28 February 2012

Mama Bear

This explains why someone in the hall at work yesterday was singing the theme song for the Berenstain Bears TV show.

I didn't know the husband had already passed away. How iconic are those books, eh? The cover art alone brings back so many memories. I remember so many of them. Kimm, you probably still have all them.

As an aside: for some reason, they've always been the the "Berenstein Bears" in my head. I don't know why.

27 February 2012

Dear Oz,

It's Monday and that sucks. I can't do anything to make that better. This is the best I can do:


26 February 2012

I'm watching Contagion

I really shouldn't be. This is not the movie for a recreational hypochondriac like me. My mom called me last week to tell me she has gout in her foot, and now I think the new pain I've been feeling in my toes is gout. By this time tomorrow, I'll probably think I have whatever the Contagion contagion is.

24 February 2012

Plaskett, Femmes, and Toddlers

I’ve been listening to Joel Plaskett’s Transit Strike song on repeat for a couple of days. The transit strike could very well end today, so if you haven’t heard it yet I recommend you listen to it before it becomes irrelevant*. The creation of this song rounds out the list of songs I know about bus drivers to three. Transit Strike, however, is probably the funkiest of the three, and is now at the top of the list. I really, really hope he plays this song live. My favourite line is “Somebody better start writing checks/Nobody wants to hang by the old Sportsplex.” My dislike of that particular transit terminal is well documented, and has only increased since a teenage boy was randomly shot in the head there on New Years Day.

Second on my list is Waiting for the Bus by The Violent Femmes. That song is awesome because it’s still relevant, despite being written in a bygone era when bus fare was only $0.65. Best part of that song is “Would you please open up the back door?”

Third on my list is Wheels on the Bus. It is also pretty relevant. I mean, drivers do still say “move on back,” and babies still cry on the bus, and until the invention of hover buses, the wheels will continue to go round and round. My favourite part of this song is the Baby On the Bus verse because when my niece was 3, she would sing it non-stop and make the cutest little “wah-wah” face and ball up her fists and pretend to cry.  

*Update: The union rejected the city's latest offer, so the strike will not be ending this weekend, like we all hoped.  

Happy Friday

23 February 2012

Mental Ground Zero

1. The location where one visualizes oneself during the dropping of the atomic bomb; frequently, a shopping mall  (source).
When I was younger, nuclear war was probably my biggest fear. If it wasn't my biggest, it was certainly right up there with mice, and being brutally murdered in the woods at night. Like most childhood (and lasting) fears in my family, I think we can blame this one on my mom. I don't know how old I was the first time I watched the double bill of Fail Safe and Dr. Strangelove. It's likely that long before I saw those she told me stories about how the bomb drills they did at her school as a child and how she thought she would die during the missile crisis. 

Eventually my fear spawned a fascination with, and love of, apocalyptic fiction. I still picture a nuclear holocaust when people talk about the end of the world, but I no longer fear it as much. Mostly because I figure I'll die instantly and won't have to try to survive in a Road-like world. So, when I found out about the nuclear apocalypse classic Alas, Babylon, I had to read it.

22 February 2012

He'd kick ass in a Cute-Off

I was talking to my father about their new puppy, Barkley, on Saturday. I've been encouraging my parents to take him to obedience classes, because our last dog was awesome, but not technically well-trained, and my parents are only going to get older, so a well-trained dog is important. Also, dad's main way of dealing with animals is to try and reason with them. This, as you can imagine, doesn't work. He refuses formal classes, though, insisting that he did a good job with the last two dogs and he'll do fine with this one.

 On Saturday he said "I'll tell you one thing, this dog won't get into the newspaper and the wood. He won't be allowed anywhere near the wood." Our last dog, Moby, was trained to bring in the newspaper from the end of the driveway. Once he learned that carrying the paper around gets him a treat, he was constantly dragging old papers, that my dad uses to start fires, out of the bin next to the wood stove. It was common for Moby to walk around the house dragging a sheet of newsprint along with him. He would also help himself to the kindling in the kindling box, whenever he had a hankering to destroy something. So, on Saturday, dad vowed that Barkley would not have these privileges. Cut to Wednesday, and my mom is  emailing me pictures of Barkley, looking just impossibly adorable, romping around on the kindling box. So much for that.

Second to None. Except Pi Day.

Yesterday was Pancake Tuesday. Since I am apparently in a timezone of my own, 24h behind the rest of the world, I just realized this today. How I managed to forget a day devoted to breakfast food is beyond me. Clearly, I need to rethink my priorities as of late. To placate those of you who expected me to acknowledge this holiday, here is a picture of Jesus looking spry.

Breakdancing Jesus by Cosmo Sarson

And because I just can't resist: 

21 February 2012

Where's my head at?

Two events that I forgot about yesterday:

1. President's Day
2. Rrrrrrrrroll up the Rrrrrrrrrrim.

I'm both a bad daughter of an American, and a bad Canadian. If I was witty enough, I'd create a RUTR someecard. But I'm not. So you get nothing.

20 February 2012

18 February 2012

Dear Oz,

In honour of Cricket's birthday, you can spend 3/4 of your allotted non-thesis time here, and 1/4 watching this


17 February 2012

I like this


Happy Birthday Cricket!

Everyone in pearls!

Here is a random video of you playing a game I can't remember the name of, at your place in Edmonton during Earth Hour:

16 February 2012

Finally went skating on the oval

It was awesome.

Good job, local newspaper.

The transit strike marches on, but they announced today they are going to start the Access-a-Bus back up on Monday. Access-a-Bus is a door-to-door transit service for ill and mobility reduced people who need to get to treatments or appointments.

This is the picture the Chronicle Herald used to illustrate the story:

15 February 2012

Happy National Flag of Canada Day!

If recent events have left you disinclined to celebrate our flag, eat some (gelatin-free) gummies and celebrate Gum Drop Day instead.

Dear Oz,

This blue unicorn reminds me of you.

Okay, break's over.


13 February 2012

Dear Oz,

Once your thesis is done, and you're back from Nepal, I'm putting you in charge of the Fuck Yeah! Tardigrades Tumblr.

Originally from here, as far as I can tell.
I'm a firm believer that every truly awesome thing needs it's own Fuck Yeah! Tumblr.



12 February 2012

Just walk, people.

One unexpected side effect of the on going transit strike: all the horrible drivers out on the road. It does seem, more than normal, that a lot of people driving around don't really know what they're doing. Not signalling, not knowing what lane to be in, stopping short, etc.

There seems to be no end in sight for this strike. Here's the latest on the main sticking point: scheduling.  And there are potentially a bunch of other strikes on the horizon: Halifax Water Commission, Oland Brewery, and Dalhousie, to name a few - and that's just locally.

My mom, no stranger to striking herself after 6 months of it about a decade ago, told me about this someecard. So true. 


Alberta Propaganda

A friend sent me a link to an Alberta tourism video. It's basically nature porn. Beautifully shot locations with beautiful, sometimes inappropriately dressed people (seriously, is that girl hiking the mountains in flats?). It's not really representative of the time I spent there. My Alberta Experience features far fewer horses and dog sledding, and far more cows and pro-life billboards. I know why they left out the shots of the oil sands, but why no shots of the badlands or the dinosaurs bones? Too pro-evolution?

And while we're on the topic of Alberta tourism, is a "glacier discovery walk" really a sustainable tourist attraction? Wouldn't this have been more appropriate 100 years ago when there were glaciers?

10 February 2012

Dear Oz,

You need to finish your thesis, get a really good job, and buy this property so I can visit you there. And inherit it when you die climbing K2.  

via freecabinporn.com


08 February 2012

Dear Oz,

I really think all these diet trends need to be tested in real life. I volunteer to do this one. You should do the one where you're not allowed to eat unless you WORK ON YOUR THESIS.


07 February 2012

06 February 2012

How will the hipsters get to Starbucks?

I know the transit strike is hard on people, and undergrads are apparently dropping out of school after only five days of it, but it's almost worth it because it gives us this:

I think in the next scene, Hitler explodes when they tell him the ferry boat captains are on strike too.

Glossary for the non-Haligonians:

Dear Oz,

The other morning at the gym a girl was complaining that she broke two ribs doing the "Sidney Crosby ab workout." Is that a real thing?

Now, get back to work.


04 February 2012

I wouldn't say I was dragged kicking and screaming. It was more like a reluctant shuffle.

I'm just going to come right out and say this. Then those of you who know me can take a moment for your stunned silence, or to explain to your co-workers the cause of your shocked gasp: I got a cell phone.

[Eyes widen and hands cover O-shaped mouths the world over].

03 February 2012

Dear Oz,

Every time you procrastinate on your thesis, a Tea Partier is born.

Love, Ellie

02 February 2012

Bad News

The union that drives buses and ferrys here in HRM is on strike as of this morning. A really good examination of the issues can be read here, for those of you interested in unions and worker's rights.

If I didn't have my car, I'd be facing a 75 minute walk and I live close to work, relative to most people here. Most people in the city are banning together and carpooling or selling rides (one guy on kijiji was charging $10/person/day to go into downtown Halifax). The CBC has a rideshare map up, which gives a good idea of the number of people needing rides, and the distance that metro transit usually covers.

Good news?

I just finished writing to Michelle in an email that we haven't really gotten Winter here yet, and that living in Halifax has lately felt like living in a perpetual Spring, when I saw this:

I'm hardly one to take rodents at their word. I generally interpret their movements as their usual drive to do whatever necessary to crawl up into my bed and eat my hair while I sleep, but I think this time the rodent is right. But instead of "early" spring, the caption should read "more" spring. I mean, the spring potholes are already out. I might as well pack away my snowshoes and get out my raincoat. Who am I fooling? I never even packed my rain coat away.

Dear Oz,

Every time you procrastinate on your thesis, a baby penguin dies.

Love, Ellie