Friday, November 30, 2007

This is a picture I did not take...

of the church building where I'm currently parking my car for free while I'm at school and work during the day. However, because there is no such thing as a free lunch (or in this case, parking spot), the church is located a good twenty minute walk away from any building on campus, which means I get a nice walk in every morning and afternoon. Anyway, back to the picture. This picture I did not take is of the steeple of the church, rather tall and stoic-looking, up against the grey, swirly, all-day-long overcast sky that drizzled on us fairly continuously today. The greyish-white of the church steeple blended in just enough with the greyish-grey of the clouds to make kind of a quietly beautiful sight. Alas, no camera. Double alas, even had I had a camera on hand, the picture would have turned out very blah due to the very little light available and the lack of contrast between the subject matter and the background. I guess it's all for the best.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Copping Out

I feel bad for doing a picture post so late in the month- I've made it twenty-seven days with words, and I decide I can't do it anymore? Well, not really. It's just that today is the first day in a very, very long time that I have been able to just relax at home in the evening, no work to stress about until tomorrow afternoon. So I want to enjoy it, and talk with my roommates, and just hang out. So you get to enjoy this picture I took of a pretty pretty butterfly on pretty pretty purple flower in Las Vegas. That's right, I did take pictures over Thanksgiving, and I'm showing them here. Who knows what tomorrow will bring! More pictures? a return to words? No one can tell (not even I).

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Helpful Hints

In case you're ever in a group musical class-type situation, with one teacher and many instruments, here's some advice from my fellow guitar classmates:

Make sure you don't practice anything during the week. That way you can learn lots during class time.

When the teacher asks for a volunteer to play something, do anything but raise your hand. Instead, pick your nose, text your friends, or play your instrument quietly to yourself for twenty minutes while no one else raises their hand.

If by some mysterious chance, somebody volunteers to play, don't listen to them. Don't pretend to listen to them, either, and definately don't let anyone else listen. Play loudly over them to make sure a healthy cacophony is maintained in the classroom. This way everyone remains equal in your eyes and those of the teacher.

I'm not sure if you understood that last one, and it's important and bears repeating. If it looks like the teacher may be listening in concentration to a fellow-student's playing, stand up and play with all your might. But play a completely different genre than the class is for. Preferably an overplayed radio song. This will make you rise in your teacher's esteem for your guitarry prowess.

Monday, November 26, 2007

In Case You Were Wondering

Christmas lists get more and more guilty-feeling as I get older and my taste (and needs) get more expensive, but. You know, here it is.

Ooh, how 'bout an adjustment or a massage?

My walls are a little bare right now. Maybe something to liven them up?

Eh, I'm really not sure how much more stuff I want right now. My apartment's getting kind of full. I should really probably throw some stuff out, now that I think of it.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Curse you, Dario Fo

One of the banes of my existence this past four months or so has been the world of Italian theatre. Not that it's necessarily bad, but my professor has strange and unpredictable taste in plays, so it's always a gamble when you go to open a new reading assignment. Two of our last plays were by the same author, and the first one, while not spectacular, was pretty ok. Not hideously vulgar (like some plays we've had to read), kind of funny (it describes the Pope blessing people he passes while downhill skiing), it is one of my more favorite plays from the semester. All jazzed up from the first one, I move right along into the second, expecting more of the same. I could tell from the style that it was definately the same guy writing, but somehow it just wasn't funny. The play didn't seem to go anywhere, there were several dumb false endings that a six-year old could have come up with, and the final real ending was hopelessly cheesy, and not in a good way. I kept waiting for the play to hit its stride, to start being entertaining, but it just slogged its way through to the end, remarkably unfunny the whole way through.

Although we don't have any other plays assigned to us by this author, I almost feel compelled to read just one more, as a sort of tie-breaker, to see which play was more reflective of his work as a whole, and which play was the accident. But that will wait until perhaps the end of the semester.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Holiday Synopsis

Ugh. It's cold (relatively) outside, it's windy, the air seems to be even drier than it is at home, the water is hard. My hands are about to fall off my wrists and leave little flaky, wizened stumps at the end of my arms. If I don't gnaw the skin right off my knuckles before that.

I know, I know that nobody cares what I had for lunch, but I'm a little awed by the fact that in the past four days, I've eaten more meat, and more kinds of meat, than I probably have in the past month before that. Hamburger! Turkey! Ham! Pork! Lobster! Chicken! That's more than one meat per day. Also desserts on a grand scale. I'm almost looking forward to coming back home, where I eat small, college-scale dinners at home and dessert (if there is one) is a couple of those wafer cookies, you know, the kind that taste like cardboard with creme in the middle, the ones that come in packages of pink, yellow and brown? I think that the nontraditionalness of this Thanksgiving has been made up for by the vast quantities of food eaten.

There has been much visiting with relatives, and much talking about them later once safely in the hotel room. I love my family. And I can't wait to get home.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Black Friday?

Didn't venture out to shop today, but spent all daywith relatives from both sides of my family. I got to hear the story of my aunt and uncle taking home a live bobcat in their car, and discovering upon arriving home that the animal had expired during the ride. Only at that point did their passenger turn into an object of fright for them. My relatives are strange people. With the other side of the family this evening, we ate another Thanksgiving dinner that couldn't be beat, then ran around geocaching with my cute little cousins. Relaxing is tough work. And now, for a word from my 9-year old cousin:

....or maybe not. He's become suddenly shy, after efy6rfy (oh wait, there he goes!)

Sadly, only when I ask him to type something does he refuse to touch the computer. I guess the old adage works for blogging, too never work with children or animals.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Stranger in a Strange Land

It's amazing and somewhat saddening to see how many people spend Thanksgiving sitting in the casino, pressing the buttons on video poker machines. Of course, in order to know that, I had to be in the casino myself, but nevermind about that. It was a special exception to the general rule. All things considered, it's been a great holiday so far. I got to spend time with my relatives, I ate turkey and stuffing, I spent four hours in the car, I got to wear a jacket and scarf. Yessir, I'd say it's been a most satisfying Thangsgiving.

And boy howdy, Las Vegas just keeps getting bigger. Wider and wider, soon it's going to need to buy a new belt.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Holidays

There's something exciting about going out of town for Thanksgiving for the first time in your life.

There's something disheartening about getting home from school and realizing you still have to pack, like, everything.

I'll be interested to see how traffic works this weekend, having only traveled once for a holiday, and that being by air. Hopefully all will go well, and I'll get maybe some fun pictures? And if you're lucky I may even post some of them next week! Have a happy Thanksgiving, and remember all that great stuff you have to be thankful for. What a wonderful holiday.


I just noticed a loophole in the system- my blog is somehow not in the same time zone as myself. This means I can post well into the next day and still have it count for the previous day. Although I am too tired to take advantage of this tonight, it is useful information for later. Not that I'd want to take advantage, but just that sometimes midnight comes around a lot faster than you'd think. And I wouldn't want to screw up my record for Nablopomo.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Slight Reprieve

It's an amazing thing when you're mercifully given the day before Thanksgiving off work, especially when you're going out of town that night and you still haven't packed.

On the plus side, I just finished the final draft of my assignment that's due tomorrow, and I don't have to be on campus until noon. Holidays are wonderful.

And yes, I nearly forgot to post tonight, and that's why this is such an uninspired post.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Liiiiiiive Braaaaiiinnnnnnssss

It's been a long time since I've waited till such last minute to write a paper, I figured I'd end my college career in style, not technically pulling an all-nighter (still have not accomplished this feat), but going to bed around midnight and getting up at 3:30 to finish. It is now nearly seven in the morning, and I can tell you it's no picnic typing up a paper while fighting the hiccoughs for an hour and a half. Now I know why I do this so little. Because getting up that early makes me lightheaded and I want to vomit.

Instead of vomiting, I will trot off to work and then to school, because rent doesn't pay itself, and because I want my stinking degree. Perhaps I'll be more interesting/funny/awake for tomorrow's post.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Uh, Meme?

I'm not all up ons the internet lingo, but I think what this means is that I've been made to be a participant in a blogging-type chain letter. Which, frankly, is not my kind of thing, so I'll do the seven "random" things about myself, but I refuse to link to a bunch of other people I don't know. Basically, I will only follow the rules that I feel like following.

So. Random stuff about me.

1. I play the banjo! Tonight we had a hootenanny which turned out quite well.

2. I own two chinchillas. I enjoy rodents as pets; my favorite in terms of cuddliness would have to be rats.

3. I'm kind of sad that I had my appendix taken out when I was ten, because I recently heard that they've finally found a use for it.

4. According to my mother, all of my friends are ugly.

5. Io parlo italiano, ma non bene.

6. I've had 1.33 bikes stolen from me- 1 in Vancouver, BC, and .33 last week at home.

7. I have a painting of a green monkey with a red background over my TV that everyone who comes to my apartment comments on.

Aren't you glad we've had this opportunity to learn boring facts about my life? Let's not do this again, ok?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Code

Bicyclists have funny little codes, like, if you're on a bike and you're wearing the hilarious clothes, you're suddenly part of a secret society. You pass a bike going the other way, they briefly lift their hand as if they were secretly acknowledging your mutually privileged status. If a biker passes another biker changing a tire or sitting on the side of the road or whatever, not riding, they always ask to make sure you don't need anything. Why is this? Drivers of cars don't do this. Any hand gestures between drivers are generally less positive, and yet the drivers have the same kind of relationship as the bikers, don't they?

Today I found out that there's other stuff, too. Stuff that doesn't come out until a race. Like when the cop at the intersection stops you so traffic can go the other way, everyone starts yelling, "Slowing! Stopping!" A chorus of "stopping!" "On your left" and "car!" are also common things to hear. If there's debris in the road, like gravel or a water bottle, it is pointed to by EVERYONE and yelled out (" gravel!" "bottle!") by a few. There were also a couple of "biker down!" moments today, the news quickly spreading down the field. I guess all those 'race day' calls are simply to make everything safe for the ten thousand people riding the same course at the same time, but I still don't get the little secret wave, which occurs every day.

Friday, November 16, 2007

I Wish I Were Old

Waiting for the concert to start, the couple behind me discusses.

:"Did I ever tell you of a girl I knew in grammar school? Her name was Violet McDonald. Tall, blonde, not much to look at. I saw her years later in the suburbs. Beautiful! A Swedish dream!"

;"...they're late."

:"They're always late."

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Bang Head Against Wall

You know you've chosen the wrong class to take when your research project leads you to believe that a dissertation in another language is a Great Source! The most information you can find! The most relevant scholarly material, and actually, the only scholarly material, out there on your subject.

You know you've chosen your roommates wisely when one of them can translate the most important bits into English for you.

But seriously, if you happen to know of any scholarly approaches to the corrido (a type of song popular in Mexico) that can be found on the internet, I'd be appreciative. And yes, I've already checked out

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

What Next?

My computer's power cord dies this weekend. $72.

Not 24 hours after purchasing a new cord, the rear wheel of my bicycle, my vehicle for getting almost everywhere during the week, is stolen. Dollar amount yet unknown.

I predict that my car will blow up in 45 minutes, after which I get fired from my job.

I believe that either I am being punished for some unknown crime, or something incredibly wonderful is about to happen to me and the universe wants to maintain equilibrium.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


So, we all know that In-N-Out Burger has scripture references printed on the underside of their cups, the one I see most (because it's on the soda cup) being John 3:16. The text of this verse states,

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

Now, that's cool and all, that a wildly popular, yet still family-owned, burger joint thinks it's important to put scriptural reminders on their packaging. I like it. It's a nice little touch that makes me like In-N-Out, because their beliefs aren't hidden, but neither are they jammed down your throat (no pun intended). My roommate just came home from a long weekend, and threw down her duffel bag, backpack, and shopping bag that she keeps stuff in.

Did you know that Forever 21 also has John 3:16 printed on the bottom of their yellow bag of shame?

Monday, November 12, 2007

Endless Frustration

I certainly love Apple. I love it like everything else I've had since childhood (except my giant calves. Those I do not love so much). However, I have a qualm with my 2003 iBook (well, two, if you count my annoyance that it didn't even come with solitaire): my power cords keep crapping out on me. Yes, that is power cords plural. The first one lasted about two and a half years, then finally gave way to the constant pressures of bending. Imagine that! Expecting a CORD to BEND! A replacement was obtained, a slightly different type from an off-brand. That one only has lasted two years, and two days ago suddenly died as well.

Now, I'm all for the sleek and stylish design of Apple products, the whiteness and all, but I am for the first time in my life jealous of those Dell users with the giant ugly plugs for their computers. You know, the big utilitarian black boxes with the honking three-pronged plugs made out of titanium. Deep down inside of me, I would like to have such an unelegant thing to plug my computer into, knowing that it will forever and always fulfill its purpose of powering my favorite piece of technology.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Let's Do It; Let's Fall in Love

Why why why do I ever think it's a good idea to put on a weepy movie when all my roommates leave town for the weekend? It's not even eight o'clock and I want to hang myself (no, of course not really- just figuratively).

On a less depressing note, I've been reading my Elements of Style by Strunk and White, and it's amazing. How is it that a book on grammar can be so engaging? It's nearly a page-turner!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Three Weddings and a Transvestite

As much as I am for the institution of marriage in general, and for the happy marriages of my friends in particular, I'm getting a little tired of attending receptions full of old people and spending my evenings wandering the aisles of Target, Club Wedd registry in hand.

Let's space it out a little, guys, ok?

Friday, November 9, 2007

But Jackalopes Can't Open Doors

Interestingly enough, I am staying at my parents' house tonight, two weeks before Thanksgiving, but will be out of town for the holiday.

Fun conversation between my friend and I as we drove through the middle of the desert this evening:

"Beware of yetis!"

:"What? What are yetis?"

"You know, yetis. Like the abominable snowman."

:"Oh. Well I know what those are, but why should we beware of them? They need a place where it's snowy and cold."

"Well, you never know what will pop out of the dark desert suddenly. You've got to beware."

:"But there wouldn't be a yeti. There must be a different strand of them. A different type of yeti, that isn't all hairy, and with smaller feet."

"You mean like a satyr? But if they're all naked on top, they'd get sunburnt. They'd need to have hair on their shoulders, and no hair anywhere else. Like a pig."

:"Can't we just say 'beware of jackalopes?'"

Thursday, November 8, 2007

15. Fill the Gaps

This might be a little ambitious, and I will therefore get partway through and then end suddenly because of my hatred for posts longer than a window's length, but when I read this prompt I immediately thought of my computer. My computer and I have been through a lot during the past 4 years, and I'd like to tell a few stories about it.

I remember getting the computer, pulling it out of the Apple box and turning it on for the first time. I vowed never to drink water near it or slam the lid or type with dirty hands. It was so shiny and white, so pristine.

At some point I read a funny passage on about a handwritten "IOU Blanks" looking like "Lou Blanis," and how that would be a great name for a character in a book. I bestowed that name onto my computer, and to this day the screensaver that pops up is nothing more than the words Lou Blanis, with a silver Apple icon underneath.

Lou has been taken on road trips, to play movies and tv episodes with the audio fed through the car stereo. As we drove through the god-forsaken west half of Alberta, we blasted a Red Hot Chili Peppers concert through the car, giggling to ourselves as the bassist drooled on himself in a musical stupor.

During a lonely weekend in Parts Unknown when my roommates were out drinking with friends, I sat at home and meticulously colored the backs of all the translucent keys with fabric paint. I mixed up the M and the W, though, so they're the wrong colors. This only irks me when I really think about it, about how that stupid W is the same color as that stupid S, and there they are, in their adjacent same-colored matchingness.

Some of my favorite memories with my computer are from that time in Parts Unknown, that time when I was a junior and had lots of big important classes with big important papers to write. I learned early on that it was impossible to write a paper in my own apartment, where my bed and fridge and tv were, so I found a few other places to go. I found that to write a ten-page paper, I needed a pint of chocolate milk, sold in a mini-gallon-jug shape in the dorms' convenience store. I would walk downstairs in my big hoodie with my computer, buy a chocolate milk, then head to one of three places: this big pit-like area in the middle of the Education building, which was lined with carpeted benches, the completely depressing tiny room with three old computers in it on the 4th floor of the dorms, or the top floor of the library, where the space-age couches and table were. I generally preferred the library because there weren't too many people in the periodicals, and because the couches were so cool, and because the fifth floor afforded an amazing view of the flat flat city, and looking through the window at a snowstorm at night is such a comforting feeling. I would sit and type, looking out of the window every so often. Every time I finished a paragraph I rewarded myself with a drink of my chocolate milk- straw sticking out the top of the jug. I'm sure I looked like a lazy hog, sitting on a couch for hours on end, guzzling chocolate milk, but the papers got written.

My computer is older now, it has a hard time doing multiple things at once. It's no longer pristine and white; it's all fingerprinty and smudged grey and it's got an "I Voted" sticker stuck under the option key that's also fingerprinty and smudged grey. I've typed with dirty hands, but I never did spill water on the keyboard. It's had a pretty full life, and I hope to keep on with it for a while longer. Here's to you, Lou.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Volpitza (!)

Ugh, folk dancing is hard work.

Yay, folk dancing is really fun!

While I truly enjoy the experience of group dancing and moving to the sounds of accordions, violins, etc, it's pretty intense stuff. I'm having a great time learning to do fun little hand-clappy dances, little grapevine dances, little polka-y dances. Who knew something so dorky could be so fun?

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

19. Give us your scraps

I wasn't feeling particularly inspired tonight, but Maggie once again has caught my interest. Here's some flotsam from my computer and my notebooks.

In a file marked "Saskatchewan Verbal Weirdness," we have this gem: "I've got a friend who was done her finals last week, she's back home in Nipawin already."

Then we have a classic example of my constant planning/fretting:

In my little orange notebook, I've got this, which I have no idea where I got it from, but it's excellent: "Justice too long delayed is justice denied." -Martin Luther King

And then this amazingly telling list:
-hang artichoke
-fishbowl + succulents
-sox? for monsters?
-eating pan for chinnies?
-pot rack solutions?

Monday, November 5, 2007

Halloween Came Late This Year

After a lovely and unexpected nap in the music building's unused lobby, accompanied by some amazing classical guitarist, I head down to the basement for my piano class. I'm still a little early, so I go to use the restroom. I enter a stall, close the door and glance into the toilet to find the LARGEST COCKROACH ON THE PLANET hanging out in the bowl. Unable to scream, I simply exit the stall and use another one. Upon a later retelling of the story, I am chastised by my roommate for not flushing him, for leaving him to be found by some other hapless person.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Meta-Blogging and Stars

My roommate is much more observant than I am, and she often asks me after some fun event or awkward moment, "will this be on the blog?" Sometimes I just want to say, "yes! How do you think I will word it? No, wait, let me get a pen." She'd probably do a better job of writing my blog than I do.

One thing that she didn't think to put on the blog recently was the drive we took last night out on the east end of town, straight out into a lovely little pass that overlooks the city. This place is great for many purposes- for drunken parties, for make-outs, for dry ice bombing and for stargazing. The first two I have unfortunately never accomplished out there, but I can attest to the greatness of that area for the last two activities with personal experience. Last night we just sat on the trunk of the car, shivering a little and looking at all the stars. It's truly amazing how much difference a little 10-minute drive out of town can do for how many stars you can see. There's like, a kajillion of them. We had fun trying to find constellations, and then when we could only find Orion and Casseopia, making up our own constellations (meet the Obese Goat With No Legs and the Short Fat Pencil). We didn't have a whole lot of time to just sit there, since we were both very tired, it was late, and she still had work to do at home before going to bed, so we only stayed out there for maybe 15 or twenty minutes, but it did wonders for our moods.

Saturday, November 3, 2007


The other night, as my roommates and I sat in class together, a young man sticks his head in and asks if he may join the class for the evening. He stays and participates in class, remarking that he's just "passing through." Who passes through anymore? I thought passing through was for vagabonds in the 30's, going from town to town, looking for work. I am vaguely fascinated, but after class I have nearly forgotten about his existance. Then we press through the doors, into the parking lot. Why, that's a strange vehicle. I don't believe I've seen one of those in our parking lot before.

The upshot of this story is that we got three Weeny Whistles and a look inside the magnificent Weinermobile. It does not have a sunroof, but there appears to have a nice bun-roof. He drives from city to city, doing appearances and events, and he gets to see all of mainland America. Lucky him! If you see him in your town, say hi to our friend Jeff for us.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Donations in my name can be made out to the Human Fund. Well, just write the checks out to me. I'll make sure they get used appropriately.

I was mailed an invitation to my commencement by the Dean's office of my college. I guess I've got to do this thing. Is it normal to feel like you want to vomit? When you think about it, graduation really is going to change my life. I've been a student for 17.5 years.

That ends up being about 78% of my entire life. That's a lot of life. It's pretty much all I know how to do, is being a student. Not that I want to be an eternal college student. They're pretty pathetic, not to mention I'm not really a fan of writing papers and going to class. But then again, will I really be a fan of going to work every day, all day? We'll have to work on this situation.

Thursday, November 1, 2007


We're trying this again. Let's see if November 2007 gets any better.

To start things off, I'd just like to talk a very little about why I like where I live. I like where I live because only in this part of the world do you get to see a mariachi walking and playing across campus, with a slowly growing crowd following them, holding pictures of loved ones. I don't necessarily celebrate el Dia de los Muertos, but I'm glad somebody does, and I'm glad that I get to see it. I'm also glad that sometimes our neighbors would hire a mariachi to play for their parties, and we could casually go on a "walk" back and forth past their house to listen. I'm currently taking a class on Mexican Folk Music, and while I've found one genre that I decidedly do NOT like (banda sounds like Disneyland-employed Germans on crack), most of it is amazingly cool. I'm glad that I can live at the intersection of two cultures.