Friday, May 30, 2008



So in cliche style the gnome has been abducted from a neighbour who is very protective of his gnomes and will now drive across Canada with photographic evidence collected along the way.

Then in technologically updated cliche style he will be mailed home with a powerpoint presentation detailing his hilarious (yet decent) exploits.

What bothers me about all this though, is how quickly people will point out that "it's like the Travelocity Gnome!" when the traveling gnome cliche has been around for ages, long before Travelocity got its grubby little hands on it.

Screw you, brand recognition!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The hills are alive.

Kathy, Shereese and I went hiking today in Bert Flinn Park, which on the map looks like it has maybe four or five main trails. Once you walk in, though, you soon find that the park is spiderwebbed with little trails, some bigger, some smaller, but all over the place.

Once we got in, our powers of navigation left us wandering and picking random trails, which isn't really a big deal in that park, seeing as it's sandwiched between two communities. All you have to do is pick a direction and eventually you'll run into a road somewhere on the hill.

Eventually that's what we did. Next time we bring the gps.

We had lunch and eventually ended up back at Kathy's where Shereese wanted to watch The Sound of Music. Because it's super long, and because she had only gotten home from Europe this morning, there was ample time for us to draw all over her face with sharpie while she dozed.

Now, perhaps it was the post-chocolate-cake-and-cookies-and-cream-icecream coma that I was in, but for whatever reason I suddenly fell in love with all the costumes that everyone was wearing. Now suddenly I want to run down to the library to find some books on costuming and pattern making so that I can have clothes just like them. Seriously, I need a dirndl. It's not a want, it's a need.

Dirndls would be a welcome addition to our annual stollen baking and shouting in crappy accents fest.

The other things we came to a consensus about was that Liesel is hot. She is pretty attractive. We also came to the conclusion that the Captain is old enough to be Maria's father, which makes their relationship kind of icky.

And after all that, I got home to much of the same, checking my phone for messages and cursing that there aren't any. Yay me.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

My short television career


On Sunday I was in the audience at a taping of a radio show at the CBC, which explains these photos. I was going to just post them a few days ago but I figured I should say something about where they came from.

The last time I was in a studio like that in the bowels of the CBC I was in a psa that aired on television for all of three times. I was about twelve or thirteenish, and I got to stand in front of a green screen and say a couple lines.

In the psa, they'd changed the background to something that had swirley colours, but unfortunately for me, my hair is horribly frizzy and untameable, so it really doesn't work well when you're trying to edit in a background behind me. The shot with me in it had a wavering halo around my head, while the other kids in the psa looked fine.

The shot with me in it ended up only being three words long. This means that if theoretically the psa ran ten times, I was on screen for all of about eight seconds. It just so happens that eight seconds is enough to get noticed.

For a few weeks afterward a girl kept following me around because oh my god I was an actor and oh my god could she carry my books? I assured her that it wasn't necessary, but she insisted.


Tuesday, May 27, 2008



So the story goes that early this morning Frick had a seizure, and shortly after she appeared to be paralyzed from the waist down. She was taken to the vet where it was found that not a single thing in her wasn't full of cancer. She was put down.

I wasn't there and I feel kind of crappy about that, though I knew it was coming. She hadn't been well for a long time.

frick in frying pan

Abby and Frick


Monday, May 26, 2008

Your google search questions answered.

on the bus

Once again, internet, you have asked google random questions and ended up at this blog looking for the answers. Today I deliver:

No, I did not die in a car accident in Cranford.

I don't know if there is a surefire way to get rid of sweat stains, but try mixing baking soda with some water to make a bit of a paste to pre-treat your laundry with. That works on some stains.

No, I am not a brain in a jar, though I have often thought about how awesome that would be.

Now, when you ask "how to awake are INSTINCTS" I think that you should awake your ability to choose the correct homonyms.

To the best of my knowledge I have never had a dream about alligators. I used to have invisible alligators that lived with me sometime before I started kindergarten.

I don't know when the next craft fair in Burnaby will be. Check out the BC Craft Fairs Calendar.

Is there any specific reason why we should be buying alligator plastic? Is it better than real plastic? Do tell.

Girl Guide cookies are no longer made by Mr. Christie, and have not been for many years now. Christie kept jacking the price up and Guides was feeling squeezed, so they switched to Dare. The recipe that Dare uses is different and I don't think they taste as good, especially the vanilla ones, which is sad because I only ever ate the vanilla ones, especially when no one was around to make me eat the chocolate ones to balance out the half-empty box.

As far as I know, the easiest way to get a playhouse with a table inside is to put a table inside a playhouse. I might be wrong though.

When someone searches for "nothing on nude girls" do they want to find girls that have nothing on while simultaneously having nothing on? Or is it that they don't want to find naked girls?

If something's between your teeth you should try flossing.

Sorry, I have no surefire cure for halitosis. If it's really unbearably bad and the standard stuff isn't working then maybe you should talk to your doctor.

Sunday, May 25, 2008





And now we come to the real reason why I have an SLR camera - to take pictures of my cat.

Riki bought a condo and so today I helped her move. It is both awesome and crazy that she's 21 and owns her own home. I'm not entirely sure if it's sunk in for her yet.

It's small, but newly renovated with new appliances so it's fairly nice. More importantly, it's closer to where I'm going to be moving so we might do more stuff together.

As we were unpacking boxes, a random black cat walked in, started meowing all over the place and then refused to leave. We're not sure where it came from. It was pretty friendly so she's decided to keep it if no one comes to claim it.

We named it Riki Junior because it's small, skinny, talks and eats a lot.

At 2am I scare Norwegians with my psychic abilities

Tom Roger says:
Why dont men buy pink phones?

erin says:
if you want a pink phone then I'm happy to support your decision there

Tom Roger says:
I guess it doesnt suit the male image
I dont want one at all

erin says:
I wouldn't even be embarrassed

Tom Roger says:
imagine what people would say!

erin says:
oh, look he has a pink phone. did you see the match with rosenborg yesterday?
yeah, I totally thought the referees were assholes
that guy totally did not deserve that red card

Tom Roger says:
yeah, i watched that game. but..
how did you even know about the game?

erin says:
you told me to imagine what people would say if you had a pink phone
so I picked a football team and made it up
did someone get a red card when rosenborg played yesterday?

Tom Roger says:
there was a red card

erin says:
I'm psychic!

Tom Roger says:
well. this is scary

erin says:

Tom Roger says:
you have messed with my head now

erin says:

Friday, May 23, 2008

Things I learned today

There are still Asian restaurants out there that make me feel very self-consciously white. Chinese: no problem, eat it all the time. Sushi: I eat it at least once a week. Thai: awesome and delicious. Vietnamese: when in doubt, order pho. Korean: holy shit! How do I eat this stuff?

My cat really really likes drinking coffee flavoured liqueurs. She and I were having a piece of cheesecake together, but because the cheesecake has been in the fridge for two weeks, it's a little dry. I poured some capuccino liqueur on it to soften it up. Sal sniffed it and got very interested so I let her have some too and she inhaled it.

A guy named Mark tried to pick my mom up at the Rockhound Rendezvous. The women at these events tend to be a bit on the over-60 side and a bit on the overweight side as well, so what kind of men pick up women there? Men that try to pick up my mother, that's what. My dad's the sort of person who makes himself scarce when this is happening, so he can watch and laugh from a distance.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

66/365: Uncle Ivor

Uncle Ivor isn't technically my uncle. He was married to my grandmother's sister, Haroldine, a chronically unpleasant woman who smoked like a chimney and complained all the time about her health problems. She's been dead for many years and he is now married to a former Olympic skier who is as sweet as he is.

Ivor never lost contact with us though. He used to visit my grandmother in the hospital fairly regularly, and because he doesn't live very far away, we tend to run into him at restaurants.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

65/365: Crazy Linda

Linda rides the train every day and rarely pays her fare. She turns the act of getting off of the train into a lengthy ordeal, during which she will block her door with her baggage and not allow anyone to pass her. Perhaps because she takes so long to exit the train or perhaps due to the fact that she isn't particularly pleasant, she occasionally gets to the bus stop just as her bus is leaving.

There was a time when she used to just walk the three blocks to work from the train station, but those days are no longer. Now that there is a bus route, she can't be bothered. When she misses the bus she will try to get a ride.

Hitchhiking in suburban areas during rushour is not all that easy because people can't be bothered to stop, especially on a bridge, which happens to both be illegal and just not a very good place to stop your car. When she gets frustrated and late for work, she resorts to jumping out into the traffic to stop them herself.

All this to save herself a three-block walk.

Big blob o' black revisited


The big blob 'o black, aka Cheryl Oberle's Kimono Shawl is done! It has been an ordeal, but I'm proud of it.



Now to find my mom and stick it on her and say "happy birthday!" What? You're thinking that her birthday was more than two weeks ago? Well, you see, my mom has a conditional birthday. It comes around whenever I have birthday gifts to give her. That's why she's my mom.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I rewrite fortune cookies

One day very soon you will pass a stranger at the side of the road who desperately needs your help. You will never meet this person, though he or she would have been the love of your life.

You will meet a blue eyed person and be repulsed by the way he snorts in conversation.

Consider the sponge. It sucks up everything you throw at it, but does that really make it a better sponge?

In the 16th Century an obscure Flemish artist painted a portrait that looked remarkably like you. He died unknown and unmourned.

Your best friend died before you were born. Your true love has yet to be born.

Even the simple act of breathing can kill you.

This Americanized Chinese food is loaded with MSG and has no nutritional value whatsoever. You should know better.

Take a deep breath. You're going to need it.

Genetically, humans of all ethnicities are 99.99% the same. Crazy, eh?

Your lucky animal is the naked mole rat.

Somewhere in the world right now lightning is hitting a tree. Nothing profound about that, honest.

A roofing nail on the road came dangerously close to puncturing your tire on the way here.

The next time you visit the dairy section at your local grocery store there will be an acute shortage of homo milk. There will be no fuss because no one drinks that stuff anyways.

There are no lucky numbers on the back of this slip. Pick your own.

Have you ever considered raising chickens? Reconsider.

The mother of all hair spiders is living inside your shower drain, just beyond your reach.

Why are you looking for enlightenment inside your baked goods anyways?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Lynn Peak

Lynn Headwaters ParkOur parents don't believe us when we say that we don't fight when they're not around, but we actually get along fairly well. They also seem to think we don't do anything together, ever, which is mostly true.

I'll suggest some sort of activity, concert or event and then she'll make a face at me and then it won't happen. I tend not to ask her to do anything because I know she'll say no. So imagine my surprise when I suggested that since the parental unit is away we should go hiking or something and she said yes.

What I have since learned is that all of a sudden we have separate yet compatible interests. I want to go outside and do something and she wants to take pictures of stuffed animals.

We set off to take lots of pictures of us being non-beligerent and non-lard-assed. Our intended destination: Lynn Headwaters Regional Park. It just so happens that it has its own bus route and is actually not all that hard to get to from where I live. I don't know why I didn't know that before.

We ended up getting there a bit later than I had planned, and once we arrived we found out that the bus stop is actually a 20-30 minute walk from the park. At the trailheads we decided that it was too late in the day to hike to Norvan Falls, which is supposed to take six hours plus lunch time.

Abby toyvoyaging

Abby looked at the map and decided we should do the Lynn Peak trail instead, which ended up looking like this:

Lynn Peak trail

The average grade of the trail is somewhere around 16%, which isn't as steep as the Grouse Grind, but it's a longer trail, and unlike the Grouse Grind, there's no gondola back down so it's challenging. Considerably less crowded too. You can go quite a ways without seeing anyone else.

It takes you up into some old-growth forest and past a few nice, though not super spectacular viewpoints, all of which I somehow did not photograph. I'll have to bug Abby for pictures. The only thing I really didn't like was all of the loose rocks, which are sprained ankles waiting to happen.

old growth forest

The length and not-so-steepness of the trail meant that there was a lot more time to spend looking around at things. Things like this haystack boulder:

haystack boulder

It's one of many random boulders that got left all over the place by glaciers in the Ice Age.

Or this:

witches broom

See how the branch is kind of shaped like a club with tons of branches fanning out from it? It's disease called witches' broom. A guy named Ficus told me that when I visited the Seymour Demonstration Forest.

It also gives you time for snacks like rhubarb dipped in sugar.

snack time!

rhubarb and sugar

We didn't quite make it to the top, though we were really close. It was a little too snowy for our liking, and neither of us were particularly prepared for that. It's like they say with activities in wilderness areas: know your limit and play within it. Oh wait, that's what they say about gambling. It's the same thing.

Just because all of this is a couple minutes from the city doesn't mean that people don't get lost and die up there. Search and Rescue gets called out all the time and I'm determined to have them not look for me. The view from the peak will have to wait.

Lynn Headwaters

And in case anyone is interested, here is info on the trail via ClubTread and trailpeak.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


I had all manner of fun and interesting things to say about my day but I just came home to find that the cat bleeding all over the kitchen floor. Now I'm dealing with that. It's a crappy ending to an otherwise good day.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

I don't know her, but I'll hold her purse while she's taking pictures


One thing I haven't really mentioned yet on this blog is how much Abby has gotten into toy voyaging. It's kind of like travel gnomes. You mail a stuffed animal around the world and live vicariously through its' travel pictues.

In exchange, you have to show other peoples' animals around your city.

My opinion of this hobby switches between "awesome! I know some cool things we can take pictures of!" and "no, I don't know her, honest."


edit: Abby wants you to check out this link to learn more about this madness so click here.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Jade tree


I took this picture because I thought the way the light was reflected off the undersides of the leaves on my jade tree was kind of neat.

Yesterday I finally gave formal notice that I'll be moving so I spent a lot of today cleaning. Notice would have been given earlier but Dad was in hospital for a bit so that didn't happen.

I've been trying to cull my magazines, but for every one I throw in the pile to freecycle I keep two to read. When will I read these? I have no idea. I'll keep them and then cull some more later. In the meantime I've been reading some of them at breakfast, and I'm slowly coming up to date with The Walrus and The Beaver, which is a history magazine, honest.

As for the back issues of the Economist that I get from my parents... There are so many. So many to skim.

I have lots of plans for tomorrow, which will hopefully translate into lots of pictures. We'll see.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

To destroy this shirt or to not destroy this shirt...

IMG_6947_1I have had this shirt for about six years and for quite a while it was my favourite because it was really comfy. In fact, I haven't been able to find a shirt that fits as well ever since.

I decided a while ago to retire it from being worn outside the house. The fabric is showing some wear, it has some sweat stains that refuse to be washed out and the fact that I've lost almost thirty-five pounds since I first got it means it doesn't fit quite the same.

Still, it's not bad for wearing around the house, which brings me to a dilemma. The thinner I get, the more difficulty I have finding shirts that fit.

Finding clothes when you are short and overweight is not a problem, because there are plenty of options for you. There is a lot of "petite" clothing out there that takes the form of boxy, frumpy cloth bags.

Finding clothes when you are short and really thin is also not a problem because you can shop at children's stores for your casual clothing and Asian malls for nicer stuff and business wear. There are a lot of really sharply dressed Asian women in this city.

The first is not an option for me because I have a thin waist that demands to be flattered and the second isn't an option because I have boobs.

The question now is whether I should continue to wear this shirt around the house or whether I should cut it up and turn it into a pattern so I can sew other well fitting shirts, since they seem to be so hard to find. What do you think?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008



Today was officially a blarg day. I woke up and looked outside only to find that I couldn't see anything. It was a fine, misty rain.

This blog is starting to look kind of bare without any photos, but I really haven't felt like any of them have been worth posting lately.

I've been blaming the weather for the fact that I haven't taken a decent picture of anything in what feels like ages, but it's probably just me. I'm in a funk. The weather isn't helping.




Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Lunch with Dad

It seems our new vehicle has developed some new quirks, which is to be expected when you get it ultra cheap. These are the things that we had already established are quirky and weird about it:

The open door light never turns off no matter how many times you slam all the doors.

The seatbelts don't retract and get jammed in the doors.

The windshield wipers seem to be a bit out of alignment. They don't seem to go up enough, and then they come down in a violent thwack! None of this seems to clear much of the water from the windshield.

It has a very large vocabulary of different random beeps and noises. Noone's sure what they all mean.

The radio is stuck on crappy radio stations like JACK, which plays too much Phil Collins. Oh wait, that's not the van, that's my dad. Too much Phil Collins!

So now all of a sudden there is something new. Now if you take the keys out of the ignition, the cabin lights turn on. Then they don't turn off until the battery has died.

There are two workarounds for this. One is to disconnect the battery every time you park, and the other is to just leave the thing running. Since he had a lot of schools to visit today, dad opted for the latter and took me along because it's not a good idea to leave your car empty and running in front of a school.

The trip took us through his old neighbourhood, and as always he had a lot of stories to tell, but because we're nearing the anniversary of Grandma's death, the stories were unusually morbid, full of deaths and suicides. He's started the orphan talk again too. I hope it passes because it makes me kind of uncomfortable. The more he wallows, the more he begins to realize that I'm not doing the same, which I'd rather not have to justify again.

Monday, May 12, 2008

You can lead a horse to water

An update on the bees from my mom:

I’ve been worried because there hasn’t been much activity around the bee house. Then tonight Dad noticed one of the bees buzzing past toward the shelves by the kitchen window. On the top shelf there are two old, old, old bamboo blinds that we used at the park house. The bamboo at the top and the bottom of the blind is hollow and they little buggers have been nesting in there. They have several of the bamboo pieces plugged with mud. They’ve been really busy.

I’ve now put one of the alternate bee blocks (purchased from a bee keeper from Vancouver Island) beside the bamboo to see if they will nest in there.

So here we put out the really deluxe bee house and all they wanted was the tropical retreat!

Talk to you soon,



Yesterday mom and I watched the second installment of Cranford, the TV movie that I talked about a week ago. Contrary to what we would have expected, the second installment wasn't the last. No, the plot thickened with sudden deaths, new characters and mysterious crimes.

All this has us cursing PBS for not telling us earlier that it was a three part series. Though, to be fair, if we were really interested we should have looked up the schedule on the website. Still, we're both in a position where neither of us will likely be able to watch the end. Mom will be in Salmon Arm because it's a long weekend and the rabbit ears on my TV don't pick up American channels.

I'm going to be pissed if I have to read the book.

It occurs to me that writing in those days was easier. You could have someone go off to India to never be heard from again, only to call them back at will whenever you needed them to appear. Such things only happen in soaps now. Everywhere else they'll update their status on facebook.

Getting rid of characters was easier too. All you had to do was to make them die. No research required. There didn't even need to be a valid medical reason. All you need is a good... fever. That's it. And suddenly they're gone.

Characters these days don't die without good research. I mean, I guess they could go in a quick and dirty car accident or brain haemorrhage but even still you need a specific reason for it. Then you need a trip to the hospital and all the medical procedures and emotional fallout.

Not to say that they didn't have a lot of anguish and soulsearching before, but perhaps there was somewhat less because the characters lost four siblings before the age of twelve, their mothers in childbirth and their first loves to consumption. Death was a regular occurrence like the rain, and almost as unpredictable. Does that make it any less sad? No, but it makes it easier to write about, and shorter too, because you can't very well fill the book with funerals.

In cities and in the developed world it's a hard thing to fathom. We get teary as we argue over whether to put the cat down because we've come home to find that she's soiled herself and is covered in blood. She'll die. We watch House, confident in his ability to save everyone.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Reasons why I love my mom

My mom doesn't know the difference between Chad Kroeger:

and Jeff Buckley:

But she is perfectly capable of arguing about Alice Cooper with stoned patrons of felafel restaurants.

She has black eyes that shoot lasers.

She can move her chin completely independently from the rest of her face.

She secretly unplugs the washer and dryer on New Years Day so that the tenants won't use them and unleash fire and brimstone on the earth. She also gets really pissed off when you open up cans upside down.

She looks ten years younger then she actually is. Good genes.

Out of all of us, she has the most education, the best job and has always been the most consistently employed. Without her we would surely starve.

She is the sort of person who will pop out her dentures to scare small children into brushing their teeth.

She wears lots of flashy vintage jewelry that turns heads. No one else wears that stuff, and if they do, it's not as sparkly.

Every time she pulls a carrot or something out of the garden she calls out "self sufficiency!" with a very ironic voice.

She calls daschunds viciouses and says they'll bite your legs off.

This mother's day I very considerately asked her if I could help with dinner and when she started telling me what she was going to do rather than what I was going to do, I secretly snuck away.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Wet dogs

I think the deep pockets paper towel commercials are stupid. As a former dog owner, I know that there's no possible way that you can towel off a dog and make it perfectly dry. They need air.

There's no way to completely dry off a cat either, no matter how amazing your paper towels are. It just can't be done.

You wouldn't want to anyways. Let them go when they're still a little wet just to see them glare at you and do the spastic paw flicking thing, because it's priceless every time you see it.

Not that you'd want to use paper towels to do your cleaning. There's this strange and revolutionary alternative called stop being lazy and just use a regular towel because it saves you money, puts less crap in the landfill and kills less trees.

This has been another installment of TV commercials I don't like.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Every summer starts this way

I have been singing this song all day. Banana phone!

I took two bags from the clothing cull down to the thrift store. I probably looked a little odd dragging two garbage bags through a park and down the street but meh. It was something that I've been meaning to do for a long time anyways.

I then set about mending a lot of my clothes. I hadn't realized how many things had holes or falling-apart hems or missing buttons because they've always just sat there on a pile. I brought the pile with me when I moved.

The job that I had been hoping to go back to for this summer seems to have fallen through and the prospect of having to go through the whole nervewracking process of looking for a job and reducing myself to a quivering mass of nervous goo is not one that I look upon favourably.

Oh well, I keep myself busy.

64/365: Maurice

Maurice makes button blankets, dances and drums, and his talents have taken him all around the world. He teaches these things to kids at home, not really concerned whether they're aboriginal or not. He's never afraid to perform at a new venue. He said once that no matter how many tickets are sold, he always plays to a full audience because his ancestors are there. I like that.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

63/365: Darrell

Darrell was kind of our neighbour. He lived out in the bushes near our house and had lots of dreadlocks. He disappeared for a while, but eventually he returned, this time in a boat that he moored on the ocean almost right beside our house.

He was always disappearing without warning. He'd come back with new things: a dog, a girlfriend, a Chinese junk he'd bought for a dollar. One day he left and no one thought anything of it. He never returned.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

62/365: My brother, Ryan

Some time in the evening we got a phone call. My mom argued with the caller for a bit and then hung up. Within an hour, a woman arrived at the door with a baby wrapped in a grubby towel. "His name is Ryan," she said, handing him to my mom, "thanks for taking him. It's only until tomorrow night."

As a rule, we never took in anyone under the ages of fifteenish, so this was weird. The idea was that kids in their late teens had well-developed personalities and often lots of behavioural problems that made them easier to let go.

I don't know how old he was, but he was miserable when he came. He had no clothes except for a diaper that hadn't been changed for a long time.

So much for him was new. It soon became clear that the only food he knew was soup crackers. For him, grapes, applesauce, yogurt, rasins were all revelations.

He wasn't with us for very long but the story goes that the experience made me stop fighting the fact that my sister was soon to follow. Contrary to what anyone might think, it was not the fact that he was a baby that fascinated me, but that he was male, because boys are different and that makes them interesting.

I continue to dislike babies. There's nothing wrong with them except that I don't find them particularly interesting. People tell me that I'll change my mind, but I don't think they know me very well. It's a topic I try to avoid in conversation.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Clothing cull, 2008


I've been pretty busy today. I went through most of my clothes and picked out a lot of stuff I'll never wear.

I was merciless. Stuff I have disliked for years has finally made it into the charity bag and I put that down to living on my own. I could never bring myself to get rid of things that I had been given as gifts when I knew that they knew that I'd never worn them.

But now that they don't know, I'm free!

Gone is two thirds of the stack of special event tshirts. Gone are all pants that are size 12 and up. Gone is a blouse that is size "small" because is it really small? It fits like a tent. Gone is the denim shirt that I was told that I would love and wear everywhere, because we know that "everywhere" is secretly the code word for never.

Gone is a pair of pants that a well-wishing coworker really wanted me to have because she was cleaning out her closet, and that I accepted because she was really insistent that I have them, even though it's a style that makes my butt look huge.

I culled out all the underwear that's been hanging around my drawers since middle school because it's saggy and unpleasant to wear, especially when it reverse sags and tries to inch its way up out of my pants. (My butt used to be considerably bigger.)

I reunited socks that haven't seen their partners for years.

I found a pair of pantyhose that doesn't have runs in it. Joy!

I found a surprisingly large amount of clothing that belonged to other people in my room, and now that's stacked and ready to go out.

After all of this, my room looks almost... clean.

Monday, May 05, 2008

My short career in engineering


Little known fact: I was relatively proficient in the use of AutoCAD when I was 12 years old. It was one of those random courses that my parents found in the classifieds in the newspaper that they then signed me up for.

I really loved being able to visualize how things fit together, how you can draw things out flat and then translate the drawings into solid things.

I could not see myself doing any sort of engineering as a living. I don't think I have the attention span for it.

I do like sewing patterns though. I like the way the lines for the different sizes echo each other, but are rarely parallel.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Victorian novels turn me into a philistine

I would have been home earlier from my parents' but just as I was packing up to leave, some sort of Masterpiece Theatre type program started with a movie based on an Elizabeth Gaskell novel.

My first encounter with Ms. Gaskell was in an introductory level English course in university where we had to read North and South, which I didn't find particularly exciting. It was hundreds of dense pages of not very much happening, meticulous description of settings and too much introspection that didn't accomplish much.

The protagonist was a young woman who bridged the gap between factory owner and worker, and helped bring labour peace to a town. All her awesome strength and progressiveness as a strong female character was tempered with heavy doses of self-doubt, fainting and swooning, which I and a lot of other females in our class found really irritating.

It was one of those books that sat on my bookshelf for the longest time until Kathy came over and borrowed it with a stack of other books, only to bring it back a week later, declaring it unreadable.

I groaned when I saw this movie come on, but as is often the case, it's hard to stop watching things once you start. Not to mention, it was peppered with lines that make me giggle, like "I do believe Mrs. So-and-so is gesticulating. Let us go see what is happening."

Now, I have a hard time saying this, but I think Ms. Gaskell in movie form is so much better than her books. Whereas the book would be weeks of pain, the movie is a painless five hours. Much better.

Reocurring dreams in chronological order

I am six or seven years old, driving on the Coquihalla Highway with my dad in a silver, two-door Dodge Colt. I look out the window at the scrubby pines, then back at the driver's seat, where dad used to be. I don't know where he went, but now the car and I are on a section of the highway that doesn't actually exist. One side of the highway is steep drop, and the other is a rock face. I grab the wheel, but I'm already flying off the cliff.

I am in the Bay with my parents. Suddenly they disappear, and some of the lights turn off. I find that I've been locked inside after closing. I wander a bit, and then the mannequins begin to come alive and chase me. I run into the back, through the loading areas and warehouse in the back, until they chase me into a giant meat grinder where I get ground up with all the old manneqins that no one wants anymore.

I am walking and talking to people, usually, but sometimes I'm alone on a path that has a lot of rocks and roots on it. I trip and fall, and I'd always wake up flat on my stomach, bouncing on the matress.

I wake up, brush my teeth, wash my face, then sit down on the toilet. I would wake up from this dream almost but not quite wetting the bed. Sometimes I would walk out the door to go to school.

There's an old parkade that has been boarded up. I sneak in through a hole in the chain link fence and walk around. The parkade never has any cars in it and it seems to have a lot of superfluous stairwells. Sometimes I go to other storeys. I'm alone, but I run into a lot of people in there. I get the feeling that some of them I know very well, even if I've never seen any of them before.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Conversation with my mom

"See this linoleum? I like it. We should tear up our wood floors and put this down instead."

"I don't know. I like wood."

"But it's cool, right?"

"You're like your father and mirrors. He wants to put up mirrors everywhere. He wanted to put a mirrored door on the laundry closet and I said no. We could put a mirrored door there. No. How about putting a mirrored door at the end of the hallway? No. So this is where we're putting the mirrored door..."


"But a mirror would make the hallway look bigger."

"That hallway's a dark hobbit hole. You could coat it with mirrors and that wouldn't change it."

"You really don't want the mirrored doors, eh? No, I don't want them!"

"Yes, but the linoleum here, I like it."

"It's kind of retro."

"It is retro. This school is really old. It reminds me of that linoleum that used to be under the carpet in my room."

"That ugly grey brown orange stuff?"

"Yeah, the kind that looked like vomit. Only this is a nice colour combo: cream, grey and teal. It would make a nice palete for a room."

"Maybe in your house."

"There's someone on Etsy who makes decorative bowls out of maps and newspaper and stuff. They would go well with this linoleum."

"That's neat."

"When I'm the only survivor of the nuclear holocaust I'm going to move into this room because the floor is awesome."

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Satellites, tupperware and unexpected creepiness

view from UBC rose garden

Part of my amazing plan to go outside more and get more exercise involves geocaching, which is kind of like a secret gps treasure hunt. I hate running, but when there's treasure involved then it's totally worth it.

You see, the US government spent billions of dollars putting satellites in the sky so that you and I can accurately locate tupperware in the forest. The object of the game is to find these caches without anyone seeing you do it, and then you log it online. Kind of.

I lost my gps quite some time ago so I bought a new one, and today was my first opportunity to test it out. I ran outside into the sun. It had rained earlier in the day so there was no one around and I didn't have to use my super stealth skills, other than to sit innocently on a park bench once to wait for a jogger to go by. I found two without any real difficulty.

I wasn't as successful finding the third one. The gps unit told me that I was within three metres of it, and that it must be underneath a tree.

It was a big cedar in a park, one of the kinds with big, downward sloping branches that almost reach to the ground. It's the kind of tree that is fun to play under when you're a kid because you know that underneath those branches, nothing is growing. The tree kind of forms a tent for you to hide in.

It was dusk and starting to get dark as I approached one of these branches and then I stopped. I saw a bicycle tire near the base of the trunk. As I looked harder, I could make out a figure of a man behind the branches. He was standing very still, like a deer hoping that it won't be shot.

I stood there for a moment longer and then I turned and walked away.

It really creeped me out! The ironic thing is that that the prizes in that cache were supposed to be spooky themed.