24 November 2011

Good morning, Winter.

I didn’t think you’d be sticking around. I mean, you arrived early and we weren’t really ready for you. It seems rude to stick around, doesn’t it? I think it would be better for all concerned if you went away and came back at Christmas. 

23 November 2011

Canada Reads Non-fiction (or so she claims at dinner parties)

I didn’t participate much in CR last year, I think the book selection didn’t interest me that much. This year they’re doing all non-fic (i.e., true stories), which I think will really turn some people off, but which I also think is a great idea. They did the thing where they give people time to vote from 40 books and narrow that down to 10 and then they let the judges pick from those 10. I’ve already forgotten mostly what I voted for, but one of them was Wayne Johnston’s Baltimore’s Mansion, which didn’t make the Top 10. In fact, only one book I voted for made it in the Top 10, which tells you something about what a bad Canadian I am.  

The Top 5 (and their defenders) are:

The Game by Ken Dryden (Alan Thicke)
On a Cold Road by Dave Bidini (Stacey McKenzie) 
Prisoner of Tehran by Marina Nemat (Arlene Dickinson)
Something Fierce by Carmen Aguirre (Shad)
The Tiger by John Vaillant (Anne-France Goldwater) 

The Top 5 I predicted after days of careful thought were: Cockeyed by Ryan Knighton, The Game, Prisoner of Tehran, The Tiger, and Shake Hands with the Devil by Roméo Dallaire. 3 out of 5, I'm not such a bad Canadian after all. The others that didn't make the cut:  The Boy in the Moon by Ian Brown, Louis Riel by Chester Brown, and Paris 1919 by Margaret MacMillan. 

The weather outside is frightful

So they sent us home early. But since I work 7:30-3:30, I only got to leave 30 minutes early, but whatever. Halifax has snow fever!

This calls for hot chocolate!

22 November 2011

Hermano-ly advice

"So I suppose you heard Community wasn't picked up for the next slate of programs?  Stay calm and put the knife down.  The new Arrested Development shows will be here before you know it."

I know he means well, but "before I know it" is over a year away. 

21 November 2011

The world around me goes unnoticed

I can be unobservant. This probably isn’t something any of you are going to debate, even half-heartedly. I like to think that I’m too busy thinking important thoughts to notice the details of the world around me. In reality, I do live in my head, but my thoughts aren’t all that lofty or important. This trait of mine leads to awkward conversations with people that follow along the lines of:

Me: [pointing to a picture on the wall] I really like that picture, is it new?
Sister-in-Law: No.
Me: Has it been there a while?
SiL: Yes
Me: Was it there three years ago when I lived here for 9 months?
SiL: Yes.

To date, the biggest thing I didn’t notice was a window at work. One day I was walking through this mostly glass walkway and there was one particular window that I didn’t remember ever seeing before. Obviously, it had been there the whole 1.5 years I’d been taking that walkway on a daily basis – I just never noticed.

Well, I broke my record with an even bigger thing I’d never noticed before. The other day I noticed a school for the first time. It’s clearly visible from a highway I take at least twice a week, near an exit I take occasionally. An entire school that somehow escaped my notice.  At this rate, in about 10 years I’ll be having conversations like this:

Me: [pointing] What’s that?
Other person: (alarmed stare)
Me: Is that new?
OP: No.
Me: What is it?
OP: It’s a door. It’s your front door.
Me: Has it always been there?

20 November 2011

Overheard at the grocery store

Mom: What do you want?
Kid: Candy.
Mom: No more candy. You have enough candy. Do you want some Dunkaroos?

The Christmas season has begun, whether you like it or not.

Last night was the Halifax Christmas parade. It's officially called the "Parade of Lights" but there's really no attempt made to celebrate any holiday other than Christmas. It takes place at night, so all the floats are lit up and it's all pretty. This was the first time I've watched it with my niece and nephew. They really enjoyed it. Me and their Other Auntie spent most of the parade making snarky remarks (which my niece didn't like) but we enjoyed it too. On a completely different level than the children, mind you.

Least Christmasy Entry

17 November 2011

Two awesome videos you've probably already seen but I'm generally behind on internet fads, so they're new to me.

Murmuration from Sophie Windsor Clive on Vimeo.

Having a pet shark never ends well

I had a disturbing shark dream over the weekend. It took place in my parents’ front yard. I had hatched a shark for a pet, I guess. In the dream I called it a shark, but it had no fins and looked like a giant planarian, but with gills and sharp, sharp teeth. It was able to live outside of water, just in the grass of the front yard. For whatever reason, it was decided that I needed to kill it. All I had was a pair of scissors. I don’t know if I was troubled in the dream by having to kill it, or if my conscious self is so bothered by the idea of having to kill an animal that it’s altering my memory of the dream. But I went about the task of killing it. The shark, I think, was pretty docile, up until I stabbed it with the scissors; it didn’t like that, and escaped me to hide under the tree in the front yard. After that I changed my tact. I took off my shoes and socks and walked barefoot on the grass, luring it to me with the promise of a human-flesh meal, I guess.  It took the bait, sinking its sharp little teeth into my foot. It hurt, and I suppose the pain gave me the motivation I needed to kill it. I used the scissors to cut at its mouth to get it to let go of my foot, then after that it was lots of stabbing and slicing. I don’t remember there begin any gore or blood, but I think at the time I was aware of the creature’s panic. After it was dead, its corpse was about half the size it was when it was alive. The dream felt very violent and I was pretty disturbed by it the following morning. Luckily, I’m rapidly forgetting it, so I won’t have to live with that feeling much longer. I won’t be growing any pet sharks in my parents’ front yard anytime soon, though.

14 November 2011

I’m never eating cooked food again. Or, at least, not until 6:30pm tonight.

But I did read something at lunch that totally grossed me out and made me glad that my lunch was a salad and not a stir-fry. It was a story about how cooked food has more energy than raw food, and one of the reasons is that cooking breaks stuff down and makes it more accessible to our digestive system. So far, so good; nothing in there to make me regret reading it. Then comes a comment from one of the researchers behind the study, who described cooking in this way: "We can think of it as externalizing part of the digestive process.” To which I reply, “Ew.” And immediately think of that villain on X-Files who ate women by covering their bodies in digestive juices to make them easier to ingest. Call me old fashioned, but I want my digestion to take place in my stomach, the way Evolution intended.   

The article had a shocking number of comments. I thought the insane people who make insane comments on CBC.ca would be too busy writing inappropriate and/or offensive comments on the stories about child murders to bother commenting on a science story. I was wrong. I didn’t read many of them (not good for my health), but there was one (I assume) vegetarian who was endearingly excited about some new doc about how meat is bad for you and the environment. The [sic]-worthy bit that really grabbed me was how s/he promises: “This films explains all the sciences of it!”  They also claimed that the meat industry will never allow it to air on TV. I don’t know how true that is, given how big “TV” is nowadays and the fact that most cable channels will air pretty much anything. But anyway….what was my point? 

12 November 2011

Some advice

Cottage cheese and blueberries isn't what you want to be eating while watching a zombie stomach content analysis scene on TV.

11 November 2011


Eat your heart out, Oz.

Did you see this piece on CTV? It shows her drawing a Strong Female Character. You can see pics of the signing here, and play Spot Ellie with this video.

If this post makes no sense to you, go to this website. Go! Go now!

10 November 2011

Super Bon Bon

I want to say that the best scene in this week's Castle was when the guys were strutting around in full Elvis to Soul Coughing's Super Bon Bon (video will soon be disabled, I'm sure):

Why was that the best scene? Because Soul Coughing! I love them and I so rarely, perhaps never, hear them on TV or movie soundtracks. I may have heard Circles once, but that's about it (as an aside, the former SC front man, Mike Doughty, has songs all over TV, but they're more mass-market friendly while still being really good).

Anyway, in my search for the above Castle clip, I came across this video that someone made of Fred Astaire dancing to Soul Coughing’s 4 Out Of 5. It's cool, and it begs the question, who has this much free time? And is this like the Hitler meme  where Hitler over-reacts to different situations? (My favourite will always be the Third Reviewer. It’s funny because it’s true y’all). Are there dozens of videos of Fred dancing to various off beat, seemingly incongruous songs?  

This video also begs the question, is the quality of the video really poor, or is Fred Astaire in black face?  Because that’s…just bad. And people should know that by now. 

06 November 2011

Things you don’t expect to happen in your 30s: lattes are the new Pepsi

Dude, this is an actual thing? So wrong.

 I’ve given up pop. Yes, again. I do this every so often, but I always go back to it. I just love the stuff, but I’m slowly learning to accept how bad it really is for my health. I would usually drink diet, which is calorie-free and nutritionally void, but the growing research that suggests aspartame induces the same physiological response that sugar does (insulin production, fat storage) makes sense to me. Also, all that cancer in the lab rats is disconcerting. Not that I’d ever drink enough to reach those levels, but still. And yes, I myself have used the argument that “everything gives you cancer” which is probably true, but if I eliminate one source then maybe I’ll get less cancer? Whatever, I’m giving up pop and you can’t stop me.   

 I’m going on six weeks and I don’t miss it. I think this is in part because I gave it up at the same time that I embarked on a caffeine-free experiment. For 5 weeks (arbitrarily picked) I didn’t have any coffee, tea, or pop. I find that I missed the coffee and tea way more than I missed the pop. I think lattes are my new Pepsi. I attempted this because someone I know was raving about how they stopped drinking coffee and they felt so awesome because of it. I felt no different after 5 weeks. I think they were a heavy coffee drinker beforehand. I’m more of a 5-cups-a-week person as opposed to a 5-cups-a-day person. I don’t think my average daily caffeine intake affects me enough for me to notice a difference in its absence. Long story short, I’m back on coffee and tea. I’m still off the pop, though. 

My apologies to anyone who read this post thinking it might be interesting. 

05 November 2011

Happy Hallowe’en (days ago, I know, but I’m having internet problems).

My mom is a zombie purist. She doesn’t like movies where zombies are played for comedy (e.g., Zombieland). In her words, “if you can’t take zombies seriously, don’t make a zombie movie.” In a recent email she said: 

 “I had this discussion with [name of a girl I worked with in high school redacted] at Council while we were waiting for it to start. She was talking about The Walking Dead and [the zombies’] capacity for strategizing and problem-solving. She said that all species evolve, and perhaps that includes zombies. HOWEVER, there's no way they can move fast! As the numbnuts sheriff in Night of the Living Dead explained, "They're dead, they're all messed up."”

I think I’ll get her a copy of WWZ for Christmas.

She’s also a big fan of zombie walks.

03 November 2011

The local paper here has this word map thing on their webpage. It's made up from the key words they assign to their articles. I assume it covers many, many months. Why else would there be information on Russell Williams?

What I find most interesting is that enough of the articles misspell "millitary" [sic] as a reference term that it appears in the figure. If only there were someone whose job it was to check these things for spelling errors.

Also, the size and boldness of MURDER is troubling. 
MURDER: happening as we speak. 

02 November 2011

I think I've said this before, but it bears repeating.

Dear Bell Aliant,

A 10-hour time window is not an "appointment." It's house arrest.