Thursday, September 28, 2006

Hey, Zombies! Keep it down, I'm trying to sleep here!

1. You can press a button that will make any one person explode. Who would you blow up? Hmm, seems rather harsh. But there's a certain president of a certain country with a shrub-like I.Q. that could stand some blowing up I think.

2. You can flip a switch that will wipe any band or musical artist out of existence. Which one will it be? Wow, these questions are really aggressive! Ummm...I don't know. I mean, all they are doing is singing; it's pretty innocuous.

3. Who would you really like to just punch in the face? uh. See question 1. I mean, if I'm going to blow him up, what's a little punch in the face?

4. What is your favorite cheese? St. Agur. Yum, smelly blue cheese.

5. You can only have one kind of sandwich. Every sandwich ingredient known to humankind is at your immediate disposal. What kind will you make? Mmmmm, butter, cream cheese, red onion sliced very thinly and avocado sprinkled with hand harvested French sea salt (of course!), and fresh cracked black pepper on toasted multi-grain bread.

6. You have the opportunity to sleep with the movie celebrity of your choice. We are talking no-strings-attached sex and it can only happen once. Who is the lucky celebrity of your choice? Well finally, someone I don't have to blow up or punch! How 'bout John Malkovich? Joaquin Phoenix also springs to mind. Angelina!?! So many to choose from!

7. You have the opportunity to sleep with the music-celebrity of your choice. Who do you pick? I have slept with a music-celebrity of my choice, so my quota is filled. (No, I won't kiss and tell!)

8. Now that you've slept with two different people in a row, you seem to be having an excellent day because you just came across a hundred-dollar bill on the sidewalk. Holy shit, a hundred bucks! How are you gonna spend it? Silly question...on books of course!

9. You just got a free plane ticket to anywhere. You have to depart right now. Where are you gonna go? Southern France, mais oui!

10. Upon arrival to the aforementioned location, you get off the plane and discover another hundred-dollar bill. Shit! Now that you are in the new location, what are you gonna do? Good wine and delicious food. Bring on the buttery garlic snails and a fresh baguette; all that sleeping around and traveling has made me hungry!

11. An angel appears out of Heaven and offers you a lifetime supply of the alcoholic beverage of your choice. It is...? Seems a little excessive, non? Well, if I MUST choose. The finest red wines will have to do.

12. Rufus appears out of nowhere with a time-traveling phone booth. You can go anytime in the PAST. What time are you traveling to and what are you going to do when you get there? Who the hell is Rufus and why does he have a time-traveling phone booth!?! Why does he want ME to go time-traveling in his stupid phone-booth?? Well, I suppose if I must answer the question I'll say the Italian Renaissance...15th century. As long as I'm a Medici. What will I do? Eat of course. Have my portrait done. Try to figure out who the hell Rufus is.

13. You discover a beautiful island upon which you may build your own society. You make the rules. What is the first rule you put into place? First rule: No one named Ralph, Jack or Piggy will be allowed on the island.

14. You have been given the opportunity to create the half-hour TV show of your own design. What is it called and what's the premise? It'll be called "Feminine Protection" and be a true to life story of 4 young women in charge of the safety of a castle. Complete with magic and swords of course.

15. What is your favorite curse word? H-E-double-HOCKEY-STICKS!!

16. One night you wake up because you heard a noise. You turn on the light to find that you are surrounded by MUMMIES. The mummies aren't really doing anything, they're just standing around your bed. What do you do? Shoo them away in an irritated fashion and go back to sleep. I hate being woken up for nothing.

17. Your house is on fire, holy shit! You have just enough time to run in there and grab ONE inanimate object. Don't worry, your loved ones and pets have already made it out safely.So what's the item? My Brian Scott painting. Oh. Wait! My vacation pictures...NO! My St. Agur cheese!! That's a tough question. It certainly won't be my couch. It can BURN!!

18. The Angel of Death has descended upon you. Fortunately, the Angel of Death is pretty cool and in a good mood, and it offers you a half-hour to do whatever you want before you bite it. Whatcha gonna do in that half-hour? Go to my office and tidy my desk of course.
Gee, what a silly question! I'd spend my half-hour tell my family and friends how much I love them.

19. You accidentally eat some radioactive vegetables. They were good, and what's even cooler is that they endow you with the super-power of your choice! What's it gonna be? Invisibility. What sneaky fun!

20. You can re-live any point of time in your life. The time-span can only be a half-hour, though. What half-hour of your past would you like to experience again? I think I'd like to spend another half-hour lounging in bed with my cat Bentley. I miss him.

21. You can erase any horrible experience from your past. What will it be? (the answer "nothing" doesn't count) School time from about grade 4 to grade 12 seems like a pretty good idea!

22. You got kicked out of the country for being a time-traveling heathen who sleeps with celebrities and has super-powers. But check out this cool shit... you can move to anywhere else in the world! Bitchin'! What country are you going to live in now? Italy, they have the BEST coffee.

23. This question still counts, even for those of you who are under age. Check it out. You have been eternally banned from every single bar in the world except for ONE. Which one is it gonna be? One in Ireland, I think. They have so much fun!

24. Hopefully you didn't mention this in the super-powers question.... If you did, then we'll just expand on that. Check it out... Suddenly, you have gained the ability to FLOAT!!! Whose house are you going to float to first, and be like "Dude, check it out... I can FLOAT!"? Well, I'd just 'float' my special-powered self directly over to Spider Girls. She'd really appreciate seeing me levitate I think. Only I wouldn't call her dude. And I would say levitate.

25. The constant absorption of magical moonbeams mixed with the radioactive vegetables you consumed earlier has given you the ability to resurrect the dead famous-person of your choice. So which celebrity will you bring back to life? I'd like to have a chit chat with Richard Feynman I think. But I bet Mozart would be pretty interesting, too.

26. The Celestial Gates of Beyond have opened, much to your surprise because you didn't think such a thing existed. Death appears. As it turns out, Death is actually a pretty cool entity, and happens to be in a fantastic mood. Death offers to return the friend/family-member/person, etc. of your choice to the living world. Who will you bring back? Death AGAIN?! What's with death and that other "death-angel" thing hanging around me for, anyway? Well, I guess I'd bring back my cat. I know I know, the question says person, but damn it, that cat THOUGHT he was a person!

27. What's your theme song? "Highway to Hell"...or maybe "Bad to the Bone"? I'm rather partial to Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries" as well, but that's just me.


I have a HELL of a lot of books to move.


Back to work.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

You want to see my WHAT?!?

Saturday saw my friend and I take the 'two and a bit' hour drive down to Seattle.
(Not to mention the hour-long wait at the border!)

I'm always happy to go to Seattle, and perhaps it's because it always feels a bit more seasoned than Vancouver to me.
Despite the fact that both are similar in size and age, it's rather like having a slightly older cousin who knows "what's what" and won't let the younger one in on the secret.
You know they know 'SOMETHING' but it's not anything that can be described; it's a kind of knowledge that's as elusive as a shrug and as tantalizing as a drag on a forbidden cigarette.

As far as beauty, I believe that Seattle really rivals Vancouver in the realm of natural wonder.
It is a city that is comfortable within the boundaries of water, forest and mountain.
Seattle (much like Vancouver) features a backdrop of glorious green forest and stretches of blue water and still manages to have a coffee shop on every corner.

As far as the few American cities that I've visited it remains one of my favorite.
When I was young, I used to think that Seattle WAS Canadian.
(Needless to say, geography eluded me when I was 8.)

So, to Seattle we went.

We ate at a great Italian restaurant on the edge of Pioneer Square ("Cafe Bengodi"), and investigated a few bookstores.
And of course, we walked through the multi-scented gauntlet of Pike Street Market.

Then we made a stop at an Irish pub ("Fado") for a pint of resuscitating ale, and that's when it happened.

"I need to see your I.D. please." He looked sternly at me.

"Uh..." I dug through my purse.

"Gosh, this is going to sound lame but...I left it in the car." I hurried to explain, "I had to have it out for the border crossing, I must have left in the car by accident!"

"You're going to have to leave then. Sorry."

"But I'm 34!"

"No I.D., no service."

"Oh THANK YOU!" I exclaimed happily and hurried out the door with the biggest grin.

"I'm never going to hear the end of this, am I?" My friend Danny said dourly.

"Yup. Chances are the novelty will never wear off!" I beamed.

I love Seattle.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Who says you can't go home again?

Almost 11 years ago to the day, I packed my bags and left my tiny town of 5,000 people to move to the city of Vancouver.

4 years after that move my boyfriend and I broke up.

"Do you want help moving back to the Island?" He said.

"I'm not going back. I'll make my own way, thank you very much." I stuck out my chin, found myself an apartment and a job and dug my trench.

There was no way I was going back.

I was staying.

I wouldn't budge despite the fact that my family and dearest friends all resided on Vancouver Island, and despite the fact that I sometimes struggled to pay my rent AND buy food.

At one point I actually considered a second pay for my cigarettes.
But if I got a second job, when would I have time to read?

I quit smoking.

I would NOT go crawling back defeated.

So I stayed and had a good time.
I explored Vancouver within an inch of it's life.

If there's a particular kind of food you seek, in a particular kind of restaurant I can tell you it's exact address.

Want a sublime walking experience around Vancouver? I can point you in the right direction.

The view of the mountains with or without snow? Dawn, dusk or mid-afternoon I can take you to the best view.

Best nightclubs? I used to know them.
I don't do that scene so much any really does look all the same given enough time.

So I must confess.
For the last year, I found myself wanting more and more to go back to 'my Island'.

I think I've conquered whatever it was that I was fighting.
Whomever I was trying to prove something too...I'm pretty sure I've proved it.

So now?

So now it's time to put aside the 'quest' and cool down the swagger, I don't need to fight anymore.
Whatever it was that I was waiting for? I'm not waiting any longer.

I've quit my job and put in my notice for my apartment.

I'm going 'home'. *

And not a moment to soon.

*Well, actually I'm going to Victoria.
I've never lived in Victoria before but it's a city I've always wanted to live in.
Don't worry Mom, I'm only two and a half hour drive away. No more ferries to contend with!
And there's always the train!

I'll be back on my island, and I'm so excited!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Can you just NOT touch that?

I've never been a fussy 'OCD' type person.
I know things in the world are germ laden...I realize that people have probably had their grimy hands all over the produce I may just buy.

Generally I can ignore that fact. I make my selection and then go home where the fruit and vegetables receive a thorough cleaning and I continue on my merry way.

Yesterday may have changed all that for me.

You see, I was standing before a large and succulent selection of nectarines at the Granville Island Market, imagining my breakfast the next day.

The two I picked out were given to the clerk to weigh.

"$2.23." She said, the nectarines shining at me from the scale.
Handing over a five I waited a moment for the change.

Then it happened.

She backed slowly away from the counter and sneezed a big wet sneeze into her cupped hands.
Then, hands still glistening damply with-what-lord-I-don't-want-to-know, SHE PROCEEDED TO PICK UP MY LOVELY INNOCENT NECTARINES to give to me!!

I recoiled. I must have grimaced.
"I don't want those, you just sneezed all OVER your hands and then picked them up!"

Visibly annoyed she dropped them right.back.into.the.bin.

"Nevermind. Can you give me my money back? Nevermind! Just don't touch it!"

I reached over and grabbed my money before she could get her mucky paws on it and made my escape.

Made me stomach turn, it did.

How am I EVER going to eat produce again?

Friday, September 15, 2006

To dream, perchance to sleep. *

What fascinating things dreams are.
In this amazing time of space exploration and genome mapping, we are still held completely captive and deeply puzzled by dreams.

What are they? What purpose do they serve?

No science has ever fully determined what a dream is, or why they occur.
Yet despite our ignorance, they continue to happen to each and every one of us every single night of our lives.
And we all dream; we may not remember our dreams in all their misty details, but we do dream.

How can it be that these multi-layered shows of light, sound and gripping emotion mean nothing?
How can it be that despite some of our most illustrious minds taking a stab at dream 'interpretation', we can't even know if they really DO have meaning beyond random brain spasms.

And how is it that not everyone dreams in the same manner?

I often wake with dazzling images of dreams still flashing full color in front of my alarm opened eyes, and blaring music (even AC/DC's "Highway to Hell"), echoing at full volume in my ears, while others claim to dream in only black and white and silence.

What about the raw, left over emotions that can grip one long into days afterward?
Who hasn't awoken, tears streaming down their face from grief?
Or smiled joyous throughout the day in remembrance of a particularly wonderful dream?
Turning bright red at the sight of a co-worker that one was involved with in a torrid affair not a few hours earlier isn't unheard of either.

Dreams contain everything we could hope for and all that we fear.
We understand so little about them that their shadowed secrets are safe for a long time, I think.
We can only lie back, settle into sleep and hope that we have 'sweet' dreams instead of the biting, chasing dreams we dread at 2:34am.

Of what do YOU dream?

*Apologies to W. Shakespeare of course!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Blog blog blog!

1) Are you happy/satisfied with your blog’s content and look?
I don't mind the look at all; simple and unadorned. As for the blog content? Well, sure! I write as I feel, and sometimes I don't and I don't have a single 'topic' I feel obligated to continue to revisit so I have a lot of freedom.

2) Does your family know about your blog?
Yup, but neither of my parents have a computer. Once in a while I'll show my mom. I think it amazes her that all you wonderful people from all over the world stop by.
She's particularly fascinated by the fact that everyone seems to like to say 'hi' to her via the blog.

3) Do you feel embarrassed to let your friends know about your blog? Do you consider it a private thing?
No way! I love that I can share all of this with my friends. On the other hand, I don't share it with my co-workers. (They all think I'm right looney as it is!)

4) Did blogging cause positive changes in your thoughts? This is a rather oddly phrased question. Maybe it did. I prefer funny, warm blogs rather then negative angry ones (though those can be a laugh riot!) so MAYBE it's directed my thoughts more towards the positive?

5) Do you only open the blogs of those who comment on your blog or do you love to go and discover more by yourself?
I LOVE comments (who doesn't!) and often bookmark my new 'friends' pages after exploring their blogs from their comments. Also, I like doing random jumping about...I've found some great blogs by doing that.

6) What does a visitor counter mean to you? Do you like having one on your blog? I like having a counter, but I'm not a slave to it. What I REALLY like is just seeing all the different parts of the world show up. That really entertains me.

7) Did you try to imagine your fellow bloggers and give them real pictures?
Sometimes but not generally. It's always nice to have a face to go with the blog, but it's entirely understandable that someone would be reluctant to post it.

8) Admit it. Do you think there is any real benefit in blogging? Sure there are benefits. My writing (I think!) has improved dramatically since I started blogging (it's been what...almost 2 years?) and the connection with other like mind people is a definite gain.

9) Do you think that blogger’s society is isolated from the real world or interaction with events? I sometimes purposefully seek out external activity so that I can blog about it (is that counter-productive?) so I'd have to say that the fact so many people are blogging and 'reaching' out to others is not isolated at all.

10) Does criticism annoy you or do you feel it’s a normal thing? I don't know...I haven't been criticized about anything...that or I just didn't notice it.

11) Do you fear some political blogs and avoid them? Fear them?

12) Were you shocked by the arrest of some bloggers?
I didn't even know it happened.

13) What do you think will happen to your blog after you die?

This, too, is an odd question.

14) What song do you like to hear? What song would you like to link to on your blog?
I like to hear many songs...I don't want any songs linked to my blog, thank you very much.

So. There you have it.
Blogging as seen by me.

If you want to run off with these, feel free.
I took it from Ian who got it from Moof.

Have fun!

Friday, September 08, 2006 that's not right. REpost! **

Mos*qui*to = A dark minion fresh from the dankest levels of hell.

Main Entry: mos•qui•to
Pronunciation: m&-'skE-(")tO
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural -toes also -tos
Etymology: Spanish, diminutive of mosca fly, from Latin musca -- more at MIDGE
: any of a family (Culicidae) of dipteran flies with females that have a set of slender organs in the proboscis adapted to puncture the skin of animals and to suck their blood and that are in some cases vectors of serious diseases

Main Entry: 1tor•ture
Pronunciation: 'tor-ch&r
Function: noun
Etymology: French, from Late Latin tortura, from Latin tortus, past participle of torquEre to twist; probably akin to Old High German drAhsil turner, Greek atraktos spindle
1 a : anguish of body or mind : AGONY b : something that causes agony or pain
2 : the infliction of intense pain (as from burning, crushing, or wounding) to punish, coerce, or afford sadistic pleasure

Main Entry: hell
Pronunciation: 'hel
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old English helan to conceal, Old High German helan, Latin celare, Greek kalyptein
1 a (1) : a nether world in which the dead continue to exist : HADES (2) : the nether realm of the devil and the demons in which the damned suffer everlasting punishment -- often used in curses or as a generalized term of abuse b Christian Science : ERROR 2b, SIN
2 a : a place or state of misery, torment, or wickedness b : a place or state of turmoil or destruction


So, anyone gleaming what the general topic of today’s blog is going to be from the above entries?

If you guessed unmitigated mental (and physical) anguish in the deep dark corners of the night, you’d be correct!

Lucifer himself decreed that I should lie awake in endless torment, awaiting the whining, soul destroying 'zzzzzzzzttttt' that announces a host of mosquitoes set to converge on my poor, prone sleepy body and bleed me dry.

I was sound asleep last night, when I awoke with a start; something hurt!
Something on my body was burning and insanely itchy.
OH, it’s my entire right arm and left kneecap.
DRAT! There’s a horde of mosquitoes in my room!

“OH PLEASE PLEASE,” I begged out loud to the enveloping dark, tears streaming down my face in fervent hands clasped at my chest in an age old gesture of humble and earnest entreaty *, “Please leave me be...look yonder,” I pointed at the prostrate body of my sleeping cat, “Take him. I have to work tomorrow!”

(At this point, I have to admit to a certain amount of guilt about that whole 'offering up of the cat' part.
But before you judge me too harshly, consider the considerable misery and torment that must have induced me to offer, as sacrifice, my cat to the demanding and vicious mosquito god...but he’s a right bastard (The "mosquito god" I mean...not my cat of course)! But I had no choice! I was tired and oh so itchy.)

That incident takes me back to the time I was riding a beautiful white horse across the plains of the Camargue in Provence.
I think it was lovely. I mean, I’m pretty sure it was.

The wild black bulls, the amazing and startlingly pink flamingos and vast green wetlands, all would have been a wonderful thing to see as I rode along that memorable day.

Unfortunately, the many flocks of MOSQUITOES that also grace the rough and rugged beauty of the Camargue got in my way.
All I could see was a great, black swarm of the blood thirsty agents of Beelzebub coming to carry me away to their pestilent leader.
The travel agents certainly didn’t mention THEM in their pamphlets, now did they!!

In short, I wage a daily battle against that wee terror.

I fight valiantly though, killing as many as I can with wild abandon.
I do, despite the knowledge that it's a war I'm destined to lose.

*oh, I do go on so, don't I!

** I've been SUCH a deviant blogger these days that I'm reposting things. BUT, the same hell-driven insects visited me this year so it's not as if it's irrelevant.