Saturday, January 31, 2009



Mittens finished!

You know it's bad when people have to tell you to update your blog.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Glasses, full, empty

I have officially lost my blogging mojo.

I am deeply embroiled and simultaneously up-to-date with my reading for school.

Glass half full or half empty? You be the judge.

Or not. I always thought that was a stupid question anyways. Water is matter, and so is air, right? If that is the case then the glass is fully full. In fact, both water and air are made up of more or less the same kinds of elements, so I guess you could say that it's actually two thirds (ish) full of hydrogen and that most of the rest of it is filled with oxygen with a bit of other stuff mixed in. Either way, the glass is full.

But then if you consider that there is more space between atoms than the space that they take up, the glass (meaning both the space within the glass and the glass itself) is mostly empty space, as is the rest of the universe. Then the glass is empty.

I'm not even going to get into the question as to whether or not the glass is actually there at a given point in time, or whether or not it exists, or how we know or do not know that it is there or that it exists.

Either way, it's kind of a stupid question and a really poor test of optimism.

This isn't to say that I don't have other interesting things to say, or that I can't come up with a regular supply of them, but for the past month or so, they have been the sorts of things that really don't belong on the internet. They are things that I might only tell you if I fictionalized them and didn't bother to ever tell you which bits were true. Not necessarily bad things.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Good help is hard to find


Sally helps me do my homework.

Today she disagrees with Miljan and Cooper's critique of Hackett and other critical theorists because she finds the idea that empirical studies of media bias and content could be carried out in a comprehensive manner to be very problematic. How on earth do you reduce words to numbers?

She also disagrees with the notion that using abstract, figurative and difficult to understand phrasing and concepts is a bad thing. Sally herself frequently uses complex and unintelligible words and it's never hurt anybody.

She took a brief interest in Edward Said's Orientalism earlier today, but then she got confused and went for a nap instead. She says she doesn't need to read theory about the racialized Other anyways because it is her everyday existence. Sometimes people even treat her like she's not human.

She suspects the problem is that she puts up with this because she has bought into the false-consciousness and hegemonic ideals and institutions that come with living in a westernized, capitalist state. She dislikes this society for its requiring her to take baths and for filling her ears with ear mite poison, as well as robbing her of the ability to go outdoors whenever she wants. Still, it provides easy access to beds and havarti cheese so she thinks she will postpone the revolution.


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Eat something new every day.

Maple Ridge has a surprisingly large number of sushi restaurants, some better than others. One of the better is Hamada, which seems to be owned and/or managed by a lady with a severe perm and has staff that run. They do everything so fast.

Everything on the menu is good there. Well, mostly. The cheese roll is kind of weird because Kraft Singles do not a good roll of sushi make, but I don't think that's on the menu anymore.

Sometimes there are just too many things to choose so when in doubt, order the boat. It's instant variety for minimal effort.

We ordered Love Boat B and the waiter ran away to the kitchen. Shortly afterward, he ran back to inform us that the boat came with something else - was that okay? He spoke very quickly so it was kind of hard to make out what he said. He made a triangular gesture around his head. Fish head? Sure, why not?

There was nothing in the menu that mentioned fish heads anywhere so no one was quite sure. He ran out again to confirm.

The boat came out without anything really unusual on it, but once we had finished most of it off, someone else came out with a platter, announced it as the special and then quickly disappeared.

Fish head!

It had been cut in half and deep-fried so it was rather gruesome looking. We attacked with gusto, picking it apart with chopsticks trying to figure out which parts were edible. Deep-fried fish gills look kind of like black coiled springs. The outside was crispy and the inside was melt-in-your mouth delicious. My dad flicked the eye at me but I didn't eat it.

I found an egg-shaped piece of something kind of fatty that I ate. It was completely white and tasted really good. Salmon has white meat on it. Who knew?

The lady that came to take away the plate looked surprised. "You did really good!" she said. It was a pretty genuine compliment. I take it that the dish isn't always as well received.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

How to locate scissors


If you are unable to locate a pair of scissors, buy another pair of scissors. Eventually you will be able to find some scissors. This is wisdom I learned from my father.

Monday, January 12, 2009

And my klingon name is...

Jen's post today reminds me of the undeniably unique gift-giving enigma that is my grandmother. She has never once forgotten my birthday or Christmas. I kind of like getting gifts from her because they are always weird, unexpected and demonstrate a true lack of thought and understanding as to everyone's personalities and tastes.

A good example of this is the period in my early teens when she bought me a bunch of girly sweaters sized 6x.

Then there was the "Sounds of October" CD, a compilation of different random sound effects arranged into quaint little titles like "My furry little friends" and "A lovely little stroll by the seaside." No one was sure why she gave a CD about October to my mother, who has no special attachment to that month in particular. I mean, my mom's birthday is on Cinco de Mayo, which would make a pinata far more appropriate. Grandma said that one of the nurses told her that it would make a very good gift.

By far the best gift I ever got from her was the Star Trek interactive video boardgame that she gave me for my birthday when I was twelveish. I thought it was weird but kind of cool at the time, being the closet trekkie I am. It had a board that looked kind of like Clue with different areas of the ship marked on it and a VHS tape with some klingons on it.

The story was that the klingons had taken over the ship and imprisoned the crew. The players had to somehow make it out of the room and accomplish a bunch of tasks in a set period of time in order to avert near-certain disaster. The rules and game play were complicated and I don't think we got them before we lost interest.

The problem with game play being tied to the video was that there was only one scenario that I remember, and that meant that every time you played it the Klingons said the same things, took over the same part of the ship and imprisoned you in the same room that you had to strategize your way out of.

It also required that you talked to the video, which required more than a little suspension of disbelief, and lent itself well to being mocked.

The commander-in-chief klingon would ask me what my name was, then pause as if listening while I said the silliest name I could think of, something along the line of Petunia Lipschitz-Garagehead. He would then groan predictably in disgust, tell me that it was a slave's name and give me a new name:

Well, I was about to tell you what I was renamed, in Klingon, but it seems I can't find the word on the internet. Whatever it was it meant worm.

I did however find the word for ponytail holder:

I need some new ones, you know.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


IMG_7967_1A friend was having a party last Saturday and my parents made me take my sister along. That in itself isn't a big deal, because she can drive and gets along well with everyone and half the time people don't know we're related. The only thing is that she's not legally allowed to drive after midnight, which meant the inevitable call at about 11:30 insisting that we come home now.

This was mentioned, but they would not budge. No, there might possibly be drunkenness, lewd jokes and wii playing. My sister must accompany me in order to witness these things first-hand.

So predictably we got the phonecall and had to speed home far too early, and I'm wondering why I suddenly have a curfew again.

On another note, we got faster internet today. It was pretty painless. The guy wasn't here for all that long, but my parents had to twitter around awkwardly embarassed about the state of the livingroom, as if they had to explain away the mess somehow. The guy was completely unphased by it but seemed a little amused by my parents. I wonder how many times during the day they have to go through the same awkward conversations.

As far as I'm concerned though, the only thing that faster internet means is that youtube videos load faster than they play. Of course that means that I've been watching lots of stupid yet entertaining videos.

And now I want some soup, but not ham and pea and panda nose and pony.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Any time now.

Well, this is certainly an exciting beginning to the semester. Between the snow and my schedule I haven't actually been to school yet. Two of my classes don't have textbooks. The readings will probably be available online but I don't have access to them yet.

I went to school to go to a meeting only to find that it was cancelled when I got there. I'm not a fan of the practice of cancelling things two hours before they're scheduled because it takes me two and a half to get there from home. It doesn't bother me a lot because I'm used to it. Every once in a while my friends do this to remind me to get out of the house and go on more self-guided tours of random bars and restaurants.

I headed off on my second errand, to find books for one of my classes so I will have something to read instead of feeling like I should be reading something. I have been at university for five years now and this is the very first time I have visited the bookstore during the first week of class. I had a feeling that there was a good reason for that, and my feeling was confirmed.

The lineup snaked around the top floor, down a flight of stairs, around and around, and then down another flight of stairs, zig zagged, took a dog leg, then went around in a big circle before it finally reached the doors to the bookstore. I was totally unprepared for something of that rediculously long length. It was something that would require a chair, knitting, extra provisions and an ipod to be able to endure so I went home instead.

Some days SFU is a cloud. The air becomes thick and transparent and figures disolve within it. People stand outside the library with cigarettes, smoke halos around their heads.

I don't really have anything interesting to say.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Back to school

I've been putting off shoveling because it's supposed to rain. Apparently it was supposed to rain a couple days ago and then again today but all it has done is rain harder.

I can't believe that school is starting again tomorrow. I don't really feel like I've had a holiday at all. My time off wasn't particularly relaxing, festive or memorable. I can't really remember what I did. I got my wisdom teeth out, barely took any drugs for that because I'm impervious to pain, slept a lot and obsessed about how much I'm tired of the snow.

Maybe it's a good thing I'm going back to school then.

My cats have proven once again that their favourite pasttime is to find novel locations and scenarios for vomiting hairballs. Today they worked in tandem, ensuring that I would be occupied with cleanup for the longest possible period of time. Sal chose a location that involved me wiggling along the floor on my elbows and stomach with a flashlight, running out of paper towel and wiggling back out to find some more.

Not ten seconds after I finished putting away the cleaning supplies I went to my room to find that Lou had found a place where three blankets conveniently converged in the same place and decided that that would be the perfect place to lay down a hairball. She managed to nail all three blankets and herself simultaneously, instantly providing me with a full load of laundry to do. I felt just as loved as that time that she projection vomited into the toe of my slipper. That one was a lot harder to clean.

I'm considering going back to keeping fish.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

I do not have cheesecake but I have mittens.


One day historians and sociologists will look back to this time period and point at the phenomenon where people use the internet to participate in some form of collective centred around individual activities for a month-long periods of time, giving these collectives unweildy acronym names that begin with "Na" for national, regardless of the nationalities of the participants.

Either that or I'll write a paper about it. Knowing me, I'll write a paper about that anyways. I have to put all my wasted internet time to good use.

Did I mention it was national mitten knitting month? This may astound you but I am knitting some mittens. If you are knitting mittens too, you can join us in our collective, month-long wooly hand covering production.

If not, then feel free to continue to exist and visit this blog.

In other news, a 9:30 hunt for a piece of cheesecake yielded no results. I went to all five restaurants in Maple Ridge that could be expected to carry such a thing only to find them all closed, an experience that was eerily similar to spending the night in Calgary, one of the most boring places on earth. But in spite of its boringness, Calgary has a leg up on Maple Ridge in the sense that I do not live there, so that makes it a little interesting. Maple Ridge is my everyday, which makes it worse.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

2008, you sucked.


I've been thinking about 2008. I've even been considering writing something about it. I've been preoccupied with this for a few days now.

In short, 2008 was a rotten year. People's natural inclination when I say this is to ask what about 2008 made it bad. It is my natural inclination to indulge them by launching into chapter one of the tale of woe, after which point either they change the subject or their eyes glaze over because they weren't all that interested in the first place. Either way, they weren't interested, I wasted my time talking and I'll end up feeling bad about that.

Besides, Google Analytics tells me that most of the people that come here are just looking for the post with the fake plastic breasts anyways.

All I know is that if this year isn't better than last year I might have to do something drastic. No, not shooting myself. Maybe moving to Sierra Leone. We'll see.


Maybe there are good things in store for 2009.