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Archive for September, 2010

Blind

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

On my way downtown today I saw a woman on the bus working on a rubik’s cube. She was really good at it. She had obviously been practicing for a long time because she had worn off most of the colour from the cube.

She was blind. I watched her solve it multiple times.

There’s a metaphor in there somewhere. I haven’t put my finger on it yet.

Gemmology

Monday, September 27th, 2010

gemmology homework

My Gemmology course is pretty cool so far. The only problem with it being really sciency is that there’s a lot of memorization, which isn’t really the funnest way to learn but I learned Latin by rote so memorizing formulae and cuts and inclusions and whatever isn’t really a big deal. It’s just not my favourite way to learn.

Apparently after a year of memorization we get to actually apply that information and it becomes useful so I’m looking forward to that.

We’re not supposed to talk too much about the gems we handle in class so as to not attract a lot of attention on the street. It makes for slightly awkward trips home on the Skytrain with classmates.

Well, we haven’t really handled any cool things yet. I have, however, acquired a triplex loupe and thoroughly investigated such things as the woodgrain in the kitchen cupboards, my watch and my thumbnail, which doesn’t look very smooth when magnified 10x.

I have spent much of the day working on assembling these geometric models of different kinds of crystal structures that I now have to memorize. It hasn’t been the most creative of tasks, but I figure I don’t do this sort of arts and crafts stuff enough.

gemmology homework

Long nights, early mornings

Sunday, September 26th, 2010

We picked my sister up from a party the other night. She’s a fun drunk because she’s perky and chatty and repeats herself a lot. Before long you’re finishing her sentences for her and she doesn’t notice. She got sick a couple times and forgot about it so it’s probably better that she didn’t try taking transit home alone.

I haven’t been sleeping well lately. It’s annoying because the time I go to bed has no bearing on whether or not I’ll get a full night’s sleep.

It’s not the same kind of insomnia as usual, where my head is everywhere thinking about everything. It’s a new kind where I just lay there, vacant as nothing happens. The night takes a long time to pass. In the morning I’m awake but tired and unable to sleep in.

This wouldn’t be an issue if I felt fine all the time but apparently I’m no longer invincible. I feel lethargic and dull and all I can do is hope that my mood doesn’t go too south and doesn’t stay there for too long. It’s tidal. It’s a sea change and all I can do is ride it out.

Oh well. At least I have a lot of things to keep myself busy.

Liveblog

Saturday, September 25th, 2010

Liveblog at the Anza

We hosted a fundraising party on Thursday for OpenMedia at the Anza Club. There were DJs, button making, live tweeting, giant youtube videos, live painting and an art raffle. It was a lot of fun.

Riding home was it’s own ordeal. On the Skytrain a tall guy dressed up like a punk announced to everyone in the car that he needed someone to give him some change to buy another six pack of Pabst Blue Ribbon.

He was already quite drunk and beer sloshed out of the can he was holding as he wandered around. He sat down beside a man and attempted to talk him up. He was quite pleasant, though he was too drunk to not repeat himself multiple times and swear a lot. But finally he popped the question and was denied the 20 cents he needed to get “drunk and fucked up.”

He vented his frustration at an ad of Justin Beiber and unleashed a torrent of insults and vitriol at the picture before sitting down behind me. From there, his complaints continued and increased in volume.

It was all I could do to keep myself from laughing.

Liveblog at the Anza

On speech

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

the crab!

I wish I could hyperlink speech. The act of speaking feels very foreign to me. It sounds really stupid to say that because I’ve been talking all my life, but even still… it’s just not the way that I think.

So many times I find myself talking to people and something I say triggers a parallel thought, a tangent or something and I want to share that too. And often I do. I take the conversation all over the place sometimes and when I finally loop back toward what I had been talking about I realize that though it’s connected in my head, people haven’t necessarily been following along.

The way you’re supposed to speak is totally foreign to the way I think. It’s just not the way it plays out in my head. I’ve got a loose web of thoughts in there and then I make connections between them. There’s no narrative in there. Well, there is, but it gets bogged down and convoluted under the weight of the different things that I’m connecting to it. This isn’t a problem until I have to communicate it.

People who know me well know that I have an irritating habit of citing my sources as I’m speaking sometimes. I’ll just plug a name and a date into the middle of what I’m saying, as if people care and as if there’s some sort of reference list appended to the end of my speech. I’m not trying to be pretentious and irritating. Honest to goodness I do it to invite people to go forth and read and research whatever it was that I’d cited, because I probably would if I was in their situation.  I’m that weird.

But you know how it is: those long nights spent reading wikipedia, following link after link after link, until you’re somewhere random and obscure, a journal article that was referenced somewhere, or the official website of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. Or something like that. They have really cool looking priests.

Starchitecture

Sunday, September 19th, 2010

We were driving down the freeway and one of the buildings near a section that we pass through fairly often has been demolished, leaving a huge pile of debris.

Dad: Looks like they’re doing a bit of renovation at the auction house.

Sister: Yeah, now it looks like a Frank Gehry.

Me: Ahahaha

Mom: That was rather astute!

I love these people so, so much. Don’t let me ever tell you differently.

The Big Snit

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

I won’t get into the details about what transpired over the weekend but it caused us to pause and consider the Big Snit:

It is undoubtedly one of the most classic pieces of Canadian film ever.

Lactose-free

Friday, September 10th, 2010

My roommate gave me some ham. I’m not entirely sure why because she’s Jewish, but I’m not one to judge or to pass up free food.

I wish I had taken a picture of the packaging before I got rid of it. It stated that the ham was lactose free. Unlike the other kinds of ham that are just full of lactose. Pork’s secretly a dairy product, you know.

I’m all for truth in advertising, but it’s just ridiculous. It reminds me of how when people became concerned about trans-fats, suddenly everything was marked ‘trans-fat free’ whether it made sense or not. Trans-fats are created through hyrogenation. You find them in baking and snacks. It’s not incorrect to say that a package of frozen broccoli has zero trans-fats, but it also doesn’t make sense. Of course it doesn’t have any! There’s no reason for it to!

I like to think that the average consumer is smarter than that but then I begin to have doubts and I become that much more fearful of the people I pass on the street.

Appropriate reading

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

After my French class ended I had a hard time staying motivated to study because I get bored with grammar, even though I know that it’s important and it helps me understand.

It’s so much more interesting to read books though. I think that grammar is one of those things that you pick up after a while anyways, provided that what you’re reading is correct. I don’t really care about knowing the rules. I just need to be able to use the language properly.

I ran down to the VPL and picked up some books in French. At first I decided to read some young adult novels. There are some with rather attractive covers and they looked like they could be interesting reads.

I was never much interested in children’s literature, even when I was a kid and I spent the shortest possible time I could reading kids and young adult fiction before I moved on to more advanced things. I found the plots of a lot of kids books stupid and boring. Not to mention, I was a really weird kid and I couldn’t relate to a lot of the kids in kids’ novels so I didn’t bother with them.

The level wasn’t that important to me; the content was. I ploughed painfully through many a book that was totally the wrong level for me. The end result though was that I advanced very quickly in reading and I was strangely erudite for my age.

But I remember there was a rule that you were supposed to follow. You were supposed to count on your fingers every time you found a word you didn’t know. If you found more than five on a page then the book was too hard. I totally disregarded this when reading English. I think it’s a good way of holding yourself back unnecessarily.

But when it’s not my language? I need it dumbed down.

Trying to find kid’s books that I’m interested in is a little difficult. The whole genre is new to me, and I still find the majority of kid’s books kind of boring.

I did, however, find a couple of books about some frogs that I find kind of entertaining. My sister’s face lit up when she saw them because apparently she’d read and loved them in their original English. I wouldn’t know. Sometimes I feel like I completely skipped being a kid.

Canning

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

dill

It’s fall! We took a roadtrip out to Chilliwack this weekend to pick up a carload of veggies this weekend and yesterday I spent the day canning with my mom.

Good thing, too! The weather’s starting to turn and it’s getting a little chilly. What better time than to boil the shit out of some fresh vegetables?

We made pickled beets and dill pickles. We do this pretty much every year but it took a long time and a lot of gimpiness for us to get back into the routine of how to do things. Once we have it down though, we’re pretty efficient.

Every year a few things seem to get lost in the shuffle. Somehow during the reorganization of the carport the rings for the gem jars went missing and have yet to be found. We managed.

We’ve had our share of excitement too. At one point in time one of the beets exploded while mom was peeling it, splattering blood all over her shirt and face.

mmm... brine

beets

polish dill