Friday, June 27, 2008

defense against the dark arts

My manager is leaving. This would not be such a big deal except that she is awesome, and also, she is the third person to hold this position since February. I have changed my manager more than I have changed my hair this year.

Perhaps it's time for a mohawk.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

you and I know/ if Weezer can go/ on holiday then so/ can we, let's go

Some random thoughts about my vacation:

now my seat back is up, tray table stowed and there’s nothing to do

Pearson Airport will suckerpunch you every time. There is nothing to eat in Terminal Three, at least once you're through the gate, with the exception of Tim Hortons. (There are also the kinds of airport cafe which charge ten dollars for a crappy roast beef sandwich, but I refuse to acknowledge these.) But think about what this means: there is a place on earth where the fast food burger has no foothold. This is amazing.

sheep go to heaven, goats go to hell

I saw fewer animals on this trip out. Some of this was no doubt the weird spring they're having in Alberta (wet, cold). Some of this was (new vocabulary alert) that we weren't out much at the crepuscular hour so popular with wildlife. The animals I did see, however, were exciting: two black bears, several elk, numerous deer, and a mountain goat. Some of my excitement was probably trepidation, as they were all so close to the road as to cause the kind of useless shouting that I am known to engage in during times of stress. "This is a terrible place for a bear! What are you doing here? Isn't there something tasty a little farther from the whizzing cars!?" The only exceptions to the close-to-the-road experience were an elk we saw on our walk across the Larch Islands, and a deer and coyote which were actually on the road--both, happily, ambulatory and remaining so after what I considered to be their brushes with death. :hyperventilates:

Above 3,000 feet in altitude the lower atmospheric pressure will affect cakes.

We did a beautiful hike by Lake Louise, up the mountain to the Lake Agnes teahouse. The views were breathtaking, as was the hike itself. Literally. You would think that when you agree to walk up a mountain it would be self-evident that it was going to be uphill the whole way, but my mind somehow skims over this every time. Probably because if I remembered it, I would never agree to it. Fifteen minutes in, I said to spook in a carefully not-whiny voice "it's not all going to be like this, is it?"
and he said "No, no." And paused. "I mean, I don't think so." The grade did become less alarming, but I was still puffing like a toy engine by the time we got toward the top. The only thing that kept me going was the embarrassment of seeing happy elderly couples coming down, and knowing that there was only one way up, and I was currently on it. I am no paragon of physical fitness, but I'm damned if I'm going to be shown up by seventy-year-old tourists. So when the switchbacks got abruptly steeper after almost two hours on the trail, I may or may not have made a sound like a terribly distressed puppy. "We're almost there!" spook chirped unconvincingly as we came around a last bend. I looked up and saw stairs. Not just any stairs. Stairs of a steepness that constitutes profound marital betrayal.

"I forgot about the stairs," spook said. I stared at him in mute horror for several long moments, but somehow the stairs were still there when I looked again. What kind of person forgets about the stairs? Moreover, what did this imply about the athleticism of my partner's early life? It was like finding out that he was secretly captain of the high school volleyball team. At the teahouse I was distracted from the horror of those last sixty feet by the world's most shameless chipmunks. Is there anything that would keep you from feeding them some of your cookie? I mean, besides the facts that a) it is a bad idea, and probably illegal, to feed animals in provincial parks and b) that cookie cost four dollars?

"Something else. Also terrible."

I saw Cloverfield, and despite its iffy reviews, I really liked it, shaky-cam and all. It was creepy, and featured people behaving in ways I could believe, both for good and ill. I liked the intercutting of the "date" footage from the month before. There were one or two silly moments where I don't mean "silly" in a good way, but overall I thought it was a solid piece of work.

I promised random, you get random.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

"Who? What? Who?" "All excellent questions."

If you don't know who Jodi Picoult is, this image is not causing your brain to short-circuit the way it did mine. Let me remedy the situation with brief plot synopses from some of her novels:

Change of Heart is about a man on death row who discovers that the living daughter of his victim needs a heart transplant, and decides to offer his.

The Pact is about two families trying to cope with the tragic aftermath of their teenage kids' suicide pact.

My Sister's Keeper is about a young girl who was conceived as a bone marrow donor for her sister, who is battling leukemia, and the decisions she makes after years of hospitalizations and surgeries to control her own body.

I could go on, but I think you're getting the gist. It's like discovering that Nicholas Sparks had been tapped to write a series of Spider-man comics.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

bad bad bad bad boys, you make me feel so good

Me: "So, how was Iron Man?"
Friend: "Good! I liked it a lot. It was a bit weird realizing that Tony Stark is basically my brother..."

At the time, we shared a knowing laugh about the brother in question, so you can imagine how I felt sitting in the theatre and thinking it's wrong that I suddenly understand howcome your brother gets laid a lot.

I think I've talked about thinking that Stephen Colbert is hot. And that's... uncomfortable... because in general my tastes (and my politics) run more to freaky girls with a lot of tattoos or feminist boys with blue hair than a fortysomething white guy spouting right-wing ideology in a Brooks Brothers suit. (Yes, I get that it's satire. Can we just say for the sake of this point that satire only makes it a bit better? Seriously! Brooks Brothers does his wardrobe! I could not make this up!) Through patient work and possibly some therapy, I've expanded my worldview to include this aberrant crush. I'm okay with it.

But now I have to factor in Robert Downey Jr.'s portrayal of Tony Stark. Um. IMDb says he was born in 1965. White guy? Check. Badly behaved? Uh-huh. And there are suits--oh, are there suits. And he is easily the prettiest thing I've laid eyes on (present company excluded) in ages. Oh, god. Is this my new thing? Because that's just disturbing. Couldn't I develop a fetish about shoes, or food, or people dressed in plushy animal costumes?