Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Streets are filled with people

IMG_6427_1I don't know if I'm completely sold on this blogger beta stuff just yet, but I can always change it back, right? I just needed a bit of a change today. I know some of my longtime readers have a hate hate relationship with the black and white alligator above. Sorry. It just fit better than my green one, and at least it's not obscuring any text this time.

I have a recurring dream in which the big earthquake we're overdue for happens and I'm stranded alone in Surrey.

I pull a small boy out from under some rubble and from then on he follows me around. He tells me that he wants to see his parents and I tell him that maybe we'll find them even though somehow I know that they're both dead. I always tell him that we're going to my house first, but it's on the other side of the river and the bridges are out.

We're walking and trying to find a way across the Fraser River and the streets are filled with people and we're all silent.

I dressed up like a lawyer at school today. I really, really like wearing those convocation gowns. They're comfy and I think they look really good. All the more reason to get a PhD.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Okanagan antique malls

I'm going to knit this into something for my mom. Not sure just what yet but they're her colours. It's merino wool and it was dyed by Brooke on Etsy. She's awesome and so is Etsy.

Mom had an entire antique mall in a frenzy a couple weeks ago when one of the vendors suddenly noticed the pin she had on her jacket. It isn't Sherman, but it's a very good fake and it's got Swarovski crystals in it so it shines rainbows in the sun.

It's the sort of jewelry that you see most often on old ladies that dress up nicely to eat pork pies and overcooked vegetables in the cafeteria at the Bay downtown. There's nothing wrong with that kind of jewelry. It's just that it's not all that popular with younger people.

The woman just inside the door noticed the pin and immediately labeled it a Sherman and began exclaiming over the fact that people buy that sort of stuff but they put it away and never wear it and here was a woman who obviously has taste and wears this antique jewelry on her jacket. Apparently this woman was a little bizarre, herself, and from her, the message was relayed telephone-style into all the other rooms, such that mom achieved had a sort of celebrity status by the time she had made it through the entire store.

They went to another antique store and found a book about wine that was published in 1851. It was only $20 so they bought it for my uncle. He didn't really look at it at first but then as he started to leaf through it he became increasingly more excited. It just so happened that it gave a detailed description of a region in France before the great grape blight of 1853 and some other place where a fire destroyed a specific cultivar of grapes, and that was a very, very exciting thing. He's so funny sometimes.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Get Animated!

Tyger (2006) by Guilherme Marcondes

Last night was my sister's birthday and she wanted to see a screening of a bunch of short films at Emily Carr as part of World Animation Day. Unfortunately there was no program so I'm having a hard time remembering exactly what I saw.

The first half of the screening was a selection of local films, some of which I liked and others not so much. I think the beauty of having a plot for your film is that it suggests a logical time and place to end it. When there is no plot there really should just be a time limit on things. There were a couple films that were just random stuff that dragged and dragged.

The highlights of the first half was a film (I can't remember the name) in which a man chased a homeless man through photographs of the streets of Vancouver. The animation itself was pencil-drawn. It's an idea I've had before but not something I've ever done so kudos to the people who made it because it was excellent. Stillwaters by Andrew Ford was also very well done. Oddly enough, the other one that stands out was a film called Fallen Woman, in which a naked pregnant woman develops super powers when she breaks her leg. It was... bizarre? Kind of silly? Unique. I kind of liked it for its randomness.

The second half of the screening was a selection of international films which were all very excellent. I managed to track down two of them, and I'll keep my eye out for some of the others.

Puppet (2006) by Patrick Smith

Friday, October 26, 2007



I dragged a mountain of books down to the library downtown. The strike's finally over so it felt good to get rid of them. Over the summer I got into the habit of walking there over lunch and either taking out or taking back a book, but inevitably I ended up with a lot of library books all over my livingroom. I went to renew a couple one day, only to find out that one had been requested by someone else and would not renew, so the day they were due I walked down to the library only to find a picket line around it.

Just as well. I wasn't finished reading the book at the time. But by now that poor person has been waiting for that book since July, so I kind of felt like I should return it sooner rather than later.

I brought home a new mountain of books for my papers but I was surprised to find that the VPL really doesn't seem to have many books on Afghanistan and its culture and I'm not sure why. Just like I don't understand why Canada doesn't have any form of world-renowned expert on Afghanistan and we're fighting a war there. You'd think that if we were spending a lot of money and lives getting tangled up in a foreign conflict we'd want to make an effort to learn something about the place and the people but apparently not.

But that's not what my paper's about at all. Just dialogue and communication, paradigm and concepts of place and time. Same old same old.

I picked up another book that looks like it would be useful for another course too: The Elephant in the Room, Silence and Denial in Everyday Life by Eviatar Zerubavel. I was looking for something completely different at the time and by complete coincidence his name jumped out at me. I need to squeeze 20 pages out of my family's systematic forgetting of illegitimate children, divorces and mixed-race relationships and it should help. I'm trying to track down an article by Hallbwachs for the same paper and I'm not finding it all that easily.

I find the problem with the library checkout is that I end up walking away from the counter with a huge armfull of books and there never seems to be a discrete, graceful way of transferring them to my bag. How do other people do this? I never see them having this problem.

I crouched, took off my backpack, put my stack of books on the floor and began to load them. It was then that I caught sight of a familiar looking shoe. I looked up and found myself staring right into the eyes of a guy I have a class with and for a brief second he looked at me as if I was completely retarded as he was walking out with another guy.

He really shouldn't stare, not with those tight hipster jeans of his not when they really accentuate the flabbiness of his inner thighs.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

I need one of those in-your-jacket mitten strings

IMG_6413_1Out on Hastings tonight it was chilly but not freezing. As I stood waiting for my bus, a man began to spray the leaves on the sidewalk with a hose. It was remarkably ineffective. After an hour of spraying around peoples' feet he gave up. I'm glad he did because the bottom of my right shoe is cracked and leaks, and I was running out of dry sidewalk to stand on.

Hopping off the bus, the air knifed through my clothes. I had missed my stop and the sudden change in temperature caught me off guard. I was alright though, until I had to wait to cross the street. It's a long light. I nearly froze to death waiting for it.

From then on I began to shiver quite a bit and shuffled all the way home. I soaked my hands in coolish water to warm them up because I hate the itchy, swollen feeling I get when they heat up too fast, but I had to soak them extra long because one of my fingers just refused to be any colour other than white.

I forgot my mittens today. Luckily I was wearing a cool hat. Secretly I'm waiting for someone to ask me where I got it so I can say I knit it myself.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The singer sounds like he's underwater

IMG_6393_1No, no, he says. There's a glottal stop in it. You've got to close your throat.

On the computer there's the sound of some mp3 I ripped from one of my cds. The cymbals are a muddy, high pitched static. I wonder why it's such a low quality when it didn't have to be. I could have chosen a higher bitrate but I didn't. I could find the cd and do it again but I don't.

I gain a strange, backward sense of satisfaction from that. It's like mediocrity is A okay if it's self-willed.

It's days like these that I start digging through my archives so I can cop out and say "one year ago I said this:" but though there are good posts back there somewhere, they're never on days when I'm looking for an out.

I think I'm finally off of the walking around my apartment naked thing. Wearing clothes means I don't need to use as much heat. Besides, the office across the street just reorganized such that now one of the desks faces the window, and the guy who sits there looks straight across the street and into my window.

I'm thinking of making a sign for him that says

Hi, is your name Sean? I have your mail.

See if he writes back.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


IMG_6399_1I'm writing a paper now but because it's a topic that's very close to me I have to put myself down as a source. It's a book about the history of a town that my family came from and I think some key information is wrong. The problem is that it's the only book written about that town and for better or for worse, it's published and my opinion is not.

I saw someone wearing a sweater the other day that I liked and I thought it was something that I could knit myself. The only problem is that if I were to do something like that, and if I were to actually finish it, by the time it was finished it would not be in style anymore. It would be retro. I guess that means it would be in style.

What is clear though is that I really need to update my wardrobe a little. It's not that my old clothes are really old or unwearable. It's just that I've lost a lot of weight and stuff just doesn't fit right anymore. It's baggy and hangs in a way that isn't the least bit flattering.

With that in mind, I started a new bag of clothes for charity today. Maybe I'll walk it over sometime this week.

I'm a little pressed for time today so I'm cutting this short. If I owe you emails I will send them out tomorrow. I promise.

Monday, October 22, 2007

(north)American Sentences


By far the coolest thing about blogging is that you learn things. The people over at NaBloPoMo have introduced me to American sentences, which are similar to haiku in that they're observations and they're 17 sylables but minus the 5-7-5. A much better explanation can be found here. I must admit I'm charmed by the form, if not by the name, so here are some (north)American sentences in somewhat chronological order that describe bits of my day:

Smashed egg permanently glued to inside of carton, one less breakfast.

I forget to wave to the circles man, he still circles regardless.

Man on bus interjects that he hates art, but I still love Picasso.

Chinese man wipes fog from bus window, fog returns, the world is obscured.

Sit with me, he says; lecture hall floor tacky underfoot so I don't.

Hot coffee clutched in my fingers stands between me and certain frostbite.

Dust doesn't care whether I want it here, coats things when I'm not looking.

Good things come to people who wait but I still hate being on dial-up.

World map on my desk: pen bisects Peru, computer north of Congo.

Dinner is finished already but angry stomach begs to differ.

Once again post, picture, mismatched, continuity police be damned.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

It's raining

IMG_6380_1I'm living on the top floor of a building these days and this is a new thing for me. I've always either slept in the basement or if I've been on the main floor there has always been an insulated attic between me and the roof.

No longer.

When I was little we had one bad tarping experience in Guides which was coupled with a bad tent location experience and an unusually bad rainstorm experience. The inside of our tent filled with water and our bedding sopped it up while we slept so we woke up cold and miserable.

We identified our mistakes so it would never happen again but the experience left me a little paranoid about camping in the rain. Forever after, every time I have heard raindrops on the roof of our tent, it has kept me wide awake at high alert all night. Aside from that I love camping.

That it has been raining hard for the past week is not unusual at all. It's October and this is a rainforest. But one thing is unusual for me and that is that for the first time ever I can hear the rain on the roof and I keep feeling like I should be checking for leaks in places and I've been waking up when the rain has been particularly heavy expecting to be wet.

It doesn't help that the wind yesterday blew some water underneath my balcony door so that it almost made it over the threshold.

Spam spam spam spammity spam

1) I found this video via My Goregeous Somewhere.

2) My mom grew up on fried spam sandwiches. One of her colleagues grew up on stir-fried spam and spam wontons. Spam touches us all.

3) When Grandma used to live at Chilliwack General Hospital, we used to roll her out to the restaurant around the corner. It was a crappy restaurant but her wheelchair was far too large for the wheelchair lifts on vehicles and she was too heavy to push for any great distance.

Through careful experimentation we had determined that the only thing on the menu that met our standards of edibility was the chicken quesadillas. So one day we were there with Grandma and some aunts and uncles and we put in our orders:

Abby: "I'll have the chicken quesadillas, please."
Myself: "I'll also have the quesadillas, thanks."
Mom: "I think I'll have the quesadillas as well."
My aunt: "The kwes-a-DILL-ahs look really good. I think I'll have them too."

The waitress asked her if she meant the quesadillas and she replied that yes, she wanted the kwesadillas.

Since then every time we have seen quesadillas on menus we have had a bit of a laugh at her expense. It's mean but we can't help it.

4) The previous didn't have much to do with spam, but it does relate to the movie. I feel I have to justify myself because you never know when the thematic police will strike.

5) I just spelled never with a silent k. Knever say knever, and all that. No wonder people think I'm a dork.

6) As you may recall, the Vikings loved spam.

7) Are you thinking what I'm thinking? Exactly. Next semester I should convince someone to supervise me while I do a directed studies project on spam in popular culture. It is a topic that is sadly underrepresented in academia.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

I, cannibal

IMG_6400_1Mom and dad have been instructed to meet my uncle at the Oyama General Store at noon. It sounds very much like an invitation to a duel or a schoolyard fight, but because my aunt and uncle are now both retired and from Ontario, this is the way they speak.

The task at hand is the scattering of grandma's ashes. The idea is that they will travel up the mountain over Kalmalka Lake and find the same bluff where we scattered grandad a little over ten years ago.

The only thing is that no one's gone to scope the place out yet, so since the last time we were there the logging road may have fallen into disrepair or may have been fenced off or any number of things may have happened that would prevent them from finding it.

Regardless, I hope they find a place they think is suitable. It doesn't really matter if it is the same place because funeral rites are more for the living than anything.

When we scattered grandad, we drove in a convoy up the gravel road through I have no idea how many switchbacks. I remember it being sunny and dusty and the lake was green. We found the bluff and all stood along it. I anchored myself against a pine tree that gripped precariously to the rock and then the people who had been jovial at the cremation ceremony two years previous were suddenly all silent. We waited for the wind to die down.

As they dumped the contents of the box over the edge, a sudden updraught came from nowhere, and I took the full brunt of grandad's assault. I had ashes in my hair, clothes, eyes and mouth and I had no idea how to react. Is it rude to spit your grandfather out of your mouth?

I swallowed and then I uttered those fateful words that I've never been able to live down: "I ate grandad."

Years later in a seminar class, the instructor singled me out for my name. He'd taken classes with someone who had the same name and wanted to know if we were related. "University of Windsor Political Science?" I asked.

"Yep. He really loves to tell crazy stories, eh?"

"I'm the niece that ate grandad," I replied.

His eyes widened as he made the connection. I got a good mark in that class.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Friday night's alright for knitting

IMG_6407_1The best way I can describe my mood today is anaestheticized. Someone's gone in and inflated my brain. It's voluminous and filled with nothing. I'm reminded of the time when dad used that silicone spray insulation on a draught near the back basement door of the parkhouse. He let me finish but I pressed the button too hard and the whole can exhaled a beehive of foam that stayed stuck to the doorframe until the house was torn down.

Lately I haven't been able to get The Rat Who Would be King out of my brain, especially the part that goes:

And I've waited on the sidelines all this time
And I've a grenade
With our names scratched on the side
But that's love
And you know that love's not enough

But melancholy is boring. We were going to have a bonfire tonight. I got several messages on my phone and facebook about it today and each time I said I'd come, with one eye on the weather, which was bad. And while the weather looked like it was improving sometime around threeish today, it went back to being bad. Thunder and hail and the lawn outside is a river. Maybe next weekend.

I'm in the middle of knitting a shedir for myself from Knitty's Breast Cancer Awareness Issue because I've wanted one since the moment I saw the pattern.

I'm also drinking tea and naming my houseplants. Don't tell my friends.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I'm not in a good mood.

IMG_6394_1I'm surprised at how tired I am right now. Yesterday for whatever reason suddenly none of my clothes seemed to fit right. I wasn't feeling all that good when I left for class and by the time I got there I felt really cold and wanted to cry so I skipped, went home and put myself to bed.

I woke up two hours later still tired but a little more lucid. I can't remember if I did or accomplished anything that evening. I didn't sleep all night. My feet were cold and I had stuff on my mind.

By morning my thoughts were particularly nihilist, no doubt in part due to my careful contemplation of an offhand statement one of my profs made on Monday about how the world and life on the planet can survive global warming - it's just us who can't. Species will go extinct and then others will take their place because the world has survived just fine at very different temperatures than today.

And come to think of it, there's a good chance that he's right. Which got me thinking about why the hell we have the audacity to think we're worth saving. Why are we doing all this sustainability stuff anyways? Is it so that we can give Israel and Palestine a few more years to kick the shit out of each other? Is it so that India and Pakistan can continue to bicker over borders? So we can collectively continue to ignore Africa or proliferate weapons or invade sovereign countries or keep up to date with Paris Hilton?

What the hell are we saving anyways? We don't think enough about that.

I was at a forum this morning about zero waste initiatives and it was really interesting. Perhaps when I'm more awake I will be better able to comment on it. It's an issue I feel pretty strongly about.

I got 100% on a paper today, gloated for a couple of minutes and then sunk back into the same anomie.

I decided at some point today that I have a genuinely ugly butt. Not that I didn't already have a reason to keep my pants on in public.

And, to top it all off, when I came home I found out via sitemeter that my blog is the first thing that comes up when you do an AT&T Web Search for "mom wants me to watch while she fucks grandad." I'm not impressed.

On a slightly more positive note, I baked some bread yesterday and it's really good. Makes excellent toast. Now all I need to do is figure out why it rose sideways and not up.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Is something burning?

my toaster loves meLast week was fire prevention week.

To celebrate I was up late one night and hungry and I decided upon some corn chips that were in my pantry. The only problem is that they were really, really stale, and have been for months.

I stuck a plate of them in the toaster oven in the hopes that it would restore some of their crunchiness. But as I often do, I forgot that something was in the toaster so when I arrived back in the kitchen, flames were already licking out the edge of the door and plumes of black smoke were wafting across the room.

I opened all the windows and turned on some fans but it wasn't enough to stop the smoke alarm and unfortunately for me the alarm is hard wired, and not the battery kind you can shut off. And also unfortunately for me, it's a really touchy and sensitive smoke detector too so it wouldn't turn off for the longest time.

You'd think I would have noticed earlier because I can see my toaster clearly from my desk but no, apparently not. Remember this is me we're talking about here.

The end product was that the inside and some of the outside of my toaster is covered in thick, black soot.

I should clean it but I kind of like it the way it is.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Mouse bags

IMG_6383_1Mom forgot her mouse bags at my apartment.

She bought some new blankets to cover the furnature not too long ago and they came packaged in some square vinyl bags that were the perfect shopping bag size. Probably subconsciously that was a marketing ploy, just like those jars of mustard that turn into drinking glasses when you wash them out.

So now when I go out and see my parents there's usually a bag waiting for me with stuff like a jug of milk or some cabbage rolls. All was going well until I started forgetting to bring the bags back and now mom's pissed off. She phones me and says "Erin, bring back the mouse bags when you come."

And this is where our in-house vocabulary ceases to make sense to anyone but us.

After my great-grandmother got married and moved out, her parents used to visit her fairly often. They both walked separate routes to get to her house, and each would bring a bag of something. Her father would bring a small portion of a kind of large tapioca similar to what you'd find in bubble tea and say "don't tell your mother." Her mother usually brought some sugar and a dead mouse for the cat and said "don't tell your father."

But this is common knowledge, no?

I begin to worry when people I know who don't speak English as their first language begin to pick up the words I use for things.

Sunday, October 14, 2007


IMG_6389_1There were lots of kinds of apples to try at the Apple Festival, but for the second year in a row they did not have Schweizer Orange apples available. I love them because they are a full on assault on your tongue. We nicknamed them sheisse orange apples because I do believe that was the first word out of my mouth after eating some.

I like apples that are sour or tart. Sweet doesn't do anything for me. I like crunchy too, and juicy. It's irritating when I bite into an apple and it's all soft and boring. I like it when they bite back.

This year was the first time in a while that it hasn't been raining so it felt like there were too many people there. It was pretty crowded.


Abby says I already took this picture two years ago.


This man was playing Steppenwolf. He is my hero. If he had had a dancing monkey to go with that music box he would have been my überhero.


We found a bookcrossing book but it's not my kind of book.


Saturday, October 13, 2007

I find when the lights are out and you lie down, you can disappear altogether

IMG_6377_1Some time around one o'clock the party dies down and I'm left alone in an empty room. I take to the streets. I miss my bus but it is alright because I had my heart set on walking the moment I left. It's only six or eight kilometres anyways. Up a hill, down the other side. If I waited for the next bus I'd freeze.

Besides, you see so much more on foot. I used to know neighbourhoods from the backseat of the car, but I always seemed to miss how they're all connected.

And setting one foot in front of the other you can go places.

Past the house grandad built after their house in Vancouver was appropriated by the government for the War. Past the place where L'algy was shot, one of the area's few unsolved murders. Past where Arnie's house used to be, where we broke in through a basement window and wrote ARNIE CALL ME 461-4252* in sharpie on the livingroom wall. It's the sort of thing that gets permanently etched into your memory. I stole a copy of Gulliver's Travels from the crawlspace. The house was filled with dead air and the old smoke of pipe tobacco. He never called.

Descend with the dewpoint toward the sea. Curl into a cocoon.



* That number is no longer my number and may possibly have been reassigned. Please don't call it.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

New neighbours

IMG_6370_1It seems that there's a couple that has taken up living in the parking lot just below my window. I first noticed them on Tuesday. They arrive in a car around fiveish every day and begin to cover the windows with blankets and things.

Then they set up a TV tray behind the car or in the next parking stall over and cook on it with a Colman stove. It always takes forever on those little stoves.

They're there all night and then gone by the time I get up. I'm not sure what I think about that yet. I'd post a picture of them but it feels rude.

I'm not sure where my blogging muse is hiding out. This post has been sitting in an open window for four hours now and it just doesn't get any longer.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Erin's couch-and-breakfast


My little sister's staying with me tonight. My parents are away for a bit and she needs to get to school somehow.

I'm fussy so I make a good host. I've made dinner and tea and her lunch for tomorrow and muffins to eat for breakfast because I can't be bothered to wake up. I plugged in her laptop and cleaned off the couch. Now I'm leaving her alone so she can do her homework.

She tells me I'm sweet.

Apparently I have a really comfortable couch.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Signifier; signified

IMG_6371_1So just yesterday I passed a wedding party out taking pictures in the cloudy weather. They were sort of following me down the road as I walked, and when I stepped out of a store, I accidentally walked into one of their shots.

The bridesmaids were in plain black, their arms crossed with cream coloured pashmina scarves wrapped around them like stoles. Cold, no doubt.

I scooted out of there so as not to get in the way any more than I already had. As I did, the photographer was in the process of setting up her next shot. The bride was busy arranging herself behind a wrought iron fence under the photographer's direction, her arms tangled in the bars, holding her flowers out in front of her. Her new husband was in the background, to the left of her, and not behind the fence.

The shot was perfect. Being the sucker I am for semiotics, I set about my analysis and commentary.

The contrast between white bride and black bars, groom dressed head to toe in black. Though the fence was shaped artistically like leaves, it still resembles a cage, the bride a captive, reaching out from behind the bars. Soft body, hard iron, weak woman, strong institution, forged by the sweat and strength of men. The bars were disguised with ornaments, just as the oppressiveness of the institution is disguised through the hegemonic ideology of patriarchy. Marriage as prison, but only for the woman, because the man is noticeably free of restraint.

If I was writing a paper for school I'd remark about the implicit violence and sexual tension in the image, quote Marx, Gramsci and some feminists about hegemony, society and the institution of marriage, but as it was I suddenly realized that what was going through my head was also coming out of my mouth and maybe they could hear.


I'm such a fucking asshole sometimes.

But still, do these people not know how they look and the message it sends? How could such an image possibly be interpreted in a positive way?

Or maybe I'm just retarded for believing in crap like equality.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Power outages delay the cooking of turkeyzilla

IMG_6327_1My camera's batteries are dead so no new pictures. So sad.

Sometimes my parents go to the movies to kill some time. Then, inevitably they'll sit through a movie that they really had no interest in actually seeing. That's how they ended up seeing Beerfest, which they thought was retarded. They've both been on holidays for the past week so that's why they saw Good Luck Chuck two days ago. Apparently it's stupid and full of gratuitus sex and breasts. That's going to get me lots of hits from google, I'm sure.

We went in search of the Cranberry Festival today, where they were giving away five metric tonnes of cranberries, but apparently it happened yesterday. Nonplussed, we walked down to the yarn store in Fort Langley only to find it both closed and empty of yarn. We stopped at an antique store, bought an inkwell, a couple pieces of signed Sherman jewellry and some gelato then we were off.

Dinner today was originally going to be turkey, because it's Thanksgiving but the power kept going on and off and by the time we remembered to pre-order our organic, free-range turkey, the only birds left over were 22lb+ turkeyzillas that need uninterrupted power to cook.

We had salmon burgers instead and at one point in time, something fell out of mom's so instead of just picking it up with her fingers, she used a fork, then went back to finishing the burger with her fingers. I pointed it out to her and dad said that she was modelling good behaviour, so that I would become more civilized. Of course, civilized people eat burgers without dirtying their hands.

Mom smirked at me and said "I suppose this is going to end up in your blog?"

I laughed.

Saturday, October 06, 2007


IMG_6341_1I'm at my parents' house right now because it's Thanksgiving weekend.

They were having trouble with their toilet a while ago. In spite of the fact that it gets cleaned regularly, it was getting some sort of mold or mildew inside it really often. They figured that maybe part of the inside of it wasn't glazed so now they use that toilet sanitizer stuff that makes the water blue. And while I can appreciate that it seems to be doing the job, it makes the water blue.

And when you pee in the toilet now, it turns from blue to green. It's just not right.

I have a love hate relationship with Thanksgiving dinner. I don't like turkey. It doesn't taste very good. I don't like mashed potatoes either, but thankfully because dad's diabetic and mashed potatoes are secretly sugar, we don't have them anymore.

Putting cranberries in most things is a surefire way to discourage me from eating them.

But then there's the stuffing. Not the bread and sage stuff that everyone eats. It's rice, sausage meat, tomatoes, onion, celery, spices and crumbled melba toast cooked on the stove and then baked in with the turkey. And every year I will complain that there's not enough of it to go around, and that we should just ditch the bird and make eight times the stuffing instead, but apparently that's not allowed.

And the candied yams, which are delicious. The recipe's secret though. If I post it my mom will surely slit my throat. All I can say is that it most definitely does not involve marshmallows because honestly that's gross. Give your heads a shake, people.

Brussels sprouts. I love brussels sprouts. Sometimes I go to the greengrocer and buy a bag of them so I can pick them apart with my fingers and eat each leaf individually.

Friday, October 05, 2007

The internet is making me knit

IMG_6338_1Some days I just don't know what to write. I've devoted the past couple of days to destressing, which may be one of the reasons why my posts have been crappy and angsty of late.

School's good. In spite of starting out two weeks behind because of some other commitments, I'm caught up now, for the most part. I added a fifth course to keep me on my toes. The sixteen credits I did via correspondence in spring semester did wonders for my discipline.

Now that I've managed to shed a lot of my other commitments, I think finally I'll have the time to do some stuff that has never been at the top of my list of essential things, like scrubbing out the toilet, which I'm sure hasn't been done for at least a mon- six weeks. Two months?

Well, it's looked visibly gross for some time now so I finally managed to scrub it out. The past few weeks I've come home feeling tired and stressed and crappy and it just wasn't something I was prepared to deal with.

I need to do something about my eye though. It's been bothering me for a while. It gets bloodshot and itchy from time to time, but it's been happening far more frequently than usual. I'm hoping that it's just stress and that getting a little more sleep and eating some good food will make it go away. I don't particularly feel like going to see a doctor about it.

Anyways, I've been knitting lately, and I blame the internet. I used to knit when I was really little and you'd see me out on the playground at lunch at school, playing tag with the boys with a ball of yarn squished into my armpit and a pair of sticks in my hands. It's a wonder I still have two eyes. It's something I've done on and off for a long time, but more off than on, but thanks to the internet I've become a little more in touch with all things knitterly these days.

I've been working on this:


and I can't quite tell you what it is just yet because it's a surprise. I guess right now it technically looks like a mess. Hopefully that will change.

I figured that I should teach myself how to knit lace so I've been working on this scarf in faggot lace, though if anyone knows a more politically correct name for that particular stitch I'd love to hear it.


Holy sheisse, I'm becoming a knitblogger.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Not interested, thanks

IMG_6332_1This is something that's been bothering me for a while. It seems that every time I come into contact with a middle-aged woman who has a son in his twenties, she always tries to set him up with me.

The conversation will start with a list of her son's faults. Perhaps he spends too much time in bars with "loose" women, drinks too much and seems to have a lot of girlfriends. Or perhaps he doesn't seem to be interested in girls at all and has never had a girlfriend before. Another one that comes up is that he spends six hours or more per day on the computer, refuses to get a job and won't move out or clean up after himself. Maybe he is frivolous with his money and needs to be bailed out often, or has unrealistic goals or something.

And that's where I come in. I'm so wonderful and responsible and pretty and kind and pleasant that I'd surely be a good influence on him. Though I guess it's technically a vote of confidence in my personality it still irritates me and the end product is that I always feel used.

When they bring it up it's always couched in terms of what they and their family will gain out of the arrangement, as if I'm a dumb commodity and I've been magically transformed into a social worker, or counsellor or psychiatrist who works for free. Perhaps it sounds selfish but problems that I can fix is not something I look for in a relationship. Inevitably these things will come up and I'm willing to deal with them when they do, but I won't go out of my way to look for them. I've got enough of my own.

It's fairly old wisdom that you shouldn't bet on being able to change people you're in a relationship with. If they have faults, they should be things you're willing to live with, because they may never change.

The other thing I don't like is the assumption that I'm interested. Very rarely is that question ever asked. For them it seems to be a foregone conclusion and that irritates me a lot.

When I am at work or the hairdresser's or wherever I do not act the same way as I would at home or around friends. I really don't like being taken out of context, especially when sometimes these people have only just met me.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


IMG_6356_1Some time after I arrived at class today another woman came in even later than I was. She proceeded to tell us about how there was a fire in her building so she had to run out with her laptop while she was putting together her presentation.

Which is to say she had a better excuse than I had, even though I didn't bother to say mine.

My first bus was a couple minutes late, which normally wouldn't have been a problem, seeing as I usually have to wait about fifteen minutes for my second bus. But as I got on this bus, a lady followed behind me with a baby stroller, which always seems to take a lot of manouvering and yelling at people are sleeping in the front seats with ipods on full, so we lost some time there.

Two stops later, a second woman with a baby stroller got on, which took more manouvering and more kicking people out of seats. More time.

There's a group of Iranian ladies who always get on in front of the Starbucks. There are usually about six of them, sometimes with children, other times without, and when they walk on to the bus, they're always in the middle of a conversation. And, because they're so absorbed with talking to each other, they sometimes forget that they're on a bus and stand just inside the door talking, without paying or moving towards the seats.

It just so happens that not only were these women waiting to get on at the Starbucks, but coincidentally both mothers and both strollers were also getting off at that stop. Confusion and time waste ensued.

The sum of these events meant I missed my second bus and ended up waiting twenty minutes for the next one. During that time, the heavens opened up and I came to two sudden realizations:

1) my shoes, which had previously been waterproof, are no longer waterproof.

2) my umbrella, which had previously been waterproof, is no longer waterproof.

The umbrella has developed a leak in the very centre, so that water literally pours down the shaft and then soaks right into my coat right around my shoulder and into my armpit. That just will not do. You can't survive in Vancouver long without a decent umbrella.

It's rather unfortunate because owing to the fact that it's huge and gaudy, it's the only umbrella I've never been able to lose.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Statue birds

IMG_6325_1Callan sits beside me in 304 this semester. In middle school he and some of my friends had some sort of feud which to this day remains unresolved, but somehow I've always managed to stay neutral in these things. Of all the people from our graduating class to end up at SFU, only two other people ended up in the same program as me, so we tend to stick together where we can.

Though it's nice to have someone to sit beside, he always copies off my notes and invariably I will have written something down in a more succinct way than the prof said it, using a word he doesn't know. Then in the middle of the lecture, he'll lean over and whisper "Erin! What does that word mean?" to which I have to reply that I'll tell him during the break.

By the time there's a break in the lecture I've got a running list in my head of things he's asked and then I proceed to give definitions of words or concepts or say why I wrote a random name beside something, or explain that Kosher cooking involves keeping meat and milk separate. Sometimes he asks the most random things.

But today he didn't have any questions for me, other than personal ones. He has the strange ability of being able to ask questions that are so bang on, they cut and I find myself saying no, even though the answer's yes. And then, even stranger, he'll make some sort of assumption about me that's completely off. I don't know how he can do both.

"You have a whole apartment to yourself. Aren't you lonely?"

"No, not really."

"Why aren't you living at home?"

"Home's not home."

That's a hard realization to make.

Coming home tonight I heard the kil-de-deer-kil-de-deer of the cormorants. At least I think it's cormorants I hear. It's always hard to match the sounds to the birds, especially since cormorants only ever seem to sing in the evenings and I only ever see them in the mornings out on the log booms. As the marine fog clears, you see them appear out of the mist, standing perfectly still with their wings out.

There used to be another kind of bird that used to call theodore in the evenings here but I don't think I've heard one for at least five years. When the climate's changing, the bugs change and then the songbirds follow them, so I've been told.