October 30, 2008

BSG! And random crap.

The fifth season of Battlestar Galactica will air on January 16th, 10 episodes, so it will end March 20th. Thank goodness. Kelly got us addicted to this show just before we left Calgary, and I can't take another canceled show. It's bad enough thinking that Joan and Adam aren't together any more.

I was going to start watching Merlin online, but CTV is going to be airing that in Canada in January, so I needed something else to do. That's when I discovered Hex, it's British, preposterous and highly enjoyable gothic fluff

I got my Quebec drivers license today. I don't think I'll ever switch provinces again, because there's too much paperwork involved. Why can't we just have a national drivers license and health care and vehicle registration system? And, why can't optometry and dental be included in the health care plan while I'm at it? If you're going blind and your teeth are falling out - you ain't healthy. Who do I talk to about that? George Strombolopolous? (I spelled that right on the first try. Just bragging.)

October 29, 2008

October 28, 2008

All about food

We made pumpkin soup tonight. I always intend to take a picture but somehow when the food is ready, it's all about the eating. It was a pretty good soup, but next time we've decided to saute the onions and garlic first, because it was just the tiniest bit boring. Good thing we had grilled cheese sandwiches to go with it.

And now, I'm watching House with a hot chocolate with a sprinkle of cinnamon and a dash of rum. Yum!

I got my photo mailers today, and there's a package for me at the post office that I have to pick up - if it's the cello envelopes, I'm in business. If it's the soap I ordered I'll smell much better and if it's Fable 2, then I will be AWOL for a while. The best thing I've heard about that game? You get a dog! Even a digital dog is better than no dog at all.

And the inspirational challenge song has been posted - I've got some work to do :)

Ps. If Cuddy really tries to keep that poor girls baby, she deserves a cane slap.

October 27, 2008


I got my acceptance letter for Concordia today! I'll be studying classics, with a minor in art history - or the other way around, it depends how terrible I am at Greek and Latin. I'm pretty sure the inclination I have right now to study political science will wear off right quick once the US election is over. God, I hope it does. Can you imagine how dry those classes would be? At least with art history, you get the occasional nekkid person.

Now...how to pay for this edumacation?

Horror Stories

In honor of Halloween, I'm going to share some of my favorite scary stories.

When I was about 8 or so, Dr Dean Edell was on the news talking about what happens during labour. He drew a circle on a big sheet of white paper, and "blah, blah, blah tearing..."and he drew a big jagged line, like so
This was bad enough, but then he starts talking about how that jagged tear is hard to stitch up, so the Doctors like to make an incision, like so.
Well, woohoo for you, doctor. I don't see anyone waving a scalpel around your scrotum. You wouldn't be so blase about a little incision then.

The second horror story comes from junior high when a friend of mine informed me that, what with all the pushing during labour, you might just poop in front of everyone. I haven't got over that embarrassment and I only imagined it happening to me.

The third horror story comes from working the photo lab. People take pictures of the damndest things. Some guy took a picture of his wife either during or just after childbirth, cropping it so all that's in the picture are her legs and bloody carnage. I swear, it looked like someone had popped a flesh colored inner-tube, sewn it to her crotch and tossed a jar of chunky spaghetti sauce on her. I will never forget that image. And there's no coming back from that, Keigel be damned. I bet you anything that woman is still walking around town in floor length dresses because she can't find pants to accomodate her inner-tube.

And to those who offer up a C-section as an alternative to inner-tube carnage...Let's think this through, shall we? Real women are not the magical pregnant Barbie who's plastic pregnant belly just pops off and out comes the baby, and hey, you've got your figure back to boot. There's no 'alternative route' for that kid. They cut a hole through your gut and rip it out. How on earth is that any better?! When there are all those babies already on the outside. So yeah, I'm pro adoption, and thank God Gord is too so he will never offer me up to the baby gods on a shit and carnage splattered table.

As far as adoption goes, I don't see what the big deal is. 1, I've never ever ever in my life held a baby that I wouldn't have gladly taken home (if I were ever in a position to give it a decent life, and we're not, don't anyone start freaking out and knitting booties.) And 2, of all the people in my life that I love, exactly none of them have burst forth from my loins. I think I can manage to love a couple more 'strangers'.

But then....there's an awful lot of paperwork that goes with adopting, isn't there? Maybe we'll stick to dogs and cats for now.

October 26, 2008

Clint Eastwood

as a director, he doesn't so much tug on your heartstrings as rip them out of your chest and slap you across the face with them, screaming "DO YOU FEEL THAT?? WELL, DO YOU, PUNK?!. And all you can do is cower in the corner, weeping and hoping he goes away soon.

That is why I will probably not go see The Changeling.

October 24, 2008


I joined the NaBloPoMo site, which isn't the crazy voodoo it sounds like. It's just a trick to get us all posting every day for a month, because if you do something for 30 days, it becomes a habit. So it's a good thing it's not in February.

If you're slightly insane, or just insanely ambitious, you could try Nanowrimo, which is National Novel Writing Month. If you are thinking of writing a novel, there's a fantastic book, Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott (honestly, you should read anything of hers that you can get your hands on) that unfortunately did not propel me to write the great Canadian novel, but that's not to say it wasn't worth reading. My lack of literary follow through may be more my fault than hers.

Shop talk

I spend a lot of time in the Etsy forums. What am I doing there? Am I storing up info for when I finally open my own shop, or am I romancing the dog? I'd like to say it's the former, but those political posts in Etc. get me every time. And I can't claim that it's going to help my business at all if I watched this today. But...I have got a lot of good information off the forums, and I thought I'd share some of what I've done to get ready.

I got an email today from Overstock.com that my photo mailer envelopes have shipped. Really? Wow, that's great, only 8 days after I ordered them. And the EBay business (Express Shipping Supply) I contacted about combining shipping on 2 different sizes of envelopes has never replied, even though they stated on their site to email and ask about combined shipping. I'm not really complaining, because I'm not 100% sure my photos are ready for sale - I can tweak some more... But I'm never going to open if I wait to be 100% sure of myself.

I have an Epson V200 scanner so I can scan my own negatives and art prints up to 8.5 x 11, and after reading many forum posts, product reviews, and banging my head against the wall, tearing my hair out, finally decided to get the Epson R1900 printer. It will print up to 13 x 19 inches, has great reviews, and was just outside what I thought I could afford, but I did want to be able to print larger than 8 x 10, so....I bit the bullet and so far I am completely happy with it. (just don't ask about the 3 hours I spent trying to install it on my old laptop. When I gave up and tried installing it on the new laptop - 1o minutes. I swore a little.)

I prefer this to finding a photo lab. I worked in a lab, and it's not that they can't do great work, it's that getting the same color and density every time is nearly impossible (don't get me started on the reasons why, I have Vietnam syndrome about this) and I remember the hell we used to go through with professional photographers wanting us to just "do what you did last time". Like we were TRYING to do it wrong, just for shits and giggles. The amount of stress and wasted paper was insane. There were people who flat out refused to even touch orders if they came from certain customers, just because they knew they'd get shit from them. We may even have unkindly referred to one woman as 'that bitch'. And I don't want to be 'that bitch' for someone. So part of it is control - I can be as fussy as I want about color matching without driving anyone else to use profanity. And honestly, I don't think I'd complain about photos from a lab knowing how hard it is to get it perfect for someone else, so I'd end up with pics I wasn't happy with just because I didn't want to say anything.

Most of the photos I took with my Canon Elan II E, it's a film camera not digital and it takes fucking beautiful pictures. It has a 28 - 105mm lens, which gives me a decent amount of zoom, not quite macro, but for that I can always borrow Gord's Fuji Finepix S9000 with the 28 - 200mm lens. His also takes great pictures, but I love my camera and will probably use it forever. The only benefit of digital that I can see is that you don't have to have negatives developed, and I do use Gord's camera when I just want a quick photo of something to post on the blog.

The scanner does a great job, and I can set the resolution very high and get great quality scans. This is much easier than getting a lab to do it for me, because I remember we used to charge $1 a scan for a basic scan to get a 500KB file, which is too small for me. I've saved money having the scanner just from the negatives I've scanned so far.

Paper may be the death of me. I'm still tweaking photos and paper, but I'll let you know what I end up going with. I'm intriqued by this Velvet Fine Art paper, but good god, is that expensive. It may be something I wait to introduce after I start making some money (knock on wood).

Great news

So I heard from mom and dad last night and it seems mom won't have to have chemo at all! Woohoo! She's got to take pills - tamoxisomethingorother - for a year, but her ultrasound and bone scans are all clean. Which is great news, because losing your hair mid winter in Alberta would have been damn chilly. And there's that whole 'cancer sucks' aspect as well.

So now, both my parents have had their freaky scary brush with death, more than once in dad's case, and come through ok if not unscarred. I'm going to assume for a little while that they're done with the medical emergencies and imagine they are going to stay healthy until they die of extreme old age in the very, very far off future.

October 23, 2008

More pretty things!

Birthday flowers from mom and dad

Now I know what mom was doing on her walks around the neighborhood - reconnaissance. Thank you guys for the flowers, they're beautiful! I'll call again tonight and see if I can catch you at home.

Since they're so deeply stupid, I have a feeling our cats may be confined to the bedroom until the flowers die. I caught the black one eating a stargazer lily once, and those are supposed to be poisonous. She didn't die, but clearly she can't be trusted. And the grey one is a shit disturber at the best of times. Say goodbye to your freedom, furballs. We have rigged up a system of corralling them in the bedroom. Since our door doesn't actually shut all the way due to crazy Escher-like floors, we have to use bungee cords to connect the bedroom door to the closet door to the fridge door. They'd have to be Steve McQueen to get out of that lockdown.


Gord got me this ring for my birthday, and it's so pretty. It's nice every so often to get something that has no practical use. Other than bills and groceries, the only real indulgences I have are books and movies, and I don't consider those luxuries, they're brain food.

I also heard from an old friend in Calgary that I'd kind of lost touch with, and she is having a concert for a friend of hers, Carrie Hryniw, and you can listen to her music here.

I don't really get homesick, but I am often peoplesick. It's not as gross as it sounds.

You say it's your birthday

Yesterday was a great birthday, Gord and I spent the entire day at the movies. Because there's nothing I like more than candy and stories, and when you see one really good movie it's hard to walk back into the real world. So we saw the Secret Life of Bees, Gonzo: The Life and Works of Dr Hunter S Thompson, and W. Strange mix. We were originally going to see Religulous but then I caught a review of Secret Life of Bees and decided I wanted to see it instead. It really follows the book so much more than the previews let on. From the ads, I thought it was some stupid watered down feel good movie, and it's not. Nothing wrong with that kind of movie, but I can't stand it when someone makes a movie of a book and changes the whole feel of it just to make it more marketable.

Gonzo and W were both good biographies, both very sympathetic to their subjects. In Hunter S Thompson's case I can understand it because he's a cultural icon, one of those completely insane over the top personalities that can get away with anything just because of who they are, and it was all done by friends of his. In W's case, it just seemed like Oliver Stone has gone soft. I'm not saying he should have crucified the man, but he didn't even mention the 'hanging chad' controversy, there was no mention at all of the 2000 election. The movie seems to say that he's a decent guy just trying to prove his worth to his father, and that he is unfortunately surrounded by the devil (Dreyfuss as Cheney) and his henchmen. I can understand having some parent issues, but starting a war...might be overkill. Next time, try therapy.

October 21, 2008

Tom Petty was right

The waiting is the hardest part. Things I'm waiting for right now:

Sushi rice to be done

Shipping supplies to arrive so I can start my Etsy shop

And the worst, for the Flames 9 MINUTE PENALTY to be over. 9 freakin minutes. Hockey gives me ulcers. It's a good thing I only care about my 2 home teams.

October 20, 2008

When I grow up

No, not a response to that god awful Pussycat Dolls song....

I took dance lessons as a kid, tap for 5 years and jazz for 2, and it really helped me out. Not with grace or confidence or anything, but for those 7 years it gave me a quick and easy answer to the worst question ever "What do you want to be when you grow up?"

I think the first time I heard this question was just after I started Grade 1. And even at the time, I thought it was stupid. What the hell kind of response do these idiot adults expect to get?

"Well, I just learned how to print my name, so I'm thinking I'd like to get a doctorate in neurobiology, but I'm also very interested in International Politics, so...I'm keeping my options open. I figure I don't have to pick a major till I'm in Upper Elementary so I have some time to figure things out."

WTF? When you're 5 all you know about the working world is the jobs your parents do (and even at 5 I knew there was no way I was going to be a banker or accountant) and all you know about yourself is that you like cartoons and apple juice. Yeah, lets build a career around that. I had no idea, but I wasn't the snarky little wonder that I am now, and I used to just tell everyone I wanted to be a dance teacher to shut them up. And how sad is it that as you become an adult the only way you can attempt to relate to another human being is by the verbal equivalent of the butt-sniff, so you can rank the other dogs according to pack status.

But I was thinking the other day how horrible it would be if everyone had to stick with the career they'd picked as a child. Here's how it'd go down:

Every single man on earth: Fireman.

90% of women would be princesses, and the other 10% would be in mental institutions thinking they were ponies.

October 17, 2008

Is there a little blue pill for this?

Check out the depressing figures from Fair Vote Canada, and try not to cry. More people voted Green than voted Conservative in Alberta, and yet Alberta elected 27 MP's and the Greens got 0.
Smells like bullshit to me.

I don't see what the difficulty is in changing over to proportional representation. It's not like it isn't used successfully in other countries, so why don't we just ask them how it's done, and voila? Presto change-o, Harper out-o? Or at least back to a weak minority. I like the idea of all the parties represented in the House of Commons, because I don't think any point of view is ever 100% correct. So the more debate and discussion, the more diversity we have in our government, the better.

October 16, 2008


We ordered some stainless steel water bottles from Mountain Equipment Co-op, and they arrived yesterday. So far, they have kept my water cool overnight, and I'm not drinking any Bisphenol A with it. Health Canada has so far only said that the chemical is bad for babies and banned baby bottles made with polycarbonate plastics. But 50 years ago, they probably told people it was ok to smoke, so I'm hedging my bets here. And anyway, the bottle would work as a good bludgeon should I ever have to defend myself. Multipurpose tool.

And, I was bored and mom left me with a ball of wool, so I made these:

Because crocheting thumbs is hard, and I might find myself warming my hands over a garbage can fire someday. Now I'll blend in.

October 14, 2008

We voted.

Here's hoping it wasn't a complete waste of time.

In Calgary the voting booths are mostly run by seniors. This is a nice way for them to make some money, etc. etc., but it's a bit frightening since Kelly volunteered one year and had to remind his partner how to count many times through out the day. HOW TO COUNT. I'm not picking on the seniors here, but if the main reason for you being there is to count the votes, you'd better be damn sure you know how to count. Maybe the majority of Albertans don't vote Conservative, maybe it's just a little old lady conspiracy. They were probably swayed by that sexy cardigan of Steve's.

And here's some random pictures of our neighborhood.

Happy Thanksgiving

Gord made this from scratch. From an actual pumpkin. It's delicious, especially with a little vanilla gelato on top.

There was also a chicken - turkeys are too big for 2 - and beans and stuffing, but who cares about dinner when you've got pie for dessert?

We had a quiet day at home for Thanksgiving, except for having to run to the store to get poultry seasoning. And then it took a good 15 minutes at the Metro to find poultry seasoning. We were beginning to think French Canadians didn't use the stuff...and how the hell else do you make stuffing!?! But we found some and dinner was saved. We never did find a can of cranberry sauce, though, so it's a good thing we didn't have turkey, because the one without the other is an abomination. And I made my first ever successful batch of baked beans. They took forever, but they're tasty.

We didn't have any family around, but I got a call from mom and dad on Saturday, Gord talked to his mom on Sunday and his grandparents on Monday, so we were 'gone, but not forgotten'.

October 09, 2008

Down with butterflies.

I grew up hearing about acid rain and holes in the ozone layer, and the three r's meant reduce, reuse and recycle. It didn't do much for my peace of mind when I was little, and I thought the grown ups had destroyed the planet. So it's very hard for me to take anyone seriously if they don't believe in climate change, or that human activity has had an adverse affect on the planet. It's those butterflies in Tokyo that are to blame, or maybe beavers. There are conflicting reports...

It's also hard for me to believe that people want to put nuclear power in Alberta.

Yeah....you know what else I heard about when I was growing up? Chernobyl.

But lest you think the wind in Lethbridge alone could power all of Canada, consider this - if one of those windmill things fell over, it could crush some unsuspecting grasshopper, and then we'd all be complicit in its murder. Who wants that burden on their soul?

October 05, 2008

You can't honestly like this person?

"It's past time the feds scrapped the Canada Health Act."

"For taxpayers, however, it’s a rip-off. And it has nothing to do with gender. Both men and women taxpayers will pay additional money to both men and women in the civil service. That’s why the federal government should scrap its ridiculous pay equity law."

"I don't know all the facts on Iraq, but I think we should work closely with the Americans."

"It will come as no surprise to anybody to know that I support the traditional definition of marriage as a union of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others, as expressed in our traditional common law."

"The time has come to recognize that the U.S. will continue to exercise unprecedented power in a world where international rules are still unreliable and where security and advancing of the free democratic order still depend significantly on the possession and use of military might."

"You have to remember that west of Winnipeg the ridings the Liberals hold are dominated by people who are either recent Asian immigrants or recent migrants from Eastern Canada; people who live in ghettos and are not integrated into Western Canadian society."

"America, and particularly your conservative movement, is a light and an inspiration to people in this country and across the world,"

Human rights commissions, as they are evolving, are an attack o-n our fundamental freedoms and the basic existence of a democratic society... It is in fact totalitarianism. I find this is very scary stuff.

“Canada appears content to become a second-tier socialistic country, boasting ever more loudly about its economy and social services to mask its second-rate status.”

“Universality has been severely reduced: it is virtually dead as a concept in most areas of public policy.”

All quotes from our illustrious PM.

A note to Steve: Me and my second rate country DESERVE BETTER.

More propoganda, anyone?

A few sites to check out before you vote - clearly biased against a Conservative government, and I'm not pretending otherwise. Hey, it works for Michael Moore. Can I get my Oscar now?

The Real News has some interesting videos, like this one on Canada's bumblefuck of Kyoto. Or this one, on whether or not we really are becoming more Conservative - we're not, btw, but because we don't have proportional representation, our government does not reflect this.

Power Up Canada has some good information and as overwhelming as it is to think about climate change, it is only going to get worse the longer we pretend it's not happening.

And also, because its funny, and because I think older people are more likely to vote Conservative, check this out. And then ask yourself why none of the Canadian party leaders are ever anything but Caucasian.

I know it's typical of Canadians to feel like the government is beyond our control, that we vote and nothing changes no matter who is in office, so why bother? The thing is, voters outnumber elected officials and we can bully them into doing what we want them to do. That's kind of the whole point of an elected official. Politicians depend on public support, threaten that and you've got the upper hand. Send a letter

Dear Guy:
Do what I want or I won't vote for you or your party ever again. I mean it.
Here's what I want: yada yada yada.
Concerned Canadian in your riding.

If you want to be slightly more effective, you can try getting lots of people to send the same sort of letter asking for the same thing, or you can organize a protest, or a something, or a whatever. Probably whatever it is you want, there's already a group out there trying to make it happen and they could use your support, so you don't even have to initiate anything. Just join in. Easy peasy. It all hangs on you doing something that indicates what is important to you - bitching at your tv, or at a family bbq doesn't cut the mustard.

I don't know what it is that you might be concerned about, or what direction you want the country to go in. That's why you vote, it's the one time every so often that the government asks "how am I doing?" and you can say, "Frankly, Mr Harper, you stink." Or even "Hey, Steve, I like how you talk about money all the time. I heart money too. Lets be pals." if that's your thing. And I promise I'll only kick you one time for voting Conservative. One time.

October 04, 2008

We left the house!

Yep, we left the house yesterday to go to a movie. We saw Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, and it was a great movie. The previews pretty much played all the jokes, and the rest of the movie is more low key than the usual 'teen night out' movie, but it's got great young actors and the drunk blonde steals the movie. Not an easy feat with the talented Michael Cera in the mix.
The only downside is that for most of it, I was stuck thinking "For the love of God, get rid of that gum!". You'll understand when you see the movie.

And there's a very important vote coming up, if you missed everything else this week you have to check out the Hockey Anthem Challenge. Who cares who the next PM is, we need a new hockey song. Priorities, people. Get it together.

October 03, 2008

Caribou Barbie sucked me in.

She's just so familiar somehow. I remember an SNL skit before Bush was elected the first time that had Will Ferrel playing Bush frolicking in the background with a BALL OF YARN. That's what people thought of him prior to the election, and it still boggles the mind that a country so hell bent on democracy would let the tampered results stand. But I guess they've gotten used to a leader who is folksy and uneducated and out of their depth. You do not want someone who is 'just like us regular folk' running the damn country. In charge of 'nucular' weapons. You want the most intelligent goddamn person you can get your hands on, because running a country is NOT the same as running your household.

Why don't they nominate Matt Damon? Because he can pronounce 'nuclear'. Also, I find it hilarious that the Matt Damon clip has so many more views than the ACTUAL news. Go America, not knowing what's relevant.

The only thing Sarah Palin might contribute to foreign policy is my plan of having all international conflicts resolved by hockey games.

Holy Fuck, Alberta!

You might elect a NON CONSERVATIVE.

Suck the Canada!

I overate the debate and am now sick to my stomach. Again, I'm referring to the Canadian debates.
Stephen Harper's pat response to every criticism seemed to be that his government was miraculously increasing funding to every single area... and a big fat lie.
I don't know about Gilles Duceppe, but at least he really loves his province. Which is more than anyone can say for Stephen "Canada doesn't stand for anything" Harper. I was really pleased to see Elizabeth May at the debates, and I hope this has shown those stupid old ladies in Calgary that the Green Party is not about smoking pot. I think she knows more about politics than Harper, and it's a damn shame that she isn't in a better position. Layton and Dion are fine by me because they aren't Harper, and short of praising Steve, they can do no wrong in my eyes. Sorry. That's what happens with party politics.

The Conservative plan to put young offenders in adult prision sounds like a terrible idea to me, and I hope to everyone. And nothing Harper said in the debate indicated that he cared about the root cause of crime, just "Punish the Offender".

I don't like his stance on the environment either, claiming that if we dared to tax the oil companies, they would leave Canada and take their jobs with them. Yeah, right. How many places in the Western world have oil? Uh huh. Like 3. And only Alberta is producing at the moment, so I'd say we have them over a barrel. Get it?

I do like Elizabeth May's comments that we need to shift our thinking. It isn't 'free' to pollute, there is a cost. If we taxed the buggers that were, say, slaughtering 500 Canada geese with an unreported oil spill in Fort McMurray, we could cut taxes for, say, people who were riding the poverty line and worried about paying their rent. Hmm.

And I learned some interesting facts.
One - Harper chose to make a 45 MILLION dollar cut to arts funding. Wow. Right before the election. So the Conservatives have lost all the support they had been gaining in Quebec with that move. For a hilarious take on this, watch this video.
Two - the average income for an artist living in Canada is $10,000 - $12,000 a year. Fucking fry guys at MacDonalds make more than that. Don't think this changes my career plans. It just means that even if Stephen Harper showed up tomorrow and gave me a puppy, I couldn't possibly vote for him. And puppies are the pinnacle of happiness, so this is serious.


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