Thursday, October 30, 2003

Sara asked me to be her Friendster. I decided to first try and hunt her down through my network of 137,886 friends - maybe she is already my friend? With about 200 Saras in my personal network I gave up five Saras into my search. It seems that there are another 400 called Sarah.

Last night Sabine and I discussed six degrees of separation and she told me about a German TV show that picked a random taxi driver in Berlin and linked him to Russell Crowe. Every week there would be a new episode with a new person in the chain towards Crowe.

Hollywood stars are boring. I would like to see if I have any connections to Islom Karimov (warp him here) or even more difficult: some sinister African personality like Mugabe (I don't know if you can warp him).

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Last week I got a response to this blog for the first time. From some guy asking me to link up to his patriotic (American) gun website. Sorry, fellow, I don't like things that can hurt me or any other living thing. I don't care if you're only shooting targets - you might miss and kill some endangered Peruvian buffalo.

Perhaps I spend too much time in circles of people who quote "Bowling for Columbine" once every day, but I was astonished that here was someone who obviously did not watch it and possibly might approach that movie from a Charlton Heston stance.

Thursday, October 30, 2003

And again from the Morbid Read Du Jour is a homosexual duck raping a dead compatriot.

It is taking a while for my computer to get to the picture. I feel like a little kid who can't wait for Christmas morning to come already.

Thursday, October 30, 2003

The Morbid Read Du Jour relates that three people were mangled in Rome on Tuesday by an escalator, with one woman dying.

Keep far, far away from those stairways of death. If you need more convincing ask me about the girl whose face got torn apart by one of those killers.

Thursday, October 30, 2003

Maktaaq is in a jolly mood tonight!

Tomorrow is Halloween: it's supposed to be a good time for divining identities of future lovers and I am looking up all manner of superstitions in this regard. First, I must verify as to whether or not I will encounter any bonfires tomorrow, before I snip off any more locks of hair. Next I must find my way to a grove of cabbage and uproot one - dirty roots signify a rich husband, which would be a bonus. (After I eat said cabbage I'll know if future husband will be sweet or bitter. Cross your fingers so I'll get a nice cabbage/husband.)

I had no idea what drove me to buy an apple last night but it will come in handy for tomorrow night's husband-predicting again. I must peel the apple in one go. I like challenges. That'll test my mettle. If I succeed, I drop the peel on the ground and see by what initial my future husband's name begins. There's also an Irish something called the Barnbrack Cake, but since I have no access to fruitcakes with coins, rings, and rags imbedded within, I won't be able to know my financial status.

I have ivy in my backyard and one leaf alone can predict my health over the next year. Divination sure is fun!

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

That's the problem with articles about suicide. They include the gory forensic details that makes the idea of suicide unpalatable. Marissa Imrie probably looked at the same website I did and, for some reason, the autopsy photos didn't deter her. I was mostly worried about staining the living room carpet or leaving a permanent stench or the look of horror on whoever stumbles across me. My method is still to disappear into the tundra one winter. Wild animals will eat my corpse and my parents will be spared a visit to the morgue.

Note 1: "[Roger Grimes] gave up [trying to get a suicide barrier installed on the Golden Gate Bridge] a few years ago, stunned that in an area as famously liberal as San Francisco, where you can always find a constituency for the view that pets should be citizens or that poison oak has a right to exist, there was so little empathy for the depressed." The most interesting parts of this article was Kevin Hines, who spent a tearful half hour on the bridge and no one intervened, or the guy who wrote that if one person smiled at him that day he wouldn't jump.


Last September, one month into unemployment, I saw a Native woman standing at Burrard and Georgia crying, with a baseball cap held out to the passing office workers streaming out from the surrounding office high rises. At her feet was a black duffel bag and a green backpack.

Just arrived to Vancouver and no one to meet her, I thought.

My personal superstition is that giving money to a busker is good luck. I never pass one without a donation. While I support all street musicians, I never loosen purse strings for common beggars.

But this woman on the corner of Burrard and Georgia - I thought of Pasolini's story of how a pimp lured the young widow into prostitution. While reading the story, the widow's entrapment takes up many pages, I kept thinking, "No! There's still time to save yourself!"

Already I crossed the street. There are so many people in the Downtown Eastside and they perhaps once started out like this woman.

I don't think my five dollar donation was enough.


Note 2: crabs eat corpse eyeballs and cheeks. Down with crabs!

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

"Friends are better than therapists."

A few years ago at a folk concert, these three Aboriginal women on stage talked about depression in native homes in Australia and how suicide was as common there as it is in our First Nations communities. This talk led to an introduction to their next song, about how people used to drop in their neighbours' houses and chat, and how this is a better remedy for depression than just getting drugged up.

A few days ago my uncle remarked how doctors are happy prescribing medicine to keep patients returning to refill prescriptions. So the cause for our societal ills would be economic.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Not enough restaurants are picking up on the communal table idea. But soon I will change all that.

However, reading this article really depressed me. I feel sorry for all these lonely people.

Hell! Screw them! North Americans are cold fish. They like being alone. What about me? I am Latin and hot-blooded - the ways of the hermit are not for me; I need consistent human interaction.

My back-up plan: as soon as I have enough cash (spring 2005) I am heading off to Europe again and I'll meet my husband in Croatia or Romania, unless some nice Milanese fellow steps in to save me. I would have liked to share a common language with my husband but the proverb "beggars can't be choosers" haunts me. A pretty face looking for a sugar mama is good enough for me.

The exact methods I will go about meeting him trouble me somewhat. I am not a bar person and, furthermore, I don't want to meet a drunk � oh! alcoholism, the scourge of Eastern Europe! I never meet people in bookstores or supermarkets, like someone in my condition should be doing, so I scratched that method off my list long ago.

I know no one in Croatia. I just hear that there are enough handsome fellows for everyone there. It'll be like Helsinki; I step off the plane and the guy at customs will have me swooning. I imagine employing a Viking looting tactic; throwing the first fellow I see over my shoulder and re-embarking the plane with my new husband. I will have enough time to think it over on the plane ride to Zagreb so I can put that off for a while.

(The Czech Republic apparently is just as good as Croatia. However, it is over saturated with North American women, making it unlikely I will be able to find a fellow. After all these guys will be used to the presence of my kind and might even know that my flashing dollars are but a camouflage for poverty awaiting in Canada. I am looking for virgin territory, where they still think every Canadian has diamonds in their coffers.)

I don't really know too many people in Romania...that would adjust to Canadian life. A Romanian thief, like my back-up marriage guy, would make problems for me here. I am honourably poor, after all. I am not the nasty version of poverty that Hogarth described: I don�t sup on gin and drop babies. My reputation would be ruined. A transplanted Romanian pimp, likewise, might infringe on Canadian pimps� prerogatives.


I had no idea what this thing called the right-hand ring is. I saw it last night in an ad in the latest issue of Oprah magazine. I read and reread the article trying to figure it out. Apparently it is the ring a woman gives herself when there is no one else to give it to her.

Having looked at lawsuit photos of what happens when diamond rings rip off fingers, I have decided that rings aren�t for me. That is one thing I can be thankful for when I am an old spinster. At least I will die intact, all fingers in place.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Karen sent me a recipe:

1 Lemon

1 Orange

A Bag of Sugar (have about 3 cups on hand)

1 to 1.5 cups Water

A good sized Pot

A Jar

Boil 1 cup water. (Use slightly more if you have a very large lemon � water cuts down the acidity)

Chop up the Lemon & Orange into little bits with peel & seeds.

Add the fruit bits & peel to the boiling water for about 20 minutes & boil until the rind is soft.

Now, you can take it off the heat and strain the solids if you like a clear jelly, or keep them in the mix for a chunky marmalade.

Measure in a measuring cup how much volume of liquid or liquid/fruit mix you have. Put it all back in the pot, and then add an equal amount of sugar and stir it to dissolve.

Turn the stove back on high, and boil this mixture for another 12-15 minutes. Watch, as it will rise once it gets going! Turn down the heat to keep it from boiling over and stir to keep from burning. The mix will get quite thick.

Now, turn the heat off and let it cool for about 10 min. Taste a little to see if you need to add more sugar. When it is still hot but not too hot to touch, you can pour the mix into a jar or other container, and let it sit to cool down. When it�s relatively cool, put the lid on the jar & put the whole thing in the fridge. Next day, enjoy your Marmalade with your favorite bread! Also try adding a large spoonful to some hot water for a lovely marmalade tea.


Monday, October 13, 2003


What's Your Animal Magnetism?

"Maktaaq, you're a Tiger in the wild world of love.

Grrrr. Go get 'em, Tiger! You know what you want and how to get it. And with your powerful stealth and impressive attitude � who are we to tell you otherwise? You're a natural predator in the lush jungle of love. With plenty of poise, power, and perfect timing, you'll charm the pants off any target you set your sights on. You've got beauty and grace that's irresistible to most who cross your path. Your territory is so well marked, it's not surprising that you sometimes can be a bit of a loner instead of hanging with the pack.

Sophisticated and discriminating, you set your standards high when out hunting for love. Trendy new hot spots are probably your typical habitat � though any place you can find sleek, beautiful mates is good in your book. Your confidence and charm will certainly get your partner purring. And whether it's your bold patterns or the stealthy way you pounce, there's just something people can't resist about you."

Trendy new hot spots? Poise? Dat don't sound right, but I'll take it.

Monday, October 13, 2003

Mamaia was lonely. Nobody invited her to any Thanksgiving parties and she's been living here all along. At least I had an invitation from Vancouver Karen. I have been feeling really dumb today but poor Mamaia is worse. She walks very slowly and she wheezes when she breathes.

I phoned to ask if she needs me to drive her to the Superstore. But Superstore is closed on Thanksgiving. (Save On Foods, my prefered supermarket, is open until midnight.) I had planned to visit Mamaia anyhow but I needed to rush off to Michael's before 6 PM. Just as I was about to run out the door, she called and said she wants to take me to a movie.

"What do you want to see?" I asked.

"Anything, as long as there are no aliens."

Mamaia wanted to see Mambo Italiano and I agreed to see it again. When we were standing in the theatre line-up, Serge and Michelle appeared behind us. They were off to see Kill Bill. I wanted to see that too and suddenly so did Mamaia. She likes action movies. I am not sure if she's heard of Tarantino, though. I imagine she prefers the more old-fashioned action movies with Stallone & that freak Austrian governor. Finally we decided on Mambo Italiano.

I didn't laugh this second time. It is definitely a one-time movie. And they cut out the cute scene when Angelo and Gino are in the tent - censorship for the suburbs?

Mamaia whispered that Luke Kirby has nice eyes, "like a girl." And as we were walking out, she said, "See? That Gino guy switched back to being normal." I pointed out that he was still very gay and referred to the last camping scene.

Monday, October 13, 2003

When I first moved back to Asia, Jaline, my Taiwanese roommate, asked me to try out the Asian Squat. I couldn't do it then, too painful. Two years later I nearly mastered it, but couldn't manage it in a yukata or a kimono once I was in Japan.

Now that I live back in Canada, I have to stop myself before squatting in public.

Here's a nice video: How to Do the Asian Squat.

Monday, October 13, 2003

Thanksgiving dinner last night at Vancouver Karen's (as opposed to West Vancouver Karen). Then Trivial Pursuit: I won, thanks to the "Bert-and-Ernie" questions. The guidelines for the Baby Boomer edition of Trivial Pursuit are:

1. If asked a question about a US president, the answer is Gerald Ford.

2. The answer to any musical questions is Herb Albert & the Tijuana Brass Band.

3. Review Watergate.

4. For anything else, the answer is "Ernie."

Monday, October 13, 2003

130 km forth and back from Allison's. I spent two hours on the road. Arriving in Abbotsford, seeing signs for the US border on the left and the mountains all around, the travel bug bit me.

I should have given Anisoara (the hamster, not the girl) more food so I wouldn't have to return that night. I could do without a change of clothes. I'll buy what I need when I arrive there. I should just take off in one of those directions and see where I end up.

Allison lives in Copland. All the neighbours belong to some police force. Very safe.

Driving up to her mountain abode, though, all I could think of was, here I am, alone, driving through the woods, no houses for miles, and a bloody figure runs out onto the street screaming for help. Would I stop and pick up the poor soul pursued by some sinister supernatural being? Or would I keep driving, my immorality assigning me to my own encounter with some evil twig witch? It was all the worse on my way home, when it was nearly midnight and pouring.

Sunday, October 12, 2003

I've had enough of morbidity. I'll keep subscribing to the Morbid Read du Jour, but I won't click on any more links. Just in case you feel morbid, you can explore death here. All I have left to say is that I am never becoming a nun. Now, time for my breakfast.

Saturday, October 11, 2003

Karen asked me what maktaaq is. It's an inuit delicacy, raw whale blubber.

I think if I choose a new name I might go for igunaq (aged maktaaq) or innaluaq (seal intestine).

Saturday, October 11, 2003

Monica, now that Christi is gone, must work and care for the evil old coot on Siret (my old street in Alba Iulia). She drives back and forth from work to Siret. (On her most recent attempt she at last got her driver's license - she failed so many times because on the written exam she couldn't remember the amount of the fine for each traffic infractions.)

Saturday, October 11, 2003

Christi went to Spain to deliver his brother's son. His brother promised him a job once he arrived there. Once he was in Spain, and without the funds to return to Romania, his brother said that the employer just died. Now he is in Spain and can't return home.

Saturday, October 11, 2003

Anisoara (in whose honour the hamster was named) finally moved out of her violent brother's house. Her coworkers scared her with gossip of upcoming layoffs. But the boss reassured her that she will stay on.

Saturday, October 11, 2003

Horatiu got a computer. He wants to email me. Two French girls visited his sister as part of a teacher's exchange and he complained that the three girls were too crowded in one bed.

Saturday, October 11, 2003

Rares*became a taxi driver. Ramona waitressed again for a while but then left for an office job after she graduated from university.

*Rares = Rah-resh.

Saturday, October 11, 2003

Cosmin is gone. Over a month ago. A new chef with glasses replaced him.

Saturday, October 11, 2003

Mom & Dad asked me why I don't return to Romania. It's the one-year anniversary of my last arrival. I told them that we'll have to wait eighteen months for my next trip to Europe. My savings need to recuperate. "Just borrow!" said they. But I made plans for Chicago & Arizona. Europe will just have to wait eighteen months.

Saturday, October 11, 2003

The big trip to the Chilliwack Value Village was a success all around. Allison came home with two purses, one tanktop and a big black wig. Me, seven shirts - including a tank top with parasols all over it, two sweaters, a sequined skirt from Italy and a brand-new white-and-blue striped purse that was one-third of the regular price. I also found a cool blue purse (Italian) at Zellers but Allison reminded me that I am unemployed.

Saturday, October 11, 2003

The left side of my body swelled up after the fall. Everything turned red and promised at least two nasty bruises. My neck, oddly enough, also hurt. Hours later nothing hurt. I was cured! But now my neck is worse than before. It hurts to move it in any direction.

Kevin also had a bad fall today.

Saturday, October 11, 2003

Non-Arizona Cheryl went from Director of Merchandising for Captain Fish to Associate Producer.

Captain Fish is a new TV series with a gruff old guy who fishes and each week he has a different bombshell accompanying him. Carmen Electra is the first fisherwoman.

Saturday, October 11, 2003

The Alexander Building surpassed the Pender Building. Alexander street is one block from Powell, by the waterfront, among all the warehouses. The roof is buckled and each ridge has windows.

Invited by the art department to their loft. Under the stairs were tiny shelves filled with more books about wine. Only two people work in the art department. They sing in falsetto, look down on the accounting department and shout advice.

I shamelessly asked for work. They just hired someone in the marketing department, the art department doesn't have the budget and there will be layoffs in the rest of the company as head office is moving to Toronto.

Thursday, October 09, 2003

When I was walking back to my car, alone, through dark streets, there was a nice-looking guy with a Gotta Get a Gund bag in front of me. Oh well, if I am attacked by the weird shuffling man behind me, I thought, Nice Guy can help me. Nice Guy was walking very fast and I was falling into the clutches of the shuffler. So I sped up to make sure Nice Guy was within saving distance. Then Nice Guy must've thought I was about to rob him (meanwhile I was wary of Shuffling Man) and he ducked into a china store. So I was left on the street with Shuffling Man. Luckily I was near my car. In my rearview mirror, I saw Shuffling Man go up Bute and Nice Guy continue down Hastings.

Thursday, October 09, 2003

This evening I met some guy and his German wife. They complained about how nasty Canadian Immigration is and about all the embarrassing requirements they demand of prospective Canadians.

Sabine, the wife, told me about Scientology in Germany. One day, a friend of hers decided to humour some Scientologists who were soliciting passersby. She pretended she was interested joiing up and filled out their application form. She wrote her address but put it in a different city and she used a different last name. A month later she got letters from the Scientologists at her real address with her real name.

Thursday, October 09, 2003

There is a new toy store at Lougheed Mall. Many things were 50% off. I found a new board game called Vampire Hunter. When the light from the Vampire Lighthouse turns blue, the villagers turn into werewolves. At $20 and happening upon it in October, the month of Halloween, I thought it was a sign � I should buy! Besides I saved $65 at the optometrist�s.

Thursday, October 09, 2003

I looked everywhere for good quality orange paper. Nothing I liked.

Thursday, October 09, 2003

I thought I would be clever and trick my optometrist into selling me more contacts without changing my prescription. I announced to the receptionist that I was buying contacts and my eyes were the same and I don�t care if he thinks I need a stronger prescription.

�But,� she said, �You haven�t had a check-up since 1997.�

That�s right, lady, and don�t think you are going to threaten me with a higher prescription! I am not inching toward blindness, thank you very much.

Yet, I didn�t say that. I meekly asked what good the check-up served since my eyes were the same. She and her colleague told me how the doctor would check for all manner of ailments my eyes might have contracted. So I signed up for an eye exam. But then they mentioned it was $65. In 2001 the law changed and eye exams are no longer covered unless one has a prescription of � 8.00. Straight away I refused my eye exam and requested only a refill of my prescription. I explained how unemployed I�ve been. The receptionist felt sorry for me and gave me an extra pair of contacts for free, as well as a bottle of cleaning liquid and a coupon for a $10 refund.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Anisoara is not afraid of me. I think if I weighed only 200 grams and some behemoth stuck its face, with a set of jaws big enough to encircle me, that close to my face, I would run off. Anisoara is very brave.

She is rearranging the Corn Flakes box. I tilted the box on its side so I could watch her while I wash the dishes.

Not to worry, no one will be eating the Corn Flakes. Perhaps my dad, in his usual "Let's be healthy" stance, bought the box years ago. I can't stand healthy cereal. I am more of a Lucky Charms type of personality. But Ani needs her fibre. I donated the box to her. They make a nice playpen for a hamster.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

I parked far out beside the golf course and across the street from a row of unlit houses. There was my umbrella behind the driver's seat. It would take a whole second to lean down and pick it up. But I was late. I didn't have a second to spare.

After class, at ten PM, I dreaded the long walk to my car, between the dark woods on the right and the abandoned houses on the left. Outside it was worse; not drizzle - large, unmerciful raindrops. I said aloud to myself, "Of course I always remember my umbrella when it doesn't rain."

A girl overheard and suggested she drive me to my car. She wisely parked in the college parkade. I wanted to save that $2 and parked far away.

I am eternally grateful to Olga for saving me from the rain (as well as the miscellaneous monsters lurking in the golf course woods).

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

During lunch today, I outlined my plans for an escape to a rainy island paradise. A stack of cover letters that need writing, a book (currently it's The Devil in the White City), and the pictures I need to finish. Luckily my plans are whittled away by invitations I'd rather take instead. Perhaps I shall have turkey this Thanksgiving after all.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Blue sky behind me - don't you envy me! What a great way to make money. I can see a single patch of green where the North Shore mountains should be; otherwise they are covered in mist.

A few days ago Sara and I were talking about Friendster. One of her friends is quite taken with it, even has her pet's profile on it. Luckily I haven't reached that level of crazy pet woman craziness. I only have my hamster's photo there, but tucked in among my other photos. (Mind you I have my hamster profile somewhere else.)

I was also recently accused of using someone to add them as a Friendster. Good heavens! Manipulating people just to be more popular in some online community - what sort of monster would do a thing like that?

Another Friendster observation: I sought out and found a link between friends who don't know each other. Oddly enough it is a small world; I found a common friend of a friend of a friend of both Ruthy and Daniel, who don't know each other or are even aware of each other's existence except through my enjoiing them through Friendster.

Now, if one were to meet, in person, all their friends' friends, one could get to know all of Vancouver. That would be over a million people. And if one were held accountable for their behaviour, after all, you wouldn't want to piss off any of your friends' friends - maybe people would be nicer. That's just what I hope that guy who kicked my car will realize.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

From the Today in Literature mailing list: 'When [Dr. Seuss lived] in New York City and [found] himself with a telephone number one digit different from a local fish market, he would send his own cardboard fish to those who called him with their order. When trying to quit smoking in his fifties, he carried a corncob pipe empty of tobacco but full of dirt, in which he had planted radish seeds; he would suck on the pipe while riding the bus, stopping every now and then to take out an eyedropper of water and squeeze a few drops into the bowl. To anyone who took the bait he would explain that he was "Watering the radishes." '

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

This is a great job, too bad I had to turn down this position. Maybe I should be a receptionist for the rest of my life. I just sit here, answer email, chat with the couriers and occasionally talk on the phone. I am in a corner office with a view of the North Shore mountains and the sea. The CEO has only one window facing another office building. I have the ninety degree view. Why did I bother with a university education?

There are some interesting characters in this office. Mr. B., the head honcho, insists on formalities, like prefixing surnames with "Mr." or "Mrs." When we send mail outside of Vancouver, he uses only airmail envelopes to awake mail employees out of their stupour and to remind them that his letters should travel by air.

Liz, one of the secretaries, covers for me during my one-hour lunch. Once, when I reminded her I was off to lunch, she got mad and fussed that she is going deaf and shouldn't be answering phones. However, she has needle-sharp ears when she hears anyone in my corner office. Seconds after one of the adjusters talked to me, she rushed over to see what he wanted. Another time, a courier came in and she phoned me to see if that was indeed who she thought it was.

Then there are the grumps. I managed to make Diana smile a little today but I think Phyllis is permanently stuck on lemon-sucking expression. Once Anita, the Croatian secretary, whispered that Phyllis is a weird one. Ah ha, suspicions confirmed!

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Justin admitted he took my Afghan kite ban idea. Well, now!

But he was funny about it. See October 2 on his site.

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Yesterday a stack of my mail from Japan arrived. There was the letter with the disk from Ethiopia. That was a big surprise, as well as the warm wishes within. Then there were letters from Jia Naizi and ManYin, that they were visiting me in Japan - they must've wondered where I was. Then Christmas cards from Sachie, Sakiko and Audrey. Year-old letters, sitting unopened in Ruthy's apartment.

Today I got another poetry post card.

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

After Parker Place, Karen and I looked at each other - we both knew where we wanted to go: Super Pets!

We petted my first chinchilla and my first parrot. The baby African grey knew only "hello" and he took a liking to me. Karen told me to blink more and tilt my head to the side to make a good impression on the birds. One doesn't want to appear snakelike to the birds.

In the reptile section a tortoise struggled with some Romaine lettuce at the bottom of a shallow bowl. We mistook a plastic iguana for a real one. "My, look at those white pupils!"

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Karen sent her new nephew a Batman comic. He's a brat, so she almost sent him a math textbook.

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Last night I found another hamster leash, a bigger one. I struggled with Anisoara and finally I harnessed her in it. Then I looped the leash over a bottle and left her to explore the floor. While I was washing the dishes I looked over and checked to see that the leash was taut. Eventually I saw a relaxed leash. Ani wiggled out of her bonds.

Monday, October 06, 2003

The hamster is in the scary boiler room. Creepy.

A few weeks ago I pressed the "Decomposing Blonde on a Morgue Slab" link in the Morbid Thought du Jour newsletter. Very clever of the photographer: the last photograph was the corpse's eyes staring straight at you. I began hallucinating that I was seeing her crawling towards me from the scary boiler room.

Last night I looked up the Bangkok Forensic Sciences link.

A few months ago Beth & Hideki were into this corpse-gawking. Beth lost interest first. Then she worried about Hideki; why was he still into it.

At the time I asked where I could go corpse-gawking. I wanted to know if there was some website with all the choice corpses. I never did get an answer out of her and I just skipped off merrily with nary another thought about dead bodies. It is time for me to lose interest in this topic.

On a related note, the recipient of my decomposing blonde terror, responded: "I saw enough decomposing people when I worked for Kodak doing color corrections on the graveyard shift. One of the great joys was getting the rolls from the Detroit city morgue. Color correcting rotting meat is probably one of the weirdest things I had to do since they usually came between rolls of vacations and weddings."

I doubt Niki ever got corpse photos, but I shall ask her.

Monday, October 06, 2003

Everytime I go to my grandmother's house she is watching Much More Music and every time The Bad Boys of Rock and Roll is on. So there is Kid Rock, Snoop, Marilyn Manson and the rest of the morons. Well, I forgive Marilyn Manson after his little speech in Bowling for Columbine.

But how is it that everytime I visit my grandmother this show is on? What sort of message should I be getting from this? I already keep well away from celebrity rock stars; should I add silicone babes to my avoidance list?

Uh oh, no noise coming from the hamster.

Sunday, October 05, 2003

Anisoara somehow circumnavigated the barriers I set up at the top of the stairs and rolled her hamster ball down. I am checking up on her every few minutes to make sure she is still in her ball. She escaped a few times but I was too quick for her.

Last night she escaped into a sofa and someone had to smurf* her out.

*I think we should use the verb smurf more often for those gaps in the English language.

Sunday, October 05, 2003

Also saw an Austrian movie Donau, Dunaj, Duna, Dunav, Dunarea and a German movie Science Fiction. In the Austrian movie, there were quite a few Romanian scenes. One of the gypsy prostitutes was Ioana Flora, the actress from Turnul din Pisa, which I saw a few months ago in Alba Iulia. Sadly her part was so small, I have no idea if anyone really noticed her.

Sunday, October 05, 2003

On Friday, I also watched, on an empty stomach, Dream Cuisine. Afterwards I ordered prawn curry, but the wee shrimp huddled around my rice mountain were no match for the banana-long prawns in this movie.

If I had as prominent a birthmark as Mrs. Sato, the main character in Dream Cuisine, I would remove it.

You don't see as many Japanese people with large moles; these are more characteristic of the Taiwanese.

Sunday, October 05, 2003

"What's Jagoda?" whispered the woman on my right.

"Strawberry," said the guy in front of me.

My favourite Vancouver Film Fest movie so far: Jagoda in the Supermarket.

I've always wondered how supermarket encounters blossom into romance. I guess I could always attack Save-On Foods and take the muffin boy hostage. Yeah, he seems more than cooperative - zealous almost - in my search for chocolate muffins. I'm sure he would help me hold the SWAT team at bay.

Srdjan Todorovic was the male lead. I find his first name fascinating. There is only one vowel in it. Having the opposite problem myself (a lone consonant), I naturally feel we have some kinship.

Sunday, October 05, 2003

I saw spiny mice last night. They Petcetera spinies had short, stubby tails and pointy noses. The tails are brittle and fall off, so the ones I saw lost their tails.

The price for one spiny mouse was down to $5.99 from $29.99. But do I really need another pet? And they prefer company, so one spiny mouse will simply not do.

According to one website: "Care must be taken, however, not to overcrowd. When this occurs, tail nibbling can often result." Tail-nibbling also occurs if they don't get meat in their diet.

Mind you, the caramel-coloured guinea pig in the neighbouring cage was awfully handsome.

Sunday, October 05, 2003

I found the legendary hamster leash at Petcetera. Excited, I rushed home, for soon I would be the eccentric walking my pet down the street, along with the schnauzers and the collies. I threw open Anisoara's cage, flipped the roof off her house, struggled to get her out of the cage and put her on the kitchen counter. I slipped the harness over her head and tried to close the collar. It couldn't close. Anisoara is still obese.

I went back to Petcetera and got my money back.

Saturday, October 04, 2003

My pirate name is: Dread Pirate Kidd.

"Like the famous Dread Pirate Roberts, you have a keen head for how to make a profit. Even though you're not always the traditional swaggering gallant, your steadiness and planning make you a fine, reliable pirate. Arr!"

Now find your pirate name.

Thursday, October 02, 2003

Here's another reason for the Taliban kite-ban: voyeurism.

Thursday, October 02, 2003

Ah ha! Now I understand the Taliban kite ban. You must wear gloves when flying razor-sharp Afghan kites? I like the sound of that!



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