Sunday, December 23, 2007

news from the rock.

Today's soundtrack:
Goldeneye, Die Hard and Die Hard 2, because nothing says Christmas like seeing people get blown up.

Things of recent note:

1) The lace scarf project is an abject failure, but I maintain it wasn't my fault. Well, not entirely my fault. I messed up a row, started to frog it, and then realised that the little mohairs had rapped themselves around other little mohairs, creating little mohair balls of destruction. After I pulled so hard the yarn snapped in half, I dumped the remaining six inches of lovely lacework in the garbage. So much for that.

2) But onto newer and better things, or at least bigger. The Laura and Craig Afghan (version 2.0) is in the works. I've taken a cue from Alison the Knitsmith and am making a giant mitered square afghan. Each square (of the 9 I'm making) is about two feet square, so it should make for a decent replacement of the trapezoidal monstrosity that is currently gracing the papasan chair. I'm on Square No. 2 at the moment and, after buying more wool today (apparently I'm a wool optimist - I always think I have enough for a project, but that's rarely the case), I should be finished 1/3 of the afghan before I get back to Saskatoon.

3) It snowed last night. This is no scoffing matter, you Saskatchistanis! There was at least 3 or 4 inches out there first thing in the morning. Of course, by noon it had turned to slush and, by evening, ice, which gives the last minute driving to the shopping mall to buy yet another gift that extra kick of adrenaline. Hopefully La Niña drops some more snow on for Christmas. I would like a Rockwell Christmas for a change.

4) Miguel is in Spain where he is teaching the locals that life doesn't have to end when it's -7ºC outside. Perhaps if I blog-guilt him, he'll provide a much needed update. Prod, prod, prod. Also, after having a long conversation with the Spaniard at Starbucks this afternoon, I've come to the conclusion that only 3 people in this city speak Spanish and I know all of them. Therefore, I can swear like a caminero all I want. Woot!

Thursday, December 06, 2007


Today's soundtrack:
"As I Rise" by the Decemberists

So how excited was I to come home to a parcel from kitknit? Not only did the wonderful Kathrene send my wool (which is all kinds of lovely), but she also sent along two magazines and sample wool wash. Apparently, she seems to think my order was somehow delayed, and while there was some glitchiness with the site, it was the fault of the credit card company. In sum, kitknit seems to be very gungho to reverse the stereotype that all lys are full of nasty women with many cats.

Now seems as good a time as any to fill you all in on the upcoming knitting projects.

1) The Branched Out scarf from Aunt Jude had two skeins of M+K mohair that she didn't want to use, so I've inherited them. Plus, it's an excuse to learn how to make lace. Oh, just saying that makes me feel all Jane Austen-y.

2) A Ravenclaw scarf from Charmed Knits. I'm going to use near the same pattern, minus the colour changes, for Miguel's Real Prairie Winter Scarf (out of Garnstudio Eskimo).

3) Ravenclaw mittens from Charmed Knits as well. I'm going to add a dummy string onto it, but I have to learn how to crochet first.

4) Currently, I'm working on top secret Christmas projects. Until after the holidays, this is all you get:

I'm still way below the yearly average costs for a knitter (they spend around $500, apparently. I do not, mainly because I like to eat), so I feel completely guilt-free about the stash... even if it is beginning to overflow the basket that was originally bought to house the afghan Nana made me.

Friday, November 30, 2007

without further ado...

Today's soundtrack:
General Hospital

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you "Two Russians on a Bridge".

Thank you, that is all.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

righteous indignation, folks.

Today's soundtrack:
In Rainbows by Radiohead

BAH! I can't take it anymore! Give me back my Jon!

Other notes of note:

1) I have finished my legwarmers. They warm my legs, which I like. They were finished before it hit -20º, which I also like. In fact, I've finished almost all my knitting. That giant never-ending afghan? Done. Legwarmers? Done. Christmas presents? Almost done. I've had to order more wool so that my stash basket doesn't go into severe withdrawl. Next up on the block is a decent wool scarf out of Eskimo Garnstudio for Miguel that can withstand a prairie winter (I'm talking a 57 CO stitch kind of scarf. I'll leave you knitwits to quiver with delight). Also, I'm planning on indulging my inner geek and knitting a proper Ravenclaw scarf. And matching mittens. To those of you who know what that means, rest assured that you will probably never date.

2) The semester is almost over and all I have to show for it is my ever-increasing tolerance for alcohol.

3) I don't really have a third point, but having just two points in a list looks silly. So, I guess I'll write GO RIDERS! but the moment for that has somewhat passed. I did watch the game, phoning Nanaimo repeatedly to mock the parents.

Yes, it would seem like life is going well, but without Jon, there is no meaning. There is only the vast, white, lifeless, desolate hinterland of Saskatchistan.

Give me back my Jon!

Friday, October 26, 2007

hear ye, hear ye!

Today's soundtrack:
"Good Man" by Josh Ritter
"Ain't No Reason" by Brett Dennen

There is something both white and fluffy falling from the sky (please insert your best Lohan/Hilton cocaine joke here). Didn't I say that it always snows before Halloween? Naturally, the Snow Gods pick the day that my sinuses decide to become demonic little snot hoarding bastards to bring in winter. Well, it's not sticking yet, so I can hold out hope for at least a few more days of fall.

Nope, now it's sticking. CURSE YOU, SNOW GODS! Even the flag on Thorvaldson is flying at half-mast, clearly in morning for the fall. Well, I guess this means that it's winter. Time to break out the Christmas tree and my Nutcracker recording. And the rum.

At least my convocation pictures will have a snowy backdrop. And really, what's more Saskatchistani than that!

Now, if you'll excuse me, I really need to finish my legwarmers.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

grad students: mean girls without bulima

Today's soundtrack:
"Knock 'Em Out" by Lily Allen
"See the World" by Gomez

After a week of the blahs, in which our heroine could not see over the pile of work sitting on her desk, she was just starting to feel better after having written nothing short of a kickass presentation, when her legs were knocked out from under her again. The dear Spaniard did a wonderful job of assuring our heroine that crushing self-doubt is part of the human condition. This, of course, got our dear heroine thinking. She has come to a conclusion.

Grad students are horrifically insecure people. Paranoid that they might not be smart enough, they constantly seek recognition and validation from profs, conferences, and (commonly) fellow insecure grad students. Their actions can take the form of preening, name-dropping, grade-snooping, shots-of-espresso-per-hour graphs, workload kvetching, funding hinting, hours of study to sleep ratios, and (infrequently) brown-nosing. Rather than retreating inward, grad students normally brood over ways to destroy the fledging self-esteem, in one of the aforementioned ways, of other grad students, thereby transfering any self-esteem to the insecure grad student.

In fact, the only group of people more insecure than grad students are models. Apparently, the main difference between grad students and models is the development of an eating disorder.

Now, not all grad students lash out in such high school ways. Roughly 10% of the grad student population deal with their academic insecurity the healthy way - by drinking their weekends away at the Yard. See you at the next meeting. I'll buy the first pitcher.

Friday, September 14, 2007


Today's soundtrack:
Hair In My Eyes Like A Highland Steer by Corb Lund
Dummy by Portishead

Environment Canada just issued a warning for the City of Saskatoon. A frost warning. For the 13th of September. Has no one told the winter gods that the equinox is still 7 days away? I still have a week of summer, people! Global warming be damned!

Kate stomps home, picks up her knitting needles and frantically tries to finish her legwarmers before the frostbite sets in.

Monday, September 10, 2007

they're back, they're little, and they move in herds

Today's soundtrack:
La nozze di Figaro by Mozart.

Their return was as inevitable as Britney Spears bombing on the VMAs last night (ooh, terrible parallel, but I stand by it): undergrads. They are everywhere. Halls, library, in line ahead of me at STM. Mainly, they're just in my way. I'm considering investing in a cattle prod for those particularly nasty brats that stand in a massive group in the entrance to the Arts Tower, texting their friends that are standing right beside them.

Which, of course, brings me to texting. What is the point? You have a cellphone, so why not call whoever it is that you want to talk to? If you want to write, email! What damned undergrad came up with the idea of quasi-emailing on a cellphone that was invented to make phone calls? Completely bizarre.

I realize that I only need to wait for September to end and the student population will thin out substantially. But until then, the cattle prod!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

embracing my inner grace kelly

Today's soundtrack:
"Grace Kelly" by MIKA
"I Don't Feel Like Dancing" by Scissor Sisters

Yes, I have been hopelessly remiss in my blogging duties, but I have it on good authority that all of you have been much too busy with exciting lives of your own to really be concerned. Brief summer summary: spent two months in Nanaimo, went to my sister's wedding, and furthered my deck-slugging studies at the University of Sproat Lake. That about sums it up. As you can see, it was an action-packed summer without a moment of spare time.

While in Nanaimo, I came across this ever-so-retro-but-new bike (and then proceeded to ride it around the store) and decided I would take it as a sign if the same bike was still available at the Sport Chek in Saskatoon. And voila! My new bike. It only has one speed, which I began to worry about as I started to ride up the Broadway Bridge. And although I was sucking air by the time I hit Broadway, I still made it (with a headwind, I'll have you know). I really think that a baguette hanging out of the basket would complete the look, so I'll be making a pilgrimage to Bulk Cheese tomorrow (mmm... manchego...). I figure the cardio workout I'll get riding the bike offsets all fat/calories (aka "the good stuff") that I'll get from all the chesse (mmm... manchego...). Besides, can't you just imagine Grace Kelly pedalling around New Haven on this bike (although, maybe not with a baguette)?

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

island time

Today's soundtrack:
Fireflies by Faith Hill
Live Like You Were Dying by Tim McGraw

Today was the Great Northern Trek of 2007 as Mom and I drove up island to pick Dad up at Coal Harbour. More importantly, however, it was a chance for me to see a part of the world that I'd not revisited since we moved away on my 7th birthday. I didn't recognise a fair bit of the journey, even this view from a rest stop at Eve River that Mom insists we usually stopped at (as it had one of the best kept portapotties north of Campbell River), but there was a very familiar dip in the road just past the Telegraph Cove turnoff (the Cove itself has been ruined and should be avoided at all costs), followed by a blue bridge over the Nimpkish River. Now that I remembered! Just about jumped out of my seat with joy when I realised that this is the very river I've had nightmares about crossing.

Once we got into Port McNeill, though, I could still find my way around. This is our house, which still looks fantastic after 20 or so years. Because there's been a lot of development in town, the alder trees that were across the street have all been taken down and the lots built on. That being said, the town is still very much a town and the Cicely, Alaska feeling you get while driving around is still there.

But this is the painful part. Because the land has been cleared and built, the alder trees we used to look out on have been replaced with an absolutely amazing view. View part one:

And view part two:

Yes, those are the Coast Mountains across the Strait that you're seeing in the distance. The islands inbetween are part of the Broughton Archipelago. Now, this was on a sunny day. Picture it with fog, or rain, or just plain overcast, and that's how Port McNeill looks the majority of the time. Foghorn in the distance. Sigh. I'm actually quite nostalgic for the foghorn, sideways rain, and the thriving metropolis of 2,623.

Seeing the North Island again, it's become painfully clear that Nanaimo is becoming more pretentious and Mainlandesque, and that the real idea of "Island time" and "Island living" starts when you pass Campbell River. It is absolute wilderness up there and once you pass Sayward (with the motorcycle on the guywire between the trees), it feels even more like the end of the earth. Yet for all the isolation, there is nothing scary or alarming about it. In fact, as soon as we passed Sayward, Mom got a big smile on her face and said that she always felt that once she got to this point on the trip, she was almost home. Of course, it's another 2 hours to Port McNeill, but maybe that's just Island time.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

measuring procrastination in metres, as god intended

Today's soundtrack:
Back to Black by Amy Winehouse

Admittedly, the knitting is getting out of control. First, it was the odd trip to Michaels for yarn. But then the yarn at Michaels wasn't nice enough. Enter the Wool Emporium. But then they moved beyond easy cycling distance. I was beside myself. Where, oh where will I get my next yarn fix from?

Ahh... Ram Wools... the best (and probably only) thing that I know out of Winnipeg. Just look what came in the mail for me today:

I'm going to make the fingerless gloves from the Weekend Knitting book I picked up a few weeks ago. The wool is pretty soft. Miguelito and I were rubbing it against our faces for the scratchiness test. It passed.

Of course, the fact that the Mission Falls wool was on sale justified my splurge on Fleece Artist:

Oh how fancy! The wool isn't even in a skein like the others in my stash (which is now overwhelming my large knitting basket). And hand-dyed! The only redeeming feature of this indulgence is that the company is based out of Nova Scotia. Once I fully master the double-pointed needles, I'll be making a lovely pair of Saskatoon-winter worthy legwarmers. Yeah 1980s!

All that being said, I am still working on my 72" square afghan for our bed. I'm about halfway done, but at this rate, it'll take me until the winter before all the panels are sewn together. But now the wool I'm using seems somewhat boring and plain. Sigh. It must be finished. My growing OCD demands it. As for now, it remains in an ever-moving pile of panels.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

and now back to your regular scheduled programming

Today's soundtrack:
The Joshua Tree by U2

Just a quick note that the other half of the Edwardian Sisterhood (est. 2003 in Florence, Italy at a hatstand) now has a blog!

I should update. I know. Something about horchatas in Valencia. My facebook page is up-to-date, but the blog suffers. Not for much longer, though. I have to write the other half of my Sterne paper, then back to business (re: procrastination) as usual.

Of course, the whole lack of updating could really just be a symptom of my quasi-hibernation which seems to have re-erupted in time for summer. My avoidance of people in the real world has translated into avoidance of people in the internet world.

But back to Arrested Development.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

i guess it's spring now

Today's soundtrack:
A Reminder by Fiest

Within 24 hours of being back in Saskatoon, I was bit by a mosquito. And this was one determined mosquito. I was longsleeved and panted up, so the little bugger had to go for my left index finger. Big bugger, too. Definately Manitoba-sized.

And in a completely unrelated matter, para mis amigos que estan todavía en España:

Saturday, May 12, 2007


Today's soundtrack:
the random Radiohead mix at the local internet spot.

Well, today is my last in Spain. It's a shame I haven't had more time to update the almighty blog (because I know each and everyone of you is hanging on every typed word), but every day has been filled with wandering the metro, avoiding dog... poop, and acting like a complete guiri.

Went to Las Ventas with Miguelito and Miguelon (yeah, you try keeping them straight) on Wednesday. The ceremony of it all was impressive. The moment of slaughter was not. It was just sad, to be honest. But I loved every other aspect of the bullfight so much that I seem to have repressed my inner-PETA person. Well, at least for now.

Favourite Spain moment so far is as follows:

We (Nacho, Miguelito y yo) were walking back from the Palacio Real to KM 0 (in order to meet Salva, Susana y Marta for an etypical espanish night) and passed a statue of Larra (1809-1837). The dates made it clear he died at 28 (or 29. My math skills are now notoriously awful. Terrible, terrible). I mentioned to mis hombres that Larra died rather young.

"He committed suicide," Miguelito explained.
"He was a Romantic."

It made my heart sparkle. Es un poco de humor de empollón, pero bueno.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

a spanish update, but not in spanish

So we've spent the past week not doing too much. Miguel has been taking me around to visit friends and family, but so far no extreme shopping. That will all change this afternoon, however. The Dutch Girls (hereafter, DGs) are in town and want to ir a compras. Well, who am I to argue? Poor Miguel - out-estrogened again.

I'm having difficulty finding something witty to write as not a lot has happened yet. We're having a very relaxed vacation - maybe even too relaxed. I think we're heading to Alcalá tomorrow to see Cervantes' house (pero no es). I think we're going to get to Segovia sometime this week as well in order to see the cathedral, but there's nothing in those frescos but a bunch of sausages (jaja).

En fin, time to find comida (I think I've spent this whole time eating) with the DGs.

Oh, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM! I'll try to phone tomorrow.. or tonight.. these time changes are destroying my already weak math skills.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

friday the 13th

Today's soundtrack:
Proxima Estacion: Esperanza by Manu Chao

On Friday afternoon, I defended my thesis. They weren't the most terrifying two hours of my life, but they were definitely the most intense. I know that the ritual is to go out and drink all night after one of these things, but I was left so mentally and emotionally drained that all I could do was come home and watch Apollo 13 with Miguelito, Mom and (surprise!) Laura. Saturday was the first day in a long time that I felt actually relaxed. Mom said she hadn't seen me so at ease since I started grad school. I don't quite know what that says about grad school.

Mom and Laura are on their way to the airport at the moment and I'm looking at a stack of eight or so first-year papers that need to be graded this week. I have some minor revisions to do on my thesis, but it feels as though all the stress and anxiety is gone. A few more formalities and I'm off to Spain for my first vacation in three years without a thesis hanging around my neck.

Monday, April 09, 2007

all hail the mighty ipod shuffle function!

Today's soundtrack:
Amar es Combatir de Maná

Since Eolan has publicly shamed me into updating, I offer you this. And this is all you're going to get. I defend at the end of this week (on Friday the 13th, no less), so the mere fact that I am blogging should be seen as nothing less than extraordinary.

So I came across this on my knitting blog travels and decided that if I did a post about my iPod, Eolan might get off of my back. So here it is. Feel free to copy and paste it into your blog.

Directions: If your life was a movie, what would the soundtrack be?

1. Open your mp3 library
2. Put it on shuffle.
3. Press Play.
4. For every question, type the song that’s playing.
5. When you go to a new question, press the Next button.
6. Don’t lie and try to pretend you’re cool.
7. Don’t skip songs.

My Movie:

1. Opening credits: "Barhopper 1" by Kid Koala
2. Waking up: "It Ain't Me, Babe" by Bob Dylan
3. First day of school: "Happiness" by Grant Lee Buffalo
4. Fight song: "Shut Up" by Black Eyed Peas
5. Breaking up: "I Got You (I Feel Good)" by James Brown
6. Happiness: "Born a Girl" by Manic Street Preachers
7. Life’s okay: "Hella Good" by No Doubt
8. Mental breakdown: "Eldorado 1997" by Manu Chao
9. Driving: "Reminder" by Radiohead
10. Flashback: "Look What You've Done" by Jet
11. Getting back together: "I Am Aglow" by Sarah Harmer
12. Wedding song: "Way Over Yonder" by Carole King
13. Birth of first child: "Mourning Air" by Portishead
14. Final battle scene: "Eight Easy Steps" by Alanis Morissette
15. Death scene: "Song for the Dumped" by Ben Folds Five
16. Funeral song: "Tangerine" by Moist
17. End credits: "Deeper Than Beauty" by Sloan

Well, that was incredibly odd. Some of those songs are just bang on (#4, 7, 10, 11 and 17), but the rest are just odd. More of a reflection on my iTunes Library than the random shuffle function, I suppose.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

the long drought is almost over

Today's soundtrack:
The Crane Wife by the Decemberists

It is as though the Snow Gods, angered beyond recognition by the prolonged absence of the Spaniard, have seen fit to cover the fair lands of Saskatoon in a second winter in order to properly welcome Miguelito home. I normally wouldn't complain at this divine justice, but because of the sudden freeze, I slipped on the ice outside of Place Riel and landed, quite firmly, on my butt. My spectacular and, dare I say somewhat graceful, plummet was met with wild applause and, I believe, a catcall or two. Yes, nothing says sexy like a woman all bundled up for the -30º falling on her ass. Anyway, with at least 5cm new snow on top of a smooth layer of ice, I think the Spaniard will have a completely stereotypical prairie homecoming.

Friday, March 02, 2007

"this is the end, beautiful friend..."

Today's soundtrack:
The Crane Wife and Picaresque by the Decemberists

After I treated the third floor of the north wing of the library to a rendition of Bob Dylan's "Blowin' in the Wind," I decided it was time to go home. So I bundled up and set out into the oddest snowfall I've seen in a while. The snowflakes weren't flakes. Translucent, but not like those ice crystals that sting. So I sauntered home (as it wasn't too cold, I could take my precious time) listening to the Decemberists and admiring the 9pm rose sky. Felt very calm. Eerily calm. Waiting for the other shoe to drop calm.

By 1130pm, it dropped with a thud and I began my last batch of thesis revisions. At 4am (almost on the dot), I printed out my abstract and monster-paperclipped the Thesis together.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you three years of my life:

Also, furthering my belief that the Ph.D comic guy has a camera in my office, here's a peak into my (currently shattered) pysche:

If you can name the song and artist in the title of this blog, I'll buy you a beer this weekend. If you can name the movie that made it popular, I just might splurge for a pitcher. Bonus keener points if you can name the book and author that inspired the movie.

Ah, the sweet stench of geekiness...

Friday, February 23, 2007

afghans! get your afghans!

Today's soundtrack:
Morning Coffee SkipMix

Here it is! The finally-finished afghan. It will soon be followed by the finally-revised Thesis.

Even though my house is basically a glorified sauna, I just cannot get warm. This probably means I'm getting sick, which I am happy about. If I luck out, I'll get the Norwalk virus. After pooping and puking for a week, there'll be no need to diet! Sadly, the more likely cause of my shivering is post traumatic stress that developed after reading the email alert from campus warning that there was another blizzard on its way to Saskatoon. Well, that's it! Me and my afghans are hibernatrixing until spring (insert inappropriate Taliban joke here).

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

it's funny 'cause it's true

Today's soundtrack:
Requiem in D- by Mozart

I don't think this needs any explanation, although I should probably reassure the Family (like the Mafia, but more intimidating) that I am thisclose to finishing the revisions.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

lady knitterton rides again

Today's soundtrack:
Essential Bob Dylan by Bob Dylan

I finished the baby blanket. Of course, I tested it out on Alex (aka the Teddy Bear). He seemed to be very warm and cozy, so I guess it'll do the trick. The sweater on Alex is my aunt's creation (there is a knitting gene, it seems). I realised halfway through that the pattern is the exact same as Nana's dishcloth pattern, so essentially, all I've made is a giant baby dishcloth. More importantly, I've figured out how to use circular needles, which makes me feel like quite the knitting aficionado. All I need now is a houseful of cats.

Also making it a habit to pick out knitting jokes in movies. For example, in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Fred.. or possibly George.. tells the other students to "go back to your knitting". I giggled.

Hmm, just read that bit over again. Should I be concerned that I'm now giggling at knitting jokes in Harry Potter movies? I blame this temporary lapse in sanity on the Spaniard. If he doesn't get back soon, I'm going to knit myself a straitjacket. Like the wise man said, "No beer and no TV make Homer go something".

Oh well that last sentence made no sense whatsoever. Sigh.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

it's a procrastination conspiracy

Today's soundtrack:
So Jealous by Tegan & Sara

Because Lady D is a vile and dusty strumpet, and because I have nothing better to do (re: would rather clean toilet than look at the Thesis tonight), I give you this alphabetical romp into my life. Enjoy.

A - Available or Taken: Taken, but he is MIA in Japan...

B - Best Friend: Miguel, Laura, Daniela.

C - Cake or Pie: Cake, unless the pie in question is pumpkin, in which case anything goes.

D - Drink of Choice: A pint of Keith's, or a glass of red wine.

E - Essential item you use everyday: Toilet paper. Oh, like you don't.

F - Favorite Color: My inner-Trudeauite wants to scream red, but I think I'm going through a blue period.

G - Gummy Bears or Worms: Neither, I go for the chocolate.

H - Hometown: Which one? The town I spent the most time in or the town I was a little kid in? You know what, I'll save us some time and just say that I'm an Island Girl.

I - Indulgence: And that would be the chocolate. And pillows.

J - January or February: February because the mini-eggs for Easter are out. I have my priorities.

K - Kids & ages: One, the Thesis. It's turning 2 soon.

L - Life is incomplete without: A good book. And sex. And chocolate. Not necessarily in that order.

M - Marriage Date or Most Memorable Date (and why): January 6, 2005. He thinks I don't remember, but I do. I just frequently forget.

N - Number of Siblings: One sister.

O - Oranges or Apples: Apples. Oranges are just a poor excuse for fruit. Scurvy be damned!

P - Phobias or Fears: Heights. Made hiking Cinque Terre all kinds of fun.

Q - Fave Quote: "Oh Lord, help me to be pure, but not yet." - Saint Augustine.

R - Reason to Smile: The thought of almost being rid of the Thesis.

S - Season: Summer. There's nothing like the lazy, hammock-filled days of summer in Saskatoon, or the lazy, deck-slug days of summer at Sproat Lake.

T - Truth or Dare: Truth. I'm completely terrified of having to run around the outside of the house in my underwear (N.B. The last time I played 'Truth or Dare', I was 10).

U - Unknown fact about me: Sometimes I pray the Rosary.

V - Vegetable you don't like: I'm pretty open about vegetables, but don't get me started on fruits.

W - Worst Habit: Biting my nails. When I'm nervous or anxious, they're the first to go.

X - X-rays: As in vision? No thanks, I'd prefer invisibility. Way more fun.

Y - Your Fave Food: Chocolate. And you thought I was going to say Kraft Dinner...

Z - Zodiac Sign: Taurus, which is basically an accurate description of me, save for my ditsy-ness, but that can be explained by the fact that Aquarius is my rising sign. I like my house to be a home, but I can never find anything I'm looking for. So it's well-decorated, but poorly-organised. Huh, a metaphor for my life.

So all that's left to do is to inflict this evil device of procrastionation on someone else. And who likes to procrastination more than Eolan. Now you have to update. Mwahaha.

Friday, February 16, 2007

hippos are better than groundhogs

Today's soundtrack:
Good News For People Who Love Bad News by Modest Mouse

Saw this on El País today. It made me smile, although not for the obvious reasons. Sure, Friday seems like reason enough to celebrate, but the presense of the butterfly and today's -11ºC winter heat wave (Saskatchistan-style) have given me hope that spring isn't too much farther away.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

a gay cuban revolutionary vs. the never-ending afghan

Today's soundtrack:
Picaresque by the Decemberists

I sat down with my knitting tonight just as the news came on. I managed to avoid dropping stitches while Colbert gave a wag of his finger to the Aussie PM (although I did let out a very unEdwardian guffaw), but had to abandon the ongoing afghan project as soon as Fresa y Chocolate came on the CBC. Yes, this movie was amazing enough to make me drop my knitting. And it wasn't just because I needed to read the subtitles from time to time (the nerve of these Cubans not to speak with the th-ths of Spain) - the movie is just that good. Fresa y Chocolate has communism, politics, music, really beautiful men, homosexuality, oppression, and even that eternal debate art vs. propaganda (I believe the score is Plato 0, Aristotle 1). Although there wasn't nearly enough sex to live up to my stereotype of Spanish-language films (honestly, can you really blame me?), which may have been due to the fact that it was editted for the CBC, the relationship between the two male leads was convincing. I was shocked to find out that the powers that be in the Cuban government allowed this film to be made in Havana, but it all made sense was I learned that the director, Tomás Gutiérrez Alea, is something of a national cinematic icon. It was something along the lines of a Cuban The Boys in the Band mixed with more politically-focused Prick Up Your Ears. If you liked those two, you'll like Fresa y Chocolate. And if you haven't seen any of them, rent them all, watch them with your most homophobic friends, then have a round-table discussion on gay rights. You know, a typical Friday night.

Also, I came across this book of Harry Potter knitting patterns and thought of Nacho, although he has already made the scarf...

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

corporeally-challenged telephonic harrassment

Today's soundtrack:
The Crane Wife by The Decemberists

Dear Miss Austen,

Was thrilled to receive your message this evening. I would have picked up the phone, but it was during Kate's Special Alone Time (every Tuesday at 8pm on Global. Google it, if you have to. It starts with H and ends with -ouse is a very sexy drug-addicted cripple). Naturally, I am quite keen to phone you back and discuss Marianne's recovery (does she really become a modest woman?), but you neglected to leave any contact information. As you are already well-versed with the 20th-century invention of the telephone, I have no doubt that a well-turned Regency-era writer such as yourself will also be comfortable with the series of interconnected tubes called the Internets.

Yours, etc.

Lady Kate.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

there are rules

Today's soundtrack:
"Rhapsody in Blue" by George Gershwin

Apparently, there are people out there who aren't in grad school. I know! I was shocked to discover this too! What's worse is that these people don't know about grad student etiquette. Allow me to illustrate:

Of course, once the said grad student has completed his/her work, it is appropriate... nay, expected... that you will inquire after his/her thesis. This will give the poor grad student a few moments of joy as he/she explains how he/she has successfully linked disability to the courtship narratives of Jane Austen (for instance). Keep in mind that all joy will be snatched away the moment he/she meets with his/her supervisor to discuss the final draft. After this, you are once again forbidden from inquiring after the Thesis until the aforementioned grad student has done the Kraft Dinner Happy Dance of Potential Freedom™ (N.B. This dance should not be confused with the Haliburton Iraqi Happy Dance of Potential Freedom™, although "Mission Accomplished" banners may be present at both).

If there are any further questions, you can find me on the "Undergrads have Cooties" forum on Facebook.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

better late than never

Today's soundtrack:
General Hospital

Here it is, folks. Actual proof that I finished the Thesis.

Feel free to send the congratulatory Kraft Dinner now.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

how awkward was that?

Today's soundtrack:
La nozze di Figaro by Mozart

So last night, the smug marrieds and I went out to celebrate the end of thesisness (for those who missed the subtle subtext of yesterday's story, yes I am done writing my thesis). Naturally, this is how the evening ended:

Scene: Lydia's at around midnight... or maybe 1am... can't be too sure as Heineken was involved... L is in the bathroom, leaving D and I unchaperoned (very unEdwardian of us). Suddenly, staggering drunken 20-something with a drink in hand walks up to us.

Drunk Guy (hereafter known as DG): Hello, I'm DG.

He puts out his hand. D and I, being proper Edwardians, shake the DG's hand.

DG: I'm going home now.

Me: Okay then, don't let us stop you.

DG: With what?

Me: With going home.

DG is confused.

D: With the walking home.

D making the walking motion with her fingers. DG is very confused. Awkward pause ensues.

DG: You guys suck. You're no fun.

Me: Gee, does that pickup line usually work?

DG: I wasn't trying to pick you guys up. You guys were trying to pick me up.

Me: Really? By sitting here looking completely uninterested?

DG stares blankly. Awkward pause. I'm feeling rather saucy (perhaps because of all the sauce), so I actually shoo him away. Did the little hand motion and everything. Eventually, DG walks away, undoubtedly completely confused as to how such a wonderful pickup line could go so very wrong.

once upon a time...

Today's soundtrack:
"Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major, BMV 1007, I. Prelude" performed by Jian Wong
"On Saturday Afternoons in 1963" by Rickie Lee Jones

A long time ago, in a prairie kingdom far far away, there was a fair and consumptive maiden who dreamed being free from the evil Count Thesis. The evil Count Thesis had kept the fair maiden captive for nearly three years. He forced her to give up her friends, family, and knitting. The fair and consumptive maiden had a delicate constitution, and therefore was unable to rise up against the evil Count Thesis. She waited and waited (although some would call it procrastination) for a brave warrior to come and destroy the evil Count Thesis, but alas, no one came to her aid. One day, the fair and consumptive maiden understood that she alone could stand up to the evil Count Thesis. She took her trusty tome of Austen, held it aloft, and dropped it on the head of the evil Count Thesis. Finally, the evil Count Thesis was slayed, and the fair and consumptive maiden was free to travel to Italy in order to recover her delicate constitution.

Of course, on the way there, she was abducted by banditti while crossing the Alps, but that story is for another day.

Friday, January 26, 2007

asserting eternal scottishness

Today's soundtrack:
"You Can't Always Get What You Want" by the Rolling Stones

Apparently, I'm not just related to Hilary Clinton anymore, but King Arthur too.

Everyone wants a piece of me.

whatever happened to the spanish inquistion anyway?

Today's soundtrack:
"Rebellions (Lies)" by Arcade Fire
"Float On" by Modest Mouse

After reading this, please treat yourself to the celebratory stylings of Spiritualized's "Oh Happy Day". Or, you know, whatever.

Personally, I'm still blown away by the fact that Spain - the land of the Inquistion and Enrique Iglesias - is pulling ahead of the rest of the world in the "let's stop with the size 0 bullshit" game. All my stereotypes are destroyed. The world is topsy-turvy. I half expect to see a country of well-educated and socially-progressive citizens the next time I'm in Madrid* (which will be, for those keeping score, at the end of April and the beginning of May. Plan your vacations accordingly).

Spain is trying to stop body image issues at their source, while Canada is still busy pointing and blaming the fat kid. Never thought that Canada would be trailing Spain in the arena of body image...

* I'm holding up a sign that reads "I'm being sarcastic". Some things just don't translate into ink and paper, or in this case, pixels.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

a toast to robbie burns

Today's soundtrack:
"Feel Good Inc" by Gorillaz

Well, it's that time of year again when the lucky few of the Robbie Burns' Night Singers can enjoy a bit of haggis (followed by a lot of scotch whisky) and let out a great sigh of relief that this year we're not responsible for leading the Scottish masses in this:

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and auld lang syne ?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

We twa hae paidl’d in the burn,
frae morning sun till dine ;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
sin’ auld lang syne.

And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere !
And gies a hand o’ thine !
we’ll tak a right gude-willie-waught,
for auld lang syne.

I will, however, be favouring my neighbours upstairs with my shower-rendition of "A Hundred Pipers".

Recommended reading for the Scottishly-challenged (I'm looking at you, el princesa!): To a mouse and Tam O'Shanter.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

the sky is falling!

Today's soundtrack:
"Hymn to Freedom" by Oscar Peterson

In light of the growing environmentalism coming from my forestry-employed family, I give you the Carbon Calculator from zerofootprint. Apparently I'm just below average and personally responsible for the production of 3 tonnes of carbon each year. That being said, I'm pretty sure any carbon I've produced while in Saskatoon was carried by the wind and is now in Winnipeg. Suckers.

N.B. - No trees were harmed during the writing of this blog, although a goat was thrown off of a tower somewhere in Spain.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

the vindication continues

Today's soundtrack:
House: Season Two

Finally, a worthy use of modern science. As for the claim by the BBC that Dante scholars had long-believed that the greatest poet who ever lived had an aquiline nose, well that's just plain wrong. It's a commonly known fact that no one knows what Dante looked like and that all the statues and portraits were based more on conjecture than fact. I mean, come on! Geez...

Kate throws her hands up in disgust, mutters to herself incoherantly, and heads straight for the cookies.

Friday, January 12, 2007

cabin fever intensifying

Today's soundtrack:
Grey's Anatomy

Reason #49 why living in Saskatoon is nothing short of literary torture. See yesterday's post for Reason #48.

Must calm my poor nerves with some more chocolate chip cookies. Reason for the poor nerves? See below.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

cabin fever

Today's soundtrack:
Chopin's Nocturnes by Daniel Barenboim

They did it. They closed the university. They told me it never happens, that we'll be going to school no matter how cold it was before the windchill.

They lied, and now I have a snow day.

Shame I was already at school, and had basically finished work for the day, but the walk home through the blizzard made for a very Zhivago-esque experience. I now have enough Saskatchistan street cred to complain about the weather (Is it wrong that I don't know the appropriate spelling for "street cred"? Is it "street-cred" or "streetcred"? Does this very fact ruin any chance for real street cred?).

To fully illustrate the insanity of the situation that is Saskatoon, here's a picture of my backyard yesterday. About a knee's worth of snow at the deepest part. Nothing to sneeze at, clearly, especially when the Spaniard is in Japan and I'm stuck here with the snow shovel. Still, nothing too bad.

And here it is today. I could barely get the door open for all the snow that's blown in from Alberta (or possibly B.C. - hey, with global warming, anything's possible..). The highest bit of the snowdrift is up to my waist.

Nana can't remember the last time they closed the schools because of snow. Mom maintains that Prairiestock are just tougher than Islandfolk and, therefore, can make it to school, regardless of the snow. But it looks like even the native Saskatchistanis couldn't believe the blizzard that hit today.

As for me, I'm stuck in my basement, windows all covered with snow. Sure, I'm little stir crazy, but I'm still riding the high of vindication. Oh yes, vindication, my friends, because they all told me that I'd never get a snow day in Saskatoon. Mmm mmm... vindication tastes like hot chocolate on a snow day...

On a rather ranty aside, my neighbours have been doing the same load of laundry for 5 days. I put my basket of clothes on the dryer 2 days ago. Still no movement. This new cabin fever may have dire consequences for their delicates...