Friday, June 29, 2007

today's best article

Go read it!

For those of you who don't know where Igloolik is, click here for a pretty map. And then the guy was 130 km (80 miles) north of that, on "spring snow" that was probably a bit soft early this year thanks to, you know, the heating of the globe and all that.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

when twilight dims the sky above

For the longest time, one of my favourite things about summer has been biking around at night. Forget taxis, screw the stinky old car, tell the bus to piss off and give the horse you rode in on the evening off. Get out the old bickety, check 'er tires, straddle 'er, and get those thighs pumping 'er pedals to get those wheels spinning. She LIKES IT.

Last night I got called out by a friend of mine to see some live jazz in a park - free tix. (It's always last minute for him because he works in radio and just gets tickets handed to him randomly with little or no notice. It's grand and he helps keeps me cultured.)

So, boy oh boy, yes! After lying in bed like Jabba the Hutt for two weeks, croaking and blinking and coughing up slugs of phlegm, I was more than ready. Threw on a tank top and off I went (on my bike, natch). And it was a great band - a 12-piece! A horn section in black suits! An elegant string ensemble! A rowdy fella tickling the ivories! A hot chick in a short black dress singing! And to leave us all humming to ourselves like romantic old men as we wandered home for the night, their encore was a gorgeous rendition of Brazil. (The movie by the same name - which uses this song abundantly in the soundtrack - is an all-time fave, so this choice made me quietly gleeful.)

Anyway, reasons you should try biking at night in the summer - if you haven't tried it:

A. You go faster in the dark.

B. You get to feel twelve again (in that good way, like before pimples and before ever stressing out about the concept of making out with someone and before you started getting those life-complicating boobs and hips*).

C. It makes you one gorgeous hardcore beast.


*what's the boy equivalent?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

"you're all thirsty for the Kentucky waterfall"

No need to write anything today except "go look at this".

I like "discoverin'".

Monday, June 25, 2007


I just heard from Rock! She is in Africa again, but this time, NOT A WAR ZONE.

Her phone message went like this (with stage notes in square brackets):

"...[giggling] See, I'm calling you at home now after stalking you already on your [French accent:] cell phone mobile. [Speaking rapidly:] Call me call me call me call me. [Normal voice:] I'm sorry but my email access [growling:] SUCKS HERE. [Falsetto:] So I miss you and I want to talk to you so call me NOW. [singing:] Something something something 256-XX-XXXX-XXX* and if you can remember that, I'll give you a hamster. [Hangs up.]"

Why, this almost makes up for having my entire month of June ripped away from me by microorganisms!

* Those X's were actually numbers. I'm not going to tell you how to reach her unless you ask nicely.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

my sinus/bronchial infection is more boring than your dreams then I was flying? But like, I wasn't really flying, it was more like floating? And the world beneath me was Earth, but like not quite Earth? And then my grade seven teacher Mrs. Deachman showed up, the one who was obsessed with grammar? And she was sitting on this cloud that was sort of like an armchair, looking stern and asking me to parse a sentence? And suddenly her face was more like Sean Connery's - which is funny because they both had Scottish accents - and then he leaned forward and kissed me?



Yeah. I just made that up to prove the point that other people's dreams are in fact = or > interesting than my illness. I.e. what I'm about to write is going to be DULL DULL DULL. TURN BACK NOW.

But I'm writing about it anyway. Hey, maybe I should turn this into a fascinating pharmacology blog.

Having slept for two weeks and having horked up at least two pounds of tan-coloured phlegm (quantity estimated by eye and additionally calculated based on how much weight I've lost), I finally went to another doctor. She said "You were under-treated. Now you have to be re-treated. Here, take some more antibiotics and kill that mofo infection once and for all."

So now I'm on apo-azithromycin. It's a five-day course and shouldn't mess up my noodle as much as the last one. (Naturally, I got to experience the listed side effects of "dizziness" and "confusion".)

I'm also going to start plowing yogourt and acidophilus etc. to prevent the hell any woman can experience as a result of antibiotics: the dreaded YEAST INFECTION.

Yeah, yeah, maybe you didn't need to know that, but MAYBE YOU DID.

In the meantime, I'm really looking forward to seeing Hooker's mullet. I hope he goes through with it.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

spanner in the works

Happy Summer Solstice, everyone! Here we go - after this it's back into the darkness, bit by bit.

It's a gorgeous night where I am, but I know some people in the Yukon who are going to enjoy tonight's sun-not-setting-at-all by paddling down a beautiful river late at night and then partying a bit before camping out together. Nice, huh? What are you doing?

Me? I'm going to bed.

I think my throat infection is spreading. I can't hear out of my left ear anymore and as I type this I think my right ear is going too. Should I be scared? I am actually getting scared. I like hearing things, like my two-year-old nephew singing and the toaster going "bing!" and my friend John playing fiddle. I've never been this sick for this long before. Why won't it go away? I have things to do.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

I jumped down from the bunk where I slept in the room with the fake-look wood and the painting of God

Well, I'm over the strep and have moved on to a sinus infection. It's official - my immune system is narcoleptic!

In between the strep and the sinus infection, I told myself that my remaining sniffles were just allergies (really, if you knew me, a plausible explanation -- especially at this time of year). So this last weekend I went out of town and up the river to hang out with some outdoorsy paddler friends of mine. One of them taught me how to roll a kayak!

Well, sort of. With the shape and size of playboats these days, it was more like rolling a jellybean. So instead of being all impressed and imagining me rolling a loaded sea kayak in 10-ft swells (like my freakin' awesome unstoppable gorgeous little sister can), imagine me casually rolling a small piece of candy under a finger. Doo-dee-doo-dee-doo.

I admit further qualifications are required if I'm to consider this remotely factual. According to witnesses, I rolled the jelly bean not once but three times -- but only when I thought my friend was guiding the paddle. See, as soon as I knew that he wasn't, I just hung out under water and then tried to muscle it in the most ineffective way. Am I naturally cut out for unhealthy, psychologically dependent relationships or WHAT?!

See, part of it is that despite all my book-learnin' on the subject, my brain still thinks it should work this one way: lean on the paddle, force yourself up. It categorically does NOT work this way, as I've supposedly proven to myself multiple times, the abundant evidence being lungfuls of water and the boat stubbornly obeying the laws of physics, i.e. remaining overturned.

In case you were wondering, what you basically have to do is snap your hips to one side when you're leaning forward, then as you snap, allow yourself (head last) to just sprawl over your back deck. It's SEX-AAAAAY. Before you know it, the boat is up and you're ready to toss yourself into the waves again. The paddle hardly does anything but provide a moment of bracing power. I have to go back and try it again. Thank god for nose plugs.

That night we drank wine, ate quesadillas, listened to an old Rheostatics album and chatted about random things while sitting out on the screen porch in this small town where no one locks their doors. It was gooooood. Come with me next time. You'll like it.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

two summers ago, Dempster Highway

After paddling north for a couple of weeks we ended up in Fort McPherson, nestled right in the MacKenzie watershed:

...then headed back south down the famous northern dirt road known as the Dempster Highway, and eventually back to Whitehorse.

I'm heading back for a third time this summer. It's just so gorgeous!

Oh, and my mood, now that I'm over being cranky is just generally agitated. A friend quit work yesterday and it's making me feel reckless, inspired, nervous.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

still cranky, blame the amoxicillin

Can we all please stop saying "that said," and "at the end of the day"? How on earth did these two phrases become SO FUCKING HACKNEYED?

Here, I'll show you:

I love blogging, but at the end of the day, it's really just a narcissistic half-assed hobby of mine. That said, I don't see any reason to stop.

Grrrrrr. I just want to punch my own lights out now for even typing that.

Monday, June 11, 2007

notify the press! this is science!

First of all, I can't believe not one of you bastards (bastardesses?) came forward to acknowledge that you have a tiny bit of cellulite. Come on! You do! And you know what? You're still hot.

OK, so moving along. I'm sick. Really sick. I went to the doctor today because I spent the entire beautiful weekend that just went by SLEEPING. (OK, and watching Battlestar Galactica. For the record, I think the love rhombus between Starbuck/Apollo/Dualla/Anders is STUPID and I also think that all told, I have a way bigger stupid fake crush on Apollo than on Helo. Sorry! He's just so earnest, it's deeply affecting for a sarcastic bastardess like me.)

OK, so, the doctor first says, "You haven't been around anyone with mono, have you?" which makes my mind reel at the possibility that I might have what we called "the kissing disease" in junior high school, you know, the one that sluts get (this was the 80s, so young teens only felt each other up and frenched, and AIDS for straight middle-class adolescents hadn't really been invented yet - not like today when everyone loses their virginity at 12 and has a range of STDs by 16). Fortunately, my spleen is not enlarged, which is part of the differential diagnosis for mono. He checks my glands (out like a puffer fish) and my throat again (red with white streaks) and determines it's likely strep. I get the scrip for amoxicillin and away I go.

So just now, I was IMing with my sister, and because I'm alone, and full of mucus, and fighting the disease, and battling the goo, I do one of those horking types of things, where you kind of haul the mucus from the back of your sinuses. You know, just to relieve the pressure. No one's around, I'm not offending anyone, so what the hell, right?

And I swear to god, this horking thing I did pulled out part of my brain. It was as big and hard as a dried apricot. It was grey and bloody and pulsating with life. Was it part of my brain!? Was it sentient!? Can I still do long division!?

Either way, it is now flushed down the toilet. I fully expect it will lead a long and healthy existence in the city's sewer system, growing ever larger, cutting some teeth, and plotting a stealthy return to mama someday. Me? I am PACKING MY BAGS.

[Note: Image is not from my actual body, though I did mention to a friend that I considered photographing my specimen. I found the above image googling "mucus sinuses". PERFECT, huh!?]

Saturday, June 09, 2007

I love cottage cheese

OK, what is with this bullshit about cellulite? Summer's here, and I'm really getting sick of this whole body-hating hoo-hah.

Here beginnith my rant:

1) I've read it elsewhere, but the Wikipedia entry also confirms that 85-98% of women have cellulite.

2) Underweight, average, and overweight women get it; it doesn't matter. It's not about dieting or exercise. If you have female hormones, you're very very very likely going to have cellulite. (Note that more acceptable side effects of these very same female hormones can include: boobies, hips, fantastic orgasms, the ability to get knocked up, build a baby inside your body in a little muscular pouch called a uterus, and then give birth to a brand new human being. So like, not bad.)

3) No one even USED THIS WORD "cellulite" here until the 1960s, and it didn't exist at all up until about 150 years ago. It's like how women didn't shave their legs in the Western world until razor manufacturers decided they could sell to a broader market.

It's not far off from how marketing machines are convincing urban men that they aren't attractive enough unless they get regular pedicures and facials or use posh moisturizers. Tell people there's something wrong with them and that you have the answer, and you can make a lot of money. It helps if it's a natural, ubiquitous thing that's wrong, like skin that gets lines, toe nails that grow, armpits that sweat, moods that swing, shit that stinks.

Nowadays cellulite is used in the media as smug, self-satisfied evidence that Beyonce is getting fat, that Britney has really let herself go, that Paris Hilton needs to go on a diet, and by suggested extension, that no woman in our society is working hard enough to be attractive anymore. Boo fucking hoo.

So let me get it out there. Healthy CHILDREN don't have cellulite (or laugh lines, or much body hair, for that matter). I'm sure I'm not the first to think or say it, but I think all this crap comes down to the continued cultural project of fetishizing youth, and by extension, sexualizing children. (Then we wonder in horror at where all the kiddie porn comes from, when it's really just the toxic effluvia of a media culture that hates being adult and growing the hell up.)

Look, I'm part of this culture too, right? I shave my legs like any drone (I suppose in an annoyingly academic moment I might say it's because I can go with the enhanced sexual dimorphism angle), and I sometimes wear heels in what some consider a modern-day foot-binding/female hobbling exercise because I know it makes my calves look good and the rest of me taller. (Plus, some shoes are just so cute!)

I am drawing the line at this cellulite thing though, because it's a false "disease" and the "cures" are snake oil. So yeah, you beautiful creatures, I have a bit of cellulite, but anyone who grabs my bucket for a squeeze can vouch for the fact that things are, uh... "well in hand". (HAHAHAHA. Sorry.)

So like, can we focus on something else more important instead now, like turning the world around from the to-hell-in-a-handbasket program we're currently on? Just a thought.

Friday, June 08, 2007

bear with me

Sorry for the radio silence with no notice. Just back from a week away. Seriously not even one second to pop on and write anything here. It was brutal, but had its fun bits.

In summary:

1) One or two drunken non-single men should feel embarrassed, in my opinion, for things whispered in my ear Wednesday night - but those who participated in the spontaneous music-less dance-off in the plaza at 2 AM (which was definitely the best good clean fun I've had in a while) can consider themselves redeemed. As for the rest of you, you're lucky I don't know your wives and girlfriends, or they'd be getting a call.

2) Vodka sodas really ARE the best hangoverless way to climb half way (or more) into the bag.

3) One of the executives at my company screamed like a little girl on one of the roller coasters (yeah, about once a year it's part of my job to go on roller coasters) from the minute it started right up to the moment the car pulled into the exit area, leaving two other executives laughing so hard they nearly soiled themselves.

4) Damn I wish I'd bought that scorpion belt buckle for my sister. But my coworkers were waiting and I didn't want to make an impulse buy. Crap!

5) Thank you, outlet malls, for the discount bras of my favourite brand. Leopard print! You can't even GET those here in Canada, where all underwear is white, cotton, and goes from ankle to chin.