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posted by [personal profile] gashin at 08:18pm on 07/05/2009
My parents have two dogs, and have had both for a number of years (i.e. I consider them 'their' dogs, and not 'my' dogs, because I moved out soon after they got the second, and Cass is 'my' cat, so yep).

Moka is a stubby-legged, barrel-shaped chocolate Lab. She is old... don't know how old... certainly not ancient, but middle-aged, and growing in stubbornness every day. She is also very kind-hearted and patient and loving.

Kenya is a black, slim, gangly Great Dane. She is much younger, dumb as can be, sweet as can be, fearful as can be. I believe I have posted photos of her on my LJ before. She is adoring of everybody, and thinks she's a lap dog.

Both have had numerous joint problems over the years (ah, pure-bred dogs). Kenya has had surgery on BOTH her back knees (not at the same time). She began limping again in the past week, and it only got worse, so my parents rushed her to the vet this morning.

The x-rays show a mass in her bone. They go back in 10 days for a comparison x-ray because the vet believes it is probably a highly aggressive form of bone cancer, and if he's right, the comparison x-ray will show a significant difference.

I adore Kenya, but my parents love love love her. She is to them as Cass is to me. And I'm worried. And I am also keenly aware that, in a sick but undeniable way, I am very lucky that the first (and hopefully last, but for that I can only keep my fingers crossed) instance of cancer in my immediate family is canine and not human.
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posted by [personal profile] gashin at 06:59pm on 06/05/2009
This makes me want to learn cloisonné.

I pretty much want to learn everything, though. Especially pretty-making things. And yet I never get around to them. Lack of ffoooocccuuuusss.
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posted by [personal profile] gashin at 05:53pm on 02/05/2009
"Albertans are the only group in the entire survey in which more respondents chose the theory of creationism over evolution."

Specifically, 37% of Albertans believe in evolution (compare with 63% in Québec), and 40% of Albertans believe in creationism (compare with 18% in Québec).

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posted by [personal profile] gashin at 11:20am on 21/04/2009
You are expected to have 27˚C weather this upcoming Sunday (25˚C on Saturday). Edmonton is expected to have 7˚C weather (and flurries throughout Friday and Saturday).

In light of this, you must go outdoors and enjoy the hell out of it. Or I will hunt you down and severely harm you.
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posted by [personal profile] gashin at 06:49pm on 19/04/2009
You know, I'd say that I should have gone to class, but when your class consists of 450 people, is at 9AM, and is taught by a teacher whose Chinese accent is so thick that, all appreciation of cultural differences aside, you actually cannot understand 80% of what she is saying... well, yeah.

She plays fast and loose with her formulae in her notes, which is making the process of wrapping my head around vorticity (har har) very... frustrating. Can't I just watch videos of tornadoes? I can handle that.

But I now know the symbol for "proportional to":
Clever mathematicians!
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posted by [personal profile] gashin at 02:18pm on 03/04/2009
The government of Alberta saw fit to send me, in a big envelope, inserted into a stiff plastic-covered-cardboard sleeve, a fancy certificate... for an award I got last fall.

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posted by [personal profile] gashin at 12:05am on 31/03/2009
Joining gym class: best idea I've had in AGES (as though it needed to be reiterated for the thousandth time) --

Endorphins + Wellbutrin = win.

Walking home, brisk air, going at a good clip, thinking:

No, I wouldn't elect to live in Edmonton on a permanent basis. Yes, I am often stressed out because of school. No, I don't know where I'm going to end up next. But

I have a good life here.

Yes, there are things I could do to make it even better, and I will endeavour to do them, but

I have a good life here.
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posted by [personal profile] gashin at 09:13pm on 25/03/2009
I'm sure most of you have seen this, but

The trailer to Where the Wild Things Are damn near just made me cry.
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posted by [personal profile] gashin at 05:27pm on 24/03/2009
I walked to the gym for my class last night. They gave me a coupon for a free chai latté at Remedy, makers of the best chai lattés on the planet (I will not drink one from anywhere else as a result). I picked it up on my way home and sipped it while happily strolling back to my apartment, where I was awake with happy energy until... very late. I will have to come up with a way of countering this problem in future.

The BOSU has apparently awoken certain muscles in my legs I didn't know existed, especially those related to keeping balance-- when standing on the flat half, the platform shakes violently from side to side, as my body has no way to keep it in balance (my balance has always been COMPLETE shit, too). The snowboarder in front of me didn't have the same problem, which surprises me none at all. I hope to at least REDUCE the amount of shaking by the end of the 5 weeks.

I'm consequently very sore today. It's wonderful.

I also left my shoes there, and my top and shorts. They launder your gym clothes for you. And they have a shower with salon-quality shampoo and stuff (not that I will use it, since I live 11 blocks away). Very lovely place, small group of 8 people, am very happy with myself for having committed to this.

Next step: clearing my Thursday nights so that I can go learn to crochet with the QUEERKNIT group who gather at... Remedy. *laugh* I foresee much chai latté in my future.
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posted by [personal profile] gashin at 10:09pm on 22/03/2009
Mediocre poetry at poetry readings nonetheless get me so excited about creative expression, and about people's willingness to share that part of themselves with others (in public no less!), and about the wonderful reality of such venues and outlets even existing in the first place,

that I really wish that I wrote things I would feel confident in sharing with others.

Also they make me wish that I hadn't arranged it such that Roland has about 4 poems of mine that don't exist anywhere else in the world, including in my little black book. I'm not talking to him, but god I really wish I could go over there and go through the folder he has of my stuff (he's probably hidden it in some "days long gone" subfolder by now) and print out the ones I don't have. SO BADLY.

Also, take back my Club Monaco pencil skirt and Vero Moda black ruffled dress shirt, because those will come in handy at the branch.

ALSO MY EXPENSIVE DESSERT TEAS. How the fuck did I forget all this? ARGH.
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posted by [personal profile] gashin at 11:07pm on 21/03/2009
... I spent my first day at the new branch. I will be spending the next few Saturdays there, in anticipation of the closure of my "branch" at the end of the day of 6 April. Thereafter, I will be at the new branch every day. In light of the fact that only one bus goes that far south, and comes every hour, and would take two hours if I include the connections, I will be "carpooling" (read: be ferried about) by one of two possible coworkers (one lives 3 blocks away, the other lives just west of the area I live in). Le boulot, c'est le boulot, but my goodness it felt good to work in an environment that wasn't radiating dust and thick with the screaming of children.

... I found, in my copy of the Aeneid (translated), two perfectly 4-ply folded papers, crisp and new. They were letters I wrote to myself back... well, I guess it would have been the autumn of 2006. That was not a good time in my life. These letters spooked me out, a bit. They were very coherent, but they felt completely... not of my mind, or my person. Like someone else entirely wrote them. I went through the other books I had for my two part-time courses at Concordia that fall, but I did not find any more letters. This disappointed me.

... I modelled for myself (in the mirror) the shirts I bought at lululemon. I went shopping "on business" there, since I discovered that sports tanks at Running Room, etc., were all just as expensive as lulu, and roughly 800% more hideous. (I joined a BOSU boot camp at a nearby ladies' gym. I needed cardio, and a reason to get my butt out of the house.) I ended up buying one "strictly for exercising" cross-back tank, and one white-and-pale-grey wide-striped tank-thing that I can scarcely explain except to say that it's about the most flattering thing I've ever owned. My shoulders look pretty elegant in it. On a whim, I decided to also don my jean shorts. They felt amazing on. I was really happy for a moment. I can't wait for weather warm enough to bust out the not-pants and not-sweaters.
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posted by [personal profile] gashin at 12:34am on 19/03/2009
I refound this, which I had written down from M____'s LJ quite a long time ago, while rummaging through my little black book in search of odds and ends to use in a writing project I'm slowly circling and poking away at.

It is not only apropos, it is the single best expression of this sentiment I have ever come across and could ever hope to come across.

Your absence has gone through me
like thread through a needle.
Everything I do is stitched with its colour.

-- W.S. Merwin

Maybe one day I will write something as perfect as that. Probably not, but that doesn't bother me; it'd have to be REALLY perfect...

This brings up lots of interesting associations. I remember reading an Atwood poem about love being like a fish-hook through one's eye... some of the earliest Cupid/Eros myths involved people being shot with arrows through their eyes, since the eyes beheld the beloved. A thread of missing passed through the needle of a person, a fishing-line of love passed through the eyes of a person by means of a needle-like object...

It's all kind of swirly but I thought I'd put it out there.
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posted by [personal profile] gashin at 06:25pm on 16/03/2009
I'll admit it.

I want to learn to crochet just so that I can make armies upon armies of little bunny amigurumi.

Can you even imagine?

I'd be bloody unstoppable. I'd be foisting the things on anybody and everybody. Gifting cute to the world in industrial quantities. People would fear for the parts of their brains that haven't yet been overcome by CuteOverload.

Edit: Also, MMMMM ART NOUVEAU. *covets*
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The ground squeals under others' feet,
filling my ears, and the white all around
is so consistent, unyielding,
filling my head.

But my way is smooth, icy, and I focus hard,
willing my heart to beat smooth, steady
so that my foal legs can gently, safely
bring me home.

(I am like when I was young;
asides, campfire whispers, warning and malicious,
were lost on me, absorbed deeply
in the bright crackle.)

I move so intently that I crawl.
People pass by apologetically,
crunching through someone's yard
to overtake me.

And their back, speeding away,
I look at, my concentration broken,
left only with a sudden whooshing emptiness
I had not had a second ago.

I stop for so long, with a thudding ache,
that my feet no longer know what it means
to be springy and unafraid, and able
to continue.

So I stand still until I am ashamed
at my sudden amnesia, my inability;
but I want to go, and I will--
And I relearn.


My apologies to those who've seen this on Facebook already.
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posted by [personal profile] gashin at 07:48pm on 07/03/2009
When her heart breaks, words come pouring out, grateful and urgent and biting like acid.

Do not mix hazy post-novel aching hearts with wistful indiefolk.
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posted by [personal profile] gashin at 03:34pm on 28/02/2009
I wonder what compels the universe to wait 5 minutes into my lunch break to send me the most self-entitled and snarky old lady (who stubbornly refuses to understand anything I'm telling her), and the barely comprehensible Chinese lady who wants to deposit $18,000 in bundles of $100 bills, and the pleasant but clearly fakely apologetic Indian couple who interrupt me-- when my door is locked, the sign is changed to "we will help you at ______" and I am MID-BITE-- in order to demand to make an account joint.
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posted by [personal profile] gashin at 12:36pm on 02/02/2009
I wish I had even one of my friends from Montreal here with me right now. Someone who knows me so well that I wouldn't need to worry about their discomfort, or platitudes. Someone who could keep me company in understanding silence and give me hugs. I have no one here like that. It's a bit scary. There is no one with whom I can take off the brave face.

Many things and thoughts are percolating in my head. They are poor company.
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posted by [personal profile] gashin at 09:08pm on 30/01/2009
I feel lost at sea. I can't seem to figure it out enough to shake it.

Didn't feel like updating my Facebook status about it.
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posted by [personal profile] gashin at 10:07pm on 11/01/2009
Anybody who has been on the Internet any time in the last... year and a bit... (or watched the Macy Parade, for that matter) knows what it means to be Rickrolled.

But have you ever been SACKROLLED? I doth profess, it is a far superior experience. You will be agog not only at the amusement factor, but also the CUTE factor. (It is a necessity for anybody who has ever played LittleBigPlanet, or seen an ad for it, etc.)

Click! You wanna! )
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posted by [personal profile] gashin at 11:07pm on 24/12/2008
Actually I was reading tonight from A Primate's Memoir, which my friend Eric lent me. It's a very good book, and this particular passage had me laughing out loud the entire time (rare, for... well, anything; we all know I don't laugh), so I thought I'd share. The broad lines of the context are these: a young Sapolsky has always wanted to be a primatologist, and as a graduate student goes out into the bush of Kenya to study baboons in order to determine some things about stress-initiated illness. Turns out he's spent over half his life there by now, but the book starts back then and is written as a very funny and charming memoir and, despite serious neuroscientist chops behind his banter, Sapolsky paces the whole thing very well. The following is him describing the highly special Thomas (an excellent chef) that a neighbouring researcher, nicknamed Laurence of the Hyenas, hired to do all the cooking in camp-- a man described as such: "short, squat, cackly, filthy, wheezy, bristly, leering, unapologetically soused all the time". Keep that description in mind for what follows.

Behind the cut! I promise, it's worth it. )


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