Tuesday, November 28, 2006


It snowed. A lot. This being Vancouver, the entire city is somewhat incapacitated; buses were running on altered routes so as to avoid hills, cars were getting marooned in roads, and trees were splitting or just coming down wholesale because of the weight (yes, even our trees are ill-suited to snow).

The good news is: snow! Pretty!

I have to admit, the snow has made things more difficult for me; it made getting to the Stones concert difficult, getting to work (and home again) difficult, and getting to Laura's to make cookies (lemon-poppyseed, so tasty) difficult. But I still love it. The world is white, and clean, and so long as our furnace keeps working, I'm warm and toasty inside, looking at it all. Plus, it just feels like winter. I've gotten out my old Christmas CDs, and am listening to Mariah, Britney (I like it) and Bing Crosby Christmas songs. Once I find the Charlie Brown CD, I'll be listening to that. Christmas! Snow! Weee!

Monday, November 27, 2006


I went to the Stones concert on Saturday night, and it was spectacular. More later, when my brain works. Just know that I had no idea, and that I may now love Mick Jagger, even though he's really really really old.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Banking Relief

Yesterday I got a crash course in RRSPs and investing (thank you Tom of TD), and feel slightly more grown up, knowing how things work. I've also started saving up money, although it's not going into an RRSP, which after my concentrated learning session, now makes perfect sense.

I love going to the bank and actually getting something constructive out of it (and also not getting yelled at for being in debt. Ah, solvency!). Numbers are so straightforward, there're no surprises so long as you understand the terms. It's so...organized. When I walk out I feel like a part of my life has just been uncluttered, and I can just leave it to take care of itself (within reason, obviously). It's a great feeling. Now I just need to get more money so I can feel it more...

Monday, November 20, 2006

Faster or Slower

I used to babysit quite a lot. Now, most of the kids I babysat are getting to the age where they don't really need a babysitter. They're certainly beyond the age of needing a story for bed. But I remember one girl, who I used to babysit once a week; her "favourite" book would change up about once a month. I expect that for that entire month, she heard that story at least once a day, because when I read her her story, she sometimes knew what was coming before I'd even flipped the page. But she loved the book, no matter what it was. She wanted to turn every page, faster and faster, even if it I hadn't gotten the words out yet, and sometimes she was turning them in the wrong direction. And when I got to the last page, if she didn't think it had ended conclusively enough, she'd try to turn the page that wasn't there, and she'd ask "And then what?" She was chasing the end of the story.

I feel like I'm chasing the end of the story sometimes. Maybe it's just time to slow. down.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Water Issues

We're no longer allowed to drink tap water, here in Vancouver. It's a boil-only zone. Thankfully (for compliance rates, anyhow) it's easy to see why; turn on your tap, and a murky, brown-tinged liquid spouts forth. It's pretty clear that this would be an excellent time to travel away from Vancouver; sadly, I suffer a lack of funds. So instead I will trudge through the rain and cold here, waiting for the day when I'm not wondering if a shower will result in me being more dirty than I started. Although come to think of it, it's funny that I'm so concerned about all this; while I was in India, monsoons created rivers of what I can only call...not water in the roads calf-deep, and having no other option than to wade through it, I barely batted an eye. So how bad can this be, really?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Windy! And Money.

Here in Vancouver we've been having, as Pooh would put it, a blustery day. Honestly, I haven't noticed that the wind has been all that intense, but several downed trees, power outages, and one in-construction building-collapse indicate that it has indeed been quite the storm. As such, I will be sleeping on the couch tonight, so as to distance myself from the potential tree of death that stands outside my bedroom.

Well, I've dealt with the windy, now let's move on to the money. I'm 23. Being 23, I know that retirement is a long, long way off. That being said, I'm far too pragmatic to not be thinking about RRSPs. However, I know basically nothing about them. I know far more about the (irrelevant to me, because I'm not American) 401(k) plan, which, thank you Oprah, should I ever move to the US I know that I will benefit from your guestspeakers' tutelage. However, Canada has no Oprah, no one explaining to me how our retirement plans work. I've read some online, and I think I have the basics, but how does one choose? Is one bank better than another? Because sadly, the chances that the BMO website is going to tell me that TD is better are pretty slim. And can the bank make me contribute without really noticing? I know you ca do that whole "automatic monthly deduction" thing on a certain day of the month, but you know what? That doesn't really work for me. What I need is for you to automatically take out, say, 10% of every deposit I make. That way the money goes in, and I don't have the risk of pulling it out at an inopportune moment, like, say, right before that day when you're about to make your monthly deduction. And then I NSF. And yes, I did have a horrible experience with your deducting when I was 12, why do you ask? That red, negative number on my bank statement scarred me for life, and I blame my strange banking neurosis on that experience. And I hate you.

I have an appointment to discuss all this with a financial advisor next week. We'll see how that goes.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Long Weekend

Remembrance Day has always been a strange one for me. I love that everyone wears poppies, although this year it seemed like there were less out and about...maybe what with the gross weather, more are getting lost? And I love that we have this holiday, because I definitely think it's important to acknowledge it. But you can't really say to someone "Happy Remembrance Day". It seems disrespectful. So what I want to know is how do we acknowledge the holiday in casual conversation that day? Other than wearing the poppy, going to a ceremony and observing silence, what is there? I feel like we need something a little less formal, something everyone can do within their family life.

This weekend has been rather successful. I've partied with friends, made dinner with friends, had several fun long distance calls, and today, I had coffee and hung out with a friend who just got back from Ethiopia (how cool is that?), and discussed books and movies, and also my apparent inability to notice other people's weight fluctuations (seriously, I am so, so bad at that game. It's pretty appalling).

I've also been reading a lot of quotes from Scrubs, The Office, and Arrested Development, while bored with nothing to do, and god do I need to watch all the episodes to those shows, right now. So, so good. Sigh. For an endless expense account.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Weather, The News, and 3 Birds

I'm thankful I'm not working today, because frankly, it is disgusting outside. Raining and cold in the most awful way. My brother is working, but I don't feel too bad for him, because he suckered me into giving him a ride there.

This week has been full of good news, especially South of the border; Democrats won both Houses (woooo!), Rumsfeld stepped down (woooo!), and Britney has turned back towards the light, somehow escaping the black hole of suckitude that is KFed (WOOOOOO!). Considering the headlines that have been running on this topic ("Britney Files for Divorce, Fans Weep with Joy"), I almost feel bad for him. No, wait, I really really don't. And yes, the Britvorce gets the biggest cheer; US Government may have a larger global impact, but the Britvorce is proof that you can change your mind on even the biggest of screwed up decisions.

A friend of mine is having a turducken (a chicken, stuffed into a duck, stuffed into a turkey), and I'm very excited to hear about it next week, because
a) I have no idea how one prepares a turducken
b) I'm even more confused as to how one carves a turducken
c) Until now, I always thought a turducken was just a myth. It's like seeing a dragon! Without the part where I get burnt to a cinder.
Anyhow, as a turducken consists of three fowl, when asked my "expert" (hers and my quotation marks, so I can't be offended) opinion on what wine to serve, I went with a Pinot Noir. Because even while trying not to drink the stuff, you pick up a few things.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


I have a problem. Every time I put a book back on my shelf, I take at least one off of it. More often, I'll take two or three books off. By employing the basic math we all learned in elementary school, one can see that this leads to the number of books off my shelf growing with each interaction.

Now, to be fair, my bookshelf benefits from this greatly; it's been overflowing for months, and that's with a large number of the books being...elsewhere. However, the space of floor directly next to my bed (I lack nightstands) gets the short end of the stick. It rarely sees the light of day, thanks to my seemingly uncontrollable behavioural pattern. And does this make me want to get rid of my books? make some attempt to control the clutter? No! All I want is more books!

That being said, I've just finished reading Lost in a Good Book, by Jasper Fforde. It's a great romp (I'm not a huge fan of the word, but it does fit best, here) of a book, although I'd recommend reading the prequel, The Eyre Affair, first. I didn't know there was a prequel, so now I'm going to have to hunt it down; nonetheless, Lost was a very enjoyable way to spend an afternoon.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Oh. My. God.

Finally. Please let it be true, please let it be true, please let it be true.

Monday, November 06, 2006


Is it just me, or is this incredibly romantic?

Uh Oh

"...His mother, Vivian, noticed that whenever something upset him, Bob would head for the safety of his room in their modest, two-bedroom bungalow on Neva Street and immerse himself in books."
- excerpt from The Bureau and the Mole

According to this book, I'm well on my way to becoming a double agent, handing out national secrets like Domino's flyers.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Life of Late

Mom and Dad: Bye kids! Have fun at home for the next three and a half weeks while we traipse across Australia and New Zealand!
J-Bird and Bro: Bye!

four days later
J-Bird: Hey bro, do you smell gas? Can you call the gas company and have them test for a leak?
Bro: So the gas guy came. The smell? Less gas, and more the smell of meat one of us left out of the freezer, which the gas guy found. So...that was embarrassing.
J-Bird: Ha! I can't believe I missed that! Uh, we may want to keep this whole episode quiet, then. Mom'd freak if she knew we did that.
Bro: Not so much an option, you didn't let me finish. The gas guy decided to test our furnace anyway, and when he fired it up, it shot a two-foot long jet of fire out, right at the door. It was kinda scary.
J-Bird: You screamed like a girl, didn't you?
Bro: Maybe. That's not the point. Basically it was going to burn our house down, so the guy cut the gas off. We have no heat, and we need a new furnace. Oh, and mom and dad don't get home for three weeks.
J-Bird: Dammit!

intermittently, throughout the next three weeks
J-Bird or Bro: It's so freaking cold!

J-Bird: Hi C! Can I ask you a HUGE favour? ...can I use your shower?

Bro: I've decided to use the open oven to heat the house.

Bro: I'm going to [Girlfriend's name]'s house tonight.
J-Bird: I HATE that you have a girlfriend with a heated house.
Bro: You're just jealous cause you don't have a boyfriend with a warm house.
J-Bird: Yes. That was my point.

On my birthday
T and J-Bird: Everyone, we're taking pole-dancing classes!

Instructor: Hi everyone! Get yourselves settled, and then we'll get started!
Peek: Just so you know, I'm awkward.
Instructor: ...

Zelly: Does anyone else feel like our instructor is over-qualified for us?
Peek: She's my hero!

Robot Chicken
Dragon: I hope you can asexually reproduce!

On the phone, with Tessa, tonight
J-Bird: We just need to find a guy who can penetrate her shell!
Tessa: (snicker) Interesting choice of terms.
J-Bird: Huh? Oh. I'm tired! And also, I can't believe you caught that, I wouldn't have noticed at all if you hadn't said anything!
Tessa: What can I say? I'm twelve.
J-Bird: A twelve year old wouldn't even know what that meant. You're a frat boy.
Tessa: Well you should know.
J-Bird: Sigh. I know.