Thursday, 29 September 2011

Casino Blah

Two mornings ago, a day when I had two classes arriving for a programme first thing, and another in the afternoon, there was a fatal motorcycle crash just outside the entrance to where I work. The police had a long stretch of road leading up to it cordoned off for most of the day, so I got to learn a new back way that I would never have thought existed. Live and learn. Except for the motorcyclist who was pronounced dead at the scene. The thought of that haunted me, someone's child, lover, parent, probably going to work first thing in the morning, and never returning.

Today, I had to go to collect my renewed Permanent Resident card from somewhere in the over-priced bowels of Vancouver. Actually, more like the appendix.
The young man at the counter asked me why I hadn't yet applied for citizenship, since I was illegible. Yep, he said that, he didn't say eligible, he said, illegible.
Remembering I was in Canada, I swallowed back the sharp reply, smiled sweetly, and said I was going to get onto it straight away. And I will, since Kevin keeps reminding me and it will make crossing the border easier still.

I went from there to YVR to update the information on my NEXUS card. The skytrain goes right into the airport, it's well thought out.
A German tourist who was trying to buy a ticket from the machine, asked me if I could split a $50 note. Again I swallowed back my sharp reply and simply told him I didn't have any cash. This was true, and I rarely have as much as $50 on me.

Coming back to Richmond, you have to change at the station that overlooks the Casino. This is the most painless train change I can imagine, you simply step across the platform and an electronic reader board tells you that the next train will arrive in 4 minutes. Done.
The Casino, sorry, Casino Resort, boasts all sorts of facilities, also increases the crime in the area by a factor of something like 500%.
There is some kind of entertainment place there where tired old celebs whose names we've all long since forgotten, come to earn their crust. Forthcoming attractions include Mitzi Gaynor and Matt Goss.
I rest my case.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Rain and Telly

Monday, and madre mia is it wet. Wet and blustery. And my day off. Whisky and I were scheduled for walkies but it was rained off. I have seen some quite astonishing driving today.

We watched the first episode of the US version of Prime Suspect. It has Maria Bello as Helen Mirren's character. Of course, Maria Bello is exceptionally good, but Helen Mirren she ain't. And I guess that Mirren's Jane Tennyson and Bello's Jane Timoney are quite different characters. The premiss of the US version seems to be a woman detective trying to be accepted in amongst a bunch of male detectives. Now, whilst inequality in the workplace due to gender are most certainly alive and kicking, the extent of the hostility in Prime Suspect, really does seem to be more a mark of the 70s. I dunno. Another police drama, but I think it's playing too heavily on the name. We'll see, I'll give it a few more episodes.

We also watched Bridesmaids, which I enjoyed, but I felt that rumours of the inherent feminism were rather over-hyped. Maya Rudolph's character's wedding was still being paid for by daddy, and I do mean daddy, not parents. It was fun, but it wasn't the sensation I'd been led to believe. Melissa McCarthy was undoubtedly the unintended star though.

Friday, 23 September 2011

The Schedule

Haven't taken any pics recently, although I am now getting used to my new routine, so here's a random picture of Mae West,
'I used to be Snow White, but I drifted.'

Ah, the Autumn TV scheduling. It hath commenced. And there are some new goodies. Zooey Deschanel's new comedy 'New Girl' was funny, as was Christina Applegate's and Amy Poehler's bloke's, (my, how many genitives can you get in one sentence?) whatever his name is, but the sitcom's called 'Up All Night'.

There was another thing that started, I forget its name, what it was about or who was in it, but it was shit, don't watch it.

Michael Tuesdays and Thursdays appeared dull at first, but picked up.

Harry's back, in 'Harry's Law', and just as awesome, only I don't like that they've moved to a bigger office. We don't like that, we discussed it.

New series of Modern Family - fab as ever. As for the rest, I feel it's my duty to watch and report.

As well as Justin Bieber forever lurking, as mentioned yesterday, every bus stop seems to have a rather creepy picture of Simon Cowell signalling the start of X-Factor over here. Quite unnecessary in my opinion. No-one needs that. 

And, out in the real world, rampant misogyny continues unabated. In India, girls are being denied heart surgery by their parents because they would rather spend the money on their boys. Also, scars from heart surgery might be detrimental to the girls' marriage prospects.
Oh, shucks. Perhaps those girls should go and become heart surgeons. 

Good freaking grief.

Herewith, a trailer for the film about the life of Women's Rights activist and author Alice Walker 'Beauty in Truth'.

At ease.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Lurking and Crawling

Here comes the rain again. It has that heaviness normally associated with November.
And as in November, the light from the shops draws you in from the gloom. In Shoppers' Drug Mart, life-sized cardboard Justin Bieber lurks and watches you.

The dumpster in the car park has a huge sign declaring that banned items are not allowed. Gaagh.

On the way home, two stretches along Route 91 westbound are crawled in second gear, still, not parked, like the eastbound stream. Made worse though by Bryan Adams on the radio, really, there's no call for that.

At home, Kevin is making the adjustments easier, sharing the work without my having to even say anything, like moving wordlessly into a different dance.

The mornings when I do the tours at the Nature Reserve, I'm finding out about hockey habits. We meet in the car park of Planet Ice. We use their loos.
Before the kids were back at school, small boys would arrive, lugging sports bags bigger than themselves. On Saturday, 'Coach Kim' teaches little girls to skate. Today, two teams of men, all ages, turned up. Yes, men play hockey on a Wednesday morning, I wonder if their other halves think they're at work.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Genie, Bottle, Go

Still trying to get that genie back into the bottle. She'll go eventually. Although it seems a bit harsh really, putting sentient other-dimensional beings into bottles.

So, we're on puppy poop watch again. Whisky ate 8 earplugs last week, all in one go. They are re-appearing gradually. Good thing they're bright orange.

Today is my day off, so I've spent it trying to do everything around the house and un-garden, oh and car, that I didn't do last week. I'm still not there yet, but I think I've broken the beast's back.

At the weekend, we had rain, glorious, thumping, pouring, rain. The ground no longer looks parched and at least at night and first thing in the morning, the temperatures have been lower. By this afternoon though, I could have done with wearing my cozzie.

And finally, finally, on Friday, I received a letter from the PR card people telling me I have an appointment on 29th September. Canadian border services seemed pretty pleased about that. The US border services seemed less happy. Not to do with me, but they seemed to be having problems. The computer system chose Friday at around 19.00 to reboot. This caused way more problems than can possibly be imagined. For example, this was the 'every three month' visit to secondary inspection to get my visa waiver re-done. And the big problem came when anyone went to pay. The credit card machine was down, the machine that gave you change wouldn't work, and in the middle of it all, the Cascades train arrived.

An absolutely brilliant commentary on some kind of North American food(ish) product called 'Slim Jims' (only for men).
Read it and weep :)

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Freedom is in Peril

Isn't it always?

Today I had the disconcerting experience of a very, very angry teacher calling me at the office and wondering why I wasn't standing beside her waiting to do the nature talk-and-walk. I can understand why she was angry, but there was nothing to tell me there had been a booking.  The offices are also about a quarter of an hour's drive from the Nature Reserve, but I got in the car and drove, hoping to goodness that the insane traffic jam that I'd witnessed on the opposite side of the road coming in, had cleared. It had. By the end the teacher was smiling, singing and generally in a much better mood. I never got to the bottom of the booking mystery however.

I'm also fairly astonished that people think there are still bears there (there were, but they were removed some years ago, because the encroaching road was stressing their habitat and thus behaviour), and yet they are still prepared to allow their students to wander round. Too much Yogi Bear I think. I'm not sure whether they think I'm the Park Ranger, and should there be any trouble I'll just whip out a picker-nic basket from my rucksack or simply that I have some secret knowledge that will keep the bears away. If I meet any, I'd have to rely on confusing them with Existential arguments the same as anyone else.

Still, I enjoyed my walk, enjoyed the class, who seemed none the worse for having waited over an hour, and enjoyed the rest of my day.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Keep Calm and Carry On

Adjusting to my new schedule. Still adjusting I suppose. I had to go to the hairdresser's in the evening, instead of a Tuesday afternoon, but it was relaxing, nice, no-one else in.

And getting used to the changes on Blogger, which seems to have undergone the sort of overhaul that small creatures in chrysalises go through.

Anyroad, I received a Keep Calm and Carry On birthday card, which I loved. 

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Autumn Air

The clouds have come in and the temperature has dropped, not much, but enough to make a difference. With the nights drawing in, there is a definite autumnal feeling in the air. This evening we took Whisky for a long walk in and beyond the off-leash park and at dusk we saw this single cricket clinging to a blade of grass.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

11th September 2011

Full moon.
Hottest day of the year.
My 54th birthday.
We're sitting out on the balcony and there's a turkey in the oven.

This morning, I sat in bed with my coffee and waffles and read my greetings on Facebook and thought about how I enjoyed that tecnological progress has led us to this. Pleasant memories of opening paper envelopes on my birthday, but happy to be in a different world now.
A bumper sticker on a car in Blaine, Washington last week, proclaimed that Hatred is NOT a Family Value. And how true. How much the parties that call for a return to family values, in fact preach hatred. I'm not pretending I don't hate, because I do, everyone knows the things and kinds of people I hate, but I don't keep harping on about Family Values, nor do I believe there is any such thing.

Today, this time, this place, this headspace, good to be in. 

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

On the Boardwalk

A long weekend down at The Static, which was very pleasant indeed, then back on the boardwalk today. Not literally you understand, today I've been finding my way around and writing stuff, but I'll be presenting programmes soon enough, Monday in fact.

In the meantime..... a superb and concise post at The F-Word, about the same old arguments we get given for why Feminists are wrong. Lovely, I recognise them all.

And from 'Good Health', a post on how marriage affects women and men differently, women tend to put on weight and (some) men use this as an excuse for leaving their partners, and after the divorce, they put on the weight, but do not suffer the social stigma that women do. What-ho Jeeves, didn't see that one coming. Much.

The air has a pleasantly 'autumn is just around the corner' feel to it, although the days remain hot, and at present, getting hotter.

Whisky is coming to terms with being on his own during the day. Today, Kevin took pity on him and cycled home at lunchtime. This sounds easier than it is, since lunchtime doesn't always have much meaning at his job.

Ah well, it's nice to be back at work, and even though I now have to drive there, at least I'm going in the opposite direction to most of the traffic.