Monday, December 27, 2004

The Weather Outside is Frightful.

Snow Day!!!

I was going to have a cribbage throwdown with Mike today, but now that it’s blizzarding, we might have to postpone.

So, Christmas was good and definitely tolerable. It seemed to buzz by really quickly. We went to eat at Aunt Judy and Uncle Lowell’s. There was a ton of great food and without my cousin Greame there, I was the only one who had a decent second helping. Grammy was in from the home and she was pretty out of it. We managed to get the wheelchair in to the Sweet’s house, and she was alternately dopey and chatty. I don’t think she knew where she was. Mum and Dad suspect she’s had another stroke. That would explain it.

Yesterday we had the in-laws in. That’s Marilyn’s Mike’s Mum (Paulette) and her best friend Norma. They’re both fairly insane, so I just sat uncharacteristically quiet as to discourage conversation. Mum made an incredible spread.

I went to see The Aviator on the 25th. I would highly recommend this movie. I already liked Cate Blanchett, but combine her with an uncanny portrayal of Katharine Hepburn, I’m sold on her talent now. I guess it was a combination of Hepburn’s character being so strong in the first place and Blanchett’s talent.

Why was I never a Kate? I think I was married to the “C” in Catherine, and didn’t really think Kate could be spelled with a “C.” I know I was never meant to be a Cathy. That is totally out of character for me. Cate and Catie, though – I think that’s more me. Catherine sounds so stodgy. Old lady. Knitting in a darkened room with 12 cats. Totally a spinster. I’ve actually come to think that’s my lot in life, anyway. Meow.

Um, and Happy It’s Not Going To Be 2004 Anymore. Huzzah.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Word of the Day.

Languid.

Ahh, doesn't that conjure images of lying in the sticky heat of August? My long gauzy skirt is gathered up around my knees and my filmy t-shirt is damp from perspiration. I'm sitting on my back deck drinking ice water. My hair is curling from the humidity and is tied up in a high ponytail. There's a slight breeze that cools my sweaty neck and keeps the mosquitoes at bay. In this heat, some fool is mowing his lawn but the smell of gasoline and cut grass is so quintessentially summer, it's difficult to dwell on his stupidity.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Spanglish.

I forgot. I saw Spanglish last night and it sucked. It was long (or it felt long), pointless, cloying and manipulative, with some of the lamest acting performances I've ever seen. And the most embarrassing sex scene I've possibly ever seen (on film). All of this disgust, surprisingly enough, was not true for Adam Sandler, who was by far the best part of the movie. This is not a veiled dis. He was actually good, and I liked what he did. Still, do not see this movie. Do not.

Ahh... "Vacation"

Ok, I'm home. Home home home. I am working on my last paper of the year, the last paper of my MA that is not my thesis. It's going pretty slow, like normal. BUT I have to finish to tonight and edit it tomorrow and email it in. Hot dog.

I just got a call from Mitchell saying he's home and ready to Gingerbread House it up on Tuesday. For those readers who don't know, my friends have a tradition (I think we can call it that now) of getting together to build a Gingerbread House. Then destroy and eat it. This year it's at Denise's place out in wherever-it-is and on Tuesday the 21st. We usually have it after Christmas, but this year, earlier is best for the hostess, so the 21st it is!

Anna and Amanda and their respective boyfriends aren't here this year, so that'll be strange. And Terri and her family are not going to be here that early either, so we've decided that there will be a drinking-only night on the 27th or 28th at the Gahan House. Ahhh... Gahan... Still, it should be a good time. And I like Denise's place -- it's a good party home.

Off to hit Indian Pilgrimage. Zippity.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Go Go Gadget Extensions!

I asked for an extension on the paper that's due tomorrow and the prof gave it to me. It's now due on Monday, which sucks balls because now I have to write it when I get home, but still, I won't be so freakin' stressed. The reply I got from my prof via email is worrying, though. Here it is:

Catherine,
I heartily advise you to take the extra time. It is fine with me. It would be really helpful to you to make this a fantastic essay. Work hard!
JLG

What the fuck is that? Am I on the cusp of failing or something? I know he wants me to get at least an A-, overall, in the class, but is it really the end of the world if I "only" get a B/B+? Kinda, yeah -- in our program, anything below an A- is code for "she doesn't belong in grad school." I shit you not -- that's really what it's like here. It might be helpful, though, if he'd handed back either of the other two papers I've written for him. Still, I know marking is a shitty job, so I'll give him a break.

I'm on my way over to Mike's to study for the exam for the same class, which is tomorrow morning. I haven't had an exam in 1.5 years, so studying is a little funny. Mike's writing a 20-page paper today, and we're both stressed, so we find our combined stress levels are really keeping us on task.

Light a candle for me.

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Take Heart.

I know some of you are writing papers and I've frightened you with my TA crazy-rant. I did something naughty and photocopied the all-time worst paper I've ever been given. Here's a clip from the intro:

"Can you think of any disease that must run its course? An infection where antibiotics and medications can only multiply complications. This malady has killed many human beaings and infected thousands. Symptoms include stomach cramps, bloody diarrhea, fever, nausea and vomiting. Consumption of contaminated food or water, followed by hand and mouth contact amongst another body results in passing of the bacteria. Finally, this microbe doesn't survive in air, and on hard surface tops like tabes (Bruce- Public Health). So if you haven't already guessed, E. coli is the bacteria that will be discussed in the upcoming text. The imminent summaries will include industries and community member's perspectives on the massive Walkerton outbreak."

And here's my favourite internal paragraph:

"Additionally, is it vital we understand the long term helth affects at risk! We are unfortunately dealing with a form of bacteria, capable of extremely steathy distraction. Perhaps this bacteria has enzymes capable of breaching past foreign membranes, (In fish for example), tempering with their DNA. The tempered DNA can be consumed in the form of food, causing mass destruction to human cell functions. 'A lot of people are leaving to stay at parents or cottages' (Baillie), and others will pitch tents."

That's word-for-word. What the hell? Oh, and he mentions bloody diarrhea two more times.

I had to mark that shit. I really wish I'd nailed him for plagarism. It's riddled with incorrect citation and made-up quotes. What a cock. I gave it to the prof and asked if I could give it a zero, but she marked it and gave him, like 23%. 23% more than he deserved.

Anyhow, the point is: there's no way a person that I consider a friend would ever hand in tripe like this, so don't worry. It was so disrespectful -- he knew I'd be reading it and he wanted to get away with it.

I guess I'm not over it yet.

I'm going to the Hamilton Public Library now to work on this GD paper. That's right -- the fake swearing is begun.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Homeward Bound.

I got 2 emails/messages today asking about when I'm going home.

I fly into Moncton International (!) Airport late on the 16th. Mike is flying in the same day (not on the same flight -- we're not allowed to fly together anymore -- damn FAA), and Jackie is coming over to pick us up. Hopefully, Marilyn will join her for the ride. I'll stay at Marilyn's place that night and then go surprise Mum and Dad in the morning of the 17th.

Yeah, I haven't told Mum and Dad that's when I'm returning. In fact, I've lied and told them it's the 22nd. I don't like lying to my parents (about stuff like this). Plus, it's not like me coming home is such a huge prize; it's just me. The novelty will rapidly wear off as I start to leave dishes by the couch and terrorize the cat into a froth.

Ain't Noone Gonna Break My Stride.

Here I go, Big Stompers. I am heading into school and I'm going to hit this ominous stack of books with a scary single-mindedness you only see in psychopaths and tantrum-throwing toddlers.

No, me posting this useless bit of knowledge is not a stalling ploy, for everyone knows

In the winter of the year
young girl's fancy lightly turns to devouring books on Indian pilgrimage.

Thanks to Tennyson for crafting that poem to suit my needs so well.

Ok. Here I go. Yup. To school. To work. Watch out school, 'cause I'm gonna hit you with the scary single-mindedness you only see in psychopaths and... damn... I've already written that. Damn.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

My Precious.

I hate marking papers. At least with this stack of 40 I don't have to correct them. It's not that they're all bad, either -- no. It's just the same bloody thing, over and over again. I'm paraphrasing, but this is basically what I'm reading:

"So, um, Western women think that the hijab is oppressive to Islamic women who choose to wear them, but they're not 'n' stuff."

It pays my tuition. I suppose, to give it in a RS slant, this is my purgatory.

For those of you still in your undergrad, the stark naked truth is, this is the attitude each TA shares about marking. It's tedium wrapped in mediocrity. It's a deep down dread, like sitting in the waiting room for a pelvic exam. It has to be done, but it's not going to be pretty. Therefore, try to give a little love and style and originality and analysis to your work. It will be rewarded, because finding a paper that has a little love in it is like a precious jewell. A ruby in a sea of coal.

Back to it. Here I go. Yup. =sob=

Guilty Pleasures.

The worst Christmas song that has recently been created is "The 8 Days of Christmas" by Destiny's Child. Unfortunately, it's also the catchiest. Dirty denim jeans? Oh, the humanity.

So, as promised, I will now provide you with a list of possibly vocations for Catherine S. Sweet. As you should all bloody well know, I will be finished of my MA before August, 2005, and will not be continuing on to a PhD. There are enough Dr. Sweets in my family, thank you. These are in no particular order, but the first one is the one I'm leaning on now.

1) Constructing Straw Bale Housing.
2) Going to film school (nebulous -- costume, set dressing, makeup, music production???).
3) Get a J.O.B. and pay off some debt.
4) Starting a mushroom farm.
5) Get a British visa and work in London; meet Colin Firth & live happily ever psychosis.
6) Patent tube tomatoes and sell the rights to Wendy's. (Most ingenious)
7) Become a John Mayer groupie. Does he have groupies?
8) Fry cook on Venus.

Film school scares me a little, because it will be a totally different kind of schooling that I'm used to, but at the same time, it's probably the wisest job-wise. Unfortunately, I'd probably have to move to the West Coast for work. And is that the world I want to be involved in? It's terribly shallow and materialistic.

That's why I like Straw Bale Housing. It doesn't consume resources like conventional housing, and it's so much more environmentally sound once it's built. It's suitable for Northern climates with high insulative qualities, super cheap to construct, and you can have a beautiful, unique and modern home. If I had land and about $30 grand, I'd build one this summer.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Not Knowing Knowledge Never Enobles.

Mike and I have made a pact. We're going to meet on the top of the Empire State Building in the year 2098 and throw ourselves off.

Ok, no. We're going to go full-on work mode so we can finish stuff by the weekend, help each other edit papers and study for exams, and then chill for the last couple of days we're here. This is a much bigger exercise in discipline for him than for me, because he's got about 60 pages to write by Wednesday. Me, just a 15-pager and an exam. I don't have a topic for the paper, and, if you remember, writing is my least favourite thing to do. It's slow and tedious and I can see myself, as if in an out-of-body experience, writing the most mundane and banal shite any poor prof would ever have to read.

Oh, and also commenting on the previous post when I was writing my Bhagavad Gita paper, when I'm really pissed off and genuinely frustrated, I fake swear. It's soothing. The absolute ridiculousness of yelling MUDDYFUDGER! makes me giggle despite myself. You know I'm not all that pissed if I channel Tarantino. That's funny, too, but only because it's the lamest thing ever, seeing Whitey McCracker from fucking Charlottetown thuggin' it up as if I was so street.

Also on the subject of soothing, I thought of something the other day: I have a mantra. My "Indian Religious Traditions" prof, Dr. Geen, mentioned that the repetitive action of a mantra is medically soothing, and I thought: oh, that's too bad, I don't have one. Well, I realised that I do. It's the To Be Or Not To Be speech from Hamlet. I've done it over in my head so many times, it brings me back to centre. Like when I'm enduring the pain of laser hair removal. Or sitting in a lecture about ritual purity and menstruation in "Women and Religion," the class I TA for. AND I can recite it after an entire bottle of Sangria and going shot-for-shot at an RS Christmas party. Um, I would imagine...

Try it: it's a beautiful speech and it makes me feel better if I'm down. It makes me know that even if I feel shit, things could be way worse.

I saw Veronica Guerin last night. I would highly highly recommend it to anyone who has a chance. I didn't know the story, and I'm glad I didn't before I saw the film. If you don't know the story, don't look it up before-hand. Trust me: this is great.

Well, it's 2:30pm and my goal for the day was to finish all my marking, so I have to go hit it. Since Jamie full-on fixed my comp-uter yesterday, I had to catch up on some stuff, but now I'm ready to make some blackcurrant tea, curl up in my Poang IKEA chair, and tear the arse out of some terrible undergrad papers.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Think of Those Less Fortunate.

Jesus. You guys are like fucking vultures.

Maybe I've not had access to the internet for about a week.

Maybe I don't want to update my super-fucking-dorktastic blog on the grad office communal computer.

Maybe I'm making this all up because I've been busy having a raunchy tryst with a London aristocrat. Maybe I'm too raw to write.

Ever think of that?

Naw, me neither. I'm over at Mike's.

One of my classmates is coming over tomorrow afternoon to hook me up. To the internet.

Vultures.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Comp-uter Update.

I forgot: Jamie S. fixed my computer. Somewhat. It now is up to normal speed, but for some reason the internet is not working and it says I don't have a sound card! Worse, my Minesweeper high scores are gone! Oh well, I'll have to have him back around next week to re-attach internet stuff so I don't have to write my blogs from Mike's house anymore. Mike refuses to read the blog, you know. I think he's anti-teasing me. Bah. Boys.

Another Week Gone.

I passed in that paper I discussed in the last post. I did get 8 pages, and I was pretty pleased with the final product. Mike was fairly gentle with the editing process. The best part was: at one point I wrote something like: "Arjuna didn't want to fight and kill his family in the grand battle," and he wrote in the margin: "so why does he have to?" For anyone who's read & understood the Bhagavad Gita, this is funny.

Shit. I'm a jerk.

Am I being one of those snooty grad students? Yeah, I think I am. My bad. It's not fair for me to think that everyone else has dedicated so much of their time to understanding the intricacies of the Hindu tradition. I'm terrible. How am I supposed to find a job in the public sector? Sigh.

Another topic: I just had my 2nd last class of Capoeira for the semester. It was good tonight, but once again, my strength failed me and I had to stop playing a couple of time. On a related note, I think my friend Rubens is going to try to bring me a berimbau from Brazil when he goes home for Christmas! I'm so excited! It's such a cool instrument! In Capoeira, even if you can't fight very well, but can contribute to the game by playing music, that's just as valued. Maybe next summer you all can hear me play some berimbau!

Thursday, November 25, 2004

All Seven and We'll Watch Them Fall.

Mike is now editing the seven pages that I managed to squeeze out last night and this morning. I had to leave the room because watching him was painful. He kept squinting and furrowing his brow. I hope all those facial responses were to the Hindu terms I was using (bhakti, gopis, moksha, etc.), but knowing he's in English and critical of writing and likes editing (somewhat), he's probably gonna tear me a new one.

I feel bad, too, because if I'd started it earlier, it might be more coherent.

Anyhow, hopefully by now my computer has been restored to its once former beauty. Jamie S and Jamie B tag-teamed it, I think. Jamie S said something like, it's a Cicero CPU and it's built for Windows XP, but someone installed Windows Professional, which has no firewall against infections. Therefore, I was baring my computer to the mercy of the big, dirty, wide internet. I didn't know! I hope Social Services don't take it away from me.

Well, this is the last night for my tutorial. I hope I actually plan something this week as opposed to last week when I got tipsy and flew into the tutorial without a plan. I'm sure, since I will have the entire afternoon to read and plan something, it will be my crowning glory. PLUS, the students do their evaluations today. You know what that means: I have to look hot.

I think Mike is winding down his slash-and-burn expedition, so I'm gonna go face the music. This paper has to be really good, so whatever advice he gives me (within reason), I'm gonna take it. Wish me luck. Gulp.

I Don't Deserve To Be In Grad School.

I've heard there's some sort of syndrome where a person would constantly think they are not worthy of things they achieve. I forget what it's called. Anyhow, I have no idea who dropped the ball and let me into grad school, but they should be fired. Or at least put on probation.

I'm at Mike's apartment. It's 1:22am. I'm still fudging writing this fudging Dharma/Bhakti paper for my GD undergrad class. It has to be at least 8 pages long, and can I even fart out 6? NO! I just added something about Kama for a measly 8 lines! It barely fits with the thesis! Grasping at straws.

And I'm supposed to be writing a 60-100 page thesis next semester? Are they fudging kidding me?

Mike has gone to bed, and I'm still pecking away. He said he'd read it over for me in the morning if I have anything of substance. He didn't say that, of course, but it's still up in the air, so I had to throw that in.

What did I do today to prepare? I looked up quotes and devised a skeletal outline. I never do that and thought it would be some sort of panacea. I'm almost through it now and I'm still on page 6. Jebus H. Christ!

I'm going to go back to it. It is my dharma as a Brahmacharin. That's a celebate student. Hm. That's another post, I guess. I'm in too bitchy a mood right now to address that! :)

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

My Computer is a Cock.

My comp-uter is one re-boot away from catching on fire.

That's why I've not updated much lately. One of my classmates is coming over tonight to look at it. Keep your fingers crossed.

Monday, November 22, 2004

The Gambler

Last night I learned how to play poker. More specifically, Texas Hold ‘Em. One of the new MA students, Jamie Bourdon (aka Shave-o), paid his way through his BA with his poker winnings. He’s one of those. An expert. We (Rubens, Rob, Jeremy P., Jamie S aka Beard-o, aforementioned Shave-o,) went to Alisha and Kristin’s to drink and smoke and play poker, and then watch U2 and Luke Wilson on SNL.

Shave-o brought over his professional poker kit, which had hundreds of chips. Real casino ones – made of ceramic and metal. V. heavy. He can predict what cards you have in your hand by the way you bet and what’s already on the table. He says things like, “Well, there are 2 Queens up in the flop, so with six players at the table, you have about a 8% chance of having three-of-a-kind, and you didn’t raise in the last round, so that’s how I knew you were bluffing.”

At one point, Jeremy P. (or Steamboat, as I like to call him), went totally broke on a hand I won, so I told him I’d give his 5 chips of each colour if he’d play the next hand shirtless. He stripped and stayed in the game, happily puffing on his vanilla-smelling cigar. Bless.

So I smoked for the first time. I don’t think there’s a Hallmark card for that. It was ok, actually, but it was not a cigarette but a cigar, so I didn’t have to inhale. I probably would have choked if I had to inhale. Whenever Steamboat is drinking, he brings these little cigars. I always like the smell of them, and he always offers, but I didn’t try ‘til last night. I probably won’t fall over myself to try them again, but it wasn’t a terrible experience.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

The Seeker.

I met a nice guy tonight. Hisako was playing yenta and I must admit, she done good. She wanted me to meet this guy last year but for some reason I didn't. He's a double bass player and he and his trio were playing in Hamilton tonight. His name is Chris Banks.

After Capoeira tonight I buzzed home and showered, and Hisako (Omori) and Chris Austin and went to The Junction Cafe, which was in a fairly rough-looking part of Hamilton. We walked and it's raining, so it was nice to get inside.

Anyhow, whatevs. It was a nice night, and happily it wasn't hard-core jazz (which I don't appreciate), but mixed with some stuff I knew (The Who's "The Seeker," for example).

Off to bed for a busy day tomorrow. I have to be productive because there's a dumpload of stuff due this week. For reals.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Oh, Me Nerves.

I have been successfully avoiding contact with my advisor for two-and-a-half months. Basically, I didn't want her to ask me what work I've done on my thesis, because I'm not good at lying and I'd have to tell her I've done nothing.

Well, I fell into seeing her yesterday for only 1/2 an hour, and we pretty much just chatted about what I was up to, and I managed to spin the work I'm doing now to make it sound like a lot (it's not not a lot, but I could be doing more).

My nerves were frazzled in the end, so I sat and chatted for 1/2 an hour with lots of classmates, and then we went to the Pheonix for food and beer. SO, me being foolhearty and dumb, I drank it up, and stopped an hour-and-a-half before I had to lead my tutorial.

It was the worst tutorial I'd had yet. I couldn't focus on what we were discussing, and it was poorly prepared as it was. I forgot one student's name, no -- two student's names. Anyhow, I've learned my lesson. AND, my tutorial next week is going to be immaculately prepared. With group work! Yeah! Group work! Um, and a chart!

I went to Mike's afterwards to watch Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, which I think I liked, but I'll have to see again to decide. It was very Charlie Kaufman(n?) and the direction was so strange.

Hisako (one of PhD classmates) just called and I'm going out with her after Capoeira tonight. There was this musician she knows she wanted to hook me up with last year, but something conflicted so I never met him, but he's in town tonight, so we're going to go meet him. I don't know if she's got some sort of plan or what. We'll see.

What else -- I got a dumpload of papers to mark yesterday. I'm heading into school now to hit those. Gack. I'm not looking forward to marking them at all.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Won't You Please Think of The Children?

My little girl had her birthday on Tuesday. She turned 20, or, in the Robinson Family time zone, like, 13. I tell you this because I think it was half knowing she would grow up with her father not knowing her Mama had a blog -- well, it tore me apart. So, it was for the good of the children.

It's funny, you never know what kind of things you're capable of before you become a parent.

Also, while I'm in the parental zone: Boy, if you're reading this -- knock that shit off. You're gonna get struck by lightning. Or go cross-eyed. Or something.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

I'm At Mike's Place.

No, this isn't some sort of clandestine "he's in the bathroom, quickly knock off a post" thing. Tonight we had "The Talk." The blog talk.

I wasn't going to, but then, knowing Mike and I have no (i.e. few) secrets, I opened an email from Hannah Jones and read it aloud as he read over my shoulder. She was councelling me on my blogging, and of course, since he reads at a grade 5 level and me a 3, he read ahead and saw the reference.

He hasn't made much fun of me yet, but I'm mostly sure that's because he knows that's what I expect and he can't let me be right.

Actually, he's been inquisitive and gracious, so I definitely know something's up. He' s fighting it. The merciless mocking. It'll start. Next time he has 2.3 beers in him and starts slurring, I know it's on his list of things to tease me about.


Besides that bombshell, I didn't do much today. I had my tutorial. It was less boring than ususal, but we were talking about the Mahabharata and the Bhagavad Gita, and I love those works, so it was kinda fun. Is it strange that I know more about Hinduism than my Asian-department TA? I guess he focusses on Jainism, so it's not so strange.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Capoeira Mata Um.

I am in traction today. We barely played Capoeira yesterday at all -- it was all training for acrobatics. Of course, I have no upper body strength, so within half an hour, my muscles were buzzing and I was seeing spots. I considered throwing up at one point, but then I'd have even less fluid in my body, so I supressed. It was a little embarrassing because I was the weakest (and therefore the slowest) in the class. There's a kung fu guy, and another girl who is in kineseology (read: fit) -- they're the best 2. Basically, everyone else is in better shape than me. If I keep at this, I'll get better, but I started further back than the others because of my lack of fitness.

I feel 10 times better, though, than I used to, before Capoeira. I don't know what I'm going to do next year without it. I might have to live somewhere where I can still play. I don't think there's anywhere in the Maritimes, but I doubt I'll be able to live there next year, anyway. I know they have it in London, but the actual chances of me living there next year are slim. I hear Hugh Grant is looking for a wife, though...

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Three Little Birds.

Yesterday was fun. Lynda, Roseanne and Melanie came to visit me in Hamilton. They're doing some sort of What-The-Hell roadtrip, and they stopped in for lunch. No, of course I was not hosting, we went to a restaurant. Mike came down, and we managed to avoid the Santa Claus Parade (!) as Lynda drove us to Kelsey's, a non-threatening family chain.

Lynda drove all the way from Fredericton, picked up Mel and then Ro, and on the way back dropped in to lunch it up with me! And Mike. Um, I mean, and Mike! It was cool having the girls in my apartment, and, as we commented, it was strange that we were all together, not in the summer and not in Charlottetown. They liked my place (which is all that matters), and the Anti-Melanie devices almost worked. (Curses.)

They were off by 4:30pm ish, for a long ride back to Ottawa. I think they thought they were going to see a movie when they got back. I dunno -- it's far away! I hope Lynda finds the driving ok. Lynda gave me a DVD of Swing Kids, which is a great movie with some great dancing and a lot more great music, and a lot of not-so-great Nazis. I thought, after she left, I think I told her if she found a cheap DVD of SK to buy it for me and I would pay her back, but in my excitement, I forgot to pay her back. I'll have to buy her 6-10 Pepsis next time I see her. Besides that, she gave me Hallowe'en treats and a card covered in quotes from my favourite X-Files episode, Bad Blood. That was also the first time I set eyes on my husband Luke Wilson (who is hosting SNL next week), which is a good story to tell our kids.

(By the way, it's really so nice to know that Lynda likes her job as an Audiologist, especially after all the hard work she put in studying, having to move off PEI to study, purgatory in that clinic in Charlottetown and now being in Fredericton -- I'm really proud. I hope to be that growned up someday.)

I have to go scoot and finish writing a paper. It's pretty short, but it needs to be tweaked. Sigh.

Keeping Secrets.

I've done something naughty. I've kept a secret from one of my best friends.

I know this isn't that big a deal -- I mean, we all have our secrets from those people who are important to us. Our parents, friends, husbands and wives -- yeah, that's normal.

Anyhow. Mike lives in Hamilton now, and he's one of my all-time best friends. He's by far by best friend here in Hamilton. We're fairly open with conversation, and I know if something was bothering me, I could talk to him about it.

I haven't told him I have a blog.

This is not so I can dish about him, or write secrets, or just lord it over him as some sort of Desperate Housewives leverage, but I have not told him I have a blog for the simple fact that he would tease me mercilessly. Or at least I think he would. I know him fairly well and I'm almost %100 sure he would make fun.

Maybe I'm not giving him enough credit. He knows I'm thinking about taking screenwriting courses, which means any exercise in composition would be a good thing. Also, as most of you know, my mass-update-emails tend to be long, rambling and fairly self-centred and this is a good alternative. Besides, I'm not writing anything here that he doesn't know (save maybe 12.11.04. and 13.11.04.).

I think I will have to tell him soon, because if he finds out 4 months later, I probably won't have as much immunity. From the hurtful teasing.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

I Was Right.

Beans were a bad bad bad idea.

Friday, November 12, 2004

Exploding Beans.

I just nuked beans for lunch. Why do they have to explode when nuked? It is prophetic? Is this what's going to happen to my GI tract? I have Capoeria tonight. Maybe this wasn't wise. Shit.

A Proud Day.

I showed a video in my tutorial tonight. It was very appropriate for Remembrance Day because it was about Muslim women in Canada and all the different views on wearing a/the (?) hijab. I say appropriate because "liberation" of "oppressed" peoples often comes into play when wars are launched, whether it's for PR or genuine reasons, but often either are based in ignorance and Western-centric thinking. It was a great film and I wish I had more time to discuss it with my great students. (And they are great -- this is the best group I've had yet.)

This morning, I decided not to go to the Remembrance Day ceremony. It hurt my heart to come to this decision. I get incredibly emotional about Remembrance Day, and I knew I would crack in public today if I went to the cenotaph. Anyhow, just before I left, I turned on CBC Radio 1, as I always do, to get the hourly news. It was a little before 11am and they were just playing Taps in Ottawa, and I welled up, but then I knew I had to get to Hamilton's ceremony. I panicked, rushed out of my apartment and, knowing I was already late, speed walked towards the cenotaph, which is right in the centre of Psycho Square, downtown Hammer.

I was walking towards the Square, and the big CIBC building was in front of me. It's got to be 25 stories, and all in mirrored glass. I heard the motor and looked up to see a WWI-style bomber in the reflection of the building. It was doing a flyover. Then there was another. I stopped walking, turned around to watch those planes, and totally choked up. I thought, this is so unreal for me, to see bombers flying low over Hamilton. Something special's going on. And then I thought (and this really got to me), this is reality to some people. I'm SO lucky to have not grown up in a place where bomber planes flying over was a normal sight.

So I was emotionally wrecked before I even got to the cenotaph. The speaker (I couldn't see him), was saying he had a friend who was a peace worker in Cyprus and someone told him he should be proud to be Canadian because we don't have any enemies. 'Nuff said there.

When they played O Canada and God Save the Queen, I was officially crying, by myself, in public, in Hamilton. It wasn't full out sobbing, but I wanted to just hang my head and wail. It's O Canada that messes me up. I can't listen to that song without choking up. Even at basketball games at UPEI, I couldn't finish singing because my throat would close over.

Anyhow, it took a lot of energy for me to compose myself, and waiting for the bus after the ceremony, old men in military uniforms kept walking by and I couldn't look at them or I'd break down again, so I felt like a shmoo, bit my lip (really- this works), and stared at my feet. I felt bad, because if anything, I should have been shaking these peoples' hands, but I couldn't go through with that. I'd be in hysterics.

Anyhow, if you couldn't get to a ceremony today (and I understand if you couldn't -- hell, I almost didn't go), take a moment to think about how goddamned lucky you are. We are so lucky to live in Canada and I am so proud.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Check this out.

It's sad and funny, and then sad again.

www.sorryeverybody.com/gallery/1

The Incredibles

I saw The Incredibles last night. It's as good as everyone's saying. Pay close attention to how awesome the score is.

The Big Smoke.

Marianne arrived safe and sound during my Capoeira class on Sunday night, so she was safely harboured by Michael J. Edmonds until I got home and showered. The three of us then went to B&T restaurant for some derishious Thai food. Mare then proceeded to get a headache (read: migraine -- she's so hard core!), so we adjourned home for her to nap, Mike to prepare some sort of presentation, and me to finish reading the Mahabharata, Coles Notes version.

The next morning Mare was tippity top, Mike met us and we caught the 11:30am bus to TO. We and Mike parted, and after 3 hours of wandering (through H&M), we met one of Marianne's friends, Martin. He's arrsome (awesome for the non-silly). We went to CBC, and I met another friend of hers for the first time, Deanna (sp?). Then, we went to Green Mango, an arrsome restaurant and met Chris Kaynes, a.k.a. Quinze. I stuffed myself silly (see above), and then Mare and I skurried to the ACC for the Beastie Boys concert.

It was a 7:30pm call time. We had to get frisked and searched outside the arena, and then we climbed and climbed and climbed to get to our seats.

Can I interject here, with all the bile I can muster, that I hate Ticketmaster? FYI: don't click on the "best available" button. It is a ruse, all designed to purge the box office of shitty seats to unsuspecting internet shoppers.

Here, with all the glee I can muster, I will interject that Marianne had t-shirts made for us for the concert! The Beastie Boys are calling this tour a "Pageant," and want people to get dressed up because it's a big event. Mare got 2 shirts screenprinted. Hers said simply, BOGGLE, and mine, YAHTZEE. They were both totally dope, but I wish it was a summer concert so I didn't have to bundle over mine. Mare was smart enough to wear a long-sleeve tee under hers. I refer you to "Putting Shame in Your Game," and "B-Boys Makin' With the Freak Freak" for at least two references. Yeah, they like board games.

Anyhow...

We were parallel with the stage, so, while we were very close and it was a thrust stage, we were so high and on such an angle, some of the stage was obscured by lighting rigs (scoffolding? booms?). Not long after we arrived, the first act went on. It was A Dog Show. No, this is not the name of some cool band that the Beasties discovered. It was a DOG SHOW. I won't go into detail because... well... let's just say, I don't think things are good because they're bad and it's ironic or something. That is just plain bad and people are entertained by the humiliation of it.

A bit later, the "real" opening act came out. It was Talib Kweli. I dunno who he is, I couldn't hear what he was saying, and although he seemed good, I think he sounded a little too angry to be something I'd like. Mare said he was really political but refused to vote. Hm. Yeeeah...

FINALLY, the Boys came out to a huge screaming um... scream. I'm glad I wasn't in the crowd under the stage -- it was insane.

Here's the setlist, thanks to James on www.beastieboys.com 's blog.

The Move
Root Down
Sure Shot
Triple Trouble
Egg Man
Putting Shame In Your Game
Super Disco Breakin
It Takes Time to Build
Shake Your Rump
MMM
Sabrosa
Ricky's Theme
Something's Got to Give
Open Letter to NYC
Right Now
Paul Revere
Body Movin
3MC's and 1DJ
Brass Monkey
Check it Out
So What'cha Want
Intergalactic
Gratitude
Sabotage

I know 15 of these 24. Not a great percentage, but it's my own fault: I don't know Hello Nasty. I would have requested them play "The Sound of Science," which is my favourite song.

The Beastie Boys were such a joy to watch. They had so much energy, and it looked like they were having a ball up there, as if they were playing with one another. For example, one would try to move to the front of the stage, and another would playfully block their way, all the time skipping and dancing to match the other.

There were a few jerks crowd surfing, which Marianne told me the Beastie Boys do not like. Eventually, they stopped a song and lectured the 2 main idiots doing it. They said something like: "We came here to party and dance and you can't dance if you don't have both feet on the ground, so put both your feet on the ground." It was great, and the crowd cheered. Later, the crowd turned to moshing as a way to ignore the show. What the fuck is it? 1993? Nevermind...

One of the Adams (it wasn't Mike D), and I think it was Adrock, was doing this hilarious dance. It was so cute. You've seen him do it. It's like a surfing thing, where he barely moves his feet, but has his arms out, moves his pelvis, and bobs. It made me laugh so hard every time he did it, which was a lot.

This giggling could have been exacerbated by the fact that there was rampant smoking going on. First, it was strange to see people smoking INSIDE in a PUBLIC SPACE, but then when it began to progress past tobacco being smoked, it was too far gone to care. And then I really didn't care, because I remembered how much I like the smell of weed. The four people in front of us were passing around the biggest joint I have ever seen. You've heard the phrase "as big as a baby's arm?" Hm. I felt bad for the old guy (at least 60) sitting next to me, thoroughly unimpressed with the whole situation and obviously there as a chaperone/escort. He was totally narcing on my buzz, man.

The BBoys were done c. 11pm and Mare and I ran to the GO station to catch the 11:20pm bus back to The Hammer.

It was great. Amanda, you were right, it totally rocked cock, and I'd recommend it to anyone, fan or not (excluding the narc sitting next to me -- he should have gone home). Even if you don't really like the Beastie Boys, you must appreciate how huge they are culturally. Oh, and spring for next-to-cheapest seats. Without Ticketmaster. Grrr.

Mare woke up this morning with another headache. I'm worried, because this isn't normal or cool. 2 migraines in 3 days? The first one could be attributed to flying, but what up with the second? Still, it's better than it was c. Lisa's wedding. I hope she got home ok. My classmate Lily Vuong drove us up on "The Mountain" to drop Mare off at the airport. She's very nice.

Anyone with corrections to this epic post, feel free to do so. Should I have broken this up into 2-3 posts? I don't know the etiquette for this kind of thing yet.

Note to self: call your band "A Dog Show."

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Code Red

I was talking to Mel last night, or, as I am going to call her, my
broggo-sensei. She taught me some code, recommended some stuff, and counseled me on my newly-embraced (resigned?) dorkiness. I still hold that I don’t like blogs, and some feedback I’ve had from friends agrees with me. For example, my sister’s reaction: “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!”

I told Mel that I’m so old and behind that I prefer the trusty telegram for communicatory purposes stop

Go visit The Onion (http://www.theonion.com/) this week for reactions to the American election. Headlines include: “America Comes Out Agin The Gay Marryin’.” Perfect.

My co-TA for told me some wisdom that I shall impart. The Electoral College says that if there is more than 50.1% of a state for one candidate, then the whole state is for that candidate, right? Right, basically. So, he says that all people who voted for bush are backwards ijits, but since the popular vote was more than 50.1% of the overall tally, therefore ALL of the American voters are banjo-pluckin’, fallout-shelter diggin’, gopher-shootin’ weenies. Cheers to Andrew for showing me the light. He went on to say that… wait, I shouldn’t write what he said. The CIA will probably send him to Guantanamo Bay.

Today Marianne comes and then tomorrow we’re going to have a hoot in Hogtown. I don’t know what we’re doing, but I hope it involves the new H&M flagship store. I’d include a link, but the H&M site sucks and does not do itself justice.

Today I have Capoeira at 5pm. Friday’s class was not the best. Contre Mestre Bola was at some sort of event in Phoenix, so he sent in one of his upper-level students, to “teach.” He would pair us up, take the other advanced guy, show us some movements we’ve never seen, and then leave us alone to practice with each other. Then, at the end, he showed us a new type of Au, but then said “once you know how to do it, it’s impossible to break it down – you just have to throw yourself into it.” I don’t know about that. As Jenn, one of my classmates, pointed out afterwards, that is what makes a good teacher – being able to break down elements and teach them.

New things he had us trying this week: ½ a Rasteira, some sort of Tesoura (which I hate), Vingativa (which I love).
Moves I have a balance and strength issues with: Queixada, a regular Role, Martelo, Negativa.
The kick I love but can’t do so well yet: Meia Lua de Compasso

Friday, November 05, 2004

Random Drinking

Be forewarned: one of the traps of blogs coming up. That would be the deadly stream-of-consciousness boring crap. Do people need to know these inane details of my day? No. Do I write it? Most of it. Mostly, though, I have my teams of trained monkeys writing. Enjoy.

So, Grad School. Hm. Super fun? No... The excuses to get my drink on... much better.

Last night my tutorial was cancelled becase the whole class went to a lecture by some lady on Jewish Female Martyrs or something. I thought it was good, but I sat next to my TAing prof, so I couldn't doodle as much as I would have liked.

Some of the other grad students were there, because it's good to put in face time at these things. Um, and the interesting topics that are discussed. (Basically, it's all political.) After, we were going to go to the Phoenix and get a drink, and Philippa Carter was going to come, too. She's the prof I TA for and is awesome. She was pissed because of some CUPE Union drama and wanted a drink, but then we decided we'd go to Hess (think the smaller, lamer George St. of Hamilton) so she decided to just go home (to TO). I felt bad because she's probably the one who deserves to get her drink on the most. Anyhow.

Jeremy P, Alisha and I went to A's house to drop off her car, then we walked to Hess. On the way was Jamie Shumann's place, so we stopped in and got him. Then we went to the Ceilidh House, which was very nice. We sat and drank. And drank. And we even got shots of Goldshlager and Jagermeister (sp). It was tasty and I'm glad we only got one.

At c. 2am, we left. Jeremy walked Alisha home and Jamie walked me home, and we woke Jem up when we got in. I didn't want to, but he was pretty funny & good about it. I was afraid Jamie was going to yack, but he didn't before he left for home.

Hey, then when I got home there was a parcel from JCrew. How great is that? I now have to try the jacket on again, because although I think it fitted well last night when I tried it on, I don't know if that's true.
http://www.jcrew.com/catalog/product.jhtml?id=prod64872827&catId=cat63449

I'm off to drink 8 litres of water and get my shit together to go to school. I have to do some weekend work now because Mare is coming. Check that: BECAUSE MARE IS COMING!!!!Better.

Question: are all you ladies getting enough folic acid? Think on it.


Thursday, November 04, 2004

We Don't Need No Education.

Today's a long day for me. Usually I have class at 1:30pm, my office hours at 6-7pm, lecture from 7-9pm, and then my tutorial from 9-10pm. This week our class is going to a special guest lecture thing, which means I don't have to prepare a tutorial, which gives me all tomorrow afternoon to work on a term paper. I know this sounds like too much fun for me to handle, but it's better than what I usually do in the 4 hours before my tutorial: attempt to prepare my tutorial in a way my students might not suspect is half-assed.

I was talking to Marianne last night. She's SO stoked about this Beastie Boys concert this Monday. I'm really excited, too, but nothing like Mare. For those of you who don't know, Marianne was living in Toronto, but had to move home for cash flow reasons. Now, she is flying back for a couple of days to visit me/GO TO THE BEASTIE BOYS CONCERT. She started laughing uncontrollably when she realised it was me on the phone and that I was calling in preparation for her visit. It makes me smile.

Yes, yes, I know, I'm just a concert hopping little vixen these days. Sloan's playing later in the month, too, here in Hamilton, but the tickets are something stupid like $30, standing room. I think not. Well, ok, actually, I'm thinking about it. I saw them last year at Mac ($14, hm...) and they totally rocked AND I like supporting the (almost) hometown boys. The thing is, I haven't really listened to their new album much (read: yet), even though Mum or Marilyn gave it to me for Christmas (? -- some gift-giving holiday).

For those of you concerned with my academics, I'll have you know I went to the library yesterday and showed some initiative when it comes to my "final, end of term, big girl, you're a grad student," paper that I have to write for the undergrad class I'm taking as a grad class. I need one more Asian course for my coursework requirements, but last year at Mac, three (i.e. all) of the Asian field profs left, leaving me shit out of luck. So, they rigged it that I could take this undergrad class and get a grad credit for it. I have to do the whole undergrad class thing (lectures, tutorials, papers, assignments, and exams) and a 15ish page paper at the end. I HATE writing papers that long. I usually crap out at 7 pages, so this is going to be a drag. Happily, the prof has been nurturing when it comes to topics, and he's happy with me doing it on Hindu pilgrimage sites. This is great news because I know very very VERY little about pilgrimage traditions in India. I was thinking about doing it on a really cool & sacred place called Benares (aka Kasi, Varanasi), but then I happened across something on pilgrimage sites inspired by the Mahabharata, so I think that's where I'm going. We have to read a 100pg version of the MBh for this class, which is a bit of a joke since last year I had to read 6 books of it in "direct translation," but I look forward to reading the Coles Notes version.

Enough of this. I have to go to school.

Coming soon: the long and exhausting list of things I can do with my life next year. Peep into my madness! Yay!

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Good Times and Bad.

To start on a happy note, K-Os was ass-kicking. I mean, he was good, and he had a great presence on stage, but is it strange that the most memorable thing was how high the bass was? It didn't hurt or anything- it's not the same as the concert being loud, I guess. But mother, was that bass high. It was great. I could feel the cartilage in my lungs compressing, the hairs on my arms bending, and the air in my jeans shaking. It was like being in the womb, only with jeans.

Mike came to my office at 5:30pm, we went to the Phoenix for supper, saw Emily and her bf Doug, then walked into Westdale. There we got dessert and ho. cho., then walked back to the Phoenix to drink it up. Well, that was our intention, anyway. Unfortunately, we were both so full from supper and dessert that we could barely finish the 1 pitcher we bought. But we did. It would be uncanadian otherwise. At the pub, we watched the election coverage, but it was too early and was kinda mesmerising and frustrating.

Off to the show, which had a crazy lineup. We had tickets, but we had to wait for quite some time to get in. Then we found out why. They were doing individual cavity searches for booze, I guess, but it was such a procedure they might have been looking for weapons of mass destruction. Then insert an hour of waiting for opening acts to finish and then set-up, then the K-Os.

We stuck around til 12ish because we had to get a bus home. He got out a couple of "fuck George Bush"s and I think everyone was in high spirits for Bush to become a full time rancher and dimbulb.

This morning the optimism was dashed.

Poo on this. I can't believe there are 4 more years of Bush coming up. Oh, well. It's only fair he cleans up the mess he made. Unfortuately, I don't think he knows he's made a mess. Thick.

Anyhow, off to school. I have a tutorial now. I don't have to lead it, but it's for the undergrad course I'm taking. One of my classmates is my TA, and I really like the guy, but man are the tutorials boring. I think most of try to make tutorials "edutainment," but not Andrew. Well, the heartening thing is, he's entertained by Vedic literature. Bless.


Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Donnie Darko

I watched Donnie Darko last night. I probably wouldn't have ever seen it except that it's Brendan Leonard's favourite movie and I wanted to know why. It was better than ok. In fact, I'd probably reccommend it to a select few of my friends. Some bits were scary, but most were funny, sad, and beautiful.

Now I have to decide what I'm going to wear today, because I'm going to be in at school all day, and then drinking and K-Os into the wee hours. It has to be comfortable but youthful because I'm fairly sure Mike and I will be the oldest ones at "Quarters," the undergrad pub. Not that me dressing in a too-high top and too-low jeans will fool anyone that I'm not 25, but I don't know many 25 year olds stupid enough to expose 8 inches on flesh between hemispheres.

Monday, November 01, 2004

I Blame Mel

Holy crap.
Only last week I was telling my roommate that I thought blogs were creepy and voyeristic. It a journal, no, it's a mass email... my sister, my daughter, my sister, my daughter... It's my journal AND a mass email.
Sigh.

This could pose huge problems when it comes to me wasting time. Huge huge chunks of time.

Little blurbs: Jem and my Devil's night party on Sat. was a success with lots of people by. The last person left at 5:30am, or 4:30am by the changed clock. I was slightly (ahem) intoxicated by the end of it, and the 8-hour music mix I made on the computer RAN OUT. Mike didn't come and I understand.

I'm still avoiding my advisor because I don't want to lie to her when she asks me what work I've done on my thesis.

Mike and I are planning to hit the Phoenix (the grad pub) pretty hard tomorrow, then go to K-Os.

Anyroads, I'm off. I'll have to do some trial and error on this puppy in the next few weeks.
Damn you Mel.