Saturday, July 29, 2006

"i am part of all that i have met"

Today's soundtrack:
Politick SkipMix

I finished Ulysses yesterday. I can't say that it was enjoyable. Well, in parts. Bloom's wanderings and inner dialogue was rich. The characters were incredible. But Joyce made me work. During my summer. When I'm supposed to be working on my thesis. Well, if he's going to be like that, I'll just leave Finnegans Wake off for another year.

The last section gave me the most trouble. No punctuation. Nothing. Just Molly's stream of consciousness. There were some brilliant moments, such as "why cant you kiss a man without going and marrying him first you sometimes love to wildly when you feel that way so nice all over you you cant help yourself I wish some man or other would take me sometime when hes there and kiss me in his arms theres nothing like a kiss long and hot down to your soul that almost paralyses you...". But, as the notes point out in the back, "Molly's monologue is a compendium of old-fashioned sexist clichés about the incurable self-contradictions of womanhood" (1184). While Joyce maybe have been bang-on about the inner monologue of Bloom, he was way off on Molly.

This disappointed me. Slightly. After all, how disappointed can someone be after reading Ulysses? I had already planned to follow Joyce with Atwood's The Penelopiad. In hindsight, I probably should have started this summer with Homer's Odyssey. Regardless, I managed to read it in a day. After the fragmentation and the jarring of Joyce, I felt as though I was one of those insubstantial shades milling about Hades, listening to Penelope. Just wafting back and forth. And my soul felt better after reading it. The life of Penelope, from Penelope's point of view, allowed me to superimpose Atwood's brillance on Joyce's less-than-perfect rendering of Molly, making the final chapter of Ulysses easier to bear. At least someone gets it, I thought to myself.

If you've not read it, read it. If only for Atwood's ability to rip the academic community a new one. I fear accidentally meeting this woman. She's not a gorgon or anything of that sort, but that biting wit and sarcasm would leave me like the twelve maidens - my feet twitching in the air.

But now, it's onto Mrs. Dalloway, who has been oh so patient with me as she waits on that London street.

Friday, July 28, 2006

needing a respite

Today's soundtrack:
If It Was You by Tegan and Sara
"i quietly wait" by Barry Pellett

After coffee with the Gang this afternoon, I got to thinking about something Daniela mentioned. I really do wonder what it will take to get Canadians off their butts and angry about what's going on in the Middle East. Ah, "Middle East". Sorry Mr. Said, but no time for Orientalism right now. If Israel's "accidental" (yes those scare quotes are deliberate Olmert, so take that!) bombing of the UN Observer Post didn't illustrate the absolute reckless destruction the Israelis are inflicting upon Lebanon, then I just don't know what does. It's the UN, for christsakes! We know they're completely impotent without US backing, but damnit man! How about some respect for the international body that created Israel in the first place (well, since the Diaspora)?

In an effort to quell my delicate nerves, I've been listening to Barry's new songs. I'm glad there are no references to vomit, beds, or vomity beds. If such a reference should ever occur, I damn well better get a mention in the liner notes.

The hubbub is starting about Iran all over the place. So much for my respite.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

not as entertaining as civilization, but...

Today's soundtrack:
Estopa by Estopa, but I think it might be time to bring out the anti-Vietnam hippie love machine that is the Woodstock soundtrack.

This man understands more about the Israeli-Lebanon conflict than I do. As does this man.

Sigh. Here, this will make you feel better.

Saturday, July 22, 2006


Today's soundtrack:
If It Was You by Tegan and Sara

I think I've tried to write this post three times now. Words are increasingly useless when it comes to expressing my absolute disgust at the world. Namely Israel, although if the States want to jump in there too, they're more than welcome (N.B. - I am talking about the governments, not the people. The people, I'm sure, are very nice and bake very tasty cookies). Everything that can be said on the subject on the current Lebanon-Israel conflict has been said. Each day the news is more depressing.

Sigh. This whole conflict is leaving me incredibly drained. It's just one thing on top of the other. Afghanistan. Darfur. Iraq. Gaza. Lebanon. Really starting to wonder if bringing more people into this world is a good idea. These wars, famines, and seemingly universal hatred are doing a number on my biological clock.

Top this off with the fact that everyday people seem to like the little wars within their communities, regardless of where they live, and it makes the world a rather miserable place to be, even if it is a beautiful day, 35º in the hammock, and Ulysses in my hand. I can ignore the little wars - those minor displays of intolerance and hatred that appeal to some but just leave me shaking my head - because the larger scale suffering, the absolute intolerance that has taken over the rest of the world, renders anything nagging at me in the back of my head completely silly. Sure there are those out there in the Blogosphere and Beyond than can't really stand me, but in comparison to the suffering of others, I really have nothing to complain about. Well, except the universality of intolerance.

Such a lovely human condition.

Friday, July 14, 2006

the french and their highly suggestive architecture

Today's soundtrack:
Carrera Corta SkipMix

I believe there is only one word to describe this: clitsy.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

a hippie wannabe's ode to sproat lake

Today's soundtrack:
The Eraser by Thom Yorke

It's about 38ºC with the humidity today, which I consider some form of blasphemy. At the very least it's misrepresentation. I was under the illusion that I was in a landlocked province, far from the ocean. Yet, my hair looks like I've been hanging out on the Island. Sigh.

This is not helping my Island-withdrawl. As a remedy, I've taken to wasting time the MEC site. It seems to epitomize everything that is BC. The communistic cooperative mixed with that posh snob appeal. So far, I've found a tent, sleeping bag, and sleeping pad that I can just picture up at the Lake. I keep telling myself that I'll put in this summer of hell (or thesis work - whatever you want to call it) and then next summer I can wander around Spain and the Island. Sort of a delayed gratification thing. Being Catholic (formerly or bitterly, I'm not sure which), I'm not good at delayed gratification. In Sociology 112, we learned that part of the industrial success of Protestant nations was due to the Protestant work ethic, which is based on the concept of delayed gratification. At least it provides me with a good excuse for my complete lack of patience.

Wow, that was an incredibly geeky aside.

Anyhoo, in my mind, I imagine myself waking up at the Lake. Having instant porridge and hot chocolate. Going kayaking before the Lake wakes up. Swimming. Deckslugging. Eating my weight in potato chips. Midnight runs up one of the arms. Sleeping in absolute silence. Wake up and repeat.

As for now, the hammock will suffice.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

the cure for what ails you

Today's soundtrack:
A mediocre thunderstorm (at least from the basement)
Mi sangre by Juanes

Because thinking requires too much effort, here's a nod to linking - to Stephen Colbert's commencement address to Knox something or other to be exact. If only all commencement speeches were as interesting...

Thursday, July 06, 2006

how to be an edwardian lady while watching the world cup

Today's soundtrack:
"Forca" by Nelly Furtado
"Estoy aquí" by Shakira

My dearest Edwardian sisters,

This latest installment has been far too long in coming, gentle readers. Inspiration came to me today as I took in the Portugal-France game this afternoon. I had just finished my coffee which, my dear readers, one should not drink unless they have a strong constitution. The caffeine is simply too much for those of a more delicate nature. While I stood amongst the spectators, I was shocked at the behaviour of the female part of the audience. They simply had no clue how to behave in such a situation. They cheered, they jeered, and they displayed nothing but indelicacy. Sigh. It clearly falls on me to explain how one is to behave while watching the World Cup in the company of men.

1) Be sure to arrive in time to find a seat. Best to sit somewhere near a table so that you can take tea or where you can take out your knitting or needlepoint when the game becomes a tad boring.

2) Do not dress in the garish fashion that some of the men are inclined to pursue. That is, in the team colours of those they will be supporting. It is best to appear impartial, especially if you plan on cheering (silently) for the team your sweetheart's team is playing against. Neutral shades work best in this situation.

3) Never, under any circumstances, cheer for the French.

4) Have your fan ready at all times. The excitement of the game, if it manages to distract you from admiring all of the striking Edwardian gentlemen in the room, may be enough to make you short of breath. As the men will be too deeply engrossed in the game to notice you faint, it is best to fan yourself to stay conscious and to keep your fainting spell when it can be used to greater advantage.

5) It is only acceptable to cheer for Spain if they are playing the French. You are required, however, to make several comments about the Armada and Gibraltar. Should the Spain win the day (this has yet to happen, but if it ever does), a rousing chorus of "Rule Britannia" would not be out of line.

I do hope this helps you, my dear Edwardian sisters, through this trying time of the World Cup. Strength, my dear sisters, as the World Cup is almost over and the attentions of men are about to be returned, rightfully, to us.

Until that time, I remain
your dear Edwardian sister,
the Great Lady K.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

my personal search for the world's most wanted fugitive

Today's soundtrack:
"Vino Tinto" by Estopa
"Don't Need the Sunshine" by Catatonia

He attacks, but we don't know when. Suddenly, we are ambushed and left defenseless. How he got in here, I'll never know. Whether or not he is still alive is a mystery. I have a suspicion that a corpse will be found soon, but Miguelito informs me that the terrorist is still at large and has likely breached all defenses. An Orange Alert has been recommended.

At this point, I would like to declare war on that vile demon that answers to the name of Osama. Below is the closest representation current intelligence can bring us.

People are warned that Osama is armed with a two inch long spear, with which he impales his victim, and a noiseless flight system, with which he slips through all forms of security. It is believed that he is capable of using chemical warfare in the form the West Nile Virus.

A bounty of Mayan Chocolate Häagen Daas has been put on his head.

Please contact the Department of Kate for further details as they develop. We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming...

Monday, July 03, 2006

bit of a bringdown

Today's soundtrack:
One Chord to Another by Sloan
Greatest Hits by Sublime

Was floating from link to link to link off of other people's blogs. Came across this photo essay on the children in Belarus. The ones from Chernobyl.

Why now? Because the Government of Canada has been all keen as of late on nuclear power as the answer to all our oil woes. I know 3 Mile Island and Chernobyl were basically freak accidents, and that nothing really bad has happened for years (that we know of, anyway. Not wanting to sound all conspiracy theorist here, but I saw Erin Brokovich. I know what these executive types are like). Still, I'd like to think there is a better alternative to risking another generation of children anywhere in the world having to live like these kids.

Maybe something mosquito-powered? I bet Manitoba could get behind that.