31 July 2008

Balancing the Scales

To make up for my moody, dark, and depressing previous post, here are some pictures to bring sunshine and love back into you soul.


I don’t intend to sleep ever again. Just in case ya’ll are wondering why I’m so cranky.

I think I had it right in early 2002 when I stopped listening to, watching, or reading the news. At the time my brother was overseas and one morning I awoke to news of a helicopter crash in Afghanistan and that was the end of my relationship with the news media. Sure, I was woefully ignorant of the world around me, but ignorance was bliss. Since then, I’ve returned to a fairly regular routine of reading CBC online and watching the occasional newscast. But, aside from being well-informed about just how awful the world is, reading the news has no benefits. Over the last couple of days there have been two especially brutal stories that just leave me feeling ill and thinking that a news moratorium might benefit me immensely. Everything about these stories makes me want to hide out in a couch-cushion-and-bed-sheet fort with my favourite stuffed animal circa 1989 (Share Bear Care Bear) and never, ever grow up to the reality of our world.

The first was this story about a man who attacked a woman in her home here in Edmonton. You know, for all my complaining about crime in Edmonton, I’ve never really felt unsafe here. But then this story comes along and freaks me out. This guy broke into his neighbour’s apartment through the balcony after a night of drinking and drugs, and held her captive for hours. (I check to make sure my balcony doors are locked, like, five times a day now, and I live on the 11th floor). He’s claiming his mental condition is to blame, but when the woman was able to call 911 for help, he calmly told the operator it was a crank call. Holy god, that is the most frightening aspect I think. Imagine what she went through to make it to a phone and get through to help, only to have him do that (911 resonded anyway, however). Also, he apparently bet his friends that he could “break into the woman’s condo and rape and kill her.” I don’t care how drunk you are, when your friend with supposed mental problems starts talking like that, you lock him in a room or something. The guy is currently on trial, but that seems like small consolation.

The second story appeared this morning. I told Kimmy that is was unbelievable and she questioned that, and we agreed that it should be unbelievable but somehow it isn’t. The headline says it all, “Man decapitates passenger aboard Greyhound bus in Manitoba: witnesses.” And a little detail I just now noticed: the bus was coming from Edmonton. Of course. The article reads like something written by George Romero. I’ve been thinking about it too much already today. It’s too disturbing to discuss any more.

How shall I spend my time, not that I can no longer sleep, or read CBC?

29 July 2008


Today I came across The Best Movie Poster. Ever.

The joke here is obvious, and I don't know which is funnier, that he did it "unwittingly" or that he used a dolphin.

For some reason, this movie reminds me about Patton Oswalt's bit about the movie Death Bed (caution: strong language). Of course, since I'm posting that I should link to my two favourite Oswalt bits: KFC Bowls and Dukes of Hazzard. Again, I'm giving you fair warning about the language, if that kind of thing bothers you.

28 July 2008

I don't care what the critics think

I had very basic expectations for the X Files movie. I love the show beyond description, but I’m also realistic. X Files' heyday was over a decade ago, and things are different now. I honestly don’t know if Chris Carter is able to change with the times. So, I decided the best way to not be disappointed was to have very simple (read: low) expectations. Here’s what I expected from the new X Files movie: I expected Mulder to be obstinate, have at least one monologue about some kind of paranormal phenomena, and to go off halfcocked on some thin lead and get himself into trouble. I expected Scully to look pained, cry, spout medical jargon, and struggle with her faith.

And I wasn’t disappointed! Seriously, it was better than I thought it would be and it wasn’t completely crappy! I know it’s been getting dreadful reviews, but I don’t care. For me, the excitement of seeing the characters again was enough to get me through the slowish scenes and not-so-interesting subplot. The truth of the matter is that I even if this movie is as horrible as people say it is, I’m probably not able to recognize it as such.

I’ll try not to give much away, in the off chance that this glowing review should convince anyone to see it (and yes, I’m going to see it again. Roll your eyes all you want). I made a point of not reading the reviews, or watching too many of the previews beforehand. I wanted to be surprised. The previews were hard to avoid, but let me tell you they are ingenious. The movie is not at all what you would expect based on the previews – score one for the Fox marketing monkeys. The story was less paranormal than I expected and it was more about human monsters à la Donnie Pfaster than paranormal monsters. There were some funny moments, and references to past episodes. And Chris Carter made me happy by acknowledging William. I was worried they would conveniently forget that Scully gave her kid away like 9 years ago. There was also a reveal near the end that elicited an audible reaction from the audience, myself included. I think I may have actually squealed and clapped my hands.

There was one thing I absolutely hated – it struck me as completely unrealistic and bothered me to no end. At one point Scully decides to use stem cells to treat a patient of her's, but she clearly knows little about the procedure. So, to research it, she Googles “stem cell research.” What kind of doctor uses Google for their research!? Maybe the hospital she works at is so poorly funded that they can’t afford medical journals, but that’s no excuse to treat your patient with information from Wikipedia.

In conclusion, I think the key to enjoying this movie is a moderate level of adoration for the series, and sufficiently low expectations. I also suggest watching the closing credits, if just to be reassured by the fact that, even though he didn’t appear on screen, Frohike was at least involved in the production of the film. Actually, the credits are this weird ode to water in all its forms. It’s very odd, but at the end of it there is something worth sticking around for.

25 July 2008

Support our troops every day (but only tell people about it on Fridays)

I got the same forward today from both my Aunt and Sister-in-law promoting Red Fridays in support of our troops. This sounds familiar to me, so I think I've heard of it before. Basically, if you support our troops, you wear red clothing on Fridays. If you don't support our troops, then The Devil will do very, very bad things to you when you get to Hell, because that's where you're heading, Bub.

21 July 2008


I'm heading off into the field today. This will be my last time doing fieldwork for The Little Project That Could (aka FIESTA). It's bittersweet, really. I know that being on the lakes again, combined with the recent departure of my academic-conjoined-twin, will make me nostalgic for the halcyon days of 2005. Back when two naive, silly girls named "Candra" and "Leslie" met and, respectively, became the "factual woman" Cricket and geek fish-advocate Ellie. To put it in other words, if we were comic book characters, 2005 would be our origin story.

Of course, I romanticize. Every summer of FIESTA has been fun and awesome in it's own way because each has been so different (and even though I'm generally neophobic, I appreciate that). And 2005 wasn't all that halcyon. Is there an antonym for halcyon? Because that was back when Cricket's idea of a "day off" was to only sample 2 lakes. I'm sure if I were to publish my journal from that time it would be full of entries like,

"July 4, 2005
So damn tired. Cricket dragged me to 6 lakes today and it was hot and gross and my waders have 90 rips in them, which doesn't even matter because I fell through the floating mats on Kidney AND Yellowhead anyway. Damn, I hate Kidney. And I only caught 4 frogs!"

You get the idea. So, to honor those golden days and in tribute to Cricket who is no longer with us (in Alberta, that is. She's not dead or anything), I'm posting an album of 2005 photos. These predate digital cameras, ya'll: these are scanned in from actual film photos! Gasp! And some of the pictures are discoloured from all the times Cricket fell through the floating mats and her camera got wet. Good times!

The album contains the classic picture of me looking stunned:

And one of Cricket looking all of 12 years old:

The rest of the album can be seen here.

19 July 2008

Available for a (very) limited time

If you haven't done so, you must (and by "must" I mean "there are no excuses and you have to") check out Joss Whedon's incredibly awesome internet musical: Dr. Horrible's Sing-along Blog. It's a musical in 3 acts, starring Doogie Howser, Capt. Mal Reynolds, and one of the girls that was a potential Slayer on the last season of Buffy (all those people have real names, but whatever). It's sadly short, wickedly funny, and will leave you wanting more. However, its only streaming until tomorrow (Sunday) at midnight, so watch it soon.

On a related note, where can I get this shirt?:

On an unrelated note, Giant Panda is beating Red Panda!? The hell?!

11 July 2008

Shout Outs

Happy Friday people! This has not been my week, and I'm glad it's almost over. Edmonton seems to have skipped summer (again) and gone straight to rainy fall. The now-routine torrential downpours do have one upside to them:

A few shout outs to end the week. The first to my cousin Corey who graduates from the police academy today and becomes a member of the DeKalb County police force. She's a cop! I still have trouble believing it.

The second shout out is a Happy Birthday to Ang, whom I've known since pre-birth. Ang, if you read this, you still need to email me pics from Kimm's wedding.

The third is to Celine, who knows me way too well, and sent me a coaster that she stole from a coffee shop in, I assume, Fairbanks. Thanks, Celine!

08 July 2008

Even cuter?

Okay, I hate that suddenly I'm a girl who only blogs about cute things. But Anne Veggie sent me some pictures of panda bears (the Classic variety) in response to my red panda obsession, and they're pretty damn cute. But almost too cute, you know?

Th pictures Annie sent were - I think - about the Giant Panda conservation centre that is trying to save the species. So apparently, there was an earthquake and the pandas were all afraid and the workers at the center rescued them and fed them:

I'd like to commend them on their very high worker-to-panda ratio. After they were rescued, the pandas were all happy and playful:

They love to frolic! Extinction be damned! But then, and this is where the narrative of the photos fell apart for me, because suddenly it seemed as if the pandas all gave birth at the same time, and suddenly there was like a baby panda infestation:

Maybe they aren't all babies, but I'd say they're young'uns at the very least. Look at them all! I think the myth of the endangered Giant Panda has finally been put to rest, don't you?

Then the really cute pictures started:

That last one is a fake, right? That's some kid in a panda suit or something, because that "I didn't touch the bamboo" pose is unreal. But, really, where did all those baby pandas come from? Are pandas born in litters? It just seems like a lot. So many, in fact, that every worker at the center gets two to take home and start their own breeding program:

Although, I'm still not sure Classic Panda beats Red Panda, because the Red Panda are still ubercute as adults, whereas Giant Panda adults are merely normal cute. In the spirit of democracy, I'm gonna post a poll and we can settle this once and for all.

Cute AND forlorn

Damn, I don't even really like pugs, but this is too cute to not share. Poor sad, abandoned pug.

07 July 2008


I'm still totally hung up on the red pandas being the cutest thing ever to evolve. But this morning on CBC I watched a video (I can't link directly to it) of baby white Bengal tigers and they were really cute. One was screaming hysterically while the handler went on about how the captive tigers are ambassadors for the species and will help teach people about the dangers of the exotic pet trade, habitat destruction, and those flamboyant Vegas magicians. The poor kitten, no wonder it was screaming, to be given such a big responsibility at such a young age. She was probably thinking, "How can I save the species? I don't even have all my teeth yet."

So I was looking for some cute baby white Bengal tiger pictures and I came across this, which is the baby white Bengal tiger equivalent of those babies that look like old men:

I really think it's no contest. Red Panda cuteness kicks old-man tiger cub butt.

02 July 2008

Canada Day

I went to see the fireworks last night with Cricket. The Canada Day Fireworks are the only big public event that I take part in, here in Edmonton. I don’t go to the festivals, or special events, or that fair thing they have every year. I suppose I haven’t really taken advantage of the things Edmonton has to offer, but constant fear for your life tends to make you a homebody. (A girl was killed and buried in a guy’s backyard over the weekend). Although last night I did notice, and appreciate, the heavy police presence on Whyte and downtown.

The fireworks were good. The word "fireworks" always makes me think of The Hip song. My favourite part about fireworks is the juxtaposition of the pretty, sparkly lights and the horrific booming of the explosives. The sound of fireworks is what I’ve always imagined that WWI sounded like. And to have sounds I associate with bayonets and soldiers caught in barbed wire accompanied by pretty, twinkling, over-all joyful lights is an interesting contrast.

01 July 2008


I'm trying not to focus on sad thoughts, like, "a month ago I was at the cabin." Instead I try to think, "the X-Files movie is only 24 days away!" And yesterday, I came across this, which only makes me more excited to see the movie. Chris Carter has apparently come up with a list of 8 XF episodes that are "the perfect grounding" for seeing the movie. It's so damn encouraging that the list is a pretty accurate reflection of some of the best episodes they ever made (and I know that most (all?) of you won't know the episode titles, but I don't care):
  1. The Pilot
  2. Beyond the Sea
  3. The Host
  4. Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose
  5. Memento Mori
  6. Post-Modern Prometheus
  7. Bad Blood
  8. Milagro

You can also buy a DVD of just these episodes. How convenient! Apparently on the DVD Carter explains why he chose those episodes in particular, as being good grounding for the movie. I will likely never buy this, but I really want to hear why The Host is on the list and not Home. And why Bad Blood over Small Potatoes? I could go on, but maybe I shouldn't. I will say it's a little odd that the last 3 seasons are not on the list. That doesn't bode well for them explaining the whole William situation. Damn you, Chris Carter.