I know, I know

July 29, 2009

There’s nothing up here, and hasn’t been for awhile.  I know.  Easy answer – working on the diss.  More elaborate answer – doing nothing but writing is starting to make me feel less like writing.  That’ll change, I’m sure, once the diss is done, which should be in the next few weeks.

A bientot!


February 14, 2009

I will gladly take our feet of snow, inches of freezing rain, slippery sidewalks, and nose-stiffening wind chills over a climate in which Proposition 8 seems logical.

Watch this.  Sniffle or cry, if you want to.  I did.  And I’m a hard-ass.

Success of a sort

November 15, 2008

Excuse me while I geek out for a moment.  I did my first dungeon this evening in WoW. From my (limited) understanding, this is where a group of players band together, enter some sort of area with lots of bad guys, and try to make it to the end of the area.  Being still new to this, I don’t have the lingo or the strategy down and ended up being the subject of an irate discussion for not “AOE”-ing properly (which, apparently, means using spells I have that cover a big area rather than just targeting one guy – it means all the bad guys within the area get walloped at once).  I’ll spare the suspense and say we made it through regardless, though at the end the other characters asked if I was a “real babe” – I was playing a female character, and I assume they wanted to know if I was actually a woman, and not just playing at one (don’t get me started on gender performativity here).  Once I verified that I was indeed a “real babe” (after making a crack about sexism) they seemed much more impressed, and even made their characters dance for me.

A few random thoughts on this: I was initially miffed at the cracks about my character’s performance, which has more to do with pride than anything.  It’s one thing to run around with R.’s character, which outperforms mine every time.  He’s been playing for years and knows all the ins and outs.  But being in that kind of group situation and not being the best (alright, being the worst) bugged me.  A pride thing.  Secondly: I know this is a male-dominated game, in terms of the players, if not the avatars, but seeing firsthand the response to the presence of a “real babe” was interesting.  I think it increased the informal reputation of R.’s character more than mine, and I didn’t take well to having my lacklustre skills blamed on gender rather than experience. I have many more thoughts brewing about how these sorts of roles play out, but I’ll save those for later.

But all’s well that ends well, I suppose.  I managed to gain a level, got a neat staff to hit other bad guys with in the future, and R.’s character and mine retired to the nearest inn for the night to rest up:


The real life night is ending somewhat differently, in that I’ll be spooning a dog.  Just as adorable and comforting, and Alice will just shrug and go back to sleep when I get up in the morning to write.  She won’t bother putting on a pot of coffee, though.


October 28, 2008

I have something to confess: I now play World of Warcraft (or, as I’ve learned, WoW). It started simply enough, when I humoured R. for his birthday by agreeing to a free three-week trial. That was months ago, and I’m still playing.  I’ve moved past my initial uncertainty about throwing fireballs at boars who were just minding their own business, but that isn’t yet the same thing as knowing what I’m doing.  I still wander randomly into a forest, turn my avatar around a few times to figure out where I am, and in the midst of killing things that attack me, eventually find whatever I’m supposed to be after.  I check maps a lot, and seem to have just as poor a sense of direction in virtual life as in real life. I have two characters (I can’t yet bring myself to call them toons) – a sly redheaded mage that I play with one of R.’s, and a muscular hunter elf that I play on my own.  The latter has just recently tamed a pet bear, now named Borus, which increases his killing sprees immensely. To my surprise, I’m enjoying this.  It handily diverts me from thinking about how I’m not drinking in the evening, and I’ve even had a WoW-styled dream.  I can see how the game gets addictive.  So there you have it – geekdom really is a slippery slope.

Slow motion

October 9, 2008

Notwithstanding that Friday is an hour away, this week feels unending.  I think back to Monday and it’s like trying to remember what I was doing on a particular day in the middle of last month.  The grinding repetitive revision of a grant application – into four succinct, clever, clear, fundable pages – knowing that these competitions are always crapshoots, not wanting to think about next year yet.
I curl up in the evenings now with a cup of tea rather than glass of wine, as the purse strings are stretched so tight that only a bottle a week can squeeze through.  This doesn’t help time pass.  Neither does the damnably optimistic sunshine and temperate weather, which makes me want to stretch my legs along the balcony and daydream about disposable income and faraway deadlines.  Sigh.

The Way of the Porch

August 28, 2008

The obligatory summer photo – toes flexed against a railing, a verdant background, and, more metaphorically, against the coming of fall.  Not as a season, but as a shift back to what passes for real life: writing, lecturing, writing, grading, writing.  At the moment I’m resistant, unwilling to give up my porch-as-office laziness.  But rather than get wrapped up in a fairly predictable future few months, here are highlights of the past few:

-our softball team, The False Consciousness had its first winning season in four years (a fine example to set for our hockey team, the Ten Left Wingers – Marxists!  Marxists everywhere!).  Not enough to get us into the playoffs, but more than enough to make us feel genuinely sporty, as we managed beat teams that didn’t have a bottle of tequila parked beside first base.  I was promoted to second base, and even performed admirably at a few points.
-my hair has tentatively inched to my shoulders.
-I’m officially in the last year of my twenties.  Thirty doesn’t scare me.  Twenty-nine, however, is making me face up to all the things I’d pledged to do by the time I turn thirty.  Good thing I never wrote any of those down.
-romance.  Not just breathlessness, numb toes, and satiated fun bits (though there’s been plenty of that), not just weak knees and blushing smiles at his number on my caller ID (totally worth $7 a month), but more-than-a-summer-fling romance.  Embarrassing moments that spin into shared laughter, someone else’s fingers brushing the hair from my face, whispered banalities in the middle of the night.  That feeling, which I barely remember from its only other appearance in another lifetime and another city, of this being not only what it should be, but what I want it to be.
-passing out in the hallway at a wedding, in a dress with stains that mystified even the dry cleaner.  Running into another wedding-goer the next morning who thanked me for letting him touch my breasts.
-I finished my third chapter.  I am now officially past the halfway mark.  It’s shorter than the first two, but I prefer to instead think of it as “tight.”

The porch is brisk now, at night.  Real life looms.  There will be a few days in September when I can pretend, briefly, that I am still on vacation and the porch will be splattered again with wine stains.  In those fleeting few days I will forget (or willfully ignore) that this year I will finish my PhD and will have to find some way other than ‘graduate student’ to define myself.
And when the temperature dips for good, I will remember how my toes curled over the edges of multiple balconies this summer, how I laughed until I cried and cried until I couldn’t anymore and drank until I forgot. Such is The Way of the Porch.

Hell yeah.

April 21, 2008


Perfect strangers are high-fiving each other on the street, men lurching out of bars are handing me beer (and pouring bowls of it for the dog, since she’s attached to me by a snazzy Habs leash), every car is honking, and, embarrassingly, I’m a little misty – being in Montreal when the Canadiens are kicking ass has always been a life goal. I love this feeling.

UPDATE/P.S. I didn’t mean the hooliganism. Sheesh. Save the torching and looting for when they win the Cup. Doing it now is a little undignified.

What I’ve got

April 16, 2008

Blisters on my fingers from the staple gun, splinters in my palms from the signposts, more strategizing emails than I can wade through in a day, and a sneaking suspicion that we may just be having an effect.

The blog’s been quiet, I know.  I’ve been marking, and marking, and writing, and marking, and writing.  And wearing sneakers rather than boots, and cheering for my boys making the play-offs, and marvelling at the cross that wasn’t there during Earth Hour, and eating melty-fresh maple candies from the market, and having my dog diagnosed with a (luckily treatable) condition.

The blog just might stay quiet for awhile – with a 79% vote in favour of a strike and little progress in negotiations, things are probably about to get a different kind of busy.  Solidarity forever – the union makes us strong.  For those of you into that whole Facebook thing, join the group, and tell your friends.

There are things to chronicle, lack of recent words notwithstanding.  I will, of course, return.