Tuesday, June 28, 2005

It’s the end of the world as we know it…

I hope you’re all packed for Armageddon. I have to admit, I’m not – I’ve been so busy getting ready for a July in Beautiful British Columbia including a week on the West Coast Trail that I forgot all about how our country only has about 8 hours left before it becomes a fiery hell on earth. If not for the phone calls and e-mails from dozens of upright prophetic citizens, I might have been caught totally unprepared for this evening when absolutely nothing changes . . . I mean, when the floodgates of Hades open and the Devil’s hench-demons spill out into the streets amidst evil acts to sinful to be described.

Oh, you Judas of a Parliament – how could you vote on such an infernal bill as C-38 and doom all of us (either all Canadians, or the entire world, the upright prophetic citizens seem to be in some disagreement on that point, but, regardless) to a fate worth than death by poked in the eye by a hench-demon with a flaming hot Hell-Poker 3000© ("For all your infernal eye-poking needs"), which we will likely suffer anyway.

Anyway, as you can imagine, it was a little upsetting when I got into work this morning only to be told of this imminent disaster. I had no idea that God was so upset over C-38. How could I have been so blind? All the signs are there – um, apparently. I don’t actually see them, but these upright prophetic citizens do, and if you can’t trust random people you’ve never met who send out mass e-mails, than who can you trust? Oh, that reminds me, I need to contact that Nigerian oil heir right away – I’ve been selected as a partner for a pretty lucrative business transaction and . . . oh, right, the world’s ending. Nevermind.

Where was I? Right, the signs. Well, first of all, there was that tsunami last year. I thought it was a result of a shift in the earth’s crust, which caused a earthquake which in turn displaced a massive amount of water. Nuh uh! That? Was God. Yeah, I didn’t think so either, but I guess if you look at it in a special way, an unbelievably destructive natural disaster occurring thousands of kilometres away is clearly a sign to Canadian lawmakers that He is very upset with them over this whole same-sex marriage thing. It was pretty nice of Him to warn us by killing hundreds of thousands of Southeast Asians instead of, say, hitting Vancouver with a meteor. Or striking down Paul Martin with a lightening bolt, as was predicted a few months ago by other upright prophetic citizens, who, I suppose, have their off-days like anyone else.

And there have been other signs too – like how all the provinces and the territory which already have same-sex marriage are in complete anarchy, with roving groups of homosexuals and their friends performing shotgun marriages in the street, forcing women to marry women and men to marry men and farmers to marry livestock and children to marry their imaginary friends of both sexes and gardeners to marry plants and oh, the humanity! I myself was forced to marry the a spoon last week. Oh well, I suppose I could have done worse.

So, maybe it’s for the best that the Canada and possibly the world are ending tonight. I don’t think I can live in this hellhole any longer! There were absolutely NO PROBLEMS in Canada two years ago when Ontario first tugged at the loose thread that is same-sex marriage, and since then, the entire Canadian social fabric has completely unraveled. What? Proof? You want me to back up a completely unsubstantiated statement of sweeping generalization with proof? Heathen! Look, Canada sucks right now, okay? It’s a simmering cesspool of sin and despair, with tortured inhabitants praying for the sweet embrace of death, and if you can’t see that, well, you’re obviously getting left behind. Have fun being poked in the eye.

Sorry, sorry . . . just got a little swept up in the moment there. Who am I kidding, anyway? I’ll be seeing you all in Hell, as a nice little reward for our “tolerance” and “inclusiveness” and “not judging others” and “loving our fellow humans” and “wanting to live peacefully with all of His marvelous creations” and all that other shit that God just hates.

I guess I should be more upset, what with the His impeding wrath and all, but what can I say? It’s been a good run. Save me a seat next to the lake of fire. It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Another One Bites the Dust

New Brunswick rules in favour of same-sex marriage. That leaves Alberta, PEI, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. The latter two I forgive, mostly the North has waaaay bigger problems to deal with than either of those two provinces. So get cracking, Oily McCowboy and Potatoey McAnneofGreenGables!

Also - a propos of nothing - this is procrastiriffic!

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Everything’s Relative

If there’s one thing I took away from Physics 11 in high school, it’s that statement. Oh, and also Newton’s three laws of physics, which I explored in a short film entitled Newton’s Three Laws of Physics, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as Sir Isaac Newton. Oh, and also that one time when the teacher put a slab of wood on his stomach and let this guy hit it with a sledgehammer. That was pretty awesome . . .

Huh? Right – everything’s relative.

In physics, this meant that when you were measuring motion, you had to keep your frame of reference in mind. Like, if the frame of reference is the room where you are right now, then you aren’t moving. Expand that frame of reference to the solar system, and suddenly you’re a spot on a basketball that some Harlem Globetrotter is spinning on one finger and circling around his baffled opponent’s head. Um, and that spot on the basketball is simultaneously spinning and circling through space, and if we expand our frame of reference to the galaxy, well, there’s another level of axial rotation and orbiting and then up it again to the university and that spot is rotating on its own axis and the Earth’s axis and a galactic axis around the centre of the universe and then there’s the layers of relative orbits and shit, where’s Stephen Hawking when you need him, no, not just him but Johnnie Walker too?

It’s not just in physics, though – everything’s relative. I never felt like a tree-hugging hippie until I moved to bureaucracy central, where smoking pot is a political statement against the establishment, like, that’s right, The Man, we’re sticking it (inhale . . . hold it! . . . exhale . . . ) to ya! As opposed to the coast, where it’s what you do with The Man, and then you split a pizza.

Seriously, though, when Easterners (and this means everything past Manitoba, because that shit’s all east relative to Victoria which is practically falling off the edge of this country) get all up in my face, yo, about how they don’t agree with the “marijuana lifestyle” (smoke a joint, eat a baby?) or how they could never do that to their bodies (this said by someone who had just consumed the majority of a two-four of Blue), I like to tell the story of New Year’s 2000 wherein a bunch of us went down to the BC Legislature lawn to watch fire works and what not, and behind us a group of fortysomethings in tweeds and plaids were passing around a couple of joints, and then the cops came over, and were all “Excuse me, could you move off the grass? Because it’s starting to rain, and we don’t want the lawn to get ruined” and the group were all, sure officers, and went and toked up on the sidewalk and boy, I bet those were the best fireworks EVER.

So Ontario’s a little more conservative than the coast - it sure makes for amusing moments when someone who’s a die-hard Ontario big L Liberal thinks that means they’re a little l liberal too. Like that time when I worked summer camps and a fellow counselor, some football player from Toronto, tries to tell me that his high school was so left-wing and politically active, because they had, like, food drives, and I’m all, man, when I was in grade seven, two girls from my class volunteered to participate during a school assembly featuring two guys from Quebec dressed up as bĂ»cherons who were presenting French Canadian culture and used that moment to protest against clear-cutting; maybe you were left-wing for a suburban Toronto school, but don’t think that means you can compete in the Big Leagues, son, ‘cause you’d get your Nike-wearing, SUV-driving, fiscally-conservative-policy-endorsing ass torn apart.

Relativity’s getting more and more important in this self-obsessed century, too. Talk shows, books, magazines, they’re all going to “make you a better person”, “make you happier”, “make you buy this crap we’re selling in the vain hope that it will fill the gaping hole in your being that’s a result of our shallow, materialistic society that devalues human relationships in favor of the unsustainable production of consumer goods, all the while telling you that the latter can be as meaningful and fulfilling as the former”, and so on.

But there is some truth in there – we’re always changing, relative to ourselves. I’m not the person I was 20, 10 or two years ago. I’m not even the person I was five minutes ago, ‘cause that person was much, much hungrier and had a granola bar in her purse.

For real, though, as recently as grade 10, I was a staunch believer in the death penalty, only to have my carefully-crafted and life-experience-based belief turned upside down by a particularly compelling episode of The X-Files, back when that show rocked, which was through even the Mulder/Doggett switch of the eighth season, which should have been a show killer except for Mulder’s increasing weirdness/annoyingness and the subtle and effective “Scully as believer” motif, and which point it seems the creative staff went, hey, let’s try replacing the other one too!, and brought in Agent Whatsherface who was a terrible, terrible character, even if you don’t compare her to the divine Miss Scully.

One last time then – everything’s relative. It’s a little something I try to keep in mind; it helps me keep my sanity when the Conservatives go up in the polls, and I can tell myself, well, at least it’s not these guys. Or [shudder ] this guy.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Weather With You

Moving to Ottawa was a BIG deal. Months and months of preparation, planning, list-making and list-items-crossing-off-of; packing and storing and travelling and then - there I was. All things considered, the move went farely well. And I was really only unprepared for two things:

Summer and winter.

I arrived in O-Town halfway through a typical August. What is a typical August? you might ask. Well, let's just say it's...how to put it...ummm...FREAKIN' HOT. Face-melting, hair-frizzing, skin-toasting, sweat-puddling HOT. And a humid hot, one where the air has substance, like you could just reach out and grab a handful and stick it in your pocket for, say, December. It was actually a little freaky at first - like that scene in The Abyss where the guy is demonstrating this breathable gel by trapping a rat in a tub of it, and the rat is all freakin' out and his owner is all "you're killing him, man!" and the guy is all chill, like "don't worry, don't worry" and meanwhile the rat is just going apeshit, flailing and choking and eyes-bulging and just generally making a scene in the airport, until finally she gets used to it and manages to get all her suitcases onto the bus for downtown.

Or something like that. See, there's this crazy little thing called a "humidex", wherein the temperature is, say, 30 degrees, but not really, see, it's really 45 because of the "humidex" even though the weatherman says its 30, but it's not, it's actually much, much hotter. I'd never heard of this before, despite the fact that I had many a person tell me that because I was from an island, surrounded by water (as opposed to those islands which are surrounded by land?), it must have been very very humid there. Oh right, it must have been. I just never noticed for 18 and a half years.

But it wasn't all bad - if you showered and changed three times a day and spent as much time as possible in air-conditioned buildings and only ventured outside at night when you could run around in just shorts and a tank top with a maragarita at 2 in the morning, which was actually pretty fun, come to think of it.

And the best part? Was that the humidity gradually lessened, the temperature eventually dropped to 30 (for real), then down to that perfect weather where you can wear jeans and t-shirt all day, and then throw on that gorgeous new sweater that you blew a day's pay on at Jacob and still sit on the patio of the local pub and admire your first real Fall.

Growing up on the coast, I'd never really seen fall before. I mean, sure, I'd technically lived through almost two decades worth, but fall in Victoria is a lot like summer, only with school. Okay, it's also wetter and greener. But my god...autumn in O-town? Like Mother Nature's Technicolour Dreamcoat. I couldn't get enough. I wanted to spend every day with Fall; we were soulmates and we were going to be together forever.

But if Fall is the charming romantic who sweeps you off your feet and makes sweet sweet colourful love to you, then Winter is the 5-month herpes outbreak that Fall so conveniently forgot to mention.

The warning signs were there, of course, but I was just an innocent Victorian, too blinded by the Autumn landscape to notice. People began packing away their summer clothes, but I didn't catch on. "Summer wardrobe"? "Winter wardrobe"? Where I was from, generally speaking, "winter wardrobe"="summer wardrobe + rain jacket".

It didn't start to sink in until I went winter jacket shopping with some friends, and picked out what I thought was a pretty heavy-duty coat, only to be told, "Yeah, that should do you - for now".


So I began layering...thick tights and wool sweaters in November, a fleece under the winter coat, mittens and toques and scarves, oh my! until halfway through December when I fled back to greener pastures, where a constant damp wind made Victoria feel much much colder than Ottawa. Still, I was triumphant - I had made it through the worst, a real winter out East, and I wouldn't be back until January when it would surely start warming up in a month and we'd be into a glorious spring, right? RIGHT?

Oh, January. You dirty bitch. I slept that month under two blankets, with wool socks on and a sweatshirt worn over my pyjamas. By some bizarro circumstance, the side of residence on which I lived had faulty heating; a solid layer of ice formed on the inside of the windows. On my birthday it was -50 with the wind chill. My family sent me a lovely care package with gifts and cookies and cards and roses...fresh-picked from the garden. I cried for half an hour.

But, again, what can you do but adapt and survive? I went outside as little as possible, made easier by the tunnel and walkway system to which my rez was attached; my personal record is six days without stepping foot outdoors. When I did have to go out I wore every article of clothing I owned. It wasn't pretty, but neither is freezing to death in a snowbank. And then, of course, there's the warming properties of alcohol.

And so January faded into February, and February into March, and and then April brought spring with it, which in Ottawa is a sort of lurching back and forth between winter and summer, as opposed to a season all its own, and then by May the Heat Miser was finally claiming victory over the Snow Miser and you start getting all excited because by this point you've actually forgotten what it feels like to be warm, and then June hits and you remember that it's just like in like in AvP, whoever wins...we lose.

And so I trade in my woolly underthings for halter tops, pack away the winter wardrobe and unpack the fans and prepare myself for being sweaty all the freakin’ time. At least I’ll get to see Fall again soon...

Friday, June 10, 2005

Keep the Blogs Running on Time

Alright, folks, I'm gonna try a new thing...random little posts here and there when I stumble across new fun things online or when random weird things happen like, say, the bus I'm taking to work starts rocking back and forth dramatically while going 110km/h on the highway and then when it turns sharply there's a large grinding sound coming out of the back to the extent that I turn to another passenger and we both give each other equally puzzled looks which turn to serious concern when the bus driver goes "Hey, that's funny...I wonder what's causing that!"

And so forth.

But I'm also going to start posting longer essays on Tuesdays - I'll try to have them up by noon, EST.

Alright, that's all I've got for today...um...I can't just leave it like this...er, check out this and this.