Tuesday, July 31, 2007

illuminare festival

that was a taster of the shiny illuminares festival i went to on the weekend. it's a homegrown festival of lights (ie. no corporate stuff, just like the drive festival and the march of lost souls at halloween) which is held down at trout lake park, that cute little park i take chicory to sometimes, about twenty minutes walk away.

there were stilt walkers and fire twirlers and people playing the cello, and nearly everyone carried a lantern! there were lantern-making workshops earlier in the week, but i am good girl who does study, so i didn't go, but a mate of mine whipped up some lanterns by herself, so our group had two to share. it was so pretty! some very elaborate lanterns, including a huge dragonfly held up by helium balloons, penguins, a line of underwear hanging between two trees and the floating water lilies you see above. one simple and popular strategy was to put a little sand and a tea light candle in the bottom of lots of paper bags. thus:

there was cool entertainment, like the circus folks hanging from trees, the bclettes, who do bicycle themed dance performances, and a mobile drumming troop. they also had those neat wonky bicycles again, and the MW and i spent half an hour riding round a little arena. i got to try the very tall one, the very very small one, the ones with the long front axle, the banana seat cruisers and the one where you have to pedal backwards to go forwards. it was kickarse.

since saturday night i've had a very exciting trip to the outer suburbs of vancouver (never again), spent two hours packing files away in boxes as an RA, and read lots and lots of books, mostly about lynching, branding, castration, rape, murder and people dying of AIDS. my caribbean paper is starting to bring me down. . .

i've also been reading lots of ivan coyote's work (the spoken word artist i saw late last year), which is amazing and uplifting. he writes about local queer life and about growing up the yukon. he walks his dog at trout lake park too! i'm also reading anne of ingleside . . . i found it perched on a telegraph pole . . . outside a construction site . . . it's one of the later books. . . l.m.montgomery . . . obviously lost interest. . . it's just studded . . . with ellipses. oh, i found a story of hers in the last edition of "the farmers advocate" i read on the microfilm. i've had such an entertaining time with the old manitoban farmer's advocate. oh, my eyeballs are killing me, but the ads are hilarious. "weak men, listen! i can make you strong!" the first ad for a telephone is aug 26, 1908, and it's promoted as a safety device. and i found out what to do if your pet rabbit is sick: get your big brother to hold it still, find an 18" stick and hit it sharply just here, 3" behind the ear. that will alleviate its suffering.

i have one meeting left for each of my courses, which is actually kind of a relief. all i gotta do is write two essays and do my defence and i'm a master! fear me!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Saturday, July 28, 2007


i am woefully behind on the birthday thankyous. which doesn't mean i didn't love getting your cards and presents and good things, just that i've been busybusybusy. so here are some more of the fabulon packages that have been appearing in the mail:

from grotty and bbb:

very useful bag

purty card

his holiness

smelly things

xavier rudd's latest. as recorded in BC! it's very good. i have been playing it at anyone who comes over, prompting questions such as "is that a digie-thingie he's playing?"

and from jt:
we've been there! (wineglass bay in tassie)

i feel like a hand model. except a really grotty one.

from the gauroxen:

mix cd (i read bits of this and the card to ziggy, my housemate, and she said "she talks like you!" and i said "we lived together for a *long* time")


and cadburys! australian cadburys (it tastes different). the dolfin is from cassandra. i am doing very well with fancy chocie atm. see what VTA left:
chocolate bicycle from dutch girl chocolates, down the road.

also from cassandra rae:
more australiana

funky map of melbs i'm going to stick above my bed

i feel special and loved!

Friday, July 27, 2007

and then. . .

oh and i had this entirely random dream where i dreamt i had a 50 cent piece rattling round my coin purse with the loonies and quarters.

the end.

mad respect

i finally read through my students' comments on my evaluation forms from last semester. one of them said "mad respect!" and another said "i love the australian accent". at least they know i'm australian. the last lot thought i was british.


this is in aid of making a CV to obtain further employment. which is looking good atm. more as it unfolds. . .

Thursday, July 26, 2007

do you suffer from the following complaints?

VTA is leaving.


we had a last breakfast at cafe du soleil this morning and had an impromptu dinner party last night. VTA cooked fabulon food for half a dozen friends and we drank wine, and also ate pizza garden pizza (half no cheese). very pleasant but also sad. she has settled in so quickly, and lots of people here will miss her.

i have been studying like a good girl. i have a stack of books about _bleak house_ that comes up to my knees and am back to the library thisarvo. i spent an hour yesterday whizzing through microfilm copies of a manitoban farmer's almanac from 1905. lots of pictures of cows and horses, and fascinating ads for an electric belt that will reinvigorate your manhood. this is for my paid employment.

urg, that's the third ladybird i've removed from my computer in the last week. an infestation!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

wombats don't play quidditch

jewellery! (pretty green earrings c/o cousin snef, with venice beads, and fabulous wombat necklace from JT - so cute! thankyou!)
vegan cheese cake! (from rhizome on broadway)

essay drafting!

so i got the proposal done (including massive bibliography i've yet to read any of) and did a major draft of my major paper. i'm pretty happy with the way that essay is put together now (this is the women's studies one about _this bridge we call home_), but the drafting process was long. luckily i had someone saying "here's your wine, now go to your room and *work*. i'll call you when dinner's ready." love ya, VTA!

we have been eating *so* well, and have gyoza plans for tonight, with ziggy (current housemate), chicory's human (ex-housemate), his mother, winifred and various others. VTA and i have also been enjoying lots of bubbly, and lots of random wandering round the drive, trying on vegan shoes (v. spunky but also v. expensive) and buying local organic fruit and veg.

um, what else? we went to a drunken party at anne's old place, which turned out to be full of melbournianians. that was interesting. oh yes, winifred and i spent a whole day riding around in the *pissing* down rain, going to our victorian class out in kits then back to our caribbean class, held this week in a caribbean restaurant off main st. that was kinda fun, in a butch way. god we were wet, though. it's been raining a lot.

there was another drive festival - wooot! VTA and i bumped into everyone we know and looked at all the pretty people and pretty things. i bought some bicycle merchandise and a new taillight cos someone swiped my old one. uncool. but ziggy is friends with the owner of the local bikeshop, so it was cool to support his business. hmmm. aunty kant, arbitrator of cool?

between all the gallivanting and domesticity i have been studying hard and procrastinating like a fiend. i read three novels in two days, including that doorstop book everybody's banging on about. it was okay. my child_lit elist has gone gaga, and i'm reading frantically just trying to keep the number of unread emails under 100. they're providing good critical feedback, which is nice.

i wanna put my bed on stilts.

Friday, July 20, 2007


proposal! proposal supposed to be written yesterday! must feed cats! feed cats before party!

good to have VTA here. we have been drinking lots of bubbly and we saw harry potter last night. the whole franchise bugs me.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

a photo from grotty

it snowed all day back home, but didn't stay on the ground. purty photo, grotty, ta!


since the big fun weekend i have been catching up on my study, going to other people's MA defenses and hanging out with VTA. here we are looking after the left-over bottles of bubbly:

vancouver folk festival

on sunday i went to the vancouver folk festival. it was ace. there were eight stages all scattered through a large fenced off area on the coast, so one stage was in the bush and another had views out to the sea, the city and the mountains. have i mentioned what a beautiful city this is?

we saw some amazing music, from gospel to intense throat singing, funky folk, stories about union history, sea songs, spoken word, punjabi music and the _the be good tanyas_. this is bitch and the exciting conclusion (note max from _the L-word_ playing the keyboard):

lots of friends in the crowd, and lots of friends-of-friends, and their work mates, choir friends, ex-roomies and mothers. see VTA and chicory's human!
it was a slightly younger crowd than port fairy, and the completely outdoor setting meant crowding wasn't as much an issue. beautiful sunny weather, not too hot.

the night concert was beautiful. ziggy baggsed a big spot near the front, and the weather put on a show. here are some photos i stole from the internet:

this one you have to click on and make big. purty.

another very good day!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

department picnic

the next day (saturday) was an english department picnic for three members of faculty who are leaving (including my renaissance prof: *wibbles*). it was the best fun. i rode out to the beach, which took about an hour, along that beautiful coast line, then spent hours running around with small children, making sandcastles, digging holes, networking, playing tiggy, eating cake and trying to keep my dacs dry while wading. it was very nice to hang out with the academic types in a non-academic setting, though my caribbean prof threatened to drop my mark after i splashed him.
that night VTA arrived back in van. yay!

spooky birthday party

we spent much of my spooooooky friday the 13th party putting makeup on and taking photos of each other. it was great - we're so pretty and scary! we played _susie and banshees_ and _radiohead_ very loudly and drank bubbly and ate cherries and strawberries and pineapple and cake. two cakes! it's fun having a summer birthday - my first ever. now i am 25 and very grownup and mature.

very entertaining and thoughtful presents, including a beautiful gift box of stinky cheese, bike bell and lights, homegrown garlic (to fend off vampires), socks from the kiddie section of GAP, a "go veg" tshirt, two jars of vegemite and a shower of white flower petals.

i feel special and loved.

Monday, July 16, 2007

life is good!

(but busy! and exhausting!)

Friday, July 13, 2007

lessons from fin de siecle periodicals

On the Brink of Danger
This young lady, while trying to pluck a flower on the brink of Niagra, fell over the cliff and was killed. So many persons, while trying to pluck the pleasures of sin, fall into peril and are destroyed.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

RA work

new job is working as an RA (research assistant) for one of the profs in the english dept. i'm to look through copies of a methodist sunday school periodical for children and try to find stories by a particular canadian suffragette, popular novelist and temperance activist (who may be going under a number of names). there's about 100 issues of the mag between 1902-1906, stored on microfiche. i'm very excited about this job. i've read a lot about this sort of publication in my time trawling children's literature theory but never seen one, and i've never done much archival research. it's also exciting to be paid for my skills and qualifications. on the con side, i'm sure i'll get over the joys of scanning microfiche pretty quick, and it's not a whole lot of work - just occasional. but it's ongoing employment and good experience. i also think i'm going to get along with the prof. she seems pretty cool, excited about the work, and is also a Name within her field. she knew me as "the australian one".

have i mentioned how cool my friend winifred is? this was mostly her doing. also me being pro-active n stuff, even though it's stinking hot and all i really want to do is lie in a cold bath and read this bridge we call home.

great to see you all commenting. i will wear wigs and obfuscate more often!

must go! must buy bubbly, black balloons and liquid eyeliner!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


i just got a job!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

aunty kant gets another new hair do

oh dear. thankyou, VTA!

postcard from cassandra - those trees are beautiful! glad you had a relaxing weekend.

and fabulon package from itchy, with postcards and maps and cds. the poster of the artwork down the bottom is my favourite - that's wombat poo painted pink. ziggy says i'm not allowed to put it up in the hallway cos it's icky.

i've been very sloppy in responding, so sorry. lots going on atm. i'm very excited to visit the mailbox lately - so many good things! thankyou everybody!

tree thom

grotty says to go check this out:


it's very shiny.

the suffering black body

sorry i haven't been updating properly. i suddenly became stressed!

and now the computer won't let me type not in bold. booo.

we had a very good victorian class yesterday. we meet in my living room nowadays, i make coffee and this week winifred bought a big box of biccies. i do love my victorian class. there's just the four of us, and the prof is so lovely. we were talking about story of an african farm, which is a very odd book, and the autobiography of harriet martineau, which makes more sense but goes on a bit. we managed to find points of connection between the two, and had a good old chat about female self-representation and the problem of celebrating female authors and proto-feminism in a racist context. stuff which ties in quite nicely with my major paper, actually.

my caribbean class is improving. some of the little MAs have starting offering some sort of independent opinions, and we're all becoming more willing to to interrupt the loud women, which is fun, y'know, having a dialogue. and i got to use the rules of academia to argue with an annoying person and make holes in her argument. um, not that it's all about personal politics. . . . we're still doing interesting books! well, interesting but icky. last week's had lots of sexual abuse and self-harming (breathe, eyes, memory by danticat), and this week is about a man dying of AIDS (my brother, jamaica kincaid). i think i might write my final essay on the suffering black body on display, and the problems with literature based on that. but i just thought of that this morning, when i woke up stressed. i've no idea what to write for my victorian essay. i'd like to fit in fun home, cos i love it so much, but the essay could easily become not-victorian-enough.

weather continues hot. i have been borrowing the dog and walking to the lake (my "walking without a dog" experiment found that it is No Fun), and am trying the exciting experiment of drying my clothes in the sun. first time since i got here. it's not stinking hot, though, not like home. it does seem hotter, like 30 degrees is REALLY HOT, maybe a humidity thing? but there's generally a cool breeze, and i haven't got sunburnt once. it's funny, all this bush kid acquired knowledge is becoming redundant, like how to watch out for snakes and what time of the day the UV rays are highest.

Monday, July 09, 2007


(for the 9th, which is today here and yesterday in aus. oh, timezones, thing of confusion and wonder)

Saturday, July 07, 2007

durian gelati

how could i forget? i had durian gelati! it was the weirdest stuff ever!

i have been wanting to try durian since first semester, when i wrote that essay on the novel _salt fish girl_ by larissa lai, which features durians heavily (and is an ace book if you can get yr hands on it). but durians are kinda hard to find and difficult to prepare cos of the Massive Stench.

on wednesday winifred and i went out after caribbean class, as we do most weeks, and decided we had to get gelati, cos hot. there's a huge pink gelati place tucked in an industrial zone about ten minutes ride from my house. middle of nowhere, packed out with customers, obnoxiously chirpy accordion music playing. they have 250 flavours. i had durian and pomegranate.

it wasn't very nice, but now i've tried it.

Friday, July 06, 2007

urg. it's hot. it's eating cherries and wearing skirts hot. i just got back from meeting a friend on the drive. she had a martinti with a twist, i had champagne with flakes of gold in it, we did some half-arsed shopping and then got gelati. the perfect afternoon.

now i'm going to read _the autobiography of harriet martinaeu_, _story of an african farm_ and some critical work, then totter down to the postoffice and pick up my SECOND PARCEL FOR THIS WEEK!

my meeting with my supervisor yesterday went well. i was worried he was going to bawl me out, cos of this draft being a painful thing of pain and procrastination, but he liked it! he said it was a good draft and i had taken his suggestions well. he gaveconcrete suggestions for improvement and wrote all over the draft, and suggested a few more books to look at. then we had a nice chat about where we're from and what i'm going to do for my birthday and where i should do my phd. a very satisfactory meeting. i'm to do another draft by the 23rd of july then send it off to my secondary supervisor person.

yesterday i went for a ride round false creek again, which was lovely. we had a paddle in the sea, and it was warm. but the water was kinda murky. hmm. oh, and critical mass happened again! oh, it is such the best fun! there were 1800 ppl! check this out. the camera work's kinda shoddy (not my doing), but it gives you an idea of the scale:

more cherries.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

my first birthday card!

thankyou tuchfrau and HF!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

hah! emailed draft to supervisor. procrastination be damned. i'm gonna get COFFEE! and make someone else bring it to me!

*starts scrounging in desk drawers for shrapnel*

Sunday, July 01, 2007

happy canada day!

my friends are being all
"disgusted by all this flag-wavin'."
"oh wow - Canada Day, whoo hoo patriotism."

but as a New-Canadian i'm allowed to be excited and not deconstruct the nationalistic urge. i have an entire outfit of red and white and a toy beaver waving a maple leaf flag. ;) i am celebrating by working on my essay, going to a origami folding fundraiser thingy and dancing with gay ppl.

oh! it is also cannabis day! happy cannabis day!