12 December 2007

U23D

Getting that widget to post was a bitch, but I had to do it. How can I not promote a U2 movie? This is, I should point out, only the 2nd U2 movie to be released in theatres. It's a big deal. And it's in 3-friggen-D. How awesome will that be? I can't even begin to describe how much I'm looking forward to this. Imagine a chocolate-and-candy-cane fed 8-year-old at 10:30pm Christmas Eve. I think that begins to approximate my excitement. U2! 3D! I'll be able to reach out and pretend I'm touching the giant, 52-foot head of Bono. According to the website this is some fancy, newfangled way to make 3D. Damn, this better play in Edmonton.

Okay, so I should admit that I've watched the clip in the widget like, 15 times. I know it's only a stupid widget but somehow it manages to capture the sound of U2 live. There's something about their music in concert, it sends chills down my back. It has something to do with being in the same room with them, about being there as they make the sounds. I sometimes think that U2 concerts are as close as I will ever come to a religious experience. Damn. I really have to see this movie.

National Geographic? Seriously?

At least it's not another movie about polar bears. Damn bears.

09 December 2007

Tat

An astute observer noticed my tattoo action-shot (on right) and I figured I was about time that I posted something about it. I got it in September when my mom was visiting. I got a gorgeous Atlantic cod (seriously) on my back, and she got an awesome Joshua tree on her lower calf. As for the experience…

(Swearing alert – Cricket read no further)

…it fucking hurt. I knew it would be painful, and at first it wasn’t too bad, but then it got worse. The outline felt like someone was cutting my skin with a knife or razor. The colouring felt like I was being stabbed really hard, really fast. I got it on my back, and whenever he was working over my spine was the worst, it felt like the pain was spreading. I didn’t cry or anything, it wasn’t a crying kind of pain. It was more like a holyfuckingfuckwhenisitgoingtoend? kind of pain. Of course, now, in hindsight, it doesn’t seem so bad. Even though it still hurt after the fact: for the first day or so it was sore and felt kind of wet, which is weird because it didn’t bleed or anything.


The problem with having the tat on my back, is that I can’t get a really good look at it. I’ve seen pictures, sure, and everyone says it looks really good. I have to say, it’s a pretty sweet fish, the details are amazing. I’m so impressed by how he got the barbel and the lateral line and the fin rays and the spots!

My mom’s Joshua tree turned out awesomely as well.


So far, I’ve loved the tattoo experience. The pain was just the price I had to pay for this amazing piece of art. Thinking about it makes me happy and when I catch glimpses of it in the mirror, I smile. And you know what they say about tattoos being addictive? I’d say they are contagious as well. After seeing mine many people have expressed serious interest in getting their own. I say, go for it.

09 November 2007

Ca va, et tu?

Those of you that haven’t experienced the awesomeness that is Flight of the Conchords should really jump on the bandwagon before everyone else does. This clip is from their show. Anyone who took French as a core subject from Grades 4-9 will totally get this. This might be the only song in French that I’ve actually understood.



My niece is being raised bilingual. This is really good for her, in terms of job opportunities and her future and all. The thing that worries me is what if she grows up favouring French? What kind of conversations will I be able to have with her?

Je m’appelle Auntie Leslie

Sophie, ou est la bibliotheque?

Sophie, quelle heure est t’il?

Pamplemousse.


Seriously, my command of French is pretty sad.

08 November 2007

Fond Memories of Juan

Poor Halifax got hit with an almost-hurricane this past weekend. This, of course, triggered thoughts of Hurricane Juan. I have quite fond memories of that hurricane. I hadn’t been entirely convinced there was going to be a hurricane, it all seemed like alarmist talk to me. That was probably one of the reasons a bunch of us went diving and camping right before it hit. I actually slept through the storm itself, and I was on a work term and got 2 paid days off. It was all pretty sweet, except for the paramedic that died, and all the destruction in the Public Gardens and Point Pleasant.

Anyway, I braved the pop-ups on my old blog and found my pre-and post Juan entries to share. I realize that recycling old posts is just as much of a cop out as posting pictures and videos instead of original material. But I don’t care.

September 28, 2003 4:54pm
The pub crawl was fun. Except Dal has officially banned pub crawls, so it was a walking tour of downtown drinking establishments, and we all wore the same shirt by sheer coincidence. It started at Dooly's for pool, then on to the Split Crow for an hour. After that it was the Seahorse Tavern (home of Mullet Mondays), then on to Pitchman's. After Pitchman's we went to Pacifico, and they almost didn't let one of us in because it looked like her ID had been tampered with. She's 22! After Pacifico was the Palace, which I don't like so much and didn't go to. I had to get home and get some sleep because the next day I was diving!

The diving was ass. It was a complete waste of money and time. It was the worst dive ever! So many things went wrong. The plan was for the five of us to drive down to Lunenberg, do a couple of dives in the afternoon and camp that night at The Ovens. We didn't even leave Halifax to go to Lunenberg until after 2pm. Everyone we talked to said, "There's a hurricane coming, girls," and "It's supposed to downpour tonight." We were going to rent our gear in Hali, but decided to wait until we got to Lunenberg and saw what the conditions were. It wasn't raining yet, and it was overcast but not too dark, so we rented gear there. Except it's a tourist spot, so it was about $20 more than it would have been in Halifax.

We had to go set up our tents at the site first. We checked in and the lady said, "It's going to rain." Okay. Rain. Hurricane. We get it. We set up, then headed to the dive site. It was almost 6 by the time we got to the dive site. The sun sets at 7. It was a nice beach, but the swells were pretty big. The site had been recommended to us, and I didn't know it was a shallow dive (less than 30 feet). We snorkeled out for awhile, and for the first 50 meters out, we couldn't see anything. As we got further from shore, it got better.

At the bottom the visibility was about 5-10 feet. Not good, especially since one of the girls in the group likes to wander off by herself. Also, the waves were so big that you could feel them at the bottom as well. Generally you don't feel the waves that deep, but I guess with the hurricane and everything... After about 20 minutes Danielle couldn't clear her ears, and Monica was sea sick. They headed back to shore, and the remaining three of us went down again, and promptly lost sight of each other and had to surface again to get our barrings. It just wasn't a fun dive. On the way back in we had to swim against the waves to get back to the car. We gave up and followed the waves in, then just walked back up the beach with all out gear. It wasn't a fun dive, it was just a lot of work. It was almost dark when we got out, and it was dark by the time we got back to the site. We all felt miserable.

That didn't last long. As crappy as the dive was, the camping was fabulous. The weather was perfect, not a single cloud in the sky, we had the entire park to ourselves. Our site was about a minute away from a cliff that jutted out over the ocean. The waves were spectacular, we could hear the crash and roar all night. And it didn't rain a single drop.

We built a fire, had hot dogs, smores, and beer and just had a great time. We have vowed to go back in the spring and get more than one measly dive in.

The Ovens are beautiful, by the way. It's a bunch of undercuts in the rocks, and the waves crash against them and send up huge sprays. It's way better than Peggy's Cove.

October 1, 2003 8:09am
Juan, Juan. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways:
56 hours without power (and counting!)
36 hours without phones
2 days without work
40,000 trees down in Point Pleasant
3 luke-warm showers
3 days without Hotmail (and counting!)
More later.

October 3, 2003 7:50am
Juan, Juan. How do I love thee? Let me recount the ways:
104 hours without power (and counting!)
45,000 homes in the HRM still without power
4 candle-lit nights
1 fridge of spoiled food
x number of graves unearthed by falling trees
600 Military men in town on "Operation Splinter"
5 candle-lit showers
5 days without Hotmail (and counting!)

October 5, 2003 3:35pm
It's a crappy, dark rainy day here in post-Juan Halifax. We have power at my house now, we got it back on Friday afternoon. Now that we have power, our phone is bitching. So if you want to call me, just keep trying. It's works on and off.

03 November 2007

Taking the easy way out

I know that posting videos and pictures instead of actual writing is the easy way out, but I was cleaning out my computer and came across these videos from my 2006 field season. These will be of interest to very few people, but I'm going to post them anyway. (Warning: if you hate the sound of my voice as much as I do, you should put your computer on mute).


This is me doing a sweep for invertebrates. Look how hard I work! I have dirt on my arms! (Also, note my sage words of wisdom).

video

This is Cricket trapping on a lake. I like it when other people get soakers.

video

This is just random.

video

I swear I was not high when I made this one.

video

16 October 2007

I really wanted to see a bunny this morning. I was determined that today would be better than boring yesterday. I was almost at my building before I saw one, playing in the leaves. What a glorious sight. Is there anything in nature more majestic, more beautiful, than a wild bunny leaping through the fall leaves, running in fear of its life from an industrial Tuff Vac 8000?

13 October 2007

I just realized that tomorrow will be the 6th anniversary of the 3rd time I saw U2 in concert.

Some lucky bastards (that were a lot closer than I was) took these pictures:


12 October 2007

Quickie

From my semi-recent trip to Jasper:



And to see the pictures up close, visit here.

18 September 2007

Shelf, Lie I

Haven’t posted in a while. I suppose you should get used to me posting less often, given the panic attack-inducing amount of work I’m supposed to have done by December. Those of you that rely on me for procrastination should find some other sites to visit. Of course, if I’m what you rely on to procrastinate then you have bigger problems than finding another site.

Sunday was a special day for two reasons. It was my parent’s Jade Anniversary . (Given that my mom is in town visiting me, and my father is back home supposedly fixing the roof, no one celebrated). And, perhaps more importantly, Sunday was also the 2nd Anniversary of the 4th time I was U2 in concert.

And, for fun: hthttp://www.mbhs.edu/~bconnell/cgi-bin/anagram.cgi?cpw=1&phrase=elliefish

11 September 2007

Teeth (you probably shouldn't read this)

I went to the dentist this morning. I haven’t been to the dentist in – should I admit this? – two years. That sort of lapse is pretty normal for me. I really dislike dentist visits. As a child I had many teeth removed for various reasons - this one time in 1st grade I had all 4 of my lower front teeth pulled - and that required many, many needles. If I hate dentists a lot, I hate needles in my mouth even more. So now, even though I haven’t needed a mouth-needle in years, I still associate dentists with feelings of pain. And recrimination: the hygienists always made me feel like I was horrible at taking care of my own teeth. I always got the impression that if there were some sort of Dentition Protective Services, they would totally report me to them.

I think another reason that I don’t like dentists is that I don’t like teeth things. Or eye things. Or fingernail things. Or anything where something sharp is pierced through the epidermis. I’m really quite squeamish when it comes to the human body. It’s just that teeth are so…gross. Don’t you agree? I mean, they’re covered in bacteria and saliva every minute of every day for your entire life. They come into contact with everything you eat. They have roots. Think about it, it’s like a vegetable or a tree anchoring itself in your gums. I can’t think about it too much, but they are just gross. And don’t even get me started on reconstructive oral surgery. I might faint.

Anyway, back to this morning. I was dreading this visit. I’m not some OCD case who brushes their teeth after every meal (mostly because I have a phobia about brushing my teeth in public washrooms). I’m also not like my BFF who can’t leave the house without brushing her teeth, regardless of how many times a day she might happen to leave her house. However, I must be doing something right because I have no cavities and “over-all good oral health.” No one told me to brush or floss more, or to drink less Pepsi (thankfully). So I’ll just keep on doing what I’ve been doing. Besides, I’m happy with my teeth. I don’t care if the bottom ones are yellow and crooked, ‘cause my overbite covers that up anyway.

09 September 2007

San Franslideshow

Here is a slideshow of almost every picture I took in San Francisco.



Or, you can view them at your leisure here.

Thursday

Thursday was the last day of the conference. Not much happened on Thursday. I’ll spare you the details of my last day. Instead I’ll share with you this picture. America just can’t get anything right.

07 September 2007

San Franslideshow

Here is a slideshow of almost every picture I took in San Francisco.




Or, you can view them at your leisure here.

06 September 2007

Wednesday (aka Alcatraz Day)

This morning I attended a bunch of talks. Surprisingly, the most interesting was a 40 minute powerpoint-less talk by this guy who is second in command for the state of California’s oceans department (or something, I forget his official title). His talk was all about what California is doing to protect its coastline and marine resources. Some of it was propaganda, sure, but it was actually very interesting. Schwarzenegger is apparently very interested in ocean concerns, which is good. He also wants to be President, which is bad. (Aside: at the front of the program for the conference is a letter from the Govenator, and I’m going to try and scan it to post, because it is awesome).

I found out some interesting things about the student social last night. Apparently, the capacity of the Aquarium was 400 people, and after 800 of us were crammed in there, they started turning people away. And they did, in fact, run out of booze. The social tonight is also open bar, so I’m going to have to get my rum n’ cokes early.

Today was also my trip to Alcatraz. We took a boat over, and when you first arrive there’s a park guide there that tells you little facts about the prison.




For example, Capone hated the nickname “Scarface” and instead preferred to be called “Snorky” or some other word that – at the time – meant “well dressed.” Capone was a bit of a dandy, apparently. I think the guide said something about the Birdman of Alcatraz not having any actual birds, but I wasn’t really paying attention. After that, we had a guided naturalist tour that focused on the island’s bird populations. I didn’t pay too much attention to that, either. I was too busy taking millions of pictures of the ruins and the view from the island. It was so beautiful, with all these crumpled buildings, or shells of buildings, all over the place.


After the naturalist tour, we did the prison tour. The prison tour is set up as an audio tour. They give you a little mp3 player and send you on your way. The audio tour was really well done; it was narrated in part by past inmates and guards. There were sound effects (jail cell doors slamming shut, the howl of the ocean winds, the chaos of riots) and the directions about where to go next on the tour were very easy to follow. The tour took us through the regular cells, solitary cells, the library, warden’s office, visitor area, dining area, recreation yard, and the key locations in specific break-out attempts. In one place you could see the pock-marks on the floor that had been made by grenades during one of the riots. It was pretty awesome. The tour contained personal anecdotes from the inmates and guards, about what life was like for them, or their memories of specific events.

{cell}

I had thought the place would feel creepy, but it didn’t. There was one moment, when I was in a 5x9-foot cell and I the most fleeting sense of what it might be like to be locked in there. But I could never really know. I think the worst thing about that prison would be the view of San Francisco (only 1.25 miles away). It would be psychological torture to have freedom held in front of you like that every day. Alcatraz replaces the Aquarium as the highlight of my trip. I highly recommend it to anyone who comes here. It’s totally worth whatever the hell they are charging for it.



The social Wednesday night was a the Hyde St. Pier, which is part of a National Historic Site. It was open bar, again (seriously, who is paying for all this?). And one of the tall ships was open for us to walk around on and view. I love tall ships. Whenever I step on board one, I never want to leave. I didn’t bring my camera to this event, so I’ll just have to add some links to websites instead. There was also a bit of excitement at the social: an ambulance was called. I don’t know for what, I was on the tall ship at the time and people I asked afterwards don’t know. It arrived with lights flashing, but it didn’t leave right away, and when it did, it didn’t take anyone with it (I don’t think). If I ever find out what happened, I’ll let ya’ll know. I wouldn’t want you to lose sleep over it.

Thursday is the last day of the conference. I leave Friday morning. I’m going to try and squeeze some more sight seeing in tomorrow if I can. There’s some talks in the morning that I’m looking forward to, so it’ll have to be after those.

Addendum: I found out that someone had an insulin attack, and they called the ambulance for them.

05 September 2007

Tuesday

Tuesday was the day I presented. I went to some talks in the morning, but it was hard to focus. I kept thinking about my talk, and making myself nervous. My talk went well. I’m pleased with how it went and I’m glad I did it. That’s all I’m going to say about it.

After my talk was the career fair. It was pretty useless to me because a) I’m a good year away from needing a job, and b) most places were only hiring American citizens, which I am not technically. So, instead I walked over to the waterfall I mentioned in my Monday entry. It turned out to be a monument to Martin Luther King Jr. It was pretty awesome. It was set up, so you would walk behind the water, and his speeches were carved into the wall behind it. I thought it was a pretty nice testament to King.

After that was the “student” social at the Aquarium. It was really open to anyone, and a lot of people came because it was open bar . (It started at 7 and by 9:30 they were out of beer and mix). The aquarium was fairly small (no mammals, large or otherwise) but well set-up and had two long walk-though tanks where the walkway was a tunnel through the tank, so the fish were swimming overhead and all around. They had restricted their collection to native species in the Bay and in California in general. There were a lot of sharks, anchovy, skates, some awesome giant sea bass, and rock fish (in the poor-quality picture below you can almost see the rock fish draping themselves in the algae). It was definitely a highlight of the trip so far.

Tomorrow I'll hear more talks, then go to…Alcatraz!!

04 September 2007

Monday

I didn’t sleep well Sunday night. I did that thing where you wake up once an hour and check the time, convinced you’ve overslept. Monday morning was spent at Pier 39 and the Fisherman’s Wharf. We went early to avoid the crowds. It is definitely a tourist trap, but it has beautiful views of the bay and Alcatraz, and other good qualities as well.

Highlights

Interesting topiary:
Submarines:

Wax Museum:
Shopping (I didn’t buy this, but I really wanted to):

And sea lions:

video

Lot and lots of sea lions.


The afternoon was spent in talks. I decided to respect the presenters and not take pictures of them. I could give you funny descriptions of them. Or better yet, of the überfidgety guy who sat in front of me in one session. If he wasn’t 6 foot 3, I would swear he was 4 years old. The talks I saw were pretty good, one of the student presenters really impressed me as being very comfortable and relaxed. I find I’ve become more critical of presentations. Not that I think my way is the best way, or anything, but I do believe in being honest with your data in presentations and I didn’t feel that about everyone I saw today. I’ve decided, as well, that I prefer the presentations that are talking about research as apposed to the ones that are just 15 minutes (often 20 minutes) of someone’s opinions about a broad, amorphous topic.

I went for a little walk in the evening. It was dark out, so I didn’t venture far. In fact, since the hotel is 39 stories tall, I was able to keep it in sight at all times. It’s a beautiful night. I found where the Museum of Modern Art is, and now I know the hours, so I plan to go before I leave. I also discovered a cool little waterfall monument thing across the street from the back of the hotel. I’ll have to check that out further as well.

Tomorrow I present my talk. I really have no idea how it’s going to go, but everyone back home seems to have confidence in me. I think that’s a good sign. I mean, they can’t all be deluded, right? Some of them must be of sound mind and still think that I can do a good job. I think that’s nice.

03 September 2007

Sunday

Wow. I always find it weird on the days when I wake up in one province and go to bed in another. In this case, I woke up in one country, and now I’m going to bed in another. Let me tell you about my day. I’m going with bullet points for this because I don’t feel like writing a lot of prose right now.

-I rode in a plane with propellers!! I’ve never ridden on anything with propellers before (…unless you count helicopters). It was very loud and shaky.

-My flight from Calgary to San Francisco was pretty empty, so I had no one next to me. We had individual TV sets and Air Canada has all the viewing options broken down into categories, eg., TV:Drama:House, Movie:Family: Shrek 3, etc. I found it hilarious that under Classic Movies they were showing X Men 2.

-I arrived in SF and saw a girl with a poster tube and I figured it was a safe assumption that she was a conference-goer. And she was. But she wasn’t leaving for the hotel right away, so I was on my own to figure out the train system and find the hotel

-Until I found another conference-goer and we figured out the ticket purchase kiosks and the train system together. Finding the hotel was another thing, but that’s only because they gave us ambiguous directions.

Those are pretty much the highlights so far. My room is on the 15th floor. It has a sweet flat screen TV. A mini can of Pringles costs $5 US. We got little backpacks. They’re cute.


I present on Tuesday. Send me good thoughts!


01 September 2007

Things to do this weekend

I don't know what you're doing this weekend, but I've got suggestions for two things you could do.

1. Watch the online TV show Clark and Michael starring some guy named Clarke and the awesome (Canadian) Michael Cera. Each episode is only about 10 minutes long, and freaking funny, and the credits are bitchin'. It's perfect for anyone needing a George Michael fix now that Arrested Development is no more.

2. Rent the first season of Dexter on DVD. It doesn't air in Canada (as far as I know), but you can rent the DVDs and watch all 12 episodes in one sitting. Don't read too much about it online before renting it, just watch it and love it.

29 August 2007

Random Things in Hallways

This contraption is currently sitting on the 1st floor of Bio. Sci. I love this thing. I mean, what the hell is it? It looks like it was left behind in 1993 by the crew of a science fiction film. The best part? It's on wheels.



28 August 2007

Painful to Watch

I saw graffito this morning that said something along the lines of, “it’s a shame stupidity isn’t painful.” I think in some cases, I would have to agree. Pain serves a very important purpose. It tells us when something is wrong, when we have to stop what we’re doing or suffer the consequences. Something similar for stupidity might have prevented this:


26 August 2007

Really people!

I know I'm repeating myself, but...seriously? Am I the only one who sees how wrong this is?

It's like buying tickets on a ship that advertises itself as "Unsinkable."


Anyone who calls themselves a "specialist" is never going anywhere near anything I own.

21 August 2007

Les is more (more or less)

I don’t know when it started, but at some point in my life I started to hate my name. Just my first name, I actually quite like my surname (go James!). I know it’s not rational, but I can’t help but think, what kind of name is “Leslie?” It’s a boy’s name, first off. Secondly, it has no good short form, unless you want to be called “Les” (which I am, by pretty much everyone who knew me before 2005, when I became Ellie). But “Les” is just less. Less than what? Less than whom? I don’t like “Les.” Thirdly, “Leslie” doesn’t mean anything cool. The two definitions I have for Leslie are low meadow and gray fortress. In contrast, my brothers are named after the God of War, and the Angel that slew the dragon. And what do I get? Gray fortress. A pile of bricks.

My almost-life-long hatred of my name has caused me to be obsessed with names. That’s why I enjoyed this article in the Wall Street Journal so much. I especially loved the following expert:


“France passed a law in the early 1800s that prohibited all names except those on a preapproved list; the last of these laws was repealed in 1993. In Germany, the government still bans invented names and names that don't clearly designate a child's sex. Sweden and Denmark forbid names that officials think might subject a child to ridicule. Swedish authorities have rejected such names as Veranda, Ikea and Metallica.”

Bitchin! I so want a law in Canada that prohibits a) made-up names and b) stupid spellings of real names. These horrible, misspelled names aren’t helping the kids any. They’re going to grow up hating having to tell people, “No, I spell Joshua ‘J-o-s-h-a-w-a’” Or constantly repeating their name to people who thought they misheard it the first time. “No, I said Toolyne.” (Or something. I don’t have a knack for making up stupid, fake baby names).

There are thousands of names, you’d think people could find one they like without having to make it illiterate, or making one up from scratch.

19 August 2007

Two Rs in "Library"

Don't you hate it when you do to get a library book and it's already signed out? Don't you also hate it when you notice that it's signed out for an extended period?


I don't care how slow a reader you are, you don't need a library book for 23 years.

15 August 2007

It was a bad day for clothing choices at the gym. I know, I know: the gym is the last place you should ever judge or take someone’s appearance into consideration, but these three really stood out this morning (even more so than that one woman I swear was wearing pajamas).

The first was a girl who had her shorts on inside-out. It was barely noticeable, and at first I thought it was just the style of the shorts, and then I saw the tag. I was going to tell her, but I wasn’t sure if this was one of those situations where you’re supposed to tell the person (skirt-in-the-panyhose deal), or be polite and pretend you don’t notice (B.O.). When in doubt, I find it easier to pretend.

The second was this guy on the weight floor. His shirt had a square neckline. Think about it. I don’t think a square neckline would work on even the sexiest of men. (That was fun, a little something for everyone). Actually, later on I saw this “guy” in the women’s change room. I seriously thought it was a dude. That doesn’t make my point about square necklines any less valid, though.

The third example was this guy on the bikes. He had on too much clothes to begin with. I’ve become convinced that they heat the gym in the summer – as though they assume every patron is a wrestler needing to sweat down to their competition weight - there is no other way to explain the stifling heat in that place. He was wearing oldnchool track pantsand a hoodie. His pants were tucked into his (I swear) tan, Converse All Star high-tops . And his underwear was showing and it was yellow. Canary yellow.

I suppose we should give all these people a pass, though. Their minds probably weren’t fully functional when they got dressed this morning. I mean, it was 7am and they were already at the gym. Still....yellow underwear?

10 August 2007

Have computer will procrastinate

What an assy day. It’s 10 degrees and raining. My assistants tell me that today is an 8.8 on the “nap scale.” I sometimes feel really old when I talk to them. What Nap Scale? Is it like the Bunny Scale? Is it out of 10? Is 8.8 bad? In addition to being clueless about the nap scale, I’m also suffering from wicked lower back pain. I don’t know why, but I bent to look in a box yesterday and my back hasn’t forgiven me since. So, I’m clueless and walking around like an 80 year old. When did I become my mother?

I’m so focused on counting down the hours until my next pill (um…for my back) that I’ve barely done any work. In the interests of no one else doing work either, I’m going to share my Top 3 Favourite Time Wasters (not including email, or this blog, and I also spend probably more time than I should on the Environment Canada website checking the weather, and on CBC, reading the news).

1. Television Without Pity - This has been my favourite website since 2000, when I first discovered it. The perfect website for anyone who likes TV. And who doesn’t like TV? This site (created by Canadians! Yeah!) provides detailed recaps of all the episodes of your favourite shows. The recappers are all, in my experience, sharply funny and generally love the shows they recap. They are also very critical and don’t let the shows get away with anything. And it’s not as if I’m the only one who loves this site, it was recently bought by Bravo and I’ve seen shout-outs to it on at least two different shows. This is the perfect time waster. Also, one of the creators has a great line of pop-culture T-shirts. Where else are you going to get a jello stapler or an Annyong Hermano t-shirt?.

2. Go Fug Yourself - I’ve never been really interested in fashion, but even I love it when rich and pretty people wear fugly things. Also, the girls who do the site (one of them also does Television Without Pity) are awesomely catty.

3. McSweeny’s Internet Tendency - The most intelligent selection on my list. This site is so full of things you could easily spend all afternoon navigating it’s depths. It’s a seemingly random collection of jokes, lists, humourous essays, and stories. Check out some of my favourite selections: verbal cartoonist , lists, and pop song correspondence.

09 August 2007

Data Entry Drinking Game

I think the suckiest part of research is that after countless hours in the field and the lab collecting data, you're still not done. You have to do data entry. I know a lot of people who get their assistants to do it for them. I'm a good boss and have never done that. During a recent frenzy of data entry, I paused to come up with a Data Entry Drinking Game. If you don't want to get drunk, you should probably substitute in a "sip" for each "drink." If I was actually following this (and drinking in my office) I'd be sloshed by 10am. This would also work with candy. Or cookies.

DATA ENTRY DRINKING GAME

1 drink…

When you mistype a formula and don’t catch it
Every time you ctrl-c when you mean to ctrl-v
When you can’t read what you (or your assistant) wrote
Every time you stop data entry to check your email, or browse the web
When you realize that you’ve entered one number of the 7-digit UTM coordinates incorrectly

2 drinks…

Every time Excel sends you to the bottom of the spreadsheet for seemingly no reason

3 drinks…

If you have to go back to the original sample to check something that doesn’t “seem right”
Every time you 'update' files in Access, but for some reason they don't update and you have to do it all over again when you realize it two weeks later.

03 August 2007

No one remembers Richard Bachman

I had a dream last night that I met Stephen King. I read a lot of Stephen King between the ages of 12 and 18. I haven’t read anything of his since The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, which came out in 1999. So, in my dream I was at his house and he was sitting on an easy chair and I was lounging on the floor, all relaxed-like. He had flying fish in his apartment. They were just swimming through the air, and crapping everywhere the way I assume a pet budgie would when let out of its cage. They looked like parrot fish.

What do you suppose we talked about? Me, the one-time aspiring author and Him, the one-time greatest horror writer in the world? (He’s not the greatest anymore. He hasn’t written a decent thing since some guy plowed him down on the side of the road. I don’t read horror anymore, so I’m not sure who usurped the throne.) Well, I (of course) lectured him on the ills of the commercial fishing industry. I seriously told him that he shouldn’t eat fish, then I told him why, in great detail. He wasn’t listening to me and was trying to convince me that eating fish is okay. I don't care if you are they guy who wrote IT, and therefore caused generations of adolescents to be afraid of clowns (my best friend was afraid of the shower for weeks after seeing the movie). I don't even care if you wrote the original stories for The Shawshank Redemption and The Shining. Eating fish is never okay, Stephen.

There's something happening here...

It’s early still but I can already tell it’s going to be one of those days where I don’t get anything done. This morning was very confusing for me. My stalwart friend, The Weather Network said this morning was going to be sunny and 16 degrees. However, as I walked to school there was thunder, lightning, and a few drops of rain. I knew nothing of this! The Weather Network didn’t tell me to expect scattered thunder showers! It let me down. The confusing part is that I saw 4 bunnies on the way to school this morning. And they were all together, in one place, and they were little, and in tall grass so that just their little bunny ears were poking out and it was adorable. But 4 Bunnies means a perfect day, and on a perfect day the Weather Network wouldn’t let me down. My world is in turmoil.

01 August 2007

Post for Kimm-my

Firstly, I want to congratulate Kimm and her Tomm on their engagement. I’ve known Kimm for (pause while I do the math…) 12 years (is that right!?) and for a while there she couldn’t stay in a relationship longer than 3 weeks. That’s all over now and poor Tomm’s got her for life.

Secondly, I want to thank Kimm for the awesome, albeit 4 months late, birthday present. Sweet! It’s like you know me really well or something. Did you know when I was a kid I made little cards and pouches and glued them into all my books? Now I can be a kid again!

30 July 2007

Teamtastic

I've said it before, and I'm saying it again: I'm done with field work. I just got back from a week down in Caroline. I did 2 days of 24-hour fish sampling and 3.25 days of frogging (with Cricket). No more field work for me. I've done a combined total of 8 months of field work. If that's not sufficient I'm just going to quit my program and work at Chapters.

I don't have much to share re: the field work. The 24-hour work was done in teams (my team's name: Teamtastic) with each team working 12-hours shifts. At least, those were my best laid plans. I somehow ended up working 14 hours, getting 4 hours of sleep, then working another 16 hours. At one point I'd been up for 28 hours. Anyway, it was long, and now it's over. Let's focus on the positive. Below is a picture of a fawn that has developed an affinity for our fenced-in yard down in Caroline. I named it Jitterbug.

20 July 2007

Who knew it was possible?

Holy crap. I actually found an application that’s creepier than Facebook. Meet Twitter, a site devoted to broadcasting the whereabouts and activities of it’s members. You can send a text from your mobile phone that will be broadcast to the phones of your friends, and on the website for all to see; you can also send messages to/from IM and the website. Who the hell needs a running commentary on anyone’s activities? That would be so annoying. It’s already a pretty big site, I wonder how long it’ll be before my friends start telling me to join it. Am I the only one who finds these social networking sites to be disturbing?!

On another note, I’ve been toying with the idea of starting a wiki site. I have nothing against Wikipedia, except I hated it when my students would use it as a source for their lab reports, which they really shouldn’t. I like the idea of wiki sites in general. I just don’t know if I have enough procrastination time to do this blog and a wiki. Then again, I could make more procrastination time…

19 July 2007

Mousemares

I had a mousemare last night. I was sleeping on a couch (in the dream) and I saw a mouse run across the floor, and as I did I felt something under my sheet, running up my torso. A mouse! Crawling! on! me! Shudder! I grabbed it to get it off my chest, but then I was HOLDING THE MOUSE, which for me is as bad as having it on my chest. I was hyperventilating and panicking in the dream and woke myself up. This reminded me of another rat dream I had once, I had to go looking on my old site for the original posting:

I had a dream the other night. In it I had to sign some kind of contract or legal document. My lawyer had wrapped the contract in a towel then covered it with a pillow, for safekeeping. When we uncovered it, the contract was wet, so was the towel. The pillow was wet as well. The lawyer pulled the pillow out of the case. "Here's the problem, " he said, pulling out a handful of baby rats. Rats. They started running everywhere, not just babies, but full grown, huge rats too. Hundreds of them. I jumped onto the nearest piece of furniture and screamed uncontrollably.

Jumping onto furniture and screaming is how I deal with mice and rats in real life, too.

18 July 2007

Idiot Redux

The relative humidity this morning was 94% again. And this wasn't me misreading the TV like I thought I did yesterday. This was the actual number. So, once again, I'm left thinking about what happens when we hit 100%. Isn't 100% just water? I do not want to leave my apartment on the day the air is 100% saturated with water. Gross.

17 July 2007

Idiot

This morning I was watching the Weather Network (as per my usual routine) and I saw that the humidity was 94%. I puzzled over this the whole way to school. I have no meteorology background. I had an Oceanography prof that would occasionally tell us how ocean-things influenced weather and climate, but it was never on the tests, so… I’ve never been one of those people who learned what the different clouds are called and what they mean. I enjoy the weather for its entertainment value, but academically, it’s just not my thing. So I was thinking, 94% is really high, isn’t it? I mean, at what point on the percentage scale do we wake up under water? Anyway, later in the day I checked online and the humidity is actually only 54%, so the moral of this little story is that I’m an idiot.

The part of the Biological Sciences building in which I live has two elevators and one has been out of commission since May. Today, however, is the first time I remember actually seeing a repair person working on it. I’ve seen him a lot and each time I do, I’m tempted to ask him about pacifier buttons. I read in a Douglas Coupland book that the “Close Door” buttons in elevators aren’t actually connected to anything. They’re put there so that people can press them and feel like they have some control over the elevator, but really those doors are going to close when they want. I don’t ask though, because I don’t want the Otis serviceman thinking I’m an idiot.

13 July 2007

Sicko

Sicko was good. Pure Michael Moore, but good. It was very effective. He started with a lot of people's horror stories: not being able to afford to re-attach limbs, bankruptcy after treatment, people dying because they were refused treatment, etc. Then he comes to Canada and interviews people about how our system is free and awesome. It was a very rose-coloured picture of our system. I mean, I love it, but he didn't mention that it doesn't cover dental, that there are some restrictions, absurd wait times, etc.


I loved the old guy he interviewed about the Canadian system. He gave a shout out to Tommy Douglas for being the man that started it all. And you just know that in a theatre somewhere Kiefer Sutherland is leaning over to whisper to the person next to him, “that’s my granddad they’re talking about!” Imagine, being the grandkid of the person who brought universal healthcare to Canada. Pretty sweet lineage.

After sucking up to Canada (He was totally sucking up. At one point there was this establishing shot of a Tim’s, and there’s no way the interview that followed actually took place in a Tim's. The table was made out of two-by-fours) Michael Moore goes to England and France. Their healthcare systems are WAY better than ours. He makes France seem like Heaven on Earth. Then he takes 911 relief workers to Cuba for medical care. The Cuban system comes across as better than the US system too.

Overall, it made Americans seem like a bunch of fools. Why are they putting up with HMOs and those insurance companies when healthcare is free in most other western countries? I find it so shocking that Americans seem to be afraid of public healthcare. They are so afraid of becoming socialists. There was even a recording done by Ronald Regan, back in his “acting” days, talking out against socialized healthcare. They made it out like the government would have the final say in your health, and that doctors would have no power. Whereas the current system where the for-profit insurance companies have the final say is so much better.

Moore drew some nice contrasts. In the US a doctor (who reviews insurance claims) will get a bonus if they reject the most claims. The more treatment they refuse, the richer they get. In Britain, doctors get bonuses if their patients quit smoking, or have lower cholesterol. So, the more treatment they give, the richer they get. Which, to me, seems like the way to go. It's cheaper to get someone to quit smoking now than it is to treat the cancer later.

You know, if I had to pay for my doctor visits, I just wouldn't go. It seems so obvious that healthcare should be free. It's a basic human right. People who want to privatize our system should see this movie. I think private healthcare in Canada would be a disaster.

10 July 2007

Perchance to Dream

Dreams are pretty awesome when you think about it. Not “someday I’m gonna be famous” dreams, those are total crap and only lead to disappointments. I mean sleep-dreams. I have no idea what evolutionary advantage they have, but I’m so grateful nature managed to select for it.


I usually remember my dreams really well. I also tend to write about them very often. I hate to brag, but I've had some wicked dreams. Like the time I dreamt I was invisible. Or the dream where my brother paid my roommate to kill me. Or the dream where my mom married my Honours supervisor. Or, the dream I had recently where I called my friend an "invertebrate assoholic."

Dreams are awesome because it’s like watching TV and sleeping at the same time. How can that not equal greatness? Last weekend I had a dream that I was living in Halifax and zombies were attacking the city. I took refuge in Joel Plaskett’s house. Not only did I get a full night’s sleep, I got to hang out with Joel Plaskett. Dreams are also, at times, very educational. For example, in my dream last night I learned that leeches don’t make good pets. I had a leech in a cage. It was a wire cage with giant open spaces that a small hamster probably could have crawled through, and we kept our giant leech in it. We spritzed it with water occasionally so it didn’t dry out. This leech was huge, maybe as wide across as my hand and l-o-n-g. It was also kind of hard at the edges, I think from being dried out. Anyway, the leech-as-pet thing didn’t last, and before long the leech has escaped from its cage and was crawling across the floor, chasing me. As I write this, I’m struck by how many of my dreams in the last few months have featured invertebrates. Not surprising, given this is what I look at all day:

Whatever will I dream about once I finish this degree?

07 July 2007

Facebook

Okay, so here it is. All my vitriol regarding Facebook. I don’t know where this all comes from. I tend to shun things that are overly popular (like iPods, cell phones, Harry Potter, Dan Brown, etc.); but I like a good bandwagon as much as the next person and even though I usually do it late, I’ve been known to jump on a few. But: Facebook? I’m just not buying it.

Some of the arguments in favour of Facebook that I’ve heard:

1) You can find “old friends,” and catch-up with them
2) You can reach said friends all in one easy place/it saves time
3) It’s useful as a procrastination tool
4) Everyone else is doing it!

Some of my arguments against Facebook:

1) Sometimes friends become “old friends” for a reason; if they were that great in the first place I wouldn’t have lost touch with them.
2) It’s like creepy digital-stalking
3) Instead of using it as another communication tool, it’s becoming people’s only communication tool. Facebook messages are simply a fancier version of the group email.
4) I simply have no use for it.
5) I think it uses the word “friend” too loosely, but I suppose “Acquaintancebook” sounds silly.

Let me flesh out my complaints a little. I grew up in a small town. I graduated OAC with people that had been in the same daycare as me. It’s not as if I moved around a lot, or even changed schools once. I see the people I went to kindergarten with every time I go back home. There aren’t any long-lost people in my life. Mainly because I’ve kept in touch with the people that I wanted to keep in touch with. All these stories I hear, “I found my best friend from high school! We hadn’t spoken in years!” What the hell kind of best friends can’t keep in touch? My best friend (of 16 years) and I weren’t even in the same grade, we haven’t lived in the same province as each other for 7 years, and we manage to stay friends just fine without Facebook.

It can’t be both a time saver and a procrastination tool, so I won’t go further with that. I think the point in this round clearly goes to me.

I have used Facebook, so it’s not as if my hatred is completely blind. I’ve logged on using a friend’s account. I hated it before I logged on, and I think I hate it even more afterwards. It was all creepy: there was too much information about people that I don’t think I would need to know, had it been my account. There was a list of the different people that had recently become friends, and who was poking whom, what everyone’s mood was, who had signed which wall. It was like having a ticker on my computer that would scroll “Cricket is reading an article….Mika is in MBSU….Cricket has gone to the bathroom….Oz has just gotten up….Mika just dropped some foreceps.” I mean, is the running commentary important or even interesting? (I realize that MSN does something similar, but not on this scale: it’s not like it tells other users when I’m having a conversation and with whom). Deb tells me that “It doesn’t have to be creepy,” meaning you can adjust what you want the world to see. Which is all kinds of good, because apparently (and I literally just found this out) they have a really skeevy Privacy Policy. If what I read is true, it’s downright scary. On par with how Gmail never deletes emails and makes a profit datamining them.

I have other reasons for disliking Facebook, but those are the main ones. I have a blog, email, and a phone. That’s all I really need to keep in touch with the people I care to keep in touch with. I just don’t need Facebook (and, despite what my tone may suggest, I have nothing against the people who use it - just quit sending me invitations!).

This, however, is a site I would join.

05 July 2007

I’m sitting here racking my brain to find something to write about. There was a couple of news stories I read today that made my Faith-In-Humanity-O-Meter dip towards the “Nonexistent” side of the scale, but that’s nothing new.

I added a link to the Bunny Scale on the right-hand column, so people can easily access it.

I haven’t seen any movies of late worth noting. I’ve been composing an entry in my head entitled “Why I Hate Facebook,” but it’s not yet ready to share with the world. I’m also working on a justification for the reason I always say that Television Without Pity is the best website. Ever. That, also, is not yet ready for public eyes. So you’re left reading about a list of things you can’t read yet. How meta.

29 June 2007

Proper Entry

I suppose it’s time for a proper entry. I’m waiting out the severe thunderstorm we’re supposed to get tonight. I hope it’s everything they say it will be. We had some good storms while I was in Caroline. Nothing makes aquatic field work unbearable quite like a cold, rainy day. Spending all day on a boat, in a downpour, when its 6oC and windy is not an experience to be coveted. Unless your rain gear is magical, you’re going to get wet. Water will drip in through the cuffs of your sleeves, and through the pockets. And since the air is so cold, and you’re hands are constantly wet, eventually you loose the ability to use your thumbs. I don’t know where they go or what happens to them, but you might as well not have any. You don’t know how awesome opposable thumbs are until you loose them.

I don’t really want to write about Caroline, though. I had a great day today. It was warm and humid in Edmonton. The air was almost tropical. I love days like today. I went for a walk, I enjoyed not working, and I had an Italian soda, rented some movies, and just enjoyed my own company after three weeks of the constant company of others.

What I’d really like to do is share a couple video clips I came across in my time wasting today. The first is some news magazine story about Bono. This is relevant to my posting earlier in the month about Bono’s activism. If you’re not familiar with him or his motivations, this might be interesting to you. He touches on some good points about human equality, the idea of Africa as a burden, and poverty.



The second is a much lighter video. It’s Joel Plaskett’s new video for the song Fashionable People. Plaskett is such an adorable geek (that sweater vest kills me) and his charm will surely win you over. I also love that the video looks like it was filmed in a high school drama room. Probably in Clayton Park (but it might actually be the Khyber).

Tales of my death...

...have been greatly exaggerated. Welcome [me] back! I spent the last three weeks clipping fish fins in beautiful Caroline, AB. It was very similar to last year's experience.

I lieu of a real entry at the moment, I'm going to show ya'll a few pictures of my time south.

Check out our sweet crib. Compared to last years tent-camper & condemned-shack combination, this place is downright posh. On my last day there I had the revelation that the layout of this house is like a mirror image of the layout of my parent's house. It was a little weird.
This is a scenic shot of Fiesta Lake, the lake they named after our project. We clipped 14,107 fish in this lake.


These are sweet pictures of caddis fly, dragon fly, and beetle larvae. We'd catch these guys in our traps all the time. We also lots of giant leeches. I didn't take pictures of the leeches because they were bad and ate my fish.


The last lake we sampled had a muskrat. We managed to sneak up on it and get a picture of it sleeping. We named him Adam West.

That's pretty much all I have to share for now. I hope everyone enjoys the Canada Day long weekend.
And I want to send a belated Birthday shout-out to Ozzy. Oz, if you're reading this: the loons on Mitchell Lake are nesting in a different spot this year.

08 June 2007

I didn't vote for him

I found another reason to hate Harper. He has refused to meet with Bono, saying that he doesn’t meet with celebrities or whatever. I should preface this by stating that I’m not bothered because it’s Bono he won’t see, I’m bothered because he’s refusing to meet with an internationally respected humanitarian (who just happens to be the God of my inner world). Given all the criticism he’s getting over fucking up African relief, he should do more to defend himself – like get Bono back on his side.

The CBC website has a comment section asking “Should unelected activists such as Bono have the ear of our prime minister?” To that I respond, “We have elected activists? I didn’t vote for an activist, when was that election?” There are a lot of people commenting that the Prime Minister shouldn’t waste his time (and, by extension, their tax money) listening to Bono and instead should meet with Joe and Jane Canadian to hear them out. I’m sorry, but for issues like African relief, I’d rather give someone from the front lines 20 minutes with Harper than someone from Yarmouth. The real fact of the issue is that the African crisis is so huge, complex, and appalling that it’s beyond our comprehension. Most of us have some idea of what is happening in some countries, but there are so many countries, with so many problems. I think Bono knows more than most people, and if he can convey knowledge to Harper and therefore help affect change… of course he should be able to meet with him. I don’t care that Bono doesn’t pay taxes in Canada, or that Harper won’t meet with me to discuss the Porbeagle fishery. I think someone doing what Bono does - working so tirelessly to help millions of people - demands the respect we would given any humanitarian, regardless of record sales or fame.

Sorry, ya’ll. I realize my argument here is poorly thought out and all over the place. It’s Friday, you’ll have to forgive me.
Today is a 3 Bunny Day. Even though I got attacked by sprinklers on my walk to school, it has been a pretty good day: The Weather Network is all better, I got some work done, and there’s an Iced Cap in my future. It really is the little things, eh?

07 June 2007

Ottawa Sucks (but that's not why Canada is upset)

When I woke up this morning, I noticed that Canada was crying. Poor Canada. She’s been through a lot these last couple hundred years. I assumed she was crying because of Ottawa (Ottawa is always making Canada cry for one reason or another). I was the total sympathetic friend, bad-mouthing Ottawa and shouting out “Ottawa Sucks!” at random intervals to try and cheer Canada up. Nothing worked. Then I realized that she wasn’t upset because of Ottawa, she’s upset because SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH THE WEATHER NETWORK.

Oh, God. I didn’t know what to do…they changed their displays, and they’ve got this stupid background and the stuff is hard to read, and at about 6am this morning the screen froze and IT STOPPED WORKING. I couldn’t find out my local forecast! We didn’t know what the UV Index was, if it was cold, windy, sunny, or raining. No wonder Canada was a wreck. Oh, Canada. I see your tears and I raise you a crippling panic. A country this large can’t survive without a weather network. How else am I going to know what the weather is like in Gander? How else am I to learn about automated dog washes? I plan my entire day based on what I see on the Weather Network while I eat breakfast. What pants to wear, which jacket, shoes or sandals, how I’m going to wear my hair (no bangs with wind speeds greater then 11km/h). My entire day hinges on the Weather Network and without it, I’m lost. Lost! If you need me I’ll be at Canada’s house eating ice cream and watching guilty-pleasure chick flicks.

05 June 2007

For the love of random

There’s a great sense of joy and relief in finally doing something you’ve been putting off, isn’t there? For example, I tend to put off dishes (because at some point in the last 12 months I’ve developed this inexplicable aversion to washing dishes) so that when I finally do wash them (generally, Sunday nights) I’m so happy afterwards. Not only can I see my counters again, but I know that I won’t have to wash any more dishes for a good seven days.

And while I’m on the subject of domestic things, does anyone else ever think about how futile grocery shopping is? I mean, you go through all the trouble of going to the store and buying food; the food gets eaten or goes bad and you have to go shopping again. It’s this never ending cycle and whenever I’m in line at the grocery store and I think about all the grocery store line-ups I have in my future... well, it’s a little depressing. Like when I walk to school in the mornings and I think about how many more times I’m going to make that walk. It’s possible that I might die of boredom someday between 82nd and 83rd Avenues.

In the continuing vein of being random….

I was reading through my copy of Legendre and Legendre and pulling out two-year old post-it note page-flags and one has “Sun Tzu” written on it. Why I jotted down the author of a war treatise on a post-it in a book on environmental modeling is beyond me.

In closing, I want to send friendly kick-in-the-butt reminders to Cricket and Annie to update their blogs already!

03 June 2007

Sting is a sexy bitch

At some point during my adolescence, I resigned myself to the fact that there were bands I was just never going to see live in concert. Among them, The Smiths, INXS [fronted by Michael Hutchence and not some talent-contest winner], and The Police.

So, imagine my surprise way back in February when I heard a rumour that the Police reunion tour was making a stop in Edmonton, of all places. Then imagine my excitement when I saw a commercial on TV validating that rumour. I was, like, 3 when the Police broke up. I’ve seen Sting live, but I never, ever thought that I’d get the chance to see Sting, Copeland, and Summers playing together as if it were 1979 and they didn’t have 2 decades of possible animosity and ruined friendship behind them. Never!

Well, my friends, fairy tales can come true. The paper says that 30,000 people attended last night’s show. I don’t believe that. The stadium was not sold out, and looked sadly ¼ empty. It was at an outdoor venue, which I’ve been to for day-long festival-type things but not for a single-act show. It took getting used to, the lightness. It was weird that it was still daylight when they came on. But, really, I didn’t care that much because it was the freakin’ Police!

After Copeland banged his giant gong, they opened with Message in a Bottle. The audience was pretty good for the most part, there were times when they seemed apathetic, but they always came back alive for the big songs. People freaked out for Roxanne. Hell, I freaked out for Roxanne. It’s such an awesome opening, and so distinct. As soon as it starts you’re holding your breathe and waiting for Sting to belt it out: “….Roxanne.” I know people who hate that song, but I have to say they totally rocked it. And, damn, is Sting in good form. I don’t know how old he is, or how old any of them are for that matter, but they were bitchin’, I could totally imagine it was 25 years ago. Even when they sang Can’t Stand Losing You – which is essentially a goofy break-up song – it didn’t seem absurd.

It was such a great show. To hear all those awesome songs, to hear the infamous eee-ooo’s, and they jumped! Just like they used to! With no apparent regard for broken hips or lost toupees! Those guys were total professionals. I’m not so cynical as to think they reunited for the money, but I was still pleased when, at the end of the show, Sting and Copeland hugged. At least those two don’t hate each other.

I think the one dark spot on the otherwise awesome night was this total jerk in the audience. Our seats were at the bottom of the first level, a few rows up from the railings that separate the seats from the floor area. This douche spent the entire show leaning against the railings, watching the audience. I was totally geeking out and Cricket was dancing too, and I’m pretty sure he took pictures of Cricket and I with his cell phone. What an ass.

01 June 2007

NWT Road Trip: Part IV: The Long Road Home

We left early on Sunday to head back to Edmonton. We stopped along the way at Louise Falls.

The drive back was longish, but not horrible. We had one unsettling incident when we stopped for lunch at a turnout and an old guy pulled in and we thought he was a)watching us; b) sleeping; or c) dead. (It was most likely a then b).


There has been much written, and so many movies made, about epic road trips, about the lure of the open road. I don’t care how alluring the road is, everyone gets lulled by it eventually.





I realize I haven’t had many observations about NWT. The weather was unsettlingly gorgeous – hot even. The sun did set, but not for long – like it was just running to the other side of the earth for smokes and would be right back – so that it was a bit light even very late at night. Some highways there are just gravel roads, which is quaint but maybe impractical. They call garbage dumps “Nuisance Grounds,” which is just so awesome, it sounds like a place you would take raucous children. It’s so sparsely populated, you can go hours without seeing another car. They have the best license plate in the history of license plates (but you probably already knew that). It is so beautiful in the south-eastern part of the Territory that we were in. The landscape is vast, and relatively untouched. You can almost imagine what Canada was like before it was Canada.

Now I have only to travel to Manitoba, Newfoundland & Labrador, Yukon, and Nunavut and I will have been in every province and territory.