October 31, 2008

A Presidential Dance-off

As if my last post wasn't enough, I'm now going to make you all watch this. If only a dance-off was a part of the debate process...

October 30, 2008

His Middle Name is Hussein

Obama and Biden.

Osama Bin Laden.

The Beginning of the End Times.*

The End of the Bad Times.



In every generation, there is some political event or time period that defines that generation. For my parents, it was the Cold War. For their parents, World War 2. For their parents, World War 1. Before that? I'm not really sure, but there was something. I'd bet on it. And now it's my generation's turn.

I can't help but wonder In fifty years, I wonder what they'll call all this. "All this" consists of 9-11. Of soaring gas prices, of the most watched election in the history of mankind. Of whatever will happen in the next few months as the market falls and the USA becomes more deeply in bondage to debt.

I don't really think that Barack is a saviour or a swindler. I don't think McCain & Palin are as frightening as some do. I also realize that I know little about American politics.

This news video is pretty much the opposit of Swing Vote. And I can guarantee that you won't see it play next Friday.


*seriously, someone said to me at my grandma's funeral that if Obama gets elected, they believe it will be the beginning of the end times. what do you even say to that!?

In Room 111

For the first five minutes, I hate my writing class. As soon as my teacher says, "Well, how do we feel about a sounding?" I think We feel stupid. And a bit ridiculous... I can't help wondering why I signed myself up for this.

Singing the scale in Hindi? Concentrating on my chakras? Drawing in abstract what I feel flow from my subconscious?

This is not what I do.

But I do it. Well, sometimes I cheat. Instead of concentrating on my chakras, I think deeply about God. Instead of being lost in the sound of our voices, I try not to listen to the out-of-tune person across from me and think instead of my own voice bouncing of the wooden rafters two feet above my head. I can feel it. I hear it in my throat. Or I think I can.

I cannot subdue my conscious mind well, so my drawing exercise turns out to be tentative, careful, and semi-abstract. But then, as I explain what I think it means, I discover [give] meaning that I hadn't seen before. And I think perhaps my instructor is right; the body knows what the mind cannot see.

Now that I feel a little loosey-goosey, excited by my inner workings and amazed at the creativity that's simmering somewhere beneath the rafters, I am ready to do anything. Write anything.

When we're given an exercise, I am secretly annoyed with the people who ask questions, who need "clarity." Shut up and write. There's so much space to work with. I don't need so much definition when it comes to writing. I just write.

At the end of the night, after the exercise and the critiquing and the contemplation, I am sad that it is already 9:30. As I put my stuff away, I wish it were still morning, that I could go home and spend the day typing and clacking and writing and thinking and creating.

Next week, I will endure the sounding. I will feel myself calmed by ridiculous ritual. And I will surprise myself.

October 26, 2008

Born In the Wrong Decade

Tonight, I am a blogging FIEND. Check out these photos. See if you can guess the decade...and tell me when I should have been born!

Also, if you tell me that I look like my mom...you are probably right. Although only roughly 4 of you know what my mom looked like when she was under 40.

October 25, 2008

Gregor Is a Weird Name

This was my introduction to Strongbad. And Homestarrunner. Oh, all the fun we had laughing four years ago...all because one of my friends said to me in a weird voice, "Beth looks like a dude." And then had to explain himself.

Another quote from this lovely children's book is "Gregor is a weird name." Which is true. And is a thought that has crossed my mind several times in the past few days. I have started seeing posters for the upcoming municipal election that are encouraging people to vote for Gregor Robertson. Two things caught my eye on the sign.
1. His name is Gregor (and Gregor is a weird name).
2. His photo was quite striking.

He looks like he could be Gilbert Blythe or some sort of sweet leading-man from a film set in the 20s. He looks young. Too young to be running for mayor. But he's not. He's not too young to have a wife and four kids. The eldest is only a year younger than my little brother.

He's also not too young to be the co-founder of a great organic juice company called Happy Planet. I learned this when I did a phone survey on the election last month. I didn't even know who the candidates were at the time. And I'm pretty sure the people who called were trying to slant me in favour of the other candidate, whose name I still don't know. But it all fell to pieces when I found out that Gregor started Happy Planet. And now that I've seen these posters...

If the vote were tomorrow, I would vote for you, Gregor Robertson, even if you do have a weird name.

Old Stuff & Cable TV

I'm on a bit of an antiques kick. It's the terrible influence of my mom, exposing me to estate auctions and helping me get a steal of a deal on a lovely antique Japanese vase... (Thanks, Mom!)

This weekend I am house sitting, which of course requires me to spend the night and enjoy some solitude and cable TV. There isn't much on during Saturday afternoon (I'm about to watch Dharma and Greg, which I haven't seen in YEARS!). But I did catch The Antiques Roadshow. American and British versions. And now I am thinking of every item in my parents' house, and all the things I sometimes wonder about buying at thrift stores...

I am convinced that everyone has at least one item sitting on a shelf somewhere that is more valuable than they could imagine.

I think a big part of my love for all things old is due to my love of stories. Old stories. Peoples' stories. Lives and moments from the past that we barely even know happened. Connections and skeletons and intrigue and things that we only know about from movies. Like this story. (thanks, Dad)

October 24, 2008

True Confessions

I have a crush on Seth Meyers.

I am in love with SNL.

And I wish I was American, so that I could vote in the election next month.

October 18, 2008

#501

I missed the milestone entry yesterday, apparently. It was numero cinco cente. That is some sort of gibberish for five hundred.

Last night, as I drove home from the airport, I learned two election-related Guelph factoids that made me proud of my hometown.
a) Guelph had the longest ballot of any riding in Canada. You could vote for any one of ten candidates, including both the Communist Party and the Marxist-Leninist Party. Oh, and let's not forget the Marijuana Party.
b) The new ID rules? Thanks to a Guelph man who, in the last election voted at five different polling stations, just to prove a point. (For the record, he spoiled his ballot at each station)

This morning, I went to my first-ever auction. Four doors down, there was an estate sale. My mom went early to take a perusal of the goods. And there were many. Many, many, many! Time flies when you are spending money, and it is fun to find out what is valuable. $700 for a watch! $400 for a lamp! $75 for a bowl! I now own a few more antiques that I can't fly back to Vancouver. Good thing I trust my parents to care for them on my behalf :)

When I dropped in to visit my Grampie, I was put to work. How do you cook rice? And once it's cooked, how do we make rice pudding?? He is just toooooooooooooo cute. He rambles, and I tend to tune out. But I love him, and I think he knows it!

October 17, 2008

Raindrops Are Falling On My Head

A few brief snippets before I get on a plane:

I own a car. It is a silver Civic and it will be mine until the end of May. I currently dislike ICBC and the expensive car insurance rates. Maybe I'm just being cynical, but I think Ontario's is cheaper. I haven't gotten to drive the car yet because its previous owners have it until tomorrow. But on Wednesday! then I get it.

I have a cold and sound a bit manly, but I don't mind because it is better than an evening of vomit.

I love The Office but I hate the rain.

This is an interesting article about food and the economy. I like its microscopic view.

Ellen is growing on me. I mean, I knew I always liked the show, but watching it two days running made me decide that I would watch it on a consistent basis if I could. She's just so absurd and funny. This is one of the funniest random pranks I've seen in awhile.

October 15, 2008

Just Because...

Because I love Ellen. Because Jim Carrey is Canadian. And because Christmas is coming (the goose is getting fat).

How Did THAT Happen?

That's pretty much my question. I was compulsively searching Wikipedia today, and as we all know, "naked mole rats" are kind of the default weird thing to look at. So I did. Here they are.










But you know what's crazy? The creature is actually fascinating. Yes, it makes me want to barf. But it is incredibly unusual. It lives underground, and has metabolism like a cold-blooded animal, and organizes its social structure similarly to ants and bees. There is a "queen" rat and there are "worker" rats. They eat tubers, and no pain signallers in the skin. They live in eastern Africa.

They are, most literally, a freak of nature.

(photo and all data thanks to wikipedia's page)

October 14, 2008

10:01PM

It is almost bedtime. But first, I really do need to recap three things.

Thing 1: Jungle Jam. I don't really know how to explain this. Like Psalty the Singing Songbook, but somewhat different - with jungle creatures and much more subtle humour. Good Christian values and half an hour of laughs. The first tape we owned was The Singing Cheetah Sisters, where Cheetah Bonita goes solo. It features this song, which I can still sing, more than ten years later. There were two other full-length cassettes (ah ha ha ha ha), and then a series of radio shows, which apparently still continue today. Or at least, you can still download them online. I love that if I said to my brothers, Run, Millard! Run like the wind and never look back!!! we would all burst into giggles, and Stephen would do a Millard-style scream.

Thing 2: Philadelphia. I have not watched this movie before. It is worth it. HIV/AIDS carries such a stigma, and I rarely think about this. Except for the massive cell phones (that somehow work in an elevator?!) and bad style, this could still take place today. It warmed my heart and made me wish I had a more diverse group of friends. And this time, I mean "diverse" like most people use it.

Thing 3: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. I've been vaguely interested in reading this book for the last couple of years, since my sister-in-law recommended it to me. But not enough to buy it, and it's one of those highly-in-demand-and-never-in-stock books at the library, so until I saw it on my friend's shelf today, I'd kind of forgotten. Then I saw it. Then I read it. Then I liked it. I recommend it. It really tugged my heartstrings (which Christopher, the main character, would not want me to say because that is a metaphor and therefore senseless) and once again got me thinking about stigma. This time around autism. My favourite thing is that his dad genuinely loved him. That always gets me weepy. I will say no more, for fear of spoiling it. Just read it. It's easy and engaging.

Thing 4: I know, I only had 3 things. But I'm going back and forth on loving & hating my creative writing class. I can't wait for Wednesday night, yet I hope it never comes. AHHHHHHHH, critiquing.

October 13, 2008

Turkey & Ham & Cake, OH MY!

Wondering what Thanksgiving chez Fun City looks like?

It looks like this:

And this:

And this:

If you want to see more, visit this.

October 11, 2008

A Spanghewed Poodle-Faker

"Jungle Jam," Philadelphia, photography & Thanksgiving. I am thinking of blogging about all of these things.

But for now, I'll link to some great new words. Of the 50, I knew 8.

October 7, 2008

Man Stroke Woman

I've been laughing a lot at the Youtube clips (warning: some are decidedly British, and others are decidedly crude), but this one actually was a bit heart-wrenching.

This Just In...

Aprons Are Manly, Especially If You're a Goat.

Ok, not exactly. But I am glad that Kenyan herders have found a way to keep their herds from growing past sustainability.

October 6, 2008

Colour-Blind?

I apparently struggle to see the fine lines between blues and purples.










If you want to see how well you know your colour hues, click here. I scored 20, with a perfect score being 0.

Bon Voyage! You're Superficial & I Hate You*

Over the weekend, the male population of our house nearly doubled the females. Last week started with one housemate. By the end, we had five. Four boys and a girl. The girl is irrelevant to this particular story (although not the least bit irrelevant in real life). The boys, however - Nick, John, Greg & Connor, are the fascinating subject of today's study.

Two weeks ago, one of them had a brilliant idea: a bike trip down the west coast. In the next fourteen days, they all managed to buy the necessary equipment and get themselves to Vancouver, their starting point. My house was chosen, not because of my lovely smile or the fact that we live in the most beautiful neighbourhood, but because New Roommate Aimee is dating one of these adventurous boys. I really like New Roommate Aimee. So does Nick.

Anyway, this past week has been quite the fun one. I've had many opportunities to extol the virtues of Canada, including poutine, insulin, Douglas Coupland, and the invention of basketball. Everyone was duly impressed.

And then this morning, at roughly 8:37am, they departed. 40 days, 4 bikes, 6 unusually shaved legs (one man opted out). Bon Voyage, my new friends! I will follow your blogging and twittering and chacha-ing faithfully.













* (this is an obscure reference to a specific game of Things In a Box that only 5 other people in the world would get, only none of them read my blog. The category was "greeting cards you won't find in Hallmark.")

October 3, 2008

If....Then...

What do you say when your teenage daughter is killed while out for a walk?

Terry Stauffer said, "'If this gospel I've been preaching is not true today, it was never true at all.'"

My heart breaks for this family. And I love how profound and complicatedly simple his statement is.

Read more here.

Mamma Mia, Here We Go Again...

...My, My, How Can I Resist You?

I can't stop talking about boys. I try, but I can't.

It's not my fault, entirely. They're all around me. And they're interacting with all my friends. So then I have to listen and scream and laugh and cry.

And no, there isn't actually anything to report in my own life.

October 1, 2008

Bon, C'est Bon

Sometimes, I get this song stuck in my head. I love it because it is Canadian and it is retro and it has French in it and the best line, possibly of all times: "And she feeds me love and tenderness and macaroons." What more could a man want?


Sweet City Woman (The Stampeders)
Well, I'm on my way, to the city life
To a pretty face that shines her light on the city nights
And I gotta catch a noon train
Gotta be there on time
Oh, it feels so good to know she waits at the end of the line

Swee-ee-eet, sweet city woman
I can see your face, I can hear your voice, I can almost touch you
Swee-ee-eet, sweet city woman
Oh, my banjo and me, we got a feel for singin', yeah, yeah,

Bon c'est bon, bon bon c'est bon, bon,
Bon c'est bon, bon, bon, bon, bon
Bon c'est, bon, bon bon ci'estbon, bon,
Bon c'est bon, bon, bon, bon, bon
So long ma, so long pa, so long
Neighbors and friends

Like a country mornin', all snuggled in dew
Ah she's got a way to make a man feel shiny and new
And she sing in the evenin', oh familiar tunes
And she feeds me love and tenderness and macaroons

Swee-ee-eet, sweet city woman
I can see your face, I can hear your voice, I can almost touch you
Swee-ee-eet, sweet city woman
Oh, my banjo and me, we got a feel for singin'