around the garage and Craigslisting stuff so that we can free up some space. You always find the most interesting things when you do stuff like that, and even though my parents moved three years ago, I'm still managing to find a lot of things that I didn't think we had, or had at least forgotten. Exhibit A: the fake plastic breasts.

an unusual find in the garage

I'm not entirely sure what the origins of these are. Apparently they were purchased in the 80s and I'm not sure what the purpose was. But these are not just any tie-on plastic novelty breasts, no, they are:

made in mauritius

Maruitius happens to be a tiny, tiny island in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Madagascar, which is off the coast of Africa. There was some question among our family as to whether or not it was a third-world country, but now that I've looked it up, apparently people there enjoy a reasonably high standard of living, because like Switzerland, they got out of the plastic breast industry a long time ago and now do a lot of international banking. It also looks to be a rather nice tourist destination for those who like white, sandy beaches, warm weather and tropical plants.

fun with fake plastic breasts

Maybe one day we'll travel there and experience first-hand the beauty and cultural diversity of what looks to be a charming country. Until then, we'll find other ways of keeping ourselves amused.

more fun with fake plastic breasts

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Nothing like girls beating each other up in the rain.


I took some pictures at my sister's rugby game today. She wasn't playing because she's injured. A broken scapula, to be exact. The second broken scapula that the doctor had ever seen. It's kind of a hard bone to break, unless someone hits you from behind with a hammer or something.


The sad thing is that she didn't get it in a game. She got it in practice. She didn't even get it while tackling someone else. She smashed into a punching bag the wrong way. That doesn't sound nearly as cool as a heroic war story.

My sister's tough though. She'll get through it. But still, now when you poke her in just the right place, she shreiks and makes funny faces. I don't do that intentionally, but it's still funny in a really cruel way when I do.


I missed the end of the game but I hope they won. If it had been a fashion contest, they certainly would have.

The Scots invented the world

IMG_5220_1I've decided to take this summer off from classes because I've gone five straight semesters without a break and I now have three years worth of books that people have given me as gifts or lent and it's about time that I read them.

First up is How the Scots Invented the Modern World: The true story of how Western Europe's poorest nation created our world and everything in it. Seems to me my mother gave it to me for Christmas two years ago because aside from doing our bizarre German thing where we cook cabbage and yell at each other, we take time to honour the other side of our heritage by cooking oatmeal and yelling at each other.

I am now six chapters in and I must say it is fascinating. That Scotland was the first nation in 17th century Europe to have a public school system, a literacy rate above 70% and a system of public lending libraries should put those barbarians the British to shame.

What else have I learned?

The origin of the word blackmail is Scottish. It comes from the Gaelic word mail, which means rent or tribute, and black, which was the colour of cows. The practice of blackmailing involved stealing other peoples' cows and holding them for ransom, or alternately, holding them until someone stole them back, or stole the cows that had been yours in the first place (which were probably stolen at some point).

In this, they remind me kind of of the Nuer in Southern Sudan. E.E. Evans Pritchard's book was like the family bible in our house when I was growing up, because we don't do the Jesus thing. And does the Bible have full frontal nudity? I think not.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Today I.

IMG_5256_1woke up in the wee hours of the morning because I had had a dream that I watched one of my friends drag another friend by her hair into a parking lot where he proceeded to punch her face until it was beyond recognition.

couldn't get back to sleep after said dream.

lay awake in bed for three hours.

had tea instead of coffee.

wrote an exam.

rejoyced that my "fuck it, I'm not studying for this damn course because there's just too damn much information" plan was actually successful.

came home.

made dinner.

gave some relationship advice to a highschool student in Moose Jaw who for some reason or other is one of my msn contacts, though I'm quite certain we've never talked before and I'm not entirely sure how I know him.

fell asleep at 7:00.

am now up.

resurrected my paper journal because I need to write some things down, and some things just don't belong on the internet.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Still not into you

IMG_5244_1Dear you,

Yes you, I've written about you before.

Let me be honest. I believe that people who do not bring extra pens into exams are idiots. As we all know, if your pen is capable of running out, jamming or exploding, it's at least ten times more likely to do each of these things when you're in an exam.

The easiest way to prevent the inevitable pain and anguish this causes is to bring an extra pen into your exam. Therefore, people who do not do this are idiots.

That being said, you did not bring an extra pen with you. A=B, B=C, &there4 C=?

Now, it has already been established that I don't particularly like you, what with you following me to and from school, to the washroom at school and boring me to death with whatever it is that you talk incessantly about. I find your nervousness and vulnerability a big turnoff and the fact that you are unable to use the word "penis" in a sentence without stuttering and looking embarassed, especially when you brought it up in the first place does not help your case.

Not to mention, I find the fact that in conversation your eyes never once leave my chest kind of irritating. Yes, granted, you are male and granted, checking out breasts is what males do, but the majority of men in this world seem to be capable of looking elsewhere as well, places like say, my face, for a reasonable amount of time. I'm a 32B for Christ's sake. There's not a hell of a lot to look at there.

You had taken a seat right next to me and upon realizing that C=A you are an idiot, you asked me if I could spare a pen. I couldn't, and that's the honest truth.

Glory! Praise be! Halelujah! There just happened to be a pen on the floor between us. Problem solved.

The story gets complicated now, because in walks the Other Man, and where does he sit? In the empty seat right between us, of course. Perfect.

Almost instantly you slump in your chair and begin to look agitated. Perhaps I'm evil for doing this, but I find it funny how quickly you appeared to become pissed off.

The exams and booklets get handed out. All over the lecture hall people are handing them down the rows with friendliness, politeness, whatever. You hand each to the Other Man in a rude, offhand flick that says "my mom won't let me have ice cream for breakfast and I'm so angry I could explode."

Other Man finishes and leaves before either of us. Nearing the end of the exam, you realize that you will not be needing the services of the pen you rescued from the floor, so you throw it, with obvious intent, back to where you found it. I'm guessing you like to make those immigrant cleaning ladies really work for their money.

I didn't wait around after I finished to discuss your motives with you.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Just dead air.

IMG_5248_1My phone's been ringing off the hook all afternoon, which is to say that it's been vibrating and playing that unidentifiable dance beat/technoesque song ad nauseum.

It was the best ringtone of the six that came pre-loaded on my phone and I don't waste my time and money on frivolous stuff like that, especially when I only really receive at maximum five or six calls per month.

That being said, my phone has rang five or six times this afternoon, which is what I mean by off the hook. I answer, say hello three times and then hang up. I do enough talking aloud to no one whatsoever that I don't have to waste my minutes doing it on the phone.

Who is it? Damned if I know. I'm too cheap for call display too.

I am feeling regret and self-loathing at the sudden realization today that we've all forgotten my cousin's birthday. Say what you want about my aunt, she has never once forgotten my birthday, my sister's birthday or any major holidays. Even in the six years when she absolutely would not talk to us at all, we could always look forward to finding something on our doorstep, even if it was just a card stuffed with money.

Must rectify this stat.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Fun at the maritime museum






Coming home.

April 7, 2007 017_1The Easter bunny came and brought me all sorts of cool chocolate goodies this morning because I'm at my parents' house and it's a magical place where this sort of stuff still happens even though I'm 20 years old.

At breakfast the soft boiled eggs magically turned blue, just like they always have, every single Easter. I used to love it because it was so magical and amazing that normal eggs that you eat for breakfast would suddenly be blue.

We visited one grandma last night. She was very spacey, but altogether more alert than she was the last time I saw her. She has a habit of forgetting what she's saying halfway through a sentence these days, but it doesn't seem to cause her any distress, so it's alright.

Today we'll go and see the other grandma once my dad stops practicing his mother-in-law avoidance by magically finding he has things to do, like digging a ditch across the garden.

We're also supposed to go see an exhibit of stuff from the Titanic down at the Maritime Museum. I prefer spending my Sundays doing cultural things like museums and going to the symphony to any of that Jesus stuff that people tell me I should do. How can Jesus be anywhere as enriching as classical music or opera or poetry readings or learning about history? I just don't see it.

My sister made pudding eggs the other day. They're good. Frick helped because she was hoping for handouts. That cat will eat anything these days. All her legs are hollow.

April 7, 2007 009_1

April 7, 2007 014_1

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Sounds like we're related

IMG_51391_1My day was particularly uneventful yesterday until I got to my parents' house last night.

The package of documents we requested from the government has finally arrived. Inside were all the medical and service records on file for my father's paternal grandfather and my mother's grandfather from WWI, and I find them fascinating.

We knew a lot about my mother's grandfather, Philip, already. He was one of those bastards that got conscripted against his will two months before the end of the war and got to do some of the cleanup afterward. He didn't talk about it much but forever afterward the sight of stew, ground meat and cracked eggs used to make him vomit.

But Vic? I know the old man hated his father for leaving his wife and seven children in a dirt-floored shack in rural Burnaby with no means of support while he fucked off to the war for King and Country. He came home, was unemployed for several months because there were no jobs for people who had fought in the war. When he finally got a job, he died in a work accident on his second day of work. That's about it.

The rest of that story is history, which I'll have to tell at another time.

What's interesting right now is that this week is the anniversary of the Canadian victory at Vimy Ridge in France and the "return to Vimy weekend" on the CBC. Quite a big thing, Vimy Ridge. That and the War of 1812.

Mom summarized the hilights before plopping the stack of papers in front of me: "Certified for lorry operation, no medals, disciplined for drunkenness, theft of public property, AWOL once, tested twice for syphilis, treated for influenza and a lot of dental stuff."

"So, in other words we're related?"


Thursday, April 05, 2007

Kings of Convenience

Digging through my old livejournal reminds me of how much I liked Kings of Convenience around grade 12ish. Their music kind of reminds me of elevator music sometimes, but it's the sort of elevator music that you would actually feel like listening to.

At least I would listen to. Not bad for studying.

They've also done some stuff with Feist, which means they're cool. But before you get worried, no, this music video is not nearly as bizarre as the last one I posted. It's actually quite springy, which is nice because I've been inside studying all day and the trees outside have been in bloom for over a week now, so instead of actually going outside and having a look, I can watch flowering trees on youtube. Technology really is grand.

Except I'm quite willing to bet that we have far more flowering cherry and plum trees here than they have in Norway. I'm not entirely sure if that is where that was filmed but that's where the band is from. Bergen, to be specific.

I don't know much about Bergen except that the men there have to wear hats when they cross the street. Oh, and it's in Western Norway, on the coast, which makes it a very Norwegian place, and it's the sister city to Seattle, or at least it was, so it has a huge totem pole that is very not-Norwegian.

That's about it.

Alright, Erin. Shut up about the Norwegians already. That's what they say. It's like they think I'm obsessed or something.

But while you're at it, go here, download The Luckiest Guy on the Lower East Side and the songs featuring Feist and enjoy.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


You know you have it bad when you meet someone in a bar on a Wednesday evening that you think you may have met before and have a lot in common with and you think he's kind of nice looking and he offers to buy you a drink if you want to stay for a while longer and wait for his friends to show up, and you know for a fact that you know his friends because this guy is a friend of a friend but you're already pissed off at yourself for slurring the odd word in conversations about the ethicalness of the marketing of environmental and social justice causes and being able to think clearly but not able to speak in full sentences that make sense and all you can think about is going home and figuring out if you can find him on facebook.


Watch this video. It describes perfectly where my head is at right now.

Alright, now that you've watched it to the end, scream a bunch of four letter words at your computer. Great, now we're on the same page.

I think I like what I've done with my template, even though it's kind of harder to use all the links. Meh.

In which I claim to be mature.

IMG_5163_1I think it's finally time to sever my connection to Livejournal once and for all. In spite of my anti-technological-determinism stance, I have to admit that certain media are predisposed to be used in certain ways. Hence:

oral culture ⇒ memorization, traditional societies that don't cover a large geographic area, knowledge is common to all/most

written culture ⇒ societies cover a larger geographic area, higher rate of social change, potential for people to have, record and transmit specific knowledge and information that others may not share

livejournal culture ⇒ internet cliques, political struggles over who should be included in specially screened groups, juvenile behaviour

It's the juvenile behaviour that pisses me off the most. It's the easy facilitation of spreading rumours and talking behind peoples backs, the angst and irritation and conflict that festers until it erupts into the conversations you have in real life.

I have three separate incidents in mind involving three separate groups of people, each within the past three months. I won't bother to describe them here because frankly I think they're personal issues and really have no place on the internet anyways. Not to mention I'm nowhere near neutral in any of the conflicts so I'm not the person to be writing out an objective account of any of it.

I find that I have to step back sometimes and ask myself how old we all are and why we're bickering and wasting our time when it does nothing more than piss other people off.

I seem to remember feeling this way exactly two years ago, when I created the precursor to this blog, and then, in turn, this one after it. What I have yet to do though is sever my ties to it completely.

On the one hand, I want to just delete the whole thing and be rid of it, but on the other, there are some decent posts hiding in there and I don't want to lose them. Peter's favourite post, for example, was originally posted on that old journal in 2004 or 2005, and, if you can believe it, it was a real conversation. Maybe I should dig some more up.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Postsecret, you've done me in again.

This one made me cry.


People don't like to focus on good things. As long as you have an ugly blotchy leg the top half of you doesn't seem to matter.


The world should give us kids with ugly blotchy skin a chance. We're not completely ugly.

Either that or we'll have to not be caught dead wearing shorts, or capris or skirts or bathing suits. But that's what we already do, isn't it?

Monday, April 02, 2007

The war is over

IMG_5128_1Ah the beauty of slow internet is that while I wait the requisite ten minutes I get to sit here, looking at this lovely blank untitled notepad document and do nothing.

Scrawled some illegible crap about haplotypes and databases and then fled like a fugitive from downtown today, on this, my last day of class. In such a short space of time one particular person has come to inspire the deepest revulsion I think I've ever felt. Unfair to him, I guess, but I really don't know.

Best to avoid it all. It makes me so angry that when in spite of feeling better and more confident than I have in months, this is still the only solution I ever seem to be able to implement. Anything more would involve a backbone, something that for some reason I'm reluctant to grow.

Sometimes best to not contemplate these things. Walked past my regular bus stop. Caught the skytrain westbound. I needed to go the opposite direction, but if you take the train west and ride it past the terminus, the train switches tracks and takes you east. That way you're almost guaranteed a seat.

Uneventful walk home. I probably should have worn more than a tshirt today but because it's after January 15th, I refuse to bundle up. The cold weather can kiss my ass.

Something about spring always makes me feel really confined and restless. I miss the time when I used to feel like a genuinely creative person. I feel like I'm just pretending.

Come on, world. Inspire me.