Saturday, December 30, 2006

And Another Just Begun...

Christmas was just fine. Marilyn and Mike are home, so we had a Sweet clan shindig. (Read: WASPy teasing and passive aggression.) I ate nothing that didn't have a butter foundation, and I feel like I'm waddling a little bit now.

Marilyn and Mike gave me a great Straw Bale construction book: one that has blueprinty details instead of prose. It's what you use when talking to contractors, and I have to learn that language.




Marilyn also gave me a CBC t-shirt with the retro exploding pizza logo on it. Me likey. I don't actually have a lot of t-shirts, so it's great.

Some surprising and exciting news is that one of my great friends from my old life at McMaster is engaged, and she's asked me to stand with her in her wedding! It's Holly, of both this blog and our joint venture Clapboard Jungle. It's going to be a small wedding, which is just my style (as if I have a choice!), and in a Court House, which is even more my style. I've not yet met the groom, Murph, but he's a Yankee Doodle Dandy and a wanted man. I look forward to putting a face to a name.

My big challenge now is getting up to Kitchener for the ceremony. I am now, of course, unemployed, and it's very difficult for me to plan ahead in any way. Money situations aside, I can't predict when I might be getting interviews or work. While she's going to Ohio on the 9th of January to get married near Murph's family, Holly is aiming for the end of January for her Canadian wedding and I'm going to make it a priority to get there to be the freakishly tall blonde that sticks out in any pictures. Big congratulations to both of you! Mazel tov!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Dancin' Fool.

On Thursday night, I went to the Confederation Centre's Christmas Party. You know, to celebrate the birth of our Lord. Huh, now that I think of it, Jesus was rarely mentioned.

They had Sizzler as the caterer, which I thought was funny and kinda hillbilly. Until I tried their chicken breast. Did you know Sizzler makes a mean chicken breast? It's true.

There was a live band, there, too, which has played at other events that the Confed Centre has hosted, and oftentimes the dance floor is empty, so I kinda just assumed that they were no good. I can't say I supported their repertoire as I was in a rabid Beastie Boys mood and they were playing more Kenny Chesney than Adam Yauch, but they were pretty good. They did play some Queen, which always redeems anyone.

Nonetheless, I danced like I was in one of those ALS ads. This was super fun, as I love dancing in non-threatening atmospheres like weddings and livingrooms and showers. Not places where I'm expected to have both a lot of cleavage and a supportive bra. The laws of physics just aren't on my side in those situations.

Unfortunately, I didn't plan ahead since I wore a long-sleeve tutleneck and I was soon uncomfortably warm. And by uncomfortibly warm, I mean, sweating like a pig. My beautiful hair, which looked awesome when I arrived, was soon a stringy mess, and I was stretching at the neck of my sweater like that Dane Cook skit on SNL. Oh, well. I had so much fun. I didn't get home until 3:30am.

I didn't see a lot of the FOH (theatre) crowd, and spent some time with the Gallerians (Shiobhan, Ben, and Monique), but mostly sat with the BO Brigade (Box Officers). I thought that was strange, but we're all kinda intermingled anyway. There were a couple of youngins that got their drink on, and were dancing their teenaged faces off. That is all I have to say about that.

Hey! I guess our Lord was discussed that evening.

"Jesus Christ! Will you stop reminding me how young he is?"

Damn jailbait!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

It'll Freeze Like That.

Ugh. I've joined Facebook. It's some sort of e-cult that all the younger (and some older, and, might I add, more sensible) people at the Confederation Centre are obsessed with. It doesn't seem all that great, but some sort of shiny way to assure yourself you've got friends.

I only joined because I want access to one picture that Kelly's got on her "wall" (or something), but I couldn't get to it unless I registered, and now I have to wait for her to confirm that I'm her friend or something. It sounds like something designed to make 10 year old girls cry and lock themselves in their rooms.

I don't plan to obsessively "check in" to this site like my colleagues. I think this blog is as bandwagony as I plan to get.

E-socializing worries me. I can't put my finger on it. It seems lazy or something, or artificial, or frivolous, or inauthentic, or voyeristic, or creepy, or faddish, and I can't stand the thought of joining in on something I'm uncomfortable with just because everyone else is doing it. Wouldn't I have a lower back tattoo by now if I did? I don't MSN because it's such a timesuck (and maybe that's passe now, so I'm safe), and I don't chat anywhere else.

Friday, December 15, 2006

These Are The Jo(h)ns I Know: Vol 2.

The man featured on today’s “…Jo(h)ns I Know” column is also one of the rare crossovers onto my celebrated Husband List.

I remember hearing John Mayer's “No Such Thing” in the summer of 2001 and really enjoying it. This song is from his second album, Room For Squares. Then “Your Body is a Wonderland” was released, and I was hooked. That line “I’ll never let your head hit the bed without my hand behind it” has got to be one of his most intimate and romantic lines in modern pop.


I bought Room For Squares, and then found Inside Wants Out for less than $10 at a Shopper’s Drug Mart. It was his first EP, which was independently released, and I think it’s his strongest album. I like all the songs on it, and I can still sing along to all of them. "Comfortable", "Love Soon", and "My Stupid Mouth" are among the best.

In 2003, I moved to Hamilton, Ontario, aka, the Armpit of Canada, and many other much worse nicknames, all perfectly apt. When I moved into my first apartment, I didn’t have the internet hooked up, I had no TV, and the radio reception was pretty bad because I was underground and there was probably a lot of interference from the toxic fumes which floated over the city.

I did have my CD player, though, and compilation CD of John Mayer’s music. I played it on a loop as I assembled my futon, desk, bookshelf, and mousetraps.

Heavier Things came out that same year, and while I didn’t like it as much as his first two albums, it was showing quite a bit of range, experimentation, and lack of fear of leaving that which is comfortable. It also contained the song "Daughters," which is heartbreakingly beautiful, and won Best Song at the Grammys in 2005.

John still got slagged off a little bit, however, for being to non-threatening and easy-listening fodder. I came to his defense here ("In Harmer's Way") in this music crit blog. (Read the comments.) At this point, I had started downloading live concerts and starting to appreciate how fantastic a musician and guitarist he is. He can easily flow from very poppy tongue-in-cheek covers of N*Sync and Guns ‘n’ Roses to deep, heavy blues riffs.
Soon after this, John started branching out even further from pop and rock to hip hop and blues. He recorded a song with Kanye West, and released a live album called Try! with the John Mayer Trio, which consisted of John, drummer Steve Jordan and the bassist with the coolest name on the planet, Pino Palladino. This is an amazing album, which, as I became an apologist for earlier, displays John’s mad blues guitar skillz.


Then, this year he also released Continuum, which, to me, sounds less experimental or progressive (for this artist) and more like a happy medium between so many of John’s successes. At first, I thought "Waiting on the World to Change," Continuum’s first release, was a little preachy and political, but I’ve warmed to it considerably, and find it frustrating because some one the vocals in it are difficult to sing along with (although they sound simple, there are complex little turns that sneak up on me).

So, besides me liking John Mayer’s music, there’s John himself. John is that kind of sensitive man that I don’t think I really know in real life. He’s funny, and creative, and obviously sweet, and tall! Not that that matters.

Now, I of course I have to address the disturbing and disheartening rumours that my Johnny is dating that vapid wasteoid Jessica Simpson. I know that this can’t true, but it’s simply part of some sort elaborate practical joke. It’s just gotten out of hand, that’s all. Besides, I’m pretty sure that John likes taller girls with a little meat on their bones. And more than a 90 IQ. He just hasn’t met =cough= her yet.

Thanks for reading this second volume of These are the Jo(h)ns I Know. Note a new Linque du Jour to the left. This is also my last day at the Art Gallery, which is really sad, and I know there’s so much more work that I could do, but the money just ran out and their hands are tied for the time being. Bah humbug! I’ve had a lot of fun, though, and I’ve learned so much more than I ever expected. And, tomorrow, Jackie is off to Florida for Christmas. Bon voyage, moufette!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

These Are The Jo(h)ns I Know, Vol 1.

I am pleased to announce a new series on Sweet Nothings entitled "These are the Jo(h)ns I Know."

I've come to realise that there are many important Jo(h)ns in my life, or at least, I know of a lot of people named Jo(h)n.

You might say, "But Catherine, Jo(h)n is one of the most common names in the Western world. Do you really think other people don't have important Jo(h)ns in their lives?"

I say, "Call me Miss Sweet. And of course other people have important
Jo(h)ns in their lives, but they might not have blogs and obsessed (read: bored) friends who regularly check it, so until they do, I will wield this moderate amount of power and you will read every word I write!"

Volume 1 shall be a twofer. I have to start with my family, of course. This isn't necessarily to do with loyalty, but an unwavering dedication to preventing my sister yelling at me. It's an uphill battle.

John (Jack) Wesley Butt, my Grandad, is a carpenter and lives in Glovertown, Newfoundland. He used to live on North Island, but moved to Glovertown when he was about 6. He worked as a carpenter in the Terra Nova National Park, and also in shipyards, where repitious noise damaged his hearing. In the last ten years he was diagnosed with diabetes, so he has to use diet coke with his rum now: scandal! He is a really good fly fisherman. He is waiting for knee replacement surgery in February, and we're really glad because his arthritis has gotten a lot worse in the last few years. He and my grandmother had five kids; four girls and then Uncle John.

Uncle John, who has the same name as Grandad, works as a carpenter, too. He's a cabinet maker and also lives in Glovertown. Like my grandfather, he does beautiful work and takes pride in craftsmanship. When my sister and I were growing up, we thought he was the epitome of cool, even though he took particular pleasure in teasing Marilyn. He was a lot younger than my aunts and played with us. He had this huge yellow truck that was his pride and joy. He moved to Ontario and met aunt Lissa. They now have three kids and live in a house that Uncle John built accross the street from Grandad.

In the next installment: A John I've never met.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

A Prodigious Snore.

This last week has been a flurry of matinees for A Christmas Carol. There were two evening shows and eight matinees where we sold as many seats as we could to any schools within a one-hour bus-ride radius of the Centre.

We have a very specific way to load in the schoolchildren, and we get very territorial and pissy if a teacher interferes. Well, I do get pissy, but for the most part, I grit my teeth and smile. A theatre full of children smells. It's like pre-BO, running-outside-in-grubby-snowants kind of smell, and I hate it.

We didn't have a lot thrown, had only one puker, and I got to confiscate a camera. and, to top it off, the show was awesome - a good, true telling of Dickens' story. Comic Genius Wade Lynch (tm) played Scrooge, and I must say, he was great. I think he knew that Scrooge is really a buffoon, and played it so.

I have to go change now for another shift in the theatre, but I'll update more hen I can.

(And today we sent out the Emergency Preparedness Plan for the Gallery! Yay! One project done!)

Friday, December 01, 2006

2 Quick Things:

Genesta: sorry I didn't mention it earlier: welcome! When you leave a comment, it doesn't give me your email address, so I can't write you with mine, and I don't want to write my current one on my blog, so I'll give you my old one when I never use (except for possible junk mail) but check every month or so. Then I'll email you with my current address. There! It's that easy! hepcatherine@hotmail.com

Second: I finally updated Clapboard Jungle, after months and months of terrible inactivity. I reviewed Little Miss Sunshine (2006).

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Bad Blood.

No, Lynda, I'm not referring to my favourite episode of the X-Files (5.12), but instead my attempt to fulfil my duties of the Church of Catherine last night.

If you recall, the first Pillar of the Church of Catherine is to donate blood. "If you are able to give blood (physically and emotionally), you must do so as often as you can, to the best of your ability."

I went in last night and when the RN looked up my records, she told me that it was my tenth donation and quickly produced a "10 donations" pin. I told her I hadn't donated yet, so she should wait until I'm on my way out. She said no, that's silly, and since I'd never been turned away before and always filled my 2 units, there'd be no reason to suspect I wouldn't donate.

Then she pricked my finger to test my hemoglobin levels, and said the drop didn't sink in the solution, but it might be because my hands were cold from the night air. She drew a little bit more and put it in a different, and I assume, more sophisticated tester.

My red blood cell count? 119. A donor's has to be 125... I dunno... parts per million? I don't know what it stands for, but I fell below the standard.

I'm not used to this.

Now, I've quit eating red meat, but I never ate that much to begin with. Maybe my bean intake has dropped. Well, I did start a yoga class recently, so I thought that would be humaine. I don't think I'm under any undue stress.

Why is my iron low?

And now I have to wait another 56 days to donate! And I want my tenth donation! I want that double digit!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Posies And Cat Hair.

What did I do all morning? It appeals to many facets of my geekiness. My boss and I are sorting through images for a new book that Elizabeth Epperly is writing about LM Montgomery’s scrapbooks. We were finding that the digital files and the transparencies were inconsistently numbered, so guess what we got to do? We got out the originals! Kevin does most of the handling of the books, and the paper is so brittle that sometimes little pieces fall off (and that’s why we handle it as little as possible), but I got to look through, and in some cases, touch, Lucy Maud Montgomery’s scrapbooks!

I’m not really a Montgomery fan, as some of you might remember reading about when I was writing my Master’s thesis, but her scrapbooks are really cool. There are a lot of calling cards, something we don’t really use anymore, and a ton of newspaper clippings. Those clippings are a lot of lame poetry, but there are also news items which are neat, and some photos, like one that was labeled “Dalhousie College, Halifax, the doors of which are wide open to women.” There are playbills and cards with turn-of-the-century fashion, tons of pressed flowers, and, by far the creepiest, wads of cat hair tied in ribbon. Jibbly jibbly.

Well, Kevin was nice enough to take some time so we could look over the scrapbooks contents. It’s mostly ephemera to me, but this was a minister’s wife’s life one hundred years ago – pictures of cherubs and clematis, swatches and ribbons. Kevin made fun of a clipping of a Japanese maple leaf that looked like marijuana, and that made me think of how funny Montgomery’s stuff would be if she was rockin’ the Cheech and Chong. Maybe I’d like it more.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Working Is For Chumps.

This nine-to-five thing is nuts! How does anyone get anything done outside of work? And it feels especially bad in the winter, where the day seems over at five because the sun's gone. Not gone. Hiding.

That being said, I love working here at the Gallery. The last couple of weeks I've been working on the Gallery's Emergency Preparedness Procedures, which is pretty cool. I'm learning a lot about the restoration of damaged art, and tomorrow I go to a collections management seminar, which could be really dry, or super interesting. Or a combination of both.


One good thing is having a little more disposible income. So basically, what I'm saying is: anyone expecting Christmas gifts from me can forget it because I'm wearing your gifts on my feet. I received two new pairs of flats today from JCrew (on sale times two, of course), and I'm going to have a lot of fun wearing them. I hope you like peace on earth and goodwill to men, because that's all you're getting from me!

I do want to include a link to the photos taken at September's Strawbale Contruction workshop I attended. Kara Stonehouse (har, har, I know... stone house...) has set up a Flickr page, so enjoy. I'm a giant tall one with the glowing red sweater. Try to pick me out.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Jim Wins Again.

I have just signed out from working at the theatre, and tonight it was Jim Cuddy, of Blue Rodeo fame, doing stuff from his newest solo album.

Damn. It was really good, and it reminded me of how much I love Blue Rodeo, too. I recommend anyone take in a Jim Cuddy show, if at all possible. I've seen Blue Rodeo a couple of times here at the Confed, and it's always amazing. I love watching Canadian icons doing us proud.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Death By Chocolate.

Ugh. I just got a hot chocolate at the Starbucks in the Confederation Centre. I'd only ever gotten tea there before, but I was feeling wacky, so I went for ho cho.

It comes with stuff on it. Did you know this? There was stuff on my hot chocolate. There was a mound of white, and then there were lines of brown. This turned out to be whipped cream and chocolate syrup.

I don't really like whipped cream, but I thought I'd try it, and it was ok, but it was cold, and, of course, the hot chocolate wasn't. The chocolate syrup was superfluous and too sweet. It's just there for aesthetics, right? Pass.

I poured half of it out. The hot chocolate was fine at first, but it got way too sweet, and then I could see little pools of oil floating on the top, presumably from the whipped cream (but it wouldn't shock me if a pat of butter was part of the Starbucks hot chocolate recipe).

Friday, November 10, 2006

A Day In The Life.

I spent all yesterday painting walls an olive drab. We're trying to finish an exhibition of war art.

Today I painted again, and learned how to dry mount. It isn't as fun as it sounds, I guarantee.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Tim vs. Jim.

I finished watching the second season of the American series of The Office on Sunday, after many, many hours sat watching many, many episodes, deleted scenes and commentaries in any moment I could find.

There were twenty-two episodes in this season. The first season was a mid-season replacement, so there were only six.

I was a big fan of the UK series, so I dutifully watched the American pilot. After that, I didn’t watch for a year. It was terrible, derivative dreck, and felt like Steve Carell et al. were doing an impression of Ricky Gervais et al., and it just didn’t work.

Later, I learned that it was really just that first episode that they copied off the UK version, and after that they began original storylines, although there was still the salesman/receptionist relationship, the sycophantic Assistant (to the) Regional Manager, and the all-business boss, amongst others.

Now, once again, after watching through to the end of the second American season, I am all floaty and romantic because of the Pam and Jim storyline, just as I was at the end of the UK Christmas Special because of the Dawn and Tim storyline.


Now I just can’t decide which I like better; Tim or Jim. John Krasinski is well taller than Martin Freeman, but Martin Freeman has that accent. BUT Martin Freeman was in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which made me very angry because of its intense shittiness, and I still hold a grudge. John Krasinski was in Jarhead and Kinsey, which were good movies and didn’t suck. Like Hitchhiker’s Guide did. Martin was a more subtle Tim, I think, and he used the camera a lot less. John (as Jim) looks to the camera as an ally and punchline more frequently.

Well, now I’m hooked on the Yankee version. I usually prefer to buy a DVD and watch all the episodes, all in a row, sitting in my pajamas, so this “waiting a week between each episode” thing is totally a chump’s game.

Yes, I have decided that Jim is winning out over Tim. John is also my age, and Martin is not so much, making my preoccupation and crush less creepy, although I know some people might throw the whole Daniel Radcliffe argument back in my face when I write that.

Friday, November 03, 2006

The Royal Flush.

We got a dual-flush toilet!

You can choose if you want to put through 3l of water or 6l!

It looks pretty sleek, and I'm so pleased we finally got one - I've been bugging Mum and Dad for some time. We needed a new toilet, so we might as well have gotten a more sustainable one.

Anna and Nico have one in France. Wow! Two dual-flush toilet encounters in one month!

I also forgot to mention that November 1st is my three-year bloggiversary. Yay me!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Hallowe'en Fallout.

How many mini-chocolate bars are in a full-sized chocolate bar? About twenty or twenty-five? Yeah, that's what I thought.

Jiggedy-Jog.

So, I’m back on the Island, and glad to be home. I’m back at work now at the Art Gallery, which strangely makes me feel I have to really get active in the job-hunting sphere again.

In all, my trip did exactly what I needed. I had some alone time, and a break from un- or underemployment, and a change of scenery. I feel quite refreshed and ready to steam ahead. Man, it’s almost like all the stuff I wrote in my Master’s Thesis was right! Vacation is spiritually rejuvenating!

I’ve been home since Sunday, and I’ve been battling a nasty bout of jetlag since. I also got a cold in my last week of my trip, so I think that is staying my progress, to paraphrase a Heritage Minute.

"Spamalot" Post-Mortem.


On Saturday I went to see “Spamalot.” It was a great show, but my seats were terrible, so the viewing enjoyment was limited. The seats were almost vertical, so if (read: when) the person (read: boy) in front of me leaned forward, most of the stage was obscured and it forced me to become a rocking, bobbing, distracted and pissed-off spectator. I was in the third balcony of the theatre, so Tenzing and I kinda knew what we were in for.

Spamalot” really was, as they said, a musical lovingly ripped off the Monty Python and the Holy Grail movie. It was different enough, though, to make it worthwhile. It was also an astute satire of musicals, and it included songs like “The Song That Goes Like This” and “The Diva’s Lament (Whatever Happened To My Part).”

Tim Curry played King Arthur, and was very good. I wish his part had more singing, though, because I especially enjoyed it when he sang. I was pretty excited because he was in Annie, for goodness sake!

Instead of just Malteasers and ice cream being sold as a concession, they were selling SPAM sandwiches on white bread, wrapped in wax paper. The guy next to me bought one, and, begrudgingly, it looked pretty good.

Finally, on the ads for “Spamalot” that were plastered on the double-Decker busses circulating London, it claimed that “Spamalot” “set musical theatre back a thousand years.” They were right.

Friday, October 27, 2006

I Must Have Done Something Good.

Guess what show I got a ticket for?

No, not "The Sound of Music," although that is playing and I'd like to see it.

No! Freakin' "Spamalot"! Blah! It only opened on the 2nd of October.

I know I'm going to need a sherpa to help me to my seat, but I don't care.

Last night, we saw "Bent," which was the anti-"Producers." Hard-hitting drama about Nazi persecution of homosexuals. It was very good, but not my style. Alan Cumming starred. Yeah, I've seen Alan Cumming's bare ass. Great. It was also the first time I'd seen full male frontal in a play. Well, he had boots on, I guess.

I have to go. I have been doing a lot of running around London, but I can't go on at length now. I'm home on Sunday, and glad of it. It's been a long trip, and I'm having fun, but I'm feeling the early mild throes of homesickness.

Cherrio!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Sitting In An English Garden, Waiting For The Sun.

It's forecast to rain all the rest of this week. That's cool, I guess. It is October in England. I expected this, but didn't hope for it.

On Thursday, I lay low around the Munden's house in Bexleyheath, did two loads of laundry, and went for a nice walk. That night, Alan, Liz, their daughter Ruth (who is only a little bit younger than me), and I went into London to go to the theatre! We saw "The Producers," which was so freaking amazing, I could easily go see it again before I go home next Sunday. I saw the original movie and the new one, but nothing compares to the live stage show. I you ever get a chance, leap at it.

Next Thursday, we're going in to see "Bent," a play which I don't know much about, but it was named one of the best plays ever, the tickets were cheap, and Alan Cumming is in it, so we'll give it a go. I'm going to try to see another show before that time, too.

On Friday, I went to the V&A Museum, finally. I was not totally in love with it, actually. There were some really great things, but it really did feel like a bit of a jumble. Rooms spilled into other rooms that were seemingly unrelated, objects were crammed into rooms, and it was all quite overwhelming. There was a Da Vinci special exhibit on, but it was £5, and I hadn't seen the regular exhibits, so I passed. I might go back.

Then I walked around Knightsbridge, which is where Harrod's is located. I didn't go in this time, and didn't really couldn't see any shops that I could afford to set foot in anyway. What did I expect? It was Knightsbridge. Posh, I say!

Yesterday, Saturday, I first went to the Leicester Square Half-Price ticket booth to see if they had any tickets for matinees, but they didn't, so I took the tube up to the Notting Hill Gate station for, you guessed it: Portobello Rd. Market! It goes on and on and on, and I saw some lovely things. I bought myself a little bauble and a sub-par ciabatta bread for lunch, and jst as I decided that I was ready to leave, the heavens opened and violently chucked rain down on all the poor shoppers. Happily, I had a handy-dandy device called an umbrella, which kept my northern hemisphere dry, but from the knees down, I was soaked.

I sought refuge in the tube. I went to Marble Arch because I remembered there was a movie theatre there (it's where I saw Star Wars II in 2002) , and if it was going to rain, a matinee would be a good way to pass the afternoon. By the time I got there, the heavy rain had mostly abated, and there was nothing playing that I wanted to see for another 90 minutes, so I crossed the road over to the Marble Arch, which is at the far end of Hyde Park.

I walked from Marble Arch to the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain, which was really lovely, I must say. I saw the Australian War memorial, and then continued to walk through the Park to come up behind Buckingham Palace. I came across a very beautiful Canadian War memorial which is directly to the left of the Palace, and behind Canada Gate. By then, it started to chuck down rain again, but a great, full-arched rainbow came out over the Queen Victoria memorial when it was all over.

I then walked around to the Victoria Station and caught a train back to Bexleyheath. I usually go to Charing Cross, but I was really tired by then, and didn't want to walk anymore.

Today, Sunday, Alan, Liz and I went to Greenwich. We drove by the National Maritime Musuem, which I went to last time I was here and greatly enjoyed. We also went by the huge stretch of lawn in Blackheath where it is illegal to turn the turf because it was used as a mass grave for London during the black plague and people are unsure (read: afraid) of what might happen if it were disturbed.

In the end, we went to the Greenwich Market, which is lovely. It was covered, which was a marcy because it's raining heavily again today. The market is mostly crafts and products instead of food (which is my favourite market), but I bought a purse from a Moroccan man, and we saw the "antiques" wing of things, which more resembled a garage sale than an antiquities market.

Tomorrow, I don't know what I'm going to do. Of course, I'm going into London, but once I get there, I don't know what I'll do. I still have a list of musuems/galleries I'd like to see, and I really haven't done much shopping yet. Shopping is tiring, though. Looking at art is vivifying.

That's right. I said vivifying.

It'll have to be more galleries if the ruddy rain doesn't stop. Goo goo gajoob.

Un histoire francais.

I had a fantastic time with Anna and Nico and Basil (meow) in Toulouse. They have a great little apartment. Nico made it his personal mission for me to eat well, and I'm not the type to turn down geat food. I tried cassoulet, a white bean and, well, lard casserole, which was heavy but satisfying and delicious. We had some cannoule, a baked thing which was very good. Of course, in Jackie's memory, Anna and I got a chausson au(x?) pomme each. Anna also made a great tomato and chevre salad one day, too. We had a tuna and tomato pasta one night, and Nico made a pie, which was apparently normal for France, but we would call it more like a flan. Tres deliciouse.

Don't even dare writing me about my French spelling.

Speaking of French (hon, hon, hon), I didn't fare too bad, in the end. I could make myself understood if I needed to, and people were kind to me. I listened intently to a story that an upstairs neighbour told, and found I kinda followed the plot. Lianes = vines. Vierge = virgin. TGV = aggravating train.

I bought a couple of BDs, bandes desinees. This is a huge cultural element of France that I'd previously not known of at all. I'd say the closest we know is graphic novels or manga. BDs are large-format hardcover books (for the most part) which are very varied in subject matter. Most PEIslanders who went to school with me would know "Asterix et Obelix," but beyond that and "Tin Tin," I didn't know anything about them. They can be funny, or adventurous, or science fiction, or pornographic, for children (but most of the ones I saw were for adults), and there are many styles of illustrations.

Nico was a fan of the BDs. To say the least.

Anna, I'm pleased to report home, is doing well. She has picked up on the tricks to living in France much quicker than she lets on, and she was a fanastic guide. Although communications with her Uni is increasingly irritating for her, I know she's going to be just fine in Toulouse with Nico. Nico was a proud countryman, and was enthustiastic about teaching me about the quirks of Toulouse, France, and Europe.

Oh, and Jackie e-yelled at me because I didn't mention that Carcassonne was the location where they shot the movie Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. Kevin Costner stood in the same place I did. Squeee!!!

(Jackie also e-yelled at me when I mentioned that my first day back fom France I planned to stay at the Munden's house in Kent and do laundry. She said I shouldn't be wasting possible time in London with frivolities like washing my knickers. Since then, I'd gone into London every day. Then she e-yelled at me when I wasn't updating my blog enough! Le sigh.)

Monday, October 16, 2006

France.

I arrived in Toulouse very late on Saturday night. I got to Gatwick two hours early for my flight and I only got my boarding pass when my flight was scheduled to take off. I was in a long and snakey line for two hours, and the flight was only 1 hour late.

Anna and Nico were kind enough to come pick me up, and I go to see their great French apartment before we all slept. The next day (yesterday) we got on a train and went to Carcassonne, a city about an hour away by rail. There's an old castle there and we toured around, taking in the Middle Agedness of it all. I was very used to seeing old UK castles, so an old French castle was cool.

Today, Anna and I are going to go for a walk and then she, Nico and I might go to a museum or something.

Oh, and I don't think my French is as good as I thought it was -- and I didn't even think it was all that good!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Day Two.

Today I got an earlier train (9:45) and went up to the Wallace Collection. I was there for quite some time -- until 3:30pm. I prefer galleries to museums, but this is like a combination of the two. Tons of clocks and medals and war bits (helmets, pistols, and swords), along with tons of Dutch masters and British painters from the Royal Academy. I liked it.

Maybe next week, the V&A.

Tomorrow, France.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Where To Start?

I'm now in England. I spent Wednesday recharging my batteries from my stupidly timed flight across the ocean. Wednesday night, Alan drove me to Bluewater, the huge mall where I used to work. I looked at a jacket that cost £185, and then decided I should pace myself and put off any shopping until after I get back fom France.

Today I went into London and beelined for the National Portrait Gallery. I spent four hours and I have to go back to finish exploring. Then I got a sandwich from Boots and sat on the embankment to eat it. It was a lovely day - warm, not too warm, and no wind. Then I walked up to the Parliament buildings and took in the sights around there (Ministry of Defence, Westminster Abbey, more statues than all of Canada).

Tomorrow its going to be another trip into the city, and I think this time I'll go to the V&A Museum. I've never been there.

Saturday, it's off to France to see Anna and Nico. Yeah, just like that.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Pillar #2.

I have an announcement. I have devised the second pillar of the Church of Catherine.

You might remember that Pillar #1 involves donating blood. "If you are able to give blood (physically and emotionally), you must do so as often as you can, to the best of your ability."

Pillar #2: A member of the Church of Catherine shall refrain from consuming gum in blister packs. That's overpackaged crap, and only there to protect the candy coating on the gum. Who cares? As kids, did we turn down Chicklets when their colourful candy coating was less than pristine? NO!

Blister packs for gum are bullshit, and I invite everyone to revolt.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Almost Done!

One more full day of work (casual day - thank jebus), one more weekend, and one more drive to Halifax...

I'm in at the Art Gallery now. I spent the morning doing inventory of a whole bunch of native Canadian objects that were donated to the Centre. I've been sketching baskets, clay bowls, and soapstone scultures all day so far.

This afternoon I'm going up to UPEI to pick up some material for a short project I've been researching.

I also have to type up a couple of condition reports. That's when we go over a piece of art inch by inch and make notes on its condition. That way, if it was damaged when we got in, we have a record, and if it's damaged while we have it, we'll know. This means the first reports have to be really detailed so the Gallery isn't liable for any damage that might have happened in transit.

Those condition reports were a real drag when we got a whole whack of abstracts. I wasn't sure if that scratch was supposed to be there or not. Oh, well, make a note. Did he mean for there to be a glob of red here, or is it an accretion (Gallery term for a glob of something not supposed to be there)? Make a note of it. Blah blah blah.

It's too bad I won't be back in time to see the Harrises come down. I'd love to handle them and see what Robert Harris had written on the back of the paintings. I'll miss that collection.

This evening I'm going to go over some John Milton with Kelly, one of the ushers from the Centre. I have to bone up a little, in the meantime, though.

I'll try to post again before I go in the big bird, but if not, I'll post from London.

Wee!

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Bye-bye, Mon Cowboy. Bye-bye Mon Rodéo.

Canada Rocks! is done. All the lights have dimmed, the seats have emptied and shirts have been sold out. Yes, even that one. No, we don't have any extra-larges left. Only small. Only small left in that one. Sorry, there's only small left.

After the show, the BO Brigade (Box Officers) and the FOH (ushers) eventually got together in the FOH office for some hot, sweaty fun. We all crammed in the small bunker of an office, with, as luck would have it, the faire Lady Lynda as well. We were talking and some were drinking, when a commotion at the door brought us Sweeney MacArthur. Sweeney is the MC of Canada Rocks! and Mr. Phillips in Anne. Oh, and, no shit - he did the voice for Tim's Roll up the rim to win! ads. He's a Scot, no doubting that - he puts on a Canadian accent for CR!, but lays on the brogue for Anne. Actually, I'm not even sure he plays up his accent all that much. It's very thick. Anyhow, in the course of the short time he visited, he called me Agent Mulder and told me if I went to Scotland for 4 days in October, I'd get 4 proposals of marriage. I'm sold!

Bye-bye, mon héros. Bye-bye mon gigolo.

Another one of the actors came and took Sweeney away, and the party fizzled momentarily, but soon after we were back dancing in the office. God, I was stupid to stay out so late. I had to work at 9am this morning, and I didn't get home until 1:45am. I know, it's not that late, but mama needs her sleep!

I'm in at work now, and this is my last weekend Gallery shift! Holy crap! After three months now of working at the Centre 6 and 7 days a week, I'm really looking forward to having weekends off like a normal person.

Yesterday, I booked my flight to France. I'm going to visit Anna in Toulouse, like I've mentioned before. When I was shopping for flights, I settled on Easyjet. Ryanair was a little cheaper, but Easyjet was direct into Toulouse. Anyhow, when I checked on Thursday, the round trip flight cost £55, but when I went to book it yesterday, the price had dropped £10! In the end, with a small fee for using a credit card, my flight only cost me £49. Round trip, London to Toulouse. Wow! That's only about $110 Canadian. It cost more than that to get to Halifax, by plane, train, or automobile.

So, I have one more shift here in the Gallery, one more appearance in the Gallery to launch the new exhibits, one more shift down in the theatre, and one more week of work in the Gallery offices before I go. I am very ready for this summer festival season to end and get on with my next little adventure.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

"See You Tomorrow. Thanks, Catherine."

The above is a quote from one of my new bosses today. She thanked me for the work that I did! Is it super-dee-duper sad that it's the first time in a long time that I've felt appreciated for doing my job?

I'm been kinda mum about Front of House (the usher's department, fyi) this season. This is for two reasons. One: it was a terrible summer for morale and comraderie, and Two: a lot of people I work with read this blog and I'm afraid of being dooced. Not that it would be a huge tragedy to lose a job I hate, but that's not the point with a trip coming up, eh? (See countdown clock where linque du jour once was, and will be again.)

My last post was written when I was totally drunk on sleep. Let me briefly say what I'll be doing in my new job, which, I've found out, is called "Collections Research Assitant." (Too bad - I was really led to believe that the word "curator" would be in there somewhere.) I'll be researching and writing up some extended dance-mix versions of abstracts for grant proposals, and organising stats on acquisitions from the last 15 years, and giving tours around the Gallery, and any other stuff my bosses want.

We're all still taking down the summer's exhibits, and now I really appreciate how much work that is. Everything has to be examined and documented to make sure it's in the same condition it arrived in, then it has to be gingerly taken down and packed up in plastic, bubble wrap, and crates with more foam.

The big thing for me is: I need office clothes! Before, I just thought I liked jeans. Now I know that I was using them as a crutch because they're so easy! I'm having a hard time not going shopping here in Charlottetown for work clothes. I just know that there'll be so much in London.

I need shoes, too, because I have 4 pairs of (awesome) shoes, but the heels are too high and/or they hurt my toes. I need more reasonable shoes for the terrible concrete floors. Oh, Confed Centre. Breakin' me down; buildin' me up. Then breakin' me down again.

Finally: I enjoyed this scathing open letter from David Cross to Larry the Cable Guy, some jackass comedian I hadn't heard of until this year. Anyhow, I guess there was some aggro between these two and David shot him down thoroughly with this letter. I don't know about or care to read a response.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

The What Now?

A short note because I'm so tired from WORKING (more than) FULL TIME the last couple of days.

I have been given a researcher position up in the Art Gallery where I've been working on weekends! It's a term position and only 24 hours a week, but my time in the theatre is almost over and I was getting worried. Worried enough to start waiting tables in the restaurant to make some extra cash. That's scrapped now.

24 hours a week will be 3 full days, but since I'm going to be away for 3 weeks in October (and they're ok with that!), I'm banking hours now, so it's basically full time, 5 days a week!

From what I can tell, I'll be doing research for the next exhibit, giving tours of the Gallery, and working on writing, compiling, and editing a catalogue for an exhibition with the Curatorial Director, Kevin Rice (who's a great guy).

Right now, we're changing an exhibit, so I'm doing a lot of grunt work now, and so is everyone else, like the Gallery's Director, Jon Tupper, and the aforementioned Kevin Rice. It's painting walls, unwrapping art, and, what I'm doing: peeling hundreds, nay, thousands of vinyl letters off the walls with a scalpel and a heat gun. My fingers are sore and leprous, and I've burned my arm on that jeezly gun, but I'm happy. Oh so happy.

I'm also a little nervous about getting my head back into research after letting my brain atrophy for a year, but I'm sure I'll be fine. I haven't been given any specific tasks yet, so I'll cross those bridges when I come to them.

I'm very relieved to get a job a year to the day that I defended my thesis in 2005! If it was any more than a year, I'd have to start to worry!

Unfortunately, I still have another six nights scheduled at the theatre, late into the night, so after I work each day from 9-5, I have to hit the aisles from 6-10:30. Bah humbug. But hurrah!

Motherlode.


I finally worked up the courage to spend some money. It was on amazon.ca. I got 5 items. It arrived. Today. In some sort of congratulatory parcel. Perfect timing. Ahhh.

Here's what I got: The first season of Slings and Arrows, a great tv show drama thingy. I don't have many words left in my head today, and I'm writing this up basically to entertain the poor box office workers at the Confed Centre who have nothing better to do all day than read my blog. Gah.









Knowing Me, Knowing You with Alan Partridge. I looked up this guy after seeing Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story, starring this guy, and I thought he was funny, and this was rather cheap, so I thought I'd give it a go, in preparation for my England trip.










This is a great little book about little strawbale homes. It's adorable, with great pictures, and it makes me want to build my own little house right now. Damn preparation!
















I'm too tired to describe this one. Read the Wikipedia description. It's a cool book, and I've been hearing about it in Religious Studies classes for years, but have never actually read it. Now I own it! Suckas!














Finally: the final season of Arrested Development. I can't wait to have some time to watch it! Oh Tobias. Oh George-Micheal! Oh, Buster! Oh, all you Bluths! I'm planning on watching this all in one fell swoop, when I get the time, which I despair might be after I get back from England. Woe. (kidding)


Saturday, September 16, 2006

Little Nuggets.

I went for groceries today and paused next to the bin of cheap DVDs. Usually they're really crap, but today I couldn't believe my luck! I found Shallow Grave for $5.99! I have it on VHS, but I've been looking for it on DVD (cheap) for a while. Horray!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Is This The Scary Part?

I just applied for the Sustainable Building Design and Construction course at Fleming College.

Holy crap.

Applying isn't the scary part, really, is it? Getting accepted would be scarier. Going would be scarier.

The scariest part was the $85 application fee. That's about 12 hours of work for me, or three shifts.

Oh, that reminds me: I'm starting to work at Mavor's next week. Yesterday, I went out and bought 3 black shirts, which I have to wear as a uniform. I guess you have to spend money to make money, but I don't think this is what Donald Trump intended. Hell, this isn't what I intended.

I wanted to work only in at the café, but the Mavor's staff goes between the café and the restaurant, so I'll probably be waiting tables.

Could I be more stereotypical? A waitress with an MA? Thank god I didn't get my PhD!

Universe 1, Catherine 0.

Last night after work, I decided to have a snack and watch some TV. I prepared a nice big bowl of popcorn and a glass of chocolate milk. I settled into the blue recliner and set out to find something entertaining (most likely an animated show).

I took a sip from my cho milk, and somehow - it all happened so fast - the glass slipped out out my grip and fell into the popcorn bowl.

The bowl shattered in my lap, leaving me staring at a pile of soggy popcorn and chocolate-milky comfy pjs.

I had to laugh, in spite of myself. I sat there, soiled and disappointed, and I still laughed. I was home alone, so I had to grab a blanket off the floor with my toes, draw it up to my lap, and scoop the pieces of bowl and popcorn into a bindle of waste. Then I had to strip off my beloved pjs without flicking the shards into the carpet.

Now I get it - snacking after supper is naughty. Gawd.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Paradigm Shift.

Most of us have probably seen the ad for Brita water filters which basically tells us that the water we get out of our kitchen sinks is the same water we use in our toilets, therefore, we should filter our water that comes from our kitchens.

I don't think the question should be why are we drinking toilet water. The question should be: "Why we use tap water to piss in?"

I'd like to learn more about greywater systems. This is where waste water from sinks and showers are used for toilet water and irrigation. I've heard that it's not a difficult plumbing job, but just takes a little out-of-the-box thinking.

Drink our tapwater. There's nothing wrong with it. It's free, it's clean, and and it's available. Not everyone in the world has that kind of luck. Let's not take for granted the most basic human needs which are simply handed to us.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

The RHG.

I get to watch the crowds arriving for Canada Rocks Obligatory Exclamation Point while I'm standing selling swag. I watch people ignoring those they're standing with while talking on cell phones, perusing my wares while sloshing glasses of red wine, or ignoring the flashing lights signalling 5 minutes to curtain.

About once a week, a handsome man enters the lobby area. He's casually well-dressed, tall (or sometimes not so), has nicely-cared-for hair, and isn't screaming into a cell phone. Usually, if he's alone, it's only briefly. Soon his short, cute, girlfriend arrives with flawless skin and the ability to purposefully walk in 3-inch heels.

I then roll my eyes and think, "typical."

Last night, the king of handsome guys came into the lobby. He was by himself, but he wasn't distractedly looking towards the doors. He got a drink and wandered the lobby, waiting for the doors to the theatre to open. Then he disappeared off my visual radar. He didn't look like an underwear model or anything - he was more of the Patrick Dempsey calibre of handsome.

When I saw him again, it was intermission. I pointed him out to Megan, who had already taken notice of his magnificence. Ahh. His notoriety preceded me.

At the end of the night, I overheard Kelly and Katie speaking of a Ridiculously Hot Guy. The RHG! Every usher in the place had filed this guy away in her memory banks. We all had a moment recounting fond memories of the RHG, and then went our separate ways. They had to drop cashes in a safe, and I left the building, walking right by RHG speaking with the lady who plays Marilla in Anne.

Oh, RHG. Who are you? How'd you get so H?

I usually don't like using the word hot as an adjective for a guy. It's not very descriptive, and a bit giggly schoolgirl, and, oh, let's say something else about... objectifying men. Yeah - that's a bad thing.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Best. Weekend. Ever.

On Friday, I drove down (over?) to Fredericton to see Lynda, who kindly offered her couch to me for the weekend. I was in New Brunswick for a much-anticipated Strawbale Construction Workshop. That night, she and I drove to Quispamsis that night for an opening information session which was free and open to the public. There were a lot of people there, and Kim Thompson, the instructor (who teaches a sustainable building course at Dalhousie) had a slide show and Q&A.
(This is very similar to what the house I helped build looked like - timber frame with load-bearing strawbale walls. I'll post pictures from the weekend when they are available.)

The next morning, participants in the workshop gathered at 7:30 for breakfast. Most of the participants camped on-site, but I was driving back and forth to Fredericton, so I didn't get to breakfast until around 8:15am on Saturday and Sunday. (The homeowners provided the workers with three meals a day, which were fantastic. Salads, turkey, quiche, meatballs, chili, muffins, cookies and trailmix abounded. I thought it would be all nuts and berries, gluten-free vegan twigs, but it wasn't. More on this later.)

I thought the workshop was going to be classroom stuff in the mornings and then going to a site to build a shed or a greenhouse or something, but no. Lynda and I rocked up to the site of a soon-to-be two-bedroom strawbale house. There was no classroom time. We dove right in. We would circle bales to sit on while Kim lectured for short times, and then the rest was all practical and hands-on.

Who was there? There was Kim, her three assistants and an apprentice assistant, the two homeowners, and ten participants. What's that... 17 people? Yeah. In two days, we had raised all the exterior walls. At the end of the second day, we learned how to make the first (and fourth) layer of plaster, which was a very soothing experience. On the third day, we learned how to make the second (and third) type of plaster, which was anything but soothing. It was very very labour intensive.

Almost everything about building the strawbale house was labour instensive, but it was so satisfying. The waste materials were a stack of loose straw and some scraps from the timber frame. (When you build with toxic materials, you get toxic waste.) It was a great community effort, where lots of different people came together and within a day knew how to build a strawbale house.

I thought everyone would be granola crunchy, and there was a certain amount of that element, but mostly, everyone was like me. Normal, environmentally-conscious people. No BO. Meat-eaters. Educated. I was afraid that I wouldn't fit in, but I was just like everyone else.

I'd love to talk in more detail about my weekend, and if you have any questions, feel free to ask. Allergies, pests, fire, insulative properties, so on and so on. I'll do my best to answer anything. I learned so much and can't wait to share.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Sunday, August 27, 2006

The First Little Pig Was Right.

Things are looking up.

Although little has changed in my circumstances, I have decided to take two strategic breaks from my circumstances.

Point the first: On September 1st to the 4th, I'll be attending a Strawbale Construction Workshop in Quispamsis, New Brunswick. (I almost wrote "near Saint John" instead of Quispamsis to spare me from reading comments teasing the name of the town. I don't care that it's a funny word. It just is.)

I'm very excited about this because I found a college course that seems to have been designed for just what I want to learn. It's in Ontario, of course, but the town (Haliburton) is next to Algonquin National Park, and, more importantly, it's not Hamilton. Anyhow, since I've only ever had a strong interest in sustainable housing but never any hands-on experience, this workshop is a great opportunity for me to roll up my sleeves, learn about some technicalities, and gain some skills.

Strawbale!

Addendum: I'll be staying with Lynda in Fredericton while I'm doing the workshop, which will be a big treat, because besides her company (always a big treat), I will get to see her much-loved apartment.

Point the second: Yesterday I booked a flight to England! I'll be there for 19 days in October. I'll be staying with my friends in Blackheath, which isn't far from London, and I might be able to get down to see Anna in her new home of Toulouse (!), if our schedules allow.

I had a hard time talking myself into booking the trip, not having a real job or much (read: any) money. Still, if I had a proper job, I wouldn't be able to take three weeks and go to England, so off I go! This year has been really hard for me, starting at the first of September oh-five, so I desperately need a little bit of rejuvenation and adventure and time to myself.

I can't wait to see art galleries, and museums, and maybe a couple of shows! Zippity!

Looking forward to these two trips make the concrete floors and mundane routine of working in Front of House at the Confederation Centre more tolerable.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Oh! Isn't She Polite!

People ask how you're doing a lot.

It's not until I don't even feel like lying and say "fine" that it's an issue.

Lately, I've been saying "I'm as well as can be expected, thank you for asking."

Unfortunately, most of the people who ask me how I'm doing are the at Confederation Centre and recognise that that's a quote from Anne of Green Gables, the Musical (tm), and then they think I'm lamer than I was to begin with.

I just hate lying to people, and answering "fine" to a question that should be answered (at most times), "on the verge of tears, thank you for asking," is even more taxing.

For those who are terribly worried about my well-being, things might be looking up. I might be taking a trip!

More later.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

A Farewell To Arms.

Lately I've been finding it so comfortable to have my arms raised over my head. I don't know what muscles it's stretching, but it feels so great.

I think I kow why this is lately so comfortable. When I work as the t-shirt wench for Canada Rocks!, I'm on my feet for more than an hour before the show starts and then another half hour during intermission and after the show lets out. The floor is concrete. This is my thrice weekly routine.

At the Confederation Centre of the Arts, they (try to) train the staff to pay attention to every detail that they are projecting to the guests (i.e. money sacks). Therefore, our body language has been strutinized. Smiley smile. Don't point with one finger. No crossed arms. When we are standing still, we are to have out arms hung at our sides or clasped behind our backs. This is a non-threatening pose. Crossed arms are defensive. And oh so comfortable.

So, when I stand for such a long time in the lobby, smiling at guests (i.e. money sacks), I clasp my hands at the small of my back. This pulls my upper arms and shoulders in an unnattural position for long periods of time, and the muscles get tired. It also thrusts forward the girls, and I'm not complaining about that.

Usually about twice a week, there are too few workers in the theatre, so once the show begins, I switch over from t-shirt wench into usher mode, and sit inside watching the audience. At the back of the house, in the dark, I love to extend my arms straight up over my head. I don't necessarily stretch my arms over my head, but just hold them there.

I think it's cool that my body will naturally take the position that relieves the unnatural position I force it into.

Ahhh.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

I Want A Real Job.

I'm 27.

I have an MA.

I'm working at a job I've had since I was 19.

Extreme frustration to the point of tears, sometimes.

My peers have real jobs.

What the fuck am I doing wrong?

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Ding Dong.

I went to a wedding yesterday. It was my girlfriend Amanda’s. She’s now married to a German fellow she met while in grad school. His name is Marc, and he’s quite the cat.

I always get so exhausted thinking about weddings. It’s not the Sweet Family style to go in for big spectacles, so I always get tired with all the peripheral goings-on. This time, for Amanda’s goings-on, I had to work for both the bridal shower and the stagette, so I missed them. I caught the last hour or so of the shower, but after work. Happily, I was able to get the night off for the wedding proper.

The wedding was out at the Stella Maris RCChurch in North Rustico. It’s a lovely old wooden church.

I don’t know why I had in my head that is was going to be a huge wedding with hundreds of guests. Probably because Amanda is a Gallant from North Rustico. It was much smaller than that. There were probably “only” about 100-120 people around.

After the ceremony I started bugging the priest (Fr. Francis Jay) because I had questions about the tabernacle and other geeky things that I love asking members of the clergy about. He was a kind man and gave me his card, which has a picture of Pope John Paul II on it. He says he teaches adult education classes, and invited me to go, which I am interested in, but I’m afraid it would be a little apologetic.

Amanda’s parents finally built their dream house up in North Rustico. Often, the little scale model would be displayed at their house in Charlottetown. It’s so cool and surreal to see it in full size now. Well, directly after the wedding, we went there for finger foods and drinks. It’s a beautiful house, and even though they just moved in, it already feels like home.

The reception was in Charlottetown, and boy, what a spread. We had soup, salad, a turkey dinner, and chocolate mousse for dessert. I could have just eaten the stuffing and mousse and I’d’ve been happy. They cleared the dance floor and people started to bust a move.

I had to work early this morning, so I left at about midnight. Happily, I was driving, so I didn’t have the temptation of drinking too much.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Dirty Pop.

Has anyone been watching Much Music lately? I don't watch it as much as I once did, because they are turning more MTV-y and playing more crap-tastic reality shows around the clock.

Well, this week, I watched some of the MM Countdown, which is a show where new videos are arbitrarily listed from 30 to 1. Sweet Jesus. Am I getting old, or is what passes for pop music becoming even more piss-poor than it always was?

I'll always admit that I'm a pop casualty. I enjoy pop music. It's designed for me to like it. It's designed to be popular.

I'll try to link to videos I'm discussing, but they are often quickly disabled by the heartless music moguls who can't stand to let people enjoy music without paying or watching commercials.

Where to start?

First: These ass-hats. AFI? A Fire Inside? A fire inside what? A fire inside their groupie-filled tour bus, hopefully. The video, "Miss Murder," (here live) which is listed on the MM Countdown right now, is the most pretentious waste of space I've had the misfortune of forcing myself to sit through in a long time. For a moment it sounds a little Dookie-esque, which might be slightly redeeming to some, but then it starts to sound like stuff from The Wedding Singer soundtrack. The overwrought lead singer needs to be sterilised for the sake of mankind. The hair? The makeup? Is this cool? Am I so square that I can't even see how this is cool? Please, younger, cooler people, post a comment and tell me why these fools are cool.

Second: Fergie's "London Bridge." Saints preserve us. Is Fergie talented enough to have her own recording career now? No, she's famous enough. I thought she served as the Minister in Charge of "Woah-woah-woahs" and "Steri-eri-eri-eri-os" for the Black Eyed Peas. Agree with me, won't you, that she should not have quit her day job, as it were. This video, which is inexplicably high on the countdown, is nothing but a platform for this poor exploited woman to tease back her hair and strut around with no pants on.

Speak of the devil:
Third: Beyonce feat. Barry Manilow. No. Of course not, she's flanked by her hetero life partner Jay-Z in her bound-to-be-overplayed "hit" "Deja Vu"! Beyonce looks like a deer caught in the headlights for this entire video, if deer caught in headlights wore too much eye makeup. She quivers her claw-like hand. She twitches her synthetically-sweaty mocha shoulders. She pretends to be a supermodel, like she does in all her videos, and treats us to a Gunga-galunga tribal dance, as well. The vocals are breathy and too high. I'm looking forward to hating this song in T minus one week.

This one hurts me:
Fourth: JT. JT's trying to bring sexy back to the music industry with the first release off his new album. Oh, he's called it "SexyBack." It is a very sexy video, but the song is terrible. In the video, he's some sort of superspy James Bond/Robbie Williams character, doing his spy thing, doing his spy women, jumping off spy balconies. The video has very high production value. Too bad they didn't put more time into the recording studio. Had I not seen his name at the beginning, I would not have recognised JT's voice. It's whiney and tuneless, and if it weren't for a familiar short, rapid-virbrato bursts like in his "Cry Me A River" track, I would never have guessed it was him. I might have guessed it was a new Gorrillaz song, or at least old-school Albarn. Oh: the neckerchief? I am not feeling the neckerchief.

The silver lining: I will mention a couple of new videos that are excellent.
1) Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy." Great concept and theme. Kudos.
2) Christina Aguilera's "Aint No Other Man." Again, a great concept, and very stylish. Beside the ample ta-tas, it's probably fairly accurate to the time. The song is pretty tight. Too bad I can't say the same for JT.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Eff You, Grandma.

I'm working at the Art Gallery now, and some leather-coloured old bitty just came in, dressed from head to toe in Lululemon yoga clothes, stylish grey pixie cut on her lean golden-years-pilates body.

She asked where the Harrises were, and I pointed out the area. I said, "Robert Harris is on this side, and then there's a William Critchlow Harris nook over here."

She and her friend wandered off, and I heard leatherface tell her friend that Robert Harris was a member of the Group of Seven.

I called over, "Sorry for interupting, but that wasn't Robert Harris. That was Lawren Harris. Robert is a little too early." He also mostly did portraits while Lawren Harris was way more... Group of Seven-y.

She and her friend went on about their tour of the Harrises. She finished, and bee-lined back to me to say that although a lot of the Robert Harrises were very good, you could tell he wasn't very adept because his hands aren't very well done.

I was really taken aback, because I had paid special attention to the hands, as I had heard that hands are particularly difficult and a good touchstone to look out for. I said, oh! I thought they were quite good.

No, she said. Not really.

Then I was wondering, if she thought she was such an expert, why did she think this Harris was a part of the Group of Seven, while I'm almost totally ignorant of art history and I knew that, just by glancing at Robert Harris' work, that he didn't fit into that style?

Bye-bye, leatherface. Be off with you.

[Tugs Collar Uncomfortably]

Yesterday I worked the matinee for "Anne." We only had a house of about 400. It was a really hot day, and I guess everyone thought that instead of sitting in a nice, air-conditioned theatre for four hours, it would be a better day to go to the beach and introduce their kids to the wonderful world of melanoma.

Anyhow, my standard greeting when people come to the door of the theatre is: "Hello! Come on in. Can I help you find where you're sitting this afternoon/evening?" Every once in a while there's a dick that says, "I dunno, can you?" I then smile demurely and concentrate on not head-butting them in the sternum.

Yesterday, I greeted a group of four adults with my rote, "Can I help you find your seats?" and then, as an afterthought, I said, "May I help you find your seats?"

The man laughed and said, "You must be an English major at UPEI." (As an aside, this pisses me off. Do people generally think that only English majors have learned to properly use English grammar? But I digress.)

I said, "No, but I was an English minor."

"What was your major?"

This question is dangerous, because I don't always trust that people will understand what Religious Studies is, and assume I'm a Bible beater. I took a chance and told him.

"Oh!" he said, and I assumed the wheels were turning and his next question would be, "What do you think of those Muslims?" (This was an actually response I got once.)

He said, "So, this is what you're doing with a BA in Religious Studies?"

=cough=

So I said, "Fuck off. Who the hell are you to make fun of my work?" [ That's my job.]

Ok, I didn't say that. I said, "Actually, I have my MA in Religious Studies now. I'm sure you can imagine that it's not a terribly marketable area of expertise outside of academia."

It shut him up, but I think it was mostly out of pity. I don't blame him.

He asked me where I got my MA. I told him McMaster. His wife told me I should have gone to Mount A. Um. Yeah. I hear a lot about their great Religious Studies program. It turns out he taught mathematics there.

Bully for him, working in the field he studied. No, I'm not jealous. Just because I hide my face when people went I to high school with come to the theatre, I'm not jealous. I'm pitiful.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Instant Karma's Gonna Get You.

I only kill insects if they bother me. This could mean a) making my skin itch, b) biting me with venomous fangs, or c) giving me the jibblies.

This is why, when two months ago, there were dozens of exploding spider-baby balls cropping up all around my parents' house, I let them be. I said, "Come on, Catherine. They're not harming you. Look at how little! Revel in the wonder of nature! Frolic amongst the trees and feel the fertile forest air!"*

Now, I'm getting my big payback, because the little clutches of swarming gold and brown spiderlings have grown up into web-slinging creepies. Three particularly big ones flank the front door of the house, and comparitively smaller ones have spun webs between the cedars on either side of the front walk or in my mother's minivan, which I have the lend of this month.

Guh! I hate walking through spiderwebs. It's not that the thought of the spider being on me is the problem, but it's the sticky filament that I cannot touch, but only feel.

Now I'm still torn, because I still don't like killing things, but jibbly jibbly jibbly, I hate those webs, and no matter how many times I break them, they just keep coming back.

*While I might have minimally revelled, I did not, as intended, frolic.

Monday, July 24, 2006

I Can Get A Job, I Can Pay The Phone Bill...

Well, it looks like I missed the party of the year. All I know is, I'm going to marry this kid.

I put in my eight hours up at the Art Gallery this weekend. It was chucking down rain on Sunday, so it was the busiest I've ever seen it. I had over 100 guests.

"Anne" has been so quiet. When I started working at the Confederation Centre, "Anne" sold at least 900 seats for every show, and it usually sold out. (Capacity is 1,102.) Lately, 600 and 700 houses have been the norm. It means less work for me right now, I suppose, but I'm afraid what it might mean in the future. Two dark nights instead of one?

I went to see "Oscar and Felix" on Saturday night, when I was missing the party of the year. "Oscar and Felix" was an adaptation of Niel Simon's "The Odd Couple." It's so strange to see a play after watching musicals so much at the Centre. It's so much more intimate. I liked the show, but I found that the supporting roles were stronger than the leading.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Pragmatism.

One of my constant struggles is balancing what I want with what I need. I'm better and better at not coveting items, because rationally I don't need them to be happy. Luckily, my lack of any considerable money is so prohibitative, it's not difficult to say no, and I don't have a choice but to adhere to my frugal philosophy.

It's now extending to food. I'm trying to consider my food choices nutritionally as opposed to gastronomically. I've also been trying to choose food more environmentally. I try to buy fruit and vegetables that are "products of Canada," to cut down on the energy used to transport them to me, and I've not been eating red meat for the last couple of months, because beef takes an incredible amount of energy to cultivate, prepare, and transport per protein ounce (as compared to other meats).

Now that I'm actually getting a paycheque from the Confederation Centre, I'm having a hard time not going clickety-click loco on J.Crew. But no. I want that money to pay down my student debt. In a few short months, I'll be able to buy myself a little bauble with money that I don't owe to someone else. A practical bauble.

In related news: I've decided to stop my subscription to InStyle magazine. "Because I enjoy it" no longer seems like a good enough reason.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Arr. Avast.

Avast? What does that even mean?

I want to see Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, Electric Boogaloo on Sunday night. It was good. I judge goodness here by how much I laughed out loud, and I did that a lot. I'm a braying ass at any given moment of the day, I know, but still...


For this Pirates, they turned the swashbuckle up to 11. Captain Jack Sparrow (or, Sparrah, as the squiddy creature pronounced it) is fantastic, and I didn't find it terribly derivative of the first Pirates. There were a couple of parts where I was a little disappointed that they dug up old crap, but old crap that wasn't even all that useful to dig up. The dog with the keys? Not so funny. The shabby light fixtures? Funny the first time with Orlando's delivery. Eunuch references? Ad-libbed the first time by Depp, and not unfunny the second time around, even if the pall of scriptedness was on them..

Orlando was in it somewhat less, I think, which was ok with me. Keira Knightly looked downright swarthy in parts. I guess they are in the Caribbean, but isn't she supposed to be a lady with milky white skin? Come on, people, lay off the mystic tan.

Johhny Depp. Ah... Johnny Depp. He was great. So great. He's a very funny dude, and I'm glad I'm getting to appreciate his talents. I was never one of the "Johnny Depp, he's so dreamy (instert swoon here)" girls, but now I know that there's no one else who could play a camp, drunk, pirate like Depp. And we get to see him make out with a chick in this one, which is always satisfying.

I didn't like that basically, nothing was really resolved. It might as well have faded to black and gone, "dun, dun, dun..." with a "TO BE CONTINUED" superimposed over a freeze-frame of Orlando shrugging his shoulders and going "wha?!?" The third one was filmed at the same time, so I'm all set for a glorious resurrection of Captain Jack.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Nickels and Dimes.

I've tried to post several times in the last week. I start to ramble about something utterly inconsequential, stop to read it, decide it's useless and inane, and then delete it.

My week has been rather unremarkable. I have worked every day, at least four hours at a time, since the 4th of July. Since most shifts are only four hours, it doesn't seem like I'm working a lot, which I guess I'm not, but there is a definite difference between a day where you don't have to work very much and a day where you don't have to work at all. When I work, I have to troubleshoot, be diligent, and wear my game face. I wish I had a job where I was more creative, or had projects to work on. Then I'd feel that I was accomplishing something other than herding tourists.

One fun thing that happened this week was a foray into a new board game called "Settlers of Catan." Some of the people at work are Settlers junkies, so when I heard there was a games night planned, I tagged along. I understand now, the obsession. I have been thinking about strategy for days. I am not very good at strategy games. I'm better at trivia or Pictionary (a shout out to Anders, my Pictionary life partner), and the basic level of strategy one needs to successfully play a game like Scrabble eludes me. Settlers of Catan, I've been told, is not unlike Risk, and I had visions of it being steeped in D&D lore. It is not. No Carlos the Dwarf for me!

Another fun thing was a trip to Greenwich with Katie and Melanie on Monday. I was chased by a squadron of horseflies and didn't get a sunburn (to my amazement - maybe my skin isn't like parchment). I really like the Greenwich area of the PEI National Park, and found my ire was raised when I saw a man leading a husky-like dog off the beach. Les cheins sont interdits sur les plages! Old habits die hard. Marram grass and piping plovers, not so much.

I attended a birthday supper for Jackie, and even though I had the cheapest entree on the menu, with some obligatory dessert, I still spent an entire shift's pay on one meal. Holy shit, it was good, though. And I got to wear my nice shoes, as it was a special occasion.

I've been speaking to Marilyn a lot, lately. She and Mike are coming home soon (first week of August!), and we have plans to hold hands and skip.

I also got to see Shear Madness, the show playing at the MacKenzie Theatre this summer. It was very funny, and despite trying to maintain a professional air at the back of the house, I was screaming laughing at parts. Tickets were only $25, so I recommend it to all. There was a lady in the audience there who was amazing. She was the drunkest I'd ever seen a person who didn't pass out or throw up.She must have arrived three-quarters in the bag because there's no way the barstaff would overserve her that much. Maybe she was on an antihistimene... I mean, damn...

Finally, I have added celebrity husband lucky number 13 to my list. No, it's not Daniel Radcliffe. He's way too young. I do have some scruples, people.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Suzuki v. Sniderman.

In the flush of it all, I said meeting Sam Sniderman trumped meeting David Suzuki. Now that the excitement has died down, I know that's silly.

I did get to have a nice chat with Mr. Sniderman, who came into the theatre on Friday night with his wife to see Canada Rocks. I snuck into his row at intermnission (I had Laurette man my t-shirt table), introduced myself, and spoke with him for less than five minutes. He told me he lives on Prince Edward Island six months a year now, up near Brackley Beach, and invited me up for a drink some time. I'd love to go, because the man is a Canadian icon, but at the same time, what do I do; knock on his door and invite myself in? Would he even remember me? I'd love to chat with him again. I dunno.

Sam Sniderman is more commonly known as "Sam the Record Man." He said his sons manage his two remaining stores now. There's the big flagship store in Toronto, and another one downtown in Halifax, which is probably the best music store I've ever been in. It's not big, flashy and obnoxiously loud like any generic HMV, but plain, homemade, sincere, and not overrun by DVDs. You might pay a dollar or two more per album, but I couldn't believe the variety. There are three storeys of music, with huge sections dedicated to jazz, opera, classical, international, rap, rock, and so on, with a featured East Coast and Canadian area. I liked the rock area, and it was the only place I'd found to carry Ted Leo and the Pharmasists albums.

I was distracted by Mr. Sniderman's Order of Canada lapel pin on his powder blue suit jacket. It's the first time I'd seen one, I think.

Well, walking away, I was stoked because I shook the hand of a Canadian institution, so I was reflecting about meeting Suzuki. I guess, between two icons, it was like apples and oranges. Dr. Suzuki works in fields I'm more interested in, and hope to make a living out of (not genetics, but conservation), but Mr. Sniderman is a beloved puveyor of entertainment. Since I'm not a big fan of commerse and consumption (or, more to the point, over-consumption), I suppose Suzuki wins this bout, even if I didn't have a nice one-on-one chat with him and he spelled my name with a K.

And yes, I know at first glance, Sniderman looks like Spiderman. I can't help it. Consider, though, how cool it would be to watch David Suzuki battle Spidey? Better than Godzilla and Mothra. That was fuckin' lame.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Let Me Take You Down.

My fingernails and fingers are pink like I have port-wine stains. I've been hulling strawberries for the last couple of days. My father is a U-Pick junkie, and on between Saturday the first and Monday the third, Dad brought home sixty-one boxes of berries. Mum was pissed because it forces her to process them right away before they start to turn, so I try to help by hulling. She then mashes them, boils them, and makes them into jars and jars and jars of jam for the winter. Well, the summer, too, I suppose. Dad eats a ton of homemade strawberry jam.

Dad grew up on a farm in the Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia, and in the summers he would work as a strawberry picker. He learned how to quickly harvest the berries and that eating as you go cuts into your profit. Even today, when he brings home flat after flat of berries, when we ask him if they're any good, he doesn't know yet. He then hulls and slices a dozen berries and drowns them in skim milk. And that's the first taste he gets of four hours of picking.

It's the same way with blackberries, cranberries, partridgeberries, blueberries, and bakeapples. The last three berries are mostly found in burnt-over areas or bogs in Newfoundland, so it's a wonder Dad's not yet been carried away by a bear. Dad doesn't gather berries in measures of cups or half-litres. He goes into the wilderness with salt-beef buckets or industrial ice-cream buckets and comes back when they're full. The wild blueberries are my favourite. They pop! in your mouth.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Break Radio Silence.

Phew. Sorry, folks, for being incommunicado. I feel now that my life's about to get into a routine.

I've been made concessionist for "Canada Rocks" on the mainstage of the Confederation Centre of the Arts, a job that has its advantages. I have to arrive a half-hour earlier and sometimes I stay 15 minutes longer than the other ushers. I don't have to do a lot of math, and I don't have to talk to as many people as I would if I were ushering. (Although I'm good at talking to the public, I find it draining after a while.) I also get Mondays and Saturdays nights off. Sweet.

Also, some fun news is: I got some hours up the in the Art Gallery/Musee des Beaux-Arts at the Confederation Centre. I work 4 hours a day on Saturdays and Sundays, and I start this weekend. I love art galleries, so I hope this is something I will enjoy. When I go travelling, visiting the museums and art galleries are always high on my to-do list. No, the Confed Art Gallery isn't London's Portrait Gallery (my favourite), but it has the biggest collection east of Montreal, and over 8,000 works of painter Robert Harris and architect William Critchlow Harris.

Last week was the Lucy Maud Montgomery Institute Conference, so Ben LeFebvre was is town. I didn't get to see him present his paper because Roseanne and Michelle were presenting theirs (which was fascinating), but I hung out with Ben and Hannah Jones on Wednesday night. We had supper at la Maison Gahan and drinks at the 42nd St. Lounge. Ben is doing some cool research on Montgomery's manuscripts, and it was fun to watch him get animated about things that other people (including me) can't really appreciate.

For Canada Day, Anders, his cousin Erwin and his wife Darlene and I went clam digging, only I checked the tide chart wrong and the tide was coming in, not going out. Bah. Later, we BBQed at the Balderston's and played outdoors. They made fun of my veggie burger, but not my feta in oil and baguette offering. 'Twas delish. Lisa came by with Paige, and the long lost DJ MacAskill came by. Deej is an old friend who now works for the military in avionics in Halifax. Fine for him, having a fulfilling career. I happen to like selling t-shirts and living with my Mum and Dad, thank you very much! sob.

The bruise on my butt is even more gross now that a week has passed. I wish it was just one colour again. Now it's a rainbow of gangrenous flesh. Hot!

Monday, June 26, 2006

This Calls For A Dry Spell.

I drank too much on Saturday night. Sunday was a recovery day.

I was at the Confed Centre until about midnight, when Lynda kindly drove me to Carolyn's house for a party. At the Confed, I only had one drink, so at Carolyn's, tango dancing with the diminutive Rebecca didn't seem terribly risky. But then all 5' of her tried to dip all 6' of me. I went down hard into a coffee table, and now have a painful-yet-impressive bruise on my right hip. It's the colour of eggplant. About the size of eggplant, too, now that I think about it.

Anyhow, the point is, it was physics and geometry that brought me down, and not my one Confederation Centre (too-dry) Manhattan.

Then I started drinking rum and cokes (rums and coke?) that were probably a little too strong, because by 4:30am, I was praying at the altar of my nightly post.

So, be it resolved, that I'm going to be a little smarter about my intake of intoxicants for the summer.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Anne's Revenge: Now It's Personal.

So the avian flu was just a scare? Huh. Who knew? Winnipeg, I guess.

I have started back at Anne of Green Gables: The Musical, tm. (Don't forget the tm, for Lucy Maud will reanimate and hunt you down.) Oh, and Canada Rocks also plays on the same stage, when Anne's not on. Canada Rocks is a Ganong Sampler of Canadian music, not all rock. I haven't seen it yet. During Canada Rocks, I'm filling the role of tee-shirt vendor, a la a rock concert. It's not too bad. I have to do some math and talk about the tensile strength of one tee versus another. I feel good about myself.

Working at the Confed Centre is really like riding a bike. Once you learn how to do it right, you can't forget how to do your job. I go through moments of thinking that it's lame to be working there, but it's actually not that bad. It's not that I don't like it there, it's just that I'd much rather prefer a real grown-up J-O-B, using some skills I learned in university. I could do way worse than the Confederation Centre.

I'm re-watching "The 'Bu," as one is wont to do. Did anyone notice that in the second episode, you can see Sacred Heart emblems in the hospital? Sacred Heart is the hospital on Scrubs, so I guess Sarah Chalke was a useful addition to the cast. I mean, of course she was! Besides the location!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Atticus Finch.

Mum and I just watched To Kill A Mockingbird, which I think is a perfect movie to watch on Father's Day.

Dad's off with the Feds dealing with the avian flu fallout. Mum said some other provinces' Health Officers won't let the Feds come to help, but Dad's always willing. We had an E. coli outbreak a few years ago, and a Federal Health Officer told Dad that they couldn't believe so many people were willing to work overtime, on weekends, and come to help even though they had retired. Dad had to tell him that he hadn't even ask them to, but they volunteered.

Sometimes I wish I knew Dad other than just my father, like, if I got to work with him or something. People really do respect and adore him. He's a very noble man.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Road Trip, Interrupted.

Mum, Dad and I were going to go to the Annapolis Valley yesterday, but then a strain of the avian flu was found up West by O'Leary. It's funny, isn't it, that I can't find enough work and Dad has too much? Well, I guess that's what 16 years of post-secondary education will get you. Forget that noise. My 6 is going to have to do me for the time being.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Sacred Balance.

The sacred balance of me doing something with my days while the World Cup is on. I'm watching Togo v. Korea now, which is turning out to be a cool game. Togo scored 30 minutes in, and then a Togo player was sent off with a red card, and the Koreans just responded with an equalizer. Bah. I want Togo to win, being its first time at the World Cup and all. Now they're short-handed. Short-footed?

Two nights ago Mum, Anna, Jackie and I went to see Dr. David Suzuki, which was a fantastic experience. He is, as expected, a great speaker, and told super stories about spending time with aboriginals in Canada and Brazil. He showed some slides and video, including a fantastic speech that his daughter made in Brazil in 1992.

He signed my copy of his autobiography and I got to speak to him for a moment. We're best friends now. Oh, by the way, I'm legally changing the spelling of my name to "Katherine." Well, no... I respect the dude, but not that much.

Then last night Roseanne and I went to see "Hamlet," which was put on by a youth group in Stratford (-apon-Hillsborough). I was stoked to see my favourite play performed for the first time, and it was awesome, but it wasn't quite what I'd hoped. What they did was have it in rhyming verse, with a narrator and actors bantering. It was cool, and funny, and the kids seemed to have a lot of fun.

Finally, big happy birthday to Lynda in Fredericton!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

I Got A FIFA.

Football fevah!

I'm watching Sweden v. Trinidad and Tobago (or Trinidad and Tobacco, as my father insists on calling it), and I'm loving this match! It's the first time Trinidad and Tobago made it to the World Cup, and everyone expected Sweden to crush them, but it's 52 minutes in and it's still nil-nil. The Trinidadians in the crowd are deliriously happy just to have made it to the World Cup, but that they're giving the Swedes a run for their kronas. It's great.


I watched England v. Paraguay this morning, and I was surprised to find myself cheering for the Paraguayans to win. The English are just so smug and entitled. There's one tall drink of water on the English team, Peter Crouch (I call him Barty), who can call me for a Canadian green card anytime. Anyway, England won, but it wasn't even their goal! Beckham tried to score and it deflected off a Paraguayan player. Bah.

I still have no idea what off-sides means, and it's been explained to me more than once. When I lived in England, my common, know-it-all landlord, Eddie Ivory, would watch football in the front room, smoking his roll-your-owns, downing cheap beer, and yell at the TV. "Off-sides!" was his most common bellicose howl. I would get very irritated by this. Once, another housemate, Jim, tried to explain to me what he was getting so agitated about, with a chart and everything. I would have glimmers of understanding, and then it would escape me. Bless Jim, wherever he is now, but it really didn't sink in.

God, Eddie was annoying. He would yell at me about how football was so much better then American football. What did I care about American football? Nary an iota. He also said that North America was so effing conceited because baseball's championships is called the World Series and it was only two countries involved. It was after I came home to Canada that I found out that "The World" was a newspaper that sponsored the first baseball playoffs. Man, I wish I knew that then to rub in his face.

Eddie also used to drop names of any celebrity that came from the county we lived in, Kent. "Mick Jagger went to my grade school," "I have Eric Idle's phone number" (Eddie was hired, amongst others, to lay bricks at Idle's new house in Sevenoaks). Blah blah blah. He acted as if he was the seventh Python. Pfft.

Jim was much nicer. He saw I liked watching football, so he took me to a Premier League match! We saw Tottenham v. Middlesborough in London. Jim was a huge (Tottenham) Hotspurs supporter, and was talking about getting a cockerel tattoo to represent his devotion. I wonder if he ever got it.

Jim was an urban engineer or something. He came home very late one very rainy night to tell us that his crew was preparing a bank for a new overpass when they discovered an unexploded German shell from the Blitz. He was quiet and smoked a lot that night.

Trinidad and Tobago is still fighting off Sweden. I'm going to go finish watching this match.

And btw, this is my 300th post. It's not that big a deal, but being able to divide anything by 100 is usually important.

Update: Trinidad and Tobago might as well have won 5-nil. The time ran out with no score, but the Trinidadians in the crowd exploded, and the Swedes were humiliated. It was great. Hurray for the underdogs! It was a great match, and the T&T goalkeeper, Hislop, was a scrapper. Oh, to be in Port of Spain tonight!