Wednesday, November 29, 2006

keep warm, eh?

just what a girl needs - a knee-length down jacket! merry christmas to me, merry christmas to me. . . thankyou grot and bbb!

i can't see a thing when the hood is down (though, to be fair, i do have my scarf up over my nose in that picture), but damn it's warm. sooooo warm. . . and it says 'keep warm, eh?' on the inside, which is so tacky i love it. the fake fur trim is removable, but very fashionable, so it may stay for a while.

lubs on padded coat. . .

downtown (snow)

made a quick trip downtown today, scuttled round to the post office and bank and some other places, then went to catch the bus before they close the roads again. it's started snowing again! lovely warm day, didn't get below -2. hah! we've expected to get another 5 or 10cm of snow, then it will start raining tomorrow.

very pretty in the city, especially once it started up again. pretty much business as usual. there was a very cranky pug in a little coat, all covered in snow. my students were complaining yesterday of their parents making them shovel snow, and telling stories of their dogs. one of them had a little dog who likes to play in the snow. running round the backyard he would completely disapear except occasionally when they'd see him leaping up over a drift.

last tutes this week. i shall miss my thursday group. they're such fun.

anyways, here 's downtown:

Monday, November 27, 2006

B.C. coasters can drink the water if it isn't frozen

Globe and Mail Update

Beset by weather woes all month, Vancouverites received their first good news in weeks Monday, as health officials lifted a boil-water advisory that had hampered daily life here for the past 11 days. But, the good news comes amid another hectic weather day in the province, this one caused by a heavy snowfall and chilly temperatures, following weeks of record rain and wind.

A blast of winter weather swept through the Fraser Valley and on Vancouver Island Sunday and Monday leaving between 20 and 50 centimetres of snowfall in its wake. Environment Canada officials predict temperatures will drop below minus 20 C Monday evening.

snow *and* mountains!

this is from today. it's stopped snowing and was clear and sunny, so you could see clear out to the mountains on the other side of the river. god i love these mountains.

defacto extensions on both assignments due the whole uni being closed.
minus eight degrees and counting.

snow photo

this is one of my favourites. the kid was just sitting there looking cranky.

the inty is back!

gosh, so now i can post all the photos i've been sitting on. it's so beautiful and i feel like such a tourist. plus i have to take off one pair of gloves to use the camera. . .

photos from yesterday. this is a view of the courtyard. the water has frozen over now.
nice tree shots:

me looking dorky (but warm!):
and some steps:
this is for grotty. my american beauty moment. in snow. (with accidental and not particularly appropriate soundtrack.)

campus closed

-4 degrees and sunny

aaargh! lookit:
"CAMPUS CLOSED - November 27th snow day
Burnaby campus of the University will be closed all day today. There are no classes, and the library and daycare centre are also closed. "

we're snowed in! luckily buses are still running (though the inty isn't). i feel all laura ingalls wilderish and keep getting the urge to make little newspaper sticks to put on the fire.

extra day to do my proposal! huzzah!

still stunningly beautiful, though very very cold. now it's cleared up a bit you can see out to the mountains, though they're still a bit foggy. and the boiled water advisory has been lifted! bet you'd all forgetten about that! yes, i have been boiling every drop i drank for the last what, week? yea gods.

good to hear from you all.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

still snowing!

okay, i suspect this is one of those i care much more than anybody else things, but it's still snowing! everything is covered! last night the library was closed and the buses cancelled. i gave up studying at about midnight and went for a walk around in the snow (wearing so many layers i could only move in a very limited fashion). it was so beautiful. all the grotty teenagers were out making enormous snowmen and having vicious snowball fights, and the uni snowplows were doing the rounds (for serious! they have the school logo on the side!).

but today the inty is down. aaargh! so i am up at grad computer lounge. after i print off a draft of my essay i'm going to put all my layers back on and waddle off the little supermarket to see if they have the paper. lots of photos to put up once the internet connection at res comes back alive.

zero degrees and snowing

Saturday, November 25, 2006

so beautiful

this is from my window again. it's hit zero. but i think maybe the snow piled up on my themometre might be skewing the results. ha!


various views round campus:
view from the train station:
and the only sensible response to such weather:
so i got snowed on while i was doing my shoppping. huzzah! pretending like this is normal, what fun. bloody cold but. also went to a lovely "i heart crafts" market and bought some funny handmade clothes with feathers and prints from artsy hippie student types, to keep self warm and support independent artists. very good fun. and when i left the legion hall (like an rsl, even smelt the same) it was snowing! so pretty!

good party last night for muffin's bday. (his partner let slip his petname, haha, so winifred made him a 'don't mess with muffin' tshirt, which i think he liked) good people, good chats, good bubbly. the abba karaoke with fork-microphones at 1am was a bit much. hee! this leaving my room business is fun.

pretending homework is not there. hmmm. blaaaaah. snowing! must run around in snow and wear odd clothes!

current conditions

1 degree and snowing outside.


Friday, November 24, 2006

told ya it was cold!

the view from my window:
doesn't it look like a tacky christmas card???
this is so very cool!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

faites la pause. . .

glorious dark snow-covered mountains, view from downtown.

i did my bit for democracy this morning. toddled off to the australian consulate (with passport in funky moomintroll holder) and voted. it was a bit flat. i realised i'm used to voting being very much a community thing. like last election, i dressed up like a witch and our whole household went and voted together then played tag on the playground at yarraville primary, freaking out the kiddies. and i was working that night and kept checking in with the chef to see how it was panning out (a very politically engaged workplace) and getting gradually more and more resentful with the bastard customers for voting the bastard back in. or the year i was voting back home and had the parental figures handing out how to vote cards for two different parties and a girl i went to school with crossing me off the electoral roll.

anyway, it wasn't as much fun, just me in a little room, but i do like voting.

so then i went off and bought the new tamora pierce from chapters and several pairs of woollen stockings from sears. to go with new outfit from the weekend! (budget has gone out the window - but do need new warm clothes). new outfit thus. can be dressed funky for going out or boring for teaching.

i have 1,500w done. 4 degrees and raining outside.

i like traffic lights

i can post in colours!

satisfying intellectual sort of day

satisfying intellectual sort of day. we had a special session for our second last asian-canadian class, with two guest speakers in a spunky lecture theatre in the business school downtown. a very interesting debate about dionne brand's "what we all long for". good to have external input to discussion. i volunteered to respond to one of the presentations, and that was fun. i got to hop up front and blather, and, more importantly, i read this particular paper over three times carefully beforehand and could contribute meaningfully to discussion. how things have changed over the semester. . .

also started actually writing my essay (got freaked out cos all the phds, whose lead i try to follow, had written 6 pages already) and it's flowing. i love this stage of essay writing. let's hope it lasts. if i can push it one step further this could be a good one.

Monday, November 20, 2006

that was way harsh, thai

this was actually a gorgeous pink sunset (at 3.30pm) which the camera has chosen not to render in its true colours. taken from my office, waiting for one of my students to drop by. she emailed me saying she had forgotten to hand in page 4 of her last essay and would i mind discussing how much influence the missing page had on my comment that her argument was a little incohesive? which would be fine except that she got the highest mark in the class. . .

no news. left my room, talked to humans, all good. went for a swim, did my renaissance presentation, ate strange holiday-themed biscuits. getting very bored with boiling all my water.

oh, that's right! i had an enlightening cross-cultural discovery. when nth americans say 'entree' what they mean is 'main course'. it's a hangover from the french or something. this explains two things: 1. the menus which have page after page of entrees and no main courses. 2. that scene in clueless where she says she's divided the food donations into entrees and appetisers.

it's so nice when these things fall into place.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

smile sweetly and carry a hatpin

these books are a world of fabulous. i want to be a flapper!

ta to itchyfingers for the lead.

a bad moon on the rise

Yeah now don't go out tonight
Well it's bound to take your life
Baby there's a bad moon on the rise

for some reason i remembered the song as having something to do with a blue sky on the horizon. which would scan and rhyme, almost. oh well. who brings their children up on credence clearwater revival anyways?

that's the weather forecast for the next week. huzzah! (sorry the quality is so shoddy. stupid blogger is being stupid and won't take a screengrab.)

that's all my news. i have been procrastinating like a wild thing. good grub.

Saturday, November 18, 2006


i've got my desks organised nicely now. i figure if i'm going to spend up to ten hours a day there it should at least be interesting.

and this is a little insight into my working methods. (isn't this exciting, boys and girls???) these are my essay plans for my essay on "salt fish girl". i've got distracted by ideas of the posthuman. i still think i've got far too much material to discuss in a 4000w essay though.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Did I Miss Anything

Question frequently asked by
students after missing a class

Nothing. When we realized you weren't here
we sat with our hands folded on our desks
in silence, for the full two hours

Everything. I gave an exam worth
40 per cent of the grade for this term
and assigned some reading due today
on which I'm about to hand out a quiz
worth 50 per cent

Nothing. None of the content of this course
has value or meaning
Take as many days off as you like:
any activities we undertake as a class
I assure you will not matter either to you or me
and are without purpose

Everything. A few minutes after we began last time
a shaft of light descended and an angel
or other heavenly being appeared
and revealed to us what each woman or man must do
to attain divine wisdom in this life and
the hereafter
This is the last time the class will meet
before we disperse to bring this good news to all people
on earth

Nothing. When you are not present
how could something significant occur?

Everything. Contained in this classroom
is a microcosm of human existence
assembled for you to query and examine and ponder
This is not the only place such an opportunity has been

but it was one place

And you weren't here

Tom Wayman
Originally from: The Astonishing Weight of the Dead.
Vancouver: Polestar, 1994.

(sorry, blogger stuffed up the formatting. each 'everything' stanza is indented, as is the first stanza)


"In British Columbia's case, there was an intense period of heavy rainfall — 10 to 15 millimetres per hour for 15 hours straight — that caused a runoff into the three watersheds that supply water for about two million people from the North Shore to Vancouver to Langley."

sorry, i'm finding this fascinating. cos we have a rainwater measure thingy in the dale and i'm used to bbb recording, y'know, 6ml here and there and getting very worried in summer. not 15ml an hour!

"Whistler-Blackcomb Mountain is opening a week earlier than scheduled after receiving 186 centimetres of snow so far."

Thursday, November 16, 2006

creepy forest in a storm

not that i spent twenty minutes running up and down a soggy roadside in the rain, balancing the camera on my container of yoghurt . . .

this is the forest around campus that i have mentioned/photographed a couple of times before. still stormy and cold. we got nearly 50ml yesterday, and people have been evacuated as rivers split their banks. residents are warned "to stay away from fast-running rivers and streams.' lucky i live on top of a mountain. though the storm has also stirred up the reservoirs so we have to boil our water. which is all very well if you happen to be one of those kettle-owning people.

rather stiff and sore. i went and did my normal gentle yoga and have regained the ability to touch my toes and so forth.

i have a week's marking hiatus now, in which i am to prepare a presentation on walter raleigh, write my essay for asian-canadian lit and write a proposal for my renaissance essay. i had no clue about the last one, so i went and saw frances yesterday and she gave me some good ideas. something to do with the illustrations in witchcraft pamphlets. will let you know how it develops.


i should point out at this point that i'm not in coastal BC, and most of this is happening on vancouver island (main city is victoria) which is off the coast. they had a tsunami warning thismorning after the earthquake in japan. (very interesting to be affected by different geographical proximity). up here on the mountain it is blustery and cold and has rained all day - nothing particularly out of the ordinary. maybe the wind. in fact, i got mocked today for complaining about the cold:

me: i have to grab my hat or my ears'll fall off!
eleanor: dude, it's like six degrees.

j (who will henceforth be known as winifred cos she is from winnipeg - tacky i know) and i did bickram yoga this morning. it was interesting. not really my thing, because there was no giggling (except when either of us fell over) or fun (i miss circus) and it was all about sucking in yr stomach and 'pull it til it hurts then go a little further', which is not the way i want to relate to my body. i feel all limber and bendy, though, and it was very nice to be warm for a while.

ps. we got 38.8ml of rain yesterday.

Storm wallops coastal B.C.

Storm wallops coastal B.C.
Towns isolated, thousands without power

Canadian Press

VICTORIA — Entire towns remained cut off and thousands of British Columbians were still without power early Thursday after a powerful Pacific storm packing strong winds and heavy rains walloped the province.

Hardest hit was the Alberni Valley, where for much of Wednesday the only highway connecting the region to the rest of the province was closed, leaving no way in or out of the community.

Ken McRae, Mayor of Port Alberni, called the situation a disaster.

"They can't get into the Alberni valley from the east coast, the trees are all blown down," he told Global TV. "This shows you that we need another exit out of this Alberni valley, this is unacceptable."

Mr. McRae said the town was preparing to go the whole night without power and that emergency shelters were being set up for people flooded out of their homes.

More rain is forecast till Sunday for much of the province, according to Environment Canada, with up to 20 millimetres more expected in Port Alberni on Thursday.

B.C. Hydro estimated as many as 200,000 people were without power in the province's Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island region.

Hydro spokeswoman Elisha Moreno said a team of more than 500 technicians was sent for mandatory rest time at 10 p.m. PST Wednesday.

"As soon as first light is up, we will get the crews out again, responding in full force," Ms. Moreno said.

The utility had brought in all the staff it could find to deal with the outages, she said, adding it's not yet known when power would be restored.

"We are going to respond on a case-by-case basis, largest outages first, going down to pocket outages."

The storm forced about 50 residents of a West Vancouver neighbourhood to evacuate their homes because so many trees were toppled.

Trees took down balconies and walls in one building and residents were told to spend the night away.

Officials expect to survey the area Thursday morning to assess the damage.

A section of the Sea-to-Sky highway was closed for part of the day due to debris and several highways on Vancouver Island were also blocked by fallen trees.

The storm also apparently knocked down a building under construction in Vancouver. No one was hurt.

British Columbia's south coast has been buffeted by winds gusting up to 100 kilometres an hour in some areas that took a pounding from the rain.

Five rivers on Vancouver Island were in danger of flooding.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

new women's circus show

Women’s Circus presents

THRILL! as women dare to celebrate the women who pioneered new circus!

GASP! as past issues rear their ugly heads!

It was 1979 in Melbourne…

A new voice in Australian performance was emerging from an old pram factory in Carlton: students and radicals, anarchists and Trotsyists, bohemians and hippies, draft dodgers and circus performers.

“Women can do anything" they cried, and they did - they juggled, they balanced, they defied gravity and convention.

The Real Mighty Bonza Whacko Wimmin’s Circus was born.

"It's not real circus! REAL circus has animals! A circus without animals is like a plane without wings!" the traditionalists cried.

"A plane without wings is a rocket!" the women replied.

23 November to 9 December, 2006
Wed - Sat 8pm, Sat 2nd Dec matinee @ 2pm with Auslan translation
Footscray Drill Hall 395 Barkly Street, Footscray (Cnr Gordon Street)
Tickets: $27.50/$19.50 conc, $75 Family (2 Children under 15 & 2 adults)
Bookings: CUB Malthouse Theatre 9685 5111

psychotic crocheted fruit and vegetables

fabulous crocheted mutant fruits! huzzah!

there's a free pattern for the psychotic tomato on the site.

all you crocheters out there, you know you want to!

which is to say that not much happened today. we did peer editing in my first year tute, which was pretty dull for all of us, but hopefully productive. i got all my photocopying/printing/marking done in between things and saw a bunch of good people. the asian-canadian seminar went pretty well. it seemed to hang together more than other seminars have and we got onto some pretty interesting issues, mainly about citizenship, nationality, institutionalisation and commericialisation. themes of the course. now i gotta mark those last four essays and read the masses of articles i printed off today.

ooo, we have class extensions for proposal and essay that were supposed to be due next week, very exciting.


hehe. i'm skipping a lecture!! . . . and spending the time marking and looking up stuff about australian POWs for class tonight. couldn't handle another lecture on a book i don't even like. also the prof said we could if we had too much work. the important thing is that i'm still in my jamies.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Sunday, November 12, 2006


was feeling a bit city-deprived so i had an excursion downtown today. it was a bit of a failed excursion, really. out of my shopping list i managed to get a lightbulb and some handcream. meh. also it was raining. everytime i went inside for coffee or whatever it took me ten minutes to get all my warm layers off. bumped into m+j, though, and had hot chocolate and a ridiciously rich crepe, which improved things. and i took another small step towards fitting in vancouver. presents coffee mug with first nations' symbol:

good, no? it's a frog.

also found some very good coats round the $200 mark. and the bay has christmas windows! (if you look closely you can see 'SEARS' backwards in the reflection)

now to stop whining and start doing some work. or something.

virtual friendships

scrabble with the gaurox

and brie, crackers and wine for lunch with itchy fingers


Saturday, November 11, 2006


um, this was going to be an educational thing for grot. i may take it down later.

Transnational Border Shopping: (Virtual Purchases, Body and Nation)what we all long for when we long for crossing over

also, the transcript of one of the keynote speakers last week. quite long but very worth it. fascinating.

(ta to gaurox for hyerplink help!)

memorial day

(the dark spots are from the rain)

it's memorial day. for the last couple of weeks there have been these lovely spots of colour on everybody's clothes. the front page of the paper says:

"since world war 1 more than 100 wars and civil conflicts have been fought. 160,000,000 have died."

bit of a blah day. wandering round buying milk and light bulbs and moping. it is cold and grey and wet and starting to get dark now. it's 3.30pm. there's a lot of work i should be doing.

i'm studying, really. . .

ten rights of the reader

what do you think?

(if you click on the image you will get a big version on yr screen. same goes for all the photos on blogger.)

Thursday, November 09, 2006

lists (cos it's either that or bitch about my student, which isn't allowed on the interweb)

subjects i'm doing/ courses i'm taking next semester (your choice of the ausn or canadian version)

The Medieval Book and Medieval Literature:

"This course starts with the hypothesis that the medieval manuscript, as an idea, participates in various symbolic discourses, while at the same time each medieval manuscript is a distinct cultural artifact; the writings inscribed on their foliate skins both condition and are conditioned by their transmission in such ideological and material forms. We will spend the semester interrogating this hypothesis."

i'm sure it'll be much more fun than it sounds. i like medieval stuff. and medievalists. . .

reading list includes the riverside chaucer and good ol' piers plowman.

Feminist Theory: Critical Intersections & New Directions (invading the women's studies dept - all good):

"In this course, we will reflect on the current state of feminist theory and explore its challenges and future directions. Special attention will be paid to feminist theory’s intersections with critical race theory, postcolonial theory, queer and transgender theory, and masculinity studies."

all new new books, earliest is 2002. i've heard of a couple of the theorists. should be very interesting.

also french-for-grad-students-who-need-to-pass-the-language-requirement.

TAing either a first year subject about poetry about love and death or a second year one about the city in literature. neither of which i'm particularly excited by, but everything else clashed with the feminist theory seminar. i'm sure they'll be fine once i get in there. had a nice tute today on postmodernism and post-strucuralism. hah!

books i am reading right now:

salt fish girl - larissa lai
volatile bodies: towards a corporeal feminism - elizabeth grosz
swallows and amazons - arthur ransome
only connect: readings of children's literature - ed. egoff, stubbs and ashley
honey sandwich - elizabeth honey

things i should be reading:

certainty - madeleine thien
"transubracination" - ashok mathur
"literary citizenship" - donna pennee
the discovery of the large, rich, and beautiful empire of guiana - walter ralegh
"the work of gender in the discourse of discovery" - louis montrose
the transgender studies reader - ed. stryker and whittle
about sixteen million first year essays

good things i had for lunch:
mutter paneer
mango lassi

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

grey (ah, ani)

"the sky is grey, the sand is grey, and the ocean is grey.

i feel right at

home in this stunning monochrome, alone in my way."

this is the view from my window. luckily i don't have to leave my room today, just stay here at my desk and read feminist theory and mark essays. maybe go for a swim.

the political process

we had our usual post-class drinks tonight and the big tv screens which usually have the hockey on were showing the US election. there were people cheering and booing and hanging off the balcony. i was all excited cos i thought they were engaged with the political process. turns out it was a drinking game (take a sip if someone says 'iraq', etc.). still.

us grad students were very interested. see my explanation of the goverment system, in true pub style:

as i said to bbb, you'd never tell it was the election of a foreign country. the two are so intertwined. when we left it was looking very close. it still makes me nervous to be so close to america.

made with real chipmunks?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

people who are not me

big 'hi' and other supportive and welcoming type things to:

l'berry and truffles: new readers! abandon all hope, etc. etc.

jt: lovely card w owls!

crin: moving back to the 'donga. good luck and say hi to ruby and rosie.

grot: now world-famous author extraordinaire!

gaurox! package! finally! cd of fabulousness!

missmojay: luck for new house.

itchyfingers: such a nice phone call and warm fuzzies and also that ol' keepin' it real we've been doing for fourteen years now (don't ignore your medium, babe)

Monday, November 06, 2006

grotty's "i've been there!" map

conferences are fun!

the keynote speakers, in particular, were fabulous. one of them read interesting poetry about change and bodies, and i got to be part of a performance poem, which was fun - there were seven of us in a row, and we each unscrewed a little container, read a stanza, then put the container back together and passed it on. another one was the woman who wrote the novel i'm writing my essay on, who had some very interesting stuff to say about sexuality and sensuality and change/evolution and read a bit from the novel she's currently writing - beautiful and shocking. the last one was the fabulous long creative/theoretical piece which ranged all sorts of topics, mainly on terrorism and race, and involved dress-ups and rapping and recordings of the cops who shot the suspected terrorist in Britain. it didn't seem like it was making any sense for a long time, then it suddenly just fell into place and elucidated all of the things we dance around at these sorts of things. well, not the gender and sexuality stuff, but stuff about power and lived experience. to me, all of the key notes brought up questions of community and friendship, mostly because they *weren't* mentioned as solutions or mitigating factors for all the problems they were discussing.

the other student papers were interesting as well, but mostly about books i hadn't read (i was on a panel with one on hemingway and another on anne carson), but lots of ideas about what i should be reading, in all my masses of spare time. . .

my presentation went well. i opened with reading the end of "william's doll", you know, like they read picturebooks in kindy, with the book off to the side and my special voice. it all sort of followed from there. they laughed in the right bits, and there was an actual murmur of consternation when i got to my key point (ie. gender and sexuality are being conflated in these texts) which was very rewarding. i got a good response afterwards as well, mainly from people impressed that i managed to talk theory using words that we all knew and understood. academics!

one of the key notes (the last one) said he liked it and suggested some people in winnipeg i might like to work with. not moving to winnipeg, you understand, as it habitually hits -40 in winter, but there's this thing called the western deans agreement which means i could take a couple of subjects there, or do a directed reading, by correspondence or something. so i'm to email him and get some contacts and that would be so exciting! there's a couple of really cool kidlit ppl at UofW, and someone who's working on race in children's books. squee!

the same guy hosted the last night party at his house. it was this fabulous house, very small and thin, but about five floors high, and decorated with the most amazing stuff, with a view out over the water to the city. oooo. . . so the place was packed out with drunken academics, writers, poets and grad students and we had a great time. i even spoke to the author of the book i'm writing on and managed to be a normal human.

and now i'm exhausted and have to get back into it. tired but inspired.

Friday, November 03, 2006


oh dear. just slept in and missed first hour and half of conference. time to invest in a second alarm clock. . .

Thursday, November 02, 2006

sissy boys

i could pretend this is for your benefit, but really it's just a convient way of saving the powerpoint pics for my presentation this weekend. i'm talking about sissy boys in picturebooks, and here's some of them.

this is william with his doll, of *william's doll*:

this is oliver button, from *oliver button is a sissy*:

and this is *the sissy duckling*, a recent text and the main focus of my talk:

scanning makes my eyeballs bleed.