Saturday, December 24, 2005

Christmas Eve already?!

The past few weeks have just whooshed by what with being back on the book after a very cozy vacation in November. I haven't got nearly all the things I wanted to do done for the holiday, the dining room table is covered in craft supplies that were intended for some cool card ideas but there hasn't been any time. Work, work, work. Gah.

Some urgent wedding plan mix ups presented themselves making it oh so much fun to deal with on top of all these deadlines, both holiday and work related.

The cats had some unexpected troubles leading to some whopper vet bills. I am such a sucky cat mom. Should have attended to this sooner.

And then there's the general grumpiness this season brings. Word to parents out there who want their kids' respect to last into adulthood: never announce your divorce on Christmas morning. Kinda messes up the day for the rest of their lives.

Holding it together okay. If you haven't heard from us yet, not to worry, we'll get to y'all all soon enough.

Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

The hazards of working in a male dominated profession: The Company Christmas Gift.

Every year DC gives out a little prezzie to its staff and creators and some years the item is dead useful, like last's year's travel bag which every recipient (myself included), sings its praises up and down "It holds everything I need for a weekend trip but is still small enough to take on a plane!", "It's got a laundry pouch! Wow!". The year before it was a sleek travel clock which every frazzled artist (myself included) instantly thought was a veiled threat saying "MEET YOUR DEADLINES OR ELSE!" But still, a pleasant and useful item that you could put a picture in if you liked.

This year it was a beautiful wristwatch.

A man's wristwatch

Big. Heavy. Shiny. A manly man's watch. Aristotle Onassis would look at this watch and go "Hey, now there's a time piece!". Christopher Walken's character in Pulp Fiction would look at this watch and say "Now, wait just a minute- uh, I know a promise is a promise but- seriously?"

I'd have to work out in order to wear it, and even now I'm having some difficulty typing due to its mass dragging my arm down towards earth's center of gravity (or maybe it's pulling earth towards it I'm not quite sure). I have to take breaks after every sentence. Like so.


I'll see if I can get it re-sized though I can see the chuckles I'll be getting at the jewelry store as I clean and jerk this item onto their counter top.

It is nice to feel like one of the guys this holiday season.


Monday, November 21, 2005

Yesterday we were in the HM(formerly)Virgin and this song comes on that blows my mind, like Nelly Furtado on speed with great grinding beats and wild sounds. It's not often that I'm driven to an album like this (the last was World Domination a few years back) and after a moment of listening I turn to Ian and say "I have to find this". I bee line for the escalator and find a guy in a store shirt who tells me the artist is M.I.A. and where to find a copy. The art on the CD is slapdash and confusing, it took a moment to confirm that it was the album I was looking for. The liner notes are cryptic and don't offer a whole lot of info on who put this amazing music together but after a listen (and a quick google for more info) I have to say this woman has blown my socks off.

Maya Arulpragasam's album titled Arular doesn't fit into the stereotypical mould of so many sappy lyricists out there . Here the words are playful and angry and hard letting the dance rythyms take center stage. This stuff makes you want to MOVE. The track that dragged me to the counter was called 10 Dollar and it's so fucking groovy!

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Seen it twice. Loved it. Wish they could have fit more in, missed Cuaron's finer touches from Azkaban. Will someone hurry up and invent Firebolt technology because I so want one.

Friday, October 28, 2005

We're back in Vancouver after a very eventful couple of weeks. I can't say enough good things about London. Wonderful sights, amazing shopping great food. Ian was so inspired that he's trying to convince his improv colleagues to put together a show there sometime in the future and if that goes ahead I am so tagging along.

On Friday we cut our trip short to hightail it back to Canada, ironically to London, Ontario to attend the Canadian Comedy Awards where Ian was nominated for a few Beavers. With the eastern bias of these awards it was a dead certainty that he, and the rest of his western compatriots, would walk away empty handed (which they did) but it was good networking nonetheless. From London to London we flew, the latter city being so un-London as to be laughable were it not so sad. So much about this town seemed faltering, from the Galleria largely populated by empty storefronts and bargain outlets to the main drags showing signs of decline in the mostly unoccupied condo towers and large groups of homeless.

It was clear that a comedy festival was a desperate attempt to turn things around, or at the very least, lighten the mood of despair. Naturally the Comedy Network would help out by televising the awards show right? Nope. And the Trailer Park Boys cancelled their Yuks Yuks show, the one flaunted on the front pages of all the local papers. The guy who was supposed to take their place with his stand up act looked pretty good for someone nobody at this festival wanted to be just then what with 600 pre sold ticket holders coming in from all around to see Bubbles and crew do that inexplicably, apparently funny, thing they do. I don't know, maybe it was a brave face brought up to cover inevitable doom, or maybe it was the pretty girls in the elevator looking awestruck at him, saying "Wow, you must be soooo nervous!"

I would have paid good money to watch that show go down in flames, but instead I was stuck at the untelevised awards show watching a talking dog from Puppets Who Kill trade off "ascerbic" banter with people I didn't particularly care about. The seats were too small and my butt fell asleep pretty quickly. Ian and Drew did a nice job presenting onstage with a subtle jab at the eastern bias thrown in for good measure, it woke me up after the previous, interminable presentation of a lifetime achievement award.

Some sketch troupes came on here and there, two insisting on lots of nudity. Oh look, a bouncing penis! That made the haus fraus giggle. Snore.

Canadian comedy folks, it's come a long way hasn't it? But then, maybe this stuff is best viewed without the grinding jet lag.

Sunday arrived and another ten or so hours of travelling before we saw the welcoming pillows of our own bed complete with cats bearing stunned looks very similar those of children learning their father did not in fact die in the war but is here on Christmas mornining bearing a big fat goose for the dinner feast. After some disbelieving sniffs Charlie settled in my lap fully prepared to spend the next month there.

Home is good.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

London wow. Harrods... mind blown. London Eye... high. Tower of London... maybe next time, Harrods too much fun.

London Ontario... okay. Canadian Comedy Awards... make bum fall asleep. Too many naked people. Picked up sniffles.

Home now.

Sleeping lots.

More later.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

So much food! Lovely!
A really nice and cozy comic shop with great staff.
The British Museum
Finally got to see the Lions. Wow!
Guys and Dolls
For a crap script these guys certainly put together an entertaining evening at the theater. Great dance numbers, good music. This was a blast.

Today: more comic shops, Harrods, the London Eye and maybe a gander at the crown jewels over at the Tower of London.

I think my poor shoes have died of consumption.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

How cool is this city? London is perfect for walking about and just finding things. Round a corner and oh, it's a nearly two hundred year old umbrella and sticks (walking canes) shop, another and it's PicadillyCircus, round another and it's a perfectly lovely duck park for a sit down with exotic looking birds. Round another and it's Big Ben.

My feet are killing me but I can't stop myself from taking another step.

Today it's Fifteen for lunch, Gosh!, The British Museum and Guys and Dolls in the West End.

I am loving it here.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


I've only seen a bit of the neighbourhood surrounding the hotel but so far this place kicks ass! We're checking out Forbidden Planet this afternoon followed by some wandering about. Feeling a lot better than yesterday. Man, Paris was weird. Like walking into a giant round of PMS.

Tomorrow, the British Museum (can't believe it's only a few blocks from here!) and then Gosh! for a tasty manga fix!

Happiness is a round of portable Scrabble at the local laundrette.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Paris is making me sea sick.

There's something about the ground here, in the way that it's not entirely solid that creates this slight swaying sensation that makes you feel like you're on a ferry. I've been dizzy and off balance all day and it's driving me nuts.

The Eiffel Tower was very cool. Much bigger than I expected. The sculptures on the Arc D'Triomphe were wild. The streets are intimidatingly huge. The people seem by and large very serious about everything. This town could use a siesta every now and then. Spain seemed a lot more festive and familial. Even the leashed dogs were in a happier mood.

I'm pooped. Looking forward to London.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Spain rocks!

I haven´t been here in 21 years and it´s such a wonderful and powerful experience. Right now we´re in an internet cafe on Ramblas after several days of non stop running around in Gijon for the annual Salon/convention there. I can´t go into everything now but the trip has been pretty damn sweet so far. Tonight we´re on a train to Paris. Monday we´re in London to tangle with a bunch of museums. More soon!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Yes, I'm a drama queen. One who gets very huffy and annoying when pain is involved. I'm sure my gender is really good at dealing with childbirth, which ask any nurse seems to be the ultimate guage of pain there is ("Next to childbirth a scratched cornea is about the worst pain you can go through" actual quote), but give me an aching jaw and/or back pain and forget it, I'm a big ol' baby. Over the last two weeks I've been hard to be around. Thoroughly traumatized by my experience at the dentist, I really can't say what was worse, the inescapable memory of two doctors wrestling with my face through a haze of flying teeth dust or the hideous 80's deco interior decorating (think Miami Vice viewed on a black and white tv, brrr!), what was a very uncomfortable, grumpy time was made worse by a flu bug that hit us both like a tonne of bricks. Just as I was getting over the sniffles, and getting ready for this week's trip to Spain for the Gijon convention, what does fate throw at me but the mother of all strained necks.

What's really laughable was the cause of this injury: the Vancouver International Film Festival.

Vic invited me to a screening of a Finnish film called The Dog Nail Clipper. No hidden meaning there, the movie is about a guy who goes to clip a dog's nails. Really. It's not for everyone, it's more a slice of culture than a riveting drama, poetry of the far north and more a nostalgic sigh for anyone who's lived in the country and wants to prove to outsiders that yes, the people of this land are really that weird.

It was a packed house and the only seats available were near the front on the far left. There was a woman's head in the way of the subtitles so I kept having to crane my neck to see all the text and sure enough, the next morning I woke up with my head stuck that way, slightly tilted, turned to the right. And crazy amounts of pain.


It's stil a bit stuck but it doesn't hurt as much. Tomorrow we're on a plane and I'm really tense about it. I'm not the best flyer in the world and I'm not looking forward to entire day of travelling. But the con should be fun. Afterwards, we're racing through several cities for some quick sightseeing: Barcelona (my old stomping grounds!), Paris (the Eiffel Tower under a full moon? You bet!), London (Museums! Comic shops!) and then London, Ontario for the Canadian Comedy Awards where Ian has been nominated for Best Improviser. A crazy two weeks.

Now if only I could sleep.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Two wisdom teeth got yanked out of my head today. One had to be cracked in two and clawed out of it's socket.

It feels like I've been kicked in the jaw by a big, angry wasp wearing construction boots.

And then stung repeatedly.

The drugs aren't working very well either.


Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Vicky and I went to Future Shop today because I have been in desperate need of visual information. I get this way after being shackled to my desk for a few days straight. I stopped by the PSP section to look at their movies. They're more expensive than regular DVDs so I don't usually buy them but ehn, why not have a look? Most of their very limited selection hovers in the action genre: Hero, Kung Fu Hustle, Armageddon, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. Mainstream and geared for teenagers who like things that go boom. And then I came across a title that made my jaw drop.

Short Circuit.

As in Steve Guttenberg.

On the PSP.

I walked over to the cd section and picked up Rubber Soul by the Beatles.

Wednesday, September 7, 2005

So I sit down at the computer tonight and this big spider is dangling next to my screen. I am not a fan so I grab an arrow sitting on a pile of stuff I should really be doing something about someday and carefully pick it up. Of course it drops in my freshly poured glass of water. I toss the bug on the other side of the room because there is another pile of junk I need to get rid of between me and the window that doesn't make me fell too confident about stepping over it while balancing a big icky bug on the end of an arrow that suddenly seems to damn short.

It can get comfy in another corner.

Five minutes later it's right back where it was, dangling over the water glass. I'm reminded of Jaws V or whichever one had Michael Caine in it. I turn to get a longer stick, like maybe the curtain rod I've been meaning to install for months but haven't because I'm too damn busy, but right now it's missing. I go back only to find the little bugger gone. Probably hiding in wait. Okay, maybe this is more like Jaws II.

While writing all that there was a noise outside that sounded like someone trying to break into the underground garage. I go and check it out and sure enough there are two people there who look like they shouldn't be there. One of them hears me and starts walking away, the other hisses for her to come back and soon follows once he realises her footsteps are only getting further off. I called the cops to file a report just in case. We've had a lot of break ins down there.

Still no spider. Fingers crossed.

Hurricane Katrina. I'm making a donation tomorrow, and what's better, this time it will be out of pure spite. Allow me to explain. Fifteen years ago my sister and I were visiting relatives in Manhattan. One of my cousins I hadn't seen since I was a toddler was also there, she was from New Orleans and was visiting with her mom for a few weeks. We had a great time. Her accent was really catchy too and it drove everyone nuts that I was talking like her in no time. I really liked her mom too who seemed so much nicer than her sisters who for the most part, I have to say I haven't always gotten along with. We called them our aunts but in fact they were our grand aunts. Something about our grandfather being older than his six other siblings but marrying late skewed the ages of the offspring so I'm not even sure how we're all related, we just call each other cousins because we're closest in age to each other.

This can explain the friction I guess, seeing as how the "aunts" are from a much older generation and tend to have somewhat older ideas. Based on how they dressed, this era was purely Eva Peron and their attitudes matched perfectly. Adding to the generational confusion were these ladies' ability to hide their age extremely well, always hovering in that nebulous early forties region. In fact they look the same today than they did twenty years ago. It's frickin' weird.

Anyways, my cousin's mom seemed a lot cooler and nicer and less inclined to play the usual head games and manipulative power plays of the other aunts so I got along with her very well those few weeks.

That is until one afternoon we stopped at a bakery for some bread. Us cousins got ourselves some extra treats and with mine I ended up with a few dimes left in change. On the way out there was an old homeless guy asking for money. I had these dimes in my hand so I gave them to him and smiled. A few steps down the sidewalk and my cousin's mom walks next to me and is just angry like I've never seen her before. "Why did you do that?!" she bursts out. "What?" I ask wondering what the heck I did wrong. "Next time I see you give money to some bum and we won't be walking on the same side of the street together. I've never been so embarassed!"

Then she stormed off. I of course was stunned at this. How can you get upset over giving a panhandler a few dimes? It turned me around on how I saw this woman. I was really disappointed.

Flash foward to last week. I'm watching the reports leading up to the hurricane and hoping everyone gets out okay, including my cousin and her mom who I haven't been in touch with a whole lot since New York. It's a few days in, after the city is flooded in toxic sludge I get a call from mom saying the Louisiana relatives all got out fine but lost everything. They're back in Manhattan, staying with the aunts until they know where they'll be going next.

And that's when I got a whole new perspective on what happened all those years ago. My cousin's mom wasn't just scolding me for handing out a few dimes, she was yelling at me for being nice to this man, a man she wouldn't acknowledge even existed. It was a shitty thing to do and even shittier example to set for those younger. But thankfully her admonishment never sank in. Even when I don't have any money to give, I still offer a smile and a few words. It's the right thing to do.

And so is depositing a chunk of change to the Red Cross.

Nyah nyah.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Happiness is...

Finally getting dead center!

Over the last four years Ian and I have gone to the PNE and every year I've lain down a few bucks to take my chance at the crossbow shoot on the midway. I've come really close to winning in the past, usually off by just a few centimeters. Tonight I got it in three. That stuffed poochie is all mine baby!

A really wonderful day.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Having a bugger of time trying to get to sleep, freaking out over these pages and then I hear a familiar tittering outside. Racoon family turns up as usual, notices the lumber has been moved and sure enough, they make a b-line for for the new fort. They sniff about and right before they disappear into the bushes, grandpa racoon staddles a beam by the fort's entrance.

Scoot scoot.

And of course my camera decides to jam up right then.
So today we notice all the lumber has been moved. It seems the kids used it to build a fort.

In our parking space.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Today Ian and I went to the beach to watch the sun go down. It had already gone by the time we got there but we stayed for about an hour watching all the colours disolve into stars. Behind us a group of french girls were playing frisbee... badly. One girl was trying to smoke while playing. We kept flinching with every pass expecting to get hit by their awful aim.

Later we walked up Davie and stopped at a McDonalds. While Ian ordered I grabbed a table. At the table behind me sat an older guy, drunk and sleepy singing with his gravelly voice:

"Just between you and me
Baby I know our love will be,
Just between you and me
Always I know our love will be,
Just between you...just between you and me..."

Afterwards we went to the Safeway to pick up some cat food and dish soap. There were two very long line ups due to their only being two cashiers on duty. We waited a good twenty plus minutes for our turn. Behind us another group of girls (not french) were debating whether they should just go to McDonalds.

"Oh god, I've eaten there every day this week, nu-uh."
"But this is taking so long and I'm so hungry!"

The girl at the checkout was deft at disarmament, asking us right away in a gentle, tired voice if we had waited long. We politely told her that we had but it was okay. She then said that six people had quit that day so they were a little understaffed.

On the way out I scanned their message board and saw an index card advertising past life exploration sessions.

Monday, I'm making an appointment to get this damn headache sorted out.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

I am so hooked on Cowboy Bebop. I saw the movie a few months ago on cable and loved it. You can imagine how happy I was to hear there was a series. And another one in the works! Yeah, I'm a hermit living in a cave on the dark side of the moon.

It looks like our trip to Spain is a go. We'll be in Gijon for the convention from October 12 through the 16th and after that we'll be heading over to London to toodle about for a few days. I'll have to figure out the paperwork for selling pages there. Hope it's not too nuts.

Word Under the Street is coming up on Sunday September 25th. I'll be doing a portfolio review with a few other creators so if anyone wants some pointers/advice then please stop by. Oh crap, I think the Garbage Can Art Contest is on the same day! I need a better calendar. Maybe I can swing both events.

Friday, August 19, 2005

The heat has returned and I'm back working in the living room. The cooler weather was nice while it was here.

This morning I woke to the sounds of neighbourhood kids crunching on the stone covered alley under our window. No biggie, they usually like to scramble through there but then I heard the sounds of wood clunking around and being hammered on. I slowly got up to have a look. In the past they've played with this small pile of fence wood that's been sitting there unused for ages, once I asked them not to for reasons I didn't want to come right out and say (I'll get to into that in a moment), but there was an adult present this time just hammering away on some project with kids hovering about being helpful. Not sure what they plan on making with this old wood but man did I really want to tell them that the local racoons regularly scooch on it. Maybe masturbation is too strong a word, maybe grandpa racoon just likes the feel of pressure treated wood on his furry nether regions and that's why he stretches out across the boards every morning and does this odd little rocking motion... hey, I'm no animal expert, I just happen to be up when they start with the racket.

I'm such a misanthrope.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005


The heavens have opened up and disgourged its magnificent bounty! I'm sorely tempted to rip off all my clothes and go running through it but I have to work tomorrow so I'll just have to be content to let the hypnotic rythyms lull me to sleep.

Life is nice.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Christ, the last two weeks have been a sweltering nightmare punctuated by more chainsaws (this time from the building management) and children on some Screaming Marathon of Hope in their backyard pool.

I do like warm weather, it certainly beats the finger numbing cold of winter but it would be really nice to have all this heat accompanied by things like the odd cloud, a refreshing rain or heck, even a BREEZE. The office has been impossible to work in. Three fans going, the windows full open and nothing but dried out eyes. The warm air just gets moved around.

So I've set up shop in the living room at home where the trees have been providing some lovely shade (or at least until this morning when the forementioned chainsaws came out). It's not the best for my back but it's getting work done.

This past weekend was broken up by lots of last minute errands with my sister Vicky to get her ready for her trip to Finland (one of our cousins is getting married). I pulled a couple of all nighters on Sunday and Monday night to catch up but still was left with six pages in various stages of completion (I tend to bounce instead of going page by page) which just made me cranky as hell. By the time for Vic's departure on Tuesday evening I'd had about two hours sleep in as many days. We went to the airport together and had a teary goodbye. She was bouncing off the walls with excitement over her stopovers in London and I was so damn happy for her. She's been studying art and art history in a dull suburban hell for years and finally she gets to see some real civilization. It's so inspiring and I can't wait to go with Ian in the fall for a quick walk about.

So after seeing her off I returned home and jumped into bed at around ten, slept a bit fitfully, then waking up at 3 am, a couple of hours before I'd hoped to get up, I decided to just get back to work. Kissed Ian goodnight as he retired and got out my lapboard. The chainsaws and woodchippers started up at around 9am. I'm guessing insurance companies have changed their policies again because it seems everyone is now freaking out over liability issues regarding overhanging branches damaging cars. Here's an idea, maybe give car thieves longer sentences instead of constantly turfing them over and over again like they do in this province? Maybe?

Anyway, at the wire by 2pm and there's still two pages to go! I hate not having a complete pack for Fed Ex. I hand off what's done to Ian who has just gotten up for his appointment with his agent and I get ready to hit the sack. But then landscapers appear right outside our windows on tall ladders armed with various cutting tools. I decide to wait them out because no way can I sleep through this. I am so damn tired. Not just the physical kind either but that intense, deep kind of tired that makes you anxious about everything. Anxious about guys with chainsaws looking into your windows to see if there's anything worth stealing and why the hell haven't you gotten content insurance yet what with the annoying smells of pot floating from neighbour's apartments at night making you wonder if some stoner will fall asleep with a pan left on the stove and how the hell are you going to get the cat from under the bed when the fire alarms go off? Anxious about that weird headache in your right temple that's been going on for the last four days and is it stress or wisdom tooth related and how long will an extraction take out of the schedule and can it wait until your next vacation? What if it's a tumour? It feels kind of weird and squishy in there. And of course you can't say that without hearing Ahnold reply "id's naht a toomah!" And why the hell did you watch Kindergarten Cop anyway? What a terrible movie!

I didn't get into the anxiety over being alive and the existential angst that usually pops up at these times because fortunately for me the phone rang and it was Vic: "I only have a minute of time on this thing but I'm in a big red phone booth right outside of Westminster Abbey! I'm here!" We both do the girly squeal of delight. "I got in fine and needed to get some air and I just walked by Big Ben and every corner is something old and historical! It's amazing! I'm going to see Platform Nine and Three Quarters tomorrow morning on my way to the airport!"

Well that just made everything all right.

I did manage to get a few hours sleep in. I woke up at around eleven to hang out with Ian who I have missed dearly over the last few days. We had a fabulous dinner and a nice 3 am walk through the hood. Picked up a copy of Scientific American and another bridal mag at Shopper's Drug Mart (addictive little buggers!). For no reason I also picked up a cup noodle that was on sale. Sometimes you just have to get one of those things. Maybe I'll eat it tomorrow and quickly regret the teeth buzzing from the MSG. What the hell.

Now for some real sleep...

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Ian spoke to the landlady today and found out the thefts occured sometime in April. Yeah, great notice. Despite having the serial numbers (which we'll be reporting to the cops shortly) I doubt there's any chance of getting them back after this long. Might get lucky through the police auctions though so we'll see.

The heat has been damn depressing lately so I stayed in this afternoon to finish reading Half Blood Prince. SLIGHT SPOILER ALERT :I have to say it's a really fun book that got me all weepy by the end and no doubt will have kids in a funk all summer. I'll just reiterate what I said to friend today by saying who needs Ritalin when there's J.K. Rowling to bring the little buggers down? Love it. END SPOILER.

So the sun is setting and I'm getting my butt into the office. Hopefully it'll have cooled down enough to get a decent night's work in. Arms sticking to your drawing table is really gross.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Today started off okay. A little slow getting started, a nice lazy Sunday, and then we decided to go down to the bike storage room to check on our bikes to see if they'll be needing any work before using them this summer. Open up the door and...

Just the snapped Krypton lock lying on the floor.


Ian's was a birthday present I gave him last year. I hope whoever stole the bloody things gets their meth addicted head crushed under a bus!

Ian has just postured that would indeed be the sound it make too: METH!

Even when times are sucky that man can make me laugh.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

More lost sleep but this time for a good cause. We got up early to get out to the Library and see Harry and the Potters perform a free show. Wow, these guys are good! So much energy and of course they had the girls screaming. Bought a bunch of t-shirts and two cds, Voldemort Can't Stop the Rock and Ed DeGeorge's other band's album: Ed and the Refridgerators Get Excommunicated. I love this stuff.

Friday, July 22, 2005

People do realise that prolonged sleep deprivation causes psychosis right?

I actually confronted them this morning briefly to find out when the heck this damn project of theirs would be done and the woman assured me it would be today whereupon I grumpily paced about the apartment until I got really sleepy again and passed out to the sounds of some godawful machine outside. Overslept like crazy but still not feeling very rested.

Almost halfway through Half Blood Prince and am very excited about it. Wish I had more time to just sit and get through it all but it's going at a couple of chapters a night.

Jeez, now the neighbours next to the neighbours have their dog out and it's barking like crazy. There's nothing more disconcerting than parents who allow their little kids to try and discipline a large dog. Kids are generally mean little fuckers and it makes me feel for the animal who is obviously just confused as hell. Someone is going to get bitten and then it'll be the dog who suffers. Fuck I hate people today.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Yep, they're still at it.

I'm just remembering some cds Bunche sent me a while back, lots of obscure stuff with raunchy lyrics. If I were to position the stereo just so, taking into account optimum projection through the leaves... yep, the neighbour's next back yard dinner party should be interesting.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

9:45 this morning. Saws and hammers. Lots of interupted sleep.

Neighbours suck.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Home again, home again, jiggedy jig!

Lucky for us we decided to pack before crashing on Sunday night because the wake up call we asked for never came and we woke up a half hour before we were set to leave. I'm amazed we made it through customs at all looking as bleary-eyed and unshowered as we did but we did. As soon as we got through the doors to Vancouver airport we b-lined to the nearest magazine stand and bought a copy of Half blood Prince (It came with a free tote bag!). I've managed to get three chapters in and so far I'm loving it. No spoilers.

The cats appreciated us being back, Charlie, a Balinese and for some reason genetically prone to neediness, was making a lot of noise and making it known that he needed to be held for several days straight. What a great cat. Kinsey and Augie were nonchalant as usual.

What an amazing weekend! So much happened and we had a really memorable, fun time. It's too bad we had to come home to more crap from the neighbours... Which I'll get into in a moment, but first I want to mention Brian's fabulous present of coolness!

So Saturday night we meet up at the Hyatt Bar and Ruth has this big, wrapped box. I open it and am stunned to see a shoulder bag, like any other computer bag but on the flap is this orange and white silk panel stitched into it and a label that says something about the International Space Station and the Soyuz mission. I immediately love it and think it's just so geeky cool because I'm a huge astronomy fan. But then Brian and Ruth say "Look inside, look inside!" (it was pretty loud in this bar), so I look and find a letter saying that panel of silk on the flap is actually parachute silk from the Soyuz Lander that was up in space for 194 days. And it's signed by the astronaut from that mission which happens to co-incide with events in One Small Step.

I burst into tears. It's the neatest thing ever and fucking wow! I start showing it to everyone in the bar. Joss Whedon was right there and I shove it in his face and say "Look! This was in space!" and everyone was patting it down and feeling the silk. All night I'm meeting people and everyone is patting down my Space Bag (as Tony Harris has Christened it). I am so on cloud nine.

So we get home and the neighbours are building a shed under our window.

Back story. The neighbours on the corner have this house, which they claim is Victorian but damn if it's not Edwardian, and they have been renovating it over the past three years. The first year we moved in we had to deal with a hellish five days in the summer where they decided to pave down the entire yard with elaborately cut cobble stones. Being as cheap as they apparently are, they felt it was a great idea to cut all the stones on site instead of having them cut elsewhere and brought in. The result: five days, from 9am to 9pm of a wet saw screaming through our morning sleep, meals, work and relaxation time. Friends of ours on the opposite side of the building from us were totally rattled, we were on the verge of having a total nervous breakdown. No warnings, no apologies.

So then they build this silly dinner tent under our balcony. Okay, it's tacky, whatever. They have dinner parties in it and play the same bloody Eagles CD over and over all night as they chatter about inane crap. Okay, they're boring, let it be. Then September comes. And the rains come. And the tent ROTS. My asthma gets triggered by all this mould and I'm just miserable from it. Winter comes and it gets doused with snow and one night... Providence. I'm working late into the night and suddenly I hear a loud SNAP! I rush out to the balcony and see the tent caved in from the weight of the snow. A very happy night indeed. The tent is soon taken down and life goes on.

Spring comes around and more reno work. Endless days of circular saws and hammering and loud contractors. We start to get used to it. We still seethe but it's ignorable.

Then last fall a giant sign goes up on their lawn, the kind you see in front of construction sites for townhomes. We learn that all this work has been to convert this tiny, three storey Victorian house into three STRATA condos starting at $395,000. Of course we just laugh our asses off at this. I just can't imagine paying so much for a basement suite! What a bunch of greedy assholes. And then they build another tent, I suppose to make it look more attractive. Ugh.

By spring the price has been marked down to $354,000 and a few months after that the giant condo ad is replaced by a small real estate company's for sale sign.

Last month we awoke to chain saws. It was jarring and unpleasant and we made our way to the balcony to see a couple of "landscapers" hacking up the giant fig tree in the yard. This beautiful fig tree's branches have reached over to our railing for the last three years and we've enjoyed stretching out for figs, lying under it's shade and listening to rain on the massive leaves. Half asleep our first reaction is "This is fucking awful! What the hell are you doing?"

The guy with the chainsaw is incredibly aggro and defensive and starts yelling up at us to fuck off, calling us names, screaming about "liability issues" and then turns to his silent stooge and says "nuke it to the property line!". In other words the guy with the husqvarna is fucking PSYCHO. We go back inside and fume.

In the end the tree is still there but thinned so we don't get as much privacy as we used to from those neighbours. Yay.

We begin talks about a possible move. The apartment rocks but fuck this noise. We decide to wait another year until after we get married, which oh yeah, we're doing next spring, woo hoo!

Monday afternoon we get back after maybe three hours sleep the night before (the annual Dead Dog party was too great to miss) and what do we hear? More saws, more hammering, and this great, big, stupid looking shed going up under our window. It starts up again this morning, 9am sharp. No warnings, no apologies. Not one iota of consideration for the people living nearby who have to put up with all this shit. How can people be such assholes?

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Sunday. Home stretch. I don't know what's been done differently this year but compared to past years this con had been so much easier to deal with. Oh sure, there's the Saturday night freak out where all the emotions finally bubble over and nothing but an amazingly patient boyfriend can help you ride it out. But the rest of it, the crowded aisles, the near psychotic outbursts of the frustrated and bug-eyed, the air conditioning... all seem to be running a lot smoother this year. I've managed to navigate the hall without so much as a shove or a stepped on foot. And best of all, no mystery clouds of B.O. to jump out at you when you least expect. Everyone is being hygenic and polite this year. It's great.

I got this amazing present from Brian yesterday. It's too stunning to recount now as I have to boot it out to a signing, but stay tuned. More info tonight.


Saturday, July 16, 2005

San Diego.


Man this is such an overwhelming place, but for once I'm having a very relaxing time of it. The flight down was wonderful and hassle free. The hotel is great. The people have been fabulous, my sister is here and we had a hoot of a time doing a spotlight panel together and Brian won Best Writer last night at the Eisners. Not only that but I had the amazing honour of announcing it to the world as the presenter.

Like I said, overwhelming.

I want to go into details but right now I have to get my ass to the con and do some signings at the booth.

Sunday, July 3, 2005

If you're planning to take up astronomy as a hobby I would suggest Vancouver not be the place you expect to get a lot of results.

For months I've been waiting to see the Nasa spacecraft known as Deep Impact slam into comet Tempel 1 just outside the constellation of Virgo. My sister's balcony has a fabulous view of the southwestern sky and we were hoping to have a star party; snacks, some drinks, a pair of scopes and binoculars for everyone to share... but damnit the sky is completely overcast!

Granted it's not even that big of a light show. Some people have been exaggerating the extent of the flash to be seen, desribing it on on par with fireworks. Some of the more extreme factions of the Art Bell crowd have been throwing around speculation that this little thing will divert course as a result and cause an extinction level event on earth. Really, we're talking teeny magnitudes here. The comet is barely visible at mag 9 and will only brighten to about mag 6. For a comparison, Jupiter, which is just to the right of Virgo is mag -1.9, Neptune is 7.8. The higher the magnitude, the fainter the object.

But even so, I wanted to see it! I like looking at little fuzzballs in the sky. I love the idea that I could see a man-made event take place nearly an entire Astronomical Unit away. It's like being able to catch a glint of light off a moon landing! It's exciting!

But no geeky fun for me tonight.
And speaking of Harry Potter...

The San Diego comic con is in two weeks. On the Friday of the con the new Potter book will be released at midnight. A bunch of us are planning to join the huge line-up expected at the downtown Barnes & Nobles. Great atmosphere, little kids dressed up in costume, goofy adults dressed up in costume, lots of lightening bolt temp tatoos no doubt. I was really looking forward to this... until I remembered something: the US edition of the Potter books are usually edited to change words like "jumper" to "sweater", "philosopher's stone" to "sorcerer's stone" etc. to make it easier for the yanks to understand.

Now, I'm torn! Do I get the US edition and then buy the Canadian/Brit one when we get back to Vancouver?! I was hoping to start reading this right away! Will I have to start from scratch when we get back?! Will I just have to WAIT through the whole weekend to find out what happens?! AAAGH!

These are the things I think about. Aren't you lucky I decided to start blogging more?
Okay, here's something I am crazy excited about! One of my favourite bands, Harry and the Potters will be playing at the Vancouver Public Library on July 23rd! Yeah, it's geeky but these guys are fun! The songs are catchy and infectious (Save Ginny Weasley), charming (My Teacher is a Werewolf) and even tuggy on the heartstrings (Two Weeks of My Summer Left and These Days are Dark). Hopefully they'll have their follow-up album Voldemort Can't Stop The Rock for sale that day because I'm bringing my wallet. Harry Potter fans will get a big kick out of these guys so spread the word y'all.

Saturday, July 2, 2005

So I'm a bit bummed about not being able to have my server host this blog. They said it had something to do with their whole system needing to be changed and they weren't intent on doing anything so here we are. Blah.

Anyway, a friend of mine was bugging me about posting more so I'll make more of an effort to do so. I guess I became discouraged when I started getting e-mails and message board posts from my father that made me reluctant. I suppose I should fill you in on some of this in case you're confused. My father is a deadbeat. He's incredibly self centered, unreliable and devoid of compassion. Sociopathic is the word I think I'm grabbing for here. He took off when I was 17 to go shack up with a hair dresser and a gaggle of foster kids. He gave no support whatsoever to myself or my sister. He promised to help at every turn and very patiently, we waited for that support which never came. In my mid twenties I attempted to patch things up with him but again I was left overwhelmingly disappointed when promise after promise went up in smoke. My sister was nearly bankrupted as a result.

I no longer have a relationship with him. I feel it's for the best because not only is there the unreliable factor involved, he's just a complete stranger to me now and I have no desire to get to know him again. I get these notes from him from time to time and they just make me so angry because he makes these statements of being so proud of my accomplishments which to me feels like he's laying claim on them somehow, like he had a part in who I am now which would be laughable if it weren't so outrageous.

Knowing that he was visiting my site and reading my posts made me want to take it back, to tell him "No, you can't have this, it's mine and I share it only with my family and friends". I tried solving this problem the wrong way, I kept the things I wanted to share just so I could keep him from living vicariously through this site. Well fuck that. It's my life and I'm going to talk about it. I'm going to talk about cool news on the Y front, about things I find online, about my life and my family and my friends. But first I have to lay this down: Everything I've achieved happened despite my father. I learned to break out of some awful cycles simply because I did not want to end up like him and I did that by doing the exact opposite of what he did. I chose the life I wanted. I made a plan. I stuck with it. I jumped at the opportunities when they presented themselves. I didn't bail when I got bored or frustrated or angry. I kept my promises. When I screw up I do my best to fix it.

That's how you find happiness. It's really quite simple.

And now on to my blog...

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

In case you were wondering why the heck the main page is still showing a blurb about Revenge of the Sith, the site is going through a major overhaul. My server is all mucked up and not letting me publish new pages, I can't get Blogger to help me figure out how to put my blog on the main page and any time I think I've found the right help links or the right Dummies book I only make the situation worse.

Working on it.

Any coding nerds in town willing to make a few bucks? E-mail me!

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

A bit of controversy here in town this week over the new 2010 Olympic logo contest winner. Seems people are all screaming about how being an Inukshuk the design does little to represent BC since the Inuit are in a totally different province. Where are the mountains? Where's the local heritage? Why does it look like a cross between Gumby and Pac Man?

One Inuit wrote in to the local paper to say that the Inukshuk, dubbed "Ilanaaq" meaning friend is actually a symbol for killing, not friendship.

Now I wasn't going to say too much about the goofy new design primarily because as an entrant in the VANOC design contest not only am I biased, it would be ridiculously petty to diss it. Sure the two pieces I submitted incorporated local folklore, the bulk of the games are taking place in Whistler after all and the neighbouring Kwagiutl band (as well as the Haida and numerous other culturally rich bands throughout the province) should be included in the motif, but I also felt my designs could have been stronger and no doubt there'd be dozens of of other entrants with something more powerful to offer. I went in convinced there was no way in hell I'd win but I'd have kicked myself forever if I didn't at least try.

Again, I wasn't going to say much of anything about it... that is until I received this e-mail from VANOC today:

> Dear Vancouver 2010 Olympic Emblem Design Competition Entrant,
> In order to participate in the Design Competition, all participating entrants and designers signed an Intellectual Property Rights and Confidentiality Agreement, which provides that VANOC owns all submitted designs, including designs that are not chosen as the 2010 Olympic Emblem, and requires all entrants and designers to maintain the strict confidentiality of their design and all information regarding their design.
> Design Competition entrants or designers that disclose their designs or information regarding their design are infringing VANOC> '> s exclusive rights in the designs and breaching their obligations under the Intellectual Property Rights and Confidentiality Agreement. Any participation in, or assistance of, such wrongful conduct by the media also constitutes an infringement of VANOC> '> s exclusive rights and other actionable wrongs against VANOC.
> For the vast majority of participants who have upheld this confidentiality agreement, we sincerely thank you. We are very proud of your response to the Emblem Design Competition, and hope that you respect the winning designers and celebrate their success.
> Thank you.

Pretty hasty looking isn't it? I'm sure it was rushed off after seeing the picture of another entrant in the Province newspaper this morning complaining about the new design and how his incorporated local native imagery while the one chosen did not. There was no picture of his submission with the interview, obviously because he was bound by contract not to reveal it but I think it scared VANOC enough to send these badly formatted letters to all the entrants ASAP before it became a PR nightmare once the people started seeing the designs that were passed over popping up all over the place.

I think the part that bugged me was that wonderfully passive aggresive passage: "We... hope that you respect the winning designers and celebrate their success."

Nahh. It's a goofy design, powerful yeah, with it's bold iconic outline and vivid colours (complete with badly tacked on meanings for each hue) but also inappropriate. Like a penguin used to promote Iceland.

Mine wasn't great, I won't say what it was or post the image because I don't want to be sued thanks, but jeez, ya think they could have come up with something better?