Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas: Ori's Version 2011

Dear Globlets,

I work in retail. We don't say "Merry Christmas" when we answer the phone or when we say goodbye to customers,  we say "Happy Holidays." Not everyone celebrates Christmas at this time of year, but it's a rather pathetic attempt to be politically correct. There are Christmas trees everywhere, Christmas decorations, Christmas music, Christmas sales, Christmas clothes, and everyone is shopping for Christmas presents. Christmas, Christmas, Christmas. It's inescapable. For some, it's too much and they hate it. Others like it, and some don't care too much about it.

When a customer says "Merry Christmas" to me, it's physically impossible for me to reply with "Happy Holidays."

Not everyone knows the true origin of Christmas or the reason we celebrate the way we do at this time of year. But Christians believe it's the time to celebrate the birth of Jesus, which is fine. However, a lot of the Christmas-y things we do don't have much to do with this religion. You could then say that Christians celebrate their own version of Christmas, perhaps with Jesus at the centre.

Many others celebrate their own version of Christmas, too, even if they're not Christian. The only difference is that Jesus isn't the star of the celebration. Christmas has turned into something that everyone can participate in.

I'm an Atheist, and I love Christmas. I really do. I love the lights, the decorations, the pictures of snowy scenes with merry children building snowmen, and I like Christmas carols - even the religious ones. I love getting together with my family, dressing up a little, making a big deal about the delicious meals we'll eat. But the main event at Christmastime, after we've stuffed our faces with the most delicious foods that we've been waiting all year to eat, is the gift-giving.

Absolutely, stores love this time. Consumerism is bad, bla bla bla. And maybe some people do get carried away. But to sit around a beautifully lit-up tree with the people you care about to give them gifts that you have lovingly wrapped, and watch their faces light up when they find something that they really wanted tucked inside tissue paper that has been used for at least three Christmases already, is just really nice. The look on their faces when they find a perfect gift, or a funny gift, a gift that has some kind of meaning or that shows that you care and have been listening, is probably my favourite thing. This can include things you've made for them, too: their favourite treat, a mixed CD of their favourite kind of music or new music, a decoration, a photograph, whatever. It's so they know that you've thought of them. It's so that they feel loved.

Gift-giving around the Christmas tree (and eating) is what my Christmas is centred around. For some it's about the food or the company or Santa or the kids waking up early to open their presents, and for others it's about Jesus. But for a lot of people, it's a combination of these things. The variations of Christmas traditions are endless, especially when you factor in other traditions like having the Yule Log or mistletoe, both of which I never recall seeing in our home.

But whatever your version, whether you have a ceramic nativity scene set or a Flying Spaghetti Monster tree-topper, Christmas is for everyone. Call it Saturnalia, call it Yule, call it Pastamas - whatever the name, the sentiment is the same. Get together with the people you love (this means friends, too), set your differences aside, decorate a tree, share meals, give gifts, and spread joy during some of the darkest and coldest days of the year.

And I know I've posted this before, but I especially feel like this when I'm putting together a box for a customer:


Oh, and Happy Holi Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

All work and no play.

Dear Globlets,

All work and no play makes my glob a dull blog.

I'm sure you can understand. Before, it was school, and now it's work-work. I'm begging for lots of hours and putting off fun things. It's been too long, though. And all the blog posts stewing in my mind are kind of blending into one. I would anticipate a very long Christmas post in the near future. I'll have to make the time in the next few days. I need to post at least one more before the new year.

And for the record, I do feel terrible for not posting more. I miss it. I really do. Which is why, for an unlimited time, you can now donate thousands of dollars directly to me. Just leave a comment on this post with some contact info and we'll go from there.

Maybe I should set up a paypal account.

I only need two grand. I'm sure you have that lying around somewhere in your New York loft...

Monday, December 12, 2011

Swiss Wedding?

Dear Globlets,

There is only one person in the entire world whose marriage proposal I would accept. Her name is Marissa. And some of you might wonder, "What about her is so special? Why her, and why not me? Why, why, why? Why couldn't it be me?"
And I understand that. But unless you can prove to me that you are of equal of greater value than Marissa, it's impossible. And this is why:



(Asha is her sister.)
Original image:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/howzey/6049620705/

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Perfect Endings.

Dear Globlets,

Apparently I got 50 pageviews the other day. I checked the sites people have been using to find my blog, and, well...

Really?

From Google searches:
"FSM touching"
"nude thirty nine year old women"
"draw a naked woman showing her charms"

And referring URLs:
"naked Jean MacLeod"
"big booty porn"

Awesome. But still, 50? Who are you and where do you come from and why don't you stick around and comment? I'll love you forever.

In other news...

(Lucy, what an awful segue...)

In my WRIT100 class, I found myself defending the creative nonfiction genre. I can't say I loved the CNF section. It was alright. But my classmates have something against creative nonfiction, it seems. In fact, I had to correct them every time they called the genre "Nonfiction." I demanded that it's CREATIVE nonfiction.
"Right, right. Creative nonfiction. In fiction, you can do this, but in nonfiction - "
"Creative nonfiction!"
"Creative nonfiction."
"Creeeaaaative... nonfiction."
"Whatever."

There's a difference. A microwave manual, technically, is nonfiction. A science textbook is nonfiction. Creative nonfiction is something different entirely. I have more to say on this, but for now I'll just bring up the quote I found that made me think of this.
“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next." - Gilda Radner
This is what can really separate fiction from creative nonfiction. Real life can be just as interesting as fantasy, if the story is told right. The mundane, as I have said before, can be just as intriguing as the grandiose. The end doesn't have to be the end. Sometimes, the fact that life rarely turns out the way we expect, the fact that shit happens, the fact that humans have flaws and are ungraceful and make mistakes, reminds us of our humanity. And there can be beauty in that. There can be meaning in that. We don't have to go to Oz or to Cloud City or Mordor to find these things. Sometimes we just have to go to the bus stop.

This is something I found on Wiki when I looked up Gilda Radner: "Gene Wilder had this to say about her death:
She went in for the scan – but the people there could not keep her on the gurney. She was raving like a crazed woman – she knew they would give her morphine and was afraid she’d never regain consciousness. She kept getting off the cart as they were wheeling her out. Finally three people were holding her gently and saying, "Come on Gilda. We’re just going to go down and come back up." She kept saying, "Get me out, get me out!" She’d look at me and beg me, "Help me out of here. I’ve got to get out of here." And I’d tell her, "You’re okay honey. I know. I know." They sedated her, and when she came back, she remained unconscious for three days. I stayed at her side late into the night, sometimes sleeping over. Finally a doctor told me to go home and get some sleep. At 4 am on Saturday, I heard a pounding on my door. It was an old friend, a surgeon, who told me, "Come on. It’s time to go." When I got there, a night nurse, whom I still want to thank, had washed Gilda and taken out all the tubes. She put a pretty yellow barrette in her hair. She looked like an angel. So peaceful. She was still alive, and as she lay there, I kissed her. But then her breathing became irregular, and there were long gaps and little gasps. Two hours after I arrived, Gilda was gone. While she was conscious, I never said goodbye."
This is nonfiction, and it's one of the most powerful things I've read in a while. Having read this, I feel like I've learned all I needed to know.

Friday, October 28, 2011

How I Don't Start Writing.

Dear Globlets,

In my last WRIT100FictionSection class, we talked about how we start the writing process. One person said they go to sleep, because they find dreams to be a good source for ideas.

Well.

I had a dream last night where I was drunk. Surprise, surprise. And the city I was in was a triple-city combo: Victoria, Portland, and San Francisco. And maybe some third world country, too, at some point. First, I was in downtown Victoria. Similar to what happens in real life sometimes, I couldn't remember what order the streets were in because the intersections are all similar, and they get jumbled up in my head. I said, standing on Johnson Street, "I've lived here for two and a half years; I should know the streets like the back of my hand by now." Was I with someone? And I've been here longer than that. But I lived in Chile for two and a half years.

Then, I was waiting for the #14 bus, the one I take almost every day, but on the #6 route way out in Esquimalt, and when I realized this, I hopped on the #4 going down the cross street, and then I was in San Francisco. A couple of friends were on the bus, too, and I said, "This bus is not going to UVic, is it?" And they were like, "No, to Hillside." Which might have actually made sense if I hadn't been in San Francisco, because Hillside Mall and UVic are on the #4's route, but the scenery, of course, was totally different.

I jumped off the trolley (yes, trolley now) and started running to Yates Street, because I knew the #14 would go down it (in the opposite direction from UVic, mind you). I ran, and I ran, and I remember there was a lot more running after that. I ran past the courthouse on Blanshard Street in Victoria, and could see where I needed to get to again. My face was bright red, I was out of breath and drenched in sweat, so I stopped at the Red Lion Inn on Douglas Street, except it was actually a colourful tent in a China Town I didn't recognize. There was Johnny, the owner of the dim-sum restaurant in the Red Lion Inn, who we see every six weeks after we get our hair done. There were a lot of old Chinese men, and they all looked at me.
Gasping for air, I said, "Can I have a glass of water, please?"
Johnny turned around, and turned back with a glass in his hand.

At this point, I distinctly remember thinking whether or not I should chug the water, or drink it slowly so that my thirst would be better quenched. A compromise: I chugged half of it. The men were staring at me. I was wearing a black suit (somehow I realized this at that moment). I sloshed a sip of the remaining water in my mouth. The men kept staring. I swallowed the water, took another long sip, sloshed the water around in my mouth some more, letting every corner of my mouth get a little water, and I swallowed again. I'm surprised I didn't gargle. I did this four or five times, still being stared at, still in silence.

"Thanks," I said, and wiped my face with my black blazer, put on a pair of badass black sunglasses that I don't actually own. Then, remembering I was drunk, I thought about how drinking water and sweating would help me sober up. When I started running again, I dropped my iPod, keys, and sunglasses, which were now my mom's brown sunglasses. I picked up my stuff and shoved it in the ridiculously deep pocket of my black trousers.

And then I woke up.

I think I'll stick to other means of story idea formation.

I'm Gonna Live Forever.

Dear Globlets,

BM47F6HT76WP

By posting this code, apparently I'm going to get famous.

Or, you know, not.


(How have 17 people looked at my blog today? Who are you silent, mysterious people?)



Or better yet:

I confess. For the longest time I thought it was "Babe" Bowie was saying, and not "Fame." That's how brilliant I am. Like you didn't already know.




Ori

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Storytime.

Dear Globlets,

After completely over-thinking my creative nonfiction story for the last several weeks, after trying to work with the truth as creatively as possible, the other day in my scriptwriting class, I wrote a short fictional scene for the first time in ages. And man, did it feel good. It felt like I didn't have to worry about anything. I just wrote. I just became that serial killer who walked into the Starbucks. I became the redhead for whom he held the door open. I became that 16 year-old girl he kept looking at in an overly nice but ultimately creepy way. Come to think of it, I should have become the girl's boss a little more, but it was just a scene. And I have the power to change things as I please.

It was an exercise we started in class. We created characters to walk into a coffee shop, gave them some physical description, came up with a few details of their past and character, and established why they were in a coffee shop at that particular moment. Then, we put our notes in a pile, mixed them up, and picked a page to create a scene from. The one I picked happened to be about a serial killer. Then, my prof said to make the character lose the struggle we create for them. Interesting, huh?

I missed writing like that - with just a couple of guidelines. It just flowed. I didn't have to stress over it. And I don't really know why, but I seemed to be really stressed out in my CNF class. To make matters worse, I don't think I did very well on the exam. I don't know what was up with that/me. Maybe I gave too much detail on the definitions and that's why I didn't have enough time for the essay question. At least my scene got 90%. I think my story will do well, especially since my friend Tom helped edit, plus at least 10% of the class's stories weren't actually creative nonfiction. I know my exam was only last Thursday, but I really want to know my mark, simply so I can accept it and move on.

While I have yet to move on, the class has. We're onto fiction now. The introduction to it consisted partly of bashing creative nonfiction. Apparently, I'm the only one in my class who likes the genre - or at least it seemed that way. I don't have to like a CNF class to like the genre. On one hand, I hope the class hasn't ruined the genre for anyone; on the other, if it did, that means less competition for me! Contrary to popular belief, reality can be just as emotional and sensitive and interesting as fantasy. CNF writers can't tell stories about aliens, so there are some limitations, but that doesn't make CNF dull. People are interesting. Beauty can be found as easily in the mundane as it can be in the grandiose. And sometimes it's the littlest of things, the quickest of looks, the sincerest of moments, that make real life interesting and worthwhile.

It is interesting, however, how little I wrote for the CNF section of WRIT100, and how little I'm expected to write for the fiction section. It's one story each. One story? Each story for WRIT100 has had a maximum word count of 1,500. I wrote eight or nine short stories for my fiction class at Camosun, and I believe each had the same maximum word count as these two stories. One of my short stories turned out to be over 2,000 words. I'm not trying to belittle what we've been doing in my WRIT100 classes because I do value it, but I wish we had more opportunities to actually write, as opposed to read and react. Why can't we do both? Read and react, and then workshop a thousand-word short story? A scene. Flash fiction. A conversation. The description of a town. A character sketch. Anything.

I'm probably just being impatient. To do so much at Camosun and then go to UVic to do much less has been weird for me.

But scriptwriting... Scriptwriting at Camosun is getting me thinking. I'm coming up with ideas again. It's like the CNF course sucked the life out of me, sucked the stories out of me. I couldn't think about anything else. All I thought about was, "Dear Lucy, how am I going to end this?" and "What am I trying to say with this piece?". But not anymore. I'll keep writing my own creative nonfiction, but now it's time for something completely different.

It's storytime, Globlets.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

First Workshop of WRIT100

Dear Globlets,

Great. They've changed the blogger interface and it now looks like a word document. When I couldn't stop over-thinking my CNF assignment, I started writing it as a blog post so that I could get out of that Blank Word Document of Disillusionment and Despair environment, but here it is again. It is nice and clean, however.

 In other news...

In my Writing 100 class, the creative nonfiction (CNF) section, we workshopped our stories, just like we will in every Creative Writing class. The workshop exercise is fundamental and, I think, extremely valuable.

For those unfamiliar with the process, you usually read over a piece the first time to get a sense of the story. Then, you go over it again with a highlighter and/or pen, making notes as you go along. "This doesn't make sense," "This is too wordy," This is AMAZING," "The phrasing is awkward here," "Can you give some more detail?", and you make grammatical and spelling changes or suggestions. You scratch out adverbs and highlight powerful verbs. You suggest which parts need to be condensed and which need to be elaborated on, but you also point out the good parts. You tell the author which sentences add veracity and verisimilitude (what a word, eh?), which ones show character, describe setting, evoke emotion. And you write up the good along with the bad. Some people like to give "feedback sandwiches": What works, what doesn't, then what works again. You have to be honest, but you also have to have tact. Destroy the piece if you have to, but do it gently, and actually consider the possibility that the author may be emotionally attached to the piece.

Verisimilitude: a likeness or resemblance of the truth, reality or a fact's probability. (From Wiki.)

Workshops are great when you're struggling with a particular part of the story because the others will help you come up with ideas, and they're great when you need someone to fix the awkward  bits you missed.

I recently gave out copies of my story to my workshop group, and collected the group's stories for editing, too. I have participated in numerous workshops in the past at Camosun, so I had a certain level of expectation going into it. The skill level of so many of my former classmates was incredible at Camosun. Even when the spelling and grammar was wrong, or the phrasing was awkward, the stories were still very impressive, with only a few exceptions. Forgetting that WRIT100 is a first year course, one that people choose to take even though they're not interested in becoming writers, I was a little disappointed with some of my peers' stories. A couple were quite good and had a lot of potential, and most of the time I understood the author's intentions, but some stories were not actually creative nonfiction. I was expecting more, even if they were more likely to excel in another genre (like poetry or drama).

When I got the edited copies of my story back, there wasn't too much for me to change. I already knew the ending was inadequate, and everyone agreed with that - without actually saying, "Your ending is inadequate," of course. But a couple of the copies only had the occasional "I like this," "This is good," "Nice job here," which wasn't really enough. On one girl's piece, you could hardly see the original text because of how many notes I made on it. Another editor marked errors in my piece when it was really her suggestions that were wrong. It's hard to take advice when it's coming from someone you know doesn't have the experience. It sounds bad, and I sound totally pompous, but some of the edits were nowhere near as detailed and helpful as those from my first year fiction class or first year creative nonfiction class at Camosun.

Of course, my peers at UVic are still learning. The ones at Camosun are, too. And I am definitely still learning. But this experience in WRIT100 has, once again, proven that great talent does not stem from large pocketbooks, or slightly shinier pieces of paper. UVic is more prestigious than Camosun, sure. If I say "UVic," most people know what that is. If I say "Camosun," I sometimes have to explain that it's a college. It's just a shame that the talent at Camosun might not earn as shiny of pieces of paper that UVic hands out after going through the Creative Writing program. Camosun should offer shiny pieces of paper for Creative Writing.

I just wish talent was rewarded more often.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Happy People.

Dear Globlets,

As you might have read before here, I'm not a fan of overly happy-sounding music. Fun, for example, is one band I can't stand for that reason alone. This is how I previously described the way the music makes me feel:
"When I hear this I can't help but think, 'PLEASE, PLEASE MAKE THE GODDAMN JOY AND HAPPINESS STOP!' Which is probably bad... but true. It's too happy. I hate it. I hate it I hate it I hate it. Somebody needs to rip out this person's heart, trample on it, and make him eat what's left of it with a huge side of peas, because seriously."


Because seriously.

And maybe it's bitter of me to look at a young couple holding hands, kissing on the street corner, looking into each other's eyes with love and devotion, and then think to myself I give it five months. Unless he has a nice car. She's probably looking at him like that because he reminds her of his brother, or worse - her cousin. And you can read into this however you like: I'm a writer, so it's natural to invent characters and conflict, or it makes me feel better when I'm not the one getting my neck slobbered on. Those are both accurate interpretations.

No matter how many times I've rolled my eyes and muttered, "Fucking Happy People," I know it doesn't take much to be happy. Cats, for instance, are supreme happiness-inducers - have you ever been on YouTube? And I am happy, which makes it okay for me to make fun of other Happy People. It's like racism. Racial slurs are okay as long as you're part of that race. Or when no one of that race is around.

A smile goes a long way. So long, in fact, that if a boy looked at me and smiled - good Lucy! - I'd be ecstatic for the rest of the day. But, you know, a cute boy. Not a 12 year-old. But, as I found out yesterday, there is one thing that can really make a person, and everyone around that person, happy:

It started off when I lost my mind yesterday morning. Either because I was abducted by aliens overnight and had my brain removed and poked at, and when it was put back in, not everything was the way it used to be, rendering me even more insane than usual, or because I stayed up late writing an assignment that was due the following day, or both, I left for school an hour early. I've often made the mistake of thinking I had to leave earlier than I actually needed to, but I had never followed through with it until yesterday. My class was at 1:00PM, and I bolted out of my house with wet hair at 11:15AM. I couldn't believe how late I was going to be. I put on my earrings as I walked down the street and I cut through the park. It takes me fifteen minutes to get to the bus stop, another fifteen to get to the university, and about ten minutes to walk from the bus terminal to my class. Luckily, before I left home, I checked the bus schedule to see when the #9 would go down Cove Street*, the road that goes straight to my bus stop. Taking the bus saves me ten minutes, so I rushed over to the nearest stop.

As I turned the corner, I faced an unusual sight. My first thought, of course, was Is this person crazy?. Her hair was up in a messy bun, but a few chestnut-brown strands insisted on dangling around her face. I approached with caution. Thin and tall, she wore tight black pants and carried a backpack. As I got closer, I realized what this was. This was a Happy Person. But she was no ordinary Happy Person. She was a dancing Happy Person. She was the president. I smiled at her when I got to the bus stop, and she smiled back without stopping, without considering what I might think of her. And what would I think of her? Apart from the initial "Is this a crazy person?", I thought she was ballsy as hell. But what did it matter? She was so into her iPod that she really didn't care.

I stood there next to her, thinking about how I'm nothing like her. There are so many things that I wouldn't let myself do in public because I don't have what this woman had. She was shaking her hips, tossing her head back and forth, and smiling the biggest goddamn smile I ever saw a Happy Person make. And then I looked at the people in the cars driving by. Almost every single one looked at her and smiled. A couple of people honked, and instead of feeling uncomfortable or vulnerable or exposed like I would, her smile grew. Maybe she is crazy, I thought.

Soon enough, the bus came.
"Must be a good song," the bus driver said when she got on.
"Yeah!" she replied.

We both got off the bus at the same stop and headed towards the next one, university-bound. She was in front of me and I got a whiff of her perfume: pink flowers. I don't know why pink, but pink.
She looked over at me a couple of times and finally said, "Going to university?"
"Yeah," I replied.
"Nice! Lots of midterms this week?"
"Actually, no, since most of my courses are writing courses."
"Oh, sweet! Are you getting into journalism or English?"
"Creative Writing. Like novels and short stories and stuff. How about you?"
"Science. I've got a chemistry midterm tomorrow."
"Oh? Sounds like fun! Hey, I wanted to ask you where you got your balls."
"My balls? Ha, ha. I don't know, I just get really into it. It can be hard at first, but once you get a couple of smiles, it's easy, and then you just keep going. It gets me ready for the day, and it's good exercise, too."
"What kind of music do you listen to?"
"Anything. This is actually my friend's iPod."
"Huh. That's really neat. I don't think I could ever do what you do."
"Sure you could! It just takes some getting used to. Just try it out. I'm telling you, once you get a few smiles, it's a breeze."

If I was spiritual, or, rather, really self-centred, I could look at this day like it was planned out by some divine entity. If I hadn't lost my mind and decided I needed to leave an hour early for school, rushing so much I didn't have time to find my stapler or paper clips for my assignment (I had multiple copies to be workshopped), if I wasn't so late for being early, I wouldn't have gone to that bus stop and I wouldn't have seen that fascinating, fearless, Happy Person. I didn't even realize I was early until I was on the second bus.

After my encounter with the Happy Person, I started thinking about what might deter me from doing what she does - aside from the obvious "people will think I'm crazy but awesome but also crazy" issue. I don't like that I'm so hung up about what people think of me, so my excuse turned out to be my choice in music. The songs I dance to are embarrassing on their own, never mind the way you dance to them. So, today I decided it would be a good idea to prove that dancing to disco and music from the 80s in public is dangerous. I started filming. But then I thought, Maybe this isn't so bad. Maybe I can do this. Maybe I should. And by that I mean show the pretend-public: the internet. Millions more could possibly see the video than if I danced at a bus stop, but somehow it's less scary. I think this is where "ignorance is bliss" comes in, since I can't hear you laughing at me or talking about me. I can't see your raised eyebrow or wide-eyed stare. I do worry about what guys will think, though. There are creepy people in real life as well as online, but I have a plastic screen to protect me here. Out there, all I'd have is this new mini stapler I just bought.

But here it is, and good Lucy help me, in honour of President Happy Person, a video of me dancing.

I just watched it again and started perspiring like I had just run a marathon and not been lying down this entire time. Like a hot flash. I'm scared as shit, Globlets. I don't know if I can do this. I worry that it's too much ... upperladybodybits and bum. And Thanksgiving dinner and dessert. I don't think I was supposed to sing along. And that last one? I WORKED HARD TO GET TO THAT. I'm not a dancer, okay? I YouTubed a how-to and practised for maybe an hour. Or half an hour. I don't know. And it's not like I have zombie attire for every day of the year. My room isn't big enough to do it full-on, either! You people are so demanding.

Just. Shut up. Here it is. I'm going to be like President Happy Person now, okay?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AudavGjZAuE

MY LIFE IS OVER NAO.

But nobody reads this anyway, right? Right?

-----
What is so strange/startling about a person dancing in public? Isn't dancing something humans do? Don't we walk around with music plugged into our ears all the time?

Here's real dancing:

(She should have worn less clothing in this film.)

*Street name and bus number changed because I always feel like somebody's watching me.
Oh-ooh-oh.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

October Traditions.

Dear Globlets,

The most amazing thing has happened. I bought pants... that don't have to be hemmed! And I know what you're thinking. "But your legs are the shortest in the world, second only to midgets' and some Asians'." Because you're insensitive like that. But it's true. I changed in the car from skirt to brand new pants and walked into that supermarket like a man!

In other news...

This was my Facebook status on Saturday:
"New shorter hairs! Finally. :) Chemainus tomorrow - the tradition continues. Also, Costco today, so if you don't hear from us in five hours, send help."
Help was not sent. TEN hours later, I commented:
"GEE THANKS.
I just got back.

I had to dig myself out of the Costco Members Pit of Death. Do you know what's at the bottom? Rotting corpses. Just so you know. I had to use someone's arm to beat away other Costco Members. Someone bit me, I probably have rabies, and to think that the Costco workers just kept throwing more sample food into the pit... Ugh! (The taquitos WERE tasty, though.) Many had given up and were making shelters out of inflatable pool toys. Of course, those got popped once someone opened a 10-piece pack of Henkel knives. Some suffocated among the ruins, some used the deflated alligators and dolphins like capes.

It was a sad day for all. And you did nothing!"


Why Chemainus? Because of this:



Why Costco? Because of this:



We don't usually like traditions, but some of them are good. Our yearly trip to Chemainus, for example, is always fun, and should happen more often than once a year. My mom had never made a turkey before, and while this is not the WHOLE turkey, (because, well, be reasonable, there are only three of us) it still counts. There were mashed potatoes with gravy and Brussels sprouts with pancetta, plus mushroom-bacon stuffing and caramelized carrots. Everything was delicious. Especially the stuffing. >.<

And I even decided to take the Thanksgiving tradition one step farther and made pumpkin pie:
Happy Thanksgiving/Excuse-to-eat-yummies Day.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Glob Update.

Dear Globlets,

I've just added a section to the header of my Glob called "UVic Website of Chaos and Doom + related stories" where I'll post all globulations regarding UVic and the stupid things that I, as a student, have to go through to get the most common things done, like pay school fees.

There are two globulations there now: "Congratulations on Your Outstanding Academic Achievement" (which has been slightly revised) and "Bad for Business," plus I have one more stewing in my mind. I expect there will be more stories of inefficiency and poor communication to tell as I go along.

If you have a story you'd like me to include about UVic or another university's general or website issues, feel free to contact me. I'm going to see if I can include an E-mail Me gadget on the page so it's easier to do.

Please bear with me through the silence; I promise I have some ideas brewing and will post soon.

Don't hate me.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

"Just to see you in it."

Dear Globlets,

About a week before my birthday, after work, I walked down one of the halls at the mall, and as usual, I walked by Danier. I have always wanted a leather jacket. I had one in my closet for a few years, worn maybe twice, but not any more because it was too big for me. I didn't feel sexy in it, and what's the point of wearing a leather jacket if it doesn't make you feel sexy. I went into the store, and I tried the smallest gloves they had, but my short, stubby fingers did not reach the tips. They never do. I glanced at the wallets. I walked around, looked up, and on a high shelf sat a mannequin wearing a black leather jacket with ruffles lining the zipper, collar, and sleeves. It came in at the mannequin's waist, and the lines on it slimmed the skinny mannequin even more. I just wanted to see the jacket, to touch it. I didn't have to try it on. But there it was. All $379 of it. Some stores put nice clothes up high on the walls to deter short people like me from trying/purchasing them, but not this one. I knew that if I tried it and I loved it, there would be no way in hell I could ever have it, even if I got the $50 off every $150 (which meant $100 off).

I grabbed the first one off the rack. I put it on, zipped it up, and it hugged every curve perfectly. It fit like a glove. "Oh no. Oh no, oh no, oh no."

I said to the sales lady that perhaps I should have a bake sale, or start a leather jacket fund that my family could contribute to - after all, it was my birthday coming up. She asked if she should write down the model number, and I said yes, really just to go online and look at it. And weep.

A few days later, I asked my mom to come into the mall after work so I could at least be seen by one other person in the jacket. When I put it on, it was kind of like this all over again:


I took a deep breath, took it off, and we left the store in search of a jacket that I actually needed.

I guess my mom mentioned it to my grandparents, and, knowing the cost, and the fact that the sale ended the day before my grandparents came over, when asked about a certain jacket that I'd found, I denied everything. I didn't know what they were talking about. There was nothing to talk about.

After my afternoon class, my grandparents took me to the mall on a mission to find a Spring/Fall jacket for me. Around the time we found one at Winners and we were on the way to Safeway to pick up a cake, I thought I'd share with my grandma, who appreciates quality clothing, a little about that leather jacket. "It has a braided trim, and there are ruffles on the inside, too, so if you wear the jacket open, you can see ruffles on both sides. It was really well-made."
"Well, let's go see it!" said my grandma.
"What's that? A jacket?" My grandpa overheard.
"NOTHING! Nope. Nothing. There is no jacket," I said.
"Why don't we go see it? Just to see you in it," said my grandpa.
"Even if I showed you the jacket, and there is no jacket, the sale ended yesterday. It's not a hundred dollars off anymore."
"I can get that sale price. We'll go there right now."
"No! I won't tell you where it is." I hate bargaining, and I didn't want to see my grandpa ask for the lower price and have the lady say no.

After some more "'Let's go see the jacket!' - 'What jacket?'" it was decided that we would pick up my mom from work and go see the jacket.

Before entering Danier, I gave a final warning, "I think this is a bad idea!" and my mom shoved me into the store.

There it was, except this time it was brown. I hadn't seen the brown one before, and then I loved it just a little bit more. Plus, the price had been marked down to $200.
"See? Isn't it a good thing we came? And you didn't want to. Now you have to trust Dziadzius," my grandpa said. Obviously, they loved it. You'd have to be insane not to. I tried on the XXS in the brown. (The black XXS one was the one that fit me like a glove.) I said it felt tighter than the black one, but it still looked amazing. So, I tried the XS in the brown. It was nice, but not quite the same. Back to the brown XXS. I found it tighter still, so I tried the original black XXS, which felt ever so slightly better. But maybe the XS in the brown was okay. I put that one on again. Then the black XXS. Then the brown XXS. And this went on and on, and finally we had to decide between the brown XXS and black XXS.

Well.

Hi. My name is Oriana, and I am the proud owner of a brown XXS leather jacket that, especially with the shortened sleeves, fits me better than any glove I've ever worn. And that's not just because gloves never fit me.

As for my old leather jacket? After trying it on to see if my grandma could take it in, she asked if she could try it. It fits her! So, we both got leather jackets.

$200 was a price I could live with. $279 was not. I've always been bad at getting gifts, especially expensive ones, but I love my jacket, and I'm glad we went in "just to see [me] in it."


(I was going to post a photo of it from Danier.com, but the model doesn't do the jacket justice. I will show you how it's supposed to look - with me in it.)

Guilty.

Dear Globlets,

There's nothing worse than an "I'm sorry I haven't been posting lately; I promise to post more" post. I don't like reading them, and I don't like writing them. Even so, I'll make a quick apology and a weak excuse about not finding time between work and school, even though there are people far busier than I am who somehow manage to do way more outside of work/school. I hate those people. Damn time-management magicians.

"In the criminal law, an omission, or failure to act, will constitute an actus reus (Latin for "guilty act") and give rise to liability only when the law imposes a duty to act and the defendant is in breach of that duty." From Wiki.

/Guilty.

I'm going to make a separate post that's actually interesting...

Sunday, September 4, 2011

For Learning.

Dear Globlets,

Have you ever heard of Neil Tyson? He's an astrophysicist who has often hosted the TV program, "NOVAScienceNOW," on PBS, where a wide range of topics are examined: from space to Autotune to genetics. He also may or may not have had something to do with the demotion of Pluto as a planet. And if he were to marry my mother, they would certainly have my blessing. Recently, he was a guest on "Real Time with Bill Maher," and the topic of what Tyson would do if he were president came up. After more and more people asked him about it, including the NY Times, he responded with this:

If I Were President...
August 21, 2011 in the Read section

The New York Times

August 21, 2011

Part of collection of opinions on the topic: "If I Were President..." which appeared in the Sunday Review section. What follows is the unedited version of what was published.

The question, “If I were President I’d…” implies that if you swap out one leader, put in another, then all will be well with America—as though our leaders are the cause of all ailments.

That must be why we’ve created a tradition of rampant attacks on our politicians. Are they too conservative for you? Too liberal? Too religious? Too atheist? Too gay? Too anti-gay? Too rich? Too dumb? Too smart? Too ethnic? Too philanderous? Curious behavior, given that we elect 88% of Congress every two years.

A second tradition-in-progress is the expectation that everyone else in our culturally pluralistic land should hold exactly your own outlook, on all issues.

When you’re scientifically literate, the world looks different to you. It’s a particular way of questioning what you see and hear. When empowered by this state of mind, objective realities matter. These are the truths of the world that exist outside of whatever your belief system tells you.

One objective reality is that our government doesn’t work, not because we have dysfunctional politicians, but because we have dysfunctional voters. As a scientist and educator, my goal, then, is not to become President and lead a dysfunctional electorate, but to enlighten the electorate so they might choose the right leaders in the first place.

Neil deGrasse Tyson

Source.
(Bold face by me.)

I love how neutral and reasonable he is... How objective. I wish more people were capable of stepping out of their circle of comfort and beliefs to analyze what's inside of it from a non-cozy/warm/familiar place - not from an uncomfortable place, but a neutral, understanding place, and maybe even ask why they think what they think.

Of course, one cannot blame all that goes wrong on a single leader, even though many leaders do things that go against even the most basic of human rights. The problem is, we elect them. Why do we elect them? Some of us don't even know. Some of us vote for people just because they're a Republican, or just because they're a Democrat, without really looking at their agendas. I saw a clip a long time ago where a reporter was asking people why they were voting for "so-and-so," as they were waving signs at passersby, and they responded with something like, "Because they're for [this] and against [this]," and the reporter asked where they got that information. "I don't know. I just know that he's for [this] and against [this]." I think it was Rachel Maddow. It was a very telling segment. I doubt that very many voters in the US actually spend enough time to think about why they want to elect one person over another. By listening to the talk of one politician, and one politician only, or only one viewpoint, how can a person know for sure if they're making the right decision? The other guy might actually have better ideas, even if they're not part of the party you usually vote for.

Everything goes back to education. All the problems in the world would be solved if everyone had proper access to good education. If only man's greed for money and power could be exchanged for a greed for learning...


(Apologies for switching between "your" and "one's" when I was making examples and stuff... It's 11:30 and I'm tired.)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

If You Ain't Got No Grammar.

Dear Globlets,

I may or may not have just come back from a night club (is that what it's called?) where my dear friend celebrated her 19th birthday, and I may or may not be writing this intoxicated, but typo-free. While I was there, I saw this guy look at me and smile two or three times. Usually I just looked away smiling, but just before we left he saw me again and I smiled back! It was very exciting. Like with a bit of eye contact and everything. Then I asked Michaela if it was time to go, and it was.

So, Craig's List style:

Missed Connections
"To the guy in the blue plaid/checkered shirt, AKA Smiley Guy: Can you use an apostrophe? And can you do so drunk? Because I can.

Sincerely,
Ori
PS. If you can, that's all that matters."

Because IF YOU AIN'T GOT NO GRAMMAR TAKE YO BROKE ASS HOME.



("Grammar" because "punctuation/apostrophe" has too many syllables. ;) )

Yeah, the song ain't so hot, but being well-educated is.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

"Urine, your table is ready!"

Dear Globlets,

Yesterday I tried on a pair of $30 shoes that I love but wasn't sure if I should purchase because I don't actually need them (yesIdoyesIdoyesIdo). I decided to think about it and put them on hold (because with my luck, a group of small-footed Asians would come in and buy the two size fives they had). I took the box of shoes to the counter and told the girl what name to put down.
"Oriana. O-r-i-a-n-a."
She writes: ORI
"A-n-a," I say.
ORINA. "Like this?"
"No, a-n-a."
She scratches out ORINA and writes... "O-R-I-*hesitation*-N-A. "Okay, they'll be here waiting for you."

This is why when I go to restaurants with people I usually give someone else's name to the host(ess). "Kim" is a million times easier than "Oriana" and "Ori." "Ori" is usually "Cory," and Oriana is usually, "Can you spell that? ORINA?"

The best part is orina means urine in Spanish.

THANKS. NOW I REALLY WANT TO BUY THOSE SHOES.

"Urine, your table is ready!"

Last night I thought about it and decided that if the girl grabs the box of shoes along with the piece of paper insulting my name, I'm going to ask to see the paper and write an A after the I. Maybe only if it's the same girl. She probably has her Dogwood diploma.


They had really bad service there. I wore those shoes for something like ten minutes and walked around the store, and no one even made eye contact with me. There was a girl who worked there right next to me, doing some tasks... Ignoring customers is simply unacceptable in the store I work at. It just isn't done.

Next time, if I remember and am in the mood to screw with people...
"Can I take your name, please?"
"Beavis. Table for two."

"Under what name?"
"Aphrodite."
"A-f-r-o...d-y-t-e-e."

"Table for three. Can I get your name?"
"Pocahontas."
"Poca... okay. How many kids menus?"
Adrian and I together: "ZERO."
Kids menus are typically for children 12 and under. I'm turning 20 next month and Adrian, who is significantly taller than me, will be 16 in October, and as far as I can tell, my breasts have far outgrown the average size of prepubescent ones (and most grown women's, in fact).

I'm just saying.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

We No Speak Vegeteriano.

Dear Globlets,

We no speak vegeteriano.


"Click me."

"Click me. It makes me bigger."

"Clickmeclickmeclickme."

Mmmm.

Bacon, sausage, mushroom, mozza with thyme and basil from our garden. I even made the sauce from scratch.

I love this song.


And I feel both versions deserve to be heard.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Baby Showers: It's Raining Babes

(Hallelujah! It's raining Babes. - Good theme?)

Dear Globlets,

I've watched this so many times now that I must share it. It was decided that I will be buying this toy for the firstborn of one of my friends who actually likes children and intends to bear one or more in the future. (She's crazy, but enjoys long walks on the beach, the Transformers movies, and populating the earth. She also doesn't mind it when I Photoshop my face onto her body.)



And this is why my friends are all going to host secret baby showers. But that's okay. Marissa and I will go to the pub and play pool, pick up some handsomes, and get knocked up so that we can... Wait, no. Why go through the trouble? We pretend that we got knocked up and have either really horrible bacon-filled baby showers or we have secret ones where we ... go to the pub and play pool.

Don't worry, Marissa. We don't have to drink.

Much.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Good eggs with onions.

Dear Globlets,

My brother.

Need I say more?

Perhaps for those who do not know him, I need to. My brother is great. He helps me get my shit together when I'm rushing around, trying not to be late for work. He'll fill my water bottle and grab me a snack. He's a good egg, as the fabulous Esther Parker would say. As good of an egg as he is, he is also sometimes the most oblivious. For example, in Chile, my dad and I ate nearly half a container of ice cream right next to Adrian before he realized we had been eating his favourite flavour for the last ten minutes. Adrian also likes to do things the longest possible way around. For example, I just asked him to take out the compost and the garbage. I would have, first, put Lucy in the bathroom so I wouldn't have to worry about her running away. Then I would have put the freshly-cut veggie bits into the compost container, grabbed the garbage on my way out, and put the compost in the "Incinerator" (as my mom calls it) and the garbage in the bin. One trip. Adrian, on the other hand, goes to the door with the cutting board full of veggie bits in hand and then realizes Lucy wants to go out. She has wanted to escape every day for five years, yet Adrian is never prepared for this. He shoos her away. She leaves. He unlocks the door. She returns. I suggest that he put down the cutting board and THEN put her in the bathroom. He does so, leaves, and makes two more trips: one for the compost container and then another for the garbage.

Sometimes when I facepalm at the lack of efficiency this boy demonstrates, he gets upset, I get in trouble, and occasionally I'll feel bad. He just has a weird way of doing things. He cares not about multiple trips or suggestions from me on how to speed up the process.

Today, I decided to make soup. As the good egg he is, Adrian helped me prepare the veggies.

We peel the carrots and parsnip, clean and trim the celery and leek, drop in the peppercorns and cloves of garlic, and dunk in the chicken legs. I check in the baskets where we keep shallots, onions, potatoes, and garlic for an onion, only to find three squishy/powdery green ones. I decide not to kill my family, so instead of putting them in the soup, I chuck them.

"Adrian, can you please go to the store and get an onion?" I ask.
"Okay," he says, staring at Family Guy.
"Can you... go get it now?"
"Okay." He gets off the bar stool and pets Lucy.
"So, you're okay with getting the onion?" I say, anxiously looking at the nearly-boiling pot of almost-soup.
"Wait, what? Me?"
"Yes, you're getting the onion. Look at me. Do I look ready to go out?" I point at the tissue stuck in my nose. "I'm sick, remember? Can you get a small yellow one, with the brown on the outside? You know."
"Oh. Okay."

Soon enough, he returns with a medium-sized onion. I take off the first crispy layers, and before I drop it into the soup, I want to make sure it isn't too late to do so because the soup was already boiling. I explain to my mom: "In the time it took Adrian to go get a new onion (because the others were dead), the soup started boiling. Is it okay to put the onion in as it is or is it too late?"
"There are some onions. I bought them yesterday," she replies, even though I know there aren't any onions in the basket.

I look at Adrian. "Did you go to the store with mom yesterday?" I ask.
"Yes." He looks at the hanging baskets where we keep our fruit.
"Who put the onions there?" I ask him, pointing at what I now know is a plastic bag of onions next to the apples.
"Me," he replies.
"And who just went to the store to buy a new onion?"
"Me."
"Okay, that's what I thought. Just checking."

"Maybe he likes the exercise?" my mom suggested.
"He must."

Monday, August 15, 2011

"Spreading the Germs."

Dear Globlets,

I'm so sexy when I'm sick.



See?

Bad for Business.

Dear Globlets,

Restaurants are known to have awful websites. When I worked at One of a Grind, I often thought about getting permission to build up the online profiles for the business. As I live in the 21st century, if I want to find somewhere to eat or have a coffee, I Google it. I can find coffee shops or restaurants or bistros just by typing in an address for Google to search by, whether I want to find a place downtown, by my house, or when I go to Nanaimo. The entries with the most details and reviews are the ones I would consider first. If I can't even get the hours of operation, how do I know they're still open at all? When I looked up One of a Grind and found a couple of entries made by, and in reply to, the previous owner, I knew that if I was looking for a cafe/bistro, I would probably overlook this one. I firmly believe that having a website, or at least an online reputation of some sort - even on restaurant review sites - will increase business.

My mom linked me to these sites:
This one describes the shitty restaurant website phenomenon, and this one has funny comments about shitty restaurant websites (For example: “Yay! The link keeps *bouncing*! I love that trying to enter your website is a fun game.” And “I was wondering if this place had an atmosphere of murmuring patrons and clinking dishes. Thanks to the sound effects on this website, now I know!”).

If a bad restaurant website can deter potential patrons, what can be said about bad university websites?

As you may or may not know, I consider the UVic Website of Chaos and Doom one of my arch enemies, right up there with spiders and peas. You might have read this post which describes what I went through during my admission process.

Today, I went online to see which of my recent tuition payments had gone through for both Camosun and UVic. Unfortunately, nothing shows up yet for Camosun, but the transaction did work according to my bank. Next, I realized that the $200 that was supposed to go towards my UVic tuition for the Fall semester was sitting in the Summer semester area:
Term Charges:
$95.00

Term Credits and Payments:
$295.00

Awesome. I started looking around the site for ways to transfer payments from one semester to another, or at least something that might help or say, "If you pay fees too much in advance, just chill, broski, because we'll sort it out when the time comes." Even a "If you pay before September, your money is going to end up in the wrong semester, trolololo" message would have been nice. I'm not too worried about the money, but it got me thinking about the UVic Website of Chaos and Doom again.

I was reminded of the shitstorm that was the process of post-secondary information collection, and of Camosun and UVic's inability to communicate with each other, despite the fact that numerous students transfer from Camosun to UVic every year.

I would understand, perhaps, that going to the university to speak with them in person might be more beneficial than gathering information from the website IF it had not already been proven that not even the humans can tell me what I need to know. That's the point of the internet: to have oceans worth of information at the tip of one's fingers, because it's too hard seek it from the tip of another's tongue. I cannot expect a human to have all the information they need for each individual student, but in the 21st century I think it is fair to expect that a website would have all the information each individual student might need. Things like "How and when to pay tuition online so that it goes towards the right semester" would be nice.

And I can't help but think... I am trying to get as much information as I can so that I can make a well-informed decision that will affect the rest of my life. Going to university is a huge step in my life. It's probably going to be the most important time of my life. If I fuck it up, so much money and time and energy will all have been wasted. So, you'd think that accessibility to information, either online or in person, would be fantastic. You know, because some of us might actually want to know ahead of time that the TENS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS that will probably be spent on post-secondary education will be spent properly.

While poorly-designed restaurant websites piss people off enough to make them order a pizza instead of go out, there is no alternative for students who want to make the best decision about their education, who want all the facts in advance, who fully expect to end up tens of thousands of dollars in debt before they are finished school. If I'm going to dish out that kind of dough, I want to know that every dollar is worth it, that I made the right decision, and that this is the right path for me, but if the information is not even close to accessible, then it isn't fair to ask me, or anyone else who wants an education, to plunge into the bottomless pit of student debt.

Facts upfront, motherfuckers. Facts upfront, and then you'll get your money.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Oh, Man Man.


Dear Globlets,

I hate it when I think to myself, "OH! I should write about [this] later!" Because I never really know when I'm actually going to. The best thing is to write about it the moment I get the idea, but when I'm grocery shopping, or driving to Costco, or watching cash and running clothes back to the sales floor and attending to customers all at the same time, it's not always easy to access a laptop, or even a notebook. All I can do sometimes is make a mental note:
- bitch about waste due to unnecessary/excessive packaging
- bitch about forgetting mental notes
- bitch about bitches who bitch all the time

But not this time. This time, I write within minutes of having the idea.

As you may or may not know, I already bought myself a most magnificent super-early birthday present: a beautiful pen. While some people might think, "A pen? Really? You paid $80 for a pen? You know you can get a pack of twenty at Staples for $15 right?" And to those people I would reply with a large, "Fuck you. Just- Take it. Write something!" And they would, and they, too, would know the magnificence of my super-early birthday present.

-----
Well, that went well. See how I began this post talking about how it's best to write the moment you get an idea? I wrote that FOUR DAYS AGO. Well done me. At least this time around I'm not leaving the half-written post to rot in my drafts folder.

Post continued...
-----

While on my break at work, I wandered the halls of the mall, daring not to enter any but two stores: La Vie en Rose (I know, I know! Where did my La Senza loyalty go?) and HMV. There's a bra at La Vie en Rose that I'll get once I've paid for school as it's what I've been looking for for ages, and there's a CD at HMV that I already knew existed, that I've already held in my hand, that I'd already set back down on the shelf with a heavy sigh when I convinced myself against spending the $20 the first time around. There's a CD at HMV that I went in specifically for, remembering exactly which shelf on which I had put it back. I've already listened to all the songs on the CD. I've already done the math: 13 songs to $20 is more than I might pay per song on iTunes. I've already found a way to listen to all the songs on all the albums I want FOR FREE ONLINE. But no. That damn sly HMV salesperson said it herself: "If you get it on iTunes, you won't be able to physically hold the CD in your hands." So, I thought to myself, "You're right, Damn Sly HMV Salesperson (that's what it said on the name tag). I'll take it. IT'S MY BIRTHDAY IN TWO MONTHS ANYWAY." That's close, right?

The worst part is that I literally just checked how much the album costs on iTunes. I guess I paid $7 more for the physical case, CD, and scary poster that will totally go with my room decor. I already have skulls littering my walls. 'CAUSE I AM BAD ASS. And by "bad ass" I mean "lying." I must have only looked at the individual song prices, which are over 99 cents per song, which makes the physical CD package seem more worth it. On the bright side, I am supporting a fantastic artist that I discovered by chance.

Justification process complete.

The artist is Man Man. I purchased their album "Life Fantastic."

I discovered them through grooveshark.com (internet radio), and while the Indie station is "meh" 99% of the time and forces me to listen to the band Fun no matter how many unhappy faces I give it, Grooveshark randomly decided to play some weird music where the lead singer sings with a bizarre hoarse voice laced with beautiful consonance and wretched dissonance played by any and every instrument, though primarily piano, in a style that would best suit a carnival... where someone perhaps sacrifices some livestock. I don't know.

I like the HMV description of their album "Rabbit Habits":

What a difference two years makes. In 2006, Philadelphia wierdos Man Man released their second album, an off-the-wall slab of musical insanity as confusing as it was arresting. In 2008, a move to a bigger label finds the highly theatrical band fully utilizing all the tricks in its bag (cartoon percussion, Tom Waits-like junkyard/thrift-shop arrangements, twisted carnival atmospheres, and an Animal Collective-like penchant for experimentation) without losing focus on their songs or their overall sound. While a freewheeling, try-anything-once aesthetic reigns, it's utilized in service of carefully constructed songs whose structure remains at the center of every track. RABBIT HABITS is the sound of an expansive, anarchic ensemble finding its feet and using its outsider orientation to both push existing boundaries and forge powerful new ideas.


Here's a description for the Life Fantastic album.

When I first heard some of their songs, I didn't like it. I didn't like the guy's voice, and I couldn't stand the chaos of it all. Funny enough, the beauty among the chaos was what later drew me in, and I don't say that metaphorically. I literally mean there are parts of songs that are just fucking amazing to listen to, while others make your ears suffer a little. But it hurts so good. Especially when you know the next verse will take you back to that fucking amazing sound you previously heard.

That's what I like to hear in music: pain and suffering. Sure, make me suffer with you a little, but only because I know you'll reward me in thirty seconds with a bridge to absolutely die for. This isn't Pearl Jam or ACDC (Sorry, Marissa), where the suffering extends throughout the entirety of each song and drives a person to suicide.

Let me explain.

Fun:

When I hear this I can't help but think, "PLEASE, PLEASE MAKE THE GODDAMN JOY AND HAPPINESS STOP!" Which is probably bad... but true. It's too happy. I hate it. I hate it I hate it I hate it. Somebody needs to rip out this person's heart, trample on it, and make him eat what's left of it with a huge side of peas, because seriously. Stop. being. so. happy. I can't take it. I don't know why.

Compare it to Man Man:

This is a favourite:

And sure it starts happyish enough, but
"He don't even taste the food he eats anymore
There's a space in place where his heart was before
He don't even taste the food he eats anymore
And she don't want to dine alone
And he don't want to die alone
And she wants to live to eat."

This one is beautiful:

"Who... are we / to love / at all?"

And I looooooove this one - Haute Tropique:

I visualize choreography to it. It's one of my all-time favourites.

Steak Knives:


And the one that got me hooked - Engrish Bwudd:

- "Fee fi fo fum, I smell the blood of an English man!"

My favourite. (The youtube video isn't so good.)


I feel like I've been good enough to purchase the remaining albums on iTunes now: I've promoted them and I've purchased their latest CD at regular price. I'm sorry I can't afford the other physical CDs at regular price, but until Man Man/HMV makes them almost the same price as buying them from iTunes and making my own CD, I can't be expected to pay $2 per song. i need 2 pay 4 skool 1st c?

OH. And guess who discovered them the WEEK AFTER they played in Vancouver? +1 I guess I'll have to catch up with them in Spain... for my birthday... They'll be there in September! But the question is... Where will the lottery money be?


It's midnight. I hope you're happy.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

"Would you like it... gift-wrapped?"

Dear Globlets,

I suck, I know. Let's just pretend the last 15 days never happened and move on. I'm posting now.

I like my job. It's just a retail job, but it's really a great environment to be in even though the music hasn't been classic rock for the last couple of weeks. I feel like I'm getting better and better at everything. The newest of newbies sometimes even come to me for help. The numbers are in my favour. I never meet my sales targets; I beat them. And my boss has made it clear that she does not want to lose me. This is something I never got when I worked at the coffee shop. Nobody ever told me or made me feel like I did a good job at anything. Being told that I wasn't the person they thought they'd hired (but holding onto me anyway because they felt bad(?)) was my first clue that I would never feel truly welcome there. Perhaps I wasn't. There were some good times, of course, but it often felt like I would work so hard yet still manage to do something wrong, or rather nothing right. I blame it on the lack of training I received as well as the lack of organization within the facility. There was no system, and I need a system.

There is a system where I work now. There are procedures and guidelines and assignments, but I am still faced with variables, so it's not like working at a military training base. In addition, others have described the sales team as being like a family, and I tend to agree. I feel comfortable talking with any of them - perhaps less when it comes to Hot Coworker, but that's just because he's pretty. However, if something serious ever comes up, I know I could count on him, which is familyish.


I prefer to work in the fitting rooms, where there are many interactions that tend to happen all at once. It gets stressful, especially since the doors are flush with the wall, and the whole thing is mirrors, so I can hardly tell the rooms apart. Someone will ask me for another size in something and the moment they close their door I will have forgotten which room they were in. This isn't a problem when it's slow, but when nearly every fitting room is full, my only hope of identifying the rooms is a little number that pops up on the door when it's locked, as long as the person inside has remembered to lock it. Then I have to worry about multiple locked doors next to each other, particularly if someone sneaks into a room while I'm not around. ("Was it room 5 or 6?") Then I usually just knock and ask if they were looking for a size, and sometimes I'll just shout, "I have that size you needed!" and whichever door opens first is the one I'm looking for. It's like Whack-a-Mole combined with Memory Blocks. And for some reason I love it. When I'm not attending to customers there, I'm processing clothing rejects. I hang things up the way they're meant to be and either take them back to the floor myself or thank the designated "runner" who does it instead.

A part of me wonders if my enjoyment doesn't also come from the lack of responsibility I face back there. In the fitting rooms, it is less likely for people to steal and easier for me to notice if someone does, whereas at the front it's easy for things to slip by. It's easier for someone to simply swipe items from a table at the front than it is to smuggle something out of a change room. And at cash, well, it's cash. You're dealing with people's money and the store's accounting and inventory; plus, you have to be quick and be careful of fraud. But perhaps with a little more practice on cash I'll get more comfortable with it.

Sometimes when I'm packing a customer's purchase in tissue paper, I feel like they get a little impatient. Less so now that I'm more used to it, but I can't help but remind myself of Rowan Atkinson in this scene from Love Actually where Alan Rickman agrees to having his purchase gift-wrapped.

All in all, things are doing well in the job department. It hurts going from being paid almost $20 per hour to less than half of that for twice the work, but at least it's coming in consistently.

Now, before my spine ends up staying like this permanently, I'm going to end this here, stop writing with the laptop on my chest, return my arms to a less bent and more natural position, and hope Lucy doesn't run away when I move her so I can turn around and put my sleepy head on the pillow. As enjoyable as the job is, surprisingly, it takes a lot out of me physically. After work, I'm usually quite content to just fucking die on the couch. But not tonight, I told myself. Tonight, I dedicate this night to my Globlets. (Mostly because nothing was on TV.) <3

Friday, July 15, 2011

Gaydar Love.

Dear Globlets,

I have a job again. And a coworker who is really hot. As it is a retail job, I was quite content in thinking my hot coworker was gay. Bad stereotype, I know, but it's a good defence mechanism. (Attractive young man + gay = off limits.) However, he is not gay. He is in a very serious relationship - far more serious than anything I could handle - with a woman.

Just yesterday (I think), he and one of the managers got a classic rock radio station to replace the top 40 one. When I went in and Supertramp, Cream, and Queen were playing, one right after the other, I thought to myself, "I fucking love this place."

Later on in the day, I dropped off some clothing in the fitting rooms area where Hot Coworker was working. He asked me how my day was going, and I said, "Excellent, now that I've heard Radar Love."
"Well, you know," he said. "We've got a thing, you and I, that's called radar love."

I just about died. He quoted Golden Earring. I think he created a new standard that my future man will have to meet. *Must be able to quote classic rock songs on the spot.*

He's nice, good-looking, dresses wonderfully, and has excellent taste in music; even so, I do not need to mate with him. We'll be coworkers who get along really well, which is the case for most of the staff, but he is fantastic.

After all, we've got a thing that's called radar love.

And to make me feel better, he's gay.



Gaydar love? No, that doesn't work too well, does it?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

It Was Always You.

Dear Globlets,

i miss u.

But I haven't forgotten about you. Don't look at me like that. You know if I could have, I would have posted. Okay, maybe that's not entirely true. Maybe I've had plenty of opportunities, and maybe the thing getting in the way is that I wanted to feel emotionally ready to globulate. Maybe I wanted to come back from the dead with a bang, with something extraordinary, with something... epic. But that's not the way shit works. And I should know better. So many times I've thought about writing to you, Globlets, and so many times something stupid distracted me from what really matters. What really matters is you.

So, hello, you. I'm back. But I was never really gone, was I? I was always here. Just like you. Waiting for me.

There's so much to say, but no longer will I wait for that special moment when the stars align, and in my heart I feel the time is right, because we could all be waiting a very long time for that. No... Instead, I will write whatever and whenever I feel like, even if it's just rambling because, good god, do I look sexy when I ramble, and, lawd almighty, do you like it when I look sexy.

I need to get a notebook for writing stuff like I did for the Morning Pages that I had to do for ENG154 (Fiction class). Just have to write a page at least per day, but I promise you it will not be in the morning. This bladder needs to be voided ASAP after waking up. Writing a page per day is supposed to get the words flowing easier and faster, making the wait for the perfect moment to write unnecessary.

I've excited myself with all this rambling, just as I'm sure you, too, are excited. More writing tomorrow.

It was good to see you again, Globlets. Real good.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Hate to See Her Go...

Dear Globlets,

Sometimes, if you're lucky, exceptionally special people enter your world. There is something about them that you are inexplicably drawn to, and once you have them in your world, you never want them to leave. Sometimes the feeling leads to romance and other times to friendship. And when you start with friendship but would consider something more, that's when you become terrified of what might happen if you take the next step.

There are a number of people who have come into my life and made me so happy to have met them. D was one of them until he broke my heart, leaving me to wonder what it would have been like had things been different, but granting me the opportunity to experience something as deeply emotional as that.

Although we've never met, there is a strange attraction I have with another boy in the US: CSa. He's quite different from D, in that D was more personality and CSa is more brains, but that's not to say D wasn't smart, or that CSa is dull. I have so much in common with CSa, and when we talk, his brain turns me on. Speaking to him literally excites me. I get that weird smiley-girly-giggly thing that activates when I'm talking to someone I'm attracted to. Unfortunately, we don't talk as often as I'd like, but there is something supremely sexy about a guy with a brain, and the fact that he looks like a young Benicio del Toro helps too.
(Es mas rico que la chucha.)

The problem with most of the special people I meet is that they do not live in the same city as me. I'm lucky if I find myself in the same country with them, in fact. The internet doesn't help. I mean, it does, because it allows me to meet fascinating people who live very far away, but it also allows me to meet fascinating people who live very far away, which is bad. Plus, it lets you to creep their Facebook pictures and Photoshop your face into them. Not that I do that, of course.

Most of these special people have been boys, but then came Marissa. When I heard that the manly, infamous Marissa (she gets her name spelled out - that's how special she is) was coming to MY city, I was really excited. I'd talked to her online through FVDES' student social networking site-type-thing, and I already knew she was awesome. Although we didn't hang out much in the beginning, over time we became great friends.

She is the kind of person who is everybody's best friend. She is reasonable, smart, down-to-earth, fun, clever, funny, and when she's not being the absolute worst human being purchasing a one-way ticket straight to hell, she's buying a second ticket for me as well. We can have intelligent conversations. We look at things in a very similar way. And while I don't know for sure how she feels about me, I feel very strongly about her, and I think I've made that pretty clear. Unfortunately, neither of us are attracted to each other romantically. (It's all bark, Sugarmuffin.) I'm lucky I know her.

But she had a decision to make recently - a pretty big decision that would seriously affect her future. She would either stay here and go to UVic or go to a university in Ottawa. She kept me on edge about it for weeks. While I had the feeling she would choose Ottawa, I always hoped that I'd be wrong. Of all the times I would have preferred to be wrong, I ended up being right. She's going to pursue her academic goals in the East. I would never ask someone to stay for me, and I would never stay for someone else if they asked me to, and I'm proud of her. I probably would have felt guilty if she'd stayed. (For about 10 seconds /selfish bitch.)

She'll come back to Vancouver in a year, luckily, but I'm going to miss her like boys miss toilet bowls: A LOT.

That was really poetic.

But I really am going to miss her. She's one of the special people, and I'm sad to see her go. Special people just aren't allowed to be in the same city as me for long periods of time. I think I know why, though. It probably has to do with the fact that if too much chemistry and amazing-awesomeness is found in a small area over a long period of time, a black hole might form and the whole world would be destroyed in a matter of minutes. Or seconds. I'm not a scientist. Neil Tyson is.

Marissa would know.

I might be sad to see her go
But I love to watch her leave.

Did I just quote Lil Wayne? I've never even heard the song. How do I know this?
GOOD LUCY, IT'S AWFUL! I can't even embed it. I won't. I'll link, but that's as far as I'll go. OML. Listen and weep: http://youtu.be/oT6XPSEl5qE Yeah, I'm a hater.

'Cept she won't be coming back
Asking 'bout her keys.

See? I can rap, too.


Keep in touch, brochacho. Because I... will always... love youuuu!


Hey. Fezzes are cool.



-----
PS. "(Nicki Minaj)
Ok I get it, let me think,
i guess its my turn,
maybe its time to put this p-ssy on your sideburns"
- I can't say for sure, but I think she's doing it wrong.
Source: http://www.elyricsworld.com/girl_you_know_lyrics_lil_wayne.html

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Congratulations on your outstanding academic achievement!

Dear Globlets,

I'm going to tell you a little story... It'll be short and sweet and full of joy and wonder, and will leave you in a state of pure happiness.
And by joy, wonder, and happiness I, of course, mean anger, confusion and frustration. It'll be as long as the process.

It's the story of my getting into the University of Victoria.


A long, long time ago, in a country very far away, I began homeschooling: grade 7, Chile. I was homeschooled throughout my high school years, and certainly faced a number of challenges, but ultimately knew that I did what was right for me. When I decided to go to UVic, I started taking distance ed. courses to meet the admission requirements: Socials 11, Math 11, etc. That was until I learned that if I was 19, I could get into Camosun, and I was only a few months away from my 19th birthday. Even so, I had to speak with the registrar to be granted early admission, but everything ran smoothly after that. I was going to take 8 university-transferable courses at Camosun and then transfer to UVic when it was possible to do so. I took the English upgrading courses that were the grade 12 equivalent that I needed over Spring/Summer 2010 (not university-transferable), took three courses in the Fall, another three in the Winter, and I planned to get into UVic after one more Fall semester at Camosun.

In order to get into UVic, as was explained on the UVic Website of Chaos and Doom, I needed a math. No problem. After the Winter 2011 semester, I was going to relearn some math at home, take the assessment at Camosun, and take the upgrading math courses if I needed to, just like I did with English, all before I was admitted to UVic in Winter 2012. In order to make sure I was on the right track, because as brilliant as I thought my plan was (including my backup ones), I went to an Academic Advisor at Camosun to check.

I began, "I'm looking to transfer from Camosun to UVic, and I understand that I am required to have a Math..."
"I'ma let you finish, but..." she Kanye'd me. "... you don't need a math."
"But the website says..."
"The website isn't clear. You don't need a math because you're a Camosun student now. You can probably even apply right now. In fact, I recommend you apply as soon as possible, because with this GPA, they might even let you in with 6 courses for this September."
I was thrilled. I rushed home, turned on my computer, opened the UVic Website of Chaos and Doom, searched for the page that told me when my application deadline would be, and was thoroughly disappointed. It was March 31st. I missed it by a week or two. I never thought I could get in, so I never checked. It was never a possibility, in my mind. This is when I discovered that the Writing Program's only entry point is in September because it's a two-parter. So, I either get in this September, which seemed less and less likely, or I'd have to wait another year before getting into my program. I really didn't want to wait a whole year.

So, I went to the Fine Arts department at UVic to discuss my options with an advisor there. After telling her my story, she suggested coming in as a Visiting Student from Camosun.
"A what?"
"A Visiting Student from Camosun."
"A what?"
"A Visiting Stud- where Camosun gives you a letter permitting you to take the one course you need at UVic while still taking courses at Camosun. A letter of concurrent enrolment. You bypass a number of the requirements to get in, and get priority seating over non-majors."
"Sweet. Let's do it."

You have to know what a Visiting Student is before you can consider it as an option, because if you don't know to look for it, you will never find it.

I actually tried looking for the page it's on without entering it in the search, and while I'm sure it's possible to find it like that, I had 10 pages open in my browser and was madly scanning through them to find a link that just might take me there. I didn't find it, but I thoroughly acquainted myself with the "Chaos and Doom" part of their website. So many links take you to pages you're not actually trying to get to, and if you want to go back and find that page that actually had useful information, GOOD LUCK. They link back and forth, and they lead you through loops of the same three pages that tell you the same thing, and if only they combined them! I felt like I was running around in circles. Do they not have a graphic design program? They should, and it should be taken by UVic website creators. Because if you are actually able to find information that answers your questions, you still have to wonder if there is more to them than what you see.

There was more to the Visiting Student option than I was told.

Still in April, I believe, I went back to Camosun to ask for that letter. The advisor told me I couldn't get it until I registered for my Fall courses. My registration date was June 7th. June 7th I registered, and June 8th I was at Camosun picking up my letter, ready to take it to UVic that same day. Unfortunately, the UVic Undergrad Admissions lady wasn't there, but I left the documents there for her, and e-mailed her when I got home. I explained I wanted Visiting Student status for September and Transfer Student status for January.

"Why don't you just come to UVic in September as a transfer student?" she replied.
"WHAT. WHAT. WHAT. Well, if I could, that would be mighty swell."
"Except you'll have to come into the Faculty of Social Sciences because you can't get into the Writing Program."
"Oh."
"Yeah. But you can probably get into WRIT100."
"I just checked with the Writing Department, and if I do that I will get last priority, whereas as a Visiting Student I will be guaranteed a seat after writing majors register." (Plus, this way I'll be saving a bit of money for another semester.)
"FINE. KEEP YO MONAY. I will continue with your visiting student application for September but you should be aware of the processing."
"Uh oh."
(Real quote from her now.) "You will need to submit a new application for September 2011 as a visiting student to the Faculty of Social Sciences. The application online is not available as the deadline was May 15th to submit an application. That means that you will have to fill out the attached paper application and pay a $60 application fee and a $35 late fee."

May 15th? MAY 15TH?! Do you know what I was doing on May 15th? NOTHING! I was waiting for my fall registration date at Camosun: JUNE 7TH.

And I responded, "WHAT DO YOU MEEEAAAN APPLICATION AND LATE FEE YOU GODDAMN O7YUGBSTGY4GOTEYG3WOOBJB765?!?!" Or perhaps it was more like, "Neither the UVic nor Camosun advisor ever told me ANYTHING about this, and neither did the UVic website [of Chaos and Doom]. If I had known, I most certainly would have submitted the documents on time IF YOU PEOPLE WERE CAPABLE OF COMMUNICATING WITH EACH OTHER. FUCKING APES!" Maybe I'm getting carried away again. Nowhere does it say you have to belong to a faculty as a Visiting Student. (Nowhere obvious anyway.) I politely asked for the late fee to be waived seeing as there was no possible way for me to know a Visiting Student application or application deadline even existed.
"LOL NO," responded the Admissions Officer. "They wouldn't have known! They're not part of admissions! Sucks to be you."
"Fuck you," I said. "Here. Take the money. Just let me into this fucking course."

"CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR OUTSTANDING ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT! We are excited to tell you that an admission offer is on the way. Check your mailbox, as your letter should arrive soon."

Mailbox? Letter? Canada Post is on strike. THANKS, though!
I got them to e-mail copies of the September and January admission offers.

So, after all this, I suppose I've gotten in. My brother described their give-students-hope-then-destroy-hopes-then-give-hope-again-then-destroy-a-little-more tactics "trolling." I tend to agree. It was all because I could not access the information I needed in full. I had to beg for it and scan through countless pages of the UVic Website of Chaos and Doom, to which I've given up hours of my life and gained little to nothing in return.

This process has felt like an obstacle course. I've been running towards a goal in the distance, and all of a sudden a wall pops up out of the ground suddenly, and I'm like, "AH! SHIT!" but find a way to climb it. Then a row of spiky pillars appear and begin falling near me and I have to run mighty fast while dodging them to prevent getting squished. And after each obstacle I overcome, I have to stop at a toll booth and dish out a wad of cash.

I'll be able to register for WRIT100 on June 28th, and I will have to wait until late December when I get my final Camosun transcript before I can be fully accepted. If everyone else has to do that, though, I'm sure I'll be fine.

That is, of course, if they've told me everything I need to know! And let's hope they have. I don't want to have spent more hours researching UVic information than inside the actual UVic classes.