29 March 2009


Yclept is my word of the day. I love words that look like typos. Yclept has nothing to do with what I actually want to bring to your attention, which is this:

As far as superheros go, I've always been drawn to the more dark and tortured (Wolverine, Batman) as opposed to the do-gooder types (Spiderman, Superman). But a musical about Spiderman by Bono and The Edge? I think that could be kind of awesome.

28 March 2009


I was so caught up in U2 ticket sales, and my celebration of Flannery O'Connor's 84th birthday that I completely missed the release of the new Joel Plaskett album, Three. I believe it's called Three because it's a three-disc release, among other things. The track listing and lyrics are here, and you can listen to a couple of the new songs here. This is one of two albums I intend to actually purchase this year. The other, of course, I already bought.

24 March 2009

I wasn't going to buy just anyone's cockatoo

I have a bunch of posts in my head, I just haven't gotten around to making them actual. I realize that my internal thoughts are all well and good, but they don't really help any of y'all procrastinate. I will try to do better in the future.

Speaking of "y'all," I had a dream recently that I was in a meeting with my former supervisors and other people who were on my thesis committee, and I called them "y'all." Afterward it was all silence and awkwardness, and significant anti-Ellie looks were exchanged. That's a word I use all the time when I write, but I don't think I've ever used it (un-ironically) in reality - it doesn't slip out of me the way that "dude," somewhat regrettably, does.

I also recently dreamt that I was being hunted by this feral raccoon, but it was mutated and looked more like a sloth (holy crap, those are creepy animals, I don't care how slow they move, if ever there were an argument for animals not having a soul, the sloth would be it. Dude!). The sloth-like raccoon was pursuing me at my parent's house and I managed to elude it. Then it followed me into another dream! I've never had that happen before, when elements of one dream appeared in another. It was cool.

I also wanted to write about this great play I saw with Anne. It was called Ubuntu, and was about a man who comes to Canada from South Africa in search of his father. The cast was only 5 people, and the set was pretty stark, but it was amazing how they were able to create so much with their bodies and motions. In one scene, they were able to create the feeling of a large university library using only a cart and about 10 books. The man who played the father was especially gifted with his movements, able to convey a lot with just the way he held his body. There's a really great example I'd like to share, but it would reveal too much. The play has already been to Toronto, and I don't know if it's going to be touring, but if you get a chance to see it, go for it.

I'd also like to point out how much more rational the Pay What You Can procedure at Neptune Theatre is compared to the Citadell in Edmonton. At Neptune, the Pay What You Can ticket sales begin 30 minutes before the show starts. That's it - no wristbands, no lining up twice, no entire afternoons spend hanging around with the homeless people at the library. So much better.

P.S. -If monday rolls around and anyone is looking for a belated present for me, tickets for U2's Toronto show go on sale at 10am.

20 March 2009

Pat and Oswald

This time last year, when I was in Georgia, my cousin introduced me to the comedy of Patton Oswalt (who, because of her accent, I thought was a duo named "Pat and Oswald"). Tonight Patton Oswalt was on Dollhouse. And, since his guest appearance featured both a bed and a stove, it reminded me of a bit he does, that also features a bed and a stove. So, I'm going to encourage most of you (those who aren't easily offended) to check out this bit.

I'd also like to say, is anyone else watching Dollhouse (aside from Deb and Alej)? I accidentally found out about the Mellie twist a week ago. I wish I hadn't known, because it would have been a great reveal. Also, I usually half-tune out during fight scenes, but the one in the restaurant looked brutal. In a good way.

Shout Outs

First a belated shout-out to Ozzy. Congratulations for getting the Alberta Genius Money for Geniuses! They rejected me when I applied, so I guess you are officially smarter than me (...on paper, at least).

Secondly, a perfectly on-time shout out to Alej. Happy Birthday! I'm posting a picture of you, just because I know you wouldn't want me to (but don't worry, I'm in it too, so you're not alone).

17 March 2009


I read that there's going to be a new movie version of Stephen King's It. I don't see how they can possibly distill a book as epic and detailed as It into a 2 hour movie - the paperback is over 1000 pages! That's the problem with Stephen King (well, one of the problems): the basic ideas of his stories lend themselves really well to movies, but the actual stories he makes with that basic idea are usually too complex and large for movies. King is the master of the back story, even minor characters will have pages and pages of back story that you just can't convey in a movie.

The other problem with Stephen King, btw, is that when the poor bastard got hit by that van all the talent got knocked out of him and he hasn't written anything really good since. There's no denying that he was good before, he was a freaking master of his genre. I think I started reading him when I was in Grade 8. I started with Eyes of the Dragon, then I went right to The Stand. The Stand is one of the few books where after finishing the last page, I went right to the first and started reading it again. I've reread it many times since. The TV movie for The Stand, if I recall correctly, was 4 2-hour episodes (and starred the awesome Garry Sinise), and they still left out so much - and did that annoying adaptation thing where they merge characters. Grr.

So, I suppose my point is that a regular movie adaption of It will just not work. Also, they already did a movie version, how can anyone forget Tim Curry's Pennywise?

And that was a kickass movie, y'all. Look at the cast: Tim Curry, John Ritter, Harry from Night Court, Seth Green (Oz!), Emily Perkins (from the Ginger Snaps movies), and early 90s teen heartthrob [the late] Jonathan Brandis. Not to mention scores of Vancouver-based actors whom you've probably seen since in syndicated action series. That version was just so effective (when I was a kid, at least, I haven't seen it for about a decade), that I can't imagine anything better is possible. Unless they keep Tim Curry as the evil clown. Then they have a chance.

14 March 2009

I heart Squalus acanthias

We did the shark lab at work this week. It was great, in that I love sharks and any opportunity to see one up close it a blessing. It was bad in that I wish all the sharks we dissected were alive and swimming free in the ocean. The fact that these sharks are born and raised in captivity for this purpose doesn't make me feel much better.

But, they gave their lives for us and we best make the most of it. So, here is a pregnant female (which you have to special-order, btw):
And a close-up of her anatomy, which I've labelled for the benefit of the non-ichthyophiles:
This particular female had 4 pups (aka shark babies) in each uterus:
And here's a close-up of one. Isn't it cute?

Next week we do fetal pigs. I probably won't put up any pictures of those.

10 March 2009


I can't get the widget to embed, so I'm just going to post a link to the website for the U2 tour. Check out that stage!

08 March 2009

DST, I like you so much more in the fall

Despite the fact that I rarely get out of bed before 9am anymore, and despite the fact that on days I do work, I don't have to leave the house until noon, I still resent losing an hour of sleep. And, while on the topic of sweet, sweet sleep, I'll share a picture of my favourite toy, after my niece put him down for a nap yesterday:

Isn't that cute? She's always putting things down for naps. Also napping, but not shown, is my calculator.

Hhm. Are you still reading? Okay, since I have your attention I'm going to take this moment to encourage everyone to buy a copy of Dr. Horrible's Sing-A-Long Blog on DVD. It's a Joss Whedon brainchild, but a lot of it is the work of two other Whedons. Who knew the brothers Whedon were so wicked? They're like the Baldwin brothers - but with intelligence and talent. After you've watched the show and loved it, you must then watch Commentary! The Musical, a commentary track done entirely in song. It's hilarious. The best track on the commentary is Nathan Fillion's song Better (Than Neil) which, awesomely, features a shout-out to Kids In the Hall (and which is conveniently up on YouTube).

Anyway, if you like musicals, or Joss Whedon, or Joss Whedon musicals, you will not be disappointed.

05 March 2009

New Favourite Toy

Wordle: Abstract

There's this site called Wordle, where you input text and it makes little pictures ("word clouds") with them. Witness above, the abstract of my MSc thesis.

At least it's not in ice cream

Apparently there's bisphenol A in pop! It's supposedly at "safe" levels, which is good because pop is on the list of things I never want to have to live without. Oh, but wait, the article says for it to be harmful, "the average adult...would have to consume over 900 cans per day." Well. I'm fucked.

Some of these things are not like the others

I was browsing the Coast event listing for tomorrow and found this for a show at a gallery: "The subjects of these paintings are Eartha Kitt, Michelle Obama, Queen Rania, Lily Ledbetter, dogs, cats, urgent camels, and the disco-plunger."

How do you suppose an "urgent" camel differs from the other kinds?

Mom weighs in on NLOTH; Tim Horton screws me around again

My mom (also a U2 fan, though probably not as insane as myself) has finally heard the new album and has this to say: "I listened to No Line On The Horizon this morning, and it's such a comforting thing to have new U2 out. I love the new direction they're taking, all introspective and poetic and Elvis Costello, without losing their own identity. The riffs and sounds are very recognizable." I totally agree with her comment that it's comforting having a new U2, there really is something comforting about it, like an audible hug.

So, it's been Rrroll Up The Rrrim for over a week now, and I've only lost once. Of course, I've only played once, so that's a 100% loss rate. The thing is, I don't have much opportunity to get to Tim's nowadays. Since I don't really work, it's not as if I really need a Tim's fix during the day. It's more of a treat now than a necessity. This is bad, in that it lowers my chances of winning, but good in that it decresses my annual existential dilemma in which my material-self battles it out with my ecologist-self over whether the chance of winning something is worth more to me than the benefits of using a travel mug. It's fair to say that my material-self ususally wins.

If you didn't know, you can enter online for daily draws to win free coffee for a year!

03 March 2009


If you haven't already done so, you should run out and buy a copy of No Line On The Horizon, which is finally being released today. You can also stream it on the official site, and then go buy it.

Last night was U2's first of 5 nights on Letterman. I didn't stay up to watch because it doesn't even start until after midnight out here and I knew I'd be able to watch it online anyhow. They did Breathe, which is one of my favourite songs on the new album.