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.