Archive for October, 2005|Monthly archive page

Je veux to be a princess!

Sunday, October 30th, 2005

Went to my niece’s birthday party yesterday. Each year, it’s a Hallowe’en theme, since her BD is November 1st and each year she shares it with one of her best friends, who has the same birthday.

33 kids and their parents. Swear. More girls than boys and a goodly majority of them were princesses or variations thereof. Sparkles, taffeta, flowers, wands – pink, purple. One little girl usually seeks me out since French is her first language and she’s in the “Franglais” phase, so I’m one of the only people who can understand her.

Her clueless mother actually thought she should be a pumpkin, but the girl knew which way the magical wind was blowing so she declared loudly, “Je veux to be a princess!” Thankfully (or regretfully), my niece has half a closet of princess dresses and crowns and such, so we were able to get her girlied up fairly quickly. “More rouge!”

It was disturbing to see all of the princesses running around in sparkly slippers. They’ve already digested the myth and will begin looking for a prince in the next 3-5 years.

The boys, on the other hand, were all about demons and vampires and everything scary. They also had their costumes off about 20 minutes into the festivities, the better to kill balloons and kick each other.

Nature? Nurture? Je ne sais pas.

Fall Splendour

Saturday, October 29th, 2005

As the sun hits the leaves that are laden with frost, they become wet and heavy and fall to the ground like rain. Leaves big and small and of all colours fall slowly or quickly as is their nature.

If you open a window and listen, it sounds like a light rain shower, hitting a tin roof.

JeanLuc and I watched and listened for what seemed like a long time. Both of us quiet and enthralled…

How ya like me now?

Friday, October 28th, 2005

Had a conversation with an old friend. We’ve known each other since the start of university, really. Though I knew him at first only as “the stoned guy” in the corner at parties we both went to.

And, as life goes, turns out I became great friends with one of his best friends, and so on. There’s a whole decade or so, where, under assumed names, a large group of us danced a wild fandango.

Today? Clean. Relatively sober. Working out. Working for himself. Uninterested in the things he used to do. At peace with himself as he is. Accepted that he prefers to live alone and conduct a committed relationship with some space and autonomy built in.

I do. I do like you now. And I’m happy for you.

Festing continued…

Monday, October 24th, 2005

On Sunday, minus the male member of our Physics groupie troupe, we attended two more lectures at EinsteinFest. I was really looking forward to Artur Ekert’s lecture on quantam cryptography. And either they’ve done a really good job on teaching us or I’ve read much more about these things than I thought, but it was *too* general :)

It was a good overview of how cryptographic keys can take advantage of strange properties at the quantam level, but I wanted more! Never mind that Ekert carried himself like a secret assasin dance instructor…

Leaving nerdville and heading for geektown, I suppose. (science rocks!)

The Face (and Smile) of Punk Physics

Saturday, October 22nd, 2005

Went to an EinsteinFest lecture today: Prof. Joao Magueijo. Sigh. Author of “Faster Than the Speed of Light”, Joao (if I can presume to call him that) is an early proponent of the VSL (Variable Speed of Light) Theory. He and his co-conspirators earned the label “Punk Physics” for thumbing their noses at the establishment and questioning Einstein (cuz, you should know that if VSL is true in the early stages of the universe, then the constant speed of light a la Einstein can’t be true, at least in the early stages of the universe).

I found it interesting that Joao mentioned John Moffat several times as the originator of contemporary VSL theory (Moffat was at U of T at the time), since in his book, Joao documented the potential academic rivalry that came out of his almost publishing something without acknowledging Moffat’s work. In academia, tantamount to a bitch-slap to the face.

Of course, friends out there are laughing themselves silly right now because they know my most immediate reaction to Joao Magueijo is drooling and all-around groupie behaviour. I *like* him. I may have mentioned that I want to lick him, I can’t be sure…

another sign of the apocalypse

Saturday, October 22nd, 2005

Brigitte Nielson and Flav get there own reality show. Brigitte and Foufie-Foufie are going to a fancy party in Italy. The maid wakes them up and we get to see Brigitte in her thong. My eyes! My eyes!


Friday, October 21st, 2005

Read this blog from a woman who was having difficulty getting off the couch. In auto-mode, she goes to work, crashes when she gets home, and struggles to talk herself out of the funk. Then there was a whole list of comments from people in blogland feeling the same way: does she know all of them? Are they strangers? Why are so many people feeling this way? Disconnected. Disillusioned. Tired. Apathetic. Depressed.

The cyber-connection of that blog creates a community, a therapy group who hide themselves behind electronic identities and yet talk raw in a way that I’m sure they don’t in person, with people they know. Is this what Berners-Lee or Gibson envision as the connective tissue of the Web, or is it a pathetic and self-indulgent practice that reinforces how selfish we’ve all become?

I don’t mind talking into the void, but I see it as a one-way street. This blog is not a search for conversation. I don’t want to know that people are looking at me.

Keep this a chicken disease!

Tuesday, October 18th, 2005

This is a thing, apparently. Avian Flu is a real contender to be a global pandemic. There are concerns about animal/veterinary practices that would allow this flu to go to humans. If a human who has the flu also gets the chicken disease, then Bob’s your dead uncle.

Things you should NOT do:

1. Eat raw chicken.
2. Drink chicken blood.
3. Keep a chicken in your backyard.


Hats for Religious Significance

Sunday, October 9th, 2005

Jon Stewart!

Andrew, Cathy, Melle and I went to see Jon Stewart on Friday night at Massey Hall. Great venue and great view from the 4th row of the balcony. He played to expectations: politics, religion, gay rights and race, and then worked over material on kids, pets and computers as well.

Definitely at his finest on the former for me. I LIKE the thinking and the laughing at the same time. And what IS up with hats as a means of a) getting ahead in the God/god/Yahweh/Allah queue and/or b) showing everyone else that one is ahead (via one’s head)?? Another bit about blacks and whites and the power of “fear of the unknown” that black men have was also good – and one I’ve read about somewhere, if only I could remember. I also really like his take on being gay (it is what it is; your dick wants what it wants – including possibly a pinata, apparently). Though I was suprised that he didn’t make explicit mention of the gay marriage opportunities here, cuz I know he know about them…

Which segues nicely to what was the most interesting part of the show: how people in the audience interacted with the material and with each other. During the whole black/white bit, a group of guys in front us (3 white, 1 black) kept looking to the black guy to determine if it was okay to laugh but looked AWAY each time Stewart said the word “black”. And in between bits, there were a few shouts from the audience, including “Patrick Rocks!” – which is what Patrick wanted Jon to say on his show. When Jon parried with “that would sound like we were doing it, and I’m not okay with that” (essentially), a woman on the other side of the audience suggested “Toronto rocks!” instead. And there you have it folks, the Canadian neurosis that should not be exposed in full view of one of them. The “please validate us on your shiny American tv show”. Stewart’s response was to say that we [Torontonians, Canadians] don’t need that, or need him to do that. I was pleased to join in with the round of applause that followed, as if to say “shut up. Get some self esteem. WE don’t need that.”

Audience was an interesting range of people in age, dress and culture to a point – really a lot of of white people there. And a great exemplar of difference between American and Canadian politics, when we sighted Jack Layton (a National Party leader fyi) standing in the lobby after the show, talking to a buddy. Seems we could care less if our national leaders go to/associate with comics who swear and talk politics and… In the States, there’d be fire and crossfire about what it all means and how said politician is probably gay.

Went to Chapters yesterday morning to pick up David Rakoff’s book (whom I saw on… “The Daily Show” :), and I was looking it up and two young guys who work there were close by. One of them saw what I was looking for and offered to help locate it. He commented that he had seen that guy on Jon Stewart. Grinning madly, I informed him that I had seen Jon last night! He and the friend told me about 15 times how insanely jealous they were. Heh. Na-na-poo-poo!!!

Shootout? Bah!

Thursday, October 6th, 2005

Watched the first game of the (hallelujah!) hockey season last night. Outcome was dismal: Ottawa won.

The game featured the first regular-season tie, and therefore the first regular season shootout, based on the new rules. Let me tell you that this new rule sucks. How is this hockey? Give me my double-overtime, jumping up and down, and swearing at the tv!!!

The lead-up was lovely, though. Melle made yummy nachos and we enjoyed the pleasures of pineapple and rockets (smarties to the Americans) with Irish whiskey. Excellent taste sensations.

On another note, JeanLuc had a bit of an adventure tonight. I let him out on the enclosed front porch when I got home from work, as per usual. About 1/2 hour later, I went upstairs to change and saw him in the BACKYARD. JeanLuc is an indoor cat. Now sauntering around my flower garden like an outdoor cat.

Thankfully, he listens. I approached him as though nothing was wrong and called him to ‘come’. Which he did. Scooped him up and deposited him back on the front porch and then screwed shut the old milk door through which he made his escape.

He’s been out there three times since then, trying to figure out how to open that door…