Monday, February 25, 2008

vacation from airwave land

I'm handing over the internet cable very shortly, for the week. Here is one last post--an old one that I wrote on my computer but never put up.

I took the day off today as my *weekend.* Since I work both Friday and Sunday, and I need to do readings on Saturday, I realized that I need to do my Nothing At All Without Guilt day earlier in the week. Let's see if this works out (aka feel more like working on Saturday.)

So here was my nice day, which I don't want to end...

12 hours sleep
woke around noon i think
ate homemade bran muffins and baking powder biscuits
watched some things i'd taped off tv, this and that
started a Bond movie
started laundry
looked at new cookbooks, while tv-ing
made Rice Krispie dessert, put to cool in fridge
6-9 PM took a nap with Nombly
half watched High Fidelity on tv, and half cooked
ate pesto & pasta, with mushrooms (new Italian cookbook)
ate huge piece of RK dessert
did internet stuff, mostly sampling and buying music until 5 AM
now i'm sitting in bed listening to my music, and i needed something to do while listening so i'm typing up recipes to blog
maybe i'll read some of Pyongyang (comic book about Nth Korea)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The History of Me: Chapter 1

I've been trying to trace, lately, the origins of Me. Take the veganism for instance--where does that originate? I loved animals as a child, but don't most kids? I watch a reality show about this family with sextuplets and there's one boy who is ALL about the animals. He knows all their names, and teaches them to his brothers and sisters. How does that happen? I mean, this kid's growing up in the same environment as the others.

Is that genetic? Was I born with the Crazy About Animals gene? You'd think we'd have been weeded out thousands of years ago when we refused to eat meat. Maybe that's why I have a genetic *defect* that retains too much iron--it's most prevalent among Celtic people, and you know where veganism started... Britain! ;-) Then again, given a different environment, C.A.A. gene could also make you turn into a hunter.

I didn't have any baby dollies as a child, it had to be Barbies or stuffed animals. I still own my first stuffies: Tiger and Bunbun. Movies like The Fox and the Hounds TORE me up--I don't think I've ever seen it since (though I did have the sheets.) As an adult I absolutely refuse to watch animal movies (I don't care that they're "just actors!" I don't approve of animal acting anyway.) People often ask if I feel healthier since becoming vegetarian/vegan. No--I never noticed a difference. I didn't do it for health reasons, and I don't believe it's "the natural way" for humans to eat, whatever that means. I just felt that, if I'm going to be such an animal sap that I can't even watch The Bear, then it's hypocritical to partake in their suffering.

Our cat Ernie slept in my bed since I was little. We shared the same favourite blanket--Greenie, the blanket my mother and I picked out for daycare. Ernie used to suck on it. (I still have Greenie around here somewhere, since I couldn't keep Ernie forever.) The last summer Ernie was alive I was painting our house, and he would find the closest bit of shade in the yard, to where I was working; and when I moved up onto the verandah roof, he went indoors, went upstairs to a bedroom, and sat in the window nearest where I was working. Did Ernie make me a vegan?

Maybe there are other factors that have to be present to get us from Animal Loving Child to Vegan. I have very moral parents. My mother taught me to make the connection between my morals and my purchasing power. I think I internalized the idea of integrity from my father--that you have to decide what your core values are, and then attempt to bring the rest of your life into line with it.

1. Animalness in the genes. I also have a rock solid constitution--I can digest anything.
2. there always being a cat or two in the house (probably my mother's influence)
3. one of those cats turning out to be The Great Ernie (chance or Divine Providence--you pick ;-) )
4. the Parental Moral Lessons
5. Church (father's influence) where for 7 years I kept the Jewish food laws (more mental connections between morality and how you live your practical life)
6. a presentation on cattle auctions in a university ethics course
--> here we've reached vegetarianism, with vegan as the long term goal
(About 10-12 years now.)
7. working with Vegan Boy the Tom Cruise Lookalike at work, who was the personal touch I needed to push me over the line
--> veganism
(About 6 years now.)

Hmm. Interesting. Join us next time for "My Attraction to the 1920s." Did it start with Once Upon a Time in America? Or Johnny Dangerously? Find out in the next exciting episode!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Plans Plans

I have a Daring New Plan. When spring break comes, in about a week, I'm going to give my internet cable to my brother. I won't have any grading that week... it'll just be me and the MA essay. The TV I can handle.

I should probably hand over the cookbooks too, but I'm not a masochist. Today I made incredible peanut butter cookies. Now off to make mushroom soup.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

don't boil the bunny

My American Friend read that I would be alone on Valentine's Day, so she called me and we had a good conversation about racial politics. I can't complain too much about my life when I have such fromantic (friend-romantic... I just made it up) and consciousness-raised friends. What more could a girl ask for? (And she was paying long distance too!)

The Husband called later. In his honour, here's a list I made yesterday.


For Valentine's Day: 10 Songs That Remind Me of Fernando, in Chronological Order

(Couldn't bring it down to 5, not after 9 years of marriage, 14 years of relationship, and close on 20 years of friendship.)

Over My Head - Fleetwood Mac

This is how I felt when I was still in the crush stage. That nice, bippy feeling. There was no question of dating--I saw very little of him, and it tended to be in waves. In between the waves I'd hear almost nothing from him, and so I'd put him out of my mind and look around for someone else to have a crush on. From about age 15 til my early 20s, this was it.

"You can take me to Paradise
And then again you can be cold as ice
I'm over my head
But it sure feels nice"


Dinner With Gershwin - Donna Summer

This is the Intellectual's Love Song. So of course I identified.

"I wanna have dinner with Gershwin
I wanna watch Rembrandt sketch
I wanna talk theory with Curie
I wanna get next to you.

(OMG go watch the video it's so bad! I'd never seen it. Hilarious.)

Maybe Love Will Change Your Mind - Stevie Nicks

"I'm beside myself
Cause I don't know and you won't tell"

Stevie put out this awful album in the 90s (even she admits it, she was totally wasted) except for this one song. They played it on the radio the summer I realized I was in love with F., but it didn't look like it was going to Happen.

I almost never listen to this song because it perfectly recalls how desperately sad I was. If he hadn't come around I would have ended the friendship, cause it was too painful.


Night in My Veins - The Pretenders

Once he DID give in, the soundtrack took a sharp turn. It was a mixture of simple, innocent Christine McVie and Joan Armatrading love songs -- and this one... which was also on the radio that summer.


Guzophela - Zap Mama

There's a couple artists that remind me of F, because he likes them--Phil Collins, Enya. But Zap Mama is one of the bands we watched together at the Jazz Fest that summer when he finally came to his senses.


"You Were Always On My Mind" - The Pet Shop Boys
(my favourite version--love the old codger in the video)

Yes that's me, the neglectful spouse. This song is horribly accurate in parts.

"If I made you feel second best
I'm so sorry I was blind
You were always on my mind"


Twelfth of Never - Dolly Parton & Keith Urban

I may be the Neglectful Spouse, but my feelings haven't once wavered! ;-)

"I'll love you til the poets run out of rhyme
Until the 12th of never, and that's a long long time"


Songbird - Fleetwood Mac

I find it depressing to think that you could at one point in your life feel so much love for someone, and then to one day just not feel that anymore. The thought of Fernando and I feeling that way towards each other is bone chilling. I think that's the underlying thought when I listen to this song.

That Christine McVie... good lyric writer. No syrup.

"To you--I'll give the world
To you--I'll never be cold
Cause I know that when I'm with you it's alright
I know it's right
And the songbirds keep singing like they know the score
And I love, I love you, I love you like never before"


Upside Down - Jack Johnson

When this Curious George song/video came out, it immediately made me think of Fernando. That's him all over--curious, trouble making, full of love. It's the closest I can come to expressing why he's the most special person I've ever known.

"I want to turn the whole thing upside down
I'll find the things they say just can't be found
I'll share this love I've found with everyone"


My Love is Your Love - Whitney Houston (written by Wyclef)

It took a years to come across a song that I felt expressed our relationship. Fernando and I aren't very melodramatic, which rules out about 98% of love songs. Leave it to Wyclef to come up with a song that puts strong emotion into a soufflé package. It's Melodrama done deadpan.

If tomorrow is Judgment Day and I'm standing on the front line
And the Lord asks me what I did with my life, I will say
I spent it with you

If I wake up in World War III, I see destruction and poverty
And I feel like I wanna go home
It's okay, if you're coming with me

If I lose my fame and fortune, and I'm homeless on the streets
And I'm sleeping in Grand Central Station
It's okay, if you're sleeping with me

As the years they pass us by, we stay young through each others' eyes
And no matter how old we get
It's okay, as long as I've got you babe

If I should die this very day
Don't cry cause on Earth we wasn't meant to stay
And no matter what the people say
I'll be waiting for you after the Judgment Day

Cause your love is my love
And my love is your love
It would take an eternity to break us
And the chains of Amistad couldn't hold us

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

top 5 fernandos

Shnoogling with Babzeus and eating Rice Krispie treats and watching High Fidelity. She prefers shnoogling with Fernando, really... I'm a poor second.

I saw High Fidelity years ago, but my friend's recording had reeeeally low sound. I love it when he's reorganizing his album collection. "Chronological?" "No." "...Not alphabetical." "No." "Then what?" "Autobiographical. If I want to listen to Landslide I have to remember that I bought the album for someone in 1983 and then never gave it to them for personal reasons." When I was looking for a job 12 years ago, my intention was to only apply to book stores and record stores first--I would apply to every single one in town, before moving down the list to crappier retail jobs. But I got two Coles offers after about a week of searching, and that was that.

They keep having random "top 5 lists" in this movie. Let me try one. Top 5 things I like about Fernando, at the moment. No particular order.

5. That he has an almost photographic memory, combined with listening to my music collection. It's quite amusing when he walks past in the apartment singing "...coin-operated boy..."

4. If I randomly start singing a song about one of the cats--as I am wont to do--he immediately joins in. "...coin operated Nombs..."

3. He loves cats as much as I do. Even Evil Haley.

2. That he loves romance movies.

1. Laughing with him at Blackadder episodes. Actually, I like watching his reactions to any movie or tv show, because he shows every emotion on his face. Often I look over at him during a really good part in a movie.

Monday, February 11, 2008

death by self-pity, in snowbank

I'm starting to hit all time lows. Today I spilled juice down the inside of the fridge door, and I almost had a breakdown. All that saved me is that I'd just made pancakes, and was able to sit down with pancakes and Blackadder.

My nervous system seems to know that we're nearing the end of school, and it's breaking down early.

I feel like walking into a really tall snow bank and Ending It All in a very melodramatic and suitably Canadian manner.

It's strange to be school-exploding when the end is so near... 9 weeks left (and then some grading, but that's okay.)

It's not even a lot of school work that I'm complaining about. It's not the amount of work, it's the Annoyance With All Things Learned. Even reading these articles for the class I TA... it's just gotten exhausting. I remember when I finished my BA in English, the main thing I felt was: I am sick and tired of reading what other people tell me to read. The first book I read after graduating was the latest Judith Krantz novel about models at Paris Fashion Week.

Ah! Ah! Ah! Ah!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Get to work!

Now that the TAing and grading has begun, the procrastination should slowly ease up. Now that there are deadlines in my life again. When you procrastinate, you're not actually enjoying whatever your doing... so it's all very depressing. I feel better when I work. But that doesn't actually make me work. Sigh. SCHOOL MUST END!

Valentine's Day

Fernando will be in Calgary when Val Day hits. We don't do anything for that holiday anyway, though one year I was yearning for a big fluffy ape at the mall where I worked, and he bought me that... I named him Farley after Farley Mowat.

But now that our generation is starting to hit the Divorce Stage, we figure we should put a little more effort into Le Being Romantic. So I made chocolate cupcakes in my new heart shaped cupcake pans from dollar store. Very cute.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Oh school, how do I hate thee

I'm so mad about being in school by now, I've almost become homicidal. I've just become Resentful. Oh well, experience has taught me that it will fly by, just as the last 4.5 years have. Sigh. At least now that conferences have started my school plate is fuller, which will help put the boot to my butt. Definitely proof super positive that my metabolism wasn't meant to get a PhD. Blech! I keep dreaming of my next story, and coming up with new plot bits.

Today I'm feelin' alright though. I got all showered and dressed and took the bus down to the 211 and then said--what the! I'm canceling my conferences! So I'm back home. Going to change into dry pajamas and make hot chocolate and grade.

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