Thursday, September 25, 2008

I have my health...

...and it was a beautiful, warm fall day, and I needed the exercise...

BUT BLASPHEME IT, walking 6.5 km from Lawrence Station to Bloor Street in just over an hour because the subways weren't running nearly killed me.

Thank the gods of footwear I was wearing my really comfy German shoes and fancy insoles, or else I would have been limping bloodily home. One girl at Eglinton and Yonge asked the hot dog vendor I was buying a drink from how long it would take to walk to Bloor. "In those shoes?" I asked incredulously, looking at her shiny kitten-heeled gold sandals that looked like they would last to about St. Clair before they turned her feet into shredded jerky. "Good luck. It'll be at least an hour, if you had comfy footwear. You might wanna get some now."

There were others in worse straits I saw on my long trek south: Elderly couples, pregnant women, a lady with a cast and crutches, all stranded because they had no way to get home. And it wasn't just the TTC and their inadequate shuttle buses that barred them from traveling--the sheer volume of traffic and the number of people on the streets made calling for a taxi a ridiculous notion.

And then, as I often do during commuter crises like this when we all realized we're screwed together, I had this crazy idea.

What if every single driver on the road opened their vehicles to two or three pedestrians headed their way? What would it cost them? Sure, you can say whatever you want about that being unsafe, being an invitation to a mugging, etc. But all I could think was, how many people would stop if I put up a sign on a curb that said: Earn Karma Points! Be a Good Samaritan and take a passenger! or Bloor Street or Bust: Will Make Conversation.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Music for the fringe masses...

On the phenomenally funny and often ironic songwriter Jonathan Coulton--I discovered his stuff some time ago, but hadn't taken time to investigate him further. Then I found his Web site where all his songs are available for download.

The genius behind the song "Still Alive" from Portal, the video game, has written other catchy, hilarious tunes. I highly recommend "Re Your Brains", "Code Monkey", and "Tom Cruise Crazy." You can listen to them for free right on the site, and download them and pay whatever you want. They're not copy-protected, but this is the kind of stuff you should pay money for: if anything brightens your day at the office the way "Code Monkey" does, then you know it was worth the $1 asking price.

On another funny, ironic music note, (no pun intended...not really...) Flight of the Conchords has become one of my fave listening time-passers. Not as catchy as some of JoCo's stuff, but better produced, plus they have their own TV show and have made appearances all over the place. I especially like their set on Letterman.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Obviously, I need more zzz's

You ever have those sleepy moments at your desk and your eyes are drifting shut and your brain takes you to the edge of REM so that you're thinking crazy thoughts while still semi-awake?

Today I though the book I was reading would be better printed on a slice of whole wheat bread.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Thoughts for Food....

Important wisdom I need to pass on about the things in your pantry:

1. Triscuits that are a month past their Best Before date are not tasty, no matter how hungry you are and no matter what you put on them.

2. Bananas and Pepsi don't mix.

3. Bread feet (or heels, as everyone else calls them, though why that is I have no idea since they're obviously the ends of bread, not the just-before-end of a loaf) can, in fact, be eaten. As long as they're toasted and slathered in Nutella. El-la. El-la. Eh, eh, eh....slathered in Nu-tel-la... (Rihanna, I expect a royalty out of this....)

4. Just because the pasta bugs haven't gotten to it yet, doesn't mean it's a good idea to eat it.

5. That half-empty jar of instant coffee crystals someone gave you three years ago...? Face it, you'll never drink the stuff. You don't even like REAL coffee.

6. Potatoes aren't like diamonds. They don't keep forever. And in this case, growth is not a good thing.

7. The powdery dregs of 6-month-old cereal are not part of a balanced breakfast.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Where everyone's gone before....

John just got the full Star Trek: The Next Generation DVD collection and as we go through the episodes, I'm starting to rediscover whole new realms of good, bad, really bad, and WTF?

Teri Hathcher was one of those WTFs. As was Famke Janssen and Kirsten Dunst.

I'm still getting over some of the more WTF moments I've been coming across, and I'll definitely be sounding off on them soon, but for now, I think the above speaks for itself.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Culling the herd

Today I took another small but highly significant step forward in cementing the matrimonial pact between me and John:

I've started culling doubles of our DVDs.

When he was away at school for four years, the two of us decided that we could not live without owning our own copies of the Lord of the Rings trilogy (special edition, of course), or the second installment of The Mummy, or the first season of Futurama, or... well, you get the picture.

Since I'm setting up a table at the Merrill Collection's SF/Fantasy Yard Sale again this year (Saturday, September 20th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Toronto Reference Library!), I decided now would be the opportune moment to get rid of some excess junk and trim down our burgeoning collection.

I suppose, to the outsider, it seems like a silly thing, this letting go of material goods of which I have an excess. (Two copies of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon? Really?)

But this is an important step for me. It means I am willing to share. It means that if I want to continue to own a copy of Fellowship of the Ring, I will somehow make our relationship work. It means that I will give up my share of the DVD collection should John and I (knock on wood) ever part ways. It means I put more stock in our relationship than I put in my stuff.

I could go into some long diatribe about how my generation has attached too much meaning to material goods and how spirituality has been lost to consumption and the happiness money brings...but that would just be boring.

Bottom line: I love John more than I love stuff.

Now if only I could get John to cull a few books....

Tuesday, September 02, 2008


Squee! Got first place in Dotmoon's Best of Fandom UFO 2007 fanfiction contest round one!!!

Thanks to everyone who voted for me! Round two will determine best of fandom overall, so stay tuned and vote for me through round two!


(Edit: the administrator kindly changed the award to reflect how the characters actually look in the story. Note also that voting for best fanfic overall is now up on Dotmoon. Please read the other entries and vote!)

The Schattenjäger lives!

So I was reading the Toronto edition of Metro today on the bus. when I came across this story about Hurricane Gustav.

It was the first test of New Orleans’ new and improved levees, which are still being rebuilt three years after hurricane Katrina. And it was a powerful demonstration of how federal, state and local officials learned some of the painful lessons of the catastrophic 2005 storm that killed 1,600 people.

“They made a much bigger deal out of it, bigger than it needed to be,” 31-year-old security worker Gabriel Knight said in New Orleans’ nearly empty French Quarter.

“I was here with Katrina. That was a nightmare.
“This was nothing.”

Gabriel Knight?
Really? Does the AP reporter even know that Gabriel Knight was the name of a fictional New Orleans detective from the Sierra game back in the early nineties? And is it just coincidence that both Mr. Knights are 31 years old and work in the security field?

Apparently, the Schattenjäger is alive and well in the French quarter....or someone is making shit up and stealing from the video game industry.

I am so e-mailing Jane Jensen.