Tuesday, October 31, 2006

fascinating, my dear holmes or halloween II

very interesting day today. my inner show-off got a good work out. i passed, or nearly. very interesting to see how people responded. most people didn't recognise me until i spoke, which was fascinating. i got filthy looks in the women's bathrooms so i used the men's, which was also very interesting. taught a tute on sex, gender and sexuality in 'anil's ghost' and used myself as an example of the seperation between sex and gender, which was fun. also interesting to notice that i taught differently, used authority differently. not sure if it's because i was more conscious than usual of myself playing a role or because it was a masculine role. my mature aged student took one look at me and ran out of the room muttering (she came back in a few minutes).

anyway, enough with the self-absorbedness. i recommend genderfuck if you're feeling bored.

also tip o' the nib to spike, for her fabulous and inventive costumes (in oxford) and hughie, for mentioning an excursion to drag kings (in melb). never would've thought of it without ya, guys!

quite a few other people in costume, though nothing like saturday night. there was a row of little kids in fabulous furry costumes sitting watching all the big kids thismorning, and people hauling pumpkins around. the asiancanadian class had a cowboy and a monk in it, as well as j in red sparkly devil horns. and this is one of the witches wandering round campus:

Monday, October 30, 2006

purty new hat

it is very very cold here. forecasted top of 8 degrees all week til thurs, when it will rise to 12 and 13 because it'll start raining again. this is what it looked like yesterday, waiting at the bustop to go shopping:

fall continues pretty (though ominious, as we're not even into winter yet). this is from the skytrain station:

so i have come to the conclusion that it is foolhardy to go outside after dark without hat, gloves and scarf, and i didn't bring nearly enough of the former, so i bought a nice hat. thus:

don't i look like a grownup? those are the gloves itchy's mother gave me, and they're *perfect*. if i wear my usual fingerless gloves my fingertips go all red and start losing feeling. it's really very cold. anyway, the hat is 100% wool and will keep the rain off. also it is purty. got it from a nice shop on commercial. my first piece of canadian clothing, very exciting.

still masses of work, but a lot of it is just reading, which is pleasant, and writing about picturebooks, which i always get a kick out of. (and marking, which i'll thank you not to mention)

Sunday, October 29, 2006


here's some pictures of the crowd. sorry they're all blurry. think of it as atmospheric. it was an amazing crowd and the costumes were so inventive! lots of really clever stuff and pretty stuff and really properly creepy stuff. lots of skulls, too. they had a little shrine to the dead under a tree, with photos and newspaper clippings and great streamers hanging from the branches.

these two were all in lycra with rollerblades and ski poles, zipping round:

this is just for the gaurox:

the blurry lights are from this fabulous fire twirling exhibition on the tennis courts.

this was the fire twirling. it was pretty amazing. they had poi, whips, swords, sticks, hula hoops, people on stilts with great chandelier things - spectacular. the person inside the red sheet thing turned out to be a short bearded guy with dragon wings who spat fire. and a young girl - his daughter?

this is the dancers around the drumming group - lots of people, great crowd.

there were three of these ppl but i only managed to get one.

daylight savings

quick note to anybody who has a clock on vancouver time - we just did hte daylight savings thing too, and the clock went back an hour. so it is 2.30 in the afternoon here and 9.30 in the morning in melbourne (and 10.30 at night in london). hope that is helpful.

halloween post coming soon - went to the march of lost souls and it was stunning.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

stupid proposals

hmm. spoke too soon. this weekend is revising proposal. bugger. also halloween! and writing conference paper. and marking proposals, which is starting to feel a little hypocritical or fraudulant or something.

what else? continues cold, still lots of reading. lovely relaxing night with p+p and bottle of red, just got home. they have a whole 'australian' section in the bottle-o on commercial! we got to lizzie refusing darcy. great stuff.

started on 'anil's ghost' with the first years. i'm not sure i can stand a whole fortnight of discussion of 'buddhism' said the american way. gack. ooo, excitement, i can pick an american accent now! or a very pronounced american accent, anyway. as various people-who-have-done-this-before said, i can tell cos it sounds wrong.

to bed, care unravels the knotted sleeve of sleep. or something. (another two and a half acts to read for monday.)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

meet sky

grot and bbb's new puppy! isn't she adorable?

grotty says she always looks mad in these photos. . .

bloody student politics

all these children tottered past my window this morning like a row of ducklings. they were all in little waterproof jumpsuits and thermal hats. the weather has turned. top of 12 degrees today (probably less on the mountain), cold, raining, started to get dark at 5pm. hmm.

i know what time it got dark cos we had a student general meeting from 2.30 til 5.30. three hours, outside. haven't been so cold since last time i went skiing. just had a long bubblebath to make sure i have feeling in all extremeties. bloody student politics. democracy is a fine concept but the actual doing of it stinks. this was a 'i'd like to move a motion to vote on the motion' style meeting with lots of people calling points of order. gah. still, all the resolutions passed and we made quorum (500ppl) and kept it for the entire time, which was incredible considering the cold. first time they've got quorum in 10 years, apparently. ah, the amount of time i've spent sitting under god's urinal at MU, being counted. . .


big shout out to missb and pippi for finishing their thesises! you are so extraordinarily clever your brains'll start coming out yr ears soon!

well done!

also to max (the person max, max the dragon who is three)! go you!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

whining about workload, mostly

two down! only 17 essays to mark! and that conference presentation to write. . .

today was an essay proposal for asian canadian literature. i fear i'm actually getting good at writing proposals, which is depressing cos a lot of it is just *wank*. also it would be nice if i was good at teaching how to write a prop. poor things still have no idea and i don't know how to get it across. oh well. they don't have to hand in any more after this one.

gave my patented 'how to read an essay question' lesson today, which went quite well (i handed round dictionaries and made them look up words like 'analyse' and 'consider') then got them to do an exercise i swiped from grotty, in which they had to think about mythologising their own life and write about which animals their family members would be. (still on *life of pi*, still. . .) got some interesting responses. they were pretty into it. ta grotty!

everybody is completely swamped right now. we had a frustrating tute last night for renaissance lit. the prof said we were the least energetic group she'd ever discussed 'malleus maleficarum' with. it was all witchcraft and torture and stuff and we were all too tired to get as angry or excited as the material deserved. ridiculous situation to be too tired from doing the reading to talk about it. will work much more efficiently in future. just as soon as i watch the long-lost buffy pilot on youtube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrQX0jmjcYQ). . .

lovely postcard and magnet from jt. thankyou! the red soil looks amazing.

Monday, October 23, 2006

i've been there!

create your own visited countries map
i stole this from tagagananalaladada. it includes stopovers, which is cheating, but those two hours in hawaii really make a visual difference! don't miss the tiny blob that is fiji as well. i am so international. . .

i encourage all visitors to make their own and, um, maybe try and post them in the comments section? grot/bbb should have an interesting one.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

help help i'm being repressed!

(we all love ronan dirge!)

ah, halloween approaches! so exciting! i was invited to a pumpkin carving party tonight but i can't go cos i have too much work. and i have a pumpkin and all! so cut! actually i am all prepared for halloween:
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i even have an idea for a costume, thanks to all this study i have been complaining about. i've been researching jugglers and conjurers and fools. . . we shall see!

all the hours mucking round in the renaissance database paid off. i have one story about how an evil conjurer dropped dead on trial and was found to have tokens of devil worship hung all round his body (bits of baby limbs, probably. they're into that), another pamphlet saying 'sorry about that thing i wrote saying all actors were in league with the devil and that jugglers are evil and especially sorry i called the queen a whore' and another one which is explaining that magic tricks are sleight of hand, not facilitated by the devil, which explains exactly how to do all the tricks, with diagrams. my favourite is the one about how to pretend to decapitate someone and also the pictures of knifes with little half-moons cut in them so you could pretend to cut off your nose. all of this is welcome distraction from our set reading this week which is all about witches. we have an inquisitor's handbook which gives step by step instructions on how to extract a confession - what sort of torture to start with, etc. apart from being gruesome it's also the most misogynist stuff i've *ever* read.

that's one assignment down.

went and saw 'monty python and the holy grail' on the big screen last night which was, as always, *hilarious*, then 'indiana jones and the raiders of the lost ark" (bizarre double bill) which was dodgy as hell but fun, then went out with the gang. good fun.

lovely crisp autumn day:

Saturday, October 21, 2006

ca vous ennuie si je le mets plutet sur mon blog?

i even know what it says cos i got FLQ to translate it for me. haha! ta tghutbnd!

brunch at bizarre greasy spoon/diner - very good fun, then pedagogy class, then coffee with MAs then masses of study. developing bizarre injuries ie. ring finger is sore from manipulating the mouse. damn you eebo! (a database of early english manuscripts) i am finding some fascinating stuff, though. who knew???

Thursday, October 19, 2006

echidnas and tigers and bears, oh my!

thankyou for lovely package - bookmark is adorable and echidna so cute and my what lovely coreas! ta also for aunty cath's booklet. i appreciate it.

sorry, no posts, too busy.

oh, but port moody is a fair way from here and i don't wander the woods alone. or near rubbish bins.

*this* is a dagger!

Is this a dagger which I see before me,
The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee.
I have thee not, and yet I see thee still.
Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible
To feeling as to sight? or art thou but
A dagger of the mind, a false creation,
Proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain?
I see thee yet, in form as palpable
As this which now I draw.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

finally! raccoons!

vicious looking little thing, huh? i saw it near the gym, coming back from class. it was kinda like an enormous cat, especially when it sat down and started grooming its back legs. but it seemed to walk on its tiptoes. sorry i'm not very articulate. today is my 10.30am til 8pm day, and i had my presentation on butler and being observed teaching. anyway, it wasn't scared at all -looked me in the eye. i sat and watched it for ages, then snuck back and got my camera, for youse guys! aww. . . . (and beanie, gloves and extra coat) the most interesting bit was what it was doing, hanging out by the gym. there's a rubbish bin there, and it climbed up the side and literally dropped its entire upper body into the bin to scavenge food. then it ran off to the bushes and held the bread or pizza or whatever in two hands, like a person, and ate in a teeth baring way (that's what it's doing in the photo). they are very smart, and will work in teams to push over a bin or lift up the rock on the lid to get in. then spread the stuff *everywhere*. they're carnivorous, and will kill and eat smaller animals.

so, to make hte most of the new tech, here's two vids of the occasion. one is of it looking and chewing (you get to see the robber mask face) and the other is it walking off (stripey tail and strange walk). the quality isn't too hot, cos it's by street lamp, but they're only short. hope youse are all as excited bout this as i am!

Monday, October 16, 2006

non-smoking wings

crusty morning but lovely talkative tute on 'dr faustus' this evening (after all that whining! macbeth is next. you have been warned.) i felt properly engaged and kinda knowledgable.

gothing last night fabulous fun. lots of freaks and posers and WINGS! just like home except i didn't know the pretty people (except the small posse i was with) and no smoke! have i mentioned the no smoking anywhere thing? it is fabulous. i come home and don't have to have a shower and wash my hair and all my clothes and hang my coat out to air. not nearly as paranoid about ventolin either.

tomorrow i'm presenting on judith butler. i spent about two hours with the article and a range of dictionaries, going through it on a sentence level, working out what she meant to say. i did three pages. i usually like butler! oh well.

updated version of outdated model:

Sunday, October 15, 2006

work and rain

i don't have any news to write. i'm catching up on a whole bunch of work, i can feel everything looming, so i'm trying to be up-to-date or ahead at this point. from here on in i have a major assignment/presentation due, or my students do, nearly every week til a week past the end of semester. which is do-able, but a little menacing. . .

i did a nice picture of a tiger.

and this is a little gesture to all of you frying in australia:

sorry, there are no bears or raccoons or even squaruls, but there's maple leaves (i think - i'm never sure about this. they look like them, don't you reckon?) and rain, which is very vancouverish.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

bell hooks

bell hooks wrote a board book! ee! no bacon, shakespeare, conan doyle, dillard or stroud, but bell hooks! (and a new kate bornstein)

for more details see http://www.amazon.com/Happy-Be-Nappy-Bell-Hooks/dp/0786807563/sr=8-1/qid=1160876447/ref=pd_bbs_1/002-8662216-4719237?ie=UTF8&s=books

otherwise grotty day. now to butler and marking. yee-argh.


and this is in honour of the outdated model. isn't he ccuuuuuuute?


champagne with little bits of gold in it is not my friend! so pretty and yet so cruel...

watercolour pencils, on the other hand:

this is in honour of the puppy g+b are going off to "look at" today. (the rest of the pic didn't work as well. but was very good fun to do.)

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

salt fish girl

i gave my presentation today and it went pretty well. people were nodding in agreement and writing stuff down, which is always gratifying and a little intimidating (despite being a big experienced TA now and used to such things. . .) and the prof liked it. he suggested a couple of articles to follow up - i think i might do my final essay on this topic. i was talking about food and sex in "salt fish girl". for my essay i'd expand it to include 'the kappa child' and a couple of other books. so that was worth all the work i put into it.

which was just as well, cos i had my first really ghastly tute with the first years today. we started 'the life of pi' and they had nothing to say about it. massive amounts of awkward silences and me blathering hopelessly. the other TAs had the same experience. eck! just as well the prof didn't sit in like she was going to. i shall have something fabulous and creative organised for next week (when she's sitting in), something that allows them no room to move at all.

okay, have to go read two versions of "dr faustus" (he sold his soul to the devil, the bad man!) plus all the crit in the norton edition and some other stuff and procrastinate marking essays.

(least i sound like a miseryguts, i should also point out that today also involved copious amounts of gossiping with eleanor, whining in chorus with the other TAs and then beer and vegie burgers at the pub after class)

and this is just to show that it's not all pastoral glory up here. these are a couple of views on my way to the dinner last night:

this is the science centre - it's like an enormous golfball covered in little lights. very speccy and a good navigation tool.

and this is a trolleybus (bottom) and a skytrain (above). the trolleybuses are quite endearing, like trams on wheels.

pumpkin pie!

it is warm and sweet and kind of cinnamony and good - not at all like you would expect. (the other aussie expat took this picture)

and some other desserts:

good god i am full. again. my belly is round like a watermelon.

Monday, October 09, 2006

more tofurkey

this is what it turned out like:

it tasted, well, like fakemeats do. a bit weird and over salted, but generally nice. the meat-eaters had an enormous turkey. there was soooo much food, and it was so good and we drank bubbly and talked like english students. a very nice evening.

now i am procrastinating like a procrastinating thing. hmm. so here are some random pictures!

this is the view south-west of campus, over the city to the sea. that lump in the distance, there, i found out it's vancouver island. which is a big WOW if you know the geography. i tried to find a proper map that shows the scale, but this was the closest i could get:

if you click on it you'll get a big version up. so i'm in van, or off to the east of it a bit (not much on this map) and i can see all the way out to the big island on the left there. oh yeah.

and this is why they call it 'fall', i guess. (this is near my res)

Saturday, October 07, 2006

huzzah for tofurkey!

"Holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas in particular, can be a lonely time for vegetarians. For years, people who choose not to eat meat have been pretty much left out of the celebration with only side dishes to consume.

In 1995, with the introduction of the first Tofurky roast, all that changed. Tofurkey provides a delicious eye-appealing, satisfying centerpiece that is easy to prepare. Whether you are a vegatarian needing something special to birng to a dinner or a cook wanting to find a quick and easy dish to serve your non-meat eating gueats, Tofurky can help bring fun and joy for all at your next feast."

i'm really looking forward to this thanksgiving lark. I feel like i'm really, like, *exploring* canadian culture, y'know??? actually, i cheated on the bubbly. it's australian. i've had a little trouble finding out exactly what thanksgiving is. ppl i ask will tell me it's not american and that you get to eat a lot. which sounds grand but is not particularly informative. luckily my new canadian oxford dictionary knows! thus:

"an annual holiday, originally for giving thanks to God for the sucess of the harvest, clebrated on the second Monday in October."

wow. a whole post on the joys of tofu and dictionaries. i am such a square.

lots of planning for christmas, totally exciting, and lots of study needing to be done. i have a tute pres on tuesday, which is a bit of a big deal, and then my first years hand in their first essay. yaargh! and i bought some brushes today and badly want to get stuck into the ink/watercolour pencils.

Friday, October 06, 2006


here's some photos from the parental/aunt trip to arkaroola. stunning, isn't it? it looks very very dry from here. photo credits to jt.

and if you're wondering why i only have photos from home at pres, here's what i've read over the last four days: