i've been memed

miss v has handed off a baton to me in this latest meme. easy blog indeed. or (another) easy excuse to put off drafting scathing memo of malcontent to unsuspecting colleagues.

how many books do i read a year?
too few. maybe around 10.

what is the last book i bought?
my life, bill clinton

what is the last book i read?
alias grace, margaret atwood

5 books that mean a lot to me or that i particularly enjoyed:
quirkyalone, sasha cagen
what the body remembers, shauna singh baldwin
the bush-hater's handbook - a guide to the most appalling presidency of the past 100 years, jack huberman
the clash of fundamentalisms, tariq ali
are you there god? it's me margaret, judy blume

who will i pass this on to?
ok, i'll play ... the only one i know who might relay is adam. bria is busy with more pressing issues in banda aceh, brian has not updated in a year and a half (though the old stuff is still fascinating), and other blogger acquaintances are probably just too cool for meme.

[on a related note, big shout-out to george who recently gifted me with the book i shall next read: the shadow of the sun by ryszard kapuściński]


a little death

hard to stay positive about work and spring-like weather with the stream of morbid news lately. i feel like the planet's been engaged in one big death watch. (reminds me of that summer in 99 when kalpana kept answering the phone "kennedy watch, can i help you?") ...

let's re-cap. poor pope jp. each day his state worsens, while vatican officials dance around the obvious, not having issued a "statement" about his health since march 10th. yesterday, when he missed a really important appointment, thousands of adorable devotees gawking up at the empty balcony gasped en masse. surely, it's almost over.

this formerly famous reverend is in bad shape. so is poor rainer. people are still fascinated with the guy who nailed grace kelly.

and of course, let us all bow our heads in a moment of silence for the death of michael jackson's dignity. it had suffered so long, may it rest in peace.

then, regrettably, there's terry, whose situation has recently inspired prayers from politically neutral places. i've stayed quiet about the knot in my stomach during this case. there seems to be enough emotionally-charged chaos already. in matters of death over life, even those with unwavering values and politics can teeter. but i have always somehow understood - deeply - that the question is not about life or death. it's about choice. i remember being furious with the world for not letting rodriguez die with dignity. and i remember hating latimer for doing what everyone seemed to blithely refer to as mercy killing. now the christian right again flexes its might in the usa, waxing moralistic instead of calmly accepting the truth. besides, michael sciavo said she would have wanted this. and i, for one, would never imagine it my business to challenge that. all i know is that i'm putting my death wishes down in writing. so too should the righteous protesters in florida - it's all passion in the name of jesus until someone gets knocked in the head with a heavy picket sign.


face in the crowd

in the hectic day to day, you constantly brush against hundreds of people, known and unknown. you meet friends of friends, colleagues of friends, friends of colleagues. you encounter clerks and drivers and wait staff. you whirl from meetings to sidewalks to gatherings. the blurry masses exist almost as unnoticable scenery. but every so often, not often, someone comes into focus. someone new who you actually want to spend time with. know that feeling? that person doesn't just turn your head, but incites your attention. suddenly you have the inclination to spend time and energy previously unavailable for new friends or for new anything. the spark ignites a million things to talk about, laughter, insight, wit. because i'm seldom interested in squinting into the blur, it fascinates me when someone does sneak up on me like that. i like that i'm not so closed that it can't happen. but i think i don't want to like anyone new right now. i fear i don't know why. and i fear that i do.


got game?

so caught up in the whole question of how to negotiate access to my own fucking job description, it hadn't really sunk in that c and i kicked ass at pop culture trivial pursuit on saturday night. granted, i was splashing my cosmos around and apparently knocking shit off the table, but i still pulled scott baio out of my ass when it really mattered. oh, it really mattered. especially since daly was trash talking all night - something about a can of whoop ass. our collective knowledge of inane pop culture was more than they could handle, despite the valiant efforts of team masham, who just couldn't catch a break (if only there'd been more questions about the backstreet boys). team sherbrooke ave really took an early lead with such zingers as baby pacman, "cary grant!", pets.com, and the shocking fight club response delivered after just one freeze frame. but it wasn't enough. c won us the game by calmly uttering desperately seeking susan. and it was over. this, even after i'd trumped several of his correct guesses (who knew tori spelling starred in mother, may i sleep with danger? - i'll never doubt him again). all that remains are the spoils of that sweet victory: a third of the tray of tiramisu i'd made, and a bag of this disturbing snack "food", brought by team masham, the styrofoamy contents of which i may fashion into some kind of crafts project.


live to tell

i had quite a visceral reaction to this site. i suppose the rawness of my friday had made me particularly vulnerable (the work situation, though still new, has already de-railed into 'old' terrain, fraught with interpersonal landmines). as i mouse-wheeled down the page, each whisper of a stranger blew straight into my own hollow. i was moved. there's a strange exchange there, where voyeurism meets solidarity. some of the secrets arrest, others soften. but they all compel. and it doesn't matter if they're for real or not. because if someone thought to make one up, then someone somewhere surely lives it. i have secrets of my own. we all do. ones that sneak up and deafen us on the inside. i'm oddly drawn to the notion of confessing in that way. hushedly.


revenge of the virus

not many people can smell their own left ear. tonight, i can. i've been applying medicated drops to mine. this dreaded infection is a quintessential b movie: really bad, sometimes funny, drags on forever. the sequels boom with the obvious tag lines: it's back. it's out for vengeance. and it's pissed off. not sure why this fucker is back. tried to attack it last fall. but it never really cleared up. despite having vexingly reduced hearing in that ear for the better part of six months, i guess i've been in some kind of denial. and this week for no apparent reason, the pain has resurfaced, one that makes me squeal sporadically during an otherwise uneventful workday. one that renders me unable to sleep on my left, and favoured, side.

that i every so often catch a whiff of the putrid drops is perhaps less disturbing than the fact i have admitted so here. this blog thing began as a way to do more personal writing alongside stuff like this. and i thought it would be challenging to express in a forum that is anonymous yet as public as it gets. i purposely do not monitor stats, because honestly, i don't give a good god damn whether anyone's here. really. yet through anecdotal info, i'm equally surprised by who checks this page as who doesn't. i'm read, therefore, i censor. there are things i'd probably like to blather about but don't, like sex, people i hate, shawville mechanics, or true heartachey-lovey-stuff. but i can write about the ear stink? go figure.


let him eat cake

one might wonder what good could possibly come out of performing at a dyke wedding other than the satisfaction of sharing in the joy of two gals joining their lives against all odds. well lucky me, one such gig a few years ago brought me one of these. and he has been giving me oxygen ever since.

this weekend, he marked a milestone birthday. this bday number would drape itself all the fuck over his to-do lists and life evaluations, like a lazy cat. it'd leap in a cartoon arch over his head and chomp through a day dream on the way. or dangle tauntingly from trees like the curtain-wearing kids in that classic film. you get the point. anyhoo, he convened a group here for some jackassry, then was toasted and feted by adoring friends over a feast of his favourite dishes - lovingly prepared by christine, gleefully devoured by us. and i think he got through it relatively well. i just hope he truly got it. my wish is that the love-in snuck some love IN to his heart. no one deserves it more.

ps: no apologies for the slits-for-eyes in this photo - oh so much red wine. so much... Posted by Hello


like a bee

busy is good. busy is distracting. busy is fatiguing, of a new variety. still juggling all those balls. now having to polish those napping time management skills. no problem. i'm a worker bee. is there some weird association between that and the meaning of my name?

i have hit the ground running with the new campaigner gig - they've basically thrown me into a moving car and i'm fred flintstone-ing it onto the road. that i'm paving. now i've gotta drive that bad boy all the way to the end, not off a cliff. everyone seems thrilled that i'm on board, having operated for awhile now without a steward. so i've been collecting reigns and making maps. the only problem i see at this point is a reticence to relinquish the more sexy work. i suppose it would be tough - i can see how much fun they've been having, trying to navigate pop culture and generationally-diverse iconography [you're an 18 year old in campbellton, do you know who june callwood is?]. don't get me wrong, every endorsement is a valuable one. but there were downright fits of glee last night when the nylons confirmed support - i'm not even kidding. my peeps have tried to get jiggy with it, but yeah, i'll be stepping in to blow some shit up.

on a related note, has tom cochrane even released anything in the past ten years? would he even fill half of porter hall?


king pin

this is the guy who commented on the last post. austin is one bad (as in phat) activist and city alder in madison, up for re-election now. i miss him. ask him about the merits of using thick black sharpie to indicate canvass zones on ward maps for hazy volunteers. Posted by Hello

america, the feminist

the snow is so high in front of my house, i couldn't get the car into the driveway just now. had to park on the street and trudge to my door. haven't planted footsteps so deep since a few years back when i was north of 60 around these parts. if i were still a shut-in, it wouldn't matter so much to be snowed in for awhile. but i started a big new shiny campaigner gig today that will take me into town every so often. if the snow continues at this rate, i may have to consider diving out a window to leave. or i could tunnel to the road with my own pee. or with any luck, my handsome snow removal guy will truck over and emancipate me. i really love him.

speaking of piss holes in the snow, america, the feminist, withdrew a proposed amendment to the declaration emerging from this week's beijing + 10 gathering in nyc. intended to re-affirm agendae set in 95, the us wanted to ensure the declaration does not refer to abortion as a right. so it spent more than a week trying to strongarm support for an amendment to that effect, garnering support from only two countries. so the matter was dropped - turns out the document never made that assertion in the first place. just when you thought the bureaucrats and grrls could calmly gather to assess the advancement of women's equality, the us has to show up all macho and sanctimonious, scratching its balls, picking a fight to get everyone's attention. thanks jeezus the story didn't go far, which it could have given the scathingly anti-abortion policies of the bush crew like the gag rule. thank you team dubya for demonstrating yet again what a perversion of freedom and democracy you're trying to ram down the global throat. gag us all.

anyhoo, happy international women's day tomorrow. we should all light candles or wear pins or dispatch e-cards or something profound like that. let me just say this: if beyonce has occasionally struggled with self-worth, as she claims in the moving iwd campaign for l'oreal ... we are all fucked.


pop & circumstance

s came into town for a couple of days and tonight, while we were multi-tasking with dinner prep and watching survivor, he launched into a shock and awe campaign about the audacity of reality television because he's just that intellectual. a sporadic tv-watcher, s was simultaneous aghast and amused by the scrapping, pixelated breasts, and testosterone-y grunting during the reward challenge, which he deemed "offensive". and he just loved that "the tribe has spoken" bit. there was less overt dismay toward the apprentice, though he declined my offer to change the channel.

all of this to say that while i appreciate the ridiculousness of so-called reality tv, i'm unapologetic for watching. i could go all feministy ape-shit about the screamingly stereotyped casting of siliconed ditzes, bossy butch dykes, or penis-envying power suits. it would be easy to get all up in arms about the dumbing down of tv and the deterioration of insightful programming. but i don't. why? thinking people who choose to consume rtv do so with a deep appreciation for irony. and it's not about a noble academic fascination with the disturbing clammor for quick money and 15 minutes of fame and all that. nor is it some kind of high brow examination of how rtv twistedly mirrors a society consumed with image and competition.

even if some rtv moments ARE offensive - someone's asinine behaviour or in the very airing of the shyte - soap boxing about it would put us smarty pantses too close for comfort to the likes of people like this who probably think of tipper as a martyr. so let's just call it a distraction from the real issues that permeate our paid and extra-curricular work. a break from the fatiguing battles we face in the real world.

whatever, i'm just fucking glad celena got the boot from american idol this week.


supreme job

kudos to derek, the shmoopy student at law that just landed an offer to article with none other than the right honourable beverley mclachlin, chief fucking justice of canada. who ever gets such a dream gig?? d: i don't know who you had to go down on, but you musta sent her/him into the stratosphere. or else they quickly saw in you what the rest of us do - a combination of intellect and earnestness that is lethal, in legal contexts or otherwise. congratulations you delicious geek. we're humbled.


air rage

it was 12 hours between the time i walked into the regina airport and slinked out of the ottawa one. the flames of dante's inferno could not burn me as much as today's travel experience has. after being in transit that long, i should fucking arrive with stories about an exotic safari or about how captivating the great barrier reef is. as it turns out, i return home only with irked reports of the obnoxious 'i heart regina' campaign and the proliferation of fucking box stores in regina's east end suburban sprawl-a-thon.

i'm not entirely certain as to where i'm most itching to point the fat finger of blame. air canada is an easy target - it's their plane that delayed us 3.5 hours right off the hop (something about the main aircraft computer simply "not turning on" - comforting). but there were so many other moments of hell throughout the day that together conjure an impressive mound of stinking shyte. note to the gtaa: erect a huge ashtray, replete with putrid ashes and oversized butts - travellers hankering for a puff could just climb right the fuck in there, submerge in the noxiousness, and we'd come out smelling less rank than we do from those hazy glass boxes.

so the sojourn to sask, logistically and emotionally chaotic, is done. dad is recovering well. i parachute back into this so-called life weary and discombobulated, feeling a bit like that fish at the bottom of my parents' aquarium. i noticed him yesterday laying way low, colour and movement lost, dazed. you nestle there, weak in the bedrock, sad friend, while your fellow inmates swirl above you all energetic and hopeful. i sure hope you make it.