When I came home this evening, Luc had an adorable pot of flowers waiting for me. They're adorning my drab workspace and making my seminar preparation a little more enjoyable. And the sheep....well, I can't quite explain why I have a stuffed sheep sitting on my desk.
-I saw 2 homeless people fight on the bus and one threw a bag of cans and hit the other in the face
-Luc and I saw Avatar
-I threw out my neck putting a bag of chips in the cupboard
-Our fish died
-We picked the song for the first dance at our wedding
-A crazy old guy on the bus taught us (and several others) the rules of 'Pickle Ball'
I wish I had the energy to write out the full story that goes along with each of these points...but sometimes a list is just as good.
It turns out our car has more problems than just the flat tire. So many problems, actually, that we have to buy a new car. Luc took it in this morning to get the tire fixed, and it appears that our car also suffers from a myriad of mechanical deficiencies....lots of car stuff that I don't understand. The only thing that I understand is this: we are in no place to be buying a new car. I feel broadsided, and if you'll allow me to be melodramatic for a minute here: it's like spraining your ankle and going to the doctor - and then you get her to check out your sore throat too, you know, because you're already there. And then the doctor wraps up your ankle and says, "oh yeah, that sore throat - it's more than just that, turns out you have a week to live." And now, I will suffer through the man's equivalent to dress shopping: car shopping. Used car shopping. But I'm sure to get some good stories out of this.
Last night Luc and I went to another wedding fair - this one was significantly more civilized than the last. It was more of a formal couples event than a casual free-for-all of thousands of brides entering hundreds of contests carrying around piles of magazines. However, before the dinner there was time to walk around outside the ballroom and check out the vendors - our favourite was the photo booth rental.
We sampled some delicious treats from other vendors then sat down to a tasty four-course dinner, and again, did not win any prizes. There was a fashion show during the dinner, and they also had intermittent prize-drawings. At one point, the prize they were drawing for was to have a magician perform at your wedding. At this time, I leaned over to Luc and said, "of all the prizes you wouldn't want to win, this would have to be it." And then they called out the name of the man sitting next to me. And he was genuinely excited. And to be honest, I was not surprised.
After the dinner and the wedding cake, we got our portrait done by a caricaturist. This, I had never done before. I approached the situation with great trepidation - Luc and I both did, actually. I think everyone is probably thinking the same thing the first time they get a caricature done: "oh dear....please don't make me look tooooooo ugly and bizarre. Just a bit....juuuust a little..."
It could have been worse. I actually think it's pretty cute! I especially like Luc's rippling biceps. And this will probably be the only time I say this to an audience that includes my mom, but....check out my rack! Pretty impressive!
I didn't really get any great ideas from this wedding fair, but I did actually book my hair stylist today! One of my good friends at school is going to do it for me! While eating lunch this afternoon I showed her a picture from Cup of Jo that Joanna Goddard posted of her wedding hair (pretty much exactly how I want mine), to which my friend said, "well I can do THAT!" And she did...in about 7 minutes. Hired!!
More adventures on the bus! This morning I was seated next to a strange fellow. I think I'm pretty good at reading people and he was giving me a definite weirdo-vibe. And then I noticed something interesting and somewhat disturbing. He was reading an Ikea catalogue, but he was actually concealing some sort of handgun operating manual. Very creepy. He was surreptitiously training himself in the use of firearms, and thought the rest of us assumed he was shopping for a new bedroom suite. No sir, you did not fool me! But you sure did creep me out.
Reason #163 that I love Luc: he can do manly things like fix a flat tire. Yes, the latest unfortunate car-adventure is a flat tire on the way to the gym. I think I prefer the person who keeps breaking into our car and throwing our stuff around.
Luc managed to replace the flat with the little temporary donut-tire. We ended up staying home and doing intervals on the hill nearby our apartment building. Luc decided that Sundays will now be known as "Spare Tire Sundays" - the day that we work out at home. Clever bugger, that guy of mine....
Editor's Note: After reading this post to Luc, he reminded me that he's really not that clever. Wasn't it just last night that he chopped up a jalapeno pepper and then picked his nose?
Animal crackers! I'd be lying if I said I didn't have a Friday afternoon ritual of buying a giant bag and eating the entire thing to myself. This cookie obsession has revived one of my favourite past times: eating cookies and milk. There's something inherently child-like about dipping a cookie in a glass of milk - watch someone doing it, and you'll know what I mean. The ceremonial dip, the satisfaction at having left the cookie in the milk for just long enough to reach that perfect consistency of tenderness and solidity.
I still remember walking through the entrance area of my house in pajamas, carrying a plate of chocolate chip cookies and a glass of milk to my bedroom, and there at the front door was my brother's girlfriend and a few of her friends.
"Awwww...that is SO CUTE. Cookies and milk! I didn't know anyone still did that anymore! You're adorable."
It would have been significantly less embarrassing if I hadn't been about 17 at the time. Seriously. But at least they weren't animal crackers. There's something slightly more dignified about eating food that isn't shaped like a kitty.
It's quite remarkable the amount of inspiration and ideas that I draw from my daily bus rides. Today in class we were talking about new technologies and what the future looks like. More specifically, we were ruminating on the idea of whether or not eBooks will eclipse the printed book, much like the mp3 has done to the CD. Somehow that general seed of 'current and future technologies in society' led me to this:
Today a woman had each hand gripped on either door handle and was aggressively shaking them before the bus had come to a full stop. I thought to myself - "does she know something that the rest of us don't? Is this baby gonna blow? Not much else would call for such fervent shaking when the bus is still in motion."
No, the bus was not on the verge of exploding - she was just ignorant to the steps required to exit the bus. It's not even one of the more confusing technologies to grasp, but so many people seem to be stumped by it. Why is this? If you're not familiar with the bus door-opening technique in Vancouver transit, it's quite simple (as listed step-by-step below).
Step 1 - Wait until the bus has come to a complete stop.
Step 2 - Look for the illuminated green light directly above the doors
Step 3 - Lightly push the door handles
Step 4 - Step off the bus
I don't know why this vexes me so?!?!! But every time I see someone white-knuckling the handles and shaking them like they're in an argument with the doors, I want to scratch out my eyeballs. It makes me think of the people who get angry or judge, but never take the time to understand; and stretching it a bit further (in relation to our technology discussion), it makes me think of the people who are in denial of the progress happening in the world and who are ignorant of the transitions being made in our everyday lives. There are people who abhor technology and live their lives in its periphery - coming into contact with it when necessary, but even then, not taking the time to understand it. I can't relate to these people, because I grew up with technology and I love what it does for my life. So I can't understand the people that aren't even interested in learning about it before they push it aside or criticize it. However, because I can't relate to their position, I try not to judge them too harshly. That's one of the problems though - we condemn what we don't understand. It's a classic problem that is manifested in a myriad of situations. Taking the time to understand before you judge is a critical step, but it seems like when that step requires too much effort we cop out.
People have been blogging a lot about New Years Resolutions, and I think I mentioned that I didn't really bother making any. Like I often do, I've changed my mind: I'm resolving to take more time to understand before I judge. My first step was reading this article posted to a class website about twitter, then opening my own account. But I guess what I'm really trying to say is, the people that reef on the bus doors represent everything that is wrong with the world.
I spent the entire day yesterday (until about 11:00pm) wearing a cardigan with the tags still attached...I only noticed because by 11:00pm when I was slouched down on the couch with a drink, the spare button was jabbing into my neck. Upon noticing: "what the hell is-- ohhhh....wow.....I feel dumb."
My friend Kate and I went to the Vancouver Wedding Fair yesterday - it was an exhausting crusade of entering a gazillion contests while carrying around approximately 20 lbs in pure magazine weight. We started the morning off right though - a fashion show and a glass of wine (don't judge). The first half of the wedding show was more tolerable than the last. The liquor and caffeine gave us a delusional self-confidence that fooled us into thinking we could visit every single booth without breaking. By the time we left, our shoulders were welted from the straps of our bags and our feet were aching like we had just completed a marathon. We emerged wide-eyed and delirious from a combination of wedding overload and nothing all day but coffee, wine, and sample chocolates.
Too broken down to walk to the parking lot (about 6 blocks), we waited at the bus top for salvation. I had never been so happy to take a bus in my life. Checking the time on my cellphone, I noticed that I had a missed call from a number I didn't recognize and I had a voicemail. The voicemail went something like this:
"Helloooo....Kristen...Gladiuk! Hi Kristen, this is Deborah calling from BON VOYAGE VACATIONS! We were hoping Kristen, that you could make your way back to the Bon Voyage booth at the wedding fair - I hope you haven't left yet, because we have something here for you!"
(at this point I grab Kate with my free hand and say "Holy crap I think I won a free honeymoon!!!)
"You, uh, you left your address stickers at our booth - so if you're still here at the wedding fair, you can come back to the Bon Voyage booth and we'll have them here for you. Thanks!"
Here I was thinking the whole afternoon of entering contests had already paid off by winning a free honeymoon - it turns out I just left a large amount of personal information sitting out in public. Needless to say we didn't walk back. They call the finalists for the $100,000 Grand Prize Wedding today, and the rest of the contests start calling people on Monday, so there's still hope.
Even though this really had nothing to do with our class, this flow-chart made it's way into a presentation by a guest speaker (Thad McIlroy) the other day. It occurred to me that it's my duty to print and post this chart in the lobby of my apartment building. My regular readers will know why - our downstairs neighbour plays the flute , panflute, recorder, or some incarnation of a similar instrument. Whatever it is, it's still going on, and it has to stop.
-Getting to the cash register and discovering what you're buying is actually on sale
-Finding a pistachio in a bag that has already been deshelled
-Thinking it's Thursday then finding out it's actually Friday
-Going to a concert where the opening band blows your mind
-Asking for a single and the bartender accidentally makes a double
-Getting a personal TV screen on a short, domestic flight
And one of the best surprises....
-Going out with your boyfriend and he pops the question !
Last night we were out for dinner with some friends, and a few tables over a guy proposed to his girlfriend. Everyone clapped and my eyes welled with tears - thank god nobody noticed though, because I never would have heard the end of it!
Sometimes when someone tells me that they read my blog I become extremely self aware. I judge myself on every word that I write, and every idea that pops into my head is followed with, "oh god, but what's Bernard going to think of this?"
In that vein, I've been thinking a lot about audiences. I don't write specifically for women, but I'm fairly certain that most of my readers are women. I think my blog is pretty open to a male audience (except for the occasional wedding chatter), but I don't know how men would find my blog. Most of the blogs that I read are written by women and read by women. Can anyone recommend some good male-authored blogs?
In class yesterday, our prof quoted Robert Bringhurst calling a book "something small enough to hold in your hand, but something large enough to get lost in" - I really enjoy that idea. It conjures an image of being curled up in a big chair but feeling like you're miles away in a different world. There's this romantic notion associated with printed books that I'll never abandon. I've talked about it before, and I'm sure to talk about it again. This discussion came from our Technology and Evolving Forms of Publishing class. We also talked about social networking tools and how they can be used as business tools. I've been reluctant to participate in Twitter, not because I think it's just a fad and I'm worried about investing time in something ephemeral, but because when I think "Twitter", I think "lame, attention-hungry celebrities" and "people writing about stupid shit I don't want to hear about". It seems like an entire tool dedicated to proliferating messages that are really just glorified Facebook status updates. But that's not always the case- I'm being harsh. The reality is, the way the tool is defined in your mind depends on your experience with it and what you want it to do for you. Some people use Facebook to chat with friends and keep in touch. Some people use Facebook to post inappropriate/explicit pictures of themselves and show off about all the cool stuff that they do and how hungover they always are. And some people just try and have as many people on their friend list as possible. Regarding Twitter - I'm holding any further judgements until I have a more thorough knowledge of the subject (and an experimental account of my own).
I'm keeping an open mind and trying not to let my paranoid thoughts rule. New technologies are great, but they also scare me a bit - their overwhelming grip on society and they way we lead our lives is remarkable. Sometimes a text suffices or a status update saves you time - but I fear a world where we're all 'connected' but we're emotionally further from each other than ever. It sounds corny, but I know a lot of people who feel the same way. It's cool that I can see pictures and get updates of a friend's trip while they're away....but I like looking at photo albums after someone's been gone, and meeting for coffee to hear all the crazy stories. Sometimes I don't want to be connected to everyone and I wish that I wasn't privy to 24/7 updates. I think this comes from the fear of where we're headed though - not so much that I don't enjoy the technology that we have now, but that I'm afraid of what it's capable of doing. I love you technology, just please don't turn us into a society of out-of-touch blobs like the people in Wall-E .
Has anyone seen that new Nike commerical? The one about destiny - it's amazing. It gives me goosebumps and makes me nostalgic for my days playing competitive sports. The video uses one of my favourite songs by TV On the Radio, and it's just plain bad-ass. Check it out below.
Luc has made some most interesting resolutions for 2010. For myself, I'm just sticking with the standard, which usually fall through anyway, so let's just say I'm not making any. My motivated better half intends to give up candy, and take this little tree of ours and grow it into a monstrosity.
The latter isn't really a resolution, more of a goal, I suppose. But ambitious, nonetheless. I don't know how to make plants grow, only how to kill them, a task at which I excel.