blog


Friday, December 29, 2006

"little man on the traffic light"

I can't wait until my domain expires. The blasted server is always down/hacked/not being awesome. And I can't figure out how to transfer the domain to another host. I just hope it expires when it's supposed to. I guess you get what you pay for.

Innumerable thanks to Ryan for helping get my Rhine score suitable for posting. Friggin enfoiblement.
  • Mozart's still cranking out new pieces

  • I love the Ampelmännchen. "Little man on the traffic light." I got a great Ampelmännchen shirt from a Berlin store that only sold Ampelmännchen-related items.

  • Longest song ever. 639 years, that is. "The actual performance commenced in the St. Burchardi church on September 5, 2001 with a pause lasting until February 5, 2003. The first chord was played from then until July 5, 2005. The latest sound from the organ was a three-note chord, A below middle C, C above middle C (A3-C4-Fis4) and F-sharp, which began on January 5, 2006 and concluded on May 5, 2006. The performance is planned to continue until September 5, 2640." Oh that John Cage.

  • I think my drawings may be broken. Can you see Dec. 30th's drawing? Man, I really need to host them elsewhere.
I'm terribly addicted to Facebook. (Fun fact: I tried making a facebook account for "Banjo Patterson," and it wouldn't let me. "Enter a real name," it said. wtf? Banjo Patterson is(was) a very famous Australian poet!)

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Great Poems

The golden age of poetry is probably over. Here are my favourites. I've always planned to write a Water Night-esque piece for the Horace poem. Moreover...I will. And furthermoreover... I just wanted to say furthermoreover.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Beginnings of a music plot

Christmasfest was good times. A great variety of roast beasts were involved. I'm going to have to go into the liqueur-making business.

I didn't realize you can take some theory classes by correspondence. I also didn't realize that you can get an ARCT in composition and/or theory. Here's the requirements for the Comp & Theory combined ARCT:
  1. 3-hour exam in each of the following courses: Renaissance Counterpoint; Baroque Harmony and Counterpoint I; Baroque Harmony and Counterpoint II; Classical Harmony and Counterpoint; Romantic and Post-Romantic Harmony and Counterpoint; Post-1900 Composition Techniques; Orchestration I; Orchestration II; Analysis; History I; History II; Ear Test.
  2. Three compositions and one 5000-word research paper.
  3. Viva Voce oral defense of work submitted in Part 2.
  4. Also must have the pre- and co-requisites of harmony, history, counterpoint, and analysis.
I think I've got me a new project. Right after I finish the Performance ARCT, or maybe I'll work on as much theory as possible now... you only have 5 years to finish all the requirements for the ARCT after you write the first exam, and with so many exams in Part 1 of the Comp/Theory designation it would take a lot of concentrated study. Certainly not while I'm doing my Master's.

So I'm thinking I'll do the 2 remaining exams for Performance ARCT theory co-requisites this year (I do believe that I could be ready to write the exams in August), take a couple years to get back into the vocal groove, and do that ARCT. And then maybe, maybe, I can do up the necessaries to tack on the teacher's ARCT, but I doubt it. And then, when I can afford the time, I'll tackle the Composition/Theory ARCT. But that's a lot of exams, plus three compositions (one piece has to be for orchestra—I've only done the slightest of orchestration), plus a fairly lengthy research paper which shouldn't be too much of a problem but then again maybe it will.

This is the plan. What it will gain me in the end is slightly unclear, as always. I'm fine with that; the more degrees/designations the merrier. I was sad I didn't complete my BFA, but this is an alternate route that I've actually been working on since I was 13 without realizing it.

Speaking of music, I completed the score of Rhine but it will have to wait to be posted. Stupid Finale doesn't export MIDI and I can't find my disk to install it on my Mac, so I tried to scan the printouts and it's so bad that the staves have only three lines. But there you have it. At least now I have a copy of it. Hey... could this count as my solo instrument composition? Probably it has to be way better. Ah well, all in good time. I'll get to compose a choral piece too (choral or chamber, that is, but I'm a choral sort of person—ever since NYC I've wanted to compose like Whitacre).

Friday, December 22, 2006

Christmas songs are crap

Sii-ii-ii-ii-ii-ii-ii-ii-lent Ni-ii-ii-ii-ii-ii-ii-ii-ii-ght.
Ho-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-ly Ni-ii-ii-ii-ii-ii-ii-ii-ii-ii-ii-ii-ii-ght.


Kate and I were reminiscing about how Christmas songs these days are crap, and the only stipulation seems to be that you have to drag out each syllable for ~9 seconds. Except for the awesome rock medley, where they must have a drum machine going. I am a poor boy too PA RUM PA PUM PUM!!! [bff-bff-bff-BFF! bff-bff-bff-BFF!] ... 'TIS! the season to be jolly, FA LA LA LA LA! LA LA! LA! LA! So harsh it's great.

Tomorrow is "Christmas" for my immediate family (excepting my brother). I can guess what I'm getting! (I bought and wrapped the presents, after all. To Megan. Merry Christmas.)

My favourite Christmas image: Brent and Hank pulling at opposite ends of an aluminum Christmas tree à la tug-of-war (Brent wants to take it back home because it's his; Hank wants be the good samaritan and take it to the dump). As it is yanked in twain, Wanda gazes heavenward: "God bless us, every one." Yes indeedy.

Either that or I just wanted to say "twain."

All I can say is there had better be some darn epic Boxing Day Celebrations (which would take place on the 24th, naturally, with the 23rd being Christmas—or "X-mas" as [I'm guessing] the makers of certain comic book movies will likely soon advertise it as. An X-Men X-Mas. I'd better get credit when that movie comes out.)

It occurs to me that I haven't been drunk in a very very long time. I should remedy that.

I kind of have butterflies, well not so much butterflies as an awful gut-wrenching feeling of uneasiness and disappoinment. fa la la la la

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Magic of Migraines

This is where I usually get titles for songs and poems. I almost settled for cattalo for my new jazz song. "Exeunt Cattalo" (titter titter—Julie-Anne was admiring my tittering the other day). Better than "Bootless Beetle-Headed Barnacle." Shakespeare is not a good source for titles. Nothing beats a random generator. On that note, there are two new songs and two new recordings of old ones. I think all the static I used to wrestle with was produced entirely by the Luther Chapel, because my recordings at home were pretty good (other than the piano not being great, but I almost like it better than Luther's).

Zumanity's publicist (i.e. the guy I had to send my last article to for review/editing) is named John McCoy. I find that amusing. He liked my article and wants me to send 2 copies of it to him in Las Vegas!

I am now a New Blogger blogger, as opposed to an Old Moldy Blogger blogger. You should be too. All you need is a google account, which—I like to say this whenever I can—if you're normal you should already have.

The (semi)final migraine diagnosis: learn to live with it. I will (maybe) stop complaining about it at least until the summer.

Mēgan's Guide To Living With It
  • Eat if you get hungry.
  • Never take a nap. If you must take one, for god's sake close the blind and turn on a fan. Better yet: go outside. If it's winter, shovel some snow. If it's summer, jump in the nearest pond.
  • Always do your stretches.
  • Ibuprofen and Acetaminopen both come in quick-release gel-cap form. They won't help you anyway though.
  • Migraine-strength ibuprofen is doubly strong as the regular kind; you should therefore not take the maximum daily dose that you dimly recall being on the regular bottle if you have the stronger kind. Especially not every day. Your stomach will hate you forever.
  • Always carry an emergency pill if you leave the house. Even if you're only going to be gone for a couple hours, even if you feel fabulous, even if you've felt fabulous for the entire week. Keep it in your pocket—your pants pocket—so that you'll have it when you need it. It's just going to be useless in your jacket.
  • Don't stop taking preventative pills, even if you start feeling fine all the time. Especially if you feel fine all the time, because that's what they (allegedly and occasionally) do, they make you feel fine.
  • If your temple feels like it's going to explode, it is probably more likely to explode than if it didn't feel that way. So make it stop feeling that way as soon as possible.
  • Don't think that just because you've had it for 2 days it will probably go away if you tough it out for another couple days. It won't. Eat the damn poison. What are you saving it for if not for moments like this?
  • Make your doctor prescribe something you know will work. After all, you're the one paying through the nose for semi-normal life; they should give you what's necessary.
  • Reiki's a bunch of bullshit. Don't bother with it. "The platelets on your head are out of alignment, that's why you're getting this pain. I'll just put them back in place." Or, my personal favourite: "Purple is associated with energy of the head. Here, I'll give you this purple glowstick. When you get a headache, look at it and your headache will go away."

Friday, December 15, 2006

Freelancin'

One last article to go, then I will be done with deadlines and interviews and all that jazz. One benefit of freelancing is that I sometimes get to talk to interesting people. The final article is about an alumnus who is in Cirque du Soleil. Hmm, that's kind of neat, I think to myself. Turns out I got to interview Canada's world-famous clown Izzy. Pretty darn neat. The surprising thing is that I actually have heard of her before. But I still don't have enough words!
  • :0 My goodness, so much free sheet music here. They don't have Liszt's Vallee d'Oberman but I've finally located it elsewhere. Someday I will obtain it and learn to play it.

  • mobius bottle!! In one end and out the other... to infinity! I like their suggestion for cleaning it: "Expose the water (but not the glass) to a beam of pure antimatter."

  • Ich bin ein Kaboodler. From which you may notice there's a new lapsura store. (For future expansion or elimination.)

Who's There?

I just discovered that my great-grandmother was a Russian princess. Which means you should do as I say.

Knock knock.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Fed Up

Can you believe it? I'm actually sick of watching π.

Argh, I should have been done this blasted article today... My head is so throbbing and I can't think of anything else to write but I still don't have the word count I need. If I make it any more wordy it'll be obvious. Ugh, who's the idiot that invented pain? I don't mind if it's useful, like ow don't touch that it's hot type of pain, or quit bumping your shins on everything you clumsy oaf type of pain. This is just a big waste of time and life.

I ask you, what kind of advice is "oh just go to emergency when you get them"? Yes, just go to emergency, where you'll wait for five hours (on a good day) under those lights that say "BBBBBZZZZZZ!!!" and the smell of hospital (bad place if you've got a touch of nausea). If you're lucky, you can increase the wait time of everybody else and prevent someone with a real emergency from getting timely attention. Do this roughly twice a week? No thanks, I spent my one and only emergency visit with my head between my knees, trying hard not to throw up or feel bitter towards the guy in handcuffs escorted by police who got in right away because he was bleeding all over, then the nurse screwed up both my hands trying to put in an IV ("Oh look, I missed your vein again. You can tell because, see this here, your hand is filling up with the fluid." "I CAN SEE THAT, TAKE IT OUT!!!").

Failed treatments to date: many many. Yes I cower in the dark wearing sunglasses and earplugs. Precioussss. Apparently my pounding temples and I are 10 times more likely to have a stroke. I'm not sure compared to who. Maybe Gollum.

These stupid surveys...


Very frosty. Char keeps peering in the window. I can't sleep.

According to my calculations, my last piano lesson was Dec. 15, 2001. From my mom. Before that, my last lesson with another teacher was in May of that year. And then two days ago I resumed them. Well, mostly I just learn it myself, with my mom saying "now play this scale", "four-note chords will fix that", "you mean you memorized that all since yesterday?" I find it necessary to memorize things so that I can look at my fingers at all times. Technique still needs much work, but less than it would have taken all those years ago. I've also somehow picked up the ability to sight-read partially satisfactorily, something that I had a heck of a problem with back then.

I seem to learn better on my own. It's like my gr. 4 music history exam, for which I perused a textbook for two weeks, crammed for two weeks more, then pretty much transcribed the textbook into the exam, for which I got a 94. You can bet I wouldn't have gotten through all the material if I had actually taken it from a theory teacher.

Now really, all I need is gr. 5 history (I can learn that on my own no problem) and gr. 5 analysis (a month at most), work up my vocal technique, review the scales and learn the new ones, breeze over intervals (my ear training prof always got mad at me: "How can you name thee eenterval vithout even tinking about it?! You say eet before I am feenished playink!"), learn some ditties, do up the ARCT. That's a handful.

These things are always the same. Why do I get them all the time?

1. What is your occupation? right now, freelancer.
2. What color are your socks right now? my what?
3. What are you listening to right now? no, not at the moment.
4. What was the last thing that you ate? a BAGELLL, bagellybagellybagelly (from the bagel store, too! the only one left in Regina)
5. Can you drive a stick shift? Yes, but not so much in a city. Out here, just fine.
6. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? neon orange
7. Last person you spoke to on the phone? somebody's secretary named Ellen. How do they expect me to interview people on two days' notice? People always say "well, I could talk to you late next week, if you want." "um, my deadline's this friday."
8. Do you like the person who sent this to you? I think the real question is, why do I get these every single day?
9. How old are you today? ~22
10. Favorite drink? mojito (the kind you get at a refreshment store, not the kind I make myself)
11. What is your favorite sport to watch? something extreme. uphill curling comes to mind. realistically, maybe bobsledding.
12. Have you ever dyed your hair? a couple times, temporarily, for halloween, long ago
14. Pets? a cat (Char) and a horde of llamas
15. Favourite food? anything but croast, and not most sauces.
16. What was the last movie you saw? Amistad. I highly recommend it, as in, if you haven't seen it, go watch it. right now.
17. What is your favourite time of day? late at night is when my mind works at full capacity.
18. What do you do to vent anger? storm out of the house and hide somewhere in the hills. It doesn't happen too often.
19. What was your favourite toy as a child? good ol' sega genesis. I am queen of streetfighter!
20. What is your favourite Fall or Spring? both, but not winter or summer.
22. Cherry or Blueberry? hey, where's #21?
23. Do you want your friends to email you back? what are you talking about? This is a blog, not an email-booth. People don't come here to talk on the phone.
24. Who is most likely to respond? nonsense, all nonsense
25. Who is least likely to respond? you're crazy
26. Living arrangements? on my parents' farm
27. When was the last time you cried? HAHAHA!
28. What is on the floor of your closet? binders of university classwork
29. Who is the friend you have had the longest that you are sending this to? again with the nonsense
30. What did you do last night? sure didn't sleep
31. Favourite smells? mmmmmmm crayon smell. no, just kidding.
32. What inspires you? people and what they do (not all people, mind you)
34. Plain, cheese or spicy hamburgers? I saw a menu the other day that said "pain burger." I've never tried that kind. I bet it's tasty. And where's #33?
35. Country you would most like to visit? so many, where to start? England, New Zealand, France, Germany, Switzerland...
36. Favourite dog breed? I don't know much about dogs, just that my llamas kill them. Ryan's dog is my favorite of all time.
37. Number of keys on your key ring? my what?
38. How many years at your current job? just started, it comes and goes.
39. Favourite day of the week? they're all the same
40. How many Provinces have you lived in? one
41. Favourite holidays? the ones with gatherings

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Burninating all those thatched-roof cottages

I love fire. You can erase a lot with fire. I've been going through my room getting rid of things, partly because I won't be hanging around doing nothing forever and I should really put things in order, partly because it's too cluttered to really do anything, and partly because I want to get rid of certain things and put everything in order before I have a stroke or something. Does anyone want a sheaf of drawings? Or perhaps a chapbook full of nonsense poems and old library drawings? No? INTO THE FIRE WITH THEM! (I am not an arsonist, I just find it fascinating that something can disappear forever. It's like toasters: you put in bread, and out comes toast. Where does the bread go?? Beats me.)

This was a new one for me: "This folder contains items whose name is too long for the Recycle Bin."

Christmas is so close... This will be the first year ever that all my siblings won't be together. It'll be a ... Christmas Miracle. Christmas has traditionally been my worst time of year: finals stress, good ol' winter depression, last year's fun times at the emergency. Hopefully most of that is school-related, and it will be the best Christmas ever.

41. stop being such a sarcastard
42. learn to play the guitar/violin/cello
43. get my gr. 10 piano

Friday, December 01, 2006

Day Without Art

Today is World AIDS Day. At the U of R, the Visual Arts department also booked an entire hallway in which they've set up for a Day Without Art. I won't get to see what it's all about though—I wonder how the Visual Arts dept will display a Day Without Art. Intriguing.

I saw a goose flying north today. It's snowing too darn much. I hate snow, but I'll at least allow it to be on the ground. But it should never be in the air.

Yesterday was productive, despite only fractional neck mobility and total lack of will to live (I'd forgotten how debilitating migraines can be). I fixed my laptop, finished my article... OK, here's where I really do kick myself for quitting J-school. Turned out not everyone was disinclined to be interviewed, and the rest of my contacts were great, plus I learned a thing or two about what's involved in book publishing. Most importantly of all, the magazine loved my article. I passed freelancing initiation!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

40 before 40

My 40 before 40 list (in the order they occurred to me):
  1. marry man of my dreams
  2. write a book
  3. record an album
  4. design a garden
  5. open a coffe-type shop/art gallery
  6. become a photographer
  7. get my ARCT
  8. live in a city
  9. get published
  10. become a stage actor
  11. travel in Europe
  12. work on a cruise ship
  13. get my MA
  14. complete a PhD
  15. get a pet (a smart one, like a raven that says "nevermore" or a raccoon or a dog or cat)
  16. paint paintings
  17. outgrow migraines
  18. complete a degree in astronomy
  19. learn Anglo-Saxon
  20. become fluent in French
  21. wander around Paris
  22. read all the books I own
  23. travel across Canada by train
  24. compose choral music
  25. build a dolmen in my back yard
  26. own a house
  27. learn calculus
  28. work in a greenhouse
  29. grow a bonsai
  30. climb a mountain
  31. be in an opera
  32. build a theremin (and learn to play it)
  33. go to the spa
  34. go to Tibet
  35. take Tai Chi
  36. see a solar eclipse
  37. design clothing
  38. publish academic paper(s)
  39. help excavate the Herculaneum library
  40. visit the Paris Catacombs

Monday, November 27, 2006

Shirking? They pay you for that?

I'm impressed with the new IE—it even has tabbed browsing. And the first level of my drop-down menus work on it! If you refuse to get Firefox, you should at least upgrade your IE. Drawings have now been converted to the new style.

The last couple weeks have not been busy, but there have been a few things I needed to take care of, like SSHRCing and grad-school-applying. Both of those could probably have been wrapped up in a single week, but the SSHRC took inconceivably long (and just when I thought I was all applied, they sent my application back for me to mull over), and grad school wants several things that I'll have to think about. For one, they want a lengthy essay written in the last 12 months. Unfortunately, the last few English classes I've taken were the rushy, summer-type, where they don't make you write long essays, plus I was working full-time as well so any essays I did write aren't too inspired (except for my Crakespeare essay where I refuted everything the prof asserted—masterpiece!). Too bad I decided to take "fun" classes like astronomy, physics, and music in my last full semester. Well, I don't think it's too bad; that was the best semester ever. But other than the essay (and a statement of intent, and a resume), grad school is pretty much applied for.

I hate how much I struggle with this grad studies thing; if I'm so unsure I want to do a Master's in English, isn't it obvious it's the wrong route to take? But I'm not so sure I'll hate it anymore. I would have enjoyed my summer classes if I had had time to do the reading and understand what was going on. And it's only two years, one of which (hopefully, granted they let me do a thesis program) will be almost entirely my own research on something "interesting" (I put it in quotation marks because, while I do find it interesting, most people wouldn't. I hate it when people ask me to explain my research proposal; I feel like I should be apologizing profusely for wasting their time by explaining it, which is probably why I come across as being unenthused about it). And I'll have a Master's degree at the end. But I really am getting excited about grad studies, and maybe even about doing english-related work after I'm done it. Mostly I'm just afraid of not liking it, afraid of wasting so much time on it. But hey, what have I been doing the last three months if not wasting time?

One reason for my renewed enthusiasm is that I got a freelance writing job. I had hoped to do the research and writing all month, but found out that I only have a week to get my article in. Here's where I should kick myself for quitting J-school—interviewing is not my strong point (and I just discovered today what it's like to interview people who don't want you to waste their time). But I'm not sorry I quit J-school either. Anyways, with any luck this will be the only article I'll be writing.

In fact, I really don't regret any of my university-related choices. I got a little bit of everything, and if I didn't end up focussing on my favourite aspect, well it's really not too late. I can't decide on one thing anyway, but I no longer feel like I have to—I'll just do everything. And I'm excited to start doing it.

Maybe in the new year.

Monday, November 20, 2006

My new hat

Yess! I get a goose on my head! On an unrelated topic, has anyone heard any good paradoxes lately?


Geb



Engaging personality, sensitive, modest, occasionally narcissistic, but can rise above vanity.

Colors: male: violet, female: rose
Compatible Signs:
Set, Horus
Dates:
Feb 12 - Feb 29, Aug 20 - Aug 31

Role: God of the earth
Appearance:
Green-skinned man, with leaves all over his body and a goose on his head. Sometimes he was shown laying on his side under his wife, the sky goddess Nut.
Sacred animals:
goose


What is Your Egyptian Zodiac Sign?

What's the dl with hunting?

Today is Day 436 of the Sobey's strike. It's hard to believe they've been picketing that long.

The other day I was walking across the fields and I stumbled upon three deer. The first thought that goes through my mind when that happens around this time of year is, "oh crap... is it hunting season?" Because it could very well be the last thought that goes through your mind. I stood there for about 10 minutes, watching them, until they got impatient and started stamping their feet and coming closer to see if I would move. I always know it's hunting season when my dad gets out the binoculars and looks for poachers.

I don't get hunting. I don't understand the mindset that it's fun to kill things. I can understand if people hunt for meat, and extra points for use of bow and arrows. But is it really a "sport" where you sit around with guns and see who can kill the least-suspecting animal? That's like competetive sitting, except with guns.

A few years ago my dad had the crosshairs of a hunter's scope pointed at him. That could have been terribly devastating. Another time, some hunters followed the schoolbus to my house and, when I emerged from the bus, said "There are some deer down in the creek, can we go shoot them?" My response: "?? Those are my llamas!!!" Besides which, it's hard to miss the "Wildlife Sanctuary! No Tresspassing! Permission Required for Access!" signs all over. So I think I'm justified in not liking hunting.

I know as well as anybody that too many deer cause problems. Heck, I spent many years wiring hundreds of trees so that deer wouldn't destroy them. Some years two hundred deer would lounge around in our back yard. Then there was the winter of the deer virus (whatever it was) where they were dropping like flies all over. I remember one day when two were laying by the llama barn, and I walked right up to them and looked them in the eye but they were too sick to move. Later that day I helped pile up and burn over 50 deer carcasses that were scattered around the farm. I seem to remember some people lamenting that the virus was making for poor hunting that year. Oh, how terrible for you hunters; the deer are dying off faster than you can kill them. And I guess deer are bad news when you run into them on the road and they come through your windshield and kick your head in to mush, but as far as I know that's only happened once within living memory around here.

As much as I dislike hunting, I can at least tolerate it (unlike poaching, I might add). After all, my brother and I made good money one year when we combed all the nearby sloughs for fallen antlers (it involved a fair amount of rafting down the Wascana), and sold them to a local taxidermist. But taxidermy too I can't quite fathom. Who wants dead animals standing in their basement, or stuffed heads hanging on their walls? That's as creepy as the guy who had himself stuffed after his death. Or almost.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Unravel the Injustice

Friday's Unravel the Injustice evening went well. I didn't get much of a chance to hear the speakers or watch the sweatshop presentation during the first half, because I was helping keep the models backstage organized. But, I did sneak out during the second half to listen to the keynote speaker Shirley Klassen talk about the effects of NAFTA in Mexico.

So 1994 was the year the North American Free Trade Agreement was signed, which was basically the FTA extended to Mexico. It was also the year of the Mexican Peso crisis. Maquiladoras are manufacturing zones in Mexico. Under NAFTA, thousands of jobs disappeared from Canada and the US to Mexico, and sweatshop jobs were created where workers earned US$50 per week. Good paying service sector jobs disappeared because of privatization. In order to allow NAFTA, the Mexican government changed the constitution to allow foreign ownership of indigenous lands, and that ownership went to transnationals. Roads, education, and healthcare were privatized when the government simply removed services; the services were eventually brought back through American contracts and privatization. The control of the military also went to transnationals. Now all crops are of genetically modified seed. Railways, which were once for people, are now privatized and only for the transportation of goods.

Mexicans were forced off their rural lands into urban centres; many squat in colonia—shanty towns that grow in the toxic wastelands created by manufacturing. Piles of toxic waste sit beside people’s houses. According to the statement of a member of a delegation who visited a colonia, the Rio Grande was a toxic soup where people fished. Fish are found floating dead, some are mutated, and when they are cut open are blackened inside. For the Mexicans, the choice was simple: “eat this now and die later, or don’t eat anything and die now.” The delegate also mentioned that the stench of the Rio Grande alone made one of the other delegates vomit. And, when asked why they chose to live in the toxic areas, Mexicans said that they had no choice; they had been forced off their lands, and nobody bothered them here.

Chapter 11 of NAFTA allows corporations and individuals to sue governments. My friend Wikipedia tells me here that "Metalclad, an American corporation, was awarded US$15.6 million from Mexico after a Mexican municipality refused a construction permit for the hazardous waste landfill it intended to construct in El Llano, Aguascalientes." Does anybody else think NAFTA doesn't really benefit people?

Coalition for Justice in the Maquiladoras

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Facebook

Calloo callay, tra la la la! Ah, things are looking up. Wooo! That's right, I said "woo" without a "t." Now if that isn't a paradox, I don't know what is.

The forum has a new strategy: you should post. Check it out here, and do let me know if you want to be able to post. Do.

[P.S. drawings will be semi-weekly rather than daily (or rather than never, as per recently)]

If you're on facebook, then you should add me. If you're not, then you should be.
Megan Nell's Facebook profile

Friday, November 10, 2006

Lest We Forget

"Lest we forget" is the catchphrase around this time of year. It comes from Rudyard Kipling's 1897 poem "Recessional." Obviously, he didn't have the World Wars in mind at that early date (actually, maybe he did; he predicted that the Boer War was just a skirmish and the most important war of all time was yet to come in the early 20th century. But this poem is not about that). My best prof happened to be a Kipling expert, so this is what I learned from her.

First, you need to know a few things about Imperialism and Kipling's view of it. Kipling spent a good portion of his life in India, where he was born. He must have seen the toll Imperialism had on colonized peoples. At a time when Imperialism happened in faraway places that ordinary people didn't see, it was easy to turn a blind eye towards its effects, or just not know about them. Rudyard Kipling knew. He knew that Imperialism was one of the ugliest things there is. And yet, he felt that it was necessary; apalling, but necessary. The same went for war in general; there was nothing glorious about it (many people at the time were suckered into the notion, though), but it was necessary. The "lest we forget" enters here: as necessary as war and Imperialism were, Kipling felt that it was of vital importance that we always remember the cost it exacted.

And what was that cost? Interestingly enough, not the sacrifice that soldiers make in going to war. Rather, it was the sacrifice we make of our soldiers. It is our duty to know why that sacrifice was made, and why it is important. One other interesting point: "lest we forget" is, I think, now linked to the general idea that soldiers fight for peace. Kipling, though, believed that soldiers died for freedom, not for peace (remember, war is necessary and you can't get rid of it). What he despairs of is that the sacrifice we have made of others will be rendered faceless.

Others didn't share Kipling's views. In 1899, for example, Robert Buchanan accused Kipling of "hooliganism" (sounds almost like soccer). Buchanan thought Imperialism itself was a noble goal, and shouldn't acknowledge the nature of its own project. We shouldn't know the cost that Imperialism exacts.

From the 1890s on, Kipling's work predicted an English war with Germany. That coming war, Kipling felt, was the war that mattered. Kipling believed that Britain was unprepared for such a war—and they were. He believed that the treatment of ordinary soldiers would put them at risk—and it did. The crazy prevailing view was that soldiers were too stupid to do anything other than walk forwards in rows. We all know how that turned out. Here's the last bit of Kipling's poem "Tommy":
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of 'is country," when the guns begin to shoot;
An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
But Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool — you bet that Tommy sees!

HIST 390BP

I couldn't find my Paris/Berlin travel journal for about a year, but yesterday I accidentally discovered it. In the drawer I now remember putting it in. It's funny reading what I thought was important to write down:
  • "I had 'canard avec pomme'—duck and potatoes (not apples)—and some French lady asked me to dance, but I was highly embarrassed and declined."

  • "We each had to pay €2 for 'musique', which wasn't very good. The lady liked to sing off-key (Germani said he had been there 20 years earlier and the entertainment had been the same). The rest of us played games that penalized the dull-witted. Bredohl lost this game, he couldn't figure out that Julia was describing him when she said 'patent leather shoes, purse.'"

  • "The S-Bahn had technical difficulties, and there happened to be a soccer game, so you can imagine the soccer hooligans piling on the U-Bahn (the one headed for Olympic Stadium)."

  • "Breakfast is fantastic in this hotel. Did I mention that yesterday I paid €2 to honk a homeless man's bicycle horn, then got a 'free' homeless paper for doing so?" [I still have to learn German so I can read it]

  • "Germani is terribly out of his element in Berlin. Yesterday he stepped on a snail and then a dog sneezed [actually, froofed] on his foot. Today he poured coffee all over the tablecloth. At the KaDeWe he couldn't find us at the meeting place we had arranged; we saw him come out and take off in another direction, and though Bredohl ran, he missed him. Then he went missing for half an hour afer he fell behind when Whatshisface led us through Kreutzberg and Bredohl had to go find him again."

  • "Germani and Bredohl looked like they wanted to climb in the playground. German accent: 'Ian, I'm hanging like a monkey!' British accent: 'Thomas! I'm in the cubby!'"
Sadly, the journal ends midway through Berlin. It's astounding just how much we saw and how far we walked each day, especially in Paris where marathon-man Germani was guiding us.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Not a student, but still Shirking

Fun fact: driving a real car (as opposed to a crap one) with a cd player (as opposed to no audio of any kind) makes you almost enjoy driving. But not quite.

I'm killing time in the ol' Luther library (birthplace of drawings) for...oh, another couple hours, anyway. Either this computer clock's wrong, or I've been unobservant and not noticed half a dozen hours slip by. You can only play the piano so long, especially if strange people keep gawking at you and you haven't played in weeks and you're kind of falling asleep and you're just kind of half-heartedly watching your fingers to see where they'll go without really remembering where they're supposed to go. It's happening again right now while I'm typing this. Look at those fingers, what are they doing? It's one of those days, where I just don't care about much. Most days.

The reason I'm here in the first place is that I was obliged to go to a workshop that was supposed to help me with scholarship-applying. If by "help" they mean "point out what a tiny fraction of a chance I have," I guess it went fairly well. I almost suspect it was contrived just to convince me not to do grad studies. The general consensus was that there's no such thing as secular Anglo-Saxon poetry (speaking of pagans... I forgot to go to an old acquaintance's wedding the other day, except I was planning on not going so that's not the problem. I just forgot to consciously acknowledge the fact that I wasn't going to it). Then this evening there's a lecture here at the university—I can't quite recall what it's supposed to be about, but heck I'd be willing to go to a psych class full of first years by this point—no not really. Brr, psych. And first years. I was never a first year. Not that I've ever taken a psych class, but that's as it should be. At any rate, it will be my first lecture since finishing school.

It's strange walking around the university and not belonging at all, though I've done quite a bit of wandering around here lately. I've discovered that the university doesn't love you unless you're a student (and then probably not as well, but if you're not a student or in any other way connected to the university, you're doomed). They almost wouldn't let me take out some books again (I just wanted to practice shelving at home).

We haven't had a poll in quite some time (if ever). Here's one now:

What could possibly be better than living on your parents' farm, not having a job, and not taking classes?
Not living on your parents' farm
Having a job
Taking classes
All of the above

P.S. so far nobody likes the new site. Or, to be more accurate, nobody's had much success with the new site. Or, to be perfectly accurate, almost nobody's mentioned it, and almost nobody's looked at it, and pretty much nobody gets past the mainpage. Will probably go back to the old way. Or possibly just delete it. That sounds like less work.

Monday, November 06, 2006

New Website... no longer there.

Since I'm getting very nervous about the new site, I decided not to switch the blog over to it yet, in case there's some sort of riot. But, apart from that, it's all online, so you should check it out here and let me know what you think about it.

Apparently my brother had trouble getting a bunch of seed through Australian customs this weekend, but last I heard he was in Melbourne okay. That's a relief; I assume his vast supply of insulin made the trip ok too. This one's for him.

The last couple days have been warm enough to melt all the snow, and today it was even raining. Also, for a few months my Super Bort's Mighty Mouse scrollball (wow, it sounds so heroic) stopped scrolling downwards, but a couple days ago it magically fixed itself, so now I have full 380° scrolling capabilities once more! My headaches seem to have returned, as well as the old insomnia. I blame computers. And possibly the toxic wood preservative I was working with all morning.

There's been a dearth of drawings ideas of late, and a lot of the new site still needs work. But, since I spent most of the last four days working on the new site I think I'll take a general break from computers. Tschuss for now.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

The future of Lapsura

Big big changes underway for all my sites. It is going to be so awesome, I'm very excited about it. The only problem...it doesn't work on crappy browsers like IE. Not at all. I mean, I thought lapsura.com was already bad for those browsers, but the new site will be inconceivably non-existent on them. So, if there was ever a good time to get Firefox, now would be the time. Probably by Tuesday everything will be converted to the new site, everything, even this blog. Which might not work out so great, but it shall be done.

But it's going to be so awesome!!!! Seriously! w00t!!111oneone! I still have to build the Black Hole though, and several other new features.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

Well, last time's empty fun fact was an artistic statement (or something), but supplying your own fun fact was a good idea too. This week's fun fact: the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). You can read more about it on good old Wikipedia here. Other topics of interest are the Agreed Framework and NATO.

First Pillar: non-proliferation

“Five states are permitted by the NPT [Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty] to own nuclear weapons”—namely, France, Russia, China, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Why? Because they were “the only states possessing such weapons at the time the treaty was opened to signature.”

Second Pillar: disarmament

According to Article 6 of the Treaty, “The states undertake to negotiate toward general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.”

NWS parties have a formal obligation to “pursue plans to reduce and liquidate their stockpiles”—a formal obligation, that is, which “has never been adhered to by the NPT-recognized nuclear weapons states…. The failure of the NPT-recognized nuclear weapons states to comply with their disarmament obligations, and the unconditional indefinite extension of the NPT, has left a simmering discontent among many signatories of the NPT, and a justification for the non-signatories to develop their own nuclear arsenals.”

Third Pillar: the right to peacefully use nuclear technology

The NPT “gives every state the inalienable right to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes,” such as light water reactor nuclear power.
Now, here are some fun facts on NATO nuclear weapons sharing:
  • “At the time the treaty was being negotiated, NATO had in place secret nuclear weapons sharing agreements whereby the United States provided nuclear weapons to be deployed by, and stored in, other NATO states.”

  • “As of 2005, it is estimated that the United States still provides between 180 and 480 tactical B61 nuclear bombs for use by Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey under these NATO agreements.”
Well, so much for nonproliferation. “Under NATO convention, in the event of a declaration of war, these nuclear weapons cease to be subject to [the NPT] treaty. Such a declaration my occur quickly, and in secret; in effect, the NATO nations will become instantaneous overseas bases for deployment and usage of U.S. nuclear weapons. Many would argue that this situation violates the spirit of the treaty, and perhaps even the written rule.”
In Iran:
  • Iran has a uranium enrichment program, which is “a step towards a civilian nuclear energy program, which is allowed under the terms of the NPT”—that good old unalienable right. “However, the United States and the European Union accuse Iran of using this program to help covertly develop nuclear weapons, in violation of the NPT. Iran remains under investigation by the International Atomic Energy Agency, which has found no evidence of a nuclear weapons program.”
Now, as for North Korea:
  • North Korean Foreign Ministry statement: “We had already taken the resolute action of pulling out of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and have manufactured nuclear arms for self-defence to cope with the Bush administration’s evermore undisguised policy to isolate and stifle the DPRK.”

  • Terms of the Agreed Framework (signed in 1994) include:
    • North Korea’s obligations: shutdown of the Yongbyon nuclear reactor; abandoning construction of two larger nuclear power plants; placing of spent fuel under IAEA controls.
    • What they get in return: two light water reactors to be constructed by 2003, primarily supplied by Japan and South Korea.
    • Soon after, the US came under the administration of the Republicans, who—although they didn’t support the agreement—“agreed to phase out economic sanctions that had been in place since the Korean War.”
The US didn’t deliver on this though, and by 1999 “North Korea warned that they would resume nuclear research unless the US kept up its end of the bargain.” North Korea withdrew from the NPT in 2003.

Here’s a breakdown of the opinions at the 2005 Review Conference of the NPT (happens every 5 years):
  • United States: “wanted the conference to focus on proliferation, especially on its allegations against Iran”
  • Most other countries: “emphasized the serious nuclear disarmament by the nuclear powers”
I don’t believe anybody should have nuclear weapons, but if you’re someone like Iran and the US is trying to stop your nuclear energy program, when the US itself is probably the most nuclear state there is—and quite obviously has no plans for disarmament—then how can you help being angry? Or say you’re North Korea and you were promised some light water reactors (for civilian nuclear energy), and then never got them? Nobody likes a Global Police, or Big Brother, or whatever you call it.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Nosferatu

Saturday night I went to the symphony to see Nosferatu, the original Dracula silent film from 1922. Except they weren't allowed to call it "Dracula," so they had to call it Nosferatu (also, they declared bankruptcy after filming so as to avoid copyright infringement fines). Apparently, the guy who played Nosferatu actually thought he was Dracula—or a vampire, at any rate—in real life, so he was naturally creepy. Maybe it's just me, but he reminds me a lot of Salad Fingers:

He even moves like Salad Fingers, exactly like.

Friday, October 27, 2006

But what is it?

Note to self: Stop eating chocolate bars. Now.

Fun fact:

Sunday, October 22, 2006

The many names of Lapsura

[Stolen in turn from Angie]
  1. YOUR SPY NAME: (middle name and current street name)
    Laurel East-of-35
  2. YOUR MOVIE STAR NAME: (grandfather/grandmother on your dad's side, your favorite candy)
    Aenid Twizzler
  3. YOUR RAP NAME: (first initial of first name, first three or four letters of your last name)
    M-Nel
  4. YOUR GAMER TAG: (a favorite color, a favorite animal)
    Yellow Hummingbird
  5. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you were born)
    Laurel Regina
  6. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (first 3 letters of your last name, last 3 letters of mother's maiden name, first 3 letters of your pet's name)
    Nel Ner Cha
  7. JEDI NAME: (middle name spelled backwards, your grandmother's maiden name spelled backwards)
    Lerual Egdirdla (or something to that effect)
  8. PORN STAR NAME: (first pet's name, the street you grew up on)
    Treadmill East-of-35
  9. SUPERHERO NAME: ("The", your favorite color, the automobile your mom drives)
    The Blue Sunfire
  10. YOUR ACTION HERO NAME:(first name of a main character in the last movie you watched, last food you ate)
    Max Pie

My shiny new degree

Yesterday was convocation. Fun fact: the term "graduand" refers to someone who is in the current state of graduating, so you can only be a graduand for a couple of hours. It was pretty great: fewer graduates than usual so a shorter ceremony; all sorts of old profs and faculty and even Ralph Goodale congratulated me. But they forgot to give me one of my plaques. Most importantly of all, everyone pronounced my name correctly! For the first time ever! Before the ceremony, they had to give me special instructions and they were more concerned about double- and triple-checking pronunciation and writing out pronouncing-instructions on my name card than making sure I knew where to go.

Here's some pictures of me looking conspicuous in my blue Luther gown:

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

And, we're a rectangle.

This is my all-time favourite thing from Corner Gas: Lorne Calvert on the Ruby Newsday episode. Saskatchewan: hard to spell, easy to draw.

What A Wonderful World

Here's Ryan doing an excellent Yoda rendition of What A Wonderful World, complete with froofs! Yoda Choir...well Blogger won't let you click right on it, so here's the link: http://www.freewebs.com/meganmain4/WhatAWonderfulWorld.mp3
And many many thanks to Ryan for de-statickation; mp3s may be reposted in the forseeable future.

In an interesting twist of fate, Adam J. Mack won the Engineering Faculty Prize. He's my old highschool buddy that I tied with for the Governor General's Bronze Medal in grade 12. It's like we tied...again! Good job, Atom Bomb! Plus, I get "Great Distinction" tacked onto my degree.

The University never gets anything right. I mean, I tell them that I wanted to join WUSC this year (I've spent two months trying to join—nobody will help me! Maybe since I'm not a "student" or something), and that I helped people with essay writing, and that I enjoyed my science classes, and then they go and publish some crap about how I'm involved in WUSC activities and tutor physics students! I'm the one who required physics tutoring!! They could have highlighted some more impressive things than taking creative license. I bet I'll get in trouble for this. Double latte!

I forgot to mention that the other day I also ran into my Crakespeare prof, who happens to be the English Graduate Chair as well. She didn't mention anything about how I wrote "Crakespeare" instead of "Shakespeare" all the time on the final exam. Maybe she didn't notice...

Monday, October 16, 2006

Down the road to grad studies

I just had the most awesome meeting ever! It was about grad studies. I didn't know the first thing about what I could study in grad school (still pretty much don't), so I went to one of my best profs today and asked her. "Let me show you," she says, and leads me to an office where all the English theses written at the U of R are kept. Then in walks the Department Head and says "Is Megan thinking about doing grad studies?" "Yes she is. She's wondering what sort of things people do theses on." "You should do Medieval! Come talk to me if you want to. I'd be glad to supervise you!" [Well, as it happens I don't plan on doing my Master's at the U of R, but pretty awesome all the same] He continued: "Megan won the President's Medal, you know. And the Arts Prize, but that was a shoo-in." Dr. Awesome Prof does this crazy big arm-pumping "Yesss!" and then gives me a hug!

Then she takes me back to her office and writes out all the things I need in a proposal. "These are the basic things your proposal will need, for both the SSHRC application and the grad school application. Now we'd be happy to have you here. I don't want you to see U of R as the default; we'd be very happy to have you here, but it's easy to see yourself working here because you know the faculty, you don't need to establish a reputation, and in fact" [gesturing at the wall in the general direction of the Dept Head] "it sounds like we'd probably take you without an application. But I recommend that people apply to five universities: your dream school, a fallback school, and three middling schools. Do some surfing and find out if the faculty specializes in the area you're interested in. And make sure there are more than one doing what you're interested in, in case one of them dies or gets transferred. My supervisor for my dissertation (who straddles the earth like a colossus and heals sickness with a touch of his little finger, and about whom I will not tolerate criticism) ended up doing Shakespeare because the only guy who worked in the area he was interested in was a sociopath. What do you do? Work with the crazy guy or change your field?"

:0 Turns out there's half a dozen Medieval specialists at my dream school, and one Old Icelandic/Old English fellow—I suspect a Tolkien fan!—so I'm getting pretty excited. They have a list of english graduate student webpages on their website, and it would appear that they have only three grad students...good sign? Maybe better chance for funding? More personal attention? At any rate, Dr. Awesome Prof pretty much set out what I need to do from here. Well I'll miss the SSHRC deadline this year (three weeks? no way! I don't even have a "Question"—#1 on the list of things necessary for a proposal). Now I have to make an appointment with the Dept Head about this Medieval business. I've been given to understand that I'll require Old English—which I'm more than rusty on, not having learned it quite properly in the first place—and most likely Latin—no troubles there—and maybe Old Icelandic or some such. I will definitely need to peruse some theses, and try to come up with the all-important Question.

In other news...I'm being enlisted in all sorts of rock-heaving and whatnot that I hadn't anticipated, plus there was snow on my car today. A very thin layer, but still snow, and it will only get worse. I was hoping to get some writing done, but haven't done any in weeks. The Inter-Puter has been restored, so I will hopefully be able to post drawings more regularly, pending (of course) the creation of said drawings. I'm not finding new ideas so easily. And finally, last chance to buy a llama! They're all (except for two) being hauled away in two weeks to be set free...until they are sold at the auction in which they will be set free. My throat is sore; I think I'm getting sick. But I need to go before the Parking Nazi gives me another ticket.

Friday, October 13, 2006

The day I visited Hell

I walked into work to collect my last paycheque. I opened the door to find the entire interior under construction. As I walked along some narrow planks—a makeshift bridge—I couldn't help noticing that the gaping chasm below the planks was filled with lava. In a few minutes I was in front of the CEO, who casually pressed a button on his desk. Then the trapdoor beneath my feet opened and I was falling down into the lava....

...well, luckily for me the dream didn't come true today. Days are below zero now.

:(

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Points of note

I don't have much time, and I probably won't have internet access again soon, so here's a quick summary of things to note:
  • Ryan and his family took me to see the Rolling Stones this weekend, which was pretty darn awesome.

  • I'm done work! Will be at my parents'.....temporarily! I'm very adamant about the temporarily.

  • I've posted many new drawings. Here! I know, I'm still behind.

  • New songs as well. Here! The recording went pretty well: the pedal was behaving, the piano had recently been tuned, and I played until I got each song without mistakes so there's no splicing of uneven tempos and whatnot.

  • Photos from my wanderings last weekend:


More posting probably Friday when I go pick up my last paycheck. Over and out.

Friday, October 06, 2006

It's Over!

Woooooooooorrrk's out! for! ever! That is, after today. I'm hoping that since I just worked two 9-hour days (or rather, one 9-hour day and one 9-1/2-hour day...boy does that tick me off) that I'll be able to leave early or at least take a lunch break (hint hint), though I'm surprisingly alert after only 3 hours of sleep last night. Yesterday was close to another explosion, but then it turned freaking awesome when a certain someone returned to SK for the weekend! Refreshment establishments generally close too early. When I start up my waffle bar/bagel barn, it will be open at almost all hours. I also had a meal for the first time in two weeks yesterday.

They make these capuccinos too syrupy.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Intended Statements

Did you know that on this day in 1947, Max Planck died? I bet you didn't.

Well gosh, I can't apply to do a Master's in English without a "statement of intent." What do they want me to say? Are they expecting some sort of original contribution? I'm sure they wouldn't like a detailed explanation of my patented Crakespeareanism.

Speaking of Crakespeareanism: I've been finetuning my theory in order to submit it to a literary journal fairly soon—any guesses on how quickly it'll be rejected? But it would be so awesome to make it real! Plus, it seems to be spiralling out of my control, and I'm not quite sure how it works anymore. It's getting to be very complex, what with all its laws and required evidence and prohibitions and conditions. I think it's headed toward statistical analysis and ratios and calculations and such, but we'll see. Maybe I'll throw in some graphs. Hopefully it doesn't self-destruct. It's no longer specifically anti-Shakespeare. I mean, I don't want to say that it is, because that would just be malicious of me. Plus, I'm not really anti-Shakespeare, just anti-me-having-to-read-his-crappier-plays, and mostly anti-analyzing-his-plays. Analysis of literature...gosh I hate it. I like some of his sonnets. And I love researching the background of certain literature (like my prizewinning Beowulf essay or my Tolkien's Earendil = Lyric for Advent essay or my Essay on all primary documents pertaining to the Dry Quarry).

Two more days of work...which is about five days too many. I just might explode again this week.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

PhD in Awesomeness

So, about this awesome award woot (note: the "woot" replaces periods. I think that the "stop" in telegrams should also be replaced with "woot"...or at least pronounced "woot")

At convocation I'll be receiving an Honorary Degree in Awesomeness—more commonly and officially known as the President's Medal—as well as the Faculty of Arts Prize (I hope they involve some sort of remuneration) woot

Last week I had a "photo shoot" where they took pictures of me pretending to tutor someone woot

Thanks to the profs who always give me awesome references WOOT!

Monday, October 02, 2006

I want one of those moths

Here are the exciting events of the last couple days:

Friday I woke up with a migraine, and took one of my special poison pills. Normally these make me feel awesome but this time I was terribly depressed all day and had a sort of breakdown at work. After work I kind of felt like driving in no particular direction and not stopping. So I wandered around the city for quite a long time and somehow ended up on top of Goose Island Overlook (not sure how that happened). So I walked around there for a while, and then (oh no!) could not start my car, which seemed pretty fitting. Then I wasn't quite sure what to do. Who do I call? What the heck do I do? I don't know anybody who's home right now! (my parents are away on vacation, all my friends would be at a bowling-birthday-party). Luckily Amy answered her phone and saved me, and thank god for cellphones (incidentally, I later told god exactly what I thought of him before hurling some rocks in his general direction and telling him to fuck off). Some more wandering (somehow, I found myself on the road up the hill to Goose Island Overlook again), then I ended up on my parents' farm where I spent most of the next two days doing nothing and watching Pi (because you can never watch Pi enough times), and also going on a several-hour-long walk across the fields--bad idea, it was very hot and sunny which invariably results in more headaches. Now it is the last week of work. After this week I will have very infrequent internet access, so I'll probably get very agitated quickly. Over the weekend (only 2 days without internet), I went through severe withdrawal.

I seem to have committed myself to grad studies in English, mostly because the registrar phoned me today wanting a synopsis of my future plans and I said I was going to apply for grad studies. I always feel I have to tell them I'm planning on pursuing academics further, as if they'll withhold paying my scholarships if I don't (which may very well be true, I wouldn't know). But I'm also becoming more and more interested in math and science, especially astronomy. I mean, what's with Gabriel's horn? Finite volume yet infinite surface area? Crazy. Et cetera. I have a bad habit of quitting in the midde of things and deeply doubting what I'm doing. I really don't know where to go for advice anymore.

According to this personality test, I am: introverted, irritable, observer, depressed, does not enjoy leadership, reveals little about self, dislikes large parties, does not like to stand out, sensitive, not a thrill seeker, solitude loving, likes silence, fragile, second guesses self, negative, unadventurous, fearful, weird, paranoid, phobic, dependent, cautious, avoidant, semi intellectual. Oh boy, how very positive. I ask you, weird? And "semi" intellectual? All lies, I tell you!

I know, I haven't posted the drawings like I said I would. I just didn't feel like setting up my computer and then packing it up again two days later. Next week! For sure!

Friday, September 29, 2006

My new space

it's been a while since I updated anything but I'm a little loopy right now and am not thinking quite straight and don't have any news anyway except one more week of work and then what I'm not sure yet

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Avast, ye scurvy scalliwags!

Today is Talk Like a Pirate Day. I highly recommend this resource for translating phrases into Pirate-speech.
There are heaps of new drawings, heaps! But I can't post them until early next week. Just try to imagine them, you'll really laugh.

Monday, September 18, 2006

welcome... to zombo.com... this is... zombo.com

I've moved everything over to a new server. The new music page has working links! Unfortunately, you cannot search the Lapsionary, but you can once again submit new words, and I will actually receive them. Check out my new blog!

I'm devastated..."tentacular" is a real word. My lit theory prof told me she had made it up. Maybe it's something like parallel evolution.
So I've been reading some books that have a great deal of history mixed in with the story, and I thought, I could do that! So I started writing a sweet book about my trip to Paris and Berlin last summer. Now I get to go through all my HIST 390BP notes and maps and ticket stubs and general crap! Wooo! I actually find it very interesting. If only it were worth the time.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Oh those Britons

Drawings have been completely renovated. Still have to make a title for it though.

[edit: ...what should the title be?]

How would this be for a potential change?

Also: new music page.

And, the Britons have resumed calling me.

Monday, September 11, 2006

The shoulder of whom?

Here's one that you won't be able to cheat on. Guess who/what this picture is of:

P.S. if you've tried emailing me lately @lapsura.com I haven't gotten it. Lapsura.com is down, and I can't do any updation.

[Edit: Lapsura.com seems to have reverted to a very early stage. I sure hope it's temporary and they fix whatever the heck they wrecked]

Also, it occurs to me that I may not have ever posted this: zombo.com (must have speakers on).

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Mmm! Refreshing!

Here's a picture of a bottle of honey I bought. It would appear that honey is a refreshing beverage for cyclists:

Thursday, September 07, 2006

From my friend Bill

More gems from Bill Bryson's English and how it got that way

Fun Fact: the dying words of French grammarian Dominique Bonhours
"I am about to—or I am going to—die; either expression is used."
My favourite:
"Extract from the Pentagon's Department of Food Procurement specifications for a regulation Type 2 sandwich cookie: 'The cookie shall consist of two round cakes with a layer of filling between them. The weight of the cookie shall be not less than 21.5 grams and filling weight not less than 6.4 grams. The base cakes shall be uniformly baked with a color ranging from not lighter than chip 27885 or darker than chip 13711 ... The color comparisons shall be made under north sky daylight with the objects held in such a way as to avoid specular refractance.' And so it runs on for fifteen densely typed pages." (p 189-190)

(non)Awesome Sauce


Am I the only person who doesn't think it's funny to take advantage of a person's phobias? First, you have to understand that I have a serious aversion—I would even say phobia—of sauces. I also detest the Col. Sanders bobblehead; his creepy face gives me the feeling that he just might kill me. There are more pictures of the episode in the Photo Gallery.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Happy Anniversary!

Oops...Yesterday was the anniversary of the very first Drawing from the Library. I don't currently have my computer set up (nomad) so I haven't been able to post new drawings.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Anglo Saxonisming

This was (part of) one of my speeches in a performance I did in a class last year. 50 points if you can guess the language, what it means, and what book/movie "borrowed" it.
Hwær cwom mearg? Hwær cwom mago? Hwær cwom maþþumgyfa?
Hwær cwom symbla gesetu? Hwær sindon seledreamas?
Eala beorht bune! Eala byrnwiga!

Eala þeodnes þrym! Hu seo þrag gewat,
genap under nihthelm, swa heo no wære.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Gems

Oh, this book is so awesome:
I can think of two very good reasons for not splitting an infinitive.
  1. Because you feel that the rules of English ought to conform to the grammatical precepts of a language that died a thousand years ago.

  2. Because you wish to cling to a pointless affectation of usage that is without the support of any recognized authority of the last 200 years, even at the cost of composing sentences that are ambiguous, inelegant, and patently contorted.

  3. [from the mother tongue: english and how it got that way by Bill Bryson]
In my most recent Shakespeare class, the prof took marks off for split infinitives. I maintain that the rule of the split infinitive is an urban myth. On the other hand, there are some people who think I'm too draconian and fastidious about grammatical things. I just can't fathom how "then" and "than" and proper punctuation and the simple difference between superlatives and comparatives can be so difficult for some people. You don't have to know the terminology to use the darn language right, either.

[By the way, a split infinitive is putting an adjective between the "to" and the "verb," as in "to quickly run." Some people would have you believe that this is impossible, just because in Latin the phrase would be currere celeriter, and you can see how it is impossible to split the infinitive currere, therefore the proper English rendering would be "to run quickly" ... ok enough of that. Oh, how I would love to turn this blog into a series of lessons in little-known linguistic and etymological(?) trivia!]

I suppose I never formally acknowledged that I finished my degree early last week. Or that I also turned 22 a little earlier last week. Both are duly noted. But we must never speak of either.

Oh, and as of today I have become a nomad. Good thing I have a caravan of llamas under my command. By the way, if anyone would like, say, 5 brown female baby llamas, you should really contact me. Really.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Error! Error! Banjo not found!!

The music page has been renovated, so songs are not actually available there anymore (except some Most Recent songs are still available there). The mp3s are still on the web, as well as a couple new songs, but I don't plan on posting the links anywhere. But you can listen to a medley of the piano recordings and of electronic/MIDI/guitar/new voice songs, and as always you can contact me for more information. Of course, if you're using IE or some other crappy browser...you won't be able to access the Most Recent or Medley mp3 links anyways.



Warning to motorists in Tokyo: "When a passenger of the foot heave in sight, tootle the horn. Trumpet at him melodiously at first, but if he still obstacles your passage, then tootle him with vigor."

Saturday, August 19, 2006

You may have noticed that lapsura.com has been significantly renovated. It should work at all times now, even though a lot of it is being regularly hacked. I've found a way to co-exist peacefully with this hacker, so that everyone gets what they want. But, if you're still one of those Internet Explorer people, I vehemently urge you to consider Firefox. It's so much more superior in many ways; plus, Internet Explorer severely butchers the awesomeness of lapsura.com (turns the title into a big ugly block and the floating windows—i.e. most of the links—don't work). In fact, I find Firefox a heck of a lot faster than Safari, plus you can't beat tabbed browsing. That's Firefox folks; just click the highly conspicuous button on the sidebar.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

fucking sick to death of all this shit. ALL THIS SHIT. hacked again classes crazy too much work nowhere to live school is all I know and now it is done what do I do now (and yet none of that is bothering me half as much as I am bothered) everything is falling apart and they call these fucking antidespressants?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

There is no human problem which could not be solved if people would simply do as I advise. —Gore Vidal

After all, all he did was string together a lot of old, well-known quotations. —H. L. Mencken on Shakespeare

The best way to predict the future is to invent it. —Alan Kay

That's the secret to life... replace one worry with another. —Charlie Brown

Music is essentially useless, as life is. —George Santayana

I hate my life! I hate everything! I wish I was dead! ...Well, no I don't. Not really. I wish everyone else was dead. —Calvin

Verbing weirds language. —Calvin
Apparently I released my first album (without my own knowledge), which not only made it into Gil's "Listened to" the last few days, but was also featured as the on-hold music at work today. Soon I will have infiltrated all of North America!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Two birds attacked me at once today. I should really stop walking that way back from class.
Here's some of the Francis 100th Anniversary Parade in pictures:

Old tractors led the way:



Then came the fire trucks/bus and grader:



I remember making this sign for a parade at least 5 years ago for the Ag Society (I could have sworn it was Francis's 100th Anniversary then). It looks suspiciously like they changed the date:



Some horses:



Young hooligans on bicycles:



Then the police came to break up the riot:



Well, there was a lot more to the parade than that; floats and things that threw candy (and even Santa on a quad) but I'm not going to post those. Now here's some llamas and chickens:



All these and other pictures are in the photo gallery.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

And of course, somebody HACKS MY WEBSITE, just when I hadn't made any backups...

ok so the hacking was probably almost entirely my fault, and it's also my fault that I didn't back anything up, but still! Anyways, the Lapsionary required complete reconstruction, and I'm still working out glitches in it. You can check out what the damage used to look like on almost every page here (old obsolete drawings page).

And if it was YOU who did it...don't do it again!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Today was the awesomest day in a long, long time. It's about time, too, because this week was pretty hellish. The awesomest part (today) was Ryan coming to visit. Then I finished reading a lengthy book for my Old Moldy Books Class. There's still a lot of reading to be done in order to get all my final assignments in this week, but then it will all be over. I also went on a very lengthy stroll by the lake (the first time in a long time that I've been outside during the daytime). I was going to go into the waterfowl park, but I didn't like the looks of those geese, and considering my recent encounters with attacking birds, it was probably for the best that I didn't. Tomorrow I'm going to the farm to take a bunch of stuff home and retrieve my camera. Since I've been going through my room, I've found a multitude of scraps of paper from months and months ago with ideas for drawings jotted down on them. So, there's a small collection of drawings piling up.

Friday, August 11, 2006

What it feels like:

Like somebody cracked open my skull, poured the entire contents of my head on some pavement, spread it into an even layer, sprinkled on some shards of glass, jumped on the entire mass for good measure, then scooped everything back into my head, where somehow someone wearing stilettos still manages to jump on it.

I just spent 18 hours in bed.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

That bird attacked me again today.

I think I mentioned at some point that my anthropology prof is related to me in some irrelevant way. Anyways, we were talking after class last week and he asked how things are going (probably concerned because I've been missing classes—still managed to get 98% in the midterm though!). So he asked what my English class is about. Admittedly, I've had trouble focussing my thoughts in any coherent way lately; but seriously, all I could come up with (without ranting on the utter uselessness of English in general) was "Ohh... it's mostly about... old books." Yeah, he laughed at that.

Anyways, the point of that story is that the classes I've been taking are very discouraging. But today... was one of the best English classes ever! How is this possible? Because my Lit Theory prof from last term was the guest lecturer! She's so intense, and she argues with the force of a thousand hurricanes. She should be a politician, or at least a lawyer. She singlehandedly inspires me; I come out of her classes actually thinking—really, thinking! Or I would, if I were in a thinking sort of mood. Nothing else even remotely connected to English does that for me. Somehow, she manages to present English in a way that actually matters. She's also the one who keeps after me to do an honours or masters. It's tempting, very tempting, but I don't think it would end well.

Back when I was in Music, I took a Masterclass where the guy gave us this advice: "If you truly want to perform, then go for it and it will be the greatest thing in life. But if you don't, then quit now, because it will break your heart." I don't regret quitting performance, because it would have broken my heart.

I feel very defeated.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Happy Saskatchewan Day!

I went out to the farm this weekend. It's Francis's 100th Anniversary this year, so there was a parade on Saturday. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera at home, so pictures of the parade and baby llamas and mangled augurs and whatnot will have to wait. As well as drawings. The parade was mostly dominated by old-fashioned tractors. It's not like the Chokecherry Festival at Lancer, where everyone marches down the street waving chokecherry branches, though. So I'll post the farm-weekend-pictures maybe next week or so.

Other than that, things are uneventful. Classes, work (due to a Saskatchewan Day Miracle, I had to come to work today. I don't really mind, I'm just complaining for Gil's sake)... yeah, pretty much just classes and work, classes and work, every day. And the nightmares. Oh, and in about 2 weeks I'll be homeless. I could do with less stress, maybe a vacation, maybe a little stability in my life, maybe some time just to try to appreciate life and find some meaning. You know, be a tiger instead of a slow elephant person...or something.

My greatest aspiration right now... is to someday create a graph as informative as this. So far I have failed.

Here are some toothpastefordinner comics that I feel are applicable:

Friday, August 04, 2006

I keep having nightmares. It's really starting to bother me.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

A bird attacked me today. Repeatedly. And then at work Col Sanders kicked me in the shins. Ok, I made that part up, but the bird story is true. It grazed my head! Jerks.
Today in Anthropology class we watched a film about the WTO protests in Seattle in 1999. That's right, I'm 7 years behind in current events. Why do I never know what's going on? Anyways, I've always been very pro-protests, but the issue we discussed in class was the extent to which protests and demonstrations have the effect of just reinforcing the existing system. In the film, the demonstrators claimed victory at the end. That was 7 years ago, and they thought they had changed the way WTO meetings would be conducted from then on. But there's demonstrations at every WTO meeting. Being involved in demonstrations sustains the illusion of freedom of speech and all that... maybe that's all it does; the powers that be still ignore the people. But as long as we can do these demonstrations and claim victory, we feel like we've made a difference. It's all HEGEMONY (see the Lapsipedia of Literary Theory [woefully incomplete still] for all my biased definitions—hegemony is under Marxism).

Monday, July 31, 2006

What with full-time classes and near-full-time work...hobbies are going by the wayside. Drawings will likely no longer be daily, though I'll still try to post them at times. Music will likely not be happening anymore too, though I do have a couple songs that I might post at some point. I really miss Midweekend... 9am to 9pm EVERY FREAKIN' DAY is getting old really quick. I no longer have time for homework. But the GraphMaster will not be defeated.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Here's an assortment of disturbing things: Yesterday at work I had a computer stupdities experience:

Me: ok, now select your CD drive.
Customer: No, it's a Dell. I'm not sure how old it is.
Me: but you said you have the file on a CD, right?
Customer: I think it has a CD drive. It's a Dell.
Me: is the CD in the computer right now?
Customer: yeah, of course, I already put it in.
Me: ok, then let's go into your CD drive and find the file.
Customer: it's probably a few years old...could be ten.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

I went to my parents' farm today. Here's some token beeface pictures, and Jaden being awesome:

         

My sister and her baby were also there. The only problem with that is that she likes to change him on my bed. I hate going home to a garbage-can-full of dirty diapers.

In my anthropology class, we talked about "cultural categories" and how people will starve even though there's edible things around, just because they don't consider them to be food. I still think this is going a bit far. We also talked about Santa Clause, and how back in the good ol' days there used to be two Santa-like characters: one who gave toys to good kids, and one who came around and beat the bad kids.