The Alice Munro event was okay. She was handed an award, read for twenty minutes then scooted off stage. No question and answer stuff, which is what I was looking forward to hearing. I wasn't very prepared, so luckily Michael, Lisa's dad, had a good question so he rolled with that and I eavesdropped. I got my quotes. All in all, a successful evening.

We decided to carve Darth Vader's portrait into the gigantic pumpkin.

I've been meaning to write about my Great Aunt Margaret for some time. From what I know, she was the youngest in my grandfather's family (on my dad's side) and was elected to be the one who would go to school and be the family breadwinner. So, the family worked so Margaret could attend university, which she eventually did. However, when she graduated, instead of returning to the family and working as a teacher, she "abandoned" them and fled to New York. There, she would eventually become the head librarian for Columbia University, where some of the Beat poets and writers attended. I don't know if she was working there when Ginsberg and them were taking classes; something worth investigating though. She never married and hardly kept in touch with her family. She did give my dad a book when he was young, but I forgot the conversation that was relayed to me. When she passed away - only a few years ago - she left behind a huge chunk of change because she simply hoarded it all and kept her money tied up in different accounts. The money was slowly dispersed among the family over time. But what is interesting is that she was something of a scholar. Not only did she leave behind some money, she also left behind her notebooks, which contain her ideas on language and other subjects. Two of my uncles are in possession of them. There is going to be a huge family reunion in August, so maybe I can gain access to her notebooks then. Who knows. I was thinking of making copies to evaluate their originality. I'm interested in all this because it raises some questions: why did she leave the family? Why New York? What else did she do there, where did she live? What are in her notebooks? So many questions.

Titles are like women, they. . .oh, never mind.

I started my day on the wrong foot, or, to be more precise, I rolled off the wrong side of the bed at a very late hour. That's what you (meaning me) get for drinking Guinness until the wee hours. I used to think drinking Guinness was a cliche, but my position recently changed. As soon as I got old enough to stop caring what other people thought, I resumed sipping a deep, dark pint during my leisure hours. Mental note: buy some quality beer glasses. No, not goggles.

I have 2000 words due by Monday. So gentlemen, boot up your laptops. The situation is controllable and is easily accomplished as soon as I sit down and bang it out. Lisa is kind enough to fry up some breakfast and brew a pot of coffee.

Besides that, I don't have much to report. That's the problem of being in a rut, either a good or bad one; your day-to-day may have brief moments of joyous triumphs or crushing defeats, but no one within earshot of you really wants to listen. No, they'd rather fling their helpless bodies over a tall bridge than listen to another anecdote.

I did go to the Buffy Sing-Along. And so, here's a quick rundown.
1. Before the films, or shows, we were treated to a collection of corny commercials and bad cable television, and an indie vampire film. I felt like I returned home.
2. We watched "Hush," and the audience had to keep quiet during the silent periods until the end. Then, we could scream our lungs out at the climax.
3. Some folks volunteered to play Buffy trivia. Winners took away some free DVD's.
4. There were two drunk idiots yelling at the MC, who is also the organizer, and one of them ended up tossing a brick bottle through one of the theatre's windows doors when they were escorted out. This is kind of a generalization, but that's the gist of the situation. So, you two like independent film? Is that why you vandalized the only art house theatre in this city? Idiots.
5. There was also Buffy karaoke. Let me explain. First, an episode is played without any sound, but the dialogue is displayed on the bottom of the screen. Couples had to read the dialogue and act out the scene the best they can. Wouldn't you know it, the drunk idiots were one of the contenders. They did not win.
6. They played "Once More with Feeling," and the audience sang along all throughout it. We blew bubbles during the Willow and Tara song, wore plastic fangs as we sang along with Spike, and underwear was thrown in the air whenever someone said "I'm not wearing underwear" on screen. The event was like the Rocky Horror Picture Show, only for a younger set and it had vampires and relatively recent pop culture references. Yeah, and during the song "Walk Through the Fire" people lifted their cell phones into the air. The plan was to use lighters, which were in the gift bags attendees received, but lighting them is a fire code violation and would set off the sprinklers. Still, the cell phones were fun.

And that's it for me.



Hey. I'm looking at my linguistics homework, which is due tomorrow, and I'm thinking "this is a five page homework assignment from the very depths of Hell." I've been to all the lectures, I tried keeping up with the readings and thought about the infromation, but this assignment is hard.

So much to do. So much to write about. I'm not complaining, but having a few days where I don't have to feel the pressure from deadlines and obligations would be a treat. And, Cinemuerte has reared its ugly head at last. Tonight we are going to the Buffy sing-along and a showing of "Hush," the silent episode with no dialogue at all. I think that's a first for television.

Trying. To. Get. Things. Done.


Weather: Cloudy and bright. Music: Cat Power. Drink: Coffee.

I just finished my breakfast (scrambled eggs fried with white onions, on two slices of toast topped with fresh tomatoes and chili peppers, and accompanied by homefries) and now I can take a breath and enjoy my hot, sweet coffee and write an actual update.

Okay, for starters, there's a pumpkin the size of car tire in our kitchen, courtesy of Lisa. I really have no idea what to do with this sucker. Suggestions have been tossed around: carve it up for Halloween, make something tasty out of it, smash it to oblivion - we have a lot to work with here.

Writing is still keeping me busy. I co-authored two articles on boxing with Lisa, plus I finished a food review. On Thursday I interviewed Seth (he's published by Drawn and Quarterly) to coincide with his arrival in November. He was really nice and cordial, and had lots to say about comics and illustrating. The two short stories have been sent out, and I await the editors' (who, in fact, are the creative writing department) decision. Tomorrow evening I'm covering Alice Munro's reading and Q and A for the Vancouver Writer's Festival and I have a few ideas for the future. Oh, and the two plays I'm working on! The radio play is on the back burner for now, but I wrote some preliminary notes and "sketches" to get me started. The stage play will be workshopped after my two essays are finished. I also have to get in touch with a dramaturgist who provides feedback for amateur playwrights.

My two essays are very exciting. No, really. For my sociology essay we need to pick a topic of our choice and somehow apply social theory. I'm thinking of looking at texts by either Jean Cocteau or Charles Baudelaire and discussing Dorothy Smith's "The Everyday World as Problematic" in relation to those texts. This is just a foggy, ambiguous idea for now, but it will solidify after I meet my prof. My English paper is a kind of "poetry contest" where we have to choose one poem from a list - one that includes Shelley, Pope and others - and explain why the poem you chose deserves to "win." I picked Sylvia Plath's "Daddy" because I tend to lean towards modernist works, even though I adore Donne. I've read Don McKay's work and I really enjoyed his poem "Softball," and I also read some Wallace Stevens; his poetry is extraordinarily subtle and downtempo, but the poems don't become too delicate, or else they fall into the saccharine trap.

Who knows. Everything seems to be the same: people are getting married, people are breaking up and people are falling in love. We lost Nicky the farm dog awhile ago (her picture is here) and it was a sombre day when we got the news. She was found in the open barn, lying on the ground. She may have died from kidney failure, so her passing was rather quiet and she didn't suffer. It won't be the same when she isn't there to greet us with her bright eyes and wagging tail when we arrive at the farm. Poor Nicky. We miss her terribly.

Tonight we are going over to Chris and Carla's potluck Turkey Day. Minus the turkey, of course. Well, for me and Lisa anyway. I have to head out and pick up some ingredients for our contribution. Ciao.


I am so sorry.

Charles Baudelaire: The Flowers of Evil. You are
one of the most loved and hated poetic works.
Death and decadence are important themes for
you, but none should overlook your impressive
aesthetics, either. Deep down youre not evil at
all, you just like to play the tough guy on the

Which literature classic are you?
brought to you by Quizilla


More later.

I haven't had a chance to post anything, so yeah, I'm busy. Thanksgiving was brief but fun, and I'm getting back a ton of assignments this week, the last story is almost finished (the first one was sent out the other day) and now I'm getting onto the rest of my homework. More later.


There are Men on My Roof

It's true, I'm not being cryptic. As I write this, there's at least two gentlemen climbing up and down ladders outside my office, and the occassional banging on the roof follows suit. It's currently raining, so that must suck having to work up there. I've been told that roofers prefer working in the rain so they can see where the leak is. Who knows.

But, uh, other than that it's kind of dull around here. Going to classes, going to work, writing whenever I can. I spent last night goofing off and crashing really early; now I feel as though I can actually Get Things Done. Yesterday I did that mid-term. It went well. There was one section that got me: identifying the similarities and differences between two phonemes. I have no idea if I actually answered any of them correctly. But that's always the case. Whenever I think I did badly, I end up doing great.

Now I have to edit. I should make a list of all the possible topics I want to blog about, then write them up like chapters.


A message from management.

Due to an increase of spam appearing in the comments, I've activated the word verification option for future commenters. It should only take three seconds to fill it out. Sorry for any inconvenience.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled program.

The end of the week.

Here I am. I still have a lot of work to do here, and all my deadlines are coming up fast. Wish me luck.

I wrote my English mid-term on Friday (crazy, yes? The mid-terms at UBC are in October. Do other universities have such early dates?) and I think I did okay. Hard to say at this point. I was the second person to finish, and I glanced at the first exam handed in. Someone analyzed the same poem as me, "The Silken Tent" by Robert Frost. However, this person's analysis focused on the "power of feminine strength" whereas I narrowed it down to a celebration of the self, and how faith relates to the self. You know how, if you read the paper just below yours when you hand things in, and you read their answers to reassure yourself? I did that. I wasn't reassured. My problem is that Frost uses the feminine pronoun once, in the first line and as the first word. Having such a small presence in the poem, the pronoun is relinquished of any prominence in the overall piece. Now I have something to think about.

After the mid-term I met up with the Poetry Society, a new club at the university. There was, like, two people there, but we went ahead with an ice-breaker. There was a brief overview of what the club will be doing - lectures on poets, poems or literary devices, then a workshop on members' poems who want feedback on their work, and possible involvement in poetry slams and open mike nights. Then there was a poetry trivia game, and I won by a whopping two points! The prize? Werther's Originals. Oh, yes. And, a strange coincidence. The other person at the ice-breaker was the same person who finished her exam first in my English class. Strange.

Last night Lisa and I attended a Sikh pre-wedding reception. Guggin, a classmate of Lisa's . . .okay, I don't know how to phrase this. There's just way too many possessives. Let's try it this way: Guggin: Lisa's classmate. Guggin's sister: the one getting married. We got a lift to Guggin's parent's house, courtesy of Lisa's folks. Yesterday was market day for their farm, so they were in town. When we got there we noticed a group hanging around in the front lawn, so we walked into house. We removed our shoes at the entrance, covered our heads with scarves provided in the foyer, and sat upstairs where the priest was reading from scripture. Apparently, the book is read in its entirety without stopping. It takes about two days. Of course, there's more than one priest at the house, and they read in shifts. Listeners are obliged to leave a small donation to the temple, so we gently placed our humble donations at the alter where the priest was reading. This was in the living room, which was as bright as day. A small, red canopy was strung over the priest, and the alter was draped in the same, bright red material. I was really curious to see the book, but I couldn't see it from where I was sitting. We then met up with Guggin and had some food downstairs. Food needs to be in the house twenty-four hours while the book is being read. So, we enjoyed some delicious dal and this cheese dessert (forgive me, I don't remember the name) that is very difficult to make. It was like a thin pudding, with small bits of cheese within it. The dessert was very creamy, and a sweetness reminiscent of condensed milk. Needless to say, with my love of condensed milk, this was one of the most exceptional desserts I've tasted in recent memory.

Lisa made crepes. I will eat them now.