Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I'm Gonna Be On CBC!

Well, sorta. I'm not going to be on CBC. You won't hear my voice.

I wrote a question in to Radio3's weekly countdown of Canadian indie music, the R3:30 a few months ago, and they're going to answer it on-air this Friday! I'm even going to get a "prize pack"!

(I have no idea what this prize pack entails - it could be a mug or a slide whistle or some belly button lint. Actually, I was joking but, now that I think of it, CBC is in a bit of a state, bless them, so lint is probably about right.)

The R3:30 goes out live on Fridays at noon Eastern; streaming online. On Mondays they publish (?) a podcast with highlights. There's no guarantee that I'll be on the Monday podcast, but the question will be read on Friday's show!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

UPEI Unbound!

Bah. My engagement at UPEI has been cancelled. There weren't enough students who signed up.

Well, stink. I was hoping to get out of this city and be home for 2 whole months this summer.

Le sigh.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Thanks, Buddy!

I had so much fun last week at my ukulele night.

Each Wednesday is my uke jam night. Every month there's a theme night, and since this month's was on the 18th, the theme was "Luck."

I wanted to tie in a Irish music theme with me being so lucky to have been born in Newfoundland.

I decided to play Buddy Wasisname and the Other Feller's "Song For Newfoundland," a beautiful tune extolling the beauty of our easternmost province.

The crowd for the theme night was bigger than usual; about 45-50. They caught on to the chorus quickly, and I could hear them singing along as I went through the song. It sounded so good, in the last chorus I stopped strumming and we all sang a capella. I got really choked up, hearing a room of (mostly) Torontonians singing that Newfoundland is "home sweet home to me."

It was fantastic, and reminded me that familiarity and affection are not the same thing and I'm not home here.

Monday, March 16, 2009

UPEI Bound!

Things are in the works for me to teach at UPEI this summer.

The course is the 200-level special studies course called "Sights and Sites - From Mecca to Graceland: Spiritual Journeys" and is based on the work I did with my Master's research.

I'll be teaching about secular pilgrimages to places we might not consider spiritual, like PEI, Broadway, or Jim Morrison's grave.

I designed the course a couple of years ago, but then got into college and couldn't teach.

Well, I'll hopefully be teaching. It all depends on if there are enough students. If there isn't high enough enrolment, the class'll be cancelled.

So, folks: spread the word. If you know of someone who needs an elective, tell them about this course.

If anyone wants a syllabus, email me or leave a comment, and I'll send one along.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Compy Dirt Nap.

My compy is well dead. It had sicknesses and noises and reboot coughs.

It's now in at the local and hopefully-not-scheister (but smells like cigarette smoke nonetheless) computer repair shop. I'm kinda afraid they're going to look at it and charge me to tell me it's stone cold busted and there's no way to repair it.
I guess since my generous brother-in-law gave it to me as a hand-me-down and I've only spent about $70 on USB peripheral stuff, I could drop $100 on repairing it. It's still a hell of a lot less than buying a new one.

I'm sad I'm losing photos and all the totally legal songs I have in my iTunes. Oh, well. This life is illusory.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

They Bought It.

On Saturday night, I went to see a live improvised version of Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

I was pretty NRVOUS, because, as I told my housemates,

"I tend to hate improv, but I tend to fucking love Ferris Bueller's Day Off."

I liked it, but mostly, I'm sure, because of my undying love for the original.

The improv parts were ok, but the suggestions from the audience were not great, so the performers didn't have a lot to work with. The guy who played Cameron was fantastic, even though, through audience suggestions, his father was Bill Cosby and the Ferrari was the cab from Ghost Dad.

It basically made me think of what my sister and I acted out in our basement.

Ok, we never did that, but we totally could have.

Monday, March 09, 2009

I Surrender.

That photo has been haunting me.

Jason Schwartzman is the newest member of the Husband List.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Now I Can Attempt a Kolvoord Starburst... But Won't.

I am now a regular platelets donor. It's a little different than giving whole blood, and cool.

When you donate platelets, a machine next to you spins your whole blood in a centrifuge, takes the platelets (and a little plasma), and returns everything back to you in the same tube.

It takes a hell of a lot longer. Whole blood usually takes less than 10 minutes, while most people take around 45 to donate platelets. I take more than 60 because my veins are so small! (Today the phlebologist told me my vein was only a little bigger than the 16-gauge (c. 1.65mm) needle they used! Augh!)

The upside of the time sacrifice is being able to donate every 14 days instead of every 56. That's 4 times more donations, which is worth the extra hour a fortnight.

I'm usually pretty emotional about donating, but last time I donated, I got an even bigger reality check. I saw the phlebologist filling out a blue tag and asked her what it was for, since I'd never seen one. She told me it was to identify my donation as bound for SickKids, the Toronto children's hospital. What do I have to moan about, huh?

When you donate whole blood, gravity draws your donation from you, where your 2-unit bag of blood is rocked gently in a cradle on the floor to keep it from clotting.

When you donate with apheresis, the blood is drawn out using pressure. Trust me, this feels cool. It feels uncomfortable if the machine is set to draw more blood than your veins will allow. This is what happens in my case, so while my hematocrit (the amount of solids in blood) is high enough to say I should be done in about 40 minutes, my wee veins makes it go an hour.

You're sat in a loungey chair with a machine next to you which looks positively medieval. There are whirling wheels and multi-coloured tubes, resevoirs, and humming and clicking. Because your blood has to travel so far, a little bit of anti-coagulant is mixed in so it won't seize up. Like a lot of people, I have a reaction to that anti-coagulant. It makes my lips numb and I feel like my entire body is vibrating, like I was strapped to an outboard motor. To remedy this, the nurses make you chew some Tums. It's the calcium! This morning, I had yogurt and milk on cereal, so today my reaction wasn't as servere.

Finally, the ladies and one dude that work in at the apheresis clinic are awesome. Can you imagine trying to find a tiny tube in an opaque hunk of meat by poking it with a needle? That's what these people do for a living, and they're good at it!