Tuesday, July 31, 2007

8 more things

IMG_5815_1I've been bitten with the 8 things meme again, this time by Schmutzie.

Here be the rules:
Each player lists 8 facts/habits about themselves.
The rules of the game are posted at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed.
At the end of the post, the player tags 8 people, posts their names, and leaves a comment on their websites to let them know that they have been tagged.

What on earth can I say?

1) I knew all the words to Matthew Good's Hospital Music by heart at least a week before I bought the album today. I'm listening to it right now and it's excellent. It is one of the best albums I have ever heard. I'm happy and sad and I want to cry.

2) I once wrote a post for this blog that consisted of short summaries of the five most important posts written but never posted to my blog. Among them was a gushy post about this guy and the tale of my most memorable bowel movement. It's probably better that I didn't even post the summaries.

3) I decided about a year ago that sometime before I die I really want to go and see a Grey Cup game. Vancouver, Edmonton, wherever, and I couldn't care less if the Lions would be playing or not. I want to paint my face wave around a sign and wear a football jersey, drink copious amounts of beer at a tailgate party and run drunk through the streets at night. I'm not really a football person or interested in sports or anything. I just want to go do it once.

4) I get asked a lot about my accent. Some people out there think I talk funny and that perhaps I came from somewhere else, like New Zealand. Nope, I've lived here all my life. My funny way of talking? Maybe Arlo Guthrie or Charles Dickens or my dad or something.

5) I have the world's smallest bladder.

6) I haven't cut my hair since September 2005. I figure I have to do something with it soon because I'm starting to get split ends and if it gets any longer, I'm going to be faced with the uncomfortable feeling of having my wet hair squeeze itself between my buttcheeks every time I shower.

7) My favourite kind of tree is the arbutus. I've always loved their shape and silouette, the way their bark peels off in paper ribbons to expose red underneath. I love the places where they grow, rugged, rocky and exposed to the ocean's calm and fury.

8) I was classified as "gifted" when I was in elementary school. I'm guessing from the number of IQ tests I had to take between grades 2 and 8 that means that I score higher than average and that made me special needs. All that ever meant for the school was that they got extra funding of some sort and I got to go to special classes every day. Really though, I'd say that all "gifted" means is overly existentialist and socialy inept.

Monday, July 30, 2007


July-30,-2007-008When you go into the Titanic exhibit at the Royal BC Museum, they give you a boarding pass for the ocean liner and a passenger's information. At the end of the exhibit you have to check the list of survivors to see if you lived or not. Here's mine. I lived but one of my kids didn't. Oh well. My mom was going to America to be a nun. She died, but that's no big tragedy, really, because she just ended up getting closer to God faster.

First you walk through a room all about the shipyard and construction of the vessel, and then through some rooms meant to display the opulence of the decor and the stories of a couple of the more noteable passengers and artefacts found on the ship. Then it's into a dark room where you can touch a chunk of real iceberg, a room where they explained how they excavated and preserved the artefacts, and then into another where they had display cases filled with the personal effects of certain passengers, including some perfume that you could smell.

All in all it took us 4 hours to get through, as opposed to the Egyptian mummy exhibit a couple of years ago that took me two and the Leonardo da Vinci exhibit which took me two and a half. The exhibit had an IMAX film that accompanied it and we saw that too. I won't deny it. That documentary scared me. There were parts in it that made me jump.

My great-grandmother had a ticket for the Titanic, but right around the same time, there was a coal strike, and so in order to run the Titanic as planned, they had to cancel the sailing of another ship. Some of the people who were originally booked on the other vessel were moved onto the Titanic instead, which meant that she got bumped onto a later sailing.

In some ways it might have been better if she had been on the Titanic, because then she wouldn't have loaded her children in the back of a 1912 McLaughlan Buick and abandoned them in the Kootenays and the Caribou. But I have to remember that the only way I'm acquainted with her is through Grandad's autobiography, which paints a picture of her as a cruel, heartless woman who gave up her children so that she could afford to keep her car, dress in nice dresses and parade herself around downtown Vancouver, flaunting her British accent and pretending to be anything but working class.

I try to see it from her perspective sometimes but it's hard.

Friday, July 27, 2007

That's insulting

IMG_5787_1At the moment I'm thinking back to the time when my sister was four or five years old and she was angry at my father. She was positively livid, on the edge of throwing a tantrum and she puffed up her chest, screwed up her face and started yelling

"Oh dad, you're such...

you're such a...

you're such a...


Because, you know, neither you nor I would ever want to be called a guy.

She's staying over at my apartment tonight. Shenanigans have already ensued.

Now they've stopped. I've tired her out for once.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Headless cat!


My sister sent me this picture today. It's of my cat. She's apparently lost her head.

She's so fat that sometimes when she's licking her back end, she folds herself in half so it looks like she's actually sitting on top of and licking a completely different cat.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I had a colourific experience


Around 10ish a gauzey cloud came to rest outside my window, and it must have been the angle of the sun in relation to the cloud in relation to me, but all of a sudden the cloud became a big cottonball rainbow. It was roygbiv stripey for a good five minutes before everything moved, the sun, the cloud, the earth.

If I was feeling particularly emo, I'd say everything was moving except for me but I'm not so I won't.

So there.

erin says:
erin says:
I get that feeling a lot
R. says:
wait what one
R. says:
okay now i know
R. says:
those hippies were onto something
erin says:
yeah, I guess so
R. says:
about it being less of a destination than a trip
R. says:
yr blog's good that way, yr every day doesn't take out its bored frustration on the reader
R. says:
i wish funny shit happened to me every day

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Some days are just like that.

IMG_5792_1I was supposed to go for drinks with some people downtown tonight but today wasn't exactly a normal day. Namely, someone hit an oil pipeline in Burnaby, which shot oil all over peoples' homes, the highway and oozed out into the ocean. That means that the Barnet highway is closed and the trains were running a little behind schedule, and the skytrain and highway 1 are undoubtedly insane.

I figure that now that I'm out of the city, there's no point in going back in tonight. Not to mention, when I got home, I found my dad had taken over my apertment, spreading all his work all over my dining table, displacing everything that had previously been on the table, pulling apart my office bookshelves in search of paper and such. Today the damage was minimal. Usually he'll open a tin of sardines and stink the whole place up too, peppering the counter with cracker crumbs.

And when people are over, however uninvited they may be, I kind of feel obligated to see them out, rather than leaving them to their own defenses. What's more, I feel obligated to stay because I have accidentally blown up at them because of the simmering frustration at the knowledge that I'm going to be late and I can't find the goddamned shirt I wanted to wear and the person sitting uninvited in the middle of my apartment is telling me a story, half of which I already know, and he's making it twice as long as it needs to be.

So needless to say I'm eating crackers and cheese for dinner. I'm a little dismayed that the number of different kinds of cheese in my fridge has dropped below 9 varieties. This must be rectified immediately.

When you first purchase cambozolla cheese, it is a lovely, creamy white with blue veins through it. After a couple months of sitting in the fridge, the white turns a nut brown and it develops a strong odour and a very strong, sharp flavour. I am of the opinion that the smellier the cheese, the more delicious, so this is a pretty good thing.

But the thing about this cheese when it gets to that state is that after I eat it, my tongue gets all swollen and numb, as if I've eaten an entire pineapple at one sitting.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Bulgarian Chicks

This is officially my favourite song for the next twenty minutes.

It makes me want to dance.

I seriously need to improve my saxophone playing.

I'm going to go for a run now. I'm going to take my camera with me. I won't take any pictures. That's how it goes these days.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Timon of Athens

IMG_5773_1Saw Timon of Athens at Bard on the Beach today. I'd never read it before but I enjoyed it a lot. In it Timon, a wealthy and benevolent man, overextends himself by giving too generously to the numerous people who he considers to be his friends. When he suddenly finds himself penniless, he asks for help from these people only to find that they will give none.

It's not really a new story. It happens in everyday life, too. Are people friends with you or are they friends with your money? Timon's biggest fault is that even when it becomes obvious who his real friends are, he's still unable or unwilling to recognize it.

One thing I thought really worked for the play was that the people doing the music and sound effects were in plain view, behind the stage. It sounded more real than the canned sounds they usually have at the plays and it was another interesting thing to look at. And because the music was live, there was a lot more of it, along with song and dance, which made for a better use of the space, I think.

And use of the space was another thing I liked. The stage was set up like a giant table, with chairs along the edges, and the audience sat on either side. Other than the chairs, there were no props, which was good, because it put the onus on the actors to move and use the space creatively.

One thing I didn't like about the stage was that in the first half the actors used the chairs as steps onto the table, but in the second half the chairs had been removed, and so the actors had to climb or shimmy onto the stage, which seemed a little awkward.

Another thing I'm not all that happy about is that the Bard on the Beach concession doesn't seem to offer juice berries any more, stocking licorice allsorts instead. And, well, I like licorice allsorts and have been known to run over to see my grandma to eat her stash, but no one else I know likes them, so I certainly can't buy them to share, can I? I know I'm being petty, but still.

But, as long as they continue to stock caramel almond crunch ice cream bars, I will continue to sign up for all the plays each season. In the intermission we asked mom to give us money to buy some, and she called me a wretched knave. I laughed and called her my most beauteous and kind mother.

How do I end this post?

This is the end of act one.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

And if I go away again, you can have my stereo

You know what I'm trying to find right now? The video for Indestructible by Matthew Good Band on Youtube. You'd think that because it's an old, yet still kind of popular song and that it was released on the In a Coma DVD that it would be on there somewhere. I mean, While We Were Hunting Rabbits has been up for a long time, and it was an easter egg, and not really a released video in the first place.

The reason I wanted to was because for some reason or other, I felt compelled to put Underdogs in my cd player today, because I hadn't listened to the whole album in a good three years. And you know what? I'm in love again.

The music just doesn't seem to get old. Every single album Matt's put out has found a way to resonate with me. Underdogs reminds me of growing up in Coquitlam, not that I want to claim to have been his neighbour or anything. Not even close.

My question is why isn't Indestructible on Youtube? I love that song. I squeal with joy every time it comes on the radio. And even though the music video for it wasn't really all that good, I like the song better than the other singles from Underdogs.

Better than Everything is Automatic, even though I've been known to randomly say "kill for fun" in the washroom at work while I listen to the toilet flush itself in the stall and I'm waving my hands in front of the tap because it isn't turning on.

Better than Apparitions, even though I love to sing along.

Better than Rico, but I can't find that video either. I'd put them both up but my mad DVD ripping skillz are non-existent. Grargh!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Seemed like a good idea at the time


I actually baked these a while ago. They didn't taste quite as good as they look.

I've been doing this thing lately - coming home, seeing if anyone I want to talk to is on msn and then if there's no one there, laying down on the couch and staring at the ceiling for hours. When I close my eyes, I can make time go faster, which is the object of the game. The only real reason I get up in the morning is so that I can get through the day as fast as I can so I can go back to sleeping, or, trying to sleep.

People come over and find me laying in bed, awake, and want some sort of explanation for it. I don't know. I just didn't have anything better to do, and somehow being left alone with something as caustic as your own brain is easier when you're horizontal. Just is.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Reasons why I should not be let out of the house

IMG_5622_1I'm getting myself into trouble again.

I make faces at things. If I'm happy or disgusted or giddy or just walked out of a really awkward situation or pretty much anything else, I will make a face. Of course, I'll wait until I'm out of sight - in my apartment or the washroom or the safety of my cubicle, or in front of my immediate family, because they've resigned themselves to my being weird and they've found no amount of beating seems to be able to get it out of me.

Or elevators.

There's something to be said about the momentary privacy that an elevator in transit can afford you, something to be said about being left alone with a giant mirror. That something is that when I find myself in that sort of environment I am most likely making weird faces at myself in the mirror, because no one is watching.

Except when people are watching, and then I'm either talking to them or trying to look normal. I can't say how many times though that I've been caught with my face contorted into odd positions as the elevator made an unexpected stop.

But today I was waiting for an elevator and it was taking a long, long time to arrive and someone walked by, so when the doors opened, I launched myself into it and made a weird face into the mirror, only to realize with horror that there was a woman in there that I hadn't been able to see before I entered.


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Because, you know, arguing with a bus driver is so tough

IMG_5669_1So, I was on the bus the other day and it was really, really full, so full that the driver was only opening the front doors to let people out.

At one of these stops, though, a guy muscled his way onto the bus, and I didn't see the exchange but I certainly heard it. The driver told him that there wasn't enough room and that he'd have to wait for the next bus. He replied to her that he was goddamned well getting on this bus and shouted at everyone on board to make room for him. The result was that a few people shuffled around a little, but no more room was made than before because there was none to spare.

He continued to argue with the driver, and she wouldn't budge. He yelled at us again, and a woman yelled back from somewhere near the back of the bus that there was no more room.

The man continued to argue with the bus driver, whose position didn't change - there is no room on the bus, the bus isn't moving as long as you're on it, the next bus comes in less than six minutes, get off and wait for that one.

Finally, when it was clear that nothing was being accomplished except that the man was getting progressively angrier, louder and more confrontational, a female companion of the guy tried to convince him to give up and leave the bus, so he began arguing with her as well. Meanwhile the bus wasn't moving and we all had places to go.

Then, when she wasn't able to talk some sense into him, we heard a male voice from outside the bus tell him to get off, to which the irate man replied "Don't tell me you're not man enough to get on this bus!"

To which I thought that first of all, getting on the bus has nothing to do with being "manly." Second, being aggressive and thinking that you can harass women into letting you have your way also has nothing to do with being "manly."

Actually, those weren't my first thoughts but my censored, well-thought out commentary, post-event. My first thought was "lobotomy," but then I realized that unfortunately lobotomies don't prevent these people from breeding, and quickly changed my thought to castration.

Does it make me a bad person to think this? Some people seem to really need it. Just some, okay?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Pets I had pre-1995

Jetty - dog, thoroughbred daschund; had no teeth, survived being run over by a car, died of lung cancer from second-hand smoke, technically died before I was born, but I've heard all the stories so many times that it's almost like I knew him.

Stormer aka Stormie - cat, tabby; could talk, enjoyed hiding peoples' socks and underwear around the house, disappeared one night, likely eaten by coyotes after we moved in 1990.

Keifer, aka Keys - dog, shepherd-lab cross; notoriously stupid and loveable, once dragged mom down the street on her stomach while she was pregnant with me, had to be given away when we moved in 1990.

2 Unnamed Iguanas - a family friend gave them to me as a gift, mom freaked out and found them a new home... somewhere.

Spotty Spot, aka Spotty - cat, calico (no spots); I named her myself. Used to wait under the bed to claw my feet, disappeared in broad daylight, was hopefully addopted by nice people and not eaten by coyotes.

Chirp - budgie, blue; was found abandoned in the park, we put an ad in the paper but no one replied, eventually died of old age.

Keisha - budgie, yellow and white; got her for my 6th birthday, as a companion to chirp, when I was obsessed with birds, died of mysterious causes the night after I got her.

Keisha II - budgie, yellow and green; "Look mom! Keisha turned green overnight!"

Frickles aka Frick, Frickapotamus - cat, black and white; attacks dogs four times her size, used to bum food off of picnickers in the park, sleep inside a cast-iron frying pan and the mailbox, rode into vancouver and halfway back in the roofrack of the car, mentioned in this blog here, here and here, still alive, 13 years old, in poor health - diabetes, obesity, blindness, joint problems.

Fish (two tanks worth), the most noteable being:
One-Eyed Riley - feeder goldfish; blind, had huge cataracts on his eyes, lived 7 years.
Flipper - feeder goldfish; lived 8 years.
Phinneas - feeder goldfish; lived 9 years
Biggie - angelfish; got him from a friend of a friend who was trying to get rid of him, he was huge.
Coolie - coolie loach; it was an orange and yellow worm thing that we'd never seen before and haven't seen since, indestructable, sucked into the filter multiple times, survived having a rock dropped on it and spending more than an hour on the floor outside the tank.

Sally, aka Sal Pal, the Million Dollar Cat - cat, grey, heinz 57; dad addopted her from the SPCA because he's a sucker, had been abused and took a while to get used to us, used to be a good hunter - one dead carcass on the front porch every morning - until she disappeared for 3
days and turned up mauled by something, notorious fat scaredy cat, called the Million Dollar Cat because she's needed two major operations and a couple minor ones to remove lumps, fix an infection she got in a fight and a mastectomy, alive today, approx. 14 years old and in good health.

Lefty - Canada goose; was found tangled in a fishing wire, with a broken/infected leg that never really healed, never really strayed far from the yard, died of natural causes.

Monday, July 16, 2007

I guess this would make me an interesting person to sleep with...

IMG_5734_1I don't just walk in my sleep. I'm having first aid dreams again. It's major life-over-limb first aid, not the easy stick-a-bandaid on it first aid.

The only thing worse than taking three hours to fall asleep is having to deal with continuously vomiting spinals when you finally do. I wake up in a fetal position, my knees braced up against the back of the spineboard, my hands in a jaw thrust, calling for an oxygen tank and blowing into a pocket mask. My hip is sore from being ground into the pool deck, my elbow is scraped from smashing it into something in my haste to treat the victim. My hair is lying in the pool of vomit on the deck and my fingers are icky from scooping out the victim's mouth because I forgot to put my damn gloves on again. I wake up tangled in my sheets, smelling chlorine, with a bad taste in my mouth.

If the dreams were any more graphic than they are, I might face the possibility of getting post-traumatic stress from sleeping, especially when the people die. Because sometimes they do. Spontaneously, or they bleed out or aspirate on their own vomit. Can dreams do that to you? A lovely thought indeed.

One of my most frequent reoccuring dreams lately though is where I end up doing CPR on someone in a country where I don't speak the language. They die too, but that's because chances are next to nothing that they'll come back from you doing CPR, and if you don't get a defibrulator in there quick, your CPR is probably in vain.

One thing that scares me though is that I know first aid, but what if I'm unconscious or something, and no one knows how to help me? Or worse, someone thinks they know because they saw it done wrong on TV? Seeing first aid on the TV makes me scream because it's always wrong.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

My caboose is totally loose

the haircut - before

the haircut - after

Today my sister got a haircut so she could look like Gwyneth Paltrow in Sliding Doors. One of the Gwyneth Paltrows in Sliding Doors. Not the other one. It didn't really end up being the same haircut, really, but she likes it.


My dad and I made this birdhouse when I was 8ish and it sat at the top of the pole that held up our clothesline at the parkhouse. People used to walk by and take pictures of it because it was totally cool and no one else has a birdhouse that looks like a caboose.


It was home to a pair of finches for a while, and then later a nest of wasps, but it's seen better days. I spent a good portion of today scraping the loose paint and lichens off so that I can repaint it. Then once again, people can stop and take pictures and ask me where I bought it, and I can just laugh. Me? Buy things? I think not


Friday, July 13, 2007

That's why I'm her favouritest daughter

IMG_5733So there was this one time when they were having some sort of musical show at Fort Langley, though offhand I can't remember who was playing. We weren't there to see it. We had just randomly walked in.

I had returned from wandering around the crowd a little to stand just behind my mom. Just then, mom reached out and put her arm around the girl standing beside her, and began to rub her back slowly, as if that girl was me.

I guess I could have said something, but I just stood and watched. It was an experiment. I wanted to know how long it would take her to notice that I wasn't wearing a backless shirt.

And then the moment came - two simultaneous looks of sudden horror, awkwardness and revulsion as mom snatched her hand away and the girl stepped back.

Long story short, I eventually got whacked for it, which might have had something to do with my rather saccharine sounding comment that she must be glad that I'm her daughter.

Whatever. I had to get her back for threatening me with the banana, didn't I?

She had it coming.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

I'm in a bit of a funk

IMG_5735_1It's getting close to bedtime and I'm starting to feel really tired, which is a good omen, considering how hard it's been to get to sleep lately. I have this stabbing pain kind of deepish in my left ear which has been bothering me on and off for the past couple of weeks. I have no idea what it is, except that it doesn't feel like a sinus thing. Whatever it is, I hope it's not permanent.

I feel like I'm stuck in the middle of a funk at the moment. I sit down with the intention of writing something interesting and then nothing comes out.

I'm currently reading Susan Sontag's On Photography and liking it. It's a collection of essays on the ethics and philosophy around capturing images on film. I want to say more about it and I'm not finding the words, except that she uses good words in her essays. I'm a sucker for good words. I will elaborate at a later date.

It can't be good that the pain started deep in my ear, began to radiate down my neck and now I have a headache suddenly, can it?

Seriously, what am I supposed to write about these days anyways? Life is so boring, but in a good way. In a way that says that I'm working, I get along with my coworkers, I have a short commute, I go for a run every day, have done a lot of core strengthening exercises that have reduced significantly the chronic back pain from the injury I had in 2003, I'm out of groceries except for milk, eggs and dried apricots.

That's it.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


IMG_57591_1So, what's new with you guys? My apartment has magically transformed itself into a sauna almost overnight because being more or less a penthouse, part of it is always in the sun, somewhere.

These days I'm existing in that kind of damp, sticky, sweaty state from which I don't seem to be able to find any sort of relief while I'm outside of the office. I know it's got to be bad when I keep putting water in the one end and nothing comes out the other.

So somewhere in all of this my brains have been baked out.

It also doesn't help that I haven't been sleeping well lately. Last week I had a couple of nights where I went to sleep a lot later than I'm used to and it's completely thrown me off. I'm tired around 2:00 in the afternoon and then I rally and by the time it's time to go to bed I'm wired.

I do this thing where I start to talk aloud to myself about things. Politics, maybe, or the time the cat rode all the way into Vancouver on the freeway on the roof of the car, or describing in minute detail the playhouse that my dad and I built for me (victorian arts and crafts style complete with a turret, stained glass windows and gingerbread trim) or Harold Adams Innis' time bias vs. space bias.

It doesn't really matter what it is. It's just that once I start talking while I'm laying in bed, trying to sleep, I can't stop. So an hour and a half later, I'm still laying there, perhaps curled up in a different position, now talking aloud, trying to sort out my feelings about a death or someone I haven't yet forgiven for something.

And once I finish that, I have to start the long, drawn out process of trying to fall asleep, which could take hours. Every night's a battle.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

You wish you were here.

IMG_5738_1I'm not really feeling the photography thing these days. I'm not feeling the blogging these days either.

Life is kind of boring, actually. I'm out of vegetables so I went for a walk down to the greengrocer only to find that it had closed an hour and a half before I got there. Who closes a grocery store at 6:00? Honestly.

I walked home and got ogled by the soccer players on my way. Why does everyone have to stare at me all of a sudden? It's weird.

My lamp and I were bored so we had a luau. Look at us dance. We're dancing so much I can't focus my camera.






Monday, July 09, 2007


There is a man in a suit outside Christ Church Cathedral picking the carpet roses to put in his lapel. He makes a bit of a scene of smelling them, then with a look to ensure that no one's watching, he picks one, and finding it unsatisfactory, lets it drop into the grass and picks another. Then, tastefully adorned, he walks away, content in the knowledge that not a single soul saw him do it.

Except for me, but I'm no one, really.

And, I suppose that if I was an omniscient narrator and this a book I'd follow him as he walked, telling you the exact quality of the sound of his footsteps across the pavement, give you snapshots of the streets he walked down, the people he passed. I'd ride the elevator up with him, tell you his name and who exactly he's trying to impress, but I have to go to work.

Though, if I have to add some commentary in with this I'd say that picking flowers from someone else's garden isn't exactly all that cool, even if it is a church garden.

Tomorrow I will take pictures and they will be awesome.

Good night.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Good home cooking

IMG_5685_1"I thought I smelled something and Sally was sitting up and sniffing the air and looking concerned so I went into the kitchen and there was a huge plume of smoke coming out of the toaster."

"Did you open it?"

"No, I just turned it off and opened the window."

"Good. One time I overcooked a chicken in the oven and when I opened the door it burst into flames. I had to use the fire extinguisher to get it out and then your mother wouldn't eat it."

"It had white crap all over it. Your father just scraped it off and ate it anyways but I couldn't. What the hell's in that stuff anyways?"

"You're so picky. It tasted fine. I think it gave me gas though."

Dad's fire extinguisher chicken should not be confused with his rubber spatula tuna casserole, blue spotted french toast, everything in the fridge stir-fry, or the carrot-apple-onion-cabbage smoothies.

To be fair, he makes really good pancakes and pizza-sized heart-shaped chocolate chip cookies. They are the reason mom married him. The rest of his cooking is a bit of an acquired taste.

Three ways to end your relationship

IMG_5681_1I don't know about these people in America's Home Videos. There was a video where a couple of people had improvised some sort of slingshot thing, with elastics and a tire strung between two trees. Two guys pulled back on the tire with the intent of shooting the girl in it. Well, actually, I'm not sure what the intent was. You can never tell with these things.

Long story short, she kind of fell out on her head. The caption went something like "There's got to be a better way to break up with your girlfriend."

I don't know, really. I guess these people just don't know any better. I mean, Uncle Vic shot his first wife out of the end of a donkey boiler with a half-stick of dynamite. Their relationship ended shortly afterward.

Uncle Vic got bored of his second wife too. He took the ignition crank out of an old wind-up car and attached it to the kitchen stove. The next time his wife went to cook something, he turned the crank and electrocuted her. She wasn't impressed either. Divorce number two.

But then he met an American woman from old money in the south and he started dressing nicely and acting like a civilized human being. Acting like a civilized human being means not having to do with any of the rest of us.

Being the oldest child, I was supposed to be named Victoria, but my parents have this superstitious notion that children can inherit certain personality traits from the names they are given.

Saturday, July 07, 2007


IMG_5684_1Over the course of the past couple of months I have noticed that my smile is becoming progressively more lopsided. I can't remember when I first saw that, but now, when I try and equal out my smile in the mirror it makes the right side of my face feel really, really weird. The left side of my mouth just jumps for joy when my brain tells it to smile and the right side makes a bit of an effort, but only as much as it has to because it was hellbent on laying dormant all day and you just had to ruin that, didn't you?

All this proves is that my left brain is perpetually unamused.

I shouldn't be surprised though. Pretty much all of me is lopsided in one way or other. My right thumb is noticeably wider than my left. My left leg is a full inch shorter than my right, and no one noticed it until I started complaing that my mom did a crappy job hemming my pants because one pantleg was always longer than the other, even though she made them the same length. And until that point, I was always at a loss as to why it always felt like my right leg was doing all the work while I was rowing, and while one leg was noticeably more flexible than the other.

My boobs are a tad lopsided too, but then again, who's aren't? Unless they're fake, of course. A little bit of imperfection can be kind of endearing. I guess I'm thinking of Robert Brownjohn here. "Obsession and Fantasy" wouldn't have had quite the same effect had he used a supermodel for the photo. Though, it's nowhere near my favourite poster.

I'm not sure what motivated me to write a post about being all lopsided. I'm going to go for a run down to the library and see if I can pick up an interesting book with lots of pictures. Art, design, photography or the like.

This is already feeling like a two-post day.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Plastic bags like pillow clouds

IMG_5705_1When the weather warms up and bathing suit season finally commences, the users of the trail change from being almost exclusively joggers and dog walkers to couples. Suddenly when I go for a run I'm afraid to stop at any of the viewpoints for fear of walking into an awkward situation.

I'm working on a different floor than I was last year, the only floor in the building which the women's washroom isn't right beside the stairwell. Instead, where the women's washroom should be, were I on any other floor, there is a men's washroom, where I accidentally end up quite regularly because I'm on autopilot.

As far as I know, the women's washroom on my floor is the only one that has a full-body mirror. I've been known on occasion to walk right up to the life-sized me on the wall and think that damn, I'm short. I'm so used to having everyone out there be taller than me that I only really notice I'm short when I'm faced with someone the same height as me. Odd, I know.

I took a moment today to watch a plastic bag float through the air, playing in the updraughts in the atmosphere about a hundred metres above the ground, until eventually it concluded its ascent and began to drop with the same grace with which it rose. Eventually everything succumbs to gravity. It's only a matter of time.

Wow, that's kind of morbid. Wasn't really meant to be. I'm going to bed now.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Where's the lady from the Walmart commercial when you need her?

IMG_5723_1I fully realize that the only person who will be able to understand how the title of this post is relevant to its content is my sister. My most sincere apologies.

I got home today, turned on my computer and then promptly fell asleep in front of it. I try not to do that, because it only means I'm going to have a much harder time sleeping at night, but it's hard to reason with yourself when you're already out.

I feel guilty for not posting yesterday, but I was up until midnightish dealing with some things that I'm really not at liberty to discuss on this blog and at that point sleeping so that I can stay awake at work is a much higher priority than blogging. One day I'll get paid to blog and then you'll own me. My every post will be your command.

Last night I ended up at Metrotown with a friend trying to find something to wear for a wedding that I feel obligated to go to even though I don't particularly want to. The problem is that absolutely nothing fits right. I have a really short torso so everything I try on bunches up in the back, just above my butt. The one store there that was dedicated completely to petite-sized people like me had a selection that was completely unappealing.

The list of things that I don't do is so immense as to be beyond human comprehension:
super sheer fabric
things above knee-length
frills and pleats, unless they're the kind that is meant to obscure the fact that you have a lumpy stomach

And of course, the only things I could find that were the least bit interesting were black, and my companion wouldn't even let me try them on because apparently there's this rule out there that I've never heard of before that you can't wear black to weddings. Apparently wearing black automatically makes it a funeral. But at least if I get something black I can wear it again.

I really need to get my own personal tailor. The fashion industry is really letting me down.

And then in the middle of all this, a person we knew in high school called multiple times trying to get us to come out to a party. As time wore on he became progressively more pushy in that over the top happy friendly sort of way that you only use when you're really irritated that you're not getting your way.

Let's just say I don't like being argued with about things like this. No amount of arguing will get me to change my mind once it's made up, and if people can't accept "sorry, I can't come. I have other plans" and leave it at that, then they can go fuck themselves.

And let us also say that if you can't accept the fact that I'm unwilling to go an all-night party in the middle of the work week in Kitsilano, easily an hour and a half home on the bus at night, to drink with a bunch of people, none of which I've previously met then you're insane. I'm just not doing it and you won't win me over by trying to make me. I refuse to show up at work hungover and without having had a reasonable amount of sleep. Sorry that I have to act like such a responsible adult all the time.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Old-world microwave recipes

IMG_5717_1Last night I could have melted in the heat in my apartment. I didn't sleep all that well because of it. But I must have slept a little because my alarm found me in the middle of a dream filled with friendly strangers with malleable faces made of putty. I was running my hands through their hair.

2:00 found me waking up in my chair at work and then stumbling downstairs in search of coffee. In the kitchen at work there's instant or preground or whatever the hell kind of stuff comes out of cans. You know the stuff that might smell vaguely like coffee but isn't really? I can't drink that stuff.

My parents were the first people we knew who ground their own coffee beans and that's what I was raised on. I made the mistake at the coffee shop of not specifying that I wanted dark blend coffee and ended up with the default medium, which is terrible, like water, only off.

I like my coffee tall, dark and handsome.

I've been craving cabbage rolls a lot lately, but alas, I am out and I'm not going to have another until at least September. You can buy them at the store, but storebought is not nearly as good as homemade. I remember one time we had Christmas dinner at my grandma's and by coincidence both my mom and my aunt's mother-in-law brought casserole dishes full of them. Mom's cabbage rolls are melt-in-your-mouth good and the other lady's tasted like beef and rice rolled in cabbage with Campbell's tomato soup poured on them. They're just not the same.

The recipe came all the way from Ukraine, which is why it's so good. It's written out in Katarina Gutjahr's own hand and is titled "grandma Katie's baked beans." It sits beside the other treasured, hundred-year old recipes like mom's secret microwave Christmas candy, passed down from generation to generation.

What? You don't believe that German Russians had microwaves in the old country? It's true, I tell you.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Attack of the killer SLUGS!!!!!

IMG_5697_1"Umm... Erin, I think you should check this out," dad said.

"What is it?" I walked up to the door, my keys out, ready to unlock it. I stopped dead in my tracks when I noticed a giant black slug sliming its way up the door. On the inside of the door frame was a second. Both were at least four inches long.

I squealed, and then without speaking, dad and I both plunged our keys into our pockets. "Carla! We're locked out. Can you come and unlock the door for us?" dad asked.

She took her sweet time getting to the door, during which we had a hard time suppressing our giggles. When she finally reached us, keys in hand, she screamed.

And then no one wanted to open the door because the doorknob might possibly be slimed.

Finally I did it, because I'm brave.

I'm positively fearless, I tell you.

We still don't know why they were there in the first place. I think they were trying to eat the house and us alive.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Yeah, I love you too, mom

June 19, 2007 002_1

"What? More wine? Are you trying to booze me up or something?"

"You're so eccentric, Erin. I made you that way. You were weird as a child and I never stopped you."

"Yeah, but at least you never had boring kids."

"No, I never had boring kids. It would have been no fun having kids that were just like everyone else's."


"What? There's another sip in my glass? I thought I'd drank it all. You know, I used to wonder what wild animals felt like. And fur coats. What would they feel like? And then I realized that the cat's got fur and that's what fur would feel like. It was like an epiphany. It totally blew my mind."

"Okay, I shouldn't have boozed you up."