Monday, October 31, 2005

May-December Lovin’, an Op-Ed Piece.

Ten years is not that long. Really, it's not that big a difference. I’ve been driving for ten years. Pff. It has whizzed by. You know, a lot of very happy couples have ten years between them. Youth and wisdom hand in hand and and and hand in glove. When someone says "May-December romance," I think a twenty-year-old twinkie hooking up with an old-age pensioner who has tired of his Porche. That's different than a decade - a decade is nothing.

The point is, if I were to meet and fall in love with a man who was ten years older than me, or, hypothetically, ten years younger than me, I would hope that my friends wouldn’t judge our love and support our union.


On a totally unrelated note, isn’t Daniel Radcliffe great?

I think some federal propriety laws prevent me from going into further detail.

Not on an unrelated note, who’s getting stoked about the next HP? The movie, I mean. Of course we’re all stoked about the next book, but that’s not being released for quite some time. J.K.R. is probably going to have 3 more babies and go through a rigorous rehab program before the next one even goes to the editor. I don’t envy her the kind of pressure she’s under – this is the last in the series! I wonder if C.S. Lewis was stressed when he was writing "The Last Battle"? I doubt it. Anyhow, I’m getting to the theatre in the first week of its release, come Hell or high water.

Big Happy Birthday to Special K back in the Hammer. She’s a superstar. (She was my partner in crime in the social sciences MA program at Mac.) I hope there’s someone tall enough to hold her too-strong drink over her head this year. Please, someone step up. Muncaster, I’m lookin’ at you.

Also, a big Happy Anniversary to Holly and John in Waterloo. Holls e-sent me a lovely gift yesterday, and all I can really send her are some blogratulations. 9 years! Pff – that’s not so long! (See previous op-ed piece.) Zippity!

I love making up words.

Happy Hallowe’en to anyone who cares. I don’t think there will be any trick-or-treaters, but just in case there are, I’m coordinating my costume to my behaviour: I’m going to be Gollum. Gollum before he met Bilbo. Definitely before he met Frodo. Like, in a cave, stung by light, obsessing over minutiae, a shadow of his former self. Like that. With no raw fish. I’ma sit in the basement with the lights off, hoping no-one will ring the bell or soap the windows, hoping Arrested Development is on, and eating popcorn in copious quantities. The way Jesus intended.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Yeah, We Get It: There's Your Ass.

Ugh - wipe my mind clean, Mother of God. I just saw Madonna's new video, "Hung Up." It's truly retch-worthy. Her style consultants and imagologists obviously told her that "retro is so hott right now," and therefore the whole thing is a throwback to something grittier and trashier. There's a definite Flashdance feel to one part, and try as she may, Madonna ain't no JLo. Instead of her ass hanging out of her unitard in a teasingly luscious way, she makes me think of all the foul-mouthed grannies in any Adam Sandler movie ever made. Oh, and the air-humping an old-school boom box. Did I mention that? urk. urk. retch.

Adding some insult to that injury: she's sampling ABBA. ABBA is not sample-worthy by the likes of Madonna, I don't care how famous she is.

Also, can Blink 182 have a Greatest Hits album? I mean, they do, but isn't that a bit ambitious? They've only been around for like, 6 years. Maybe I'm not running in the right circles to consider their music "hits." That's like writing a book about my stunning academic career.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

The Thrill Is Not Gone.

I don’t know what I think about this whole "being alone at Hallowe’en" thing. I can’t believe how many scary movies and shows’ specials are on. Now, I’m watching the Canadian (apparently) good horror/social commentary film Ginger Snaps. It’s funny and gory, but I don’t know if I’ll watch the whole thing. The Simpsons' Hallowe’en Specials are on ad nauseum, and there were back-to-back specials from That 70s Show (which is scary enough, even without the Hallowe’eny spin). Almost all the usual movies are being paraded out: Blair Witch, the Scream Trilogy, The Shining, anything with the word "Haunted" in it, so on…

I like scary movies. Sorta. They’re fun and corny. They prey on you; thrill you in a very basic way. Unfortunately, that thrill doesn’t leave me when the credits roll. Now, being alone in the house again, every little noise and shift is obviously a deranged violent sex-starved werewolf Evangelist vampire accountant Conservative Party B&Eer. (I just strung together a ton of things that scare me most.) I’ve taken to sleeping with a pillow over my head to muffle any little noises. It's cozy.

To the totally not scary side of the spectrum, I just finished watching Welcome to Collinwood, the first film of George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh’s production company, Section Eight Films. It wasn’t so terrible, but I would not recommend it. Sam Rockwell was in it, so there’s a plus, also with some appearances from the ever-divine Mister Clooney himself. Clooney!

One Month.

I've been here a month now. The air is getting crisp - I love love love that crispness. It's cold when you breathe in through your nose and makes it necessary to bundle up. There's a knitting shop not far from here (I'd say about 1.5 hours' walk, or a few minutes in car). Mum and I went up yesterday, and I now have visions of long scarves and warm touques. Scarves and mitts and touques! Zippity!

Anyone know how to knit on 4 kneedles? I'm doing something terribly wrong. Oh, the humanity!

Friday, October 28, 2005

Miramichi Roads, Take Me Home.

I’ve not been kidnapped. Aunt Jacky and Uncle Wendall are in England. Dad’s on his way back from Toronto, and Mum is hemming three pairs of pants for me (two too short and one too long(!)). I mostly spend time hunting for jobs when I’m online, so I’m not doing a lot of posting. So, no, I’m not yet employed, but boy, you should see all the postings on CBC! Check out the job page to see! Usually, meaning pre-lockout, there was one job posted every day or two, but lately, there have been almost 20 positions posted every day! Unfortunately, most of them are IT positions, but I’m applying for everything I can.

This week, I sent in an application to Nelvana, the great Canadian animation company. Another application went to Canadian Blood Services, and the constant things being sent to CBC. I’m putting together stuff for King’s College and St. Mary’s, both in Halifax.

I had a little panic this week because I don’t want to be one of those Maritimers that wants to go back home, but only after they make a little money, so they get a job, and then a raise, and then a husband, and then a promotion, and then a kid, and then a house in some cookie-cutter suburb, and a position on the PTA, and blah and blah and blah. It’s a big sooty Upper Canada snowball where some day I dream about retiring to Prince Edward Island. I don’t want to retire to Prince Edward Island – I want to work there and play there and be on the PTA on PEI! I want my socks to turn pink when I play softball, and I want to whiff manure when the wind is right, and I want to be proud of my home. I think I’ll still feel transient if I settle here.

Mum and Dad are leaving tomorrow, and my aunt and uncle are away for a little while, so I imagine I’ll have more time to post this week. The computer is in my Uncle’s office/den/hidey-hole, so I don’t like sitting in here for extended periods of time while he’s watching ROBTV and calling Jack Layton the "scum of the Earth," note the quotes.

Finally, some (bad?) news about Queenie. She, um, took a little septic swim, care of my Mum. I’m not sure how she got into the toilet, but she’s gone. Meh. I kinda liked having another girl around, but I like her gone better.

Monday, October 24, 2005

The Movie, The Doctor, His Wife and Her Unemployed Daughter.

Where to start. I guess I’ll start with how classy I am. I went to supper with Melanie and one of her friends on Thursday night, had a nice roast beef sandwich, and evidently drank too much beer because I, being the classiest broad on the planet, proceeded to throw up in the bathroom at the pub. I have never done that before – thrown up in public. Um, besides the Prince Edward Island National Park. And that hotel room that time. And at Danny Ledwell’s that time. And in the Park again. But that’s it. The rest have been at home. Never in a pub. Why? Because I… am a Lady.

In my drunken state, all I could think of was science. I wanted the barf to non-barf ratio in my stomach to be non-threatening. These ratios were swirling in my head. I was obsessing over it. I kept trying to drink water once I realised I was too far gone, but then I was afraid I was just turning innocuous water into barf just by ingesting it.

Droppin’ science like Galileo dropped the orange!

On to the next point. (I think I have to post more often so my posts aren’t so multi-faceted.) My Mum and Dad are here! Zippity! I’m storing up on Mum hugs to do me for the next couple of months before Christmas. Dad actually left last night for Toronto because he’s got a week of meetings, but he’s back on Friday. Marilyn wants to go to a gallery or a museum or some place. Happily, I’m unemployed, idle, and very interested in both galleries and museums!

Yesterday was a rainy boring day. Mum and Aunt Signe went to the ‘States, and Aunt Jacky is uptight because she and Uncle Wendell are going to England on Thursday (she gets overwhelmed easily, but she’ll be just fine). Dad and I decided to go to a movie. I haven’t been to a movie since I saw Broken Flowers with Marianne in the single digit days of September. Everyone knows how much I lurve going to the movies, but I’ve not been able to go to one since I got here.

We went to see Stay, with my boys Ewan McGregor and Ryan Gosling and that chick Naomi Watts, who is sometimes so pretty it hurts (her cover of InStyle was so poorly lit, I hope someone was fired – she looked like the living dead). Please, please, please, do not see this movie. It was so shit. Dad thought I could understand everything that was going on. I could not. I actually had a headache when I left the theatre from trying to figure out what the fuck was going on. Sometimes, it was beautiful. Honest. Most times, it seemed like the director was looking over his notes from film school and trying to integrate every technique he ever learned. Oh, I don’t know where to start. All the acting was fine, whatever. I’ll go back to Shallow Grave for Ewan, The Notebook for Ryan, and I’ll look forward to Naomi and Jack Black in King Kong.

Last thought: I love Jackie Chan so much.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

It's A Girl!

Oh! A new pet! A wee spider, looking very much like the rest of the family. She's probably half the size of Stewart, a little bit smaller than Ace, Perry and the dearly departed Joey. Her name is Queenie. I kinda like her, but I still want her to die. I'm surprised that Aunt Jacky doesn't really care about my pets. She chuckled when I introduced her to Ace, and then went on with her day. Fine, I guess I can't incite a hit on my pets in the house.

I'm at Marilyn's today, making her some sort of Greek hors de service for her class tonight. (They all take turns bringing in snackies for the break, but it's always glicky sweet, so she's decided on a spinach and garlic thing.) I am also meeting Ms. Melanie for some sort of food consumption this evening. We're going to a pub to eat, which is ideal for the day - very chilly, so I'll need some meat and potatoes. Then back to Marily-Bear's for a sleepover sleepover. (Cue Sleepover Sleepover Theme Song.)

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The State of Catherine.

It’s raining again. To quote Buddy Wasisname, "It’s been so long since I’ve seen the sun, there’s a lot more heat from the moon." It’s cold and wet and rainy. There’s nothing romantic and autumnal about the weather. I think back to crisp days of apple picking in the Annapolis Valley, and walks along the North Shore of PEI once all the tourists leave. Now, I’m just trying to warm up my hands and feet.

Well, my aunt and uncle are back and the heat is never up high enough for my liking. It’s nice having them around, though. I guess I do like the company. My aunt reminds me of my Mum, and Uncle Wendell, well, he’s Uncle Wendell. He’s a pontificating right-wing windbag sometimes, but I hope he never changes and never stops getting on his capitalist soapboxes. I have a hard time not grinning when he’s on some sort of rant. He’s like a caricature of himself sometimes. It’s great.

The job hunt is still progressing slowly. I send out CVs, people ignore me. I just want someone to hook me up. Come on, people, throw me a bone! I sent out a couple of applications to CBC in Toronto, and the rest have been in Ottawa. Research, consulting, editing, communications, chief cook and bottle-washer, so on, so on…

My cold is almost gone. I’m still pretty congested, but this was the first morning I’ve woken up not feeling gross.

My aunt and uncle are going to England next Thursday! There’s a wedding they’ve been invited to. I’m very jealous since I’ve really wanted to return to the UK for quite some time now. They’re going to be in Bournemouth on the South Coast, but heading into London for a day or two. Me wanty! I should write my friends in Kent and see what they’re up to. I miss them.

My Mum and Dad are coming on Friday. Dad’s got a meeting in Toronto, so they’re driving up to Ottawa and Dad’s taking the train from here to the Big Smoke so Mum can have the car to tool around here. Mummy! Papa! Zippity! I have really been missing them lately. It’s super nice to have Marilyn around, that’s for sure, but I want my Mum and Dad!

Pet update: Ace is still zipping around, and I haven’t seen Perry or Stewart in quite some time. Fine by me. I hope they’re dead. Ahh… pet ownership… it’s always the same…

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Pet Update.

Perry was not on the steps this morning, but later that night, when I was checking his progress, I found another pet of about the same size in another corner. I don't think it's Joey back from the garden. The garden is probably a lot more spider-friendly than a fairly bugless basement, so I've ruled out Joey's Revenge. I think it's a new pet, and therefore, his name is Ace. Ace is fairly active, so even though he's about the same size as Perry, I'll be able to tell them apart by their mobility.

Pointe Deux: I love Musiqueplus, MuchMusic's Frencher and (let's face it) probably smellier cousin. It's edutainment! I'm now watching the Teen Choice Awards on Musiqueplus (except when Paris Hilton's on stage, when I change channels). I can see how things are translated in subtitles, preparing me for my next job as the new Governor General (hat trick for the ladies, yo!).

I like how there are so many French TV stations here. It reminds me of where I am. Ottawa! or, Not Hamilton!

Saturday, October 15, 2005

99 Problems. No, Wait. Just 5. 5 Problems.

Some problems: my newly-acquired pet, Perry the Moderately-Large Spider, is slowly climbing the carpeted steps from the basement to the main floor. He was on the second step this afternoon, and now he’s on the fourth. This development makes me happy and sad. It makes me happy because I sleep in the downstairs bedroom, and I don’t like uninvited guests in my room. It makes me sad because I had convinced myself that my pets couldn’t climb… anything. I prefer to watch them in 2D, thanks very much.

Another problem: I obviously have no taste. I have found myself diggin’ that new Black Eyed Peas song "My Humps." I hang my head in shame. I think this song is everything offensive to everything of elegance in the world. If, throughout human history, there has been any success in striving for a true, pure beauty, this song has destroyed it in one fell swoop. Why, why then, am I humming that vile song? Surprisingly, I am impressed by the video. I’m serious. It’s fairly sophisticated, compared to the other dreck they offend us with. The men (I almost wrote "gents") are well-dressed and Fergie is surprisingly clothed, not only considering the content of the song, but also their track record.

My cold. I feel crap. My aggressive sniffing has given me a perpetua-pressure-headache (no, I’m not gonna stop!), my eyes sting, and my throat still hurts, but I’ll live. I spoke with my cousin Kristina today and she’s sick, too, so we’re blaming our Aunt Signe, who hosted us for Thanksgiving. I confronted Aunt Signe with that accusation, she denied it. I knew she would. I got her number. Fun side-effect: I’m sneezing a lot. I like sneezing.

I am also still unemployed. I sent out a couple of resume/cover letter duos to the CBC this week, and I emailed, with Kristina’s help, a guy in HR at Canadian Blood Services. He seems cool and he said he’d keep me in mind. Which, of course means I will soon be Prime Minister. My first edict will be to rename all the street in Charlottetown. It’s been a dream of mine for years. Seriously.

Finally: I am a sick, sadistic person. This time, it’s non-BEP-related. I never watch South Park, but I was flipping by today to hear Cartman claim that as soon as one dies, one shits one’s self. I flipped by later (it was obviously synched-up with the commercials of whatever show I was watching) and the manager of the new Wall-Mart hung himself in dramatic fashion. A split second later he blew his pants apart shitting so hard. Sick. Sick. Sick. I laughed so hard, my raspy solitary screams echoed through my empty fake home.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

The Hunt.

Some have asked about the job hunt. It’s going ok. I underestimated how crap it is, and how much energy it takes to submit CVs. The last one I submitted I’m really crossing my fingers for: it’s at Canadian Blood Services, and as anyone who every reads this blog knows, I can get behind blood donation.

Stone Cold Busted.

I’m coming down with something. For a couple of days, my throat/sinuses have been a little sore. It’s not to the point that I can’t swallow, but it’s more like some foreshadowing of what’s to come.

The mystery is: how have I gotten sick? I’ve not seen anyone in weeks. It’s like I was planning: I’ve been in preemptive quarantine. Here’s my theory: I caught the bug from my bug. I finally worked up the courage to dispose of Joey. He was in my bathroom and I put a Tupperware dish over him. He was there for two days, and then I started to feel bad, because I didn’t want him to starve to death – that’s way more cruel than stomping. I got a flat piece of plastic and slid it under, picked it up and took Joey outside. I put him under a tree out front. He suddenly didn’t look as menacing – or as big and black. Since I got rid of Joey, I haven’t seen Stewart or new guest, Perry, another spider of the same size and ilk as Joey. I think I did the humane version of putting Joey’s head on a spike: I frightened all the others away. Or, one of them made me sick and scurried away, cackling maniacally.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

The Lonely Island.

With this title I am not referring to my aunt and uncle's Kanata pad. (I call my squatter's paradise my Fortress of Solitude.) I want to call readers' attention to my new linque du jour: The Lonely Island.

These are three guys from Cali who started making shorts, videos and longer episodes on their own. At one point they made a pilot for Fox (which I personally think sucks), Fox passed and they posted it. Check it out, if you want. It's called Awesometown.

I recommend you watch each of the 8 episodes of "The 'Bu," in order, then the second longer episode called "Regarding Ardy," and then the video for "Just 2 Guyz."

It's all so silly.

Watch for Andy on SNL this season, and the other two guyz, Kiv and Jorma, are now on the writing staff. Let's hope they help out the show - there's no way it can get worse.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

I Am The Gatekeeper.

I sat down to enjoy Arrested Development tonight and it was not on. Baseball was on. Ok, fine, I figured it was preempted for the week, but
no - this is a month-long deal.

It's the Autumnal Jockitch Playoff Marathon, everyone! Let's all come out and watch overpaid Peter Pans suppress their 'roid rage so little Timmy can learn about fair play and dedication! Fair play? Dedication? Know what? I think it's unfair that Fox is not dedicated to the "Arrested Development: Mondays at 8ET" banner that's wiped all over their website! Here and there, there are cryptic messages of "Mondays after baseball," or "Returning October 31st," or, worse, "Returning November 7th."

I. Am. Now. Taking. Many. Deep. Breaths.

I went to a Thanksgiving thing yesterday at my Aunt Signe's. Uncle John K. was there, my cousin Stefan and his life partner Julie, my sister and her Mike, and my cousin Kristina. We drank lots of wine, ate lots of deliciousness (non Nutella-related), then played Pictionary. It reminded me of the epic Pictionary games I used to play with Anders and our friends. Anders and I had a system. We won a lot. I can't say more.

Tomorrow: let the resumes fly!

Ghostbusters is on TBS. I'm all about the Bill Murray.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

I've Got Friends In Low Places.

a) My Pets,
b) Science!
c) Unemployment B Gone,
d) The Creek.

a) I have two pets. They are spiders that are too big to kill. They're just garden spiders - black, wily, they don't seem to climb or spin webs. I've named the bigger one Stewart (Stewie), and the smaller one is Joey. I don't see Joey as much. I give them the finger every time I see one, and I say, "Hi Stewie! I hope you die!"

b) In the interests of scientific exploration, I decided not to comb or brush my hair after getting out of the shower to see how it would end up once it dried. This is mostly because I've lost my wide-toothed comb somewhere in this house and I don't want to search anymore. An hour after I got out of the shower, I checked out my experiment's progress and decided to abort. I looked like I was wearing a nasty piece of cheesecloth or something. It's gone now - I brushed it. Another scientific advancement foiled by aesthetics.

c) This is the week I've been putting my back into hunting for jobs. I'm having a hard time with my account on, and all the jobs I want require a degree in journalism or design. I guess I have to apply anyway and see what comes of it. I hate hate hate writing cover letters, as I've mentioned before.

d) TBS has moved Dawson's Creek from 10-noon on weekdays to just one episode at 9am. I like this - I can get my day started earlier. Like Nutella, I was getting too much of a good thing.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

New Features.

I've added another link category to the left. "Linque du Jour" will change from time to time. It will not always be mentioned in-post, nor will it be changed daily as its title suggests. Check it out.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Pharmacist, Heal Thyself.

I went to see Ted Leo and The Pharmacists last night. Melanie met me there to start what I’m sure will be a list of goings-on in the coming months. The second opening act, North of America, although from Halifax, were not my favourite. They made me feel old. All I could think was, "The difference between music and noise is the volume." I couldn’t hear what was going on because it just all became cacophonous.

Ted Leo came out with his very rag-tag backing band. The drummer looked like he was from The Family, and the bassist looked like he should be in short pants. But damn. Drums I don’t know from, but the bass player was on – clean, crisp and articulate. Nice.

Ted sounded great live. This band has an interesting sound. There’s a little bit of punky-cadence in the singing, yankee-celtic Dropkick Murphies-esque beat in the instrumentals, some folk torch song/anti-war flavours, and an underlying base of rock. The vocals were incredible. I was very impressed by how something that easily could have been looped, cleaned up, and synthesized in a sound-editing suite was exactly the same live.

Ted and his Pharmacists will be playing in Halifax twice before heading back to the ‘States, and I recommend anyone see them if possible. I found Ted Leo years ago from watching the Brendan Leonard Show, who featured a lot of Lookout Records artists as his bands of the day. Scroll to the bottom on Brendan Leonard’s very stripped-down website for an interview/feature with Ted.

Lunching With Anna.

On Friday, I met Anna for lunch. My sister had to pick me up and drop me off like I was twelve. It was kinda funny. I haven’t learned the bus route yet. Anna is a friend from high school and undergrad on PEI (for those of you who don’t know) who is working towards her PhD in psych. She was is town visiting her fiancĂ©, so the three of us hit a little Pho cafĂ© for lunch. Yumma. Anna just finished her comps, and I don’t envy anyone that task. Hers sounded particularly trying.

We reminisced about the countless evenings the whole crew of us would hang out in her basement when we were in high school. We don’t really know what we did those nights. We didn’t always watch movies. We didn’t drink. We sometimes played slanty pool on that funny table. I have no idea what we did to pass the time. I have fond non-memories, though, so I guess we did something right.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

My Sister: Fun AND Makes You Think.

My sister is awesome. I asked her the question du jour – the Freddy v. Bowie scenario. I still am a way bigger Mercury/Queen fan than anything Bowie touched solo, but Marilyn said something I never thought of – she said she’d still rather Freddy have died because he brought a lot of attention to AIDS, even though he kept his illness under wraps.

Rock Hudson was the first major celebrity to die of AIDS in 1985, which was not long after the first case of AIDS was diagnosed in the US (which I think was 1980). 11 years later in 1991, I was still too young to really appreciate the gravity of Mercury’s death and all the social significance it held. I think there were enough advances in understanding by that time that the public understood what having AIDS meant, but it’s one of those situations that are especially highlighted when it affects a celebrity. Like mental illness and Tom Cruise. I mean, Tom Cruise’s spiritual position on mental illness. =cough=

I am glad that I was too young to remember the fear that accompanied the unknown of that "new" disease in the 80s. Learning about how AIDS was received publicly, it makes me wonder how the public would react now to the same situation. The Christian Right had a field day with AIDS in the 80s – it suited their platform. Would North America be much more enlightened now? I despair that the answer would be no, and that’s embarrassing.