Saturday, March 31, 2007

aargh! essays!

the medieval essay is just dead. i've spent hours on it and have *no* idea at all. maybe if i just leave all the books in their piles and sleep around them the ideas will seep into my brain?

feminist essay a little better. i've been listening to patty griffin. that helps.

and here is a lovely pic of hughie spunkrat cassandra:

Friday, March 30, 2007

everything that has happened in the last week

i have been saving up lots of images and witty comments to blog during this horrifying internet-less period. cos i'm just so dedicated to you, dear reader.


i passed french! very exciting! (it was a pass/fail course). and i can actually read bits of it, which is more exciting. and i got a smiley face sticker! i wonder if i could give my students stickers? i'm worried they already feel babied. hmm. oh yes, and the students, i gave this fabulous class on tuesday. it was fun, it was educational, they were giggling, i was wise yet entertaining, we prepared for the exam - then we ran out of time to do the bloody evaluations. waste of a good performance! then on thursday we had a fire drill at the end of class, so i got to herd them all down the stairs then stand around in the sun outside, making awkward small talk.

but my french class, that's right, we ended by translating this really neat poem about a school room which, through the song of a lyre bird, is gradually turned into a forest. the desks turn back into trees, the chalk turns back into the cliffs it was made from and the windows turn into sand. then our teacher said "and that concludes the poem and our french class." it was very sweet. i've enjoyed this class, whinge as i did in the beginning.

some canadiana from another research trip to ubc. note snow-covered mountains and canadian flag. it was a day of big things. tell me this is an ordinary seagull!
note the blob of red on its beak - from disemboweling a victim. (gosh, i think all the reading has gone to my head). these things come nearly up to my knee, i swear. i remember being hassled by a gang of them in my first couple of days here - i very nearly dropped my sandwich and ran for it.

while i was eating lunch outside the library and being molested by seagulls a vegan evangalist gave me a glossy brochure to spread the word. very odd. *anyway*, also at ubc were big books. they have a good medieval reference collection, so i got quite a lot of good material for my essays, including this beastie (hand shown for size reference):

i also received a lovely package in the mail, oh, we covered that already, but there was a nice card from bbb as well:
the painting is called "some days R a drag" and it's by Beverley Skurulis, whose work can be found at

vancouver has suddenly burst into blossom. it's all very beautiful.
i had heard this was going to happen, but didn't quite believe it. there were cherry blossom haikus on the buses. one of them even combined cherry blossoms and hockey - canadiana plus!

and this is me and my new friend, chicory:
chicory's human has gone to bolivia for a bit, and i am one of a small army of dog walkers. i'm very fond of senor chicory. normally he's an undemonstrative dog, but he was so excited to walk today he was jumping and whining. and we met all sorts of nice people on our walk, including various old italian men. it was good. i miss having a dog.

and that, i believe, is all i was saving up. i don't actually have much else by way of news. i have two presentations to give on wednesday, each quite long and worth much of my final mark, so i'm studying kinda constantly. except that now the interdistraction is back, damn it!



oh my god, the internet exists. this is far too exciting.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


inty is down at home.

*twitch mutter grumble*

on the other hand, i'm getting masses of work done with this distraction removed.

see ya soon (hopefully)

Sunday, March 25, 2007

your famous orange tassels were torn

doing my knee-improvement stretches.

it's not raining! . . . yet

the reason i'm not posting much interesting is that i'm not doing much interesting. end of semester, you know. i read _the odyssey_. the ending is a bit odd.

here is a view from the bus stop. i think it looks a bit like a painting by that guy, you know, the australian guy who does the flat urban scenes. fred someone?

Saturday, March 24, 2007

fog and rain

everything i read nowadays has beheading in it. occasionally it's varied by people disemboweling animals instead. why me?

Friday, March 23, 2007

bloody miserable weather

RainFall Warning issued by Enviroment Canada:

50 to 80 mm of rain is expected for the Greater Vancouver area and Howe Sound by Saturday morning.

on the other hand - new hair! see, the problem with this blogging business is now you all know how shallow i really am. . .

not much news. studying a lot, have some new ideas for my essays, trying to plan my hols and my housing and my final paper and my subjects for next semester. enjoying the studying!

Thursday, March 22, 2007


they have famous orange tassels on the back pocket as well, but i'm not gonna put photos of me bum on the inty.

thanks g+b!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

another poll

would you be interested in reading some of my academic writing? for instance, bits of the presentation i just gave?

you may comment anonymously!

deep fried brain

i feel like my brain has been deep fried. another intensely intense (but wonderful) women's studies class this morning, then in the evening i gave a presentation on that beaten up irish manuscript i was muttering about a while back.

am coping with end of semester stress in my own special way. today i wore an outfit with seven different colours in, plus fake fur and sequins, and got a big stack of comfort reading from the library. vis:
two penelope lively novels
_the rabbits_ in its canadian edition which has the text handwritten rather than printed (which, if i were in hyper-picturebook analysis mode i would find fascinating and meaningful, and is at the moment just kinda cool)
_feed_ by m.t. anderson. my child_lit elist habitually has "best opening line of a children's book" competitions, and _feed_ always wins, or ties with _charlotte's web_.

"We went to the moon to have fun, but the moon turned out to completely suck." (anderson)

"Where's Papa going with that axe?" (white)

it was snowing again thismorning! and had a lovely chat with gm (former supervisor) on the weekend re. whereabouts i should do my phd, which was inspiring. hope the baby gets better soon!

speaking of which, my knee is almost better. i can walk down stairs and swim normally and everything. it is entirely exciting. and spring will come. the trees have promised.
(have been listening to eric bibb and now feel an intense need to polish my shoes.)

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

grotty (the Big Winner) says

Cafardina is seen here resting between engagements. Despite her lost wing, she has scampered off on her 3 remaining legs, and is ready for the hunt.

Monday, March 19, 2007

fork fairy folk festival

some piccies of the recent family excursion to the port fairy folk festival. looks like you had a grand time!

mrs darcy and friend as esteemed audience:

parental unit with our-hero-eric-bibb:

at the campsite:

as always, if you won't want your picture up just say the word. no wuzz.

(huzzah - pictures not of me! continue to send.)

bbb and skye

aren't they sweet? notice how the new dog gets to sit on the couch while the poor neglected old dog is not allowed to place a single muddy paw up there? favouritism, i call it.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

you know you're procrastinating when. . .

have also cleaned the bathroom, put away all my laundry, alphabetised my books and done the dishes twice in two days.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

due to popular demand

another episode in middle english! this one is smutty. if you think it's a dirty joke it probably is. a bit more chaucer - lines 583-626 of the wife of bath's prologue - and then a bonus reading of "let's get a pup!" by bob graham. which is not smutty. it cuts off kinda sudden at the end. i think the camera was unhappy.


Friday, March 16, 2007

in fashion news

what the stylish vancouverite is wearing about town.


going through an apathy phase. i finally did a month's worth of laundry thismorning and now i will have clean socks. a major achievement. spending lots of time with the gang here, and also the virtual gang, so that's good.

i tried something a little experimental in my tutorials this week, and i think it worked. that was satisfying. we have moved to the complicated version of the name game, where one must introduce a random person round the room, then they introduce someone else, etc. always intereseting to see who's left til last. i got them to say what the last thing they'd watched on "you tube" was and got some funny answers. the young people actually seem to be using it as a way of connecting. they're watching bands of their friends back in ontario or whatever.

had a fascinating, challenging women's studies class on wednesday. first tears! (not mine). we were talking about _this bridge we call home_ and one of the women of colour was telling us about her personal, transformative response to the text (which was so lovely to hear) and i got grilled on mine as a white person. it was confronting but also kinda cool. we only have two (three?) weeks more of class, which is good cos i won't have to make lesson plans anymore, but i'm going to miss my own courses. 'cept every seminar nowadays starts with a reminder that our major essays are due in a month. don't wanna.

nice package from the parental unit, including a *signed* copy of susan's new book:
it is set in ballarat, which was very exciting, and is all time-travelly and cool.

ta parental unit!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


now it's snowing again. this is a strange place to live.
had my last french test last night. it went well. though i got busted in the lift talking to j about how i don't can't tell the tenses apart. my french teacher was in the lift too. whoops. he opened the lesson with a recap of tenses. it didn't help much though, cos french has like sixteen million different tenses. they have different ones for something that happened a little while ago and something that happened ages ago. bah.

then he gave us all french newspapers to read, which is totally cool. mine has a picture of a nasal ornament on the front page.

have been at more marking parties and another birthday gathering (for the same birthday). a lot of reading to catch up on. i thought there was something else i wanted to write about, but it escapes me.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Sunday, March 11, 2007


i went to the potluck. it was fun. good food, nice wine, interesting people. lots of expats at these things, from all over the world, and lots of hippy alternative types. turns out it was a *with* electricity party, which was good cos it's cold, but had become a seed-swap instead. (i like these parties. i went to a birthday party come potluck come clothes swap a couple of weeks ago). i had to admit to a range of hardcore vegan organic vegie-garden owners that my gardening involves tending a spider plant and a cylcamen. *blushes*

still soggy and miserable outside. i'm going to stay inside today and have a bath.
i have rediscovered the joys of narrative. it's taken me this long to realise that i wasn't taking a course that requires reading a novel a week and this means i'm story starved. so in the last week i have read:

children of england - alison weir
city of glass (not strictly a narrative, but like one) - douglas coupland
diary of a provincial lady - e.m. delafield
anasi's boys - neil gaiman
dracula - bram stoker

it's allll goood.

the time seems to have changed again (what is with daylight savings?) so i'm an hour ahead. has australia changed too? i am so confused.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

quick quiz

could you understand what i was talking about in the middle english?

over the weekend - a everyday photo essay

the weather is soggy and depressing today. i too am soggy and depressed. well, not depressed exactly, just a bit *blah*. so, after a nice skype to tuchfrau (get well soon, babe) i dodged the piles of marking and reading and laundry all looking reproachfully at me and went to the drive. it was bucketing down, which is unusual. this is one of my favourite quotes about the rain here:

"Today, the rain is steady, clinging to the buildings, tipping down the leaves of the trees. In Vancouver, there are many varieties of rain, but the most common, he believes, is the kind that tries to convince you it isn't there, the kind that is so thin it makes the windshield wipers squeak."

but today it was bucketing so i had a looooooong lunch in a nice thai place (hoping it would stop) and watched everybody walking by in raincoats and big hats and gumboots and plastic pants and small children in shrink-wrapped strollers. (the black box down the bottom is a newspaper vending machine thing - they're on most street corners):

then i did my grocery shopping in my favourite little funky alternative supermarket. it has lots of stuff in bulk and a good range of ethnic foodstuffs.

milk in nice square bottles:

entertaining bananas (quoc is the owner) and onions by the lb:

then, loaded up with good things, i staggered over to the skytrain station and went home. on the train:

now i am dry and caffeinated and will start studying soon. i'm supposed to be going to a no-electricity pot-luck tonight (bring a dish to share and a candle) but i'm not sure if i can be bothered braving the weather again. also i have been having a succession of bad hair days:

my new hair gunk is supposed to be water-resistant, but i don't think it's up to the job.

french homework. yes. and feminist pedagogy reader. maybe more chaucer. go!

Friday, March 09, 2007


i just made all these nice new friends and now they're all *leaving*.

also do not want to move and make new friends all over again.


happy international women's day!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

aaaaaand we're back to winter.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

miners' sing-a-long!

"Hard rock Miners' Sing-a-long!! - the boozy, ultra-fun, campfire-type sing-a-long you all know and love."

wheeeee! for m's b'day party last night we all went to the railway club to this sing-a-long. it was fantabulous. there was a little band (six guitars, a bango, a bass, a drum and a sax) and about sixteen million people crammed into the little bar. we all had books of words and everybody sang along with the band. it was intensely loud. it's like reverse karaoke, and a lot more fun. songs included "blister in the sun", lots of johnny cash (which reminded me of the time j and i played him at work to scare off the customers), some rolling stones, "summer nights" (from grease) and "these boots were made for walking".

the night was being filmed by cbc, so if i turn up on the telly waving a beer mug and belting out accadacca don't be surprised.

woke up a bit the worse for wear (probably shouldn't have stayed up til 2am reading colm toibin), which was not so good cos i had my teaching observation today, but i recycled a lesson plan from last semester and it actually went really well. i feel like i'm achieving stuff with my tuesday group, and they all *talk*, which is great.

it was balmy and warm today, which kinda threw me. i'd forgotten. when i say "warm" i mean 10-12 degrees, but there was this lovely little breeze and ooo, it might be spring.

about **** time.

Monday, March 05, 2007

i am a bit dull really

i have been at marking parties, which is when a bunch of friends sit quietly in a room together and mark or read or write, and consume a lot of chocolate and coffee. it's fun, in a geeky kind of way, and we can compare university offers/plans in between essays. then we watched a lot of buffy.

i have no other news. i seem to be on top of my work. a discomforting feeling, cos i'm sure that means i've missed something. i've done most of my medieval reading for wed, i've done most of my feminist theory reading even though we don't have class this week, i've done half of my marking, i've done all my study for french this evening, i have almost finished my progress report due today, and i've made forays into the other stuff i'm working on: research re. phds, gre prep, knee rehabilation, chasing up that article i sent out, planning final essays, lesson plan for tuesday. hmmm. i'm sure something is waiting to bite me on the bum.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

my chaucer voice

it's been two years since i last read middle english, so i make no guarantees about my pronunciation, but here is a reading of lines 285-308 of the general prologue to the canterbury tales. enjoy!

my inner gimp

i have embraced my inner gimp, and bonded with the other grad gimps. we're cranky cos we have injuries caused by too much sitting still and reading, which is not an thrilling story to impress people. i did aqua-therapy the other day - put on a float belt thing and strolled up and down the diving pool, very regally, watching the snow drift down outside. i am much improved and can walk n stuff.

had a touching moment with a student with whom i have been having conflict, which has made me all "the children are our future!" i have also been reading slabs of "the chronicle of higher education", which always makes one feel better about teaching and marking and department politics. also been researching lots of different universities. i've found some very exciting english/women's studies phd programs in michigan, minnesota, vancouver and california. where *do* i want to live?

why, yes, i have been procrastinating like a demon. how did you know?

we have been discussing masculinity in my feminist theory class, which has been interesting. the prof kept asking us why we were so indifferent and we kept saying "meh".

the snow has gone away, and we're back to fog and rain, but it's not so cold anymore. i think that was probably winter's last gasp. thirteenth month of autumn/winter and counting!

Friday, March 02, 2007


about the ability to be in two places at the same time (and enjoy both of them).


"Currently -2 degrees on campus with light snow. Please use caution while driving and walking as roadways, parking lots and walkways have areas that are wet with possible icy patches. Also be cautious when driving on roads leading up to the campus as there may be some icy patches due to the low temperatures."