Saturday, March 31, 2007

How to Disgust Me

Ask me to smell your hand after it's been in your ranky old hockey glove for two hours. And then gaze at me innocently, as though you haven't made this request a dozen times over the past five years.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Little Lovelies

Today as my bus was crossing over Crowchild I spotted a gopher and got really excited. I love gophers! I know that they're really "Richardson's Ground Squirrels" but that has too many syllables so I'm going to stick with gopher.

I had never seen a gopher before moving to Calgary, probably because they can't escape the thick cold death that covers Northern Alberta all winter. The first time I ever saw gophers was with Jonathan and Marina Aicken at Fish Creek Park and we fed them pretzel sticks from between our toes.

It's as though Calgary has a million squirmy little pets. Pets that routinely get gassed, shot, and squashed by car tires. Now I understand that they are a pest and I don't really have a problem with people killing them. I know that their holes bust the legs of many innocent cows and elementary school kids. Even though I've rolled my ankles numerous times in gopher holes, I just can't stop loving them. I love their skittishness, their little whistles, the way the kick dirt behind them when they dig holes.
I mean look at him.
No really. Look. And feel the cockles of your heart warming.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Warning to All Who Enter Here

As some of you may know, I'm a bit of a germ freak and there isn't much logic to my fear of contamination. One thing that bothers me the most is touching things on the bus. Stranger still is the fact that I get more weirded out if I touch the bus with my hands (which I wash a lot) than with my fabulous Heather-made mittens (which I never wash and jam into my purse with my gum, cell phone, lunch).

I'm also uncomfortable touching door handles, especially ones in really busy areas or bathrooms. And that brings to my next fear...the crazy revolving door at my practicum. My entrance to the building has three doors. Two ordinary doors possessing germ-town handles on either side of an insanely fast revolving door. I used to love revolving doors as a kid. They made me happy because they conjure up memories of every cheesy movie/episode of "Perfect Strangers" where someone goes around and around in the door, delighting in its endless turning.

But this revolving door is more sinister and self-aware than any of those happy TV-land doors. It lies motionless until it learns of your presence from the sensor attached to it's door frame. Once is senses you and smells your fear from about 3 feet away, the door kicks into high gear. It starts furiously slapping its partitions in the air, warning you to stay away and take your chances on the disease-riddled door handles beside it. But my fear of pooh particles is much greater than my fear of being mercilessly dragged around by a revolving door. So I watch the door as it spins around and I time my steps as I approach, running at just the right pace so that the door can't catch my face or arms between its partition and frame. Once I'm in the door's domain, my heart races and I run furious little steps to avoid being smacked around by the door as it races to catch up with me. And then I speed out of door as soon as there's a space big enough to fit my body through. Victorious and breathless, I pump my fists in the air and skip away.

One morning, I was in the middle of the door, running my tiny fast steps when it almost got me. Instead of speeding up to crush me, it decided to stop moving all together. The jig was up. I should have risked getting hand-herpes from the other doors. I stood there at a loss as to what to do until someone on the the outside took pity on me and tripped the sensor, foiling the evil door. When I got home that evening, I told Kyle about what happened and he asked, "Why didn't you just push on the door and make it turn?"

Strangely, I didn't even think of that. That's the secret of the evil revolving door. It steals your mind...

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Oral Hygiene

"Kyle, I hate brushing my teeth. It's so boring."


"Yeah. How much would you be willing to pay to never have to brush or floss your teeth again? And to never worry about tooth decay or going to the dentist."

"Um...I'd say $50, 000."

"Yeah, that sounds about right."

Saturday, March 17, 2007


Since they started advertising "Dodge Ball" on City TV, Kyle has been playing a new game around home. To play this game, all you need is a shopping bag full of wadded up dirty clothes and an easily startled opponent.

When I go into the bathroom, Kyle will hide somewhere and wait for me to come out. When I open the door and walk into the hall he'll sneak-attack me by running out of his hiding spot, whipping the bag of clothes at me, and yelling "Bombardment!" at the top of his lungs. It's only been a couple of days since the game began but I'm starting to get twitchy every time I have to pee.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Things I Have Done Today Other Than Work On My Presentation

- stopped by my friend Ian's office at the University
- went running
- called my grandma
- offered to babysit for a friend
- cleaned the kitchen (sort of)
- watched out the window to see if the mail man was coming
- played a Cat Stevens song on my guitar
- watched someone on youtube play the same song on their guitar
- picked dead leaves from one of my plants (oh black thumb!)

Well at least I haven't stooped so low that I'm watching "The View".

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Adventures in Public Transit

Monday afternoon, as my bus stopped to pick someone up at the end of a merge lane on Crowchild (who puts a bus stop in a merge lane?!), the whole bus slammed forward with a lound crunchy bang. Immediately, I knew we'd been rear-ended and so did the bus driver who picked up her radio, began to cry and say "We've been hit! We've been hit!" Strangely, she just sat there crying as the woman who rear-ended us ran up to the bus door. The bus driver just kept weeping and wouldn't open the door so the woman ran around to the bus driver's window and stood on one of Crowchild's six lanes as rush-hour traffic whizzed by her at 80 km/h. The bus driver still didn't get out to look at the back of the bus or to make sure that nobody on the bus was hurt. She wouldn't even open the doors and let the passgengers off to catch the next bus until some guy shouted at her. It was really strange...

And then this morning as I was riding the bus to my practicum, I looked out the window as we drove past downtown and saw a big, gorgeous deer standing serenely in the bushes on a hill above Crowchild. It was one of the most surprising and beautiful things I've seen in this city.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Spike in Sales

Although I get some serious enjoyment out of their steeped tea, I'm not really a die-hard Tim Horton's fan. Strangely, roll up the rim (or in my case, gnaw up the rim) has some sort of strange hold on me that leads me to buy drinks I don't really want or need.

For example, yesterday on our ride home from Fernie I decided to buy a medium coffee despite the fact that I wasn't thirsty and the drink would more than likely give me a wicked stomach ache. I even got all creepy about it and decided that this cup "felt lucky". Indeed, my roll up the rim mojo was right on target and I won myself a doughnut. I was insanely pumped even though I haven't really enjoyed donuts since my co-op bakery days. What is it about roll up the rim?

Please play again? Oh you know I can't help myself!

Saturday, March 3, 2007

An Equal and Opposite Reaction

Last week, I had a nightmare in which my sister Heather (the vet) brought us an evil cat to be our pet. In my dream, I had some weird psychic connection with the cat that allowed me to understand its thoughts. I knew exactly what was going to happen a split second before it laid its ears back, hissed, and launched itself off Heather's shoulder onto my face.

I woke up gasping, shook Kyle awake, and told him about my dream. He just put his arm over me and said, "That sounds pretty scary", and went back to sleep. I almost laughed out loud because Kyle is so much more sympathetic when he's half asleep. Now I'm not saying that Kyle is mean when he's fully conscious. He just loves to tease. Had Kyle been awake, he definitely would have used this dream to support his side in our never-ending debate about whether cats should ever be allowed to cross the threshold of our home.

Often when Kyle wakes up in the morning, he is particularly feisty. For example, last Friday I didn't have anywhere to go and intended to sleep in. Kyle, however, had different plans for me. As Kyle got dressed for work he decided to wake me up by whipping me in the face with his socks. I think that on mornings like those, there's something deep in Kyle's subconscious that seeks balance in the universe and has to make up for any excess sweetness that slipped out in the night.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Fruits of E-Stalking

Often while I'm doing homework I get bored and start to google random people that I know. I've googled myself, kids I used to babysit, my grandma...The other day I was googeling my friend Bjorn and this band called "Peter, Bjorn, and John" kept coming up. For the past ten minutes, I've been grooving to this song in the kitchen while making my lunch. Listen for their fun Swedish accents!

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Rivers of Rust

This is a photograph taken by Canadian Edward Burtynsky, an artist whose work was featured on "The Hour" last night. This image, "Nickel Tailings," was taken in Sudbury Ontario where iron oxide is flushed into fields as industrial waste.
I am struck by how something so barren and alarming can also be so beautiful.

Background by Jennifer Furlotte / Pixels and IceCream