Archive for May, 2010

The ring

Sunday, May 30th, 2010

look what I made!

Hey, look what I made! It’s sterling silver with apple jade. Please don’t look too hard because there are a million things wrong with it.

Onward, to Fiji

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

We dropped my sister off at the airport this morning. She should be in Fiji in about 10 hours or so, after she does the time warp across the international date line.

My dad doesn’t take airports and goodbyes very well. He spent most of the time sitting off at the edges of whatever terminal we were in. There were no waterworks from any of us though. I gave her my best impersonal lobster hug and sent her off.

I’m not really a fan of airports.


Friday, May 28th, 2010

Things are happening all around me. I feel like a bunch of cards are falling on the table and I’m not sure what they mean yet.

Tomorrow we’re shipping my sister off to Fiji for the summer. She’s going to be working on an archaeological dig there. She’s pretty awesome so I’m going to miss her.

With her blessing I’m going to appropriate her entire wardrobe for the summer so I will look stylish and smell like Old Spice.

Mary-Lee is leaving soon to spend the summer in Quebec. Something tells me that Sachat:


and I are going to be spending a lot of time together.

Wesley’s gone back to school so we’ll probably have a lot of long conversations about Goffman and the moral compass of society or something.

Mye’s trying to get one of her friends to come live with us over the summer and it looks like it might just happen.

I have a whole lot of things to keep me busy this summer, but I’m still looking for work so I can pay my rent. Job searching never seems to be very fun.

This summer is going to be really interesting.


Thursday, May 27th, 2010


Wesley asked me a few times last week if I was interested in playing Risk. I said sure and he called up some other friends to play. It seemed to require a lot of organization and planning to get everyone together.

Yeah, now I remember – the game takes a long time! I got a lot of knitting done and while we were talking I realized how much of a geek the bassist from my roommate’s band is. We spent a lot of time talking about Isaac Asimov stories while everyone else looked on with a bewildered lack of understanding.

Halfway through someone asked if the oven was on because we could all smell burning and we looked out the window to see a huge plume of smoke. The neighbour’s house was on fire.

We went out to watch but we were immediately downwind of the smoke so we went back inside.

Ten hours later I got tired of playing and went kamakaze, attacking everything I could and went to bed. I had a lot of things to do the next day and I didn’t want to be up all night.

Too bad I can never sleep.


Friday, May 21st, 2010

Alright, stop and think for a moment. How many Alka-Seltzer videos have you seen today? That’s exactly what I thought.

I’m going to skip over the exploding bottles that are all over Youtube because they’re kind of boring and easy to find. I found this first one via Just Stuff I Find. It’s Alka-Seltzer in space!

It reminded me of another video that I found via Design Observer of Salvador Dali explaining how Alka-Seltzer works.

After which point I went in search of old commercials on Youtube because Alka-Seltzer had some really great marketing. So now I bring you:

Alka Seltzer vs. hallucinations!

Plop plop, fizz fizz. You catch my dad singing this jingle every once in a while. Advertising works! I’m not so sure about the jingle though. It sounds kind of wrong out of context.


Thursday, May 20th, 2010

Pender and Richards

Wesley has just started a communication degree so we’ve been spending time talking. They seem to have changed the curriculum up a little so while there’s a lot of information that’s the same, there’s some new stuff mixed in to keep it fresh. Some of the stuff is material I haven’t touched in six years and I’m approaching it with new eyes, with much more of a framework for analyzing it. It’s like I’m doing my degree all over again. It’s fun.

We’ve been talking about foreground/background and middleground behaviours lately. The theory goes that people exhibit foreground and background behaviours in a given context. The classic example is a waiter at a restaurant who acts one way in front of guests and another way in the kitchen with the other staff.

But, when in the presence of both groups, most people will act in a way that is a hybrid of the two behaviours. This didn’t necessarily happen very much before but the advent of television brought this background/foreground behaviour into focus for politicians and celebrities, forcing them to inhabit the middle more. Now with sites like facebook, everyone does this.

That’s one thing that’s always made me uncomfortable about facebook. Aside from people I know from high school, my group of friends and acquaintances is very loosely connected and random. I have a lot of different interests so most of my friends don’t know each other at all. It feels really weird to me that they would all see the same information.

I hate inhabiting that middle ground. It just doesn’t feel like me. The middle is what I was trying to escape when I first started blogging around 2000. I needed a place where I could live a little without my guard up.

I don’t like to put a lot of things on facebook. I post photos and really random status updates sometimes, but ironically enough, I’m more open and post far more information about myself here, where there are zero privacy settings. I know that most of the people I have as friends on facebook don’t read, though there is a link on my profile. If people actually care then they’ll seek it out.


Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

I just cut more than a foot and a half off my hair. It was a bit drastic. It was a little more than I was really planning on getting rid of but you know how it is. You cut a bit, realize it’s not straight and then you need to adjust…

It was the first haircut I’ve had in five years. It was a little overdue.

Now my hair feels really short. When your hair is thigh-length like mine was it becomes an extra appendage that you’re constantly maneuvering. When it’s gone you go through all the motions as if it’s still there.

Right now it feels like a weird length but it will grow back.

I’d thought about cutting it for a long time but it wasn’t a high priority for me so thought never translated into action.

It reminds me of a common trope in films where women cut their hair short when they undergo major changes in their lives. I’ve always had really long hair. I have this irrational feeling that since it was a long time coming that I have to make it mean something, that somehow I’m going to be a different person now.

Maybe the short-haired me is really awesome at networking and doing things rather than just thinking about them all the time. Maybe the short-haired me actually knows what she wants to do in life.

Or maybe not. The funny thing is that I feel exactly the same.

Othello again

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

Othello Tunnels

The Kettle Valley Railway is significant for another reason. It’s the route my grandmother took when she first came to Vancouver from the Kootenays.

I thought I’d heard this anecdote somewhere but I’ve spent two days digging through the shelves of Canadian railway history at my parents’ house and I haven’t been able to verify it so perhaps I made it up.

The story goes that sections of the railway were deemed too frightening for passengers because when outside the tunnels, you travel over trestles and bridges that are high above the rapids below. Consequently some of the most scenic parts of the trip were off-limits to the public. Passenger trains would only go through at night when people couldn’t see.

The story follows that my grandmother rode the Kettle Valley Railroad on her way to Vancouver from the Caribou, but she traveled it during the day because it was cheaper. Tough as nails, that woman.

Othello Tunnels


Monday, May 17th, 2010

Abby: People that say we look alike are nuts.

Erin: Yeah, they’re obviously not looking at us at all. I figure it’s got something to do with how you do small talk. It involves having some prerecorded statements and using them at the right time. You see someone’s baby and you press the button that says “oh, she’s beautiful!” or someone says something and then you say “that happens to me sometimes too.”

You meet siblings and you press the button that says “I can see the resemblance.” No observation needed. It’s just small talk. It’s a highly ritualized encounter.

Abby: Yeah, but look at us. We’re not the same. Like we’ve got high foreheads but that’s common in females…

Erin: Your nose is kind of round, kind of like dad’s but toned down a little. See how it’s round and then the nostrils flare out? Mine is straighter and narrower.

Abby: And my mouth is bigger. And our chins –

Erin: Not the same.

Abby: Really?

Mom: But your eyes… There’s something weird going on there because I thought brown was dominant.

Erin: Well that’s true, but you have to remember that each parent has two genes for eye colour, and each one only passes one on, so you had a brown gene and a hazel gene and you didn’t pass the brown on. She got the hazel one and I got grey from dad. But yeah, we don’t look alike at all.

Dad: You kind of look like the mailman.

Erin: I have similar hair to dad though, when it was long. I don’t look like mom at all, even though people say we do.

Abby: I don’t know, your zygomatic processes are kind of the same…

Erin: Ahahaha! I knew you were taking osteology for a reason.


Saturday, May 15th, 2010

near Aggasiz

More photos from the valley.

While we were in the pool at the hot springs Mye had her iphone on hand to keep us updated about the Habs game. I’m not that into hockey but she was really giddy about it since against all odds they were winning.

praying for the Habs

We listened to the game in the car all the way to Hope. It was a bad way for them to find out that the vast majority of BC doesn’t have cell phone reception. The sound kept cutting in and out.

There were only a few minutes left of the game by the time we made it to Hope so we skipped sightseeing and continued on to the Othello Tunnels so they could listen to the end of the game. Habs won. Arm waving ensued.

the Habs win!

Othello Tunnels

The Kettle Valley Railway was insanely expensive and difficult to build because the route passes through two separate mountain ranges. When engineers first encountered the Coquihalla Canyon they decided that it would be impossible to build a railway thorugh it because the rock on either side of the river forms huge vertical cliffs.

They were completely nuts though so they built it anyways, blasting holes through the cliffs so that they could punch the railway through. Underneath, the water races past.

Coquihalla River

For me it was challenging in another way, because my camera doesn’t always deal well with high contrast and I tend to forget to change the settings. I ended up throwing half my pictures out.

Othello Tunnels