Tuesday, January 30, 2007

In Memoriam.

Our good friend Anna's father passed away on Sunday. One can never truly prepare for this. All our love, Anna.

Clint Evans
1949-2007

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Some Misc. Thoughts.

Beyonce and her backing band in the video for "Irreplaceable" are rocking out far harder than the music or content of the song dictates.

I love that Tylenol ad where the old lady brings her hard-working jailbird husband some Tylenol for his aching arthritic bones, but it's smuggled in inside a cake. It's the bait and switch that I love.

That lead songer from Hedley (Jacob Hoggard) should be sterilized. Is he really considered talented or sexy? I might think he had some singing talent if he didn't behave like a re-animated zombie cross between Mick Jagger and Johnny Rotten (with its arse hanging out). Using those names as references might be giving him too much credit.

I gave blood on Wednesday, and my goal was to donate in less than 20 minutes, because I usually have a needle in my aching arm for about 22/23 minutes, but this time the nurse thought she'd give a go at tapping another vein that was slightly larger, but deeper. In the end, I donated in 6 minutes! 6! SIX! My record before was 14! Now I know what vein to use from now on!

As much as I dislike winter, there is something terribly Canadian and romantic about being out with friends on a bitterly cold night. We're Canadian! We're bound together by the common bond of very cold weather! Take that, Brazil!

I both enjoy and hate painting walls. I like it because when it's done, it's very satisfying; I also find it meditative. I hate it because you have to be so flippin' careful with spatters, the paint dries out my hands, and sometimes it doesn't cover well and you have to do too many coats.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Home Sweet Home.

Well, this has certainly been an exciting week.

Last Friday I got home to find an acceptance letter from Fleming College for that course I applied for - Sustainable Building Design and Construction. Yesterday I sent in my acceptance of their offer.

Holy crap - I think I'm going to move to Ontario to learn how to design and build healthy homes! Gah!

This is pretty scary for me, as you might imagine. I've been schooled in a very academic way for years, so to get to more of a hands-on, practical course, this is going to be a huge shift of pace for me. I am honestly frightened, but I'm pretty clever, so I can hopefully keep up. I really want to learn about these construction methods, though, and maybe do something with it as a career. Maybe anything worth doing should make you a little scared.

Anyhow, in less than 2 weeks, I'll be up in Ontario looking at the campus and for an apartment. Marianne is going to take (a lot of!) time off work to accompany me up north for my recon mission. The campus is in Haliburton, Ontario, which seems to be almost right between Ottawa and Toronto, and north of Peterborough, near the Algonquin National Park. It's in the fabled Cottage Country, and it sounds like the Anti-Hamilton. (Could it be worse? It's not the Sydney Tar Ponds, for god's sake!)

The course starts in April and is 5 months long, so I'll miss PEI's beautiful summer, but I've spent more than 5 months unemployed this year, so I guess it's worth the risk to go and learn something new.

Yours,
Full of fear and loathing,
Catherine S. S.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Come January We're Frozen Inside.

Jesus, Mary, and Joseph it's cold today. It's the first time this winter my nose hairs froze. Thank goodness my parents have a garage (and, although I don't say it very often, thank goodness I live with my parents), because I would not have wanted to shovel this morning.

All three school districts on PEI are closed today because it's too cold for the students to smoke outside while they're skipping English class. Poor darlings.

Today I'm helping Siobhan (the curator) hang 16" square photographs of dogs in the restaurant and cafe. They're all the same: close-up dog portraits with a green background. They are different breeds, at least. Everyone is cooing over them like they're the cutest thing on earth, and I think they're tacky as hell. And it's not because I don't like dogs. It's the dog equivilent of Anne Geddes. Cloying, saccharine, bullshit.

But who am I to judge?

Friday, January 12, 2007

It's...

I've been listening to my Spamalot soundtrack on a loop lately. It's so well done, and it still makes me laugh. I said before in my review that it's a satirical send-up of big Broadway shows tucked inside of- and disguised as a big Broadway show. It's great for musical fans and those Monty Python freaks.

The original cast in New York had Tim Curry as King Arthur, Hank Azaria as Sir Lancalot, David Hyde Pierce as (Brave) Sir Robin, and Sara Ramirez as the Lady of the Lake. I would have never known from Grey's Anatomy that Dr. Torres has a huge Broadway-style singing voice. I think my favourite song she sings is called "Whatever Happened to My Part (Diva's Lament)". The Lady of the Lake had lots of songs in the first act, but quite a few songs go by in the second act before she struts out in her dressing gown and basically throws a hissy fit. This video is a good example of what audiences would have seen, however overexposed. And of course I don't condone the use of recording devices in a copyrighted show. =cough=

I liked the British Lady of the Lake, but it would have been cool to see Dr. Torres.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

FYI: Thai.

That Thai place on Kent Street in Charlottetown will put take-out orders in Tupperware containers if you bring them in. They use styrofoam, otherwise. I love their veg pad thai, but I think I'll try their sweet and sour chicken next time. Oh, and word to the wise: the dipping sauce that comes with the chicken dumplings is hot. My lips went numb. Actually, that was pretty cool.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Bit Part v. Leading Role.

I have an addictive personality. I'm actually very well-suited for a life of fundamentalism in some religion because I get obsessed with things and can't think about much else. I could probably go from layperson to nun in 8 seconds flat.

Things I have been obsessed with in the past:
-Conan O'Brien
-The Office (UK)
-(subcategory) Martin Freeman
-Aladdin
-Scrubs
-The Brendan Leonard Show
-Arnold Schwartzenegger
-Monty Python's Flying Circus
-being the best darn Parks employee I can be
-Bill Nye the Science Guy
-Peter Pan
-Becoming a Marine Biologist
-Christianity
-The Office (US)
-Darkwing Duck
-The Beatles
-Tenacious D
-(subcategory) Jack Black
-J.Mo. (UPEI Varsity Basketball team captain)
-many more that are in the lost and found box of my mind.

Note no mention of "grad student" on that list.

I'm happy with the balance I've struck between Normal Person and Birkenstock Crunchy. I don't even think my pre-occupation with greeniness is all that obsessed, really. It's more of a dedication than an obsession.

I feel like there's a lot more I can do, though! I really want to work in an environmental field (line of work, I should say). I think something will come up for me. I enjoy working here at the Art Gallery very much, and it's a creative atmosphere, which is important to me, but I think Canada's environmental situation (I avoid the word "crisis" here) deserves more attention, and there are a myriad of things we all can do to to help out.

Still, I don't think I'm suited for the "every bit helps" role in Canada's environmental goals - I want to do more. I've applied for that Sustainable Construction course, and although that's scary, it's the size role I'd like to play.

This rant is sponsored by my new Linque du Jour (screen left). I encourage you to take a few moments and learn about living roofs. Planting a green roof is a great way to absorb some CO2, reflect less solar energy, insulate a building for heat and from sound, and beautify the urban (and of course, rural) landscape. Just imagine how great it would look to fly over Toronto and see all the flat roofs carpeted in colourful sedum.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

From Maud To Mud.

2006 was a very long year. It contained most of my annus horribilis (September '05 - September '06), but there were some high points.

And let the record show: the girl cleans up nice.


















Especially after hand-mixing liquid clay for a scratch layer on a strawbale house.























(In Quispamsis, New Brunswick in early September.)

A Change Of Pace.

Or is it?

Finally posting some good news on my blog, the contract that I had at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery has been extended! I start tomorrow for 10 more weeks. I really like the job, and although, as I've said before, the pay is not great, it's assloads more than I'd get hunting for work in my parent's house, not showering until 1pm, at their computer in my housecoat, getting more and more depressed and disillusioned.

The permanent job hunt continues, though.

Holly is off to O-H-IO! today to meet her future in-laws and get married on Wednesday. I must say, despite myself, I'm excited about it. I hope she has fun, all goes well, and the Yankees don't grind her bones to make their bread. I'm sure that won't happen. gulp.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

It Was Actually A Nice Time.

I got back this afternoon from the Annapolis Valley for my grandmother's funeral. The funeral service itself was ok - the Baptist preacher took it as a good opportunity to lay on the apologetics a little thick, but it was fine. The choir sang How Great Thou Art and Amazing Grace, which were a couple of songs Grammy really liked when she sang in that choir.

It was cool going back to the Billtown Baptist Church. We used to go sometimes as kids when we visited Grammy on weekends. It's just a little wooden church like all those other little wooden churches all over Canada, but it was just right.

The burial was a little strange, since it all seemed a little out of a movie. When the minister said the "ashes to ashes and dust to dust" part of the reading, a funeral home lady came forward and poured what looked like ash from a little vial in the shape of a cross onto the top of the casket. Is this normal? I'd never seen this done. I guess I don't go to a lot of funerals.

Afterwards, we went back to the church and the ladies' auxillery had set out sandwiches and squares. They had what my Uncle Lowell calls "Baptist Mystery Meat Sandwiches," which I have seen before and are very good. He says all you do is grind up any leftover meat, throw in a bit of relish and slap it between two slices of white bread. Delicious!

Anyhow, it turned out to be a really fun time. There were lots of people there, and they were all chatting with Dad and Uncle Lowell and all the grandkids. Four of Dad's co-workers drove down for the service, which was surprising and very sweet. Then one of them started pumping Dad's old friends for fun stories for his retirement party (whenever that will be!) - multitasking!

Anyhow, just like any wedding has some tears, this funeral had some laughter, and it was a nice way to send the old lady off. She was quite the character and I'll remember her very fondly.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The Ebb And Flow.

After a long stay in a home and after strokes and Alzheimer's, my father's mum died yesterday morning. Her name was Marjorie Sweet. She was 98 and both her body and mind were just tired out. We're going down to the Annapolis Valley tomorrow to bury her next to my grandfather. She was a schoolteacher in Nova Scotia and raised my Dad and my Uncle Lowell after her husband died in 1954. Grammy came to PEI to live with us for many winters since she lived alone in a big farm house in Billtown, NS. She had many strange little idiosyncrasies, but she was a cool independent lady who had a big vegetable garden in back of her house was always interested in our studies. I could go on at length about Grammy, but I'll leave it at that.