dimanche, décembre 25, 2005

today please...

have a wonderful day. Whatever you choose to celebrate.

Even if you've got nothing-celebrate vicariously, through me, because I finished the moehair monstrosity. And it doesn't look half bad.

As usual I have nothing profound to relate, I just hope that whoever reads this is surrounded by people who love them, lots of food and wine, and music.

mercredi, décembre 21, 2005


la famille was out to dinner on Sunday.
A friend of mine, and the daughter of the family who were feeding us, is working on her PhD. She's doing something related to business ethics.

She taught her first university course this past semester and was regaling us with anecdotes of university scholarship.

The best one concerned plagiarism.

She had a student lift his entire term paper from the internet. Which is not actually that funny.

Except that the course was on ethics!

mercredi, décembre 14, 2005


(with great thanks à János...such a necessary reminder right now.)

"...Ah poems amount to so little when you write them too early in life. You ought to wait and gather sense and sweetness for a whole lifetime, and a long one if possible, and then, at the very end, you might perhaps be able to write ten good lines. For poems are not, as people think, simply emotions (one has emotions early enough)- they are experiences. For the sake of a single poem, you must see many cities, many people and Things, you must understand animals, must feel how birds fly, and know the gestures which small flowers make when they open in the morning. You must be able to think back to streets in unknown neighborhoods, to unexpected encounters, and to partings you had long seen coming: to days of childhood whose mystery is still unexplained, to parents whom you had to hurt when they brought in a joy and you didn’t pick it up (it was a joy meant for someone else-); to childhood illnesses that began so strangely with so many profound and difficult transformations, to days in quiet, restrained rooms and to mornings by the sea, to the sea itself, to seas, to nights of travel that’s rushed along high overhead and went flying with all the stars,- and it is still not enough to be able to think of all that. You must have memories of many nights of love, each one different from all the others, memories of woman screaming in labour, and of light, pale, sleeping girls who have just given birth and are closing again. But you must also have been beside the dying, must have sat beside the dead in the room with the open window and the scattered noises. And it is not yet enough to have memories. You must be able to forget them when they are many, and you must have the immense patience to wait until they return. For the memories themselves are not important. Only when they have changed into our very blood, into glance and gesture, and are nameless, no longer to be distinguished from ourselves- only then can it happen that in some very rare hour the first word of a poem arises in their midst and goes forth from them."

lundi, décembre 12, 2005

brief joys

-painting clay penguins

-Tracy Chapman singing "Never Yours"

-flying down a rolling hill, half blinded by late afternoon sun, the wind in my face and the snow sizzling under my skis

-sleep. Long, uninterrupted, sleep.

-watching the sun inch over the mountains across the lake, the golden wash of light spreading over the valley...

vendredi, décembre 09, 2005

my newly cut hair looks like...

...the love child of Chewbacca and Jennifer Aniston circa 1993.

Trust me, people, when I tell you that this was not the look that I was going for.

Fortunately, as the owner of the tutoring business that I work for pointed out, I don't get out much. (She made this comment after I spent 5 minutes expounding on the greatness of a cbc radio documentary I heard last night about the history and political culture of Alberta. Given the fact that I was both enthusiastic and mentioning Alberta and Politics in the same sentence I am surprised that she didn't immediately conclude that I was drunk.)

Thus, few people will ever see the hideosity.

In other news:

-yes, Jeremy, I probably did misspell Chewbacca... I don't care.

-I am dealing with my mental meltdown in the best of WASPy ways: total denial. No, I am not terrified of the distance. Yes, I love the fact that I have no plans after the next 6 months.

-Christmas knitting is continuing apace. By which I mean that I don't have a hope in hell of finishing what I planned to finish...Someone will doubtless find me mummified in red moehair yarn sometime around New Years.

lundi, décembre 05, 2005

crash and burn

In classic fashion, I have managed in the past two days to nosedive off the bandwagon of my staid little life. It's nothing serious, and I will pull myself together directly, but it's always alarming when I realize how self destructive I can actually be.

This all sounds very melodramatic and overwrought. Which is fine, because it is how I feel right now. I'll probably recant the whole thing tomorrow!

I don't handle change very well. Even if I am not happy in my current incarnation, and it's certainly been the autumn of my discontent, change in the equilibrium scares me. I knew the whirlwind would start in late November when my parents arrived back from their holidays, that it would intensify when my dear brother returns from kangaroo land, and that Christmas week itself would be stuffed full of relatives, friends, food, and noise. I was hoping that the chaos would distract me from niggling doubts about my choice to leave everything familiar and move to a place where there is one flight out per week, and long distance phone rates are astronomical; or the rising ball of hysteria that rises in my throat every time I think about applying for a master's program.

This too shall pass, and I guess once I am on the plane I will have the choice to settle down or spontaneously combust.

samedi, novembre 26, 2005

In which our heroine learns some valuable lessons

1)that now that the parentals are home, any desire to use the automobile must be submitted in writing not later than 48 hours before the desired time of departure. All applications must be completed in triplicate and filed well in advance of the aforementioned 48 hour consultation period. Success is never guaranteed and furthermore, acceptance of application may be terminated at any time prior to the automobile actually pulling out of the driveway. Termination of this kind will often be accompanied with an explanation such as "We need to do some errands, you are welcome to come if you like," or "I'd forgotten that you had mentioned that, [desire to use auto]can't you do it later?"

2)The feelings accompanying knitting lace are akin to being stretched on a medieval rack for the duration of the project.

3)Attempting to knit one's first lace pattern using moehair yarn is frankly, insane. Whoever is stupid enough to think this is a good idea deserves to be tortured (on a rack maybe?)...

4) There was a fourth, but I am about to run out and try to snag the car in my 15 second window of opportunity....

samedi, novembre 19, 2005


if I ran the world we would all read this

jeudi, novembre 17, 2005


I consider myself a nice little social democrat who sees the purpose of taxation (to fund public infrastructure and programs not covered by the invisible hand) and does not really get bent out of shape about paying 1/3 of my wages into the coffers of (a possibly corrupt) government.

That being said. There is a limit.

I was at the local Canada Post outlet this afternoon, shipping parcels of love and affection to some dear friends, and the clerk asked if I wanted to keep my receipt. Out of habit I said yes.

I glanced at it in the car (to figure out how I just spent $16.43 on postage for 3 small parcels,) and noticed that under the total for the parcel that was sent to Montreal, a small typewritten line informed me that a fuel surcharge of $0.65 had been applied.

There are a plethora of reasons that this small line of type caused me to go from mellow to apoplectic rage in less than 2 seconds. Here are a few of them:

1. The surcharge only applied to the parcel sent within Canada. The stuff sent to Brazil and the UK, destinations much further away and thus probably using slightly more fuel, had no such vile surcharge applied.

2. The above point makes me wonder if fuel used within Canada is somehow more expensive to use than if the same fuel was used in another country. As though it magically gains value when it crosses the 49th parallel. That or Ralph Klein is papering his walls with twenty dollar bills at the expense of the rest of the country. Come to think of it, the prior two hypotheses may not be mutually exclusive...

3. I can deal with fuel surcharges when I AM ACTUALLY CONSUMING THE FUEL BEING USED. The ferries add surcharges, so do airlines. This makes sense to me because I am actually on the vessel using the fuel. I am not on the Canada Post plane/bus/truck that is taking my parcel to the other side of the country, thus I am not actually using that fuel. The company is. A company that is totally subsidized by the government and thus which already has my money going into it... The evil bastards at CP are therefore making me pay for their fuel twice: once in my taxes and once when I use their service.

4. On top of the indignity of #1-3, the thing that really made me shoot fiery rage out my nostrils was that the clerk informed me that standard shipping to send my parcel from BC to Montreal would take 7-10 days. At this rate of speed, I am convinced that Canada Post has abandoned fuel powered vehicles all together and has reverted to horse and carts. Or sleighs for winter. Which begs the question as to the necessity of a fuel surcharge in the first place... Wouldn't it be more efficient to ask for donations of hay and apples for the horses?

7-10 days. Seriously. I could walk there faster.

mercredi, novembre 16, 2005

The countdown is on...

... on so many levels.

one week until the parentals arrive back from their respective adventures. The 23 year old part of me is quite excited to have them back: no more grocery bills, sometimes my laundry will be done for me, people to talk to in the house other than the cat and the voices in my head. The 3 year old inside of me is screaming "What did you bring me? What did you bring me? Presentspresentspresents!!!"

Hopefully we can get her under control sometime in the next seven days.

Also one week until the great MEC pilgrimage whereupon I will equip myself for the approaching travels while trying not to terrify the sales staff with my addiction to goretex, polypro long underwear, and any type of footwear. Pray for them, for they know not what is about to descend upon them.

Four weeks until the petit frere arrives from his year of insanity. I am so, so excited to see him, but I am also kind of freaking out about a Christmas present for him. If it is going to be knitted I'd better sort it out and start the sucker now.

(knitting update: the cabled scarf is finished and on its way to the recipient. The alligator mittens are blocked, but I need to figure out how to make french knots for the teeth... And I got a fair amount of a touque (for me) finished this morning as I waited for the snow tires to be attached to the car.)

And Seven weeks until I depart for the bottom of the world. The Falklander is en route to South Georgia to count birdies, and I am counting the days until I can terrorize the population of las Malvinas.

Is it any surprise that I am not getting much done? I just sit on the chesterfield (hahaha, such a canadian term) and count days on my fingers.

vendredi, novembre 11, 2005

How to make me laugh...

...out loud, so hard that I almost shot juice out my nose.

Send me a postcard that instructs one how to "survive adrift on a life raft."

"You are more likely to die of exposure or hypothermia than of anything else."


jeudi, novembre 10, 2005


A small indication that I may in fact knit too much:

Recently, the restaurant has been pretty slow. So slow in fact, that we did not have any tables before noon today. As much as I love standing around and making minimum wage for breathing, I tend to want a little something more out of life. The mitten I am knitting fits perfectly into the front pocket of my work apron. I can knit during the slow periods and quickly stash it when guests make an appearance.

I finished the mitten this afternoon. I am a genius.

vendredi, novembre 04, 2005

Do not choose a coward's explanation...

...that hides behind the cause and the effect.

You sent me Leonard Cohen and made me weep in the middle of the morning.

And now, sitting here 36 hours later, still drained and feeling like my skin has been rubbed raw, I am trying to think it all through. There is so much I want to say to you but at the same time I wonder about the point of it all. So I will write it down here... in a semi public forum... in half formed thoughts and cryptic phrases. Cowardly, yes. But you do it too- just in verse, and thus think of these sentences as my stanzas.

"Damn you for being so content and reserved in your satisfaction elsewhere, and damn you for not fawning over me for the rest of your entire life..."

I won't fawn over you for the rest of my life-I think too highly of you to do that. And debating my levels of contentment and reservation could go on for ever. And it's all mental masturbation anyway: a pleasure occurring only after prolonged periods of narcissitic introspection.

I wonder about the value of digging through the debris of two years worth of memories to get at a dozen moments of pure joy. On the one hand, my moments of joy are held apart by months, years even. Allowing the mess of everyday sift overtop of them leaves me with a mind of memorytape unwinding in my skull like an analogue tape that a two year old got a hold of. I should keep my joy near at hand, to be taken twice daily as an antidote for mundanity and mediocrity.

On the other hand, I will go to great lengths to avoid pain. And all the rememberings of our good times eventually slide into how we lost our respective grips and how childish we were, and how-though I am not lonely for the whole relationship-I would like to sink into one of our endless Sunday afternoons like a warm bath.

That picture of a girl looking over her shoulder in a parking lot somewhere in Conneticut, I don't even recognize her. She looks like someone I could be friends with, but there's no pulling of heartstings when I see my two-years-ago self glancing over her shoulder daring the two-years-ago you to catch her in the act.

I don't even have a stable mental image of you. You reinvent-adapt to circumstances. No loitering for you. Movement. Progress.

You pointed out that we weren't friends, and you are right. We weren't. I think part of the reason I can't disengage myself from you is that I have no label for what we were. I can't find the right branding iron to cauterize that ten months of existence. Lovers? it says too little and too much at the same time.

It's why I am wary of a friendship with you now. She who builds her house on quicksand should not be surprised when she is sucked back in.

If we could go back and play the film again, would we edit? Would we ask the actors to be kinder to each other and a little less like vipers? Would we change to more flattering lighting? Alter the beginning and ending to create a full plot arc? Would we fastforward to the crisp winter mornings, running for the bus or up the Main, holding hands and pelting along like the world would end if we stopped... our breath coming in jagged gasps...

I can't help you with the solitude and loneliness. If it means anything, know that I have been there too: Surrounded by people, unfamiliar sounds shooting out of every throat, judged on appearance, personality ignored. It is hard and you will survive. Something inside of me aches in recognition when you described the alienation.

Damn you too.

mardi, novembre 01, 2005


When I was little enough to be stuffed into a cat/princess/witch/gypsie costume and paraded around our street, clutching a pillowcase that gradually filled with the largest amount of chocolate my little eyes had ever seen in once place, sixty to seventy children would tramp up to our front door. "Trick or treat!" they'd yell in squeaky little voices, and we would capitulate by dumping peanuts and caramilk bars into their pillowcases. I don't think any of us ever thought of a trick to play if anyone refused candy. Our brains were so loaded up with a pre-emptive sugar high that we could think of nothing other than "candycandycandycandy..."

This year, the first I have spent at my childhood home in six years, we had 12 trick or treaters. 12. I was so disappointed. Also, I had about 36 liters of candy just sitting in the front hall like a predatory wild beast.

As I sat there, with my friend R, waiting for the non-existent hoards of costumed beasties, we got to wondering about the decline. Was it just a function of my neighborhood aging, of the kids growing up and moving on to Halloween parties where they dressed up like naughty nurses and drank orange punch out of bowl?

Possibly, but certainly not the whole story.

The real culprit, we decided, was the Evil Subdivision. The Subdivision exists as a sprawling ring of stucco houses on treeless lots that encircles the older part of the neighborhood in which I live. The older area has architecturally different houses that were built over a period of 20 years. The yards are large and individual and full of gardens and pine trees. There are no sidewalks, but the roads are wide with large shoulders. There are no streetlights, but all of the houses have porch lights.

The Evil Subdivision went up almost overnight. All the houses look the same, the only trees are ornamental because the developers bulldozed the whole area at the outset of construction. Ornamental lawns are good. Chaotic perennial borders are not. These places have a front walk slicing through the sidewalk every 3 meters. There are streetlights.

While I do understand the attraction of closely spaced, well lit houses to both wary parents and candy hungry kiddies, I think it is fundamentally wrong to attempt to sanitize Halloween.

It is supposed to be a dark and scary night.
You are supposed to hear unexplained howls in the darkness.

Subdivisions suck out the mystery of life. Be wary.

jeudi, octobre 20, 2005

Unrealistic Expectation:

To think that someone, anyone in a position of authority at the restaurant would have realized that if the menu changes, new menus must be printed.

This realization (if it indeed occurred) would be expected to arise sometime before 45 minutes before the restaurant opened for the day.

A small footnote to this unreality would be that the chef (who is the grand architect of the menu changement) would take some responsibility for the colossal fuck up (at some point in chef-school they must cover the infintessimal detail that overhauling the menu requires more than just changing the food one orders in for inventory. It also requires one to write down a list and descriptions of the new dishes for the manager to type up as a menu).


dimanche, octobre 16, 2005

One day I will learn...

... not to try to knit the fairly complicated cable scarf-that will be a birthday present in less than a month-while watching a film with subtitles.

This kind of hubris can only lead to problems.

samedi, octobre 15, 2005


Harold Pinter has won the Nobel Prize for literature.

I am so pleased.

IB HL Theatre Arts Individual Project: Directing The Birthday Party.

I have never learned so much about myself and human nature from one rather short piece of literature.

Read his work. Watch his plays. They will transform you.

vendredi, octobre 14, 2005

We all knew it would lead to this eventually...

I bought shoes on ebay.

Little white and red striped adidas sneakers with blue soles. Quite retro and cool from the .5x.5 inch picture of them on the ebay webpage. And they were in size seven which (I think) is my shoesize.

One click of the "buy now" button and it was history.

This was in August. The falklander had just left and I was feeling a little vulnerable and fragile. I waited for noon every day just so I could walk to the post box and check for my shoes.

They didn't arrive.

I started emailing the seller obsessively, and went so far as to get her contact info from the source and call her in Minneapolis. Nothing. No response. In desperation I reported "an item not received" to ebay and waited for something to happen.

A few days later I got an email from the seller. She had been quite ill and in hospital for much of late August and September and apologized for the delay in sending the shoes, but that they were now on their way.

My first thought was not, "Oh no... I hope she is going to be ok.."

My first thought was "Wow, if she had died I would never have gotten the shoes...that would be horrible."

[we will discuss how I am a horrible, shallow and generally vile human being at a later date.]

The shoes were in the mailbox when I got home from the Family-without-family Thanksgiving extravaganza this past weekend.

Apparently my feet are not size seven-at least according to Adidas. They are more like a six. My orthodics were not created for nothing though, and neither were really heavy wool socks...It's almost winter, about time I started wearing extremely warm socks anyways. If all else fails, I can hand the shoes over to the frere. It wouldn't break my heart.

Whilst in the midst of a small hissy fit over the lack of my ebay shoes, I may have acquired these. Thus far, as there is no concrete shoe-on-foot confirmation that this purchase actually occurred, it is but a vicious rumor.

The first step to conquering an addiction is admitting you have a problem.

samedi, octobre 08, 2005

What they don't teach you in Chef school...

is how to count, apparently.

Which is why I really shouldn't be surprised when, in the middle of running the 3rd course of a 5 course dinner to the restaurant owner, his financial partners, and 12 food and wine writers, I come into the back to pick up my last two plates of salmon and find them non-existent. Odd, because when I left the kitchen a mere 30 seconds before there were two little salmon filets in the last pan, waiting to be plated.

I look at the executive chef and the sous, searching their faces for an explanation. Maybe they plated the last two very quickly and sent them out with another server and I didn't notice.

Or... maybe they didn't count their plates and decided that they were done plating without checking with me. And maybe they didn't want to waste any fish. And maybe the salmon in between their teeth, slowly being masticated and digested when it should be on a plate in my hands and heading out to the last two people without dinners at the FREAKIN VIP TABLE!!!!!!!

It is for moments like these that the phrase "actually, just insert the most foul epithet you can think of here... If I try to think something up I'll just get apoplectic again..." was invented.

More than anything it is the pure stupidity that drives me round the bend.

jeudi, octobre 06, 2005

Under Pressure

(this post should be read with the sweet strains of Queen pulsing in the background)

Never let it be said that I do not take deadlines seriously. I do. I place them high up on golden pedestals, and promptly ignore them until 48 hours before they arrive.

My entire university career was based on this method of time management, and it is good to realize that I have not abandoned it simply because I have a degree now.

The first major instance of deadline-avoidance-stress-and-minor-meltdown occurred earlier this summer when I realized, 4 days before a wedding that I had known about for 6 months, that I had nothing to wear. Obviously the only solution was to sew myself a dress using sari fabric that used to be my curtains (hello Scarlett!) and also modify the entire bodice of the pattern. I got the dress finished on the ferry ride to Vancouver Island 4 hours before the holy ceremony of matrimony began, and the final touches (cutting the tulle crinoline to the correct length) were performed by the most wonderful of all wonderful Falklanders whilst I stood, wearing the grape coloured concoction, on a chair in the middle of my grandfather's kitchen, a mere 5 minutes before we had to leave for the church. The dress actually looked quite hot, despite the picture of curtains and tulle that is most likely running rampant in your sick little heads.

More recently, I offered to sew up some curtains for my friend and her roommate so that the stalker, when he is let out of jail, can no longer stare into their kitchen all evening. My friend is smarter than I thought. She gave me all the materials and then invited me to an "orphan" Thanksgiving Dinner, this upcoming Friday evening. There is no way I can attend the dinner if the curtains are not finished. There is no way that I will finish the curtains in the next 48 hours given the fact that I worked a double today, and have another tomorrow and I work Friday morning. Did I forget to mention that I offered to bake pumpkin pies as well?

Something has to give. I have a feeling it will be that annoying biological necessity: sleep.

PS: The curtains are a fairly simple premise...4 black rectangles with a smaller rectangle of red printed material appliqued on top. There should be about a 2 inch black border around the outside of the applique if the black fabric is straight. It's not. In fact, it is so NOT FREAKIN' STRAIGHT that I keep gnashing my teeth and muttering curses under my breath about its lack of straightness and I am worried that someone will overhear me and plunk me in a diversity awareness workshop.

She's gonna be getting some pretty warped curtains. Right angle corners are for chumps.

mercredi, octobre 05, 2005


Mostly Martha

My Life Without Me

The Shipping News

Yes, I have too much time on my hands. But, these are excellent films that you all should watch. Right now. Go. To the video store.

vendredi, septembre 30, 2005

I would like to know...

...why all the stink bugs choose to die in this house?

lundi, septembre 26, 2005


Some families have jewels. Others have artwork, sets of porcelain dinnerware, property, cars, motorcycles, that form the bulk of the family assets. Actually, all of the aforementioned things are held onto by my particular family with two clenched fists,-for the record, we hoard...we don't distribute- but one asset stands above all the rest.

The Geraniums.

Actually, they are Pellargoniums: true geraniums are strictly annuals, but our family geraniums have been around since well before my time. I think my grandmother had insano geraniums and gave cuttings to my mother at some point (or this could be the story of the christmas cactuses...but it all works out to the same thing: I kill the plants and I am as good as dead,) and since that point the geraniums have thrived in the Has/Wil Ent. household.

They are beautiful plants, mature beings that completely fill 5 gallon planters with only a little bacopa to round out the edges.

About 5 minutes before my darling mother embarked upon her grand adventure she said something about bringing in the sensitive plants inside before the first frost. I think I may have written down which plants were deemed "sensitive", but clearly the most important were the geraniums.

If I kill them, the entire 23 years of my life is a mere blip on the radar of humanity. I will have committed geranium genocide.

So last night it was supposed to have dipped to 1C. That is 1 degree above freezing. And this is according to the dodgy CBC. (Can one with Liberal sypmathies ever really trust them again?) In true mature: I-can-take-care-of-a-whole-house style, instead of hauling the plants inside I invited a bunch of girls over to drink and hottub.

This evening the plants don't look dead. But I'm not taking any chances. No Protestant universe that I know will allow me to drink away two nights without consequences when the plants could be suffering.

They are all inside now. All ten planters that had geraniums in them. And the fuschia, for good measure. I am pretty sure that not all the geraniums are intimately acquainted with my inheritance, I'm not taking any chances though. They were suprisingly light to haul inside. Their lightness has nothing to do with my total abandonment of plant watering in the last 3 weeks. No, of course not.

jeudi, septembre 22, 2005

Have you given it your best shot?

Yes, I have.

And now I am quitting. And it feels great.

A word of explanation. I rarely quit anything. I hang on until the bitter end, gritting my teeth and grimacing, destroying my health and mental well being, because I started this and I will finish it. Quitting is for the weak willed, and that certainly doesn't aply to me.

But today, or last night really, while watching TV, the realization came to me in a flash: Nobody is forcing me to keep going. I am not happy with this situation. I can quit. Everyone involved will be happier. My mental well being (such as it is) will be restored. There is no shame in this decision.

The yarn for the leg warmers I am, er.. was knitting was only 3 dollars a ball (which should have been my first clue that it is total and utter rubbish.) Secondly it is acrylic and "fun yarn". A more misleading label has never been created. I cast on the suckers 4 times before surrendering to the hideosity of the yarn and its complete inability to do the most basic of knitting patterns: 2x2 ribbing. So I quit. Or, if you like, I fired the yarn.

This afternoon's excursion is to the yarn store in Duncan. Twice the size of the store at home. It's like a porn shop for knitters.

Stay tuned for my newest love affair: braided cables. Be still my beating heart.

mardi, septembre 20, 2005

To the man caught stalking my friends:

Dear Sick Fuck:

I realize that you are quite possibly suffering from a mental illness and need serious treatment, and that the system failed you and that you belong in a home somewhere on serious medication. If this is the case, forgive me for the rampant thrashing of your character that I am about to embark upon. Of course it's not your problem... it's the system.

That being said:

I fail to see how anyone EVER can convince themselves that spying on two women is acceptable behavior. In fact, I am rendered utterly speechless at your audacity of standing on their porch and staring into the kitchen window for TWO HOURS. Of course you weren't doing anything, I know, just watching. Not planning to break into the house later when they were sleeping and fondle them like you did in Town X and Town Y, near here, last month.

I think you are totally and utterly the dregs of society. It is people like you that makes me question my adherence to liberal principles and my adherence to the The Charter. Even in the depths of my imagination I cannot comprehend a way to replicate the subtle violation you perpetrated upon them. Thus, I am relegated to the relatively unsophisticated option of physical torture. If I had my way, I would hurt you physically, maybe with razor blades dipped in Habanero sauce, since there is no way to replicate the amount of terror and insecurity and fear that you have instilled in two of my friends.

You sicken me.


jeudi, septembre 15, 2005

soundtrack 1

The scene: Grey day, the type that should be whiled away in front of the fire, eating soup and reading Wuthering Heights.*

The reality: Grey day barely noticed amid a flurry of house cleaning. Our protaganist wonders why she is cleaning before the party she inadvertently offered to host.

The sountrack: Requiem Op. 48 by Gabriel Faure. Suitably fiery and melancholic: mirroring exactly our protaganist's feelings about aforementioned house cleaning. The Oxford Camareta does a nice version, but really, almost anything will do as long as the soprano isn't warbley. Warbley sopranos should be strangled and/or made to sing alto. Quietly.

*for the record, I've never read WH. But seriously, it has the word "wuthering" in the title... how can it not be good to read on a rainy day?

mardi, septembre 13, 2005


this is for my darling neasa, at this very moment moving to Paris to have some spectacular adventures accompanied by red wine, amazing cheese and stylish people. It is also stolen shamelessly from the other newly minted Parisian.

I would like everybody to know that I have been working on being happy for you neas, since you blythely fired off an email which ended 'and Monday I move to Paris,' as if it was the most normal thing in the world to be doing. And, 4 days of battling paralyzing jealousy later, I have succeeded. I am happy for you that you are in Paris. However, more than that, I am happy you will be in Paris in the spring when I will come and sleep on your floor until you kick me out or just stop noticing that I am there, until I become so infused with Paris that I blend right in to the cafe curtains.

I love you so much my dear, and I am awaiting the stories...

"Is this simply the unique perversity of the human heart that it wants (and wants and wants) what it doesn't have--Italian food in Paris, American Jazz in Saint-Germain--and, only when it is about to lose it, returns to the things that drew it to the desire in the first place? Or was there a kind of peace in it too? We would now never be Parisians or integrate; we might not even stay in town more than another eight weeks. Loss, like distance, gives permission for romance. In a better-ordered Vienna, Romeo and Juliet would have grown up to be just another couple at dinner." --Adam Gopnik, Paris to the Moon

mercredi, septembre 07, 2005

at this rate, menopause will be a breeze...

So I have heard that women in menopause start to kind of lose their minds. Not in an old, aging synapses kind of way; more along the lines of sporadically misfiring cylinders on 20 year old motorcycle. Nothing too serious, but disconcerting nonetheless.

At my current rate of mind loss, there won't be anything left by my 24th birthday, let alone for menopause to destroy.

It's the little things:

I was completely oblivious to the upcoming birthday of Charlotte, until she emailed to tell me her plans. (New York City... please excuse me while I die of jealousy and go drown myself in the mill pond). And I know exactly when her birthday is.

Forgetting to eject the damncat from the interior premises before going to bed for three days in a row. The damncat wakes me up at 4 am to be let out if I don't do it before I sleep, and thus one has to wonder how many times I will stumble, cursing, up the stairs to the front door in the middle of the night before I clue in.

Leaving the iron on while I am at work all day.

Usually such instances of stupidity would be evenly spaced over a month and the repercussions would only affect me. Circumstances have changed drastically from the norm-if the phrase "normal circumstances" can even be applied to my life with a straight face-and I am now in charge, and the boss of, a whole house, large yard, two cars and many many kilometers of carpet that needs to be vacuumed regularly. The parentals have gallivanted off to Europe (mummy) and to circumnavigate the Mediterranean on a motorcycle (daddy). I have been left at home to feed the damncat and to water the plants. The responsibility might just kill me.

And then there'd be nobody to let the cat out.

mardi, septembre 06, 2005

all I need...

In my life, is a carpet cleaning blog.

no more anonymous comments people. leave a paper trail. That way the government can find you.


Mungry: adjective. A contraction of the phrase "money hungry". Most often used to describe people in the service industry who get pissy when they have a slow night and try to cadge more tables from the manager or the hostess; and who are all fine on busy nights. Rarely performs back duties (ie: polishing glassware), often tries to get other servers/bartenders/co-workers to leave early in hopes of taking over their section. Pejorative.

vendredi, septembre 02, 2005

bon voyage

So today is departure day pour papa... off to London, Belgium, Italy, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Turkey, Greece, Italy, France, London. All on Motorcycles. With the godfather who used to be a spy.

I am so jealous I could puke.

Travel safely daddy. I love you.

mercredi, août 31, 2005

original sin

A few nights ago my best friend in my home town, who we will call R, and I went off for an evening on the town. Since we both had to work the next morning, our wild night out consisted of watching March of the Penguins and heading off to a swanky restaurant for dessert.

R and I have known each other since grade eight when he had a bowl cut and no friends and I wore plaid flannel shirts and wanted desperately to be popular. (In retrospect it was no wonder I had no friends- plaid flannel shirts?!?)

R is witty, intelligent, self deprecating and a great observer of the absurd. Which serves him well as he is the only one of my highschool friends who has stayed in our hometown and never once ventured abroad to a larger city. He is the guy I call when my love life is in the toilet, when my house is about to burn down and when I need to laugh so hard I spew juice through my nose. He knows me better than I know myself most of the time, and he is one of those fundamentalist Christians who believes that Jesus is coming back next Monday at 4 pm, just in time to roast the sinners and the gays and to exalt the pious before a dinner of wings and watching the football game. I, on the other hand, am the kind of liberal Anglican who, if the big JC arrived on my doorstep, would offer him a beer and continue watching The Daily Show-extrapolating during the commercial breaks on the joys of pre-marital sex, the value of contraception, the importance of a woman's right to choose, why I think the phrase hidden agenda has been grossly overused by the Conservative Party, and the relative value of The Walrus vs the Atlantic Monthly.

Needless to say, R and I are the kind of friends who will be friends forever, even into the afterlife: our respective ideas of hell is where the other will end up, so I am pretty sure, if God has a sense of humour, we'll see each other there.

The highlight of the evening was dessert at the aforementioned swanky restaurant. A friend of mine tends bar there, and took great pleasure in plying us with various spectacular alcoholic creations. Dessert was (and I will put this in layman's terms for those not fortunate enough to work in the service industry) ginger creme brule, with apricot spring roll and roasted brandied apricot slices. AND... chocolate mashed potatoes with home made raspberry sorbet and coulis.

In case you missed that, I said chocolate mashed potatoes, people.

They were divine. One of those life changing experiences that happens in a split second, leaving you wondering how you could have lived your life up until now not knowing about chocolate mashed potatoes.

On the drive home R and I were unusually silent. For my part, I was savouring juxtaposition of the magnificence of the bleak and vast Antarctic landscape against the magnificence of the recently consumed potatoes.

I have no idea what R was thinking about. I like to think he was mulling over how to rationalize consuming something so obviously sinful. But he's evangelical, not catholic, so I am still at a loss...

dimanche, août 28, 2005

15 minutes

If you were told you had 15 minutes to leave your house, what would you take with you?

my one bag consisted of:

1pr boxer shorts (bought in cardiff while at bording school)

1 marines teeshirt

lots of comfy underwear... totally forgot to pack bras...

1 pocket watch, courtesy of petit frere

1 pr red Fluvogs boots

1 pr grandmother's shoes from 1940 that fit and look divine

1 pr gold sequined flats. becase I had to.

2 prs of red shoes: the grocery shoes from first year uni, and the Boston shoes that are magical.

(how many shoes now...don't ask...)

1 pr jeans and 1pr lululemon pants

3 scarves from the middle east: one from Halab, Cairo and Damascus...

3 tees: one from paris, one courtesy of le frere from mtl. one a fave...

one scarf woven by mum.

my letters from the past 4 years, my camera, and some valuable jewelry.

It all fit into one duffle bag.

The photo albums, computer hardrive, and legal papers did well in laundry baskets.

Forest fires... the new way to downsize....

jeudi, août 25, 2005



I have blog comment spam. Which is funny, as I think there may be about a sum total of seven people, plus my mother, who read this thing.

the new black

"Morgan Freeman is, like, the little black dress of cinamatography."

dimanche, août 21, 2005

For better or for worse...

So I was at a wedding last weekend. Avec l'homme. And since a lot of our mutual acquaintances are getting married or planning to get married, weddings have been on the brain of late.

The weekend wedding was quite lovely, except for some parts where I was whispering to the Falklander that I was going to have to go throw up in the bushes for a few minutes, and that if the priest at my wedding called me a princess I would shove my bouquet down his throat and drown him in the font.

However, the bride was beautiful, the groom was handsome, and the wedding party all charmingly attired and flowered. The wedding took place in a garden, the reception in a dining room with vaulted ceilings and huge windows. There were two ponds to walk around for exercise or to escape the small talk, and the weather was gorgeous. The whole thing was exactly as though it had been planned in two colour coded 3 inch binders for the past year. Which it had.

This particular wedding was full of celebration, which all weddings should have in abundance, but short on reality. It was the perfect fairy tale wedding.

I think the thing that really bothered me was that the wedding seemed not to reflect the reality that my dear friends were diving into. Marriage is hard, HARD work. The divorce rates show that, statistically, (the most heinous kind of proof), 50% of marriages in North America don't last. Children, finances, stress of living with another person and modifying ones own life to accommodate theirs takes its toll eventually. Perhaps the generation I belong to has less gumption and stick-to-it-ness than that of my grandparents or even my parents. Or maybe society has changed to recognize that a lot of the long lived marriages of the past were not the Hallmark card platitudes that we were led to believe. Either way, marriage in this particular day and age, seems-to the cynical-a bit of a waste of time.

But, cynical and black hearted though I am, I don't think this marriage was a waste of time. I think it was wonderful and necessary and one small public statement of the kind of love that we are short on in our troubled times. I just wish a few more things had been said:

A recognition that my friends are extremely brave. That marriage is difficult and challenging and terrifying, even for such young bright people. That hard times will occur. That they are both strong individuals and that marriage should not subvert their individuality, but strengthen both of them as people.

I hope that one day I will be as brave as they are, not stop running full tilt toward the precipice of the unknown and the unknowable.

dimanche, août 14, 2005

Quote of the month

"the best thing about getting old is that I don't care anymore. I just put on my shoes and walk out the door like a doukhobor."

mercredi, août 10, 2005

They'd rather shoot rats at the dump

To date, shoveling a bunch of pine needles and branches into a trailer and then taking it to the local dump to unload has not been at the top of my list of summer fun activities.

But when unloading said trailer takes one minute and forty eight seconds, even I am suckered into a repeat performance.

The dump, man. It's where it's at.

(insider trading tip... buy stocks in dairy queen. the way the falklander and I are putting away ice cream will guarantee you multiplying dividends for years to come.)

vendredi, août 05, 2005

wine goggles

female customer: "you know, you really are a very beautiful girl. No, I mean it, you have such a lovely face."

momentarily flustered server: "ahhh.... thank you, um, that's very sweet..."

female customer: "oh don't pay attention to anything I say. I'm drunk, I don't know what I'm talking about."

vendredi, juillet 29, 2005


there are two choices:

either you educate and discipline your children so that they can sit in a restaurant quietly, order some concoction off the menu, and generally act pleasantly...

or you can arrive at the restaurant, assume that the servers are your built in baby sitting device, and let your progeny run wild to the horror of 100% of the staff and 99% of the other patrons.

When I run the world, those who choose the latter option will have to muzzle, leash and sedate their spawn upon entry to anywhere where the napkins are not made of paper.

jeudi, juillet 28, 2005

some cheese with that wine?

Work, over the past few days, has been interesting. At risk of turning this rather eclectic bit of self absorbed mental masturbation into a restaurant blog...

and no, I would never dream of usurping the throne of the master

I am on my 12th day of work in a row. At this point, customers cease to be viewed as humans and more as biological waste disposal units with a peculiar function that allows them to choose what they ingest.

At point in time, after working 2 doubles in 3 days, I am only just hanging on to maintaining my general public-worthy smile and I am blatantly making things up. The vegetables with the halibut? Carrots, Chinese broccoli and mashed potatoes. A wine pairing with the duck? Whatever the hell you want. The cooking method used on the salmon? LADY, LOOK AT YOUR FUCKING MENU... IT SAYS GRILLED SALMON FOR A REASON!

(Does Chinese broccoli exist? Only God, and the Chinese know- and realistically, if it does exist I am sure there is a perfectly acceptable name for it in Cantonese or Mandarin that is not replete with neocolonialist connotations.)

I have taken to accruing a particular pleasure in watching yuppie men order a bottle of our most expensive wine to impress the friends they are taking out to dinner. The farce unfolds in the predictable manner: he orders a completely inappropriate bottle for their food choices but one of the most expensive on the list. I bring bottle, present it, open it, and pour a taster for him. Throughout this process he ignores me completely. He lazily reaches out a hand - with not quite metrosexually buffed nails but dammned close - and grasps his glass by the bowl. Swirls the wine around and takes a deep inhale of the bouquet. By this point I am wondering if he will be able to smell anything at all other than his own inflated ego and the mere pick me up of white powder lingering in his nasal passages. But of course, although the wine is about 4 degrees too warm and should most certainly NOT be paired with duck breast, he pronounces that "It'll do," and I make my round of the table; dousing the yuppie, his friend, and their wives with wine. When I make my way back to his glass, the ordering yuppie graces my presence with a glance.

"How do you find the difference between the 1998 and the 2000?"

...now this is a test. I have to say what I think he wants to hear. If I deviate from the script, all - and by all I mean any hope in hell of a tip - is lost...

"Well sir, I haven't had a lot of experience drinking the 1998 as it is quite rare and highly sought after," (this to soften up his ego... He is drinking exclusive wine, and I, a mere mortal, cannot afford to indulge so often,)

"But I must say that the 98 has a fuller body and a more complex bouquet than the 2000 which is just coming into fruition."

...take that you platinum credit card, presumptuous bastard: I said 'fruition' to you...

The trump card is that we don't carry the 2000 vintage on our wine list, so that, unless he has extensive wine experience, he will never know what I am talking about. Nor does he care. He's just watched Sideways a few too many times and wants to come off as a sommelier in front of his golfing buddies. He really wishes he were drinking beer, and his botoxed and scalpeled wife/trophy girlfriend/highly paid escort would rather have a wine spritzer. Nobody at the table is happy with the possible exception of the hapless friend who -based on my previous conversation with his friend the yuppie - thinks that he is drinking the nectar of the gods. Even if he thinks the nectar of the Gods is a bit warm, it's nothing to scoff at.

mardi, juillet 26, 2005

clearly, we also make grape flavoured gin.

"I'd love a beer, what do you have on tap?"

"I'm sorry sir, we are a winery restaurant and only licenced to sell the wine we produce."

"So you don't have any beer?"

"No sir, but we do have a very extensive wine list and I'd be happy to answer any questions you may have about our wines."

"No, that's ok. I'll have a martini."

samedi, juillet 23, 2005


I find it chronically wierd when, upon seeing somebody that a year ago I would have gone to the moon for, there is no expected leap in heartbeat.

"I don't love you anymore, goodbye."

mercredi, juillet 20, 2005

how to annoy me

-call me honey. at any time, at any place: I will rip your face off.

-ask me to recite all the desserts on offer, ask me to repeat them, then order 2 coffees, 1 decaf and a peppermint tea.

-San Pelligrino. With lime, NOT lemon.

-dishwash slowly. I know you are tired and it's a shitty job, but I did it too and I was faster than you on my slowest day. Speed it up and you will escape the dishpit far faster. Also, I will have some forks to reset my tables with.

-go home with the pen I put in your bill fold so that you could sign your credit card bill. I am not your personal stationary supply. Bic pens are not collectibles.

dimanche, juillet 17, 2005

Departure Bay

I'm crying while I fold my laundry. Randy Bachman's Vinyl Tap is on CBC, and he's playing Canadian female musicians and he plays Diana Krall's song Departure Bay. She's from Nanaimo, and so am I-in a round about way: my dad grew up in a house on Departure Bay Road- and this song hits me from so many angles. If you can, get a hold of it and listen: there's a chord change in the line, "I just get home, and then I leave again," that breaks my heart.

The fading scent of summertime
Arbutus trees and firs
The glistening of rain-soaked moss
Going to the dairy queen at dusk
Down narrow roads
In autumn light

The salt air and the sawmills
And the bars are full of songs and tears
To the passing of the tugboats
And people with their big ideas

I just get home and then I leave again
It's long ago and far away
Now we're skimming stones and
Exchanging rings
And scattering and sailing from Departure Bay

The house was bare of Christmas lights
It came down hard that year
Outside in our overcoats
Drinking down to the bitter end
Trying to make things right
Like my mother did

Last year we were laughing
We sang in church so beautifully
Now her perfume's on the bathroom counter
And I'm sitting in the back pew crying

I just get home and then I leave again
It's long ago and far away
Now we're skimming stones and
Exchanging rings
And scattering and sailing from Departure Bay

A song plays on the gramophone
And thoughts turn back to life
We took the long way to get back
Like driving over the malahat
Now a seaplane drones and time has flown

I won't miss all the glamour
While my heart is beating and the lilacs bloom
But who knew when I started
That I'd find a love and bring him home

Just get me there and one we will stay
A long time off and far away
Now we're skimming stones and
Exchanging rings
We're scattering and diving in Departure Bay

samedi, juillet 16, 2005

I was wrong

I actually did start work today.

(insert gospel choir here singing "Praise the Lord and Hallelujah")

It was not quite the miraculous experience that one may have expected having lunch at a rather fine restaurant in a rather spectacular location. All I was praying for was another set of arms and that time could move in two separate dimensions: slow for the front and super fast for the kitchen...

Needless to say, the whole time-travel thing didn't really work out in my favour, which left me explaining to my darlink tables that really, an hour wait for a sandwich was a perfectly acceptible timeframe. It's amazing how easily people can be bought: a basket of bread keeps them happpy for at least 45 minutes.

Lesson of the day for future restaurant experiences:

If you are so starving hungry that you HAVE to order your appetizers right NOW, and will order your mains later; BE PREPARED FOR A LONG WAIT FOR YOUR MAINS!!! This is not our special way to fuck with you, there is method behind this waiting. See, here's what happens: When I ring in an order with the first course and the second course on it at the same time, the kitchen begins to prepare the mains at the same time they whip out your appetizers. When you finish your appetizers, I clear your plates and tell the kitchen to pick up the mains for your table; they then finish up cooking your mains, plate them and I take them out to in (what is hoped to be) a matter of minutes. This all happens because main courses take longer to cook than salads- thus, while you are masticating your mixed organic greens, your medium/well steak is being fired. DO YOU INFIDELS KNOW HOW LONG IT TAKES TO COOK A MEDIUM/WELL STEAK??? I didn't think so. So, if you insist upon ordering your mains after you order your apps, then your mains will not have the cooking grace time of how long it takes you to eat your apps, and you will be waiting 'till the cows come in to nosh on your overpriced pasta and your roasted chicken breast panini.

Just sos you know.

vendredi, juillet 15, 2005

Yes, you too can pay 40$ for eating sandwiches and inhaling the fumes of cow anus.

The bulldozers are still in front of the restaurant. I have not the arithmetic skills to calculate the probability that I will actually WORK tomorrow; I'm guessing that it's something close to a snowball's chance in hell, or that my leg hair will miraculously disappear for ever.

Also, the landscapers have put a huge load of manure on the newly planted flowers and shrubs so the whole place smells like shit.

lundi, juillet 11, 2005

5 am

is the hour that I awoke this morning. A combination of the lingering effects of one glass of red wine too many, and the gut wrenching pain of menstrual cramps. Now I would like to think of myself as stoic, but the sad reality is that when I have cramps I would sell my first born child to the white slave traders if they had a bottle of extra strength advil on hand. (Yet another reason I should never beget offspring.)

Seriously, I long for the days when a woman's monthly bleed was a time of rest and rejuvenation and maybe a few afternoons spent in a sweat lodge or a sauna. Those times, at least in my current cultural habitat, are long gone sadly... Instead I have a full day ahead of me, a day that has to start with getting dressed and pretending to be human.

It's only 6:30 though, being human can wait.

dimanche, juillet 03, 2005

port hardy

has attitude and a rugged worn-down look that belies its steel and perseverence.

the kind of place where change comes slowly and what's good enough for the parent's generation is good enough for the children.

a town that has no problem giving the pretentions of anything south of Campbell River a big Fuck You.

I admire that.

mardi, juin 28, 2005

and happy hangover...

... to the most beloved petit frere.

on this, your western hemisphere birthday, when you are restoring yourself from the eastern hemisphere birthday, I hope that you managed to drink a pint of water before you passed out and took a tylenol or paracetemol or advil or SOMETHING so that you didn't wake up this morning feeling like death.

And if you did. My sympathies, it will pass... and you are 20!!!!!!!

My little gravel eating, civilization drinking dragon... I love you so much and am missing you like hell.

party hard. I love you.

this house

is where I learned to shell peas and that 3 raspberries in my stomach to one in the bucket is a fine ratio. More of a home than much else right now.

We took the ferry to Vancouver yesterday to change some flights and to see some friends from Wales. The friends are engaged and have a lovely flat and garden and barbeque and tiki torches... scary and lovely at the same time.

Now in Duncan, chilling w/ le grand pere, who is at the moment listening to the police radio on the scanner. Nothing like good old small town almost-crime!

A dispatch on Gabriola will follow. Suffice to say that I am sunburned and had to be talked out of buying a pair of tie-dyed yoga pants (I have never done sun salutations in my life), but the eagles and the seals and the swinging from trees made up for the mud and chick pea fiasco.

lundi, juin 20, 2005

island time

heading w/ aforementioned falkland islander to the island today.

no bears there.

dimanche, juin 19, 2005


my prioraties.

It's funny being back chez parents and having to adjust to the different pace of life. Dinner has a specific time. Plant watering is apparently part of my job description. Phone calls are overheard-at least, one side of them anyways. And my perspective shifts to accomodate the other side of me that was often back-burnered in the whirl of Montreal.

Particularly helpful for perspective was sitting atop Mount Edith, half way between Banff and Lake Louise, in the driving snow and wind, contemplating exactly what kind of crazy one would have to be to decide to head down the back of the mountain to find an unmarked trail that may or may not get back to the bottom. Apparently, that is the kind of crazy that I have become: because a few mouthfulls of trail mix later I was blissfully tramping down a snowbank behind an overzealous Falkland Islander whose definition of fun is shooting fat american tourists for sport.

Perspective is also watching the interaction between my mother and my grandfather, both being careful and protective of the other in completely different ways. Family lunches, besides convincing me that I am something of a sociological and political sport*, are good for reminding me of my place in the affection/dependence/inheritance chain.

And yes. I did see a bear. It was a small black bear cub and it meandered through our campsite on Thursday night just checking the place out. Perspective...was achieved again as I quickly realized that my postition in the universe could be little more than bear kibbles. Take that-over educated, eastern canada inflated ego!

*sport: a plant (or part of a plant), animal, etc. which exhibits abnormal variation from the parent stock or type in some respect.

mardi, juin 14, 2005

if you go down to the woods today...

Heading to banff to find bears. Big bears.

And to hike a bit.

vendredi, juin 10, 2005

one week

it always is a bit of an adjustment to return here. My mind takes longer to wrap around stuff that used to be second nature to me.

Like the fact that the drycleaning place went out of business, so the pet store beside where the drycleaners used to be is now taking drycleaning. My drycleaning is getting done at a pet store!!!

(I'm scared to pick it up incase of feathers...)

dimanche, juin 05, 2005

the movement

was accomplished in a daze of sleep deprivation and hangover. Packing drunk is an experience I would rather not like to repeat.

other highlights included:

Apparently Air Canada now thinks it is necessary to charge its passengers for the privilege of eating their shitty airplane food. Which means that in order to have sustenance of any kind on the 7 hour flight to BC, I was given the options of roast beef sandwich ($6) prepared no less than 2 weeks ago, or a styrofoam cup of instant noodles ($4) which I could have picked up myself from the supermarket for about 75 cents. There were other possibilities too, but really, who spends $2 on packaged cookies? Somebody somewhere in the bureaucracy thinks that because we, the passengers, are a captive audience we must also have lost our fucking minds as well as our price parity index.

I, however, outsmarted them by pre-eating a shawarma that I bought at around noon and then gaining nourishment from gingerale for the remainder of my time on the stale air and screaming baby filled flights. Consequently, upon landing and seeing the darling man that was picking me up, I promptly ripped off his arm and, with minimal mastication, devoured it.

jeudi, juin 02, 2005

the killers

the advantage of going to a concert where most of the audience is still in high school is that I can see over their heads and, for once, actually see the people on stage.

t minus 48 hours. not enough time. not quite real.

mercredi, juin 01, 2005

end of days

the last days in montreal and I am running my ass off.

this is all.

mercredi, mai 25, 2005

packing up

Whilst packing stuff to haul back to the land of wine, gainful employment and a shared bathroom, I realized that I am the owner of 2 potato mashers.

And I have never actually made smashed potatoes while living in this city.

Once again, my life is being whittled down to fit into my luggage requirements. I am not totally sure how I feel about it: like any middle class north american girl who shops at the Gap, I LIKE to have nice things. Not necessarily in abundance, but certainly-much to my chagrin- STUFF is important to me. I remember when I was moving into the apartment where I now live and the idea that I would have to acquire such trappings as a bed, table, chairs, bookshelves, and, God help me, side tables, made me slightly nauseated. Now getting rid of them feels like the first sharp tugs on the stem of a plant that is about to be forcibly transplanted, roots dangling in the air, none of the cozy protective dirt to insulate the shock.

(that was a really bad simile, almost would have been acceptable in grade nine poetry... but hey, let's cut the woman some slack: she's obviously in an advanced state of grief over the imminent loss of the physical embodiment of an ikea catalogue. No more happy Swedish existence, whatever will she do?)

The tactic so far has been to adopt the personae of the housewares fairy. I show up unannounced at my friends' doors and bestow upon them my excess stuff. The significance of a freely given slotted spoon should not be taken lightly.

samedi, mai 21, 2005

pass the salt.... bermuda??

It's funny when you think you know someone quite well and then they come out with something completely divergent from what you think you know about them.

Like that my father went to Bermuda. Twice. In the 70's. And came back with a fleet of sailboats, one of which he shipped accross Canada on the train for $75.

He's visiting for a few days before heading back to BC and putting a motorcycle together. I think I convinced him that fixing the little Honda 180 in the basement and teaching me to drive it would be a great project for the summer. I guess the Hastings side is finally rising within me...

Today's adventure: how much gin to buy to facilitate our G&Ts for the next 3 days... Realistically, can there ever be too much?

In other news, I figured out how to post pictures on here, and I am deciding if I like it. Mostly due to my technical ineptitude and general laziness I haven't really tinkered around with pictures, preferring to let my garbled sentences be the window to my soul. And I have this feeling that if I got used to posting pictures I would drop the writing all together. Which would further the laziness. ho hum. Any thoughts?

les souliers des filles Posted by Hello

mercredi, mai 18, 2005

mini golf and water towers

We left Boston around 8 on Friday night, the culmination of a day filled with route planning, meeting his sister, coffee with neasa, moving boxes, packing the car, a tour of Boston with MIT electrical engineers. Driving out of the city with my feet on the dash board and a 480 mile blast to Salisbury Maryland ahead, I could not have been more excited.

I think it is the movement between fixed points that does it for me. So exhilarating to start in one city and end up in another one... the time between punctuated by music, rambling conversation, consumption of gummy bears and animal crackers. Or just quiet, the contented silence between two people who have reached the point where not everything needs to be said. Restful.

The coast of North Carolina and the sand dunes...houses on stilts for no particular purpose. Finally, standing by the Atlantic for the first time in 4 years. We took out the motorcycle and sped around Nag's Head, ending up at a lighthouse in the middle of a marsh. The light was spectacular. Riding back, the setting sun filtered through the trees and into my helmet and it was as though I was in the middle of Vivaldi's mind when he was writing the autumn movement of the 4 seasons.

Charleston, SC: a sudden departure from America. We couldn't figure out where it felt like we were, but certainly NOT the States. The coffee house put our coffee into plain white paper cups... art galleries with quite blues playing... public gardens...cobbled streets. Shutters and little ally ways. Plans to go back.

In retrospect, the 4 days are a series of snapshots in my mind. click: carrying boxes in the elevator of his building in Boston. click: stopping on the bridge over the Delaware Bay at 3 am to look at the stars. click: running down dunes to escape being told off by the park ranger for the second time. click: sitting in the car watching the rain come down in the middle of nowhere, Georgia. click: smoking cigars and singing to nirvana on the radio.

perspective, which I have been sorely lacking, was restored this past weekend. And laughter... so much laughter.

jeudi, mai 12, 2005

midnight train

to georgia.

or rather, a long drive. But really, when am I ever going to get to go to Georgia again? Leaving tonight for Boston, then to Atlanta...

to the flying boy: safe travels, godspeed. I cried all the way home.

lundi, mai 09, 2005


I am sure that somewhere along the line, I realized that, to transform myself in to an adult, I would have to begin to be able to let go of things. Given the choice, I would make like a packrat and save everything I could get my hands on. Stuffed toys from my babyhood? Ok! Costume jewelry from grandmother? Sure! Grade four art project? Why not...

Over time I have managed to pare down my deep carnal longing to put things in boxes and just KEEP them. My closet is regularly cleaned out. I give old books to charity or to friends whom I think will like them. I don't let left-overs languish in my fridge. Until 2 years ago my worldly possessions could fit into standard luggage requirements. I value my portability.

What is harder for me to let go of are the intangibles. Relationships, places, experiences. You know that teeshirt that says "If you leave me, I am going with you"?...

And now I am leaving Montreal for good in less than a month. And I have to give up my apartment. And I really, really, REALLY, don't want to. I feel a bit like a dog in the manger, but this apartment should be MINE FOREVER.

So much for maturity.

dimanche, mai 08, 2005

further juxtaposition

Friday night: la cousine et moi head to Thompson House, the graduate student's house. An old stone mansion on the edge of Mount Royal that was donated to the University, it is now a fantastic place to go, drink, talk, and eat. Being the grad student's house, it is constantly filled with grad students: extremely intelligent, funny, articulate people that I adore. The walls are all wood paneled or papered with distinguished paper, and there is fantastic art all over the walls. Beer is cheap, a snooker table is upstairs, and the view of Montreal is unparalleled. Every time I walk through the door I feel like I should be wearing tweed and tortoise shell glasses.

Saturday night: la cousine et moi head to a techno show. Miss Kitten is playing. The cavernous hall is filled with beautiful, sweaty people gyrating to a heavy bass and random electronic noise. There are video screens hung on the walls showing digital collages of Japanese animation, exercise videos, and soft porn. There is a lot of dyed black hair, piercings and tattoos. And tall people, I am constantly dwarfed by dancing giants. Strobe lights blind me and the smell of pot in the air bring back the memory of the last concert I was at, which ended badly in a un-planned introduction to the public health care system. We leave around 3, la cousine having given her (read, my) phone number to about 4 different people. I am now really wishing for call display...

Bizarre. We are so different, we two... and yet, so similar in other ways. Apparently we look alike: who knew?

jeudi, mai 05, 2005


it seems that I am surrounded by women these days. Which isn't really a suprise, given that my gender makes up 1/2 the population, but suddenly there are these really strong, smart, funny and beautiful women in my life. I'm not sure how to cope.

Some people (and you know who you are) would not EVER see a sudden onset of women to be a problem. I don't either, it's just funny. All my close friends have mostly been guys. Apart from two rather fraught and disasterous friendships in the highschool years, I haven't ever had close female friends.

You know, girlfriends. The ones you call at 2pm having just woken up with a hangover to plaintively ask if she has any idea how your clothes could have possibly ended up in the kitchen... the ones who you can spend 24 hours in the company of and not want to kill them or set them on fire. The ones who remember the names and identifying characterisitics of all your former men without the use of polaroids or name tags.

Yesterday, in the company of two of these women, I laughed so hard my stomach ached for hours. Bent double sitting on the curb, my breath coming out in short gasps as I tried to both laugh and talk a the same time.

I have no idea what set us off... does it matter?


today, the first warm day in ages, sees me running errands on St Laurent: cutting keys, fixing my watch, dropping the cousin off to have her hair chopped and chemically altered. It's sunny and for the first time in months I am enjoying the feeling of the sun on my back.

as I am leaving the city soon, I've been noticing more and more the things about it that I am going to miss.

and today I realized that I will miss most horribly the cultural juxtapositioning of a city caught between the Seine and the rough and tumble new world.

there was a man on the sidewalk busking in the most franco of ways: the accordian.

and he was dressed as a cowboy.

vendredi, avril 29, 2005

catching up

so this is what happens when a chronically sleep deprived individual is able to sleep for as long as she wants: 13 hours of really weird dreams...

the one this morning that involved 3 close friends, a chicken and a lot of toasters. WTF??

I am spending time by myself and doing things I love: reading non-school related material, making cookies, watching movies.

lundi, avril 25, 2005

not waving but drowning

Nobody heard him, the dead man,
But still he lay moaning:
I was much further out than you thought
And not waving but drowning.

Poor chap, he always loved larking
And now he's dead
It must have been to cold for him his heart gave way,
They said.

Oh no no no, it was too cold always
(still the dead one lay moaning)
I was much too far out all my life
And not waving but drowning.


samedi, avril 23, 2005

cross eyed with times new roman...

which, I guess is better than going blind from staring at ariel or comic sans all day... I can only imagine the response of my very distinguished professor if I handed him my thesis written entirely in Treefrog. Or Webdings 3.

not to fear, 'tis but the ramblings of a diseased mind. which is now seeing the world in black and white with serifs.

Remember Neas? all those afternoons in the castle with Martin, staring at fonts...

apparently the only solution to this ailment is to cut the crap and go out to face society. Eat pizza exquise first, drink wine out of a paper bag. Dance ass off to the sweet tunes of the early 90s...

"it's like that, and that's the way it is - Huh"

vendredi, avril 22, 2005

the plumber cometh

tomorrow morning. sometime before 10 am. Which is funny, since I haven't been awake before 11 in about a week. Or 3 days. When one goes to bed at 4 in the morning, drugged on NyQuil, one has difficulty rising to do her sun salutations at the appropriate time.

Fortunately, a night of the intricacies of Canadian immigration policy and the Indochinese boat people await me. (Who was saying that I don't get out enough?) If all goes well, I should still be awake at 10 am to let my landlord and the plumber-god-who-will-fix-my-drainless-tub into my humble abode.

And it's hovering around zero tonight, inside the walls. Maybe he can fix my heating while he's at it...

mercredi, avril 20, 2005

achievements for today:

1. laundry
2. buy milk

not bad for six hours awake.

the leaving is getting palpably near, and I can no longer pretend that life is going to continue as normal. I finish university next week. I will be back in BC by mid June at the latest. I will work/play my way through the summer. In October... travel? become a cashier at Safeway? start painting a picket fence in Calgary? ride a motercycyle to Cairo? curl up in a ball and hibernate? These are decisions I feel completely unqualified to make.

Not suprising though. Since my Saturday night when I succombed to a winning combination of dehydration/low bloodsugar/stress/exhaustion I haven't had the energy to concentrate on more than one thing at a time. Usually this wouldn't be a problem, except that I live alone: no roommates or family members to cook or wash dishes for me. Don't get me wrong, I love living alone-maybe when I have returned chez famille, I will write down all the virtues of living solo- but right now I could use a manservant. I was told that the term "manbitch" would be more apropriate, but I am loath to use that particular term because of connotations with Pulp Fiction.

Have been inside way too much today. but it's rainy, and I am lazy.

dimanche, avril 17, 2005

"take a holiday in spain...

leave my wings behind me
drink my worries down the drain
fly away to somewhere new..."

the ER on a Saturday night is not really where I was thinking of...

vendredi, avril 15, 2005

small things...

sleep solves so much.

and one of the lost boys has been located. this one's been in the israeli army for the last 3 years, and hasn't been heard from in about 2... we spoke briefly this afternoon, and he'll call tomorrow.

suddenly everthing seems ok.

God, I'm glad he is safe and alive.

jeudi, avril 14, 2005


Nobody will ever say that I am the world's most compassionate or kind person. Really, I'm not even close. I lack tolerance, perspective and general good will.

But usually, usually, I am able to be happy for my friends when good things happen to them. Most of the time I can harness my generosity of spirit and be genuinely glad when they get good jobs, find nice boyfriends, achieve stunning marks or win vacations to Cuba.

Lately though, I have been singularly unable to conjure up joy for the lives of others. In particular, one of my best friends.

It's nothing big: she is pretty much set for post-graduation plans, has enough money to do whatever traveling she wants, and (this is the kicker) is being courted by a most wonderful man. When I say courted I mean it in the old English sense: he sends her funny, intelligent and articulate emails, he brings her flowers and he knows when to leave her alone to study. (which isn't particularly old english at all... just classy and grown up...)

And while objectively I am happy for her, inside I want to die. I want him to let slip some grossly inappropriate comment, or to have bad table manners. I want her to decide it's not worth it. I want to stop feeling like the wicked step-mother in the manger.

I've had enough time alone with my mind to realize that most of this is my own hysteria: the panic of being spewed out into the real world, the lack of sleep, the remnants of a horrific love affair that left me questioning my worth as a person.

It's not terminal. This too shall pass. And as much as I live by the adage that denial is the first step on the road to healing... I have to get this out somewhere. I wish I could be funny about this, witty and humorous and insightful, but right now I feel ravaged, and paralyzed. Like my heart has the kind of 'road rash' that you get falling off your bike aged seven. It goes away eventually, but in the meantime it hurts like hell and looks really bad for what is, realistically, just a surface wound.

"wake me up, wake me up, it's one of us that's screaming"

mercredi, avril 13, 2005

it's late...

... and I am listening to the Killers.

the hell has commenced and it's exhausting just thinking about it.

end of tunnel light comes in the form of a possible escape with dear friends, and some news of the lost one.

my darlink brother has started a blog too. he is cool and writes really well. Unlike his sister whose brain has started to melt out her ears...

anyways, check it out kids:

bed for this muffin.

lundi, avril 04, 2005

what every daughter wants to hear...

"your father is 2/3 of the way up a tree on the end of the extention ladder. He is tying a live powersaw to his waist..."

jeudi, mars 31, 2005

the fashion police

The first really warm day, and the mcgill fashion victimhood was in full swing. Restraint ladies. We do not have to wear all of the spring trends at once.

case in point: cowboyboots. flouncy skirt. gold sequin belt. teeshirt. slightly shrunken one button blazer in peach. pearls. big headphones around neck. dangly chandelier earrings. artfully messed up hair, probably in need of a wash.

Under no circumstances should these distinct items form a whole outfit.

There will be more warm days. I promise.

And the Uggs with the miniskirt and it's only 5 degrees out? Two things: legs that blindingly white should be dontated to science to be used as incubator lights for premature babies. AND it is five degrees out!!! That skirt is approximatly five inches long. Parts of you that should not be that cold are going to get that cold.

'sall I'm sayin... (and maya says too... only she is too polite to tell you!)

mardi, mars 29, 2005

one month later

you asked me what I have learned:

-to always buy good cheese.

-to listen to music that I don't understand. for longer than I normally would and then, in the middle of half hearing it, to appreciate the skill and devotion of those who play it.

-to relax and enjoy the embrace

-to look for the good in people. to accept the grace and help of my friends

-to be careful of those close to me. Not to take them for granted.

-that who we choose to love doesn't always make sense. And that "sense" in the cognitive aspect, isn't all it's cracked up to be.

-that dep wine always tastes the same

-that I can survive more than I thought I could

-to cut myself, and other people some slack. because, really, we are all just works in progress-half formed sculptures that are malleable and will never be glazed or fired

-how to count music in 12/8 time

-that the human capacity for fucking up is great. as is our capacity to forgive and eventually, to laugh and be kind.

jeudi, mars 24, 2005

roller coaster days

Because I am aware of the horrible quicksand of self-pity/absorption, I am trying a new tactic in the face of academic hell and post-apocalyptic personal life.

Awareness. Of myself and my surroundings and the universe.

And remembrance. Of a few key paradigms.

(Ok. Stop laughing. Really, I know it all sounds horribly Californian and aroma-therapy and badly designed muumuu-ish. Let me explain. Then call all your friends and relatives and let them know that I can be found dressed in a caftan in the garden of a "wellness center"...)

I have six weeks left of serious university. Because of trying to finish in 3 years, I don't have the luxery of a soft last semester. I have six weeks to go. And more writing/reading/thinking in that time than the rest of my life combined. This isn't hard to achieve, I tend to spend most of my time in a vegetative state, tending solely to my immediate needs, leaving analytical brain activity to the overachievers.

Somehow the combination of extreme stress and lack of sleep and lots of coffee and not enough food have turned me into something resembling Janis Joplin coming off a six day binge, while concurrently nursing a brutal attack of PMS.

Add to that my self-chosen topics of study: Apartheid in South Africa, war crimes in Sierra Leone, landmines, the Rwandan Genocide.

I've been a little erratic lately. And by erratic, I mean bi-polar. The spikes and dips don't oscillate at all, they follow the same pattern of a heart monitor at warp speed.

And since I don't know how to stabilize, I am acting like a spectator on an out of control rollercoaster. A lot of the time I am scared and feel like barfing, but there are moments of calm when I can look at the scenery and wave to the people on the ground. Awareness, learning to keep myself company.

And, because Anne Lamott is my fairy godmother (although she doesn't know this yet)I am remembering these two things:

"Forgiveness means it finally becomes unimportant that you hit back. You're done. It doesn't necessarily mean that you have to have lunch with the person."

"I live by the truth that "No" is a complete sentence."

lundi, mars 21, 2005


maybe I should rename this blog... something more along the lines of: "what you are reading is the sleep deprived ramblings of a caffiene addicted undergrad who desperately needs to simultaneously read/write pages and pages of political analysis and escape to a quiet place and rehabilitate."

rehabilitate: verb. to restore to normal life by training and therapy. from the latin restituere

Life, right now, is a little bit like being in the middle of a train wreak. only it's happening in slow motion. And I have no idea what point of the crash we are in: there is certainly carnage and blood everywhere and the twisted remnants of once recognizable structures, but there is no particular conclusion in sight. No approaching moment when the momentum is ground to a halt and there is profound silence-instead: a constantly increasing roaring that fills my eardrums.

I feel like one of the chilren in the photos from the Cold War, practicing nuclear bomb protocol by hiding under desks.

dimanche, mars 20, 2005

until you understand

it's hard to stay it's hard to look into your eyes when I say I'm leaving
I can't be sure but I think I made up my mind, although your heart is bleeding
I wish the only one I had to be was me for you to see this clearly
I wish the only thing I had to do was hold my arms around you
so long so hard until you'd understand.
so long so hard until you'd understand.

I somehow feel that I'm pulling away your ground before I've even started
to realize my words have caught you by suprise makes it even harder
I wish there was a way to make you read the signs I'm bringing you this evening
I wish the only thing I had to do was to hold my arms around you
so long so hard until you'd understand.
so long so hard until you'd understand.

~kings of convenience

samedi, mars 19, 2005


It must be something in the air this year. Relationships are doomed.

My friend Zak and his girlfriend Emma are the latest in a long string of casualties. Somehow their relationship fell apart, and though they still love each other very much, she is now half a continent away and out of mobile phone range. He is still here, trying to pick up the pieces of a life that was completely wrapped up in another person.

He called me up last night to ask if I wanted to go to a "yalla party". Yalla parties are difficult to describe without giving a comprehensive description of the certain breed of wealthy middle eastern young men who comprise the Yalla demographic. But suffice to say that I was certainly the only natural blonde in the room, and I'm willing to bet my inheritance that I was the only one who didn't own a cell phone. My role was arm candy and to make sure that Zak didn't start to cry in the middle of the sparsely furnished living room. I'm not sure exactly why he called me up, maybe because I am well acquainted with the culture of the Yalla, and I can play the game rather well if I am in the mood, maybe because I have an endless supply of stupid jokes that are just offensive enough to raise eyebrows, maybe because there is something about me that enables men to cry on my shoulder.

We took off from the party early, and ended up sitting in Zak's apartment staring out at the Montreal skyline trying to make sense of the world.

He loves her so much, and though she loves him too she'd had enough and took off. Although it breaks my heart to see Zak so much in the gutter, I have huge respect for Emma for knowing her limits and taking care of herself first. It is a skill that I am learning slowly, and only recently put into practice for the first time. I am finding it lonely and scary and wonderfuly spacious. I wonder how often we let our boundaries of "this is ok" get incrementally shifted simply because we are worried about the fallout of a break up.

And though it is devastating and horrible and just...sad, there is a kind of poignant beauty in watching someone rebuild themself. It's a visible display of courage that is rare, and it takes such grace to admit that current location is rock bottom and you're going to need some help to crawl up the well. And grace to accept the help and love and support that is offered.

jeudi, mars 17, 2005

kickin' it old skool

I rolled out of bed this morning at 945. The alarm had gone off at 815, and I managed to sleep through U2's greatist hits for an hour and a half before my body decided to regain consciousness. I have a class at 10. School is about 12 minutes- walking fast-away.

I am not going to whine about this, because the morning was brilliant.

I woke up happily suprised that I wasn't hungover, and given that Laura and I went through 2 bottles of wine last night, hangover absence is cause for both suprise and celebration. The 1 litre of water and an asprin before bed really does work. Thanks dad.

It's sunny today, and as I threw clothes on, brushed my teeth, printed a paper proposal that was due in my 10 am class, and drank yet more water, I quietly anticipated a sprint to school in blinding sunshine. Winter here (and it is still winter)is awful, but at least for me, sunshine makes a hell of a difference. Sunshine means I get to wear my cooler-than-thou sunglasses which allow me to stare at people without them thinking I have escaped from the psych ward.

Tearing down the sidewalk in my down vest and sunglasses I probably looked like some yuppie vancouverite in Whistler-all that was missing was my no-fat-double-latte-mocha-chino-thingy and my yoga mat.

No part of me cared. For I was in a different universe, one in which I had on my favourite sneakers for the first time in months and had the sweet songs of a mixed tape from Neasa blasting my eardrums.

Yes. I said mixed tape. No. We have not been transported to 1986 or the universe of High Fidelity.

I have been a fan of the mixed tape for as long as I can remember. Mixed tapes are a physical and audio reminder of specific points in time. They anchor me to moments and feelings I otherwise would have lost to the brain drain of time and information overload. (by brain drain I actually mean my brain liquifying and pouring out the back of my head... I swear this actually happens to graduating university students)

I made mixed tapes for friends and they made them for me. For about six months my friend John and I sent a tape back and forth each putting a song on and spending our allowance on postage. I have no idea what happened to it, probably in a box at his parent's house in Sherwood Park... The summer I worked in Sorrento, we made a "songs of the summer" tape for all the staff. It has everything from Black Sabbath to Ani Difranco to the Rolling Stones on it. Tapes were birthday gifts or given to boys that I loved. Two boys in particular broadened my musical horizons with the selections on their tapes, little packages that came in the mail and were instantly inserted into my walkman.

Yes. My walkman. It is yellow, a Sony sports model which means it is huge and clunky. I got it so that I could listen to tapes while I ran out my adolescant angst on the streets of my neighbourhood. I couldn't take being alone with my mind for the 40 minutes to an hour of running, so I distracted myself with Punk bands that I had never heard of, courtesy of Naomi: my much cooler friend who lived in Vancouver-a place with a real music scene.

I took tapes to Wales and ran with them along the clif path, and through Marcross, and away from farm dogs. And they were a tangible link to the West in Lebanon, when all I wanted to hear were some acoustic guitar chords and a mellow baritone.

This Christmas break, when people were selling their first born child for an ipod, I found and resurected my walkman and tapes. Since then I've been rocking it 1998 style around the city for as long as the batteries hold out.

So really, it's not the sunglasses that make me cooler than you. It's that, attached to the other end of my ear phones is an electronic device that is bigger than your cellphone, ipod, and blackberry combined. It's yellow. And I'm listening to the Watchmen belt out "Brighter Hell" or the Hip singing "Nautical Disaster"...

The bleary, slept in, walk to school has never been better.

lundi, mars 14, 2005

i don't know what I can save you from

you called me after midnight, must have been three years since we last spoke
I slowly tried to bring back the image of your face from memories so old
I tried so hard to follow but didn't catch the half of what had gone wrong
said I didn't know what I can save you from, I don't know what I can save you from

I asked you to come over and within half an hour you were at my door
I'd never really known you but I realized that the one you were before
had changed into somebody for whom I wouldn't mind to put the kettle on
said I don't know what I can save you from, I don't know what I can save you from

I don't know what I can save you from, I don't know what I can save you from...

-kings of convenience

vendredi, mars 11, 2005

dreaming of sleeping

The mother of all choral concerts is tomorrow night- that would be the other thing that gives me nightmares. I think every so often my subconscious decides that a stunning slideshow of images from the Rwandan genocide:

"they ranged from burying people alive in graves they had dug themselves, to cutting and opening wombs of pregnant mothers. People were quartered, impaled or roasted to death. On many occasions, death was the consequence of ablation of organs, such as the heart, from alive people." -Mamdani (2001)

is a little too much to take, and puts me naked, 800 pounds overweight, on stage in Pollak Hall in front of all my ex-boyfriends and makes me sing the alto line from the Brahms fuge over and over and over.

I wonder what it says about me that I prefer the genocide dreams.

Flippancy has always been my weapon of choice when dealing with things so serious and tragic and arbitrary. I do deeply understand and care about the issues and the facts. It's just that if I am serious all the time I end up crying in my kitchen at odd times.

Like tonight, when the cbc ran the coverage of the Mountie's memorial services in Edmonton.

mardi, mars 08, 2005

how to go insane; a step by step guide

1. enter university as a polisci/development major.

2. decide to finish above degree in 3 years rather than the 4 usually allocated.

3. put off highest level courses until final semester.

4. decided to write term papers/do projects on severely depressing subjects. (suggestions: sierra leone, apartheid, landmines, IDPs)

5. stop sleeping.

6. drink only coffee.

7. test the theory that nicotine really does have a calming effect.

8. volunteer to create powerpoint slides for a group presentation. (only do this if you have never worked with powerpoint before)

9. finish above slides 1/2 hour before presentation. do not save files to a CD. leave them on your laptop.

10. arrive at presentation exhausted, plug laptop into projector. watch as your laptop freezes.

11. reboot computer. curse loudly in front of your professor who is also your thesis advisor.

12. begin to sweat. heavily. reboot for third time. realize that only the curser is frozen, and that if you had thought to bring your mouse, you could fix your computer.

13. try to ignore the murmers from classmates who are waiting for the presentation to start.

14. run upstairs to the library to borrow a mouse.

15. run downstairs to classroom praying audibly.

16. restart computer w/ mouse plugged in. re-attach projector cable. start presentation an hour late.

17. return home. drink beer. read landmine books.

18. wake up in the middle of the night from a nightmare in which you were trying to hook up a laptop to a landmine detector...

jeudi, mars 03, 2005

the world is too much with me...

this is not a whine. Really. It's more of a lament.

I disagree with Neasa. It's not the bird flu that will kill us eventually, it is more along the lines of losing the thin thread of civilization that keeps us from behaving savagely. This conclusion is based on around 4 hours of research on (in no particular order) landmine victims, apartheid in South Africa, the civil war in Sierra Leone, the Lebanese civil war, and the plight of refugees and Internally Displaced People.

I've been staring at graphic images of man's inhumanity to man for so long that my eyeballs feel like they are about to bleed.

It is these times, in the middle of the night, when I should really be sleeping and not contemplating the state of the universe, that I am rolfed with waves of grief for things I have no part in and have no way of preventing or helping. The thing is, I haven't been sleeping well, so at this point I much prefer the horrors delivered to me via Google than the ones my subconscious can conjure up. At least then I know what I am battling.

I am losing my grip. But then, that's nothing new...

dimanche, février 27, 2005

le escape

is going well, thank you for asking.

the past two days have been the best in recent memory. Currently neasa and I are compiling a photo essay, which may at some point grace these hallowed pages...

the two of us, actually two halves of one rather insane human being, have been running between shoe stores like there's no tomorrow. Every so often we stop to eat, or drink-like last night when, for my good behaviour, I was awarded with a pub crawl of harvard square which ended up late/early staring out at the city from a 24th floor window. this morning: a bleary but heartbreakingly lovely breakfast whereupon I made the startling discovery that plastic cheese equates with real cheese here. hmmm. Montreal wins for omlettes.

drive through MIT campus, running riot around downtown. A two hour walk back from the bus stop, which was wierd, because it should have taken 3 minutes: insert yet another shoe store, mexican food, buying terrible terrible celebrity gossip magazines, German licorace sold by an aging transvestite, a whirl through the fine arts building, two movie stores....

sated with all things non academic, we have collapsed and are doing little more than reaching for more licorace and turning the shiny pages of US weekly.

having a wonderful time.

(looking into therapy for shoe addictions... ahhhh fuck it. it's genetic!)

mercredi, février 23, 2005

"but if you wear spandex...

...don't you automatically fly?"

again, where I least expect it, grace comes in odd forms.

midnight conversations planning world domination by two superheros, Clout and Wiseness, had me laughing so hard my stomach aches now-a day later.

lundi, février 21, 2005

the ringer

details not necessary- been through the wringer this week.

Funny expression, (probably picked it up from my mum as I do most of my odd turns of phrase...case in point: kerfuffle.... or shambols...) It stems from what happened to clothes in the olden days when they used wringer washers. I am by no means well equipped to extrapolate on the details of wringer washers, but I have seen one and actually used it once or twice.

-Anglican summer camp, we used to threaten the kids with death by wringer washer if they didn't go to sleep fast so we could go make out with the boy counsellors-

The clothes would be washed sent through the wringer to get all the water out so they would dry faster. The wringers are two cylinders that sit one on top of the other lengthwise and roll in opposite directions. The clothes get fed through the small space between the two wringers and their rolling pushes them through and squeezes out all the moisture.

The clothes come out looking all limp and haggared. Fit only to be hung on a line in the breeze for an afternoon, slowly regaining their shape with each breath of wind.

Sometimes disasters occured and clothes got stuck in the wringer and tore at the seams. They would get hung up too, more carefully than the others, and would be mended when they were dry.

The wringers of exhaustion, stress, infidelity, insomnia and freak weather patterns have left me limp and ripped at the seams.

My breezes come in the form of pachebel's canon, hot water bottles and scottish accents, soup, and an escape to Boston.

It's taken a while to realize that there is no shame in escaping...