Saturday, December 30, 2006

Best New Drink

I like hot coffee-related beverages but I hate caffeine. Sometimes I even hate decaffeinated coffee because they try to slip you caffeine like last summer when I camped out in Starbucks for the AC but the combo of a giant cup of accidentally caffeinated coffee and weeks of too much hot weather made me feel like I was on a bad acid trip. I like black tea but lots of places don't carry it. And herbal tea is nice you know, but a little limp-wristed in terms of hot beverage satisfaction. But check this out: the other day I ordered a mint tea at this place and the woman asked if I wanted a regular tea or a latte. I was sleepy and confused so it took me a couple seconds to think about it and say, "laaaaaatteeee".

When it came, it was green and foamy and you'd think weird but actually totally delicious. Green and minty and milky with foam. 5 seconds of internet research reveals it's exactly what the asians have been up to for years with their milk tea. I tried ordering it other places and created a system malfunction in the brain of the server. I'll just have to go to bubble tea places. The asians know where it's at. For the record, I've also been wearing a fanny pack over one arm.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Tears for Nerds, the Epilogue

Way back last October (yeah, I still haven't figured out how to link to individual postings of my own blog) I had an encounter with an Angry Nerd that threw my music appreciation cred into ill repute. The specific issue was that although I rocked a little bit of "Mad World" on a cassette of Tears for Fears in my car, it was on a compilation and not the original studio album. Well check it, Angry Nerd, wheresoever you may be: I just picked up a new gem at the Sally Ann!


So I'm waiting for my dad to email me the pictures of the damage to the garage so you can participate in the gory carnage. But while we wait, here's what's been going on.

The short answer is: Not Much.

I have a bruise like a hydrangea blossom on my knee from skating on hockey skates the other night. I always thought boys were just kind of hilariously awkward when learning to skate. Turns out hockey skates are really kind of hard to skate in unless you are accelerating. Tippy forward, tippy backward and no little picks with which to dig into the ice. I didn't, as Sarah or Janey predicted we might, get shoved around on the ice by hot-dogging 12 year-olds, but I did do a kind of pathetic slow trip-and-bail.

It was during skating that Sarah accidentally coined the term "Untresting". What a perfect thing for many situations! Your uncle telling you in detail about his plans for his deck? How untresting. It's perfect for work. You might just be able to slip it in and make it sound enough like "intresting" to satisfy yourself and not offend the listener. Conversation hacking. Like at my old job when I hated the impatient customers so much that I'd start answering their questions by tallllllking realllllly sloooooowly.

Yesterday I went biking with my parents. It was a beautiful clear day and the temperature hovered around freezing. When I was a teenager skiing or biking or whatever active family thing we'd be doing, I had extremely intense concerns over whether or not I looked cool in whatever active gear the activity required. Putting a ski school bib thingy over my fuschia and grey ski outfit was devasting. The high rounded crown of my old bike helmet was a source of shame. I've kind of swung the other way now. I wore long underwear under knee-length running tights with socks pulled up to mid-calf to go biking. With old white running shoes stained with red dirt. I looked like someone's embarassing dad, it was awesome.

When we were going through old Expo site on the south side of False Creek (currently under construction to become the Olympic Village) the strong smell of weed filled the air and I zipped past a man saying to his 10 and 13-year-old daughters, "So now you know what it smells like," and I felt a wave of nostalgia for similar conversations with my parents when I was that age.

An associate of my dad's gave him a giant basket full of all the different kinds of Pocky there are, and other assorted Glico products (like pizza-flavoured Pretz--sadly no Curry Rice), so it's been a good Christmas here. Looks like Men's Pocky is now an equal-opportunity edible as the "Men's" part has been edited off the package. Thank you Baby Jesus!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Friday, December 22, 2006

Second Coming

Christ(s) has returned to earth in time for Christmas, yo! Wow.

Thanksgiving at Christmas

Today at Future Shop (American versions were renamed Best Buy) there were no ipods and a man who set off the alarm with a butterfly bandage where a nose should have been.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Winter Storms In With Little Cat Feet

Hi everyone! I'm in Vancouver and it rains a lot here but it's cool because the dampness combined with the cleanliness makes my hair look super fantastic.

It rains, yes, that we all expect. What we don't expect is insane winter storm with hurricane-force winds that smash into the land and topple water-logged trees so that they crush things. More on that later.

I got into Vancity in a turbulent night flight. Call me a sadist (and the petrified woman next to me would have) but the bumpiness of the flight was nice for sleeping. Like an infant who stops crying in a moving car or next to a running vacuum, the white noise, or I guess white movement, of bumpity bump bump lulled me into a surprisingly satisfying sleep. Which was good, because I landed around midnight and headed up to Whistler the next day with nary a sleep-in to be seen. Miss Doretta Lau, lately of Burnaby by way of New York accompanied as did Sarah, my brother's girlfriend. It was a good car ride. We ate McDonald's in Squamish. Nobody barfed (my childhood carsickness made the Whistler drive torture, although it paid dividends on one occasion when my brother found a lost wallet en route to a garbage can because we had to pull over on account of my barfing. He mailed the wallet back to the guy, who sent him a hundred bucks as a reward. I got twenty of it for barfing.)

We'd heard tell of the incredible base of snow that Whistler had been blessed with unnaturally early in the season. Last year, I skiied one day on what sage old mountain types described as the "worst day of skiing in seven years". It involved a skiing surface that been frozen and then scoured to a cement-like consistency sprinkled with rocks, and the occasional surprised small tree. It was fine as long as you didn't turn. It was a day when you could easily imagine your hip shattering. This year, the snow was deep and soft and plenty and falling steadily. We went to bed early in anticipation of the glory that awaited the next morning.

Doretta has just started eating meat, which I find really entertaining. Maybe it's because we were roommates for two years and she used to tell me that using one of her pots to cook meat was like using one of her pots to cook a baby. Maybe it's because Janey and I used to make up elaborate stories about the meat frenzy we'd have in the apartment when she was not home. Dorrie was never smug about her vegetarianism, but she was vigilant. Feeding her bacon is so much fun. I had a burger every day for three days running just to model proper carnivore behaviour.

Because we are hardcore, we live hardcore and that meant waking up at the crack of dawn, or technically before the crack of dawn to eat some bacon grease (with eggs and english muffin), put on way too many clothes and clump over to the lift. It had snowed hard all night. There was (you ready?) 48 centimetres of untouched powder on the mountain. For any of you from backward countries that do not yet embrace the metric system, that's just over a foot and a half. Of fluffy fluffy poof powder. There was so much snow it was confusing. I know Blackcomb mountain pretty well but there were moments when it didn't make sense. Why is the chairlift so low to the ground? For example.

Apart from being the friendliest person ever, Sarah is a beautiful skier. So beautiful she was paid cash money for four years to teach people to ski on Whistler Blackcomb. Doretta got a crash course in getting down the hill and then decided to brave the runs solo. I got to ski with Sarah the rest of the day. Wow, powder. It was skiing on pillows. It was also, we both agreed, the hardest skiing work we'd ever done. I fell a lot. The lactic acid burn was part of that. At one point I was on a double black with my tips pointing up the hill sliding backwards and contemplating death when I realised that the key to my salvation was to flop backwards into the puff of snow. I saved my own life, then I got up, skiied one turn, and fell over again. It was a day of fun and happy exhaustion and sitting on the chair listening to people laughing or muttering "oh shit" just before crashing was excellent roadside entertainment. By 2 pm, the mountain was deserted; everyone had gone home in exhaustion. We skiied out and went back to the cabin... and then the pain began. My boots fit a little too big for me and slinging around craploads of snow all day meant smashing my toes again and again into the front of my boots. I tried to rachet them tighter, so my ankles were bruised, and my legs were so tired and wrecked that the sore was going to last for days.

But we're hardcore (see above) so we skiied the next day too.

The only hitch there was that we were expecting my mom and dad and brother to come up and join us. After some garbled attempts to communicate via cel phone with my dad, we talked to my mom at home to learn 1) the lovely snow storm for us had been an up-to-hurricane-force gale in Vancouver 2) they had no power and 3) a tree had fallen in the park behind our house and crushed the garage. So they were deciding to stay there. My brother came up though, and schooled us all with his righteous (and, let's be honest, rested) leg strength the next day.

It was one of those days that is perfectly nice and fun but all day you're thinking, "Huh. Crushed the garage. What does that mean, exactly?" and wondering if trees falling count as an act of God. Trees had fallen all over the Lower Mainland crushing all kinds of things like cars and people's bedrooms. They didn't crush any people that we heard but some of the hobos that live in Stanely Park are unaccounted for.

We got home that night and it was dark out, but the garage looked pretty normal. Well, normal but squished. A little witchy. Yeah, a tree fell on the top and the subsequent pressure blast blew out the windows. The roof has to be rebuilt. Insurance does cover it. I'm sorry I missed the sound. Not sorry I missed the 2.5 days of no power that followed the storm (that's why you cook with gas, people). The tree was giant and only the top hit the roof (though the top of a 100 foot tree, so still massive). My dad and I looked at the roots and they were rotten. We will burn parts of it in our fireplace for payback. No bikes or cans of paint were harmed. We're still having turkey.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


I have a chronic problem with staying up far too late before I fly. It makes for this horrible travelling day where instead of feeling sedate and sleepy but otherwise normal (what you get from just from getting up early), I get that jaw-ache tired feeling where you can't make your eyeballs stop moving around and you get paranoid about falling asleep because maybe you'll never wake up. Also known as Tuesday morning Avid skills class OR the last four weeks of every semester. I'm going to fall asleep with my mouth open on the plane.

Thursday, December 07, 2006


I watched Dumbo last week. I think I remember seeing it as a little kid. What I mostly remember is having a picturebook of the story, and I somehow remember Dumbo chained to a little house like a dog kennel? Turns out that's not in the movie--maybe I was remembering when Dumbo's mom gets locked up in little caravan. That must have been it.

David Mamet talks about Dumbo in his book On Directing Film. Animation, quoth he, is the ultimate form of visual storytelling for a writer/director because the only limit on what you can show or what you can make happen is your own imagination. Well, yes. It's hard to see how the pink elephants sequence could work as live action. Actually, it's probably that sequence that inspired him to make that comment. It's such a quintessentially from-whatever-you-can-imagine film moment and it's so weird and fantastical that it feels like deep subconscious brain rumblings.

But it really is a pretty awesome piece of film. Set aside the racial stereotyping, if you will. And the whole part about the infant elephant accidentally getting really really drunk, although I liked that a lot. The characterization is excellent, the story--though it takes its meandering turns--works (the sequences work even better than the overall story) and the visuals are consistently beautiful and compelling. Lots of deep space. And it's funny. And the baby elephant is really cute.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

White, Nerdy

Ever notice how the classic Weird Al looks a lot like the classic Alex Trebec?

Denim Descent

The trajectory of jeans is as follows:

Level 1: Jeans You Like A Lot Although They Are A Little Crisp

Level 2: Jeans That Are Softening Up A Bit And Getting Some Genuine Fading Instead of That Fake, Store-Bought Fading

Level 3: Jeans You Put On Every Day Without Questioning The Outfit Choice

Level 4: Jeans To Wear On Set And Maybe The Walkie Will Wear Out The Pocket Or You'll Get Some Green Paint On Them, But It's Okay

Level 5: Jeans That Rip A Hole When You Pull Them On

My only pair of even possible #3 jeans wandered into #4 territory two weeks ago and tonight made their final swan dive into #5. Good thing Boxing Day is on the horizon.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

School of Box

Today in class for our final exam we watched School of Rock. Yeah, that's right, our final involved watching Jack Black skid around on the floor in circles going, "dit-dit-dit-dit-dee-deedle-deedle-deedle-dit-dit-dit". Sometimes movie school is awesome.

So the prof is talking about how when we finish our take-home exams, we have to bring them in and put in the TA's box. "Yep, just put it in my box," she says. [and there is snickering]

"Where is your box?" someone asks. "------, tell them where your box is," prof prompts. [and there is more snickering] She tells us it's in the writing office.

"Yep, just put them in her box," the prof continues. "Actually, ------ would love to have anything you put in her box. Whatever you can fit in there. Just go ahead and.." [by now, the snickering has become has become ungated laughter and the TA is hiding her face in her elbow]

"MAILbox!" she screams.

"Oh," says prof, "I get it now. Well, there goes my job."

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Best Moment On Set

Riding down the dirt track at dusk at the end of the day sitting in the bed of a pickup truck. Light hitting the tops of the grassy hills to the east, the blackened elegant structures of burnt trees from the forest fires in the purple and green magic hour twilight. So exhausted I feel hot and glowy, but it's the last part of the last day and the evening is cool on my face.

Great Moments On Set: Part Two

We're shooting from this dirt track in Calabasas parkland with beautiful rolling hills of dead yellow grass on all sides. We have all of our gear on the track (including pickup and techno crane and grip gear and all of the etcetera that makes a film set so crazy). Two people on horseback approach and it doesn't look like they'll be able to navigate horses past all our gear with much ease. One rider just rides up along the grassy ridge. The second rider follows the first, although she seems pretty pissed off about it.

Rider: This is totally ridiculous! I can't believe you people! Your SHIT is all over the road!

Her Horse: [shits]

Great Moments On Set: Part One

Super-cute Boom Operator lowers the boom and waits for some technical thing to be fixed.

Key Grip: Is that a gold calculator watch?

Super-cute Boom Op: Yep.

Key Grip thinks.

Key Grip: Are you seeing anyone right now?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


I like reading the news. You get edges of stories, beginnings and endings that are really beginnings. The best part is, you don't get the whole story, you don't get to know what people really think, just what they say they think and sometimes you don't even get to know the people at all, you just see the strange things someone did and you wonder about what the rest of the story looked like.


Friday, November 10, 2006

On Writing

It's terrible, I hate it, it's painful, it's almost five and I'm dizzy and squinting and trying to get the words down and yet when I think of all the things I'd like to spend my life doing, it's unavoidably necessary to admit to myself that it's probably this.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

You Got It, You Got It

Tonight I was talking to my dad and he told me they invented a car that will parallel park for you, via sensors and computers.

There's a great Talking Heads song on the album Naked called Nothing But Flowers about life in a post-apocalyptic world wherein old crap is reinvented into pastoral delight (This was a Pizza Hut/Now it's all covered with daisies) and we all miss our microwaves.

To the automatic-parallel parkers, I say: You must develop your post-apocalyptic skills! You need to understand basic physics and small engine repair! You need to know how to tie knots and pasteurize milk! You need to be able to walk long distances over uneven ground! And figure out which way north lies from the moss on a tree, and what root to chew to keep your teeth clean, and how to lance a blister so you don't get an infection!

You need to be ready to parallel park all on your own.

(You should also know I am an absolutely splendid parallel-parker.)

Monday, November 06, 2006

Daily Progress Report

FOUND POSTER. Rolled up inside another, less desirable poster. How clever of me, foiling any would-be thieves of Emily Carr landscapes.

Putting that thing into its long-awaited frame was about the only thing my hungover head could deal with yesterday. My list of accomplishments are as follows: wake up and decide it would be better to stay exactly where I am. Wake up again. Have a shower. Pick out some clothes (clean ones). Put them on. Cook up some eggs and protein, drink some water, eat a multivitamin. Sit on the couch. Go for a walk to maybe buy milk. Don't buy milk but consider buying a small 99cent pot of ivy. Don't buy the ivy, take pictures of the sunset with phone. Walk past the children's shoestore next to the gelato place where a coven of kiddies are screaming and running in circles. Feel so happy to be childless. Make it home. Do laundry. Expose self to small doses of looking at a screen. Fret about how much work am unable to do in current state. Drink more water. Frame poster and feel joyous. Plan to go to bed at nine. Plan to eat a meal full of wellness-providing vegetables. Take all vegetables out of fridge, look at them on the counter, and realise can't reasonably fit all of them into one recipie. Put some away, cut up others, steam some. Talk to brother on phone. Talk to mother on phone. Look at clock and realise that proper-schedule plan requires going to bed NOW. Realise feel right as rain and ready to get some work done. Go to bed.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Short Ends

Still can't find poster.

Winter creeps in on little cat feet in LA, scared away if you look too closely at it or ask for it too insistently. It's getting cold at night, and sweaters and scarves are merited not just by USC's ferocious air-conditioning, but by the atmospheric situation as well. When I make enough money to buy stuff before it goes on sale I will have so many weird-cute jackets.

Marie Antionette: NG. Read the article on M.A. (the person) in Vogue. So much more entertaining than the splendid-looking movie. All I remember from the movie is them watching the sun rise. But the article talks about how MA's hair turned completely white during the carriage ride away from Versailles. And how she stepped up politically as best she could when Louis stopped talking for ten days and how they were executed and when exhumed they found only a skull, a handful of bones and a pair of garters. I want to see that story.

I've started to wear my mouth guard again because I fear that the things that weigh on my brain during the day weigh on my teeth at night and soon I will grind them down into little stumps. It feels like putting my mouth in a snug embrace for the night. At least it's still in when I wake up. When I first started wearing it, I'd find it on the other side of the bedroom in the morning. Presumably because I took it out and threw it there in the middle of the night. At least I don't wake up with earplugs in my mouth like some people I could name.

Soft lovely light in the living room makes all the difference.

New tactic for writing: get really sleepy and lie in bed and make notes and notes on notes and new ideas and keep going until you pass out. At least later you'll have some kind of wavery strange path to follow in the dark night of the soul known as the day before writing class.

How you can you run a school where getting into the gateway class to graduating is a free-for-all monitored by no one? I can't take the class I need to graduate because the only section I can take is full. The other section has a conflict with another class I'm supposed to take to graduate. Whither sense?

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


I brought home this ginormous picture frame from Ikea on Saturday and cannot for the life of me find the poster that is supposed to live in it. It's not with the other posters in the tube, which means I put it somewhere VERY SPECIAL so it wouldn't get wrecked. Somewhere, perhaps, where human hands will never touch it ever again. My apartment is very small! And yet this giant rolled tube of paper eludes me.

My mother is known to call me to come upstairs on Sunday afternoons in April or May to give me things that she meant to give me for Christmas but just found that second. She likes to put things in safe places too. On the other hand sometimes she puts them in non-safe places. She once gave me a silver ring in this mode, gasping upon having found it again. It had been in the drawer by the phone for almost a year and on more than one occasion I had pulled it out and tried it on during long phone conversations. It fit so well, what a surprise to find that it was meant to.

Last weekend I shot a series of scenes in my house. My apartment is small and is designed in a circle--the living room links to the kitchen, which links to my room, which links to The World's Tiniest Hall (off of which is the World's Tiniest Bathroom) which links back to the living room again. My roommate's room is the only non-linking part of the apartment. I like this design very much, but that and shooting in the living room and kitchen from various directions meant that all the gear had to be stored in my bedroom and the back corner of the kitchen (where there was an impassable forest of C-stands) because everything else was a hot set.

All the extra people had to be stashed around in a similar manner (I like the shot we got where Alejandro slates for the camera and then turns around and crouches out of sight in the corner for the rest of the two-minute scene). These people, in turn, stashed their empty drink containers so the shot wouldn't be full of dented Diet Coke cans. I'm still finding them in various corners of the apartment. Inside cupboards, tucked against the side of the couch next to the wall, under the coffee table, behind the fridge. Today I was sitting in the living room and could see the edge of a can just peeking over the top of the kitchen cupboards (invisible if you were actually in the kitchen). It's like a Easter egg hunt for can collectors. Even though some of them are mine, it's still an surprise to stumble across another one in another inventive little hiding place.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The Working Man

I got a flat tire on Saturday and when the tow truck took me to this ghetto tire place on Santa Monica, there wasn't room to drop the car because this hot little silver Mercedes convertible was in the way. So we sit and wait and the tow truck driver is this no-nonsense trim little guy with a grim face and suave hair who says "Jesus Christ" constantly on the road in regards to other people's driving decisions.

Finally this man comes out to the car and he's a petite little African-American guy wearing a crisp white long-sleeved button-up shirt with a knotted cravat at the neck and pin-striped trousers that look like the bottom half of a zoot suit. He saunters up to the car, reaches inside, pulls out his badge, clips it on to his belt, pulls out his pearl-handled gun and holster, clips that onto his belt. I say to the tow truck guy, "He's a cop?" and we both start laughing.

Mr. Cop then gets in the car, remembers something, gets back out, reaches around to the front of the windshield and grabs a two-inch stump of cigar, which he clamps in his teeth before getting back in the car and driving away.

I really hope he was FBI.

Inside the ghetto tire shop they had a small glossy picture of J Lo in the infamous green and blue, belt-buckle-and-a-smile dress tacked to the wall.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Pastiche Magic

Recently I figured out how to make iTunes show all the album covers of the music I've got. I missed album covers.

Someone else likes album covers too.

This is fun to watch, but it's also fun to think about how many copyrighted images are being used without permission and how great the result is. The funny thing about recorded media like sounds and pictures is that they are so specific that referencing them often requires using the thing itself. So intertextuality in these media gets legally sticky. But intertextuality is so great and artistically useful. It's a mainline to an established vein of cultural meaning and using it just makes the cultural object that much more significant by its inclusion in other works. No such thing as bad publicity? Hey, it's not like Mary Shelley's estate comes after every person who writes a poem in which Frankenstein shows up. Frankenstein, through intertextuality, has grown beyond just being a character in a book and has become a trope.

It's overly simplistic in the mode of "why can't we all just get along," but why can't we all just use what's around to make what we want? Why does everyone have to get so bloody grabby?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

I Am So Popular

So here's the thing: at work, my job is to help people. This is fine and great, and I really like doing it. Hey, here's a suggestion for how to find a hospital location, here's the paperwork you need to shoot with a gun, here's how you can burn stuff to a CD. All good.

Lately, though, I've had some insane campers at work. Campers are people who sit in the Student Production Office all day and talk to me. Now some of these campers are cute and charming and boys and that is totally totally okay by me and in fact great. But some of them are skeevy boys who think because they are talking to me and I am not leaving and they know my name from my nameplate thing that we are friends. Hey, I can't leave because I'm AT WORK. That's like thinking the garbarge man has a crush on you because he keeps coming by, every week. They make me think I should burn some Ani Difranco songs onto the computer at work so I can play them on repeat until they leave. Maybe I need to try the DJ Doretta technique of clearing the floor of the Pit (University of British Columbia pub as classy as it sounds) of nineteen-year-old mackdaddys at the end of the night by playing Liz Phair's "Flower" and Tori Amos' "Me And A Gun". Under no circumstances should I play any Weezer. That just fans the flames. However "Eternal Flame" over and over again might do the trick.

Two super-clingy women have been camping out on my shift in the last few weeks. One of them is, you know, unstable, and wears a pert little white suit with a pert little white hat to match and makes desperate-sounding phone calls to get jobs and gets mad at people on the other end of the line and lectures them and then tries to catch my eye and tells me how sad she is while her eyes roll all around the room and won't let me exit the conversation and then she cries. This is for the entirety of my five-hour shift. I feel guilty for not wanting to help her and then feel annoyed at her and then feel guilty again for being annoyed. The other clingy woman needs help finding the keyboard. I'm close to not kidding. She needs explicit and repeated instructions for filling out forms, faxing, printing, and scanning which she then ignores so that you have to pay undivided attention to her while she does it again. She also narrates her attempts to do things which might need your attention, "oh no, this pen doesn't work... and this pen doesn't work either!" Yesterday she asked me which bin was garbage and which was recycling. That would be the blue bin with the arrows pointing in a triangle that says "Recycling" on the side.

The hardest work I do at work is stay calm and patient with these people. My socialist upbringing helps.

Final Hot Shirt

I saw a girl at the bar on Saturday wearing a shirt that said, "Wear More Purple." Right on.

This shirt does look a little as if it was gnawed at by hamsters. Or perhaps the rats. Maybe the rats that live in the film building. The same rats that have caused a decree to be handed down that we can no longer eat in class. A decree handed down, clearly, by someone who doesn't have back-to-back four hour classes.

But I digress. Like the shirt?

Monday, October 09, 2006

Test Pattern

Here you see what I did today.

Yep, for the first time in film school, I actually got to handle a film print. Wooo! I'm taking an editing class (hi Norm) and had to conform the edits we made in the computer system to the actual film print. It was the perfect day for doing this: I was feeling hungover and slightly misanthropic and generally overwhelmed with decision-making in work and life lately. To have all my decisions in front of me on a piece of paper was great. To work with my hands was a relief. To not have to talk to anyone and to listen to music on headphones while doing this made my day complete. It took two albums to cut out the shots and splice the dailies back together and two-thirds of an album to splice the whole cut together.

Completely analog tasks like this are something I miss lately. It's like jogging or driving a commute: there's work to be done, yes, but you really only have to have 30% or so of your brain engaged in the task of getting your body to go through the required motions. The higher functioning part of your brain can wander into more difficult and interesting territory. I miss this in modern life. It's not that I want to do my laundry by hand on a washboard, but having to remember phone numbers and then waiting for the rotary phone wheel to make its revolution, or raking leaves, or washing dishes by hand, these things are important for the soul. Or for my soul. Or just for my brain to make its revolution and come up with seasoned, complex answers to difficult problems. I've had some of my best ideas in the shower and stuck in traffic. Endless choice and complete ease of access mean the only work left for me to do is make the decision.

That said, let's hope my conformed print screens without any cuts backwards or upside down. I'm hoping that having sewn shorts together backwards in the past would teach me to be meticulous despite my absent mind.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Hot Shirt #2

Here's the next shirt I upgraded:

And I'd like to send a special hello out to all my rabid Christian fans. Mazeltov to you my friend!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Movie School Homework

So at the school I go to, one of the required classes is Visual Expression. You know, pictures and what's in them: lines, shapes, colours, tone, one-, two-, and three-point perspective, etc. The big ol' assignment for this class is a notebook in which you have demonstrate all of these concepts in still photographs. Affinity within the shot, contrast within the shot, affinitiy from shot to shot, the list goes on. It adds up to about ninety photographs that are simultaneously open-ended and very specific. Oh, and you've got to have a "subject" in each picture. So, it's challenging, and fun, yes, but also leads to acts of desperation, like this photo here.

This poor woman walked past me, I saw the bobble on her hat and I shouted, "A sphere!" to Rajeev and took this photo. I didn't end up using it.

I did, however, end up using this photo.

Affinity of Saturation Within the Shot. Rajeev is such a champ dresser, I didn't even have to make it black and white.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Mythical Beasts

The other day I was in traffic, late and pissed off, and lo, what pulls up beside me? A piece of shit brown K-car with the Louis Vuitton logo spray-painted in impressive gold stencil all over it. As Jeremy put it, truly the unicorn of LA traffic, inspiring awe and wonder where ever it goes. I want to make a calendar featuring this car in spring meadows, all soft-focus and backlit.

Nothing eats my brain like writing and in the last few months it's been like digging bullets out of my own flesh with my fingers to sit down and write. Not to actually write, mind you, just to force myself to write. Is this the point at which you start seeing a shrink? W. Allen, please advise. But I had to write this scene, a little stand-alone thing, for directing class and today I got the fun of sitting down with actors and blocking out a scene that I had written less than 12 hours before. This was so fun. So as soon as I finish writing this, I'm going to go work on some writing. Really.

In other news, I bought three of the same shirt today in different colours, because Carrie Bradshaw is RIGHT: if it's wonderful, buy two. If it's cheap too, buy three. Then I brought them home and drew on one with bleach and sewed some stuff on the other and cut little holes in the third (and some little holes in my fingers while I was at it). So they are the SAME but DIFFERENT and also recognizably mine.

Sometimes I wish I could make a living out of having ideas for fun little projects and sitting cross-legged on the floor of my bedroom and doing those projects using random stuff from around the house. This is the best kind of creativity for me. Film is scary because there are so many people involved and you have to keep explaining what the plan is. Once the plan is outside of my head (via my mouth) it never seems as exciting as when it was still bottled up inside. I like plans for making stuff that go directly from brain to hands, and things I make using these plans are always things I like better than, stuff I've made at school in which I have to keep justifying why my idea will work when I'm still in the middle of having it.

I guess the idea is to have full and complete ideas and think it all the way through before even beginning to talk to other people about what I want to do. And to keep the sitting-on-the-bedroom-floor projects going, and not for a living either.

Thursday, September 28, 2006


I have nothing to tell any of you. Usually when that happens, I just don't write anything and some of you who don't see me in real life on a regular basis perhaps wonder if I'm dead or have robbed a bank.

Switching it up today, though, just to keep the non-interesting interesting. Or not interesting. And not in a Mametian sense either (sorry).

So that's it.

Go do some work now.

Thursday, September 21, 2006


So Americans make fun of Canadians, but Canadians make fun of Americans too.

The salient difference, which I realised today while telling TJ a story that Jeremy told me about American tourists and hand sanitizer, is that Americans make fun of Canadians for things they think they do, whereas Canadians make fun of Americans for things they actually do.

There is no US equivalent of Rick Mercer's "Talking to Americans" segment. There are just t-shirts that say "Canada: They Made A Country And Nobody Came." Which is not exactly comedy gold.

For Kat Vondy

Roasted red peppers in a jar.

Spinach sour cream dip. And those vegetable chips.

Pepper salami slices. Frozen lemonade cans, to be defrosted and mixed with much water for a lightly lemony drink.

Green beans, which tonight I steamed with some red pepper and then mixed in sesame oil and a little garlic.

Ravioli. Chicken and mushrooms inside.

Romaine. Because spinach can kill you.

Shredded wheat--the little guys. Back to the breakfast I ate for all of grade nine. Did it make me any happier or get me out of middle school any faster? No. But brown sugar in milk: yum.

That green sludge fruit puree health drink stuff. Feels so fortifying to drink.

Sausage with herby things in it.

Wine. (red, chewy)

Come over for dinner, we will feast like kings.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Aisles, Stalls, Rows

Yesterday I went grocery shopping with the express purpose of buying delicious food that cost more money than food I would usually buy myself. I don't think I've ever been a fussy eater--maybe for a couple weeks in Japan when I had incredibly-salty-fish-for-dinner-every-night fatigue, but I soon got over myself and ate all sorts of frightening things like straight-up chunks of beef fat, crickets and whole small octopi. Alex Chung would be proud of me.

But lately my stomach has turned into the fussy two-year old who is hungry but refuses to eat anything. I chalk this up to a couple things: eating the same boring dependable meals for two years now takes ninety percent of the fun out of eating and never getting around to eating a proper lunch or dinner for two weeks running teaches my stomach to just close itself off to the idea of food. So I bought a lot of yummy treats for myself in order to coax my hermit crab of a stomach to unfurl itself. Spoonful of sugar, etc.

At the grocery store I saw a guy that had been in the class that I TAed in the spring. It feels strange to run into people I know in LA, because shouldn't LA be like New York, which seems just too big to run into anyone? And yet I do run into people: at the grocery store, at the carwash, in coffee shops, at the movies. Incidentally, the movies and the grocery (well, and The Grove) is where all of my celebrity sightings have taken place. Will Smith is very tall and his wife is very small, Charlie Sheen has no ass and looks like someone's deranged uncle, Joey Slotnik favours the salad-and-sushi part of Trader Joe's and can't believe you recognise him, Reese Witherspoon wears a toque when it's not even that cold out but we all know why.

But better than running into a celebrity is running into someone I actually know. It feels small and homey to run into an aquaintance in the aisle or the parking garage and chat and think about them as fully formed people who have to do things like buy eggs.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Late Breaking Stink News

So last night, after I had declared my bathtub a toxic wasteland and thought about waking up early to pack shampoo to the school recreation centre, I went in to brush my teeth and holy crap! the water was gone! Leaving a brown layer of sludge behind! Gross!

I boiled as a kettle and a pot of water for a nice hot chaser to the chemicals and the drain ate it up. O sweet relief. The hot water got rid of the brown too. Then, for the sheer joy of it, I had a shower.

A clean bathroom is the road to a peaceful mind.

Hurting Not Helping

Holy crap, the bathtub is stopped up. Not slow draining, stopped. I suspect new roommate's gooey hair products have not helped this. He likely suspects that my long(er) hair doesn't help either. We're both to blame: we ran that water, we saw it going down the drain. Of course it had to end.

Yesterday we had to bail water into the toilet in order to keep the swamp from overflowing onto the bathroom floor. Ten minutes of bailing equalled ten minutes of showering.

Tonight when I got home I poured a whole jug of horrible drain opener chemical down there. And it did nothing. Except render the tub completely noxious with poisonous chemicals.

Soooo. 1) Bathe in water from sink? 2) Shower at school? (roommate doesn't have a shower at work, I feel like a shithead for unilaterally dumping that stuff in now.)

Fortunately, the weather is cooperating by making the apartment a hot little box, even at 11 at night, making showering kind of all I want to do, all the time.

Yours in stink.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Safe Injection Site

During the AIDS conference in Toronto this summer Bill Clinton spoke. He had a lot to say but what it mostly boiled down was, hey, let's stop judging people and help them instead.

I know it doesn't need to be said, but this guy runs planet-sized circles around George W. Bush. Dick-sucking and all. Just the fact that he's an orator, and can turn a phrase, can friends-Romans-countrymen ideas around and make them suddenly clear to everyone listening, is qualification alone. Granted, I'm happy George is not similarly skilled and is not able to make everyone see his rich asshole way of thinking as the path to wisdom.

Anyway, one of the things Clinton talked about was that abstinence education is bullshit and a waste of time and the energy and money should instead be spent on helping young people make informed choices about their sexuality. I read somewhere else recently that some high school in the American heartland decided to abandon its abstinence education in favour of sex education when they discovered 13% of the girls in the school were pregnant. Someone pointed out to Clinton that he had supported abstinence education when he was president, and he said, "I was wrong."

Okay, so in the line of Clinton's sage advice (re: judging vs. helping) the Canadian Feds recently allowed Vancouver's experimental safe injection site (the only such program in North America) to remain open for at least another year and a half. For anyone who has not experienced Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, it's a nightmare-scape district of people ravaged by drug and alcohol abuse. Vancouver and Victoria draw a lot of homeless people because of their (relatively) mild winters and the Downtown Eastside becomes the area of congregation. Needle-sharing and overdoses lead to rampant disease and death.

The safe injection site is obviously not the solution to a complex problem, but the idea behind it is so great: officially acknowledge the fact that people are going to engage in unsafe behaviour and treat them like humans. Give them opportunities to help themselves and educate themselves in their choices and provide them with the bare minimum of care. People go wrong, but that doesn't mean they should be abandoned as garbage.

Anyway, I rank people who hurt themselves with drugs as not quite as low as those who those who hurt others, by, say, going to Asia to have sex with children or beating their own families. If public policy should punish and abandon anyone, let's start with those people.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Belts: A Good Idea

School has started, yeah. I'm already terribly behind and I have to figure what classes to drop. You can't have it all. But your education is something no one can take away from you. Conundrum.

In the past 1.3 weeks, there have been numerous times when I have been sitting in the second row of class, only to have someone sit almost directly in front of me and display a large expanse of lower back and ass crack. To make it worse, the design of the chair backs has a cutaway in the lower back area, creating a smiley window for such a view. I tried to look away, I did. Concentrate on the teacher, I said to myself, apply yourself to the task at hand. No luck, for there was that naked top half of someone else's bum but four feet away and well within my field of vision.

Do I object to nudity? Or to bottoms? Not at all! Both things are lovely in the right environment, and more particularly, in their whole forms. But partial nudity? Of part of your ass? Of someone I know? No thank you, please!

And don't think any lower back tattoo is going to exempt you. It simply makes your display seem intentional.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Floorplans for Everyone

O design people of the world, please invent me a garbage can that stays cold or at least makes an effort to avoid the fetid heat of rot. For the summer months. You could advertise in the Sharper Image catalogue. But all those jerks who buy Sharper Image crap have A/C up the ying yang, don't they.

I often think the true class divide in LA is on the road on a hot day: the people with their windows rolled up vs. the people with their windows rolled down.

At my dad's surprise birthday party, his friend Milt brought along a copy of Robert McKee's "Story" to give me. You all know this book, right? As seen shilled by Brian Cox (as McKee) in Adaptation? Called "one of the truly funny books ever written" by one of my writing teachers?

In fact it is a very funny book. The further in you get, the more odd little personal things McKee throws in: rewards for getting to page 154 kind of thing. Some of the intense specificity of the rules of structure were pretty funny to me when I read it back after applying to USC. Fresh from years of analysing novels, the idea that you could draw a bar graph and then write your story based around it seemed pretty ridiculous. That winter I sat in coffee shops a lot with a pencil and underlined and sidenoted my way through the pages.

Milt loved the book and gave it to me because he loved it so much. Milt is an architect, so this makes sense. McKee loves nothing better than an elegant structure- "both surprising and inevitable"- which I've come to closer to deciding is a pretty accurate description of things that happen in life as well. Death, for one example. As an architect, you've got to deal with certain amount of degradation of your objet d'art: what crap pictures will people put on the walls? What horrible furniture will they bring in? (Unless you are Frank Lloyd Wright, but he was, by many accounts, an asshole). So I can see the drive to make a space that will inspire people to live beautifully. Structure, structure, structure. Maybe writing a well-structured story will do the same from the movie that comes from it?

What I'm really trying to say is that architecture school is the new film school.

Saturday, August 19, 2006


I was just in Vancouver for a little while:

-Threw my dad a surprise birthday party and he apparently was truly surprised.

-In preparation for the party, my mom and I spent the day before barbecuing obscene amounts of chicken for hours and hours. It got to the point where barbecuing wasn't even fun anymore. I started burning them at that point.

-I bought running tights and a fanny pack. Because fanny packs are awesome and only nine dollars at MEC.

-This one night I saw an old friend and was about to say hi when I remembered we were at Pride ball celebrating all things gay. I had a brief crisis in which I self-consciously balked at saying hi. Luckily, she came over and said hi and we chatted and she's doing well and what do I care if she thinks I'm gay or if I wonder if she's gay. Then she said bye, smacked me on the bum and walked away.

-I went swimming in the water off Tofino. I borrowed my brother's girlfriend's wetsuit to do this. I didn't think it would really be that necessary, but then I found that the absence of wetsuit gloves was sharply painful and I was glad the rest of me didn't have to, you know, seize up and get carried away by a rip tide.

-I stepped on a bee.

-While walking down a trail at dusk a bat hit me on the chest and then flew away.

-I drank a lot of tea and beer in backyards, and on porches and couches.

-I listened to Phil Collins "No Jacket Required" while driving around in my mom's car. I'm nursing a little bit of a Phil Collins obsession, actually. When Kevin and Jeremy were in the back seat and Phil sang about how he's been a prisoner all his life, one or the other of them asked: "Of what, Phil, bad drum beats?"

-The other Kevin had a birthday and caused me to drink Jagermeister for the first time. What is the name of the game that is basically shuffleboard but on a table with cornmeal?

-Read all of Nick Hornby's 'How To Be Good' in what felt like a very short period of time. What does he mean by this book? That he hates everyone or just himself?

-Saw the new John Cameron Mitchell movie in a super-secret advance screening. It's no Hedwig, but it's fun and there are lots of funny sex scenes, especially at the beginning. Auto-fellatio, man. Crazy.

-Had an aisle seat on the way back and at one point woke up realising I had been sleeping with my head cranked over into the aisle and my mouth hanging open. First thought was disbelief at my mouth, second thought was: is anything in there? Because if I saw someone sleeping like a corpse with their mouth open, I'd have been tempted to put a little something in there. A ball of paper, maybe. Or an earplug.


The whole point of living in LA is seeing Snakes on a Plane the night after it comes out, and there being a baby in the theatre (2nd row from the front).

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Chien Fatale

Last week I was walking from Alex and Eric's house to my house, something I've never done before. I was dropping the car off because I was going back to Vancouver and Alex lets me park in his driveway so I don't get streetcleaning tickets. The funny thing about walking from Alex and Eric's to my house was that I had no clear idea if it was actuallly possible. This is for two reasons: 1) people never walk in LA so I have lost all reasonable ability to estimate if anything is a walkable distance and 2) we live in a neighbourhood were all the streets twist and spin out from some unfindable central axis and the shortest distance between any two points is always a strange zigzag that has taken me forever to learn how to navigate. The real reason that there's a place called Sunset Junction is so you start there, and think you are halfway to where you want to go and realise that you are back where you started. Hence: junction. My otherwise hardy sense of direction is no match for it.

It turns out it is possible to walk from Alex and Eric's. I dropped the car off, waved at Eric, who was wandering around the driveway trapped in a phone conversation, washed the rest of the soap off the side of my car (my 3 minutes at the carwash had run out with half the car still soapy) with the (brackish?) water from the hose, waved at Eric again (still trapped) and started walking.

Maybe I will love LA more and more often if I spend more time walking around it at dusk. What better way is there to feel tenderness for a neighbourhood? Little houses, and glimpses into little gardens, and small porches, bikes and toys left, the orange glow of a stranger's living room.

As I walked, I spotted a lost dog sign. "LOST. LITTLE FLUFFY WHITE DOG." And a phone number, the whole thing almost Zen-like in its simplicity. A block on, there was another sign, similar, but with a picture included in the photocopy. Two blocks later, the same sign, but in Spanish. Three blocks after that on the other side of Fountain, another sign with a lot more information on it, including a better picture. $1000 Reward! Dog is called Nico! A thousand dollars is a lot of money. I started scanning the streets and alleyways. Across the street, another, final poster. This one was in colour, with a colour picture.

Were the posters in expanding concentric circles of increasing desperation? Or were they weakening circles of dwindling hope and finances for Kinko's? Did the two little white fluffy dogs I spotted within a block of my house answer to Nico? By that time it was dark and I was home.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Summer.... OF HORRORS

Let's start off by saying if you are eating anything right now, finish it up before you continue reading.

So the weekend before last, I cleaned the kitchen and the bathroom very thoroughly. This has been satisfying. Like Martha Stewart came through and spring-cleaned everything with Q-tips. So clean that Doretta would feel comfortable walking barefoot, or at least with socks, on the floors.

Now it's been hot around here. I don't know if anyone noticed. So hot that on weekends, when I'm away from my air-conditioned work environs, I can't even work up the mental functioning to leave the house. Washing the dishes is an exertion that drenches my face and back with sweat. The towels in the bathroom were hot hanging on the rack. The kitchen counter tiles were hot. The walls were hot. The money in my wallet was hot. So not a lot of cleaning went on this weekend. A lot of taking baths with ice cubes went on, but not a lot of cleaning.

One of the things I cleaned over a week ago was the garbage can. It's one of those flip-top jobs, with a foot pedal that opens the lid. I cleaned the inside, the outside, the hard plastic liner; you could have eaten off this garbage can.

This Monday morning, I'm heading off to work and I go to chuck something out when I notice there's crap all over the inside of the lid. "What the hell," I think, "how did I manage to get rice all over the inside of the lid?"

Do any of you know where this is heading? Can you guess? There were maggots all over the inside of the garbage lid.

I guess it's been so hot, I've been hosting a garbage crock-pot in my kitchen. A primordial soup to nurture fetid new life into being.

I didn't have time to deal with it then, as I had to leave for work. So, despite feeling like I wanted to throw the can into a swimming pool of bleach, I shut the lid and when to work.

I thought about maggots all day. Specifically, how I was going to deal with them. Derek suggested throwing the whole thing out and I briefly considered it. When I got home, I got the gloves on (thank Christ for rubber gloves), surrounded myself with a large stack of paper towels and armed myself with a spray bottle of cleaner.

The maggots resisted being wiped from the metal surface. They rolled around between the paper towel and the metal and wiggled at me and wormed their way into the rolled over metal at the edge of the lid. But my spray and I persisted, soaking their secret crevices with noxious fluid and then sponging them up as they fled their hidey holes ("Like Al-Qaeda," my dad said). Some of the stragglers were so difficult to pick up with the paper towel, that I just started popping them with my rubber-gloved thumb. They made a satisfying explosion under my thumb.

Next time, the maggots should check with the tiny ant community before settling in my house.

Chez Volvo

Last night my Volvo had a sleepover with the other Volvos at the repair shop. I'm going to pick it up this afternoon. It'll probably be cranky with a candy hangover, but at least it will have a new exhaust system.

Maybe it's just cause LA is car kind of place, but I feel more at home in my car than I do in my actual home. Partly it's because it's been driven a lot by all members of my family, so it feels homey. And partly because it's the one thing that I brought with me when I came here that I can climb inside. Maybe it also has something to do with how many times it's been towed (twice) here, and how many times ticketed (uh, maybe seven times?) in the scant two years--almost to the day--that it's been with me machetteing through the wilds of LA. I worry about the car. I feel bad for not washing it more often. I think about it when it's not around.

Or maybe it's just that without it, it's very difficult to pick up some more milk and stop by the post office. And that sometimes the only way you have to express yourself in Los Angeles is to step on the gas.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Reclaiming: House, Temperature

In Possible Metaphor For Life news, I've discovered the only real way to deal with the heat (specifically: hot apartment) is to give in to it.

Put on the lightest clothes you own, put on some rubber flipflops and rubber gloves and SCRUB THE CRAP out of the bathroom. Really. Swiffer WetJet the mildew off the 10-foot ceiling while standing on the edge of the tub. That's right, up near the ceiling where the heat gathers. Take down the old shower curtain. Rub circles on the mirror while admiring your sweatstains. Take the rubber gloves off occasionally to rinse them out (from the pooling sweat). Sweat it up, drink some water and dive right in there with the Ajax Bleach.

Hey, while you're at it, do the kitchen too. Why not. Unplug the microwave, walk it over to the sink, scrub it. Ditto the blender base, the toaster. Yank the stove out from the wall and push it back and forth across the floor until all the dirt under it is accessible and therefore gone. Make a vinegar and baking sode concoction in the bottom of the garbage can. Pull the shelves and rug away from the wall, wash down the space where the wall meets the floor, where all the ants came from in the winter. Let it dry and then caulk the motherfucker until your wrist shakes from the exertion. Haul out bags and bags of food and whatever else your departed roommate left behind. Rejoice at the extra cabinet space. Let sweat run off your nose. Create a new world order of clean.

You'll be so busy feeling righteous, you won't feel tired. You'll be so knee-deep in dirt, you won't notice all the sweat. You'll be so fired up from the path of undirt you have blazed, the rays from the sun will feel tepid in comparison. Eschew A/C and gym memberships. You don't need them because you have a DIRTY HOUSE.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Spectacular Fumble

And for our next classroom hijinx update: Today the teacher I TA for was announcing something to the class and accidentally said "And I know how to give head." He quickly amended his comment to: "I know how to get a head count." And then he kept talking, obviously hoping no one had noticed.

I thought about not pointing it out, and then I pointed it out. You can't let being professional get in the way of laughing really hard at something like that.

Kind of like how last week when I was working at the Student Production Office, someone called me to ask where to buy pasties in the city. "Pasties? Uh, what are pasties?" says my mouth, even while my brain is thinking, "He can't mean PASTIES, can he?" and "Perhaps this is another one of these culture gap things where Americans call something mundane and non-titty-related 'pasties'?" Then he explained what he meant and I laughed a little and then he was a little snooty and later got flabbergasted because I didn't know where to buy them. Not my fault: I buy mine in bulk from Costco.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Clauses in Your Honesty Policy

Yesterday a student in the class I'm TAing gave her explanation as to why she didn't show up for a morning session she had said she would show up to as: "I got really, really drunk last night?"

Come on, people! Would it kill you to make some plausible lies once in a while? Creativity ain't just for writing poems, you know.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Rockets, Red Glare

I was working until nine or so at school tonight and when I started hearing booming noises in the distance, it took me a while to realise it was fireworks and that I was missing them. I finished up my work and headed back to the car, feeling kind of sorry for myself that I had made no plans to watch the fireworks, even while their rolling booms ricocheted off the buildings around me. Then I tried to figure out where they were; maybe I could catch the edge of them over the trees.

Turns out they were everywhere. Driving north, I saw a bunch over Hollywood. Then I caught sight of some in the rearview. Then some to the east, over downtown, like huge moving flowers. As I drove up the 101, fireworks exploded off of a highway overpass as I went under it, and further up, from a sideyard to spill out onto the road. Driving up the one block of Normal street between Hoover and Virgil (the street of ridiculousity, the street where there is a 40% chance of someone darting out in front of my car and an 85% chance I'll have to squeeze past a double-parked car every time I drive up it) people were setting up fireworks in the middle of the road while cars lined up, trying to drive down it.

Explosions came from every direction. A woman stood in the middle of the street twirling fire as an audience of children watched. Coloured lights would flare up in the distance, like temporary city lights, and then disappear into the black-on-black smoggy night air. Walking back to the apartment, I stood on the sidewalk while the machine-gun sprays of sparkles subsided from a burning box.

I can hear little pops off in the distance right now. And sirens.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Too Much Hotness

Things about hot weather in Los Angeles:

1) Causes insanity. Or the feeling of burgeoning insanity,
2) Causes me to be unable to eat or sleep (see #1),
3) Causes me to wish I was at work all the time, because it's very air-conditioned at all 4 of my jobs, especially the subterranean film vault job (see #1),
4) Just thinking about going for a run makes my legs buckle (see #1),
5) My feet are constantly filthy. From flip-flops? Does anyone else have this problem (see #1), and
6) It's fun:
a) people have barbeques,
b) you can throw water balloons at people and that can count as doing them a favour,
c) having all the windows in the house open all the time makes me feel more part of the neighbourhood,
d) going to watch movies feels doubly justified because of the dual escape of storytime and a/c,
e) you can drive with all the windows down wearing sunglasses and blaring music on the freeway, and
f) you can subsist on sugar water.

Monday, June 26, 2006


On Sunday morning there was a strange smell in the air outside the kitchen window. A chemical smell, but scented. An agent of some kind.

By the time I got home on Sunday evening, tiny ants had made their riverbed pathways all over the bathroom, across the hall and up my desk to a glass that had a residue of orange juice in it. They turned their little ant faces up to me as I stared at them swarming. "Hey there!" "Man, I love orange juice!" They scampered around on my desk, running blithely over my wrist. "Weeee!" The worst thing about having bugs in your house is not even that they crawl over you but that you start to feel them crawling over you even when they are not.

Fumigation from the apartment downstairs had made them forget that my apartment is a house of death for ants.

I put some more orange juice in a plastic yoghurt lid and stationed it a prime spot on the bathroom floor. They were shy at first (could they smell the ant-death on my fingers and the soles of my shoes?) but soon they were porking away, a tidy row of them, face down, sucking up the OJ. Delicious. Wholesome. Tell your friends.

Then, my friends, came the switch. I pulled the OJ lid and put down the sweet sweet ant killer instead. They were confused a for a bit. A force larger than them was at work. But it turned out not to matter: the soma sweetness was still around to be gobbled and gobble they did. Delicious. Tell your friends.

I read recently about a Buddhist priest offering a kind of apology/excuse before a major extermination in Japan. Was it rats or bugs? The priest asked forgiveness of the rats for killing them, but pointed out that it was their bad luck to be reincarnated as things so low that could offer nothing positive to the world and, indeed, brought dirt and disease with it. It finished off with pointing out to the rats that killing them only sped them on their karmic journey, which would certainly lead them to better incarnations than that of the rat.

I just want them to move on to someone else's apartment.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Beginning Filmmaking

The other day my roommate was using some toner and the fruity alcohol smell drifted out into the living room and transported me back to grade eight when I was best friends with Lauren. This was before the day at the beginning of grade nine when Lauren told me that she didn't want to be friends with me anymore because I wasn't cool enough. The best part was her new best friend Karen who said to me, re: her presence for the conversation: "I'm not part of this, I just want to watch."

Anyway, Lauren's older sister Jessie was that kind of older teenager who was adept at things like how to use toner (or even that Oxy stuff), which stores in the mall to get your white jeans at, how much CK perfume to pour on and how to gel your curls, skills that left me kind of in awe. She was one of those girls who was popular and ugly, which even I knew meant getting to watch all your friends get attention from boys while the only way she could get such attention was to be a slut, which, apparently, she was. She also had some major anger issues, because she was incredibly cruel to her little sister Lauren. I got to witness some dramatic fights at Lauren's house. Some serious door slamming and screeching and hitting and kicking.

Lots of fllmmakers have stories about Super 8 and ketchup to illustrate their from-the-womb lust for movie-making. I don't have any such stories because my family didn't have a camcorder, just very well-stocked libraries and frequent trips to plays. But Lauren had a camcorder and we used to film weird little movies at her house, in-camera edits of stories made up on the fly. The thing I most remember, though, is after a particularly devastating fight in which Jessie had inflicted some injustice on Lauren, Lauren and I were shut up in her room and she made me film a tearful testimonial from her about how much she hated her sister and how she would always hate her, for the rest of their lives. She wanted to document the moment. I remember shooting her in black and white as she talked, aware of the seriousness of the moment which was actually happening and trying desperately to get the camera to reflect the reality of it as best I could. The panic I felt at not being able to do it justice.

Maybe that's what a good take is, when you are screaming in your head because it is so good, and yet you are terrified that you are not capturing it wholly. Maybe a good filmmaker is someone who can stop head-screaming because they know what they need from that moment and are confident they don't need to worry about capturing anything else.

Monday, June 19, 2006

10,000 Leagues Under the House

While at my parents' house a couple weeks ago, I cleared some of my old boxes out of the crawl space. We moved into that house on Halloween 1990, the year I started grade seven and left elementary school and its accoutrements (charm necklaces, fuzzy stickers, Bobbsey Twins) behind. The boxes I was clearing out were time capsules, sealed by my 10-and-10-months-old self in the stage of packing where anything that is not clothes, books, or music and cannot be easily contained in a box and labeled sits in the corners of the room staring at you until you throw it all in random boxes and label them "STUFF". This stage is also known as the Hysteria Stage. In this case, they were labeled "Stuff For Basement". Not surprisingly, never unpacked.

Thankfully, the boxes were light. Some of them were practically empty, or containing stuff that should have gone in the garbage sixteen years ago. At least, they would have if I could have borne it then. It's easier to give your best white plastic purse away to the Sally Ann with the distance and maturity that 27 brings. Ditto, actually, for stuffed animals. Six or eight boxes actually didn't take that much time to divide into recycle, donate, and keepsake.

What took me the longest in this exercise was being my own personal archeologist. Why did I think endless mounds of cotton batten (and layers and layers of toilet paper when the cotton ran out) were necessary to protect small porcelain cats? I knew I was obsessed with Tic-tacs, but why did I pack so many empty boxes of them? Best of all was reading my grade one, two and three journals out loud to my mom, including impertinent answers written underneath the teacher's comments (journal: [something about eating a lot of hotdogs], teacher: "You might get very fat." my postscript: "No.") and one year when my teacher used such boring reward stickers that I made each one into a crazy-looking face.

I had a small obsession with little posable woodland creatures called Sylvanian Families and maintained an elaborate shoebox dwelling for them with many small and inventive homely touches (ideas ripped, no doubt, from the pages of The Borrowers and A Cricket in Times Square). Ladders made of chopsticks and toothpicks, stoves with drawn-on elements, a bath made from an oyster shell, lumpy little vests made of felt. The Sylvanian Families guys obviously had the same obsessions I did, because I found a tiny hand-drawn copy of The Phantom of the Opera on their bookshelf.

I also found a little notebook of paper that proclaimed itself as a book of secrets that only Robyn could read and any trespassers would be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. This book, of course, had nothing written in it after that proclamation.

There were middle school and high school things as well. All my old sheet music. The yearbook I faked signatures in so I would seem less uncool (which of course resulted in feeling even more uncool than before). The computer dating match-up results which recommended me to one moron, five people I didn't know and Jeremy. Projects about Whales! Egypt! Anglo-Saxons! After elementary school I stopped making weird little things so there was less to find.

I had a strange feeling looking at this stuff. It readjusted the idea I have of myself enough that I could catch a glimpse of what I must have been like as a kid without all of my self-aggrandizing or self-deprecating notions getting in the way. I was the funniest girl in grade five! I have a certificate to prove it! Maybe the secret is to try to be true to your 10-year-old self as often as you can afford to be.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Film Nerd


The temp music on the Charlotte's Web trailer is from Days of Heaven. Weird.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

The BH

Last Wednesday I had occasion to be in Beverly Hills. I overheard a man say to another man, "The biggest mistake I made was putting her on the deed to my house," other man says something indistinct, first man says back, "I can't. Not until I divorce her."

I also saw a Lamborghini drive by. It was very loud and sounded bad, like it needed a tune-up. It was probably just semi-defective in that way ridiculously expensive things can be. Ridiculousness seems to be the central concept to cars like that, unless you are driving on windy Swiss mountain roads or something.

When I was a kid, the Lamborghini Countach was one of those things my brother thought was cool, so I did too. The fanciness of the name (mysterious and unnecessary vowels!) added this unknowable, untouchable coolness to the whole idea of the thing. Not unlike Sudan Coulior, the ski run so steep you could hit your head on a mougul. When my brother skiied down Sudan as a teenager it was a feat of extreme coolness not unlike driving a Lamborghini. When he reported that the sign said "Sudan Coulior, Experts Only" with a smaller font coda: "Tighten Your Schpincter", the coolness and the ridiculouslessness got bundled up into such delightful mash.

Like fluorescent zinc oxide on your nose or jams, I feel like 80s notions of coolness are inexplicably silly in this way. Cf: Breakin' and Breakin' 2: The Electric Boogaloo. It was like a light-hearted precuser to what would later turn into grunge and then just sheer, cold irony.

So I salute you, riduculously wealthy driver of ridiculous, crappy-sounding car! Raise the goblet of ridiculosity high! It's so much more fun that disconnected irony!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

New Titles for Bob Dylan Albums

I went for a run the day before yesterday and there was puke on the track. Now THAT is exercise.

And at the grocery store I was buying a box of banana bread mix and the cashier told me about a woman who had come looking desperately for boxes of the stuff because she had enchanted all the tenants of her apartment building with the smell while neglecting to tell them she got it out of a box. There's some essential truth here about complicated webs of lies but I can't quite figure it out.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

A Wedding Story

When I lived in Gage Towers at UBC (which, if you mention to people and slur your words together, makes people think you are saying you got engaged) my 5 roommates all liked to watch a show on the Life Network called Wedding Story.

Every afternoon when I would come home to make my lunch, they'd all be hunkered down around our tiny TV as the theme music swelled and the title "A Wedding Story" was etched in white cursive over a female hand opening a giant picture album upholstered in white satin and lace. The half-hour shows were ultimately all the same. A mildly unattractive couple gets suited up in wedding clothes that look stiff and awful, the bride gets a stiff and awful hairdo and some stiff and awful makeup, there's a ceremony in which the bride and/or groom cry tears of snotty joy and the music swells again and the female hand comes back and closes the satiny album. Ahhh, another two people safetly bound in wedlock. Then there'd be another episode right after. My roommates watched this show pretty much every day. I started eating my lunch in my room.

That's where I got the idea that weddings are dumb and kind of horrific.

I went to my friend Katie's wedding a couple of weeks ago and it was neither dumb nor horrific. It was, in fact, quite lovely, and low key, full of things that just kind of happened, lovely things, and everyone looking around and smiling at each other.

I haven't really gone to a good friend's wedding before, so it was an odd feeling. The week before I helped Katie make some little paper decoration things with ribbon and it could have been 1995 and high school as we drank weird tea and CBC Two played and we sat at the kitchen table making stuff. But no, it is 2006 and we both have much better haircuts and a lot more post-graduate education.

Katie got married on Galliano Island, which is also the name of a liquoer that goes in The World's Best Drink: the Harvey Wallbanger. She had done a med school practicum there and so could be somewhat considered an islander. Galliano is one of the Gulf Islands, a grouping of small pieces of land in the Georgia Strait between the mainland of British Columbia and Vancouver Island. They are small spots of unspeakable paradise.

I went over on Friday with her dad on BC Ferries, feeling so grateful, as I always do, that I know longer work for that company. It was pouring rain and beautiful. Her mom and lots of family friends were already out at the resort, set up in the little cabins among small lakes and sheep. I helped tie up wedding favours in little cloth bags as Katie and Brendan cooked their wedding cake. Then I had a nap. It was very quiet and there were big juicy ants inside the cabins.

When I woke up I was doozy and all Katie's female friends were arriving for the wedding eve Girls' Night (which is such a sophomoric name for it, but there it is. Did we braid each other's hair and hang around in our underwear? Not telling.) It is a pleasant feeling when your friend has such good taste in friends that you like all of her friends almost immediately, especially if all of you are trying to use a tiny kitchen to reheat food. I can't help liking people who can cooperate in a small kitchen. There were some delightfully embarrassing stories of Katie told (Katie has the good fortune to be both a very serious and determined person and a very silly person at the same time. It makes for great stories.)

I bunked with Katie downstairs and said goodnight to Dr. Katie Longworth, who only the day before had been just Katie Longworth and the next day would turn into Dr. Katie McAleer.

Then I woke up about 5 a.m. and felt peculiar. Then I went to the bathroom and went totally deaf for a minute. Then I barfed a lot. Then I thought about how really cold the floor tiles where and how nice they felt on my forehead. Then Dr. Katie knocked on the door with a mug of water and my toothbrush and diagnosed me with classic food poisoning. Later there was more barfing with rests in between. When I woke up at 10 Katie was in the front room getting her hair done by a fabulous hairdresser who was threatening to give her 80s bangs. I sacked up, had a shower, ate three crackers and drank some tea, looked out the window at the rain and was ready to hike down the trail with the rest of female footsoldiers of wedding attendance at 11.

Nothing like a walk in a wet forest for a quivering stomach. Two people had the wedding dress in a plastic garment bag that they carried over their heads through the wet bushes on the trail. We had sandwiches and I guess someone must have been carrying the tents. We were all wearing raincoats and muddy boots. We found a firebelly newt on the trail and held it for a while. It got clearer and clearer as we walked. When we got the ocean it was mildly sunny. Some people went to go set up the tents for Katie and Brendan to change in. Some of the other guests started coming down the trail. People sat on logs on the beach and looked at the ocean. Kids ran around.

When it was time we went out on the to point of land and bunched up in a ring and made sure no one stepped in the sinkhole and then Katie came walking up in her wedding dress with her parents and sister and it is a shock to see someone who used to wear red waffleknit one-piece long underwear with jeanshorts with paint on them to school, someone who you have aided and abetted in dying one half of the hair on their head bright red and the other half bright blue, only to shave it all off for them at the end of the summer, someone who used to get another ear piercing for every December we spent in Victoria walk up in a totally pretty dress looking so wonderfully shining and pretty it's like she finally looks like herself.

And the sun came out and lovely things were said and people cried and we all sang a song and then they were married and the photographer was getting pictures of them and everyone stood around looking at the ocean and enjoying the sunshine. Later people started walking back. I was supposed to take the one tent on the beach down with a couple people and we did but then we got distracted by the rock formations that looked like humpback whales and we started finding crabs and urchins in the tidal pools and Sarah slipped and got one boot all wet.

That night during dinner many of the relatives, including those from Ireland stood up and spoke. There was a little man named Patrick O'Shea who looked like a garden gnome taking polaroids of everyone. "There we go," he'd say, getting a nice-looking young couple to sit down on a bench. "This is for Play-boy". There was a triple rainbow during dessert.

After dinner no one wanted to dance, which was deeply disappointing, because why else do you go to weddings but to dance? I had five noble comrades in this belief and we danced as everyone wandered back to their cabins at 11:30. We had a wine bottle each to sustain us, and periodic visits from the Huskiest Huskey in the World, who waddled bashfully in and out of the room through the night. A number of polaroid pictures can prove this. At 2:30 two Champions of the Party wandered down the trail to the ocean (in their dresses!) to go swimming in the phosphorescence.

The next day dawned painful, but if you've never ridden a ferry hungover then you can't rightly call yourself a westcoaster. Riding home in the backseat of someone else's car with the window down and the radio up and dirty feet under my socks, I decided to recind my earlier prejudice and decree that weddings could steer safely around the treacherous coasts of horror and dumbness and actually end up being pretty darn genuine.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

By Air

Today's flight from Vancouver to LA was a great parable of how fucked up flying has gotten now that the airline industry keeps, uh, crashing. I flew up on Alaska, but then was supposed to be on United to come back down, but then that got shifted to Air Canada, and there was a moment at check-in where the woman was visibly getting prepped to tell me that I didn't have a booking when whoops! there it is! Gate-switching for departure, delay, and even gate shifting for arrival, in which we taxi up to the gate and then get informed (in English and French- ah how I miss Canada) that we're going to toodle on over to another gate after all.

And the man sitting behind me on the flight was troubled by my seatback being so waaaaay far back, but instead of just asking me to move it forward he made guttural sounds of frustration and bumped against the seat back a lot and even briefly put his open laptop on the top of the seatback. Awesome. Then he complained to the flight attendant. Then I punched him in the face.

When they separate girls and boys for PE in middle school the boys should have to do a unit called "Your Feelings: You Can Actually Talk About Them!". Sorry. Just saying.

No, actually, sleepiness seemed to couch all of travel hecticness in a soft bubble of dozy fleece, perhaps something akin to what post-partum might feel like (as described by my friend's wife)(who has a baby)(and is younger than me).

After Vancouver in May, which is, uh, heaven? (even the rain is like Miltonic dew) I wasn't really looking forward to LA heat and dirt. Actually, I really wasn't looking forward to it. I was trying not to think about it. But then, today, something about the cracked sidewalk as I walked to the apartment seemed very much exactly what I know and also where I want to be.

(Also, to be truthful, sometimes the Vancouver May rain is more like Miltonic hellfire but wet, and it seeps up through the cracks in your shoes)

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

A Doff of the Cap to the Cap'n of the Jack-A-Roe

So the other day I'm with my dad looking for small brass hinges for my friends' wedding present that he is building (and I am apprentice-sanding and staining) and we go to this shop, this fantastic shop, it's called Martin Marine and it's so nautical I can't even believe it. First of all, it's down by the shipyards, and I'm not talking bout no fucking yachtclub pleasurejaunt mooring area, I mean the shipyards: giant rusted hulks of boats in eternal drydock under giant rusted shedroofs and rusted metal crap lying around everywhere and shipshape little tugs bobbing out beyond and that knarly old oily salt dock smell making your sealegs ache. Nautical.

There's a hole in the glass sign like someone once threw a rock through it. Inside, the shelves stretch back over a grey-painted floor that's in need of a swabbing. The floor is uneven and the shelves ride the crests and troughs under fluorescent lights. I walk back there and whoa lordy, if there ain't holes in the floor patched with giant, sagging swaths of plywood that bows as I walk across it. Come to think of it, these aren't so much holes as large rectangles, bigger than the front door. What's below? Kegs of grog, no doubt. Sacks of limes.

My dad and I look for hinges in complicated rows of little cardboard bins. There's a hinge or a hook or a screw taped to the outside of the each box that would seem to indicate its contents, but upon inspection the boxes contain something close to the taped sample, but not exactly what you are looking for. The propetier joins us in the back and when the phone rings all the way at the front of the store, he whips a handset from a hidden pocket and answers it.

I wander off and consider borrowing twenty bucks for the navvy blue cap with an English flag flowing across the front with the bold caption: "ENGLAND EXPECTS..."

My dad finds not only the right hinges but three of them and matching screws that sit delightfully flush with the hinge when shut. Clever dad.

We get back in the car; I salute as we pull away.

THEN, not a DAY LATER, I get an email from the desk of one Henry Lebo, father of one Sarah Holmes Lebo. It contained one thing and one thing only. The pictue below, with the note "for Robyn".

Dads. They just know.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

O Transition

Aside from telling you all about my Tyler Durden-esque, start-a-fight-with-a-stranger episode in Starbucks, in which my well-honed understanding of how to spot an insane, beyond-logic customer and neutralize them with a single zinger brought me to a higher plane sheer joy (holyshittylerdurdenwastotallyright),

I will tell you that: the film I've been working on producing has kinda sorta folded, given that our Production Designer went crazy and quit and our director's car got totalled, All In One Day (which makes me think that maybe he should making a movie about that instead of about, uh, what the movie is actually about), so I'm packing it in and flying north to the green shores of my homeland.

Impromptu (about two weeks before I was supposed to go) and exciting.

Also, tonight my lovely new MacBook Pro has decided work quite well and connect to the internet, so I'm in the process of transfering my files from the old giant box of viruses onto this slim and smooth machine of wonders via Rajeev's ipod. Brillo. It takes 25 minutes to download something from my old PC and 2 minutes to upload it to the new computer.

Fare well, old PC. We had some good times. You got me through the final draft of my thesis, and I'll never forget you for that. Thanks Aniz for building that computer (and the one before that). I'm now a Mac person. Adieu! Adieu! Adieu!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

007 Vocab Intensive

During my James Bond final exam last night, here is a list of words that students in the class put their hand up and asked, out loud in front of everyone, for the TA to define:

1) Paradoxical
2) Obsequious
3) Cad

To the SAT people: it's obviously not working.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Toilets, Windows and Floors with Jan Wong

Jan Wong is a writer best known for her series of columns in The Globe and Mail called Lunch With Jan Wong. While these columns ran, they were justification for buying the weekend paper, and my roommates and I often read them aloud to each other and cackled. As it sounds, Lunch With Jan Wong involves Jan Wong having lunch with someone famous, and then writing about it. Writing about what they ordered, how they ate it, how much salt they put on their food, how they treated the server, basically all these things that we, or at least I, most want to know about people. And then she would ask them the most audacious questions. Seemingly with the intent to piss them off. Most people got brutally skewered by her combination of observation, juxtaposition of facts, and straight-up rudeness. The only people she liked were the genuinely sweet people (the guy involved in the Walkerton, Ontario E.coli thing) and the trashmasters (a matriach of a Canadian wrestling dynasty, a disgraced beauty queen).

You can read more about her here.

Lunch With Jan Wong ended because, presumably, no one would eat lunch with her ever again. I think part of the indignation of her interviewees has to do with her being female and asian and also a ballsy reporter. Wow! What an unexpected combination!

Anyway, Jan Wong has just completed a series in the Globe called Maid for a Month in which she spends a month living an approximation of the lifestyle of the single parent making minimum wage in Canada. It's some good reporting. Check it out.

I love her, even though she would totally tear me a new one if we ever had lunch.

Monday, April 24, 2006


A couple months ago I sat in on a class where Nicole Holofcener talked. She was so, well, lovely and amazing. She had the knives out for bullshit, especially industry bullshit, she sounded like she had a lot of her priorities straight, she was capable of not talking shit about people or sounding impossibly conceited, she was realistic about what she is able to accomplish artistically vs. paying the bills, she pays the bills, and she writes movies for a living. In short, sitting in a room hearing her talk for an hour and a half or so made me think that it really would be possible to write for the pictures and have a semi-normal life too. A Galadriel phial of hope.

Then in James Bond class the other night this writer came in to talk who was the most poisonous bundle of obnoxious arrogance I have ever learned to hate in such a short space of time. Within 45 seconds of introducing himself, he was mudslinging on Ben Stiller. Names a-plenty were dropped and credit was taken. Particular character names and specific lines were repeated and declared funny, proclaimed unfunny previous to his re-write, and declared funny funny funny once again. The nerd anger was so strong in this man it came off like stink lines in a comic book. Never have I wanted to be a writer less than listening to him.

Just like your mom said, "everyone's different". Let's all raise a glass to not turning into a complete asshole.

Child Actors

I'm producing a thesis film and we're auditioning for the role of Theresa, protagonist's daughter, age 11 to 13. Child actors, man. Wow.

Exhibit A:

The pageboy-haircut bespectacled little dear perches eagerly in her chair. Our director asks her about a musical pageant on her resume. "Yup! It's all about the story of L. Ron Hubbard and it's like a pageant, like a Christmas one, except it's about L. Ron Hubbard and everything that happened to him and there was lots of songs and I sang and it was really cool."

Exhibit B:

Beautiful long curly hair on this kid, who I introduce myself to and usher into the room, only when this child walks up to the director, the words that come out are, "So, I'm a boy and I'm auditioning for Theresa. Did you want me to do the audition in a girl's voice or a boy's voice?" After the stunned silence of Crying-Game shock recedes, our gallant director says, "Uh, just be a boy, man." I spend the rest of this kid's audition trying to figure out if he is wearing makeup or not. Verdict: yes.

Exhibit C:

Tiny six-year-old comes in to read for the part. She's the last audition at 8pm. She can't read yet, so she's memorized the lines with the help of her parents. Her parents inform us that she's been up since 5am because she was shooting another project. Wow, we say, uncomfortable with all of it, the trailer-trash mom who refuses to sit in on the audition, the thought of a six-year-old playing a character written for a twelve-year-old, the thought of how long this kid has been at work already today, "What was the other project about?" Kid: "Child abuse."

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Get Down With The Sickness

So those celebrity people had their baby and the paramedics just pulled up outside and took away the pregnant lady across the street. I know cause I stood at the window and watched. All these big burly men in navy blue t-shirts and fire-fighting pants were wandering around and then they brought her out on the gurney. She was lying on her side and they had trouble getting the gurney inside the ambulance. They rammed it into the back of the ambulance again and again and the legs wouldn't collapse and her body was shifting on the gurney every time they drove metal into metal and finally the legs gave way and they shut the doors on her. Then the burly men shook the hand of the man who came out of the house, got back into their ambulance and fire truck and drove away.

If it's gross and scary to read this, think how she must have felt.

In related news, I've decided that this wave of all our favourite celebs getting pregnant is going to give way to all of our favourite celebs breaking their forearms. This may sound bizarre, but I feel like I've seen an inordinately high number of forearm casts on campus lately. It really is a pretty easy leap from pregnancy, in fetish terms. Body modification: check. Pain and feebleness involved: check. Fun to decorate: check. See, anorexia went out because it's not as much fun to accesorize as a baby bump. Sign my cast!