27 March 2010


I suppose it's a good thing that I'm not so jaded that nothing surprises me. I'm glad that I can still see this book in Chapters and be surprised that they actually made it:

Page 1: It's called Climate Change, you idiots.

Do Not Engage The Highly Toxic Snakes

Last night I watched Snakes on A Submarine. I shit you not. Except it doesn’t want to be associated with the Snakes on a [Insert Preferred Method of Transportation, Preferably Something Confined That Needs Pressurization And/Or Travels At High Speeds] so it’s called “Silent Venom.” Whatever. I for one am a fan of the overly descriptive movie title, so I’m rechristening this 22 Mysteriously Mutated Snakes on A Submarine Under Attack By the Chinese Starring Luke Perry. That’s right. Did I not mention Luke Perry was in it? How could I leave out the best detail?

25 March 2010

Fish Cake

In honour of Flannery O'Connor's birthday, my roommate made this awesome fish cake.

I had no idea Annie was such a fan of Southern Gothic. 

19 March 2010

14 March 2010

“The loss of the fish was basically akin to the loss of soul.”

On the bus after work on Friday, Alej and I had the following exchange:

Alej: What are you doing tonight?
Me: I’m watching the documentary The End of the Line.
Alej: Are you going to cry?
Me: Probably

And I did. Three separate times. The first time was less than four minutes into the movie.

For those of you who may not know, The End of the Line is a documentary based on a book by the same name. Both explore the overfishing crisis, the state of the world’s fisheries, and their grim, grim future.

13 March 2010

Sunny ≠ warm, people! Take off the sandals and put on a coat, for God's sake. It's still winter.

Sorry. I just had to get that off my chest. That and I forgot to tell y'all about the girl I saw the other day, walking down the street carrying a rabbit. She was cradling it like a baby and it was half tucked into her jacket and only it's big bunny feet were sticking out. It was sweet. Except. I had just finished watching Of Mice and Men (the awesome Gary Sinise version), and all I could think about was Lenny and how he tends to...love things too much, and then I wondered if the bunny was even alive and that sweet little moment on the sidewalk turned dark way too fast. Even for me.

Today I went to an estate auction. I'd never been to an auction before, and neither had my sister-in-law, so we went together. I have an Aunt who goes to auctions quite often and she'd told me to decide what you were willing to pay for an item and stick with it. So, there were 3 pieces I liked and I set in my head how much I was willing to pay for them. I quickly realized I have no idea of the actual worth of things. The chair I was willing to pay $50 for went for $300, and the lamp I wanted for $15 went for over $100. The antique radio I wanted for $20 actually sold for $20 but I was just too slow to grab it. Maybe next time I’ll do better.

The auctioneer was entertaining, although he was an odd fellow. He moved very fast and more than one person lost out on a chance to bid because they didn’t move fast enough. He kept going off on these complete non sequitors, at one point he was holding up a vase and started talking about Lady Gaga and this dude on CNN who’d had a sex-change operation. How that related to the vase I have yet to find out. He also kept lecturing the audience – telling us how much things were really worth and how you just can’t buy stuff like that anymore. Seriously, it felt like every item, from 18 karat gold rings to oak dressers, was no longer available in stores. Apparently, we live in some post-apocalyptic craptown where all the jewelry is all only 10 karat and all the furniture is pressboard. The horror.

12 March 2010

Maybe Canada Should Get Out More: Day 5: The End

This is it, y'all. I'm sure you've been hitting refresh on my blog all day, just itching to find out the winner. Not that it matters much, because the best book is already out of the running.
Okay, the third book to leave - and I'm no longer making predictions because this is just too wild a race to predict - ooh...there's a tie for 3rd place. This is all so tense. However, it looks like one of my least favourites Jade Peony is  in the running for the 2010 winner. Okay, the third place is Good to A Fault. That lasted so much longer than I thought it would.

We're down to Nikolski and Jade Peony. Apparently, Canada only wants to read disconnected stories. Dude, I'm still hurting from the loss of Generation X and Fall On Your Knees. I kind of don't care too much who wins anymore. But there's only 9 minutes left in the competition, so I'll stick with it. 

And they're in the final vote. That went fast. And the winner is Nikolski! I can live with that - I did like it better than Jade Peony. If you haven't read it yet, give it a try. While I can't condone the consumption of fish that is rampant throughout the novel, it is a nice piece of Canadiana. It has everything you could want in a book: pirates, grad students, professors getting arrested, bibliophiles, and crazy families. And there's fish on the cover, so really, it should have been my de facto favourite anyway.

Oh - hey, this part is awesome: the publisher of the winning book makes a donation to an adult literacy organization. That's sweet, because they totally get a boost in sales from this; also, adult literacy has become one of my favourite causes, right after saving the fishes.

11 March 2010

Damn, Canada Is A Slow Reader: Day 4

Here we are on Day 4. I think I missed something when I didn't watch all of Day 3. How are they going to announce a winner tomorrow if there's still 4 books left?

Ugh - so tired of the repetitive first minutes of the show. My computer doesn't like streaming video at the best of times, and when I try to skip ahead it gets pissy.

They are about to announce the death of another Canadian authors' career. Dude, can you imagine if this were that serious!? Like, if you don't win Canada Reads, you could never publish again. My prediction is that Good To A Fault is next to go. And the loser is....Oh! Wow! This is about as exciting as a book competition can possibly get! My favourite just got voted off! No way!  And it was voted off because it's a fabulous book that's already wildly popular. Good bye, Fall On Your Knees.

Dude, I don't know how to describe the momentousness of this to a non-bibliophile...okay, remember during the men's gold medal game, when we were 30 seconds away from gold and how shocking it was when the US got that goal and all our hopes for gold were called into question? It's like that, except imagine if the US had won the game.

Man, I have no idea what will happen tomorrow.

Canada's Still Reading: Day 3

Okay, this is the 3rd time I’ve heard the introductions of the people and the books. It’s getting a little old.

Aw, Generation X is first to go. Not a huge surprise. Cadence Weapon had an uphill battle with that one. It’s a great book, but Coupland isn’t for everyone. He’s wonderful and brilliant and I love all his books (except for Shampoo Planet), but his books exist in another world and I think a lot of people don’t like it there.

So, I watched the first half of the broadcast last night before I had to stop and leave for the evening.  Now it’s technically Day 4 of the series, and I can’t seem to find the Day 3 show to watch the rest of it. So, I'll tell you how I think the end of Day 3 went down. There was more talking, the one chick probably complained about how fish are boring, and the one dude probably said some more stuff about how none of the books were “French” enough for him (personally, I felt that the First Nations were under-represented – but that’s just me). Then Jian says something pithy, then they all say once more why their book is the bestest of the best (while Cadence Weapon weeps silently in the corner), and at the very end Douglas Coupland arrives and throws copies of Hey Nostradamus at the panelists and yells “Try voting that off, Bitches!”

Up Next: Day 4!

09 March 2010

Saddest TV Series Ever

I haven't seen The Cove yet, but I have it on hold at the library. Soon, though, everyone will be able to enjoy the spin-off TV series. I like the idea of raising awareness of the issue, but weekly footage of dolphin slaughters is not something I want to see.

Canada Reads Some More: Day 2

I managed to avoid CR spoilers today, mostly because no one that I interact with really cares.  But I care!

Oh! No! The defender of Fall On Your Knees totally just brought up a major plot point that I'd forgotten! Sucky. That, combined with her anti-fish comments yesterday, is doing nothing to endear her to me.

Interesting question: which character (of all the books) will you remember the longest? That's a hard one, and so far I kind of agree with everyone's - except for the one who picked a character from Jade Peony. And I hadn't thought of the connection between Nikolski  & Generation X before - that's pretty insighful.

Sadly, I think Generation X may be first to go. So unfair. The vote is coming up - I'm getting nervous.

Wait - what? We have to wait until tomorrow to find out what got voted off? So cruel.

08 March 2010

Canada Reads Day 1

I'm throwing all the enthusiasm I usually spend on Rrroll Up the Rrrim into Canada Reads this year. I think, in the end, it will be far healthier for me.

So, I've never followed CR, so this should be fun. For me, at least. I really have no idea how it works, not technically. I suppose I'll find out. I'm 3 minutes into the first broadcast, but so far it's all introductions, and awkward banter that reminds me of the Jeopardy talk-to-the-contestants segments.

Okay, I think we're getting started! They're making their book pitches. (Everything I say from now on may make more sense if you a) read the books and/or b) watch the sessions).

Jade Peony should be the first gone. The prose wasn't all the "powerful," in my opinion. Nikolski - it was an interesting story. So far, the guy isn't selling it that well. It won't win though. Good To A Fault - is apparently the underdog. Hhm, I do like a good underdog. Generation X - yeah! Go Coupland! (I'm waving my giant Coupland foam finger). I like the defender of Gen X. And the winner will be, Fall On Your Knees. Sorry, Doug. But that won't be officially until Friday.

Someone has already brought up the disappointing ending of Nikolski. (That same person just dismissed fish as being uninteresting?! WTF?). Nikolski's defender says that it's not a book that gives you the answers, that you have to work at it. That doesn't sound like something most Canadians are going to want to do. And someone just brought up how disconnected the stories in Jade Peony feel. I completely agree. I hadn't noticed that Good to A Fault had bad grammar, or that it was too detailed. But I did read it awhile ago now.

Okay, so that's it for the first session. They vote off a book tomorrow.

07 March 2010


I'm watching the Oscars. I don't know how long I'll stick with it. It's only been on for 7 minutes. So far, Steve Martin is doing better than Alec Baldwin. Although, I'm probably bias. Steve Martin will forever have a place in my heart because of this. And because I read one of his books and it wasn't that bad.

So far, it's pretty boring. I think Dr. Quinn is in the audience, though. Odd. The John Hughes tribute was nice, I guess. But, man, some of those Brat Packers have not aged well.

Yeah, I'm going to bed. Although, I officially hope that Carrie Mulligan wins her category because An Education was a fantastic movie, and she was also in one of my favourite Doctor Who episodes.

04 March 2010

Ellie and the Mystery of the Shelterless Shelters

I’ve come to a realization about the HRM Metro Transit’s Bridge Terminal. For those of you not in the know, the Bridge Terminal is a very important hub in the plague of hopelessness that is Metro Transit (MT). Any bus travelling either direction between Halifax and Dartmouth on the MacDonald bridge stops there, as well as numerous routes that don’t cross the bridge. I’d hazard a guess that it's the busiest terminal in HRM. 17 of Metro’s approximately 52 standard routes go through there. On any weekday, thousands of Haligonians will use the terminal.

My camera is dead, and the only pics I could find on the internet are courtesty of Google Street View:

My realization regards the two bus “shelters” that outfit the terminal. I realized that MT never intended to have shelters at that bus terminal.