Monday, February 28, 2005


You should probably go here.
Sidenote: Yesterday was the Feast of Saint Gabriel Possenti, patron of college students and handgun owners.

We totally missed it.
Daray: You're gross.
Jorn: You're gross. In a really hot, good way.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Perfect Girl
by Sarah McLachlan

Am I faithful, am I strong
Am I good enough to belong
In your reverie, a perfect girl
Your vision of romance is cruel
And all along I played the fool
All your expectations bury me

[Chorus]
Don't worry, you will find the answer
If you let it go
Give yourself some time to falter
But don't forego
Knowing that you're loved no matter what
And everything will come around in time

I own my insecurities
I try to own my destiny
That I can make or break it if I choose
But you take my words
And twist them 'round
'Til I'm the one who brings you down
Make me feel like I'm the one to blame
For all of this...

[Chorus]

You need everybody with you on your side
Know that I am here for you
But I hope in time
You'll find yourself alright alone
You'll find yourself with open arms
You'll find yourself
You'll find yourself in time

The riot in my heart decides
To keep me open and alive
I have to take myself away from you
'Cause I can't compete I can't deny
There's nothing that I didn't try
How did I go so wrong in loving you

[Chorus]
Fidelina: Imagine... You're at a dinner party, and see a cute guy... "Hey, my uncle has partial ears!"

Joyce and Lynda.

Lynda at Radio City Music Hall.

Lynda's 60th birthday.
Rest in peace, Lynda. You will be missed.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Kids amuse me.

Overheard in the ladies' washroom of the Cheesecake Factory...
Little Girl: Mommy, why are you putting that thing on the seat?
Mommy: I always do that.
Little Girl: Daddy doesn't ever do that.
Mommy: He doesn't??
Little Girl: No.
Mommy: Well, you tell Daddy next time that he'd better use one. There are all kinds of germs and diseases you can pick up from these toilets...

Overheard in Barnes & Noble, Kids' Section...
Grandmother: Oh, look, here's a book about Dr. Martin Luther King!
Little Girl in Stroller, ignoring her: *gasp* Look! My Little Pony!

And, by the way, I love Fashion Island.
It's so hard to make the right choice. Or to have the courage to make the choice at all, knowing that it might easily be the wrong one. And if I do make the wrong one, I'll just be screwing myself over. And if I make the right one... Well, that terrifies me too.
A Canadian is somebody who knows how to make love in a canoe.
- Pierre Berton

Friday, February 25, 2005

Well I bought enough journals and photo albums today to last me a lifetime.

(Including one with a yellow rose on it--my favourite flower, I think--that said, "And lovely is the Rose...," which just made me happy. Particularly the capitalization of "Rose.")

And I shall use them when the current journal is used; the one with the picture of the Virgin Mary on the front, and the single word, "CONFESS."

And guess what it says inside?!

(Oh, I know how you're dying to read this!! Don't worry, for I am about to share with you. Relax. It's almost here. Don't grow faint and fatigued from my preamble. I assure you, it's worth it.)

And inside, it says--oh wait.

I should probably have another sip of tea before I tell you. Excuse me for a moment.

Okay, I'm back. Ah, tea. Tea is such a wonderful invention. I think that Asian guy who felt a sense of overwhelming well-being after he drank his hot water anyways when leaves accidentally blew into it is one of my heroes. Oh, wait, I was about to tell you something, wasn't I? Back to that.

And inside, it says, "Confess unto me your inner-most thoughts, your deepest desires, your darkest secrets, your most desperate longings--for I shall not judge thee, but embrace thee."

I should never be allowed to enter Tuesday Morning with money in my wallet. Ever.

Nor should I be allowed near a keyboard when tired. Obviously.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Rhiannon
by Fleetwood Mac

Rhiannon rings like a bell through the night
And wouldn't you love to love her?
She rules her life like a bird in flight
And who will be her lover?

All your life you've never seen
A woman, taken by the wind
Would you stay if she promised you heaven?
Will you ever win...?

Rhiannon...
Rhiannon...
Rhiannon...

She is like a cat in the dark
And then she is the darkness
She rules her life like a fine skylark
And when the sky is starless

All your life you've never seen
A woman, taken by the wind
Would you stay if she promised to you heaven?
Will you ever win...?
Will you ever win...?

Dreams unwind
Love's a state of mind
:)

And thank heavens for Trader Joe's Blue Corn Tortilla Chips and Trader Jose's Fresh Packed Mild Salsa.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

I really should be doing my project for Harwood.

For some reason, I'd rather read about Numair. ;)

Francois: Bye, Lady of Sha-bra!
I love crime shows; they open my eyes to a world of possibilities...

I watched five solid hours of them tonight.

I love this country.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

What is the world coming to?
Fangorn: If I had any lesbian tendencies, I'd be in love with you.
I Need To Be In Love
by the Carpenters

The hardest thing I've ever done is keep believing
There's someone in this crazy world for me
The way that people come and go through temporary lives
My chance could come and I might never know

I used to say, "No promises, let's keep it simple"
But freedom only helps you say goodbye
It took a while for me to learn that nothing comes for free
The price I paid is high enough for me

I know I need to be in love
I know I've wasted too much time
I know I ask perfection of a quite imperfect world
And fool enough to think that's what I'll find

So here I am with pockets full of good intentions
But none of them will comfort me tonight
I'm wide awake at 4 a.m. without a friend in sight
I'm hanging on a hope but I'm all right
Okay, so maybe the word "erase" was a little bit too strong.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

There's nothing like a little fiction to erase one's worries. :)

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

I need this house.

And there I will live with Becca, and we will own and operate a dress shop/bookstore/teahouse.

And I will wear lots of navy blue and red and white and gold, and Becca will wear lots of purple and silver, and we will have geraniums and cats, and we will scour the beaches for seashells after storms, in long flowing skirts.

And that's that.
I Think the World Needs a Drink
by Terri Clark

Turned on the TV
More crime in the streets
More trouble in the Middle East
And fires out west

Politicians flingin' dirt
Got dissention in the church
Another law suit in the works
Man, you talk about a mess

Too much tension between
Miss Liberty and the Eiffel Tower
It's about time we all made up
At some big happy hour

I think the world needs a drink
I think enough's enough
She's been spinnin' around so long
I'd say she's pretty wound up
Calm down, sit back, relax
Tear up the contracts and save the ink
Yeah, I think the world needs a drink

I bet we'd get somethin' done
Over two-for-ones
Rubbin' elbows with the big guns
Wouldn't that be cool

Call all the rich and the poor
The peace keepers and the warlords
We'll cut some deals over nothing more
Than a shot of 90-proof

There ain't nothin' wrong
A few cold beers can't iron out
In fact you tell me just when and where
And I'll buy the first round

Don't you think the world needs
A couple drinks
The world is a proud, cold, haughty, attractive, but heartless woman.
- Clarence Macartney, a Presbyterian

Monday, February 14, 2005

Nikki!!! Where in tarnation is that germ vacuum you promised me in Gr. 9?
Happy Monday!

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Cause I've relied on my illusions
To keep me warm at night
But I denied in my capacity to love
I am willing, to give up this fight

- Sarah McLachlan

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Needed: An SNES.
Love and marriage go together like angel cake and anthrax.
- Julie Burchill, British journalist

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

I Want To Live
by Josh Gracin

Sometimes I feel like I need to shake myself, to wake myself.
I feel like I'm just sleep walkin' through out life.
It's like I'm swimmin' in an ocean of emotion,
But still, somehow, slowly goin' numb inside.
I don't like who I'm becomin', I know I've gotta do somethin',
Before my life passes right by.

I want to cry like the rain, cry like the rain,
An' shine like the sun on a beautiful mornin'.
Sing to the heavens like a church bell ringin',
Fight with the devil an' go down swingin'.
Fly like a bird, roll like a stone,
Love like I ain't afraid to be alone.
Take everything that this world has to give:
I wanna live.

Sometimes I wonder why I work so hard to guard my heart.
Well, I hardly feel anything at all.
I've spent my whole life buildin' up this ivory tower.
Now that I'm in it, I keep wishin' it would fall.
So I can feel the ground beneath me, really taste this air I'm breathin',
And know that I'm alive.

I want to cry like the rain, cry like the rain,
An' shine like the sun on a beautiful mornin'.
Sing to the heavens like a church bell ringin',
Fight with the devil an' go down swingin'.
Fly like a bird, roll like a stone,
Love like I ain't afraid to be alone.
Take everything that this world has to give:
I wanna live,
I wanna live.

Somethin' deep inside keeps sayin life is like a vapor:
It's gone in just the twinklin' of an eye.

I want to cry like the rain, cry like the rain,
An' shine like the sun on a beautiful mornin'.
Sing to the heavens like a church bell ringin',
Fight with the devil an' go down swingin'.
Fly like a bird, roll like a stone,
Love like I ain't afraid to be alone.
Take everything that this world has to give.
I wanna take every breath I can get:
I wanna live.


Amen, amen, amen.
Don't kill me. I know this is long, but it's good. So read it.

Eight Conversations About One Thing
by Elen Ghulam


When I immigrated to Canada, I went to the Motor Vehicle office to apply for a Canadian driving license. I showed the employee there my Kuwaiti driving license. Here is the conversation that followed.


employee: Ah! You are Kuwaiti.

ihath: No! I am Iraqi.

employee: Ah! So you were born in Iraq and then you lived in Kuwait.

ihath: No! I was born in Czechoslovakia (Czech republic now).

employee: gets that puzzled look, ok, is this woman crazy? either that or she is just pulling my leg?

ihath: Look I know this is all confusing, I find it confusing myself, but it is a long story and you don’t want to hear it.

***

Few days earlier I was standing at a bus station, waiting for a bus. A young man starts chatting. After a while he pops the question.


young man: So! where are you from?

ihath: Iraq.

young man: Which province is that?

ihath: Iraq is not a place in Canada, it is a country in the middle east.

young man: Oh!


Those were the good old days when people didn’t know what Iraq was - is that a kind of food? Now everybody knows where falujah is. Lucky me, I don’t have to explain that Iraq is a country in the middle east any more. Thank you, Bush.

***

Few years later, I am married and my husband didn’t have his Canadian citizenship yet. We were about to take a trip to the US and since I worked in downtown, he asked me if I could apply for a visa for him. So I went to the American consulate in downtown Vancouver and stood in the line to apply for a visa, holding his passport in my hand. A man with a red beard approaches me smiling.


red beard: moof moof blem blem blem.

ihath: I am sorry I didn’t understand that, can you please repeat what you said.

red beard: moof moof blem blem blem.

ihath: I am sorry I didn’t catch that, can you repeat. (Now I come really close to him and try to listen attentively.)

red beard: moof moof moof blem blem blem.

ihath: (realizes he is speaking in a foreign language), I am sorry I don’t understand what you are saying. Can you please speak English.

red beard: (yelling) How dare you speak to me in English you bitch! (other profanity followed, walks away in a huff).

***

I stood there completely shocked. I don’t understand? What did I do? Why was he upset? After about 5 minutes, I finally look down and I see my husband’s Israeli passport in my hands. Aaaah! He thought that I was Israeli, he was probably speaking Hebrew, which I didn’t know at all at that time. When I got home I told my husband the incident.


husband: He thought you were an Israeli pretending not be Israeli.

ihath: But why would I do that?

husband: Some Israelis when they move abroad pretend that they are not Israeli and attempt to blend in. Others become annoyed with such people because they feel that they are selling out.

ihath: But If I was an Israeli and I spoke Hebrew why would I pretend not to speak the language? I still don’t understand.

husband: You have to be Israeli to understand Israeli logic, I don’t know how to explain it.

***

When I first moved to Canada I was living in student housing on the university campus. Sometimes I would stay late in the library or the computer lab to finish an assignment. Afterwards I would have to walk to the residence in the dark. It was only a 20 minute walk but I always felt a bit afraid. There had been several rape cases on campus reported in the news. So I bought a huge sturdy umbrella. One of those annoying umbrellas that take up too much space when opened. I bought it not because of the rain but rather as a weapon. If anybody tries to attack me I will hit them with this umbrella.
I named the umbrella Saddam, like you would name a pet. Dogs were not allowed at the student's residence. I thought it was an appropriate name considering what I bought it for - banging somebody over the head. In the end, I never did use it for that. I carried Saddam with me everywhere. The first American led war on Iraq happened and Iraq was mentioned on the news every single day. In Canada they keep talking about Iraqi terrorists that will try to do nasty things in North America. I am standing at the bus station holding Saddam and leaning against him. A big, tall and strong man starts chatting with me in a friendly way. We are laughing about something, when he decides to pop the question


tall man: So! where are you from?

ihath: Iraq.

tall man: (takes a few steps back, looks horrified, puts his hands on his head as if somebody is about to hit him), oh my god!

ihath: (thinks to herself) Hey this is cool, it is amazing that a woman can scare a big guy like that just by saying the word “Iraq”. I don’t need to carry Saddam with me anymore. If anybody bothers me, I will just tell them I am Iraqi. That will scare them away.

***

After that, I discovered that I can have lots of fun by telling people I was Iraqi, I could make them gasp, choke on their food, run away and strike the fear of god in their hearts. Thank you Bush senior for giving me these super powers. It has been so much fun. I have put them to good use..... well! most of the time.


Person at a cocktail party: So where are you from originally?

ihath: I was born in the Czech republic.

Person at a cocktail party: Ah! Beautiful country, been there once.

ihath: (thinks to herself) now I understand why red beard yelled at me at the American consulate. Maybe he could see my future selloutidness in my eyes.

***

But then there were the people who reacted to my newly acquired super powers in scary and unpredictable ways. Let me illustrate with an example. I was sent with my co-worker Steve to attend a five day training in San Jose, California. There are about 10 people in the class. All of them professional geeks, like me. Steve elects to sit next to the pretty girl in the right row and leaves me sitting on the left row by myself. I get the hippy looking dude with the long pony tail. Thanks, Steve. Well! we are in California after all.


hippie dude: Where are you from?

ihath: I am from Iraq.

hippie dude: (looks at ihath adoringly) Wow! you are a wonderful person, I want to get to know you better.

ihath: How about we go get some coffee.
We stand up to go to the coffee table, I introduce hippie guy to Steve.

hippie dude: You are so lucky to be working with such an amazing person.

Steve: (gets a smirk on his face, he has been working with ihath for a year and knows how plain un-amazing she is).

Steve: Yes! working with her has been… ehm!... interesting.

ihath: (gives Steve a look that says…please come sit beside me….help me!)

hippie guy: (spends the next 5 days looking adoringly at ihath and listing attentively to every single word she says, as if a simple hello coming from ihath becomes a divine word of wisdom. Maybe he is expecting ihath to produce a flying carpet.).

***

From adoration to revulsion, I have encountered the full spectrum. However, once in a while there are encounters that make it all worth it. My husband and I were visiting Jerusalem on a vacation. This was my first visit to the city and the country. We were on a public bus driving through Jerusalem’s city center. It was a day before eid al-adha (muslim holiday) My husband and I are chatting in Arabic. An elderly Jewish woman is sitting in the seat in front of us. She is wearing a head scarf and a long skirt customary to Jewish women of eastern origins. The woman turns around and says to my husband.


elderly woman: I wish you well on your upcoming eid. May you spend it in joy and happiness.

husband: Thank you.

elderly woman: Where are you from?

husband: I am from Nazareth area.

elderly woman: (looks at ihath) are you from Nazareth as well?

ihath: No, I am from Iraq.

lderly woman: (her eyes widen and shouts) I am Iraqi too. I left Iraq in the fifties as a young woman and came to live here. My children and grandchildren were born and raised in this country.

The elderly woman starts touching my hands, touching my face and caressing my hair. As if she can’t believe that she can see a real Iraqi in front of her.

elderly woman: I grew up in Baghdad. Here in this country we just spend the days, one day after the other. In Baghdad I was really alive.

An elderly man wearing grey jacket, stripped shirt, keppa (head scalp customary for Jewish men) and holding a walking cane gets up from his seat and walks towards us.

elderly man: I am Iraqi too, I left Iraq about the same time.

Me and elderly woman stand up and all three of us stare at each other. After few seconds we all hug. A triangle hug, as if we are all long lost friends. We stand there for several seconds while the bus bounces us back and forth and sideways.

[Advice for kids: Do not give hugs to strangers you don’t know on a public bus, a professionally trained wacky Iraqi was involved in this incident.]

***

Recently, I have accidentally lost my Saddam, the huge umbrella I mean. I left him at a bookstore near Alma and 4th ave in Vancouver. I am gonna miss him, he has traveled with me to many countries and held the repository of my sense of security for a long time. To whoever found my lost Saddam, please keep him. He never shielded me from bothersome people, not even once. The one time I was almost physically attacked, he wasn’t there. A strong kick to the assailants leg helped me get out of that sticky situation. I was rather surprised by how well I could protect myself without my trusted umbrella. He wasn’t completely useless though. I remember vividly, long walks under the rain while holding my husband’s arm. My husband explaining something about his work or world events and me looking back in adoration, listening attentively to every single word my husband uttered. I can still hear the tapping of rain on top of the umbrella as we huddled together underneath. Sometimes an umbrella is just an umbrella.

*The above is slightly different from the version that appears in the Fall 2004 issue of Geist Magazine (No. 54), as it was edited for publication there.
I hereby submit my request to have the commonly used terms for the second and third days of the week, "Monday" and "Tuesday," abolished and changed to "Hellday 1" and "Hellday 2," respectively.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Oh, what a fun song. :)

Suds in the Bucket
by Sara Evans

She was in the backyard
They say it was a little past nine
When her prince pulled up
A white pickup truck
Her folks shoulda seen it comin'
It was only just a matter of time
Plenty old enough, and you can't stop love
She stuck a note on the screen door,
"Sorry but I got to go."
That was all she wrote
Her mama's heart was broke
That was all she wrote
So the story goes

Now her daddy's in the kitchen
Starin' out the window
Scratchin' and a rackin' his brains
How could 18 years just up and walk away?
Our little pony-tailed girl growed up to be a woman
Now she's gone in the blink of an eye
She left the suds in the bucket
And the clothes hangin' out on the line

Now don't you wonder what the preacher's
Gonna preach about Sunday morn
Nothin' quite like this has happened here before
Well he must have been a looker
Smooth talkin' son of a gun
For such a grounded girl to just up and run
Course you can't fence time, and you can't stop love

Now all the biddies in the beauty shop
Gossip goin' non-stop
Sippin' on pink lemonade
How could 18 years just up and walk away?
Our little pony-tailed girl growed up to be a woman
Now she's gone in the blink of an eye
She left the suds in the bucket
And the clothes hangin' out on the line

She's got her pretty little bare feet
Hangin' out the window
And they're headin' up to Vegas tonight
How could 18 years just up and walk away?
Our little pony-tailed girl growed up to be a woman
Now she's gone in the blink of an eye
She left the suds in the bucket
And the clothes hangin' out on the line
Moments ago, I saw the most gorgeous little blue Porsche. And I thought to myself, "I'd kill for that car."

And then I thought to myself, "No, I'd rather have my soul mate in a Volvo older than me, à la Sparkala."

C'est la vie, je suppose!
Things I Hadn't Done Before This Weekend
  • Attended a "peace dance".
  • Watched When Harry Met Sally.
  • Had coffee at Diedrich's and listened to Darryl Morris.
  • Read about birth control in the late nineteenth century.
  • Analyzed Kevin's awesome car.
  • Understood and shuddered at a sign that said "Yoga Shakti."

    It was a grand weekend altogether. :)
  • Friday, February 04, 2005

    Push
    by Matchbox 20

    She said I don't know if I've ever been good enough
    I'm a little bit rusty, and I think my head is caving in
    And I don't know if I've ever really been loved
    By a hand that's touched me
    And I feel like something's gonna give
    And I'm a little bit angry, well
    This ain't over, no not here
    Not while I still need you around
    You don't owe me, we might change
    Yeah we just might feel good

    Chorus:
    I wanna push you around, I will, I will
    I wanna push you down, I will, I will
    I wanna take you for granted
    I wanna take you for granted
    I will

    She said I don't know why you ever would lie to me
    Like I'm a little untrusting
    When I think that the truth is gonna hurt ya
    And I don't why you couldn't just stay with me
    You couldn't stand to be near me
    When my face don't seem to want to shine
    Cuz it's a little bit dirty, well
    Don't just stand there, say nice things to me
    I've been cheated I've been wronged, and you
    You don't know me, I can't change
    I won't do anything at all

    Chorus

    Oh but don't bowl me over
    Just wait a minute well it kinda fell apart
    Things get so crazy, crazy
    Don't rush this baby
    Don't rush this baby

    Thursday, February 03, 2005

    Woah.

    I just panicked and swatted wildly at something that I thought was attacking me.

    Turns out it was my own hair.

    I really need to go to sleep before I hurt myself.

    Tuesday, February 01, 2005

    Stupid
    by Sarah McLachlan

    Night lift up the shades
    Let in the brilliant light of morning
    But steady there now
    For I am weak and starving for mercy
    Sleep has left me alone
    To carry the weight of unravelling where we went wrong
    It's all I can do to hang on
    To keep me from falling
    Into old familiar shoes

    Chorus:
    How stupid could I be
    A simpleton could see
    That you're no good for me
    But you're the only one I see

    Love has made me a fool
    It set me on fire and watched as I floundered
    Unable to speak
    Except to cry out and wait for your answer
    But you come around in your time
    Speaking of fabulous places
    Create an oasis
    Dries up as soon as you're gone
    You leave me here burning
    In this desert without you

    Chorus

    Everything changes
    Everything falls apart
    Can't stop to feel myself losing control
    But deep in my senses I know

    Chorus