Saturday, March 28, 2009

TGI... what Van Helsing is on again?

Happy weekend folks. I give you...Pomeranian puppies.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Immeasurable relief

Early this morning, which was not made easier by west coast jet lag, I snuck a few minutes from my morning routine to check that Hugh Laurie is still married. This is odd, I know. Yesterday, after two episodes of House, for some reason I remembered reading some interview with Hugh Laurie about the hardships of living in the US with his family in the UK. And Hugh Laurie, I want him to stay married. I know this should be a matter of indifference to me; but I do take breakups personally and I grew up with Laurie playing silly parts in many enjoyable hours of tv, and he’s friends with Stephen Fry, and he seems like a nice bloke, and if he ever gets divorced it will be all…Housey. Much as I enjoy the series, I would like real life Hugh Laurie to be chipper. Reasonably happy. Normal. I would like for him not to fall prey to Hollywood vagaries. Is that too much to ask? Thank you.

I have mentioned before that I am a tiny bit obsessive. My interest, usually a lazy thing, will gently accumulate until it reaches critical mass and then roll on at breakneck speeds until it wears itself out, or until the object of the obsession runs out (alas Snapecast!). So when I realized that I was contemplating watching House online to soothe my new craving, I knew that after a period of relative quiet, we were here again. Frankly, it is not a big jump from cranky smartass Snape to cranky smartass House, bereft, I hope, of the final sentimentality that so fatally affected the late Snape. And for my Spouse, who so vehemently objects to Gregory House, let me state – love, they have full episodes on Hulu. I will watch them while you play Final Fantasy. It’s a win-win.

For the record, no, Hugh Laurie is still not sexy. I don’t care about him beating George Clooney. I don’t fancy George Clooney either. Now, Jesse Spencer and Robert Sean Leonard, well, I have a place in my heart for them since olden times, when RSL was in Dead Poets Society and Spencer in, yes, Neighbours. Because we all have to be fifteen sometime.

Rarely, when they are right

USA (the channel, not the country) claims that watching House helps deal with the trauma that is the end of the weekend. I think they may be right. It has the right combination of pain, suffering, dark humour, detective work and curiously attractive doctors.

Yes, I am back from California. Back to regular office work.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Books

Hah! Another quiet evening at home. Well, actually, yesterday wasn’t exactly relaxing, since I don’t find ironing relaxing, and I somehow got sucked into trying to organize the giant mess that is my wardrobe, which also wasn’t relaxing, and wasn’t what I had in mind when yesterday I thought “Hah! A quiet evening at home.”

It has been a long time since I spent much money on books – I generally borrow them, get them for free (huzzah Bookthing!) or pay some small amount for second hand books. Recently I have been rapidly making up for lost time, though, thanks to two almost entirely opposed types of bookstore: Audible.com, facilitator of audiobooks and companion of my cleaning and dishwashing hours, and the local kids' books store, the kind of bookstore that made me love bookstores when I was little. Every time I walk in there, I find myself walking out again with a small pile of books. ”It’s ok” I tell myself “you’re supporting local business.” Before I walk out, I stand at the register, in front of one of two people who work there, and she (both are women) asks me if I want it wrapped, though I never do. It is as if she wants me to buy things for cute small relatives, and not hog all the books like I’m five.

Well.

The thing is that if my cute small relatives did speak English, which they don’t, I would send them piles of books. Packages would leave the post office every week. And I would buy stacks of them for myself. They don’t speak English. I don’t explain this; I just say that I don’t want it wrapped.

Audible started off innocently enough, as an experiment of a fairly formal nature; but I got sucked in and will now never get away. They will charge me fourteensomethingdollars and I will spend hours agonising over which audiobook to get, and then get two more and pay extra, because I can, I tell myself, I’ve deserved it. It is not entirely clear which of my many accomplishments qualified me, but surely one of them does.

For the first time since college I read a book a week. It seems like a good thing, though I probably have all the vocabulary I’m going to need. I already confuse people quite enough with this dictionary-licking word-junkie stuff.

Travelling

I just finished Neil Gaiman’s American Gods. Maybe that’s why I have been having such strange dreams recently. It’s a good book, irreverent and, I suspect, funny. I say “suspect” because it does not make me laugh; the humour is not entirely congenial; but at the same time I can see it there.

Anyway. Books – I found this quote today, one I used sometime on someone:

“So if you're arriving, welcome, and if you're on your way out, return again soon, and just think of how good the rain was for your complexion and how green the world truly is”

It’s from Douglas Coupland’s City of Glass, one of my most treasured possessions, and one which I somehow failed to bring to the US. It’s about Vancouver, and not a guidebook exactly, more like a picture book, like someone showing you their favourite restaurant. The specific quote is actually about YVR, Vancouver’s airport.

YVR. I flew into it on a rainy (in Vancouver) 1st of January, and after sixteen hours of travel had to get my student visa from an immigration officer. The person in front of me in the immigration line spoke only Chinese. It felt surreal to be in this place I had signed up for going to before finding it on the map. It could have been traumatic; I have other, similar experiences to compare it to now, and I am even more surprised than I was then that I had the energy to find it beautiful. A beautiful airport, it seems like such an oxymoron. How can a non-place be beautiful? I think it was because it had real things in it; people things. The one thing I remember was Bill Reid’s The Spirit of Haida Gwaii. I didn’t know anything about Bill Reid or First Nations, or even Canada, but I remember stopping, touching. I probably wasn’t supposed to but it was too late – I already felt welcome.

It is almost spring here, and I’m waiting for something to happen. I feel like I’ve just shoved my last change (“two dollars and twenty-seven cents January 17, 1956”, right?) into a black box and I’m not even sure it’s working. I’m listening for a whirring sound but nothing happens.