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Bones 


Monday, January 31, 2005







These ATCs consist of photographs of mammoth bones from an Oxford alumni magazine and linen ads on cardstock.


My Very Own Disease 


Sunday, January 30, 2005

Doctor Unheimlich has diagnosed me with
Maktaaqosis
Cause:the wrong type of snow
Symptoms:mild anxiety, vomiting blood, slow heartbeat
Cure:sleep
Enter your name, for your own diagnosis:


(Via J-Walk Blog)


The Cool Crowd 


Sunday, January 30, 2005

Thursday night was Brit Pop Night. It was supposed to be 80s night; luckily it was British 80s night. I had been prepared to leave early in protest if some Jichael Mackson came on. The fact that it wasn't and that it was pretty good music and that everyone kept buying me drinks made me stay until they kicked us out.

My other group of friends invited me to another 80s night in another part of town. Turns out that that 80s night featured stuff that would have sent me packing. Plus, my friends told me, there were young'uns who asked my friends why they knew so much about 80s music. They nearly snorted in laughter. The answer was of course "'Cause I lived it, baby!"

Our 80s night had no one. The bartender kept giving us discounted drinks though she warned us to remember for next time that they weren't on special. Or something like that. I ruined my hearing a long time ago. We were saddened that they ended their failure of a night early. Truthfully, though, it's been about two years since I was that drunk and I probably wouldn't have lasted much longer.

So we decided to take over the Plaza. All of us were entrusted with a mission: to prosletyze and convert our friends and acquaintances so that they join us next time. We will fill that empty dance floor with more of us.

*****

Next up: a confession. I was never cool enough to go to Luvafair. My friends never took me to this alternative music club when it was around (it closed two years ago without me ever being cool enough to make it there).

I don't know how it happened. I thought I was part of the cool crowd.

In high school, while other morons were in suburban malls, my friends and I would hang out in Gastown, shopping at Cabbages & Kinx, the place we of "darker" persuasion shopped.

We thought we were so different from everyone else. We listened to Depeche Mode and Nirvana, read tarot cards, gossiped about Renaissance witch hunts, wrote epic poetry (read my selected crap here), grew herbs, wore velvet, and drew skeletons everywhere. Well, I was the artist of the group. For some reason, my grade eleven art teacher only gave me A's in art if I drew bones and skulls. She failed all my still lives.

So I was part of the cool crowd. Right? Right? Yet as soon as my friends secretly got fake IDs, they were going out without me. Then they started coming back with stories about all the guys they snogged and how kissing random strangers was.

And this is what it all came down to: "If you kiss a guy," said Cathy with the fatigued air of a woman who'd seen and done it all, "Make sure he hasn't eaten liver and onions beforehand."


The Pink Wants You 


Friday, January 28, 2005

David, of Upside-Down Hippopotamus, asked in Strife on the Subatomic Level: "...do you ever worry that particular pairs of molecules are best friends, and that one ill-fated slice of a tomato might separate them forever?"

My answer is that, yes, I worry about inanimate objects being separated from their friends. One lonely vase atop the kitchen table with one sole rose? Solitary confinement! The poor flower and the poor vase, missing their friends - I even have problems throwing out browned bouquets because flowers were once glorious and to see them wasted away and reviled - it reminds me of the sad decline of Eddie Murphy.

I told David about my students in Japan: "When I worked in an elementary school, my students were worried that the pink magnet were all lonely up on the chalkboard, while the red, blue, yellow, and green magnets had lots of friends. When I got a few more pink magnets, the kids cheered."

To which David replied, "I think you should secretly replace a different-colored magnet with a pink magnet every day. And when the kids ask where all the pink magnets are coming from, tell them that the other magnets are being recruited."


Rabbit Hole Day 


Thursday, January 27, 2005

In honour of the first annual Rabbit Hole Day, I have been looking out for leprechauns.

The leprechaun webcam is cunningly hidden in this location: "a field overlooking a fairy ring in Tipperary, Ireland. In a dip in the Glen of Cloongallon, Ballyseanrath lies the fairy ring itself. It and its fairy inhabitants are shielded by trees ranged around the perimeter, mainly chestnut, with one magnificent oak over 600 years old. Over the years it provided leprechauns with acorns for their pipes and other Irish fairies with shelter. The tree is protected by an Irish fairy known as a skeaghshee or tree spirit. The camera is concealed in a cavity in its trunk, and a branch supports an antenna!"

Others claim the leprechaun wears red and has red hair. Funny, because a heavily tattooed leprechaun wearing purple rattlesnake-skin boots has been making kissy-lips at me for a quarter of an hour now.

Hebdomeros is getting into the act: he gives us Hieronymous Bosch action figures!

Lady Litblitzin attacks Alice from the sensory side - the auditory and the olfactory.


Third Time's the Charm 


Thursday, January 27, 2005

"All at once, as it seemed, something we could have only imagined was upon us - and we could still only imagine it. This is what fasciantes me most in existence: the peculiar necessity of imagining what is, in fact, real."

Page 7

"Yet looking at the buildings and the bodies, and hearing the silence of the place, with the grand Italianate basilicia standing there deserted, and beds of exquisite, decadent, death-fertilized flowers blooming over the corpses, it was still strangely unimaginable. I mean one still had to imagine it."

Page 16

From We Wish To Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families


The 1st Annual Rabbit Hole Day 


Tuesday, January 25, 2005

According to The Lagomorph in Art, the day after tomorrow is the First Annual LiveJournal Rabbit Hole Day: to commemmorate Lewis Caroll's birthday, "when you post on that Thursday, instead of the normal daily life and work and news and politics, write about the strange new world you have found yourself in for the day, with its strange new life and work and news and politics....Let's have a day where nobody's life makes sense anymore, where any random LJ you click on will bring you some strange new tale. Let's all fall down the Rabbit Hole for 24 hours and see what's there. It will be beautiful."

Why just LiveJournal? I say we all fall down on Thursday.


A Terrible Night 


Tuesday, January 25, 2005

It took me an hour and forty minutes to get there. I was forty minutes late. I knew I would be late on the way there; I had hoped that there was some way I would make it on time.

At every red light, I would stare at the clock and calculate how late I could be and still be reasonable. At first, it was fifteen minutes. If I was fifteen minutes late, I could still walk in with a blithe air.

Then, stuck in traffic, at my fifteen-minute-mark, I told myself that in another ten minutes I would be there, with five minutes to spare for parking.

After I was thirty minutes late, I kept going straight. I did not want to turn back when I got so far.

In retrospect, I must have been curious as to how long, in the end, it would take me to get there. I could not turn back until I found out how late I would be.

I must have given up on making it at all, but I did not verbalize this, it remained wedged in the subconscious, giving false hope to reality. I had to know that once thirty minutes passed, I was so irrevocably late the evening had to end there. But I kept going. It felt strange to have almost reached my geographic goal and then make a U-turn for home.

When I made it, the parking lot was empty. I parked as close as I could get and dashed out to feed the metre. With only a few cents in my wallet plus the fourteen minutes the previous tenant left on my metre, I ran to check the metre two stalls over: fifteen minutes. Not enough. I needed an extra hour until parking was free. The next metre, two more stalls down, nothing. Two further stalls down, seven minutes. Another two stalls down, nothing again. This was hopeless, I would not be able to park there.

Running back to my car, I had vague plans that I would find free parking on the next block. And then, when I found none there, I went on to the next block. And I was in the woods and a thick fog rolled in from the sea. If I parked my car there and walked through the woods, I would be a walking billboard for werewolf attacks. I drove back frantically and realized I really really had to pee. I heckled a pedestrian. Then I thought about rolling down the window and screaming my deepest hate towards this moron - who the hell does he think he is walking around in a pea soup-thick fog anyhow?

For the rest of the night, I jeered internally at everyone I met. I looked like it too because I cleared rooms with my scowl. It was because I understood the severity of my tardiness: no matter how many trailers, by forty minutes after the publicized start time, a movie will start. I admitted defeat and turned for home.

To make up for my having driven out all the way from the countryside to the big city, I needed a drink and maybe a bit of retail therapy.

Everything was closed except a bookstore. I picked up a few books I already own and flipped through them. I read snippets from a book about death and then tried to figure out knitting pattern enigmas. A book about genetics here and one about genocide there.

I made it for the drink. I sat at my table watching the waitress wiping the walls. On my right, there were people at the fireplace laughing; they stopped laughing when I walked past them.

After an hour the waitress told me that they were closing. So I came home and it only took me half an hour.

All night, despite my foulmouthedness and vindictive thoughts, I really really just wanted to cry.

Then I noticed, as I wrote this, that beside me is a pink piece of paper with a star and the words Wolf Parade. It's some band my sister likes. Which rather disappointed me. Because I really hoped it was a message from the beyond.


Hamster-Sucking Portals to the Netherworld 


Monday, January 24, 2005

Crenguţă buzzed about my ankles around cooking time*. I picked up the hamster ball and put her in the living room. She returned to my ankles.

"Darling, if the phone rings and I answer it and I engage in a very long conversation and the dumpling water boils over the edge of the stove, you, my sweet little rodent, shall be burned to a fraction of your former self," I explained to the hapless hamster. I then picked her up again and deposited her beyond the kitchen and the living room and into the hallway.

Then I made a phonecall.

When dinner was ready, I concluded the phonecall and sat down in front of the television with my home-cooked feast. The place was very quiet. No hamster noises, no hamster ball banging against the furniture. I got up from the [coffee] table and began calling out Crenguţă's name.

Crenguţă!

Crenguţă!

Crenguţă!

Crenguuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuţă!

The hamster made no reply.

I went from room to room. No hamster anywhere. I turned on the lights and checked again. I shut off the heating to avert another hamster heating vent disaster. I crawled on my knees and looked under all the tables and into the nooks and crannies. I went down the stairs, to see if the hamster circumvented her barrier and took a tumble. At the foot of the stairs, no hamster, no hamster ball. I stood very quietly in all the rooms listening for the telltale sign of a hamster breathing. Nothing.

Just in case, I repeated everything.

I went from room to room. No hamster anywhere. I turned on the lights and checked again. I shut off the heating to avert another hamster heating vent disaster. I crawled on my knees and looked under all the tables and into the nooks and crannies. I went down the stairs, to see if the hamster circumvented her barrier and took a tumble. At the foot of the stairs, no hamster, no hamster ball. I stood very quietly in all the rooms listening for the telltale sign of a hamster breathing. Nothing.

She'll turn up, I thought as I sat down to my bok- and gai choy.

After dinner, I went on another search and rescue mission. A fourth expedition again yielded no discoveries.

Crenguţă and her hamster ball were gone. They plum disappeared off the face of the planet. I looked into the kitchen sink to make sure I didn't accidentally mistake the spherical hamster travel contraption for an errant dish.

Mysteries like this prove one thing.

There are ghosts in other planes and their reality intersects with ours. Ghosts, as everybody knows, are mischievious. They take things to their side and return those things when it's convenient for them, if ever. That's why socks return solo or car keys reappear where you certainly did not put them down. It's ghosts. Or fairies. Not the nice fairies Disney churns out, but the mean nasty fairies of old.

So my hamster went to the other side. That's why she wouldn't leave my ankles. She knew they were after her. I suddenly regretted taking her out of the room. I also shuddered to think that there were invisible ghosts watching my every move.

I sat down in front of the computer to do some work. Out of the corner of my eye, the hamster ball appears. Right at the foot of the stairs, where surely I would have tripped on it had it been there moments ago.

Like the despondent mom in Poltergeist, I knew my hamster had to be somewhere near. There was no dousing in ghost slime or ending up in a pool-ful of skeletons; to find a recently missing hamster, one must stand very still in the middle of the room and the hamster will come to you**.

Sure enough, Crenguţă herself then appeared in a corner. The ghosts returned her to our side.

Or else, the aliens who abducted her completed their anal probes.

*Yes, I am realizing my New Year's Resolutions; I learned how to cook bok choy and gai choy.

**Provided you have no history of having excessively prodded the hamster.


Writhe, Kitten, Writhe! 


Monday, January 24, 2005

(Via Raspberry)

I am the Pacific Ocean!
Which Extremity of the World Are You?
From the towering colossi at Rum and Monkey.

You are the single biggest feature of the surface of the Earth. You cover 28% of the planet, more than all the land put together, and contain enough water to fill the moon. You also contain, almost as an afterthought, four-fifths of the world's islands. If your coastline were to be stretched out straight, it would reach around the world five times, and a lot of people would get very wet indeed.

I wanted to be Al-Azizyah, Libya, the hottest place on earth. I'll study harder next time.

I do recommend this quiz. In fact, if you are too lazy to follow the links, let me ask you the following questions:

1. Has sex ever been interrupted for you by your partner stopping to take your pulse?

2. Do you harbour whales?

3. Kittens! They're dying. In pain. Look at them writhe. Writhe, writhe, writhe. Cat hurt. Are you some kind of monster?

4. Have you ever obliterated a village?

5. Would you consider yourself to have nurtured and advanced civilisation recently? Describe in an essay no shorter than 500000 words.


Someone Save Me 


Sunday, January 23, 2005

I am at work today. The lights suddenly turned on by themselves. As some of you know, I work in a haunted museum. There is no one else in the building. I haven't heard anyone come in and from where I sit I can almost see the light switch. When I got up to investigate there was no one there. I am seriously freaked out.


Updated New Year's Resolution 


Tuesday, January 18, 2005



In the year 2005 I resolve to:
Become a mail-order bride.



Get your resolution here.



Thank you oracle of the internet. I shall obey.

Again, the question is where.

I can't stay here and become a mail-order bride. Sure, I could save on postage, but I have my eyes on greener pastures. That we've decided.

Inexplicably, two acquaintances offered, out of nowhere, their takes on cities with good-looking populations.

First, the kinesiologist blurted out this week that the girls in Indianapolis were very unattractive. I don't believe I have any readers from Indianapolis because I would be very interested in examining the kinesiologist's statement. The kinesiologist never did bring up whether or not the men were good-looking.

Has anyone been to Indianapolis? How about Boston? Because Boston, a colleague insisted, is full of hot toddies, and has bars full of these men for every one woman. To illustrate her point, she recounted the story of her female friend who had five dates during her four days in Boston. My bags are packed.

Just to be safe, I looked up famous Bostonians.

The augury was not favourable. Matt "Pasty Ass" Damon, Ben "Can't Handle Latina Ass" Affleck, and Steve "Floppy Mouth" Tyler are Bostonians. My taste runs more into darker types with a penchant for long-winded Victorian novels and mild cross-dressing. Steve Tyler would deplete my supply of lipstick in one night.

So I need to take my wares elsewhere.

The story doesn't end here. The heroine needs to undergo further trials before she can find true love.

This is what makes a great story: we're through with the girl meets boy, girl loses boy part. Now we're waiting for the climax. We're on tenterhooks. Dying to know what's going to happen next.

It wouldn't be much of a story if girl lived happily ever after. Besides modern science proved fairy tales wrong - making some wise guy always scream halfway through that "happily ever after" is an anachronism. It would make you wonder if the writers have done their research or if they made up the story. Like seeing a desk chair in rococco when the period is clearly baroque.

So it couldn't have ended happily. It would have happened too soon. Feature movies need to clock over an hour and short stories don't get you anywhere. There is no market for independent crap that thinks outside the box. Toss in a few more scenes to prolong the experience. Who cares about editing when the budget to feed an entire third world slum city can be put to better use choreographing explosions?

Boston can't be the answer. Too easy.

A tedious Gollum-type sidekick might provide a few cheap laughs and the necessary element of conflict. Everybody loves it when two mismatched characters argue for most of the show, then learn a valuable lesson about friendship. Why don't more people learn from movies and simplify their lives? Sure, polar opposites can be the best of pals.

This story has got it all. A period piece and a tearjerker.

Do we smell an Oscar contender?


My Own Private Tsunami 


Monday, January 17, 2005

In the dream, Jeff and Leanne had a cottage by the sea. This sea was a cold, northern one.

Some things happen. The details I can recall happened near the end, just before the alarm clock in the next room went off and woke me up. It was a good thing I woke up when I did because I did not look forward to drowning in those frigid waves.

Jeff and Leanne went out and I opted to stay home, take it easy, be alone for a few hours.

The waves frothed into a storm. I did not leave when I could have. I wanted to stay in and not be wet. Outside was wet. Inside would be fine.

Then - crackling! The patio splintered apart as the waves tore it in two. My way out was gone. I ran to a corner, the waves rushing so fast towards me that I did not have time to close the door. The waves peeked in at me, then pulled back. I ran to escape and the waves were waiting for me from behind the door.

The waves oozed in like that latest video from Banda Aceh.


Who Are All You Strangers? 


Friday, January 14, 2005

Stand up and introduce yourselves.


Prince Charming 


Thursday, January 13, 2005

My godson. The boy who loved me again so much on my first day in Chicago that he jumped on me and tore at my eyes.

I just realized I never kissed the little bugger goodbye. He was sleeping so peacefully, the rest of us pussyfooting about trying not to unleash another torrent of howling. I forgot to kiss him in the rush to get his mom out the door and have her all to myself.

Ok, so he rather irritated me when I was there. His poop really stinks. He laughs when he farts. He prefers to run around without diapers and then pees on his lunch bag.

One night his parents were in the bath, I assume together. Because they left me alone with the kid. Good, I thought, he is playing with his toys. I turned back to the more pressing urgency of disaster voyeurism.

He was quiet for once.

Then "Look! Look!"

His mom screamed.

Green scribble tattoos covered his legs, belly, arms and face.

Oops.

I forgot he got markers for Christmas.

Back into the bath.

When I went to the bathroom, there he was. In the bath. Rubbing my toothbrush on his penis.

My toothbrush hasn't been the same since.

Say hello to the perfect contraceptive:



(Despite everything, I really miss you, Lil' Skipper.)


Prince Va-Va-Vavoom Hunting Season 


Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Don't get me wrong, Chicago was nice. The walk between the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Museum of Contemporary Photography was an absolute dream. In particular, I recommend, the sweet boy across the street from the Art Institute. You should be in modelling, lad.

Yet there are other good-looking cities.

Just today, who walks into me but Mr. Dreamboat? Could he truly be from Vancouver?

Sweet and nice and a little button nose to boot. As I gazed into his puppy dog eyes (I was following him around trying to strike up conversation), he told me that he likes all the cultural amenities I like. A good-looking bloke who likes museums, art and all that shit? Sign me up for service!

I asked him if he was local. Nope, from Ottawa. Only here for a few days.

A friend who might not want to be named once came back from a trip to Ottawa to tell me that she had to pretend her brother was her boyfriend to beat off the hundreds of yummy chaps accosting her on the streets of our capital.

This same friend also came back from Calgary, my own hometown, to tell me that in Calgary all the men are romantic gentlemen. It is here that's the problem, she said.

Then there is Copenhagen. I have only been to the airport, but a German friend recommends I move there. I've also heard the same for Croatia. Imagine that - an entire country of men with good genes! My one Croatian acquaintance convinced me of that.

Yet another friend swears by L.A. On my last visit to the City of Angels, the waiters bought me my meal and wine, then took me out to coffee after my meal in another part of town. (In case you are wondering where my L.A. Romeos are, I was between flights and had to leave my fans in order to catch my next plane.)

Atlanta, I was told, is a wasteland with the two girls for every boy situation. Avoid Atlanta.

Another place, for the large lady, I am told, is Barbados. One of my friends recounted with glee all the obliging men who went gaga over her booty.

Romania is another nice place for the curvaceous. After leaving my skinny-loving fiance (he wanted me back in anorexic form), my Romanian boy friends told me how lucious I was, with more squeezable bits.

Actually I would say that Romania is good for almost anyone with a double helping of X chromosomes. Another one of my male friends could hardly contain himself and divulged that he would very much like to make blue-eyed babies with me. That's the sort of classy treatment you can expect in Romania.

But are they good-looking lugs? My personal preference is for the Transylvanian lads. North of the Carpathians, from where I hail originally, that's where I go shopping.

Then there are ladies who swear on Tunisians. Not really my cup of tea, but the ladies who proclaimed their allegiance to these North African hotties also mentioned that even older women can shack up with young studs in Tunisia.

Aside from Ma Liuming, East Asia is a wasteland. Taiwan featured a population of pasty intellectual men with daikon-like legs and leather-tanned hicks in wifebeaters spitting bloody betelnut juice everywhere. China's Guangdong province presented me with an array of duck-lipped farmers whose temptation I could resist. Korean men, I can't get over all the tales of domestic violence and rape to even look at one without wincing. Hong Kong, too many unbecoming spectacles and nerdy haircuts. Macau - I don't believe I encountered one young man during the whole year I lived on its outskirts.

Japan. The exception to the East Asia rule. Even Shingo Mama. Imagine my joy when, walking into my first Japanese unisex bathroom, a row of beauties looked up from the urinals to greet me.

The winning country, however, is Italy. Everywhere you go you are made to feel special. And not just in a scummy way.

Italy's super-model-gorgeous things can't wait to shower you with compliments and whatever else strikes your fancy. All you have to do is look at one of them and he'll be answering your every wish in a minute. Not more waiting around or messy dating. And if the romance sours? There's another one lusting over you this very moment.

That's my advice to the smart, beautiful women who read this. You deserve someone nice and nice-looking. You don't deserve to be treated like you better hold on for dear life or you won't get another chance. Italy is filled with enough male bimbos for all five of us.

(Please do not hesitate to alert me to other cities that promise me love or at least a weekend of fun.)

Addendum: I also met someone else today but he wasn't as drooly. Then I made an interesting phonecall to a bank and ended up having a half-an-hour conversation with the handsome-sounding account manager. I had to cut off the conversation as we were getting ridiculously cozy. I'm sure in person he could not have been that handsome. Mr. Dreamboat promised he would come visit me a few more times before he leaves.


Fuck You, Vancouver Part III 


Monday, January 10, 2005

As you may have noticed, blog postings have been sparse of late. It's a mixture of unregulated web surfing, depression (though that hasn't been a valid excuse for a month now) and vacation.

While on vacation, despite the theoretical access to a computer, I have since come to understand the old axiom that one should never get between an overzealous computer programmer and his computer. Then there was the whirl of activity.

Chicago provided me more fun than I have had in months - hell, in a year, since my last trip there. Snowshoeing, sledding, coffee shops galore, card games, presents, Japanese supermarkets, fabulous clothing (check out the hat my friend bought me; my sister's new toque is pretty cute too), ghosts, a good novel, whippets, libraries, bookstores, something I believe was a blizzard, museums and art galleries.

I've forgotten how much I love going to galleries. Looking through the local papers tonight I realized why I've been neglecting this former habit: people in Vancouver act as if painting weren't dead. Chicago gave me contemporary photography, video installations that actually made sense (you don't fool me with your palaverous gibberish), performance art (sadly only documented in photos, not live), collage and mixed media.

Then there were the handsome blokes. So many of them I lost track of numbers, leaving me without the statistics to prove that Chicago weather extremes have whittled out a better man. Let me just say that in 2004, I have met only one good-looking lad here in Vancouver; everyone in this stupid hick town has a goatee. Yeah, you heard me, pussyface - and while you're at it, shave off those ear hairs too!

With one good-looking, unmarried man in Vancouver for something like 50,000 women in my age bracket, I am not even going to bother knocking on his door in the middle of the night.

Chicago was nice. Walking down the street, I would think You're good and Yeah, I could lust over you. Unlike Vancouver, where I walk down the street wishing I were the fairy godmother of hair transplants. And, surely, among all those lovely Chicago men who know dress, statistically not all of them could be gay!

A mathematical indication of all the fun to be had in Chicago: suitcase 12 pounds overweight = 4 jackets + one cap + one "Made in Romania" skirt + three pairs of hot hot hot dangly earrings + two pairs pinstripe dress pants (showing off my only assets, the long legs & pinchable butt) + one new board game + two new card games + one pair extra warm gloves + three books (including Vampires, Burial and Death) + four magazines + one Japanese goth dress pattern book + three art catalogues + one art book + one jar of jam + two pairs fuzzy wuzzy socks + many other Christmas presents + no overweight luggage fees. Dare I say it? Yes, I dare say it: it all adds up to a fun trip! [Boo! Hiss!]

Most importantly, me best friend harks from Chicago. It's a case of the mountain not coming to Mohammed so Mohammed goes to the mountain. The best friend is poorer than I. I am the only one of the two of us who can afford the airfare.

The best friend meant my dry spell of eleven laughter-less months went bust. I laughed so hard during portions of my vacation that the parents had to come in and remind me that other people were trying to sleep.

I also gave up on sleep so I would not miss a minute with this fascinating specimen of humanity. So much sleep I forfeited that I got sick twice.

Then there were the crude jokes and the cussing that has been building up with no outlet. Eleven months I've had to live without a decent fart joke or a bout of raunchy humour. No one to pinch my ass - at least no one I wouldn't slap. And I could heckle stupid drivers with impunity because the best friend would heckle along with me.

In Vancouver, where I don't have any close friends, conversations centre on what I've done recently, what you've done recently, TV shows and baby news.

All the other things about me, the grand iceberg, must stay modestly hidden.

My occasional slips of vulgarity result in reminders that "we do not accept that sort of language here."

My jokes, when I dare them, need explanations. In Chicago, my magnum opus, that ass joke I made last Monday, still got rave reviews a week later. Vancouverites don't get my fauz Transylvanian made-up accent.

It's January. December and Chicago are eleven months away.


Saitama Prefecture, Japan 


Monday, January 10, 2005


From the Fiery Inferno that Is Chicago 


Thursday, January 06, 2005

Hell hath frozen over, quoth the little bird.

We plopped into the snow and lay there looking up at the sky. A lady passing by asked us if we needed help getting up.

"Oh, no, we want to be here," I answered.

We got up anyway as another group of people passed.

In the quiet intersection of many backyards we found the perfect hill. Whooping up the slope, we screamed as we missed a few trees, safe from a Sonny Bono death. No neighbours peeked out the windows.

Afterwards, before we went in, we took off our sweaters and gloves and toques, so no one would suspect that we went for a romp in the snow.


Please Vote 


Saturday, January 01, 2005

For me? At the Individualism Romanian Blogging Awards 2004.

Otherwise, please vote for these brilliant bloggers: Perfectly Imperfect & Albino Neutrino.

Thank you and have yourself a happy new year!


New Year's Resolutions 


Saturday, January 01, 2005

Out of my four new year's resolutions for 2004, I achieved one. I prepared my new year resolutions for 2005 in November. In the last 24 hours, I've prioritized:

1. Via Litblitz, my really big resolution is to not only get published, as I was three times this year (four, if we include my published illustrations), but to get money for my writing. Even $10 would be nice.

2. Via Raspberry, I got this idea (in her words): "reach out in person the way you reach out on line."

3. Learn how to cook.

4. Help out Adrian. He is my cousin's ten-year-old stepson and he is neglected. With his blonde blue-eyed spoiled half-brother in centre stage, the pack of adoring grandparents hardly pay attention to Adrian. My cousin, well, his excuse might be that Adrian is not his biological son and a reminder that his girlfriend has had other boyfriends. His mother, likewise, might not want a reminder of an ex-boyfriend. All of them blame poor little Adrian if the half-brother is naughty. Even if I speak up and point out that Adrian was behaving, my relatives do not heed the words in his defense and continue scolding the boy. When Adrian hides from these horrid adults in an empty room, his mother yells at him for not being social enough. Tonight, as I was protesting the injustice of Adrian's treatment (and, I shamefully admit, the taint of racism - Adrian is half black), my best friend made a suggestion: become Adrian's penpal. Send him letters. That way he will have one adult in his life who gives him respect. He can look forward to my letters every week or every month. It'll be something that someone does only for him, not for his brother, who is already showered with gifts and adoration. So I vow, to visit Adrian once I return from my vacation and to begin writing letters to him from across the city.

You can still read my original November list below.

*****

Following Antipixel's example, I prepared my own list of things I will do as of next year. (My key, if you have any suggestions, is CBpAxDd3rmSpx1wWS3lDAM7NTuA=).

Some of the things on my list (become a published and monetarily compensated writer, write a novel, write letters, read more books, learn to draw again) go on the list year after year.

I've mulled over it before, but this year I will hunt down seven old friends. My grade five teacher, my grade ten art teacher, my wonderful high school history teacher, my friend the Ondine (who doesn't want to be found just yet), and three as-yet-undetermined others.

I need to play more boardgames in 2005.

I would love to make one of my goals to "laugh hard every day" but considering I have no close friends nearby, ain't gonna happen. In 2004, I only laughed really hard about four times in 365 days. No wonder I worry too much.

Going on a road trip with no predetermined destination is something I wish for every year and it might actually be possible now that I have a good car. I can get somewhere in a weekend, I imagine.

As for making sweet love to a manatee, breeding toucans and becoming a mad scientist, these might be things I can do vicariously through my characters. (I already have a wacky manifesto.)

One of the two original ideas for a 2005 goal is to scatter cryptic notes and drawings all across the city. I've made plans for it before, but this year I'll really do it. (Check, see pocket letters.)

The other one is to be widely regarded as "saucy." Yes, I think I should be more saucy.


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