Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The latest fad is foetuses

A few years ago, everyone I knew was getting married. Even though people are still getting married (see: the eight weddings I went to this summer besides my own), it seems like now the thing to do is have babies. Except Robyn. She's not having a baby. I asked her tonight, because hey, who knows? But she's not.

And neither am I. It's hard not to catch the baby fever, when all of my friends are such adorable pregnant ladies, and I think that I, too, will be adorable when I am pregnant, because even a sasquatch, I think, would be adorable pregnant. The only things not adorable pregnant are spiders, and they are not adorable ever. Or even tolerable.

I cannot have babies now. Joel and I just got married, and we're still working through married things. We aren't ready to work through baby things yet. Also, I have things to do that you can't do after you have a baby. Like finish school in peace. And eat a cookie without someone eyeing you, following it from the box to your mouth, and asking if they, too, can please have one. And wear a bikini to the beach. I have some very cute bikinis.

I hope we have boys. My biggest fear is having all girls, and ending up with, like, eight, because we keep trying for a boy. My second biggest fear is having both boys and girls, but having the girls take after Joel, and the boys take after me, all thin and afraid of spiders and not good at sports. Or if they're all an equal blend: Joel's chisled jaw and my rounded nose...uggers.

I hope we have boys, and they all look like Joel. What with his profusion of dominant traits (brown hair, brown eyes, etc.) I figure my recessive traits (green eyes, reddish hair, freckle-pox) will all get stomped out anyways. I do hope for one girl at the end, one that looks like me. I'd like some proof that I was present at the moment of delivery. To look at my family, you'd think my parents had just stepped out for a jug of milk when the three of us were born. Dark-haired, olive-skinned, blue-eyed brother; tall, blonde, fabulously fair sister; me. We don't even look like second cousins.

In the end, I guess that's the fun of it. Seeing which bits of my DNA and which bits of Joel's survive the selection process. It'll be like a game, and a fun game, but a game that I can totally wait to play.

Monday, October 29, 2007

An excellent source of fiber and Vitamin A

I roasted pumpkin seeds the other day. They are cajun-spiced and delicious. They are my new favorite snack, and were essentially free (since we were going to buy the pumpkins they came in anyways). Free pumpkin seeds are, however, highly seasonal. Whatever will I do when I run out? Probably stop eating them. Alas.

PS. Nothing interesting has happened to me today.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

You gotta know when to hold 'em...know when to fold 'em...

Our landlords are the social-est people I know. In May they had a Pop Star Party (I went as Avril...remember? I wore sock-chucks?) and we all sang kareoke (they have their own kareoke machine). They frequently invite us to come camping/to the States/to Costco with them. They have three tenants (five if you count Joel and me in the basement, six if you count the foetus [Shari's, not mine]) taking up their personal space. If anyone has ever had the gift of hospitality, it is Dave and Shari.

Every year, around this time, they whip their house up into a casino. People get tricked out in their fancy best to come and gamble their fake money away.

Seriously, they should set this up as a community service so that people can come see what its like to go up against the house. I lost loads of fake money, and in real life there's no Baron von Dave strolling around, saying 'Hey, I'll give you $10 000 but you have to lay it all on one bet. If you win, it's yours, but if you lose, I can't help you.' No actual casino owner walks up to a poker table and says 'For the next hand, the minimum bet is $25 000 but the odds are 5 to 1.' If you go broke in the real world, you can't just deal a table for half an hour and make $50 000 so you can keep playing.

Some people were kind enough to work tables the whole night, and were paid handsomely for their pains.

Melissa and her giant foetus-belly (seems to be contagious) spinning the wheel.

Poker...always a hot game.

Andrea deals a mean blackjack.

The color-wheel is no one's friend, but it's so hard to walk away.

What does one do, in the end, with thousands of fake dollars? Why, one bids with it! What's this? A gift card to the Olive Garden? Going once...going twice...SOLD for three hundred thousand dollars!!!

Joel and I turned out to be (perhaps unsurprisingly) poor gamblers, but with our deep Mennonite roots we are sharp and shrewd bidders. With our mere hundred and fifty thousand dollars, we walked away with the second Austin Powers movie, six chocolate bars, and nunchucks and a beating-stick!
It goes perfectly with the ninja mask and throwing stars Joel won for me last year.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Garbage day

Whenever there's a long weekend, garbage day shifts back a day. I know that this is no problem for ordinary, responsible people, but we're still struggling to not put plates on top of the computer or use the bookshelf as a coffee table.

Now, I know it could be worse (remember when I lived in the Mt Waddington house? We'd fill the full-sized garbage can in the kitchen every two days or so, and then just toss in into the garage to wait for garbage day, which we would inevitably forget until we had thirty or forty garbage bags in there, and then we'd have to cast around for someone who owned a truck, but not a nice one, because we didn't want to throw our rotting detritus in a nice truck, and not the last person who helped us out, because we couldn't stomach telling someone that yes, we'd done it again and could we please borrow their truck again. Side story: there was a pool table taking up the middle of the garage, and the mail slot was in the door on the far side, but you couldn't just open that door to get the mail because we'd accidentally jammed it shut, so you had to go in through the house/garage door and down the Walk of Terror between the pool table and the Temple of Refuse in order to get the mail. Usually, two people would come to the door and holler 'RAT' because then the rat would move, and we would know that it was across the garage - in the pile of old coffee makers, say - and not in the garbage, and then one of us would proceed to fetch the mail while the other kept a wary eye out. So one time, Chels was keeping the eye out and I was fetching the mail and the rat was up in its ceiling hidey-hole and I turned to come back, and the garbage bags rustled. They rustled, people! Rat-rustled! That meant we had two or more rats! We both stood there and screeched until I could summon the courage to dash up the Walk of Terror and back into the house. The mail was just junk and bills. return-to-story-sum-up after ridiculously long tangent - Joel, me, garbage day) and I know that, relatively speaking, two people make very little garbage at all, but we've missed every garbage day since ours moved to Friday (that's two, if you're counting) because who thinks of garbage on a Friday? Fridays, you're thinking about the things you have to get done so you an enjoy your weekend, you're thinking about sleeping in, and Halloween, and whatever. You aren't thinking about taking out the garbage.

Yesterday, I was hanging out with the A-A-A-Team, and because of the strike we couldn't make our annual trip to the Stanley Park Spooky Train so we opted to go out for dinner and then carve pumpkins instead. I asked for the pumpkin seeds, because I'm convinced I'm going to roast them and then munch them as a healthy snack, and four pumpkins is a lot of pumpkin seeds. I would have loved to have taken the whole bag of flesh home with me, spread it out somewhere, and picked the seeds out that way, but then I'd be left with this bag of seedless flesh and, as previously mentioned, Joel and I have forgotted garbage day twice. That is to say, we have no room for unnecessary bags of flesh. So I had to go through the bucket while the boys were dumping their pumpkin-face-parts into it, picking out slippery seeds and generally getting slimed. It was both hilarious and nasty.

My pumpkin looks awesome. I will post a picture for you later.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Rime of the Ancient Three-Hour Tour

A few weeks ago, a girl in my Vic Lit class pipes up with 'Did you know that you can sing The Rime of the Ancient Mariner to the tune of the Gilligan's Island theme song?' This being precisely the sort of useless trivia we book-nerds love, I filed that away for future use.

This morning I phoned my sister on the way to school to tell her how I was reading The Rime for my Brit Lit class, and how I couldn't not read it to the tune of Gilligan's Island, and how that made it much less ominous.

'I never thought it was all that ominous,' she says. 'I always thought it was kind of funny.'

'Not that ominous?' I say. 'His entire crew drops soundlessly dead! They are re-animated by spirits not their own, and the ship is manned by a zombie crew! How is that not ominous?'

Oh, you haven't read? Please, read the thing in its entirety here, or allow me to paraphrase.

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner: A Cautionary Tale - By Samuel Coleridge (paraphrase by Rachel Krueger)

A man, lets call him Billiam, is heading into a wedding with two of his friends when he is grabbed by a ragged old sailor. 'There was a ship,' begins the old man without any preamble. Billiam does exactly what I would do in this situation, that is, hollar 'hold off! Unhand me, grey-beard loon!' and so the mariner lets him go, but he voodoos him with his eye, and Billiam is forced to sit on a rock and listen to his tale of woe.

'We were in a ship, and we sailed to the equator' says the mariner in about eight times as many words. Billiam can see that this is going to take a while, and he hears the music and splashing of beer from inside the hall, so he raises a bit of a fuss. As old people are wont to do, the mariner talks right over him, carrying on about his ship, and how a storm blew them to the South Pole. From the equator. Likely.

So they're in the South Pole, with ice and snow and mist, and there's no wind and they're stuck. This is before radios. All of a sudden, an albatross appears out of the fog, and they turn it into a pet, and hey presto! Wind. The wind begins blowing them back north and the albatross frolicks with them daily, and things are hunky dory.

'Then how come you look like death warmed over?' asks Billiam.

'I cross-bowed the albatross.'

For NO reason! It was their pet! It brought them wind! And look! Albatrosses! Cute!The sailors, being superstitious like they are, immediately think that this will bring them bad luck, and damn the mariner's eyes. Oddly, the wind continues to blow, and the fog dissipates. Clearly now, it was the albatross that brought the fog, and the sailors hoist the mariner on their shoulders and mumble 'For He's a Jolly Good Fellow' into their grog.

Except whoops. The breeze dies again, and now they're far from real land and ice-land. Not a word of a lie, this was a question on my English Lit 12 final:

Fill in the blank.

Water, water, every where,

And all the boards did shrink;

Water, water, every where,

Nor any drop to .

You get an A+.

Ok, so there's no water. Everyone is drying up and parching, and they hang the albatross' carcass (why do they still have it?) around the mariner's neck as punishment. Days and days go by, until one day they spot a speck in the distance. No one can call out 'Ship, ho!' or whatever, presumably because their mouths are so dry, but what with everyone staring in the same direction, you'd think no one needed to. The mariner needs to, apparently, so he bites his arm and sucks his blood to moisten his mouth enough to tell them all what they already know. Awesome.

Unfortunately, this ship is helmed by Nightmare Life-In-Death (who I think taught one of my classes), and within moments the entire crew has dropped dead on the deck. Except the mariner.

Here, Billiam pipes in again, saying that the mariner is gross-looking and he (Billiam) is afraid of him (the gross-looking mariner). The mariner seeks to reassure him by insisting that he's not a ghost. I think the problem was just his sea-salty breath, but whatever.

H'anyways, for seven days the mariner is stuck on this motionless ship while the corpses of his comrades stare bloody vengeance at him. This goes creepily on for about twelve stanzas, and then he loses the albatross necklace. They are so 1844.

Some sleeping and some raining and some other uneventful happenings take up more than their fair share of lines, and then the corpses (presumably rotting, what with all this unbearable heat and then rain and then more heat) get up and man their posts and go on sailing as though nothing much had happened.

Again, Billiam pipes up with his 'I fear thee, ancient mariner!'

'Calm down,' says the ancient mariner. 'It wasn't their own spirits come back to animate them, it was a whole new batch of ghosts.' Well, I'm relieved.

Ok, zombie crew, unknown spirits, but at least the ship is moving and now there are birds chirping and flitting through the air. This is, as Ancient Mariner scenes go, a pleasant little picture. And then there is a bunch of foolishness, because we find out that it is the Spirit of the South Pole that has been moving the ship this whole time, and not the albatross or the wind, and so the ship stops at the equator (because the Spirit of the South Pole can't go past into the North, see), but then lurches forward again for no discernable reason. The mariner swoons so that this whole part doesn't have to be explained, and when he comes to, he hears voices.

'Is this the guy that shot the albatross? Why would he do that? Albatrosses are cute!'

'Don't worry, he'll get his. By the bye, it's the moon that's making the ship go now.'

Ok, what? The moon? There is no sense in this.

So, the mariner comes fully to, and the ship is sailing merrily, and the sailor-zombies are still standing and staring at him, and what with one description of breeze and another, the ship sails into shore. A boat containing a hermit and a man and a boy comes out to meet it and the ship sinks, but everyone knows that ancient mariners float, so the hermit et al. scoop up the mariner and the boy goes instantly mad and the mariner rows the boat ashore. Whew, yes? No.

The mariner asks the hermit to absolve him of his albatrosscide. The hermit wants to know what his deal is, and the mariner feels this sudden, burning compulsion to tell all. Since then, from time to time he has been possessed with this same drive and is in agony until he finds the person he has to tell his story to, the person to whom he must teach the 'Don't kill things for no reason' moral. Fair penance, I'd say.

This brings us back to our fair Billiam, who has by now missed the entire wedding. He goes home and to bed, a much sadder man, but having learned a valuable lesson.

And that concludes your literature lesson for the day. Class dismissed.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Books are delicious

Ok folks, I have a paper to write and several mad headaches, so something something something, this is a list of books I got third-hand off Jane's blog, and you have to:

Bold the ones you've read, italicize the ones you started but couldn't finish, use red text on the ones you really sort of hated, put an asterisk* next to the ones you've read more than once, and use blue text on the ones on your own personal To Be Read list.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

Anna Karenina

Crime and Punishment


One Hundred Years of Solitude

Wuthering Heights

The Silmarillion*

Life of Pi

The Name of the Rose

Don Quixote

Moby Dick


Madame Bovary

The Odyssey

Pride and Prejudice

Jane Eyre*****

A Tale of Two Cities*

The Brothers Karamazov

Guns, Germs, and Steel: the fates of human societies

War and Peace

Vanity Fair

The Time Traveller’s Wife

The Iliad


The Blind Assassin

The Kite Runner

Mrs Dalloway

Great Expectations

American Gods

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

Atlas Shrugged

Reading Lolita in Tehran: a memoir in books

Memoirs of a Geisha*



Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West*

The Canterbury Tales

The Historian : a novel

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

Love in the Time of Cholera

Brave New World*

The Fountainhead

Foucault’s Pendulum



The Count of Monte Cristo*


A Clockwork Orange

Anansi Boys

The Once and Future King*

The Grapes of Wrath

The Poisonwood Bible*


Angels & Demons

The Inferno

The Satanic Verses

Sense and Sensibility

The Picture of Dorian Gray

Mansfield Park

One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest*

To the Lighthouse

Tess of the D’Urbervilles

Oliver Twist*

Gulliver’s Travels

Les Misérables

The Corrections

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime


The Prince

The Sound and the Fury

Angela’s Ashes*

The God of Small Things

A people’s history of the United States : 1492-present


Confederacy of Dunces

A Short History of Nearly Everything*


The Unbearable Lightness of Being



The Scarlet Letter*

Eats, Shoots & Leaves

The Mists of Avalon

Oryx and Crake

Collapse : how societies choose to fail or succeed

Cloud Atlas

The Confusion



Northanger Abbey

The Catcher in the Rye*

On the Road

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Freakonomics : a Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

The Aeneid

Watership Down*

Gravity’s Rainbow

The Hobbit*

In Cold Blood

White teeth

Treasure Island

David Copperfield

The Three Musketeers

Loads of books that I loved. A surprising number of books that I sort of hated, and I don't hate a lot of books. Come, play along, friends.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

My dollar can beat up your dollar

Remember when you'd get an American quarter back in your change, and you'd think, sweet, I just made, like, an eighth of a cent! And how now when you get an American quarter back in your change, you feel ripped off?

So, I went into the bank today with my sixty Canadian dollars, and came out with sixty American dollars and seventy-one American cents. What did I buy with those American dollars and cents? I bought three books (David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas and his Black Swan Green, which are both amazing books, and Stiff: The Curious Life of Human Cadavers, which is about what happens to bodies when they die) because books are fabulous and cheap down south, and I bought a shirt at Old Navy for four dollars, because if you are extra-small or extra-large, you can shop in the discount section, and I bought a taco on the way down, and a Sourdough Jack on the way back, and we stopped at Edaleen Dairy where a cone is a dollar and a child's cone is thirty-five cents, and yes I did get two child's cones because then your two flavors aren't touching. And I coated myself in various hand creams from the Bath & Body Works, and now I'm horribly fragrant.

A handful of updates

Greets, all. Sorry for the three-day silence over on this end, but I've had things to do. Things that rhyme with ridterms and pesearch mapers, and aren't very interesting. A few things of note have happened, and you may read about them below.

Remember this guy? The guy who painted the curb yellow so that people wouldn't park across the street from his house? Remember the mushroom manure truck? Shocking new development, people. The mushroom manure truck BELONGS TO THIS GUY!!! Yes, let me reiterate: he is using up ALL of the road-parking-space that isn't across from his house, and then chewing people out for parking across from his house. It's like if I ate half of the communal pie, and then when Joel went to get a piece, I was all 'Hey, don't eat that! That's my half of the pie!'

Also, remember when that woman asked me if I could turn the volume of my laptop's fan down? So, I didn't bring the laptop to class the following week because I don't need that kind of antagonism, and the week after was Thanksgiving, so, no class, and then this past Monday I bring old Ahsley to class because she's quieter(ish), and I sit down and pull her out and the woman says to me, in all seriousness...'Is that thing going to make noise again? Because if it is, I'm going to beat it.' Going...to...beat it? With a hammer? Your fists? Your really bad attitude? For real.

Nothing else exciting is going on, except that my one eyebrow is molting again. And I have chronic headaches from all the computer-screen-staring that I do. And two more of Joel's fish died, but ever since Father William passed, I can't bring myself to care. And I drove to Walmart.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Great Hip Debacle of 2002

'People. For months I have had very limited mobility and shooting pains in that leg. And all I needed to do was get it stretched and thumbed?

Am I the dumbest blonde that ever lived?'

No, Jane, as long as Paris Hilton walks the earth, and Lindsay Lo keeps bleaching her hair, you will not be the dumbest blonde that ever lived. And as far as hip-things go...

In my first year of college, I developed a bit of a hip problem. When I woke up in the morning, I'd be fine, and then by the end of the day I could barely walk. The area just inside my hip bone would feel like wasabi tastes, and I would actually make people carry me from...the cafeteria to dorms, say. It seemed the more steps I took in a day, the sooner I'd be incapacitated and, since I had no car, I took a lot of steps. I learned to take fewer steps. I spent a lot of time in my room, but I was also seeing this guy, and since he couldn't very well come up to my room (dorms, remember), he was usually the one carrying me home from the park, or the coffee shop, or what have you. Fun, but also embarassing, and also my hip hurt.

This went on for over a month.

Since I was becoming less mobile as days went on, and it was becoming a matter of some distress simply to make it to class and to meals and back, I finally caved and went to the clinic. 'Now what you have here,' said the doctor, after poking around at my thigh-crease for a while (no peppy 22-yr-old guys for me, Jane. This was a middle-aged lady, and I almost cried with relief), 'you have yourself an inflamed lymph node, and every time you step, the muscles are pinching it, and that's why it hurts so much by the end of the day. That's not supposed to happen. Take two ibuprophen, three times a day, and the problem should go away pretty quickly.'

Two days. I was right as rain in two days!!! I had been in unbelievable pain for over a month, and all I needed was some Advil and two days!!!!!!!

Jane, I hope this makes you feel better.

Monday, October 15, 2007

It's as though I'd forgotten about one of my children.

Hey there, folken. So, over the weekend I remembered that I have a second blog! One where I talk about books! I know, crazy, hey? So I spent a few hours that I should have spent writing papers fiddling around over there. You should go check it out, link's on the right. There's this awesome widget full of books that I want to read, and if you click the 'Good Reads' at the bottom of that, it'll take you to my bookshelf (i.e. every book I've ever read or am reading or want to read) and then you should make your own bookshelf, and then we should be book-friends. It's quite fun.

Other things I did this weekend, when I should have been comparing and contrasting the thoughts of Carlyle, Mill, and Arnold on personal freedom, include helping the landlords build the Great Wall of Saysomsack (they're landscaping their backyard, I wish I'd taken before-and-after pictures because it's coming along exHAUSTingly. I mean...radly) and partaking in a fabulous steak dinner. For reals, any of you want me to come help you landscape, and then to feed me steak? You just gotta come pick me up first, because I still don't drive.

Also, I spent more time than is natural in my pink bathrobe and slippers, shaking my fist and telling kids to get off my lawn.

Friday, October 12, 2007

When snacks attack

Joel just opened a bag of salt-and-vinegar chips which, as we all know, are Satan's snacks. However, since I need salt and grease to live, I took three and only three from the bag. However also, since I burned the roof of my mouth yesterday and it is all raw and tender, the first bite of Satan-chip gave me a little taste of hell. However the third, since I had these three chips in my hand I felt compelled to eat them, despite the severe and intense agony doing so brought me.

You understand how it is. I know you.

Little known fact

Dear Internet,

Did you know that Bekah and I are twins? It's ok. We only just discovered it ourselves. Fraternal twins, obviously. She is blonde. AND she was crazy late (about a year-and-a-half), while I was mad early (also about a year-and-a-half), but that, I think, only accentuates our twinness. Like how Ashley Olsen is all chic and kind of fabulous, and Mary-Kate is a bit of a scruffy rag-bag who can't be convinced to eat food. Different, see? Likewise, we (being twins) are different. But similar. Because we are twins. I present, for your examination, some of our twin-features.

Exhibit A: Squinty eyes and double-chins

Exhibit B: Troll-doll hair

Exhibit C: Deep nostrils

Exhibit D: This is a re-enactment of our womb-phase. See how her enlongated nose fits neatly against my truncated one? Like puzzle pieces.

Now, I know what you're saying, Internet. Similar features (as evidenced above) can be found amongst siblings (see: Joel's entire family), and re-enactments can be falsified. However, all doubt has been removed with this, Exhibit E: An ultra-sound of us actually IN THE WOMB, still in our aquarius state.

Undeniable, no?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Someday, when we're rich, this'll all just be a hazy memory

Joel has been spending every stray second of the past month applying for med school. No jokes.

UBC? They want to know everything about you. They want to know every experience you've ever had, and they want a contact name, number, and email address to verify that experience. Took guitar lessons when you were eighteen? Track down that mid-twenties Bible-school student who taught you, because you'll need his contact info. Hiked up Mount Cheam and want to put it under Outdoor Activities? It best not have been with a sibling, because family members aren't legitimate contacts. Don't remember the name, course number, and grade you received in every post-secondary education class you've ever taken? You'd better unearth that information, friend, because they need to know.

The University of Alberta is the application Nazi. You must complete the application within seventy-two hours of having begun. If you make a mistake, it is irreparable, and you must start a new application. The application will time out after ten minutes, so you must log out every nine-and-a-half minutes, and log back in, which severly cuts into your seventy-two hours.

The Dalhousie (Halifax) application can't be filled out online. You have to copy it onto a sheet of papyrus, put the completed form into a wineskin, and dangle it from the post-hook outside the general store. The CN Rail will grab it on their way by.

The University of Toronto...well...it's in Toronto, and we're not applying there.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Happy sandwich

Happy thing:

Casey and Lara got married! That's the last wedding now until February (rad), and it was lurvly despite having been reassembled in a few days. Also, check out the bridesmaids.
Cute, no? So much less than hideous. This is something I would strut the town in (the skirts are, in real life, grey and matte, not green and shiny. Cameras are funny). Check the teeny lace gloves.

Sad thing:

Father William passed on. Here he is, while he still lived, gazing at himself in the glass. Rest in peace, you white, whiskery, narcissistic darling.

Happy thing:

My dad disassembled the laptop to clean out the fan so that it would stop making that whirring, grinding noise. It now whirrs maybe half as loud, and kicks in about a quarter as often. No one in my class today sat up and looked around as if to say 'What is that noise? Do you hear that?' every five minutes. It was awesome. Also, a new version of Microsoft Office is on its way to my house RIGHT NOW! It will replace my fabulous Office 2000. I am in the lap of luxury.

Monday, October 08, 2007

I'd rather be a hyena

My family's ideal holiday celebration is to eat a large meal and then to gather around the television and watch Planet of the Apes or Ben Hur (one of which is, oddly, always on TV on Christmas), or a nature documentary.

So today, we're watching the fabulous Planet Earth series and there's this one segment on these African elephants, and they're making their yearly pilgramage towards water and they get caught in a dust storm and their only hope is a copse of trees some hundreds of meters away, but what with the dust and all it's difficult for the pack to stay together and to keep its sense of direction and then the camera cuts to a baby elephant and its mother. The baby elephant is struggling to stay close and then it bonks into a tree, isn't it cute and don't we hope it'll survive? Most of the herd has reached the trees by now, but the mama-lephant and the baby are still wandering in the dust, and hands are clenched and hearts are racing and then phew! They reach safety and join the remainder of the herd, and a sigh of relief is heard around the world.

But what's this? The camera pans back to show another elephant, staggering and clearly near the end of its rope, but doggedly following the tracks of its fellows. As the camera pans back still further, you see that it is following them in the wrong direction, that the trees lie so close behind it, could it but see through the dust, and that for miles and miles in the way that it is headed, there is nothing but dry, barren dirt.

It was the most hopeless thing I think I've ever seen. I am thankful that I am not that elephant.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

In which I conduct an experiment

So this one time, when I was living up by Blueridge (again, nowheresville, substantial walk to the bus stop) and working at Red Robin (15 minute bus ride OR an hour's walk away), I was waiting for the bus so I could go in and work a Sunday night shift. I liked to catch the bus that came a half hour before my shift, so that I could get to work 15 minutes early, and not have to walk straight up to my three new tables. So I'm waiting, and waiting, and the bus isn't coming, and it's ten minutes late now, now fifteen, now twenty. So I phone in with 5 minutes to spare to let Rich know that my bus didn't come, and I'm going to catch the next one, and I'll be probably twenty minutes late. So I'm waiting, and waiting, and ten minutes go by, and the next bus doesn't come either.

By this time, I'm pacing like mad, because I know that if I walk, I'll be over an hour late and have screwed everyone over, because it's that initial dinner rush where you need all your hands on deck, but if I continue to wait for the bus, I just might not make it into work at all. This guy who has been washing his van in his driveway for the past half hour finally hollers across the street to me, 'You waiting for the bus?' 'Yeah, the last two didn't come, and now I'm late for work.' 'Where you work?' 'Red Robin.' 'You want a ride?'

Now, I've never before accepted a ride from a stranger, and probably never would have, except for the aforementioned dire straits, but I say yes, and he tells his son to get in the van, and the two of them come and snag me and drive me to work. Firstly, I think having his son there convinced me that they weren't going to steal me, because it's hard to conceive of a rapist who'd bring his kid along for the ride. Secondly, I know I said yesterday that if a white guy offered me a ride, I'd say no, but the truth is, who knows what I'd say? I've never gotten the chance, because no white stranger has ever offered me a ride anywhere! Is it because we're too busy? Too weirded out by the idea of someone else in our car? Too sure they'd be suspicious and say no? Too mean and self-centered? I tried a Google search just now to see if people of certain races are more prone to pick up hitchhikers, but I got nothing. So I'll conduct a survey of my own.

How many times have I been given rides to places I need to go by East Indian people?

How many times have I been given rides to places I need to go by anyone else?

There you have it, folks. East Indians are more likely to pick up a 5'4" brunette hitchhiker than any other race. Science at its finest.

Friday, October 05, 2007

I am a hairy beast. And potentially a little bit racist.

I have caterpillar-eyebrows. They are amazing. They grow like rain forests. If I had a picture of my self, pre-tenth-grade, I would show them to you. Count yourself lucky I do not.

Since that most auspicious year, when I discovered tweezers, I have devoted much time and care to grooming the brows. My biggest fear is that, when we get to heaven, God will have a pie chart denoting how we spent the time given to us on this earth. My biggest slice will be something like 'Sleeping' or 'Dicking Around on the Computer' or 'Arguing Unecessarily with Self,' but just a little lower down will be 'Removing Body Hair: Subsection - Eyebrows.'

Once, in high school, a bunch of us went to Ecotique in the mall to get our eyebrows waxed. Jacki, I think you were there. It was a waste of my pie slice. Some girl a little older than me shmeared hot wax just above my eyelid and then ripped it off. I think she took out about four hairs. It cost $14.

About four years ago, I discovered eyebrow threading. I was downtown with...probably Jacki again...and we pulled over to get our eyebrows threaded at this little out-of-the-way place across from the Safeway. I came out with thin (but not too thin), perfectly-arched (but not pointy) eyebrows. I think it cost $4.

For those of you not in the know, eyebrow threading is the latest and greatest hair-removal technique the white person has seen. East Indians have been practicing it for hundreds of generations. They put one end of the threads in their mouths, hold the spool in one hand and a twisted corner of the thread in the other, and that's all I can tell you, because then they tell you to 'hold please' and you have to hold your eyelid shut and your forehead skin out of the way. It's like voodoo.

When I lived up near Blueridge (in what is practically a gated community, it's so affluent and inaccessible and I had to walk fifteen minutes to catch the bus to school and work but everyone there has SUV's and millions of dollars so they don't care), we got a flyer on our doorstep one day for a hair-and-nails opening up in the basement of the house next door to us. This is something that a lot of East Indian women do, set up a beauty salon in their basements to bring in a little extra cash. I think they're born with the ability to French manicure. I phoned her to ask if she did eyebrows, and of course she did, she thought it went without saying so she didn't put it on the flyer. I visited Sarb every two weeks until I moved away from there. She charged $3.

I moved to just off of Clearbrook Rd, and immediately set about looking for an Eyebrow Artist. Down the street about four blocks is a little place called Arvi's Hair and Something. They charge an unheard of $7, but man are they worth it. They all knew my name, but I couldn't ever keep them straight, and never figured out which one was Arvi.

The year I spent in Burnaby was a long and hairy one. Burnaby has a dearth of East Indians. Asians are great at math and food, but they suck and grooming your eyebrows for you. We've been back in Abbotsford for almost six months now, and I've visited Arvi's twice. It's clear across town, and yes, I still don't drive, and the Abbotsford bussing system...let's not touch that. ANYways, a little sign appeared down the road one day advertising a Hair Salon up my street about ten houses. I phoned in this morning, and they fit me in right away. Pawan, you are my new best friend. For a measly $3, my eyebrows look aMAzing, and she totally gave me a temple massage afterwards. When she wants me to let go of my eyelid and forehead, she says 'leave it.' I feel like a puppy.

I am going to live in East Indian neighborhoods for the rest of my life, and never pluck my eyebrows again. Or walk to school. Have I mentioned this? At least two separate families regularly pull up beside me while I'm walking to school and say 'College? Sit.' and then drive me up the hill. If a white guy pulled over and offered me a ride, I'd be all like 'Huh uh, buddy' and then I'd call the cops. Is that racist? I just thought of a story, but it might end up being long (look how long THIS post turned out to be), so I'll tell it to you tomorrow. It involves me accepting rides from strangers.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

What you call a 'train wreck'

Ok, so we have this group presentation due last night, yes? On...progress...in the Victorian era...very boring. I have class until 5:20, so we meet at 5:21 sharp to pull things together, slap up a power point, eat some dinner, etc. and Tyler has to print off his notes but he has no money on his card. So he emails it to himself, and we dash across campus because we're under time constraints, and when we get to the library the email hasn't come through. So we dash back to the cafeteria and save it to a flash drive, and dash back to the library and print it off and dash back to the cafeteria just in time to miss the 5-minute barrage of hail. HAIL, people.

The other group presents first, and they are boring, and long, but they've brought cookies. We have no cookies. All we have is power point, and the unbreakable conviction that what we are saying is neither interesting nor worth prolonging. The class goes to break, and we rig up the laptop to the projector, except that none of us knows how, and we have to log on to the main computer, and our professor doesn't know the password (?) and so we dash (again with the dashing) to the library to ask the I-T guy, but he's gone home for the night, so we find the librarian, but she's engaged, and we hang around trying to look like we just have a quick question, but she remains engaged for ten minutes, and by the time we pry her away, we have sweaty palms. She won't tell us the password, because why would she? So she comes with us back to class and by the time we get there, Nikki (bless her ballsy heart) has launched into the presentation without any technological back-up. She rattles on and on, trying to stall for time while we fidget and tinker with the cords. Eventually, we transfer the presentation from the laptop to the desktop and hey presto! We have an image of Queen Victoria and the slogan 'Shit was happening' scrolling across the bottom. Nikki wraps her business up, and Tyler steps up to the plate, but he's forgotten his notes in his backpack. By the time I'm taking the stage, we've worked out most of the kinks, but I need Tyler to press the 'Enter' key while I talk. He can't distinguish between my 'next-slide' motion and the spastic hand gestures that take over when I'm speaking in front of people, so I start throwing karate kicks and judo chops his way when I want him to move along one. Janelle presents with almost no catastrophes, and Tyler insists on scrolling through the slides for Nikki's presentation, because there's this awesome slide where an ear of corn comes flying in and screeches to a halt.

A+ material, for sures.

Nine white horses on a red hill...now they champ...now they stamp...now they stand still

I grind my teeths. I've always grinded my teeths. I grind them to the beat of the song stuck in my head. I have little under-shelves on the backs of two of my top teeths where the bottom teeths fit into them. I thought that everyone had these until about two years ago, when I asked Joel. He doesn't. His teeths meet perfectly in the middle.

When I'm really stressed out, I grind them constantly, and I clench my jaw in my sleeps. It becomes an addiction, and even when I'm consciously thinking about not doing it, I want to do it. It's like leaving a knuckle half-cracked all the time. I will sometimes put my tongue in between my teeths, just so I don't start grinding them as soon as I stop thinking about not grinding them. I also eat too mucg, same reason. Popcorn has become both my mouth guard and my crack cocaine.

My teeths feel like chalk.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007


Except for the hour I spent at home for lunch, I've been at school since 8:30 this morning.

The best and only good thing about cafeteria coffee is that it comes out of the chute at the perfect drinking temperature. There is none of this waiting and scalding of tongues, nor this tepid luke-warminess.

News Flash!

I have loads of homework! I am drownding! It is raining!

In other news, Joel and I got new fish: Big Tuna, and Father William. Father William is an albino catfish.