Thursday, January 26, 2006

Green icebergs. Also, Alexander Pope.

Just googling random stuff when I came across a page on green icebergs. They're found in Antarctica. Cool, no? I love icebergs. They're so beautiful and majestic.

By the way, do you know what I found when I google image searched my name? Oh, nothing much, just an obituary.

"There is a certain majesty in simplicity which is far above all the quaintness of wit." - Alexander Pope.

This makes me despair of ever really writing. How can someone sum up in so little words something I've been struggling for years to express blows me away.

So, in conclusion, this should be fun when I run for public office.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

95 Things I Like

I'd considered compiling a list of 100 Things About Me, as it is seems to be S.O.P. for most bloggers. But you know what? That's way hard. And, to come up with 100 things, I think I'd need to have some stuff up I'd rather leave off the interweb, thankyewverymuch. So I thought I'd make a list of 100 things I like, or that make me happy. And it took me a couple months but I came up with ninety-five. Yes, it's not 100. Consider it Amish. Or a clever reference to the 95 Theses. Whatever.

  1. The smell on people when they come in from the cold
  2. Cinnamon
  3. Nutmeg
  4. Pirates
  5. Merino wool
  6. Walking into a new yarn store
  7. Hershey’s Almond & Toffee chocolate bars
  8. Shakespeare
  9. The sound of my cousin’s laughter
  10. The smell of fresh bread
  11. Unreliable narrators
  12. Ambiguous endings
  13. The flash I get when I understand a new concept
  14. A warm cat on my lap
  15. Weather where you are perfectly comfortable in a t-shirt and jeans
  16. Chai lattes
  17. Frappucinos
  18. Wandering with friends (Melissa, remember the night we saw Spongebob?)
  19. The fact that the Beatles are the #1 band of all time
  20. The smell of a new book
  21. My Denise interchangeable knitting needles
  22. Terrible puns
  23. Ginger
  24. Waking well-rested
  25. Making someone laugh
  26. Being able to ‘read’ knitting
  27. Terry Pratchett’s sense of humour
  28. The concept of all day breakfasts
  29. Space photographs (even when they’re digitally coloured in)
  30. Being able to quote off the top of my head
  31. When someone recognizes that quote
  32. Trivia contests
  33. Libraries
  34. The smell of the rainforest on the Sunshine Coast
  35. Old-school animation
  36. The best sketch comedy show ever, Kids in the Hall
  37. Kittens
  38. The however misguided belief that I might just be a prodigy at piano playing / driftwood sculpture / cricket / composing sonnets, but I just haven’t tried it yet
  39. A cold glass of filtered water with just a few squeezes of lemon or lime juice
  40. Getting mail
  41. The part with Cyd Charisse in Singin’ in the Rain
  42. Abbey Road
  43. T-shirt iron-on transfers
  44. Doing ‘the twist’ and other such dances
  45. Baking (as in cookies)
  46. Hugs
  47. Crisp apples
  48. Homemade pumpkin pie
  49. Flannel sheets
  50. Sourdough toast
  51. Everything bagels with cream cheese
  52. How much music my relatively small iPod can carry
  53. Starbucks toffee nut lattes
  54. Sleeping in freshly-washed sheets
  55. Taking the train, even if it’s just to commute
  56. Discovering a new band / author / TV show / series
  57. Hats
  58. Scarves
  59. T. S. Eliot
  60. Cinnamon buns with lots of icing
  61. A job well done
  62. Starbucks cranberry bliss bars
  63. New socks
  64. Vanier Park in Vancouver
  65. Sitting on the steps of the Vancouver Art Gallery in the sun
  66. Picnics
  67. High-tops
  68. Glue guns
  69. Headphones with volume controls along the cord
  70. Unnatural shades of hair dye
  71. Lip gloss that tastes like candy
  72. Autumnal shades of orange
  73. The Mackenzie King estate as the leaves are changing colours
  74. Free wireless internet
  75. Googly eyes
  76. The magic of blocking lace
  77. The sound of crashing ocean waves
  78. Starbucks and Chapters’ close commercial alliance
  79. Spring green
  80. Craft stores
  81. Cat’s eye frames
  82. Turbulence
  83. Wooden roller coasters
  84. Spinach pizza
  85. Spinach salad
  86. Gelato
  87. The "Rhapsody in Blue" section from Fantasia 2000
  88. Old records and the multitudes of possibilities therein
  89. Hot (as in fresh) samosas
  90. Self-striping sock yarn
  91. Traveling
  92. Ice skating
  93. Old sailing ships
  94. My friends
  95. My family

Friday, January 20, 2006

It's a meme. How original.

4 jobs that you have had in your lifetime
  • Newspaper carrier
  • Camp program counselor (ok, it was volunteer, but I still think of it as a job)
  • Barista
  • Bus-girl
4 movies that you could watch over and over
  • Singin' in the Rain
  • Pirates of the Carribean: Curse of the Black Pearl (OMG. I got a PotC calendar at Zellers today for 50% off! That = $4!)
  • Wayne's World
  • The Princess Bride
4 places that you have lived (in order, omitting most current places of residence)
Omitting current? Who the heck lives in 5 towns in their life? Oh yeah, me.
  • Kingston, Ontario (I may have only been fetal, but they said to omit current)
  • Halifax, Nova Scotia
  • Suburb of Vancouver
  • Other suburb of Vancouver
4 TV shows that you love to watch
  • Lost
  • House
  • The Daily Show
  • The Colbert Report
That's right, CSI. You are SO cut.

4 places that you have been on vacation
  • Drumheller, Alberta
  • Anaheim, California
  • Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo, Mexico
  • Shanghai, Xian and Beijing, China
4 websites that you visit daily
  • Uh, Hotmail?
  • Craftster
  • Knittyboard
4 of your favorite foods
  • Spinach pizza with pine nuts and goat or feta cheese
  • Hershey's Toffee and Almond bars
  • Starbucks flavoured lattes (especially Toffee Nut. Wow. I never made that connection before.)
  • Cinnamon buns
4 places that you would rather be right now
  • On a beach in Ixtapa
  • Vancouver
  • Shanghai
  • Torino
4 bloggers who you are tagging
  • Uh, no one, as I am fairly certain no one except my family reads this

Bite me, Sew Fast Sew Easy

More info here.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Random Act of Kindness

I got the most wonderful RAK* from BubblesTiggy the other day! She PM'd me to let me know it was coming, which was great because then I had the sweet thrill of anticipation. :D And then of course I waited until now to post my gratitude. Thank you, BubblesTiggy!

Oh, and apologies for the not-so-great photos. As always, click to see a larger version. Why, you would, I have no idea, but hey.

From left to right: candy canes, a little pocket-size notebook (perfect timing, as one of my New Year's resolutions is to spend less, so I'm going to write everything down), and handmade stitch markers. These are great because one of my very favourite stitch markers broke the other day, and it's not like I don't lose them easily enough as it is.

She also sent me some Kool-Aid! I'd been hemming and hawing about buying Kool-Aid (see above re: saving $$$). Of course I sweat over $0.59 and think nothing of laying down $40 at Michaels, but that's a different post all together. I didn't get a photo of the Kool-Aid because I might have knocked over my own grandma (not really, Grandma! Love you!) (seriously, I would have) to get to the microwave. This is the yarn while it was drying. It used to be some Patons Kroy in "Blazing Blue".

(There was also an attempt to dye a hat. It didn't work so well. Well, technically I suppose it did. But I don't like it. So you won't see it. So there.)

This is the (dry!) dyed yarn next to the original colour. (Oh yeah. It was only sale for $2.99/ball. I rock.) I think I'm going to use the blue with some white for the Latvian mittens from Handknit Holidays, with the green as the accent colour. Then again all that bright colour may not work. We'll see.
By the way, the quote visible in the background there is: "If you're trying to please everyone, then you're not going to make anything that is honestly yours, I don't think, in the long run." Viggo Mortensen, a very multi-talented and inspiring guy, said it. I found it when I was working my brains out for my last craft fair. It really helped me, so I keep it on my desk to remind me.

Thank you again so much BubblesTiggy! This plus a new episode of House made Tuesday night so worth staying up late to write stupid Cdn. Hist. homework.

*RAK = Random Act of Kindness. You put up a list of what you'd like, send your address to the mod, then if someone feels like sending you something they can. Completely random and no need to reciprocate.

I'm not an election blogger, but...

"The definition of marriage has been in place since Adam and Eve. That's about 6000 years ago, for those who might not be aware."

"This is war, and we need every soldier showing up for duty."

"The only reason a person gets married is for procreation."

"The facts don't count."

-Conservative Party candidate for Ajax-Pickering (Toronto) Rondo Thomas, speaking February 19, 2005. Please watch that video.

via Rick Mercer's blog

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Two FOs

I know, three posts in two days. I told you I had no life.

First, my Tumnus scarf! Yay!

Completely self-designed. I did screw up a bit and could have used a slightly better stitch pattern. Also, I thought the yarn was a bit hairier than it was. Thus this is only v1.0. I'm on a yarn diet right now so I will have to wait to put some mohair along with it, and to maybe replace this yarn with something different of a greater quantity (perhaps Patons Classic Merino in Bright Red). As you can see, it is a reasonable length but I like long scarves.

For those who don't get it, it's based on the scarf Mr. Tumnus the faun wears in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

My second FO, this of a non-knitting variety:
My first film studies paper finished!

I don't want to get kicked out of school so I am only showing you the title page, and don't want to get stalked so have blocked out all important details. I analysed the first 10 shots of a scene, then wrote an analysis on how those shots set the mood and tone for the whole scene. In case you're interested, it's the scene where Lydia drives to the Fawcett farm and discovers...something (dun dun DUN!). Pretty much the grossest scene in the whole movie. I think most audiences today would be grossed out. If you're familiar with the Corinthian in Neil Gaiman's Sandman series, that's pretty much all I need to tell you.

Old and New

Well, here I am back in Ottawa. Just two points of info:

Numero uno: Check out those nifty progress bars! Cool, eh?

Numero dos:

This is - was - Horatio. Excuse the picture. Try to imagine I've blurred it out of respect for the deceased, rather than it being really hard to photograph fish, especially when you didn't know how to turn off the flash yet. This was actually the best photo of him. I liked Horatio because he was pretty and the most active betta in the store. He had two namesakes: Horatio Hornblower and Hamlet's Horatio.
Horatio, October 2005 - December 2005

And yes, I will be getting another. I am thinking of a red one this time. I wanted another Hornblower or Shakespearean name, but couldn't decide. All I could think of were Hamlet, Archie or Bush. But each have their own problems:

Hamlet: I don't think I want to encourage those sort of tendencies, thankyewverymuch.

Archie (Hornblower's friend): Everyone will think he's named after the comic book character, especially if he's red. I could call him by his last name, but that's Kennedy. I am not naming my fish after a president.

Bush (Hornblower's other friend): Ditto. Or sexual slang. No thank you. I would call him by his first name, but that's William (I think). Boring.

But THEN, I was talking to my aunt about this shortlist of names. I explained the origin of Archie as a name and she said, "Oh, I thought you meant Archie from CSI!"


That would be lab tech Archie Johnson, played by Archie Kao.

I think that settles that.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Music-osity, partie deux

It seems to be a recurring theme that these posts occur only when I'm avoiding homework. I think I'm going to skip anything I've analysed before, because otherwise it will be boring. (Hold the snide comments, s.v.p. I'm not holding a gun to your head.)

Did you know the science of music is musicology? Doesn't that sound really fake? Like it's a the profession of a character Tara Reid would play.

Anyway, onwards.

1. 5.49 - Gang of Four
My brother sent me this song. I've never actually listened to it before. The horn or whatever sounds kind of like when I would try to play the clarinet - a bit squeaky.
Hey, you can hear the singer's accent!
Lyrics seem a bit pretentious from what I can make out. I tend to have a personal ban against songs that use the word bourgeois (that is a hard word to spell). So far the only song on the list is that Madonna "Music" song, but you never know. My bans are inflexible. I can't see Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang because of the one against Val Kilmer movies. Hey, it's tough, but these things are instituted for a reason.

2. Let's Go Fly a Kite - from Mary Poppins
Yay! I love this song. It's really ideal as a show tune, and as the ending to a movie. I love the way Dave Tomlinson's (yes, that's his name) voice bounces along. Dick Van Dyke is slightly less awesome due to that accent*, but hey, it's still him. The chorus is lame but you can't avoid it in Disney movies of this era. They're omnipotent. Mostly this song is fun, and fun to sing along to because of the way it "bounces", especially when you are in fact flying a kite.

*Oft-repeated personal fact: I believed Dick Van Dyke was Cockney until I was 14 or so. Despite the poor accent (which, according to Wikipedia, has been voted the worst movie accent of all time); despite having seen him with his American accent; despite Chitty Chitty Bang Bang where his children were English, his father was English, and he lived in England, yet he had no accent. What can I say? I also believed my mother and doctor when they told me vegetables were growing in my ears until about the same time.

3. With a Little Help From My Friends - The Beatles
I never really listened to this song much until I saw it covered by a band (god, I cannot remember their name. How embarassing. They were named after a liquor brand, I remember that) from my high school at a talent show. They were awesome. Fun song. What more can I say? It's the Beatles, with Ringo singing. Go Ringo! I saw him on the Daily Show when his last album came out. Seems like a nice guy. And he is talented. It's like putting Mother Teresa in a room with Jesus, Mohammed and Buddha. What, so her good deeds are nothing next to them?

4. Haven't Seen You in a Long Time - Great Big Sea
Meh. I only have this because it's on Play. Kind of boring. This isn't representative of the band's skillz at all.

5. One of Your Own - Carter Burwell
Another on of those "only because it's on the CD" tracks. This is weird in many ways. OK, it's off the A Knight's Tale soundtrack. It's a sound clip of Paul Bettany's final speech from the movie, you know: "...born a stone's throw from this very stadium, and here before you now. The son of John Thatcher, Sir Wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiilliam Thatcher!!!!!" [crowd goes mild. not a typo] And yes, I just quoted that from memory. I could probably do the whole speech. Anyway. Carter Burwell wrote the score for the movie. What's with the credit? I think they just needed some padding on the soundtrack and decided to throw this on.
Oh yeah, that reminds me I saw an ad for a Paul Bettany/Harrison Ford bank heist movie yesterday. Awesome, no?

6. Falling for the First Time - The Barenaked Ladies
This is the part, were this an actual conversation, that I'd casually let it slip that I saw them in concert recently. Oops, just did! I don't really get this song. Either it has no point, or it's a fiendishly clever one that people who aren't crazily talented can't possibly grasp with their feeble, yellow-sun powered minds. Still a good song - check those vocal harmonies, and non-cheesy tinkling piano, and subtle electric guitar in the background, and oh so many other things. I think it's Ed singing in this song. He's a tiny bit of a fox, actually. Seriously, see them in concert. It is so worth it. But don't throw KD at them. That must hurt.

7. When You Dream - BNL
Hey, another song from the Ladies! I've wanted to talk about this one for a while. This is off Stunt, a very solid disc. I've never read anything about this song, but the subject matter is obvious. The writer is wondering what his newborn son dreams about as he sleeps. It's a very beautiful song, with the perfect accompaniment - quite sleepy and fantastical. Gorgeous, poetic lyrics too. Read them, but more importantly you should listen to the song.

8. Good Rockin' Daddy - Brian Setzer Orchestra
I got into BSO after listening to a double album of two live concerts. There's an unbelievable number of good songs on those two CDs (just to list a few: "Jump, Jive An' Wail", "Rock This Town", Hawaii Five-O theme, James Bond theme, "The Dirty Boogie", "Stray Cat Strut", "Rumble in Brighton", "My Baby Only Cares for Me", and "Hoodoo Voodoo Doll"). There has to be some filler, I guess. It's not that I don't like this song - it's certainly good - just not as great as their other stuff.

9. Thanks That Was Fun - BNL, again
OK, this is getting ridiculous. Anyway. I think this is the video with all those VW bugs. This is a good song, but you know what? It's what someone would write if they were good, but didn't have enough talent to write "The Old Apartment". Wow, that sounds harsher than I meant. I don't understand why songs like this are released as their singles, though. I think this was released to promote Disc One: All Their Greatest Hits 1991-2001, a song which also has songs like "Jane", "Brian Wilson", and "Lovers in a Dangerous Time" on it. Oh yeah, that reminds me. On their holiday tour, which was when I saw them, they played a new song at each venue. So I've heard a new BNL song that you haven't. :P It was goooooood [/Mitch Hedburg].

10. Needle in the Hay - Elliott Smith
Oooooh, this is a good song. It stuck with me when I saw The Royal Tenenbaums (incidentally, that movie improves every time I watch it. Give it a second chance if you didn't like it the first time. I didn't, either). It's from the scene where SPOILER ALERT Luke Wilson's character tries to commit suicide END SPOILER. I thought it was the most powerful scene in the movie, and the only sound is this very minimalist, very very very depressing song. If I'm correct, I think it's only Elliott Smith singing accompanied by a single acoustic guitar. It only gets more depressing when you learn how Elliott Smith died. Amazing song, though.