Thursday, January 31, 2008


Ok, you know how sometimes someone tells a story, and you know by the end that the only reason they told that story was because they thought they'd said something clever, and they wanted you to know how clever they were, even though you couldn't be present at the actual moment of said cleverness?

The blogging equivalent of that is to post an IM conversation you've had with someone in which you think you've been very funny. I know a couple of bloggers that do this, and I hate it. It reeks of desperation and insecurity. (For those of you who post IM's for other reason, and you know who you are, I'm totally not talking about you.) I don't mean recreating conversations you've had with people, because that takes a certain amount of framing and some memory and a good dose of creativity, because no one walks around taping their conversations. I mean the complete unwillingness to try and be a different funny, to have to cling to this morning's funny.

However, in the interest of seeing how the other half lives, and because really, this was too funny to keep between the two of us, I bring to you a Facebook conversation I had with my sister this morning. (Sorry about the formatting. I thought it would be hilarious and fun to put a photo at the bottom, but you know how blogger is with photos [hint: neither hilarious nor fun].)

Boo: we are doing grids at school (such as the grid of a magazine or a book or something) and to make it interesting, I am making my titles and sub-heads about hippopotamus's. So I've put for one subhead "God save thee, Hippopotamus, from the fiends that plague thee thus!" and also "do not ask for whom the Hippopotamu Tolls" which is less clever, but relevant, I'm sure...

Raych: Ah ha ha ha ha! I love a good 'hippopotamus/ancient mariner' reference.
This is just to say, I have eaten the hippopotamus that was in the ice box...

B: Once upon a marshland dreary
hippos wandered sleek and weary
over many quaint and curious
flowers on a marshy floor

Ah, distinctly one remembers
hippos revving heavy blenders
blending bows of blood red flowers
showered petals on the floor.

R: Hilarious AND gross!

Twas brillig, and the hippopos
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe
All mimsy were the borogoves
And the hippos outgrabe

B: Some say the world will end in hippos
some say in snakes
from what i taste of zats and zippos
I hold with those who favour hippos
But if it had to perish twice
I think I know enough of snakes
for suffocation is also great
and would suffice.

R: Whose woods these are, I think I know
He lives with the village hippo
They will not see me stopping here
To watch their woods fill up with snow

My own hippo must think it queer
To stop without a watering hole near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year

He gives his hippo ears a shake
To ask if there is some mistake
The only other sound's the ease
Of sweepy wind and downy flake

The woods are lovely, if you please
But I am holding back a sneeze
And hippos that stand too long, freeze
And hippos that stand too long, freeze

B: Hippo's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her breakfast is a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then belly subsides to belly.
So Eden sank to grief,
So the hippo goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

R:Hippo is the thing with wrinkly skin
That perches on the soul
And snorts and blows the bubbles round
And never stops at all

And loudest on the plains is heard
And starved must be the lion
That could devour the fat hippo
That...kept so many warm

I've heard it in the wettest bog
And in the deepest swamp
And never did it pass a weed
Without stopping to chomp

B: I'm a hippo! Who are you?
Are you a hippo, too?
Then there's a pair of us — don't squeal!
They'd taxidermic us, you know.

How dreary to be human!
How public, like your stain
To tell your name the livelong day
To an admiring plain!

R: I do not like hip'potamus
I do not like them on a bus
I do not like them in a bog
I do not like them wrapped in fog

I do not like them soaked in marsh
I do not like them, yes, that's harsh
But now my yard is all a muss
I do not like hip'potamus

B:if i love You
(thick skin means
savannahs inhabited by roamingly
stern bright birds

if you love
me, hippo) distance is mind carefully
luminous with innumerable marshflowers
Of complete dream

if we love each (shyly)
other, what clouds do or Silently
Flowers resembles beauty
less than our snogging

R: O, my luv is like a grey, grey hippo
That's newly birthed in June
My luv is like the snorting and blowing
That's done oddly in tune

So fair art thou, my potamus
So deep in love am I
That I will love thy wrinkly face
Till all the marsh goes dry

Till all the marsh goes dry, my dear
And plains bake in the sun
And I will love thee still, my dear
While antelope shall run

And fare thee well, my only luv
And fare thee well a while
But I will come again for thee
In true potamus style

B: Hippo! Hippo! burning bright
In the marshes of the night,
What immortal hand or hoof
Could frame thy girthy simplicity?

In what distant swamps or seas
Swam you Hippo as thy please?
On your staunchy haunch aspire?
Birds on thy snout dare retire?

And what shoulder, and what rump.
Could twist the sinews of thy hump?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hoof? and what dread feet?

R: When I am dead, my hippo
Sing no sad songs for me
Plant thou no marsh plants at my head
Nor wide savannah tree

Be the ground dry above me
And sometimes soaking wet
And if thou wilt, remember
And if thou wilt, forget

I shall not hear your chomping
I shall not see your hide
I shall not see you march through bogs
As long as you are wide

And floating in the mud
That is never wet nor dry
A thousand thousand hippo things
Lived on, and so did I

B: I’ve heard there was a river horse
That often played, and would cavort
But you don’t really care for romping, do you?
It goes like this
Hippos and fish
The river dance, the swampy mix
The baffled hippotomus, it knew ya
potty knew ya
potty knew ya
potty knew ya
potty knew ya

Your skin was strong but you needed proof
You saw the hippo on the roof
It’s beauty and the moonlight overthrew you
You tied it to a whale crane
Air lifted it to Africain
And from its lips it blew a farewell to ya
farewell to ya
farewell to ya
farewell to ya
farewell to ya

R: I have to get to class
Hippos in the grass
Too wide for me to pass
I will be late for class

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Lingua franca for a reason

Because I totally condone the use of thesaurases as long as you know what the word you're slotting in actually means (and also because I have romantic fantasies of Joel reading the dictionary to me while I eat bruschetta), I spend a lot of time on Usually it's all business, but sometimes and I have some fun.

Like today, when I was looking up a synonym for 'sickness' and got: affection, affliction, ailment, backdoor trots...'

Backdoor trots. BACKDOOR TROTS!!! Who even cares what other synonyms there are? Why would you say 'malady' when 'backdoor trots' is at your disposal? Why waste your time on 'diseasedness' when 'backdoor trots' waits to spill from your lips (both literally and figuratively speaking)? What a glorious language we speak, when it contains such phrases as 'the backdoor trots.'

From left field

It snowed two days ago, so obviously the school is closed today. Joel and I are in the office, working on our homework. He goes to make us some tea. I have this way of looping the string from the tea bag around the handle of the mug and back under itself that I picked up working at Reds, because that way when you poured hot water into it really quickly, the string and little paper tab didn't slip into the mug with the water. It also throws people a little bit when they go to pull their tea bag out of their mug, and it catches on the handle, and they have to stop talking to figure out what's happening. Funny every time.

Anyways, so Joel brings the tea in, and he has the little strings looped around the handles and back under themselves.

Me: I like how you've picked up my string-looping trick.

Joel: I'm like the zombies.


Joel: In that I learn things.


Sunday, January 27, 2008

Crafty McNafty

Ok, so, I'm only taking four classes this semester, right? So, theoretically, I should have a ton more free time, right? Except that when you think you're going to have more free time, you totally over-load yourself, and taking one less class doesn't actually clear up my schedule as much as I think it does.
So, since I clearly haven't been blogging in all that spare time, what have I been up to?


I love crafting. I love how faddish it is. When I was in Austria, all the girls suddenly felt the call to learn knitting. Every class, we'd all have our knitting in our laps and be purling away. Even two of the guys learned to wield the needles (one of them quit after twenty minutes, the other insisted that he'd meant to knit Australia, and presented the saddle-shaped lump of wool to his girlfriend as a symbol of his devotion). Within weeks, everyone had hand-knitted toques and scarves.

Then there was the brief crocheting madness that swept CBC, followed by the year or so that Robyn and I compusively cross-stitched. She stitched The Last Supper, and Jesus had total shifty eyes.

The latest craft to sweep the Rachel-nation is....

...assless chaps!! No, I joke. We're making denium quilts, but to make denium quilts, you have to cut out endless squares of denium from cheap, gross, thift-store jeans (the fatter the ass, the more denium for your buck)

And then you have to sew those squares into twosies...

...and then you have to press those twosies, and then sew two twosieses together into a foursie, and then sew two foursies together into an eightsie, and so on down the line...

Then you have to let the dog sit on it for a while to season it.

Then, when you've made three huge squares of denium patches, and you think you're almost done, you have to attach them to the backing...

which is more back-breaking and angrifying than you want it to be...

But in the end, wheee!Denium quilts for everyone! Cuddly and soft on one side, heavy and durable on the other! I am a crafting genius, AND now Joel has a second blanket to bring to bed with him, so he can stop complaining about how I hog the blanket. See? Everone wins!!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Tranquility fountain


So, a few days ago I was invited to the Facebook group 'Farewell Brandon McCoy, We'll Miss You' and I thought 'Oh good, Brandon finally quit. He's been working at Red Robin for way too long.' Today I actually joined that Facebook group.

Brandon isn't quitting, he's dead.

The car that he was in was backing out of Lou's Bar and was hit by another vehicle. Brandon was in the back seat, and he died on the scene. He was my age. I don't even know what to say. I was at Reds on New Years Day with some friends, and I thought of running to the back to see if he was there, because he always had a hug for me. I didn't, though, because I didn't know the new management and I didn't want to get yelled at. I wish I had.

The day after we drew Secret Santa names one year I came to work to hear 'Rachel! I'm your Secret Santa!'

'Brandon,' I said, 'it's a secret Santa.' Then I resigned myself to a crappy gift because, to tell you the truth, he was kind of an idiot. I was out of town that Christmas, and on my first day back Brandon met me at the door and dragged me to the office so I could open my gift. It was a small black fountain, just big enough for my windowsill.

'It's a tranquility fountain. It will give you tranquility so you won't be so stressed out all the time. Put it in your house somewhere and think tranquil thoughts.'

Brandon, I'm sorry for all those times I yelled at you. You were a slacker, and you had a smart mouth, and some days you drove me up the wall. But I really, really cared about you and I'm glad that I told you that all the time. I'm sorry that we lost touch after I quit Reds, and I'll never look at that fountain without thinking of you. I hope you're somewhere tranquil.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Pee story

So I was at school, on my way into the bathroom but also checking my phone messages, and my sister had phoned!! And she always leaves these loooooooooooong messages so full of story and chatter that sometimes I forget it's a message and I start talking back to it. H'anyways, so I'm listening to this long message, and also trying to pull down my pants because I really have to pee but I only have the one hand to do it because my other hand has to hold the phone because I'm wearing these big hoop earrings that don't allow me to wedge the phone between ear and shoulder, and also I'm wearing this huge belt that is difficult to undo with one hand, and this is the part where you want me to say that I dropped the phone in the toilet and the automatic flusher flushed it down, but I didn't!! I just had an awkward pee!!! Anti-climactic!!!!

Enjoy your wednesday.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Open letters to my bitchez

Dear Rachel of a Month or So Ago,
If you had cleaned up the chili that exploded all over the inside of the microwave as soon as it happened, yes, it would have been a horrid, crappy mess, but it would have been a fresh horrid, crappy mess instead of the baked on coat of chili-paint it is now.

Dear Rachel of a Few Days Ago,
I don't know if you did it on purpose or what, but when you put the intense grease-fighting cleaner away last, you...unscrewed the top? Caused the top to become unscrewed? Allowed the top to unscrew itself? Whatever you did, all the intense grease-fighting cleaner leaked out into the recycling, which now stinks, and I had no intense grease-fighting action to help me clean up the mess that Rachel of a Month or So Ago made.

Dear Rachel of About Ten Minutes Ago,
If you had put water into the coffee maker instead of just replacing the grounds and turning it on, we'd be smelling sweet java right now, and not burning machine.

I'm just sayin'.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Good news

I would like to point out that it is 4:30 p.m. and still light outside.

All hail the coming of the spring.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Time for a grocery shop

Joel and I have a joint bank account, but separate cupboards for our snacks. Joel goes through snacks like air, and I have taken to buying chips for him in the same way that I buy milk or tomatoes.

I, on the other hand, am a hoarder. This stems from a childhood with very little pocket money, so I would have to hoard everything that came into my hands for free in case I needed it later. Like, I might need some candy corn in, oh, say, February. And the last thing I want is Joel eating my carefully-hoarded tasties. Like, what if I need some cheddar-flavored mini rice cakes (dusted carefully with cocaine) and he's eaten them, and I have to wait until we go grocery shopping again, or I have to walk down to the Walmart? So he doesn't eat them, and they are there for when I need them.

Today I needed some cheddar-flavored mini rice cakes (with cocaine), but when I went to my cupboard, the non-descript yellow bag that I'd thought was cheddar-flavored mini rice cakes (with cocaine) was actually all-dressed mini rice cakes (which lack that certain addictive punch). Apparently the last time we were in the store, I wanted to try something new, forgetting that by the time I got around to eating the mini rice cakes, my desire for novelty would be in the trash with the couscous, and I'd want my cheddar-flavored mini rice cakes (with cocaine).

Alas. I wept. I gnashed my teeth. I rended my garments. And then I did the unthinkable.

I went into Joel's cupboard, looking for cheddar-flavored mini rice cakes (with cocaine). There were none. There was only a half-full bag of dill chips (ick) and a bag of ketchup-flavored mini rice cakes (uckers).

I am bereft.

Thursday, January 17, 2008


So...onions, hey?

Joel and I have been on this 'Giant Salad' kick, where I chop up a bunch of peppers and onions and such, and open a can of chick peas and a can of black beans and a can of corn, and then I make Giant Salads and then throw the rest into tupperware containers in the fridge, so that the next day I can make a Giant Salad in half a second, because I'm waaaaaaaaaay more likely to eat a salad if it doesn't involve half an hour of chopping.

So, about three salads ago, I overdid the red onions. I always think that delicious = put more in but this is not always the case. By the time I was done the salad, I was also done with red onions for a while. You know how it is. So this little tupperware container of red onions sat in our fridge for a few days more, gathering stench like they do.

Monday morning, I opened the fridge door to get my milk, and the onion stench reached out and slapped me in the face. Cheeky bugger. So I dumped out the little container into the trash, but I was running late for school so I couldn't take the trash out to the outside-trash. Whatever.

Except that Joel woke up that morning with the most severe nausea, and when he stumbled out into the kitchen, the whole front of the house reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeked of angry onions. He took the trash to the outside-trash immediately, but that's like killing a mosquito and thinking you've solved West Nile. Mosquitoes have spawn, and onions have scent-spawn.

The tupperware container was in the sink when I came home, so even though all the windows were open and the house was frEEzing, it still reeked. I rinsed the container and put it in the dishwasher, but it was another full day of indominatable stink before the dishwasher filled enough that I could run it. Problem solved?


That was Tuesday night I ran the dishes. It is now Thursday afternoon. This morning, I stuck my face into the dishwasher (for science) and sniffed. Onions.

I put my head under the sink where the trash is and sniffed (again, for science). Onions.

In that whole front room, there is a very faint trace of onion, as though someone stepped in it and is walking around with onion on their shoe. What do I do? Febreeze the hell out of the kitchen? Scrub the living room with stainless steel? Burn it down and buy a new house?

In conclusion, onions are insidious. Beware.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Once again, it is time for you to read my homework while I DO my homework

What's up, Chicklets? So, erm, I seem to have misplaced my time-management skills, and now I have two assignments due tomorrow. So instead of a post, hows about you read this paper I wrote on how, if you're ugly, people will be mean to you and that will make you a bad person? Wheee! No, you'll like it. Go make yourself a cup of coffee first, though, because it's a long'n.

Face Value – How Appearance Shapes Character in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein
For many years, the study of physiognomy was held to be a legitimate science. The idea that ‘fixed aspects of physical appearance are indicative of the qualities of a person’ was widespread and heatedly debated in the years leading up to and following the writing of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (Collins 1). The characters of this novel seem to take it as proven that ‘the mark of class can be read on physiognomy and complexion’ (Vlasopolos 126). Though this idea might be laughed down today, people still attribute positive characteristics to others who are pleasant to look at, creating what Alan Feingold calls the ‘”beautiful-is-good” halo effect of attractiveness’ (par. 5). Mary Shelley puts these ideas to shame, creating a being who becomes monstrous due to his ugliness, but in whom evil is not inherent. The flaw lies in the social response to the appearance, not in the appearance itself.
There is no doubt that Frankenstein’s creature is originally of a kind and benevolent disposition. Being comparable to a very young child, he displays all the casual generosity and wonder characteristic of children, with none of their innate selfishness. He is thrilled by the sight of the moon and the voice of the songbird. He secretly collects firewood for the De Laceys in an effort to alleviate their toil. He weeps over the ‘hapless fate’ of indigenous Americans, people with whom he has not even geographical connections (Shelley 139). Even after a series of violent rejections, he does not hesitate to, with ‘extreme labor’ and no small danger to himself, rescue a young girl from drowning (Shelley 167). These are not the actions of a monster; most legitimate humans cannot boast such a selfless soul. As far as internal characteristics are concerned, it seems that ‘he really is the fulfillment of Frankenstein’s desire to build a new, better race of men – at least, until his isolation and frustration turn him into a murderer’ (Rieder 3).
In order to highlight the effect of the creature’s wretched appearance, Mary Shelley provides four contrasting beauties. While the monster could quite properly be considered Victor Frankenstein’s ‘son,’ neither Elizabeth, Justine, Caroline or Safie approaches closer relationship than ‘cousin’ to the family that takes her in, yet each of them is treated with far more kindness. Elizabeth is the picture of physiognomial accuracy; ‘her person [is] the image of her mind’ (Shelley 30). She is welcomed sight-unseen into her uncle’s family, as befits a close relative, but it is not until Victor’s mother views this ‘most beautiful child’ that she selects the young Elizabeth for her son’s mate (Shelley 30). Upon returning home, Victor Frankenstein displays his clear physiognomial bias, describing how her ‘open and capacious forehead [give] indications of a good understanding joined to great frankness of disposition’ (Shelley 85). Her kindness and decency are described in many flowery terms, but her admirers give no thought to how such a solicitous upbringing may have inspired such goodness. The charming Justine is similarly rescued, as Elizabeth is, from an unpleasant home life. Not being of equal rank with the Frankensteins, she is never considered a candidate for marriage and is put to work as a servant. Elizabeth belabors the point, however, that young Justine is treated well. She, too, is ‘extremely pretty’ (Shelley 68), thus securing her place in the household, but she is clearly not as attractive as Elizabeth. When Justine is accused of a crime against the Frankenstein family and Elizabeth takes the stand, it is a face-off of faces. Though Elizabeth speaks in Justine’s defense, ‘all the kindness which [Justine’s] beauty might otherwise have excited’ is drowned in the presence of this still-more-lovely woman against whom the crime is committed (Shelley 88), and Justine is sentenced to death. Though her end (and, ultimately, Elizabeth’s) is tragic, her life is blessed, and she receives much more affection than does the monster in his brief existence.
Caroline enjoys the least face time of Shelley’s ‘beauties,’ but provides one of the most striking parallel images. Daughter of the senior Mr. Frankenstein’s good friend, she is taken in without hesitation upon that friend’s death, and soon made a wife. Her husband preserves her likeness in a painting where she kneels weeping at her father’s coffin. This touching image is one of ‘dignity’ and ‘beauty,’ moving the viewer to compassion (Shelley 82). It’s correlating image, however, of the stricken creature hanging over Victor’s coffin, in no less agony of grief, inspires such horror in the viewer that he becomes ‘dizzy’ and must shut his eyes in order to block out the scene and regain his wits (Shelley 269-70). Both are visual impressions of similar scenes, but they inspire wildly different reactions. Safie also provokes a dialectical response when she arrives at the De Lacey house. With nothing but a lovely face to recommend herself to Felix De Lacey, this ‘angelic beauty’ (Shelley 136) is nevertheless taken immediately into his heart. She has no family ties which connect her to the De Laceys; she has severed her own ties with family and wealth; she does not even speak the same language. And yet, when she throws herself at the feet of Mr. De Lacey, he ‘raise[s] her and embrace[s] her affectionately’ (Shelley 136). One cannot help but compare this to the old man’s horrified gasp, ‘Great God! Who are you?’ (Shelley 160) and Felix’s violent beating when the monster exposes himself to this same family. Though the monster holds several advantages over Safie, in that he speaks the De Lacey’s language and can reference a number of services he has rendered them, he is spurned. These four women receive affection over and above that required by human compassion because of their great beauty. The monster, on the other hand, lacks that crucial element, that physical acceptability upon which first impressions are made.
The monster stands almost no chance in persuading others to see past his hideous bearing. Beauty may only be skin deep, but it is on the basis of this fragile outer layer that many of our assumptions are made. Stephen Jay Gould posits that part of our ‘biological inheritance’ is an ‘aversion to seriously malformed individuals’ (par. 42), but he also suggests that this aversion can be conquered through education. Unfortunately for the monster, no one is taught to overcome their revulsion. When Victor abandons him at the moment of creation, he deprives him of the social framework necessary for one such as him to survive. As Virginia Blum points out, it is those without status, wealth, or family to recommend them that are more dependent on their appearance to speak for them. After all, she reminds us, Prince Charles has never seemed ‘unduly stressed’ by his prominent ears (132). But the monster is no Prince of Wales. Nor is he a beloved cousin, or a treasured servant, or a dear friend’s son. He is socially adrift, lacking language and manners (which can be acquired) but retaining all natural human desires for love and companionship, with no hope of ever fulfilling them. Just as he ‘thrust[s his] hand into the live embers’ of a fire in a misguided effort to get warm, so he rushes into villages and huts in an attempt to socialize (Shelley 119, 122). Both endeavors bring only pain. Much has been made of Victor’s Promethean attempt to make life from inanimate matter, but the true sin is that ‘no provision has been made for [the creature] to fit into the community into which he is “born”’ (Nocks, par. 3). His only option, it seems, is to haunt the fringes of society, growing monstrous at heart as he is in appearance.
That the creature is made mostly-human seems to be the cruelest trick of all. If he were all-human, he probably would have sailed through life with no more troubles than his neighbor. If he were completely un-human, he would have lived the life of a beast, cared as little what man thought of him as the beast does, and likely been as little reviled as a stray dog. Instead, he is a ‘filthy type’ of Victor, ‘more horrid for [his] very resemblance’ (Shelley 154). There seems to be some truth to the idea that man can love what is exactly like, or exactly unlike him, but is suspicious of that which straddles the line. Children born with craniofacial deficiencies need to be operated on quickly to make them ‘look human enough to love’ (Blum 120), but puppies need no such alteration. As the children in C. S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe are told (by a talking beaver, no less), ‘when you meet anything that’s going to be human and isn’t yet, or used to be human once and isn’t now, or ought to be human and isn’t, you keep your eyes on it and feel for your hatchet’ (82). The creature has the stark misfortune to fall into each of these categories, and the world responds by tossing hatchets and stones, curses and hate. It is of little wonder, then, that he develops the worst of man’s tendencies.
One is forced to ask of Victor, along with the creature, ‘why did you form a monster so hideous that even you turned from [it] in disgust?’ (Shelley 154). Why did a man bent on creating a superior race instead produce a fiend? He does not become ugly upon receiving life; Victor admits that he is ugly while unfinished, but he makes no attempt to fix the matter. Instead, he brings his product to fruition and then immediately pronounces it a ‘catastrophe,’ a ‘wretch,’ and a ‘miserable monster,’ all before the creature says an unfriendly word. Laura Claridge insists that Frankenstein ‘deliberately chose the form for his creature that was sure to provoke the most horror and dread in other mortals’ (par. 12), and he is certainly successful. Perhaps it feeds his desire for power. Perhaps it gives him an excuse not to care for the creature once it is ‘born.’ Perhaps it is merely a byproduct of the isolated and unhealthy atmosphere in which the creature is created. Regardless of the ‘why,’ Victor Frankenstein is as responsible for his creature’s lack of beauty as a seamstress would be for a coat’s lack of buttons and, as a result, responsible for his vile actions as well.
The monster is made hideous by Victor’s hands, and he is made cruel by that hideousness. Though Victor forms his very features, it is ostensibly because of his appearance that Victor shuns him. As a child’s view of himself is formed by his parents’ opinion, Victor’s rejection is the beginning of the creature’s disintegration. In his time with the De Laceys, the creature becomes used to gazing on attractive human forms and absorbs something of their ‘aesthetic prejudices’ (Vlasopolos 127). He recognizes that the face he sees reflected in the pond does not uphold those same aesthetic principles, but this, while filling him with ‘the bitterest sense of despondence and mortification’ (Shelley 132), seems also to spur him to develop his faculties of speech, his sharpness of mind, and his compassionate heart. It is only later, when he is forcefully rejected by the family he has come to care for, that he develops feelings of ‘rage and revenge’ (Shelley 161). He acquires what Blum aptly calls the ‘Frankenstein perspective,’ where ‘you become how the world sees you’ (128). The world sees him as monstrous, though he has yet committed no crime, and monstrous he becomes. He ‘was benevolent and good,’ he insists, but ‘misery made [him] a fiend’ (Shelley 114). His misery only grows in the ensuing months as he skulks around the borders of Victor’s life. Though he has been violently mistreated, even yet goodness lingers in him and he offers an olive branch if only Victor will create for him a mate. When Victor eventually refuses this reasonable request and destroys ‘the creature on whose future existence [the monster] depend[s] for happiness’ (Shelley 205), is it any wonder that the monster responds with a killing spree? Many fair people have committed worse crimes under less provocation.
It becomes clear that the monster’s violent and cruel disposition are the result, not the partner, of his atrocious face. His ‘watery eyes,’ ‘shrivelled [sic] complexion, and straight black lips’ (Shelley 55-6) are not indicative of a rotten character. Shelley takes great pains to demonstrate the monster’s initial goodness, as well as to parallel his situation with that of those who have greater physical attractiveness. It is through society’s failure to recognize goodness residing in an ugly package that this bizarrely kind character becomes the sort of monster to haunt children’s dreams.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Mobile parties

Things that are exhausting: hosting a party in a house that is not your own.

Tomorrow is Joel's birthday, but it's also a Monday, and that sucks. So to fix the problem, and also because Sunday = football, we celebrated today. I wanted to throw him a little football-watching party, but we don't have cable and our living space is tiny, so I borrowed our friends Steve and Amber's place, because they live just up the way and because they have several couches and a huge TV. And a deep fryer.

When you're hosting a party at your own house, all you have to do is make sure that the things you need, food-wise, are IN YOUR HOUSE!! You don't have to pack a cooler full of perishables (cheese and sour cream for the nachos, ice cream for the pie, ranch for the wings, etc.), chips, beverages, a giang bag of potatoes, et al, into your car and haul them somewhere, hoping that you haven't forgotten something basic, like the beer. You don't have to think of a clever way around not having a vegetable peeler, because you either have one in the second drawer down, or you aren't a peeler. You don't have to cut potatoes on a nasty glass cutting board that squeeks, because you'd have your own Le Cutty plastic one shaped like a yellow fish. Oh yes, and you don't have to learn how to use a deep-fryer, because you don't have one, because they make your house smell like ass.

All that being said, Joel had a happy birthday and I must have lost three pounds what with all the sweating over fryer and oven and cutting board, and there were wings and fries and yam-fries (is there a trick to cutting yams that I don't know about? Because it is hella hard) and nachos and chips and cookies and juice and beers and at the end, an apple pie with ice cream and caramel sauce. And I'm not the one with the smelly-house, for which I am eternally grateful (thanks, Stamber), and now I don't have to think of anything nice to do for Joel for a whole n'other year, and we have half a jar of caramel sauce in the fridge, and I am still in my mid-twenties (Joel has now entered his mid-late twenties, the geezer).

I need to go wash my face.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


What's up, kids? So, it looks like you're going to be seeing a lot of me between 2:30 and 4:00 on Thursdays, because I have class from 11:30-2:30, and then from 4:00-7:00, and it's POuring out, so it isn't worth my while to walk all the way home, and all the way back, and all the way home again. Instead, I will sit here in the lounge and studiously ignore that girl over there who was in a class with me last semester but who I don't really like, and who tried to get my attention a few minutes ago by calling me 'Dawn.' That's not my name.

So today, in my Philosophy class, we had to go around give an example of a time in which we demonstrated a higher level of thinking, or something. Going around the class and saying ANYthing that isn't your favorite ice cream is super-stressful, because who can think that quickly? And you don't want to say something douchey like 'I've saved two lives' (which I have, internets, and I will tell you about it sometime*) but you also don't want to throw out something flip because it's the first day of class, and your prof will say to herself, ah, this girl does not take me seriously. I will give her a D. And I don't want a D.

Generally, your best bet is for the person just preceeding you to be a stutterer, or to say something really ghey, like 'The other day I pulled over and made a nice path for the ambulance to pass by' (no joke, this is someone's higher level of thinking), so that whatever you string together by comparison sounds awesome. The guy before me? 'One time I successfully talked myself out of committing suicide.'


How am I supposed to follow that? That is heavy. That is a seriously ballsy and/or attention-seeking thing to say in front of thirty people you don't know. No jokes. So I threw out something about making my roommates agree on something, it was probably how we were going to kill the rat, but I think I left that part out. Lamez.

Happy Thursday, folken.

*Speaking of saving lives, Robyn the Bishop is currently doing so on a daily basis, and recently delivered a baby OVER THE PHONE. Now that's worth sharing in class.

Monday, January 07, 2008

My twelfth post-secondary semester begins!!!

First day of school! New faces, new topics, new textbooks! For reals, I love it.

What I don't love is finding my classes. Even in this, my third semester at UCFV, I still find locating my classes stressful. I'm always afraid (and rightly so) that I'll have read the schedule wrong, or walk into the wrong classroom, and that some cute boy will see me do it, and my life will be over. Hmmm? No, I'm twenty-five.

So today, I head off to my 8:30 class, and I've written the classroom number down in my organizer, but I like to check things once more beforehand because I'm paranoid, but the myUCFV online schedule is down. So I take it in faith that I'm not an idiot, and that I wrote down the correct number the first time. This is, as you may have guessed, a fallacy. Since room A317 is very clearly an office, and not my classroom, I have to dart back down to the library to check the myUCFV online schedule to find my correct classroom, except oh yes, it's down. So I have to trek to the B-building to find the archaic (but cheerfully un-crashable) paper schedule, locate my classroom (let's just say that a 2 can look awfully like a 7) and rush back to the A-building to my class for which I am now late. Worst fear realized again.

I managed to make it to my second class with no mishaps (thank merciful goodness), only to find it packed with people. People sitting on desks, people standing in the back, loads of people. If you're waitlisted, see, you have to show up on the first day to even stand a chance of getting into the class. I had been sixteenth on the waitlist when I registered, but the prof shares an office with a prof who taught me last semester, and she convinced him to let me in. So the prof walked in at 2:30, and you could tell he was a little bit startled by all the shiny faces. 'Oh wow,' he says, 'Uh...hi.' Then he does this little shuffle and says 'I hate to do this, but, um, I've already accepted ten people into this class over and above the limit of twenty-five. So, unless you're registered, or I've contacted you' There was a pause while he waited for people to leave. No one moved. ' I guess you can go? I don't really know how to...hmm. No one's going? Really?' Long awkward silence. 'Uh...there isn't...I won't be accepting any more people into this class, so it's just a waste of your time to...hmm. Well, whatever.' It was awkward.

Almost as awkward as two minutes after the mid-class break ended, while I was finishing up my apple and a good-sized bit fell down my shirt. Now, the break had just ended, and you can't get up and go to the bathroom just after the break ends (at least, not if you're sitting at the very front of the class, which I was) because it's rude. And these people aren't my friends yet, so I couldn't announce in a stage whisper that I'd dropped apple down my shirt, and then remove it. So I sat there, with a cold, sticky bit of fruit wedged between my top stomach roll and my sweater for over an hour. Gross and uncomfortable.

So far a promising start.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

In lieu of wasting time

Anyone feel like telling Joel what he should do next summer? Be my guest (I will give you a donut if you throw in things like 'Be your wife's doting servant' or 'Become a trained masseuse').

Saturday, January 05, 2008

What's this?

My sister and I used to work in a church nursery, and there was this little girl named Emma. She was a total doll, but she would play a game with us called 'What's this?' where she would point at things, and say 'what's this?' and then we would answer her. We would play this for hours, even thouhg it usually went along these lines:

- What's this?
- That's a Glowworm, Emma.
- What's this?
- That's Lincoln.
- What's this?
- That's the worm again, Emma.
- What's this?
- That's...that's Lincoln.

I'm going to play that game with you now.

What's this?

That's us getting ready to 'jump into the New Year.'

What's this?

That's us just after we 'jumped into the New Year,' investigating the damage done to the couch. Apparently, a. Joel is fat, and b. I have no sense of the self-timer on my camera.
What's this?
That's us feeding champagne to the landlords' dog. She didn't like it.

What's this?

That's a...peacock (?) that was loitering outside the Abbotsford library when I went to drop off some books. I stepped in shit and got it all in the treads of my moonboots because I was so intent on taking this picture.

What's this?

That's me and Boo in the matching jackets we bought...except that she bought hers first, and I made her take me to the mall so I could buy one just like it, because I secretly want to be her. But I started dating tall guys first, so she also wants to be me. Parallel lives! It's ok, we live in separate towns.
What's this?
That's me, right now, blogging on my 'new' laptop. Hurrah! Now I can lounge here on my easy chair, like a thinner, less slimy Jabba the Hut (except that my thighs look huge...I will have to fire my photographer) instead of sitting ergonomically upright, correcting my damn posture. Awesome.
So, that's my past week or so in a nut. Once school starts on Monday, I'll be back to my regularly-scheduled blogging, along with my going-to-the-gym, and my eating-things-that-aren't-cake.
Happy end of holidays, everyone.