Monthly Archives: June 2008

Mary, Mary Quite Contrary



Thank you, my garden grows quite well. I have weeded and covered and fussed for a few weeks now and the plants look good. My favourite time is watching the sprouts push themselves up from the soil; a whole row may come up while I’m at work. It makes me want to attempt stop-action photography.

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Something I Avoid when it is my Responsibility

For the last three hours of work yesterday Amanda and I wrote a Valedictorian speech. The biggest surprise was that I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’m actually reasonably funny. This reaffirms my theory that I enjoy writing for others, I don’t enjoy it if the pressure is my own to do the presenting.

Being Ushered (Grudgingly) into the 21st Century

Friday I caved and signed the next three years of my life away. It was about time, I will be dependent on this device away at school but it didn’t really make it much easier. It felt like caving in, like giving up on my principles. I always thought I would try to hold out as long as possible and, in time, be the only person left above the extreme poverty line to own a cell phone. That is true no longer. Say hello to Isadora:

Actually neither are actually Isadora but her friends of different phone ethnicities. She is orange (a nice burnt orange, not tacky) and had me at the cool slide out QWERTY keypad since I am way behind on this texting thing. The plan is decent (Oh, the phone in an LG Rumour on a Solo plan), if not excessive. Good for a student away from home but I don’t see myself using all 2500 text messages monthly.

Happy 16th Birthday, little Brother


16 years ago today, David Michael completed our family. He actually went by David Michael for the first few years of his life which allowed me to have a connected with Kristy from the Baby Sitters’ Club (she had a brother of the same moniker).
Back on track, I have often thought that he was what saved our family from tearing each other apart. From shutting our respective doors and leading our separate lives completely. We could ignore each other but were connected at least through our little bro.

As a kid he was, sorry Dave, whiny and bad tempered. He cried and yelled when he lost at nintendo, he hated having dirty hands and he was terrible at sharing. How that bratty little brother become someone I brag about often, someone exceptionally generous, even-tempered and sweet can’t be our doing; it must just be his nature. From oddly tinkering with wires and scraps of metal he can now take apart almost anything and fix it. He comes up with the most incredibly random projects and can figure out how to complete them. The light bulb that lit in his hand. His custom guitar. A conduit to switch gaming systems with the flick of a switch. Many others that I can’t remember because I never understood them to begin with. He kicks my ass in math without even trying (Only 98% Dave? Where did the other 2 percent go?). He plays the guitar. Behind his head. During his guitar exams.

There is no doubt he will do something worthwhile. I can’t wait to see what it is but either way he will just be my little bro and the great connector in our family.

So much truth in it

While U of Guelph campus can fall into quite a few of these categories one comes to mind especially readily. This may be a result of living in South residence for my first year but the “Neo-Penal” is a perfect fit. How many tales of prison design origin and low ceilings to avoid thrown chairs were whispered to dismayed first years as they gazed on their southern home for the first time. Ah Guelph, a product of the 60s (established 1964).

Shout out the the very relevant (and I’m not even a grad student…yet) phdcomics.com for this image.

365 and a Leap Day

Happy One Year, Mark!

Lies Suck

Even though my degree is in marketing (ugh) I still can’t fathom that a person or company would just outright lie to make me/us buy something. While in London I did some shopping at the Portobello market for some jewelry (lovely 1940s stuff that I promptly forgot in London) and was given the same line by two separate women right away. I bought it grudgingly because I don’t like to assume that anyone could outright lie.

The line was “ok, 15 pounds. That is my cost price, just for you”
Right, just for me, from the special bond we developed as a perused their selection. They lowered the price with almost no provocation but with the “cost price” caveat. How could I argue any lower? They wouldn’t go to cost price so easily; it was a complete lie.

Companies are not immune to this an lately a few campaigns have been irking me. So You Think You Can Dance has lured me back into the TV watching world. The first is Hellman’s. Mayonnaise is joining the real food movement. Real food for dummies. That isn’t fair. But it is playing on the health and going back to organic trend but selling jiggling fat sandwich topper. Not too much natural about that stuff.

Looking at the site it does promote more locally grown foods (choosing local tomatoes over the ones shipped in and wasting fuel, etc.) but where does Hellman’s come from? Where is my locally grown Hellman’s?? Preservatives, shipped across the continent in transports wasting fuel, mmmm, such a great topping for my locally grown tomatoes on rye.

Next: Bounty towels. They have the audacity to tell us that choosing their PAPER towels with the option to choose smaller sheets will save the future. Look out future, I’m using smaller paper towels. If it was about the future then ban paper towels and everyone use something renewable…a cloth dammit! (excuse me, i’m getting into this). This is playing on fears of the future and helping people to feel better by doing dick all. It actually does more harm than good because people can allay their guilt while not helping the environment at all. I’m not perfect in this area but I hate when companies play people for foos. There is a website, I’ll find it. Something about the future.

The Joy of Reading

When reading a book I tend to prefer the first 3/4 of the book over the climax and denouement. The bulk of the book before the crisis builds the characters. It tends to set a rhythm and establish grooves that the characters fit into. To bring the book to a close these balances are disturbed.

Currently the latest book to cause this desire to stop reading and leave the characters in tact, peaceful and, even if not in the best circumstances, content in routine and satisfaction. The book found my interest through Canada Reads 2008, even though it did not come out the winner. Its general premise is taken from Genesis and the story of the flood but little other than the water, animals and names are parallel with the Bible. Another day or two and I”ll give a full assessment.

So Closes my first year as a traveller

This time last year I was preparing my luggage for a week in Bermuda. At 515pm yesterday I was enjoying Chicago by Sufjan Stevens as the wheels of our airplane caressed the runway in Toronto. The air hosts neglected to ask everyone to turn off all electronics or personal music devices and, to me, that was an invitation to land with a soundtrack.

This puts my count of World Heritage sites seen at 9/851. Not that I’m exactly trying to see all World Heritage sites but I can’t add any more Wonders of the World to my list after this trip.

Things accomplished:
1. Vicariously lived the posh Londoner lifestyle staying in the four bedroom flat near the centre with a private garden for the neighbourhood and a porter. Twiggy, former super model, also lets a flat in the building.
2. Rode the Tube with Oyster cards
3. ‘Shopped’ at Harrods. Decided not to buy the Mammoth tusk. Drank tea upstairs and ate clotted cream scones.
4. Tower of London.
5. Tower bridge
6. Roman Baths
7. Stonehenge
8. Changing of the guard
9. Portobello and Camden markets
10. Most free exhibits (British Museum, Natural History Museum, Science Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, and other free stuff)
11. Saw the Magna Carta
12. Cruised the Thames
13. Ate fish and chips in a pub
14. Realized that ‘London Bridge’ isn’t anything to look at. It is Tower Bridge
15. Had a lovely dinner with Mark of all Indian food.
16. Hyde park
17. Generally touristy things

We were generously hosted by family in the city putting us beside a Tube station and within walking distance to Hyde park and other attractions or a short tube ride. London is greener than expected. Everything has a history. It is beautiful at night. You don’t hear much English spoken in the breeding ground for the native tongue.