Friday, April 27, 2007

Damned If You Do.

What the hell?! The White Stripes are playing Charlottetown this summer? I get into an amazing course in Ontario and The White Stripes are playing in my hometown. That seems fair.

Ok, I guess I did see John Mayer last weekend, and he sure isn't playing the Charlottetown Civic Centre.

I just met with one of the reporters of the Haliburton Echo and Minden Times. We have a mutual friend in Melanie Wood; wunderkind, present Editor-in-Chief of the University of Ottawa's The Fulcrum, and the most famous person to ever come out of Tarantum, PEI. This reporter, Jessica Young, was EiC before Mel, and we had a fun talk. It was half interview, half chat. I think we'll get along this summer and she'll be a great person to know.

Postscript: Mobile is now playing in Charlottetown, too. I know when I leave Minden, Ted Leo and The Pharmacists will play here at the sketchy Rockcliffe bar.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Weekend Of Husbands.

i) Husband List Member Number Two

So, I forgot in all the activity of my life -- and that's really saying something about how busy my life is right now -- that I didn't write about the John Mayer concert last Friday.

Well, he was great.

That's it. There's nothing more to say.

Well, ok, that's not true. There's so much to say.

John Mayer was amazing. He is shocking live. Shocking. I expected him to indulge in more blues guitar licks and extended dance mix solos, but he really didn't all that much. It was more a pop concert than a blues thing. And thank goodness, too, because all the teenaged girls probably would have risen up in some sort of looting-and-rioting thing.

Marilyn really enjoyed herself. She got the ticket for me for my birthday! Isn't that nuts!?

As always, though, there were two grade-A twits in front of us, and then in front of them, the filets mignon of twits. They kept blinding us with their camera taking constant pictures of themselves. How pointless. Twits.

ii) Husband List Member Number Fourteen.

The next night, Marilyn and I went to see Hot Fuzz (2007). I am not totally sure why it's getting more praise than Shaun of the Dead, which, as you know, I worship as its own life force. Perhaps the homage to the buddy-cop movie has a broader appeal than the homage to the rom-com/zombie slasher. I don't know how that can be true, but maybe that's it.

Rafe Spall is one to watch. He played one of the sophomoric detectives in Hot Fuzz, and was very good.

Still, I'm still confident in my decision to include Simon Pegg on my Husband List. He was great as the straight-laced Sergeant Nicholas Angel. And there was a trailer for Run, Fat Boy, Run (2008), which actually looks pretty bad, but I'll see it anyway, out of loyalty to my Husband List. I saw Solaris (2002), didn't I? Shudder.

POSTSCRIPT: I'm working on a second roster of the Husband List. It's for those gentlemen who don't quite make the cut in one way or another, but still deserve some attention. A poor man's Husband List? Certainly not. Consider it the farm team for the major leagues.

I need a name for The List, though. It can't be The Boyfriend List, either. That already exists. (Oh, I'm like one of those Russian nesting dolls. I get smaller and more pointless the deeper you explore.) I need suggestions, please.

In related news, I might shift one of my Husband List members to the Honourable Mention Husband List (not the official title). He's been bugging me.

"Sort Your Fuckin' Life Out, Mate!"

Wholly unexpectedly, the above title (and one of the many righteous quotes from Shaun of the Dead) has become my mantra these last few days. I've needed a great deal more organisation in my life. In fact, on my binder, I've written, "What happened to your hand, man?" which is the next line after the above title and while seemingly meaningless, reminds me of its predecessor without using such filthy, profane language. (I know my blog readers can handle it, though - you're made of tougher stock.) I was afraid that a client or guest might come read my mantra over my shoulder, and that would be no good. I don't have 10 years of brainwa... I mean, training, at the Confed for nothing!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

First Fortnight: Check.

Ok. Sorry for the radio silence. This week has been insane. In one day, we learned about roof trusses, moisture theory, solar hot water panels, and photovoltaic cells. And then another day, we made sawhorses, standing outside in the sleet and rain. On Thursday, it turned into summer, so I have to stock up on the sunscreen.

The ball is really rolling on this PR stuff. But it's like a snowball. Rolling rapidly down a snowy hill. I hope it doesn't get away from me. It's going to take a great deal of organisation and forethought.

If anyone wants to buy a bale in our building, they're $10 each, and you'll be recognised on the wall, forever and ever. We're going to use around 500 hemp bales, so it's a limited chance to be involved. (Buy two or more, and there's a tax reciept in it for you. Wink.)

I also have a roommate now! His name is Kevin and he was a late addition to the class. Housing in Minden is really limited, and I had the room, so I am now splitting the rent. I liked the idea of living on my own this summer, but I didn't like my rent, so this isn't much of a concession. And Kevin is great so far, so I think we'll be fine. I somehow feel like I'm cheating on Jeremy, though.

On Monday, we start construction. The foundation team has already been working for 4 days with the excavators and helping in-fill. The site is on a bog, so there are some special considerations to build a solid foundation. We have to use helical piers, which have much more surface area than poured concrete piers. Both have a ton of embodied energy, but we have to balance building a sustainable structure with building a durable structure. It's no good to put in untreated local windfall lumber that's going to rot in 7 years, so we must make allowances.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Team Leader Sweet.

In a break again from class.

Yesterday we chose teams. The instructor divided up the tasks into 26 sections, and each student had to chose one team to be the leader of, and two to be assistant on. We all ranked out our favourites. I tried to choose between things I knew I'd be good at, like teams in the Administrative group, and things I'd like to learn how to do, like Solar Hot Water Systems, or Plumbing and Waste Managment.

Chris, the instructor, chose our names from a hat (literally) and let us pick what task we would be leading. I was probably about the 12th name called, and I was luckily able to get my first choice, Public Relations and Media. I have to put feelers out for media to do stories on us, design the class' website (last year's website), organise and prepare interpretive signage, design and prepare sponsor and donor's signage, do tours of the site (when possible), and have pamphets ready for spectators.

Oh. Did I not mention spectators? Yeah, this kind of construction draws a lot of looky-loos, and we welcome that, but it sometimes interferes with work, so the town of Minden has decided to erect BLEACHERS near the construction site. We are going to be a tourist attraction this summer. Like monkeys in a zoo. Or Box Officers at the Confederation Centre of the Arts.

Anyhow, I'm looking forward to getting to work on it all. And, since I can do quite a bit in my down time, I think it'll leave me a lot of time to assist with other teams that I'm interested in. I'm officially assistant for the Flooring team, and co-leader for the Ventiliation team. (It's the lungs of the building!)

It's going to be so much work! I can't wait to get started on it all, though. Tomorrow my first assignment is due, as I think I mentioned in my last post. I have to address the class and educate them about my chosen company.

Yesterday, Chris read the riot act, if that phrase works. He told us all that this course is an insane amount of work and we will all cry at one point or another this summer. He said if any of us are even slightly entertaining the thought of quitting, it's better to get it over with sooner rather than later, because the later it gets, the more it screws over the rest of us. He said to come to talk to him if any of us had doubts. I wonder if anyone did? I didn't! I'm ready for the work! I survived McMaster grad school, GD it! I can survive anything!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Strong To The Finish.

I'm in my second day of classes. I'm LOVING the classes. Chris Magwood, the celebrity instructor, is just as cool as, but way younger than I thought he'd be.

My apartment is kind of a shithole, and I've been forced, once again (as is my tradition with apartments), to buy mousetraps. There's a long, dingy, dark-wood panelled hallway that opens out into an unnecessarily large living room. The room that is meant to be my bedroom is so dark and scary, my tools are going to sleep there, and I'm sleeping in the living room.

My landlord, so far, has proven to be a grade A wiener. I could go on, but I won't.

I bought a pound of spinach, thinking I could easily eat that much spinach in salads before it went off. Now, I'm dreaming about Popeye and there are antioxidant pellets in my urine. What did we learn? A pound of spinach is too much for one lady.

There's actually quite a bit of research and reports going on for this course, so today I have to get in touch with people at a green roofing organisation. It was my linque du jour late last year, so I think I'm fairly familiar with it so far.

The project sounds amazing. I thought it was a community centre, but it's going to be a museum! We even have to take into account the HVAC system, which is the same kind of set-up we had at the Confed Art Gallery to regulate temperature and humidity. The museum is going to house a collection of RD Lawrence writing and research. He was a naturalist and writer that I'd never heard of, but I'll learn a lot more about him in months to come.

I'll try to post again when I can. I'll hopefully have internet at my place soon. I'm hoping the phone'll be hooked up when I get home from school this evening.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

3 The Hard Way.

Three posts in one day! All y'all's heads be 'splodin'!

I'm off to Ontario tomorrow. I leave at around 3pm. I'm not anywhere as packed as I should be, and I still need some things off my list.

I really don't know what the internet situation is going to be like for the next five months. I hope to have it in my apartment, but I don't know. I'll try to keep in touch, if not by blog, then email. Facebook is not going to be a big priority, sorry. I am also a big snail-mail aficionado, so I might resort to that.

Anyhow, loves to all of you. I hope the next five months treat you well.

I Am Aging.

I have two grey eyebrow hairs. In my left eyebrow, as one looks at me. The strange thing is, I kinda like them. I'm excited about them, for some reason. I don't know if they're really grey or super blonde or have no colour or what, but they're there nonetheless. I don't think I have any grey hairs on my head so far, but I'm getting to that age.

I have a couple of friends who are starting to get grey hair and they dye it. I have always hoped that I'd not dye my hair when it goes grey, but just let it go naturally grey. Happily, since my hair is so fair, it won't stand out as much at first. It might buy me a little more time.

Rock My Spot.

I don't buy a lot of new CDs, but I was compelled on Friday to splurge.

I decided to finally get a Scissor Sisters album, and since I liked "Take Your Mama" and "Laura" so much. They recently released a new album, so I got the both of them (after some hunting). The eponymous first album is great, and "Ta-Dah," the recent release, is fun, too. (Watch a profile with George.)

Lisa and Jackie came over for a night of Carcassonne and I played both albums on a loop. Their new track, "I Don't Feel Like Dancing" is so infectious, I love it. I didn't think I was so drawn to blatantly dancy-type music, but this is great stuff.

I was first drawn to "Take Your Mama" because it sounds like classic Elton John (c. 1970), and I love classic Elton John (wait for his "These Are The Jo(h)ns I Know" instalment). Now, it turns out that Elton is a fan of the Scissor Sisters and even acted as a producer for this new album. That, to me, is the best endorsement a band could ever get. I also hear Bee Gees, some George Michael, and a little dash of Robbie Williams from time to time. But, in all, they're all Scissor Sisters.

Anyroads, if you want a fun, rhythmic album to help dance away your life, pick up either Scissor Sisters CD.

Not you, Lynda. Only when you're less concussed.

(Oh, and also, the Scissor Sisters were the inspiration for the somewhat rude title of the the post on the 31st of March, 2007.)