Sunday, January 28, 2007

A spring in my step



Well, I'm finally finished my essays for first semester! If I had written this on Friday, the title of today's post would be "Hooray for Everything," but since the euphoria has worn off, and I'm on to my next challenge (my thesis proposal), I will settle for the above.

It feels like a weight has been lifted, and I'm finally ready for the new year (hence the picture of my spring chicken - an expanding egg creature that I found in my Christmas stocking). My eyes and brain are already itching to read some L.M. Montgomery, I'm feeling that positive. I spent yesterday cleaning my room from top to bottom (quite literally, I vacuumed both my floor and my lighting fixture). It's a pleasure to spend time in my room now!

I've also been thinking a lot about what I would do for a PhD dissertation, if I ever go further with my education, and I've been hatching some interesting ideas. Interesting to myself, at least. I doubt many of you out there would like to hear about how literature and landscape has influenced the Maritime provinces' tourism strategies, and how antimodernism and geographic reality plays into gendered representations of landscape? Hint: I get to use L.M. Montgomery as an example!

Because, let's be frank, I should have studied to become an L.M.M. scholar all along.

P.S: This was supposed to be published yesterday (Sunday)

Friday, January 26, 2007

Friday Catblogging - Workplace Stalker Edition

I've decided to embrace the kinda-still-New-Year and introduce a new feature to my blog: It's time to adopt catblogging as one of my Official Blogging Practices (already established: nephew pics, flora pics, self-indulgent procrastination rants and book-talk).

For those of you uninitiated in the joys of catblogging:

Catblogging
"(Traditionally "Friday catblogging") is the practice of posting pictures of cats, in typical cat postures and expressions, on a blog. Sometimes a comment on the cat or the situation shown is provided. Cats had been on web pages already, but "catblogging" as a distinct and defined practice originated on Calpundit by Kevin Drum. He also established Friday as the canonical catblogging day." (From Wikipedia)

Now, I have to admit that as a co-student, I have a kind of morbid curiosity in any fellow student doing work. You know what it's like in office environments, walking past someone's cubicle and nonchalantly using your Superpowered Peripheral Vision to check out the computer screen or desk. And knowing that you are subject to the same scrutiny in kind. For anyone plagued with this problem, I would suggest a Mac. They were designed to help you hide that blog, sudoku game, or photo editor with a mere flick of the eyelash. That's right. They're built with Startle Recognition Software, so if they sense even the slightest guilt-twitch, they minimize the offending programs and pull up the Real Important Stuff instead. iKidyounot.

I do most of my (non)writing at home, where my nosy co-worker is none other than the Queen of Work Avoidance, Miss Olivia. Forget that coworker who comes back from lunch and leans on your desk, spreading invisible Pigeon Bench Cooties everwhere. We're talking Litterpaws. And the always-lovely Tail Butt Walkby. And the Swishy Keyboard Tail Swipe. This is a co-slacker who is only enjoyable when she's sleeping, and not beaming her Lazerbeam Eyes of Criticalness all over your paltry attempt at an essay.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Cassandra Laminated Fieldmouse


Yep, that's me. Cassandra Laminated Fieldmouse. It's an oldy, but it's a goody: The Dead Dog Cafe Authentic Indian Name generator.


Spin those wheels!

Stay Calm... Be Brave... Wait for the Signs.

...Of course, I couldn't post this without giving the unacquainted a little background: Here's a Globe and Mail story, from 2001. I can't say I like the writing style, but pages 5 and 6 are especially important for adding nuance to the story - although I can't help but think the reporter is being a little, er, verbose and hyperbolical. For further reading, I would suggest Me Funny by Drew Hayden Taylor (I own a copy, if you'd like to borrow it).

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Resolved

I'm sending my professor my essay tomorrow morning, I swear I am. So I'm going to close down my wireless connection tonight, and slog through a few more pages of notes and essay. I am. You may quote Ecclesiastes at me here, those of you who know it, about making idle oaths, but I *am* going to do this, *I am*.

I'm thinking by saying it enough, it might actually happen? Right... because I have *not* been saying I would finish it for the last two and a half weeks??? I know we will all be happier when this is over.



The lilac bush, and the sun, seen through a snow flurry.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Feat

Probably only my mother knows that I play the Chronicle Herald sudoku game online almost every day. I've gotten quite good at fading out, at least temporarily, the nagging presence that is my last essay, and seeing the patterns in the game. Well, I've gotten quite fast at using the Herald's sudoku program to my advantage - it confirms for you that your number are right, once you completed a square or a row - and I manage to place in the top ten to two percent most days.


I don't want to sound immodest, but today I accomplished a feat comparable to JK Rowling's Minesweeper saga (check out her website if you don't know what I mean, I believe it is under the "Extra Stuff-Miscellaneous" section). Behold the high score!
And the answer is, yes, I do procrastinate too much. I'm actually pretty fed up with myself by now. But that cannot take away from my sudoku score! *fingers do a little dance*

Monday, January 15, 2007

The Works

Not much new to say, but I thought I would post anyway. Here's another pic from Kohl and Kamron's stay over New Years. The one at the start of this post is a small detail of our New Years Eve fireworks - a few fountain fireworks that were imported completely legally from the United States by my father, after Mom and Dad's trip out West this summer. Apparently they have gigantic fireworks warehouse-like stores out there? I think I'd be afraid to work in one. The second pic hardly needs description, but certainly shows the boys' different approach to have cameras in front of them. Kam stares rapt, and then grabs. Kohl makes a face, or hides, or does both, although sometimes the mood takes him to pose properly.



I *really* need to finish this essay. I *really* need to get out, do things, take more pictures! It's snowing today... The juncos are sheltering from the snow by sitting on the birdfeeder. Just sitting. The cat is watching them at the window. I thought I was okay with this snow-free winter, but it does look very beautiful outside, with the dusk falling, and the sky and the ground the same colour of indigo...

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Capture

I've mentioned before how hard it can be to get a nice picture of my nephew Kohl. I seized the opportunity New Year's Day, when we were driving Kohl and Kamron in to meet their mom and dad (That's right, folks, I had to wait until he was firmly buckled in to a moving vehicle to get a nice shot). You can see the progression of things. Sleepy Kohl, cranky Kohl, silly Kohl, and then smiling Kohl. I forced the last one out of him by cutting off his silly-ness mid-contortion, and making a ridiculous face of my own.



Tuesday, January 02, 2007

That bird has mad skillz

And since I've started with one less-than-typical post, I thought I might carry through with another.

A parrot in New York has been exhibiting some amazing language skills. He's also a comedian. And he's cute! (That sounds terribly humanist to me, judging animals on their looks, as if it qualifies their skill level. If I had said that about a woman I'd be kind of offended. But really, when we're talking about a parrot with a sense of humour who talks like a human and invents words as fast as Stephen Colbert, how can I *not* anthropomorphize the little birdy?)

I have a friend whose brother was interested in Coco the gorilla a few years ago, partly because she shows such amazing powers of comprehension and sympathy. But to hear of a bird with such sophisticated communication skills is really, dare I say it, *cool*.

Living Vicar-iously

Some of you may be familiar with my love of Elizabeth Gaskell's book "North and South" and the most recent BBC drama version of it. In fact, I watched the series late one night (from 1 am to 3 am), then promptly went online and ordered it from Amazon. I will admit that part of the allure of the miniseries is Richard Armitage's fantastic portrayal of John Thornton.

So, in light of the Christmas season (Epiphany hasn't come yet!), and Richard Armitage, I give you: My first YouTube embedded link.



Many thanks to Austenblog for posting this, where I first came across it. I've heard of the Vicar of Dibley, but never once sought it out to find out more. Until now. And, as much as I appreciate Richard Armitage, it is the vicar (Dawn French) who makes this clip so fantastic. I actually clapped at the end of it! Alone, in my room, in my pajamas. I had heard of Dawn French on some of the blogs I read, and I will certainly seek her out more now.

This post is completely out of character from what I usually do. I hope you'll indulge me!