26 June 2012

Acts of Revision/Change is Bad Pt. 2

Continuing from my earlier post, the second book is: Rhett Butler’s People, on loan from my mom. It’s meant as a companion to Gone With The Wind, telling the story of Rhett’s life, his family and connections, and his side of story with respect to his relationship with Scarlett O’Hara Hamilton Kennedy. It was written with permission from the Mitchell estate, so that makes it the third book in the GWTW canon. I don’t think GWTW is out of copyright yet, or we’d already have Gone With The Werewolves (I’m picturing General Sherman as some kind of Werewolf King), or Scarlett the Vampire Slayer books everywhere. 

 One of the great things about GWTW is how well-written a character Rhett is. You know from just a few brief descriptions of his actions or facial expressions what he is thinking. This book takes a bit more to get across what Rhett is thinking or feeling and it suffers for it. It also has scenes between Rhett and Scarlett that were not in the original book, and oddly skips very important moments in the Rhett/Scarlett (or, if you will allow, Rhetlett) relationship, such as his proposal after Frank Kennedy’s funeral (see iconic image from the movie, above), and the Bonnie Incident (again, sorry for the vague, but I can’t remember if I made Oz watch GWTW or not). Instead those things are talked about second hand or just alluded to. I thought that this was odd, but maybe the author felt those moment were well covered in the original.

24 June 2012

I have about 16 months of payments left on my student loans. The standard with government student loans is a 10 year repayment plan. My goal was to do it in 5 years, and I just might make that goal. I think my story is pretty common, I have a number of friends with loans, and a fair number without. My loan seemed staggering at first, $20,000, but I have since come to realize that I’m very lucky relative to other loan holders. Especially the poor souls in this slideshow of student loan debtors.

Slightly related, at Maclean’s you can see how your salary compares to the national statistics. Again, I’m not going to complain. I’m in the top 30%, which I’m thankful for every day.

21 June 2012

Acts of Revision/Change is Bad Pt. 1

I’ve recently read two books that were based on other works. In both cases, even though the books were okay, more than anything they left me wanting to read the original works again. 

20 June 2012

Happy Birthday, Oz

In trying to figure out what to post for your birthday, I had a look back to see what I've done in the past.

In 2007, I only gave you a belated, passing mention in a post about field work in Caroline.

In 2008, I was a horrible friend and ignored your birthday completely. I mentioned you in a post early in the month, but in this post about cute things the day after your birthday you get nary a mention. Belated apologies.

In 2009, I made up for that with pictures of shirtless men.

Looks like I forgot about you again in 2010 and 2011. Clearly, what I thought was an annual tradition of me writing you a birthday blog post was just something I did one time.  To begin to make up for that, here's a video compilation of Michael Fassbender singing and being generally charming. 

17 June 2012

David 8 sure does like to touch stuff.

This isn't really a spoiler, but at the very end of the movie is the first time you see the classic known-to-us Aliens alien (the xenomorph). After that scene, the guy sitting next to us in the theater turned to Alej and asked: "What was that?" She told him it was the alien from the other movies, and he goes, "Oh, right. Ridley Scott." Yes! It's an Alien prequel! What movie did you think you were watching?

15 June 2012

I hope you're okay, Edmonton.

My oldest brother has a potentially dangerous job. He used to do a lot of flying in Sea King helicopters, those infamously old Canadian deathtraps. Whenever there was an incident or crash with one of the Sea Kings, he’d call up my mom and say “You’re going to hear about a Sea King accident. Don’t worry, it wasn’t me. I’m fine.” Or, on at least one occasion, “…it was me. But I’m fine.” This is a good course of action, it saves your loved ones from unnecessary worry.

My request to all my friends now is the next time a nationally-publicized violent and tragic event happens very close to you, please send me an “it’s-not-me” email. Here’s a handy form letter for you (modify as necessary):

Good morning, Canada.

I say that merely as a matter of convention. There's nothing "good" about it. I'm moving to Sealand. Who wants to join me?

Deb, FTW

Recent email conversation between Deb and myself on the topic of marshmallows. What follows is edited and used without permission. Sorry, Deb.
Deb:  I found kosher marshmallows at my grocery store, so I’m super excited to have roasted marshmallows for the first time in about 20 years – I’ll probably take a bite and then realize how disgusting they are, but I’m still excited to try it! 

Ellie: What makes them kosher? I've tried half-heartedly to find vegan marshmallows, but I've been told they're not common out here.

Deb: What makes them kosher?  That they’re not made with piggy feet. So, yes, they’re vegetarian (or vegan, I guess ). 

Ellie:   I always thought gelatin was made from horse hooves, not pig feet.

Deb:  Maybe it’s whatever feet they can get their hands on. 
 Then she looked it up and sent this:

09 June 2012

I'm not physiologically capable of handling this.

I've awkwardly posted a video at the top of Ellie Fish. It's streaming video (although it's offline at the moment and just showing archived footage) of a puppy cam, watching a quintet of Shiba Inu (translation: "so fluffy") puppies, and occasionally their mother.

They are so cute. They barely do anything, they just sleep, and sleepily change sleeping positions, and sleepily climb all over each other,  and sleepily smother the albino one, and sleepily feed when their mom shows up, and sleepily try to scratch and only manage to sleepily flail their little paw in the air and I'm going to pass out from the cuteness. As I watch them, my internal monologue becomes completely senseless : ohymygod the green collar one is so chubby! his paw twitched! ohmygod! that one YAWNED! holyfuck! that's! so! cute! I want the albino one! ohmygod! one of them is half awake! ohmygod! ohmygod! so cute! I'm worried if I don't stop watching my heart will shatter from the cuteness. I mean, LOOK:

 I made that screen cap, and when I looked again, they had gotten even cuter in the few minutes since I last looked. SEE? DO YOU SEE?

07 June 2012

Give The People What They Want

I like the little map counter on my website. Mostly I like the idea that someone from Wien, Austria once stumbled upon this page and never, ever came back. Seriously, though, who are you people who read this? Despite the dots on the pretty map, I still think my readership can be counted on one hand: Oz, Kimm, Deb, Justin (are you still out there?), and occasionally Alej. Every now and then I get comments from some person who I think made it here via Google, or who I linked to about something or other, but I forget or tend not to think about the other people that might find this. Anyway, welcome strangers!

Blogger lets you see how many views individual pages within a blog have. As my new counter approaches 1000, I found myself wondering what was getting all these hits. I checked my post list and tried to find the popular culprits (pulprits?). Looks like the post I wrote about the second time I saw Avengers is very popular (894 views). I credit my shirtless Chris Hemsworth pictures. My review of the first time I saw Avengers, which has no shirtless Hemsworth pics, only has 12 views.  I can also see what keyword searches led people to my site. Among them are "thor shirtless," "shirtless thor" and "thor no shirt."  This leads me to believe that shirtless pictures of Thor are the key to internet success. A few more of those babies and I can retire on Ellie Fish income. Right?  

06 June 2012

Another article about the dire state of our oceans. Notable, however, for it's wonderfully accurate description of everyone's favourite ocean-doc staple, Dr. Boris Worm.
 I put the question to the ingeniously named Boris Worm, a German-born marine ecologist at Canada's Dalhousie University and a co-author of the Science paper, in a phone interview. Speaking in that precise, clear English common to German intellectuals—think the filmmaker Werner Herzog—Worm gave a chilling answer: "The loss of [oceanic] biodiversity continues at a pace that's not slowing down," he said. "On average, the condition of the oceans continues to get worse."

02 June 2012

Hey people who haven't checked out my tumblr yet, here's a screencap of the awesome, trivial,  internety goodness that you're missing.

I promise, there's no cats.