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Feb. 20th, 2009

My brain's offline but I'm still hyper

Look! Look!

Even more of the happy today. [info]sdk made me a shiny new header for my LJ...isn't it gorgeous? And after seeing her spiffy new layout I'm inspired to tackle my fic journal too.

Let's see, what else? President Obama was in Ottawa today. He wasn't supposed to have any public appearances (hopefully he just came up to smack Harper upside the head) but apparently he ducked his handlers and went to arguably the worst bakery in the Byward Market to buy (stale) maple cookies for his girls. But he had a beavertail too, so he wins points for that.

I can't imagine what it'd be like to have your consumption of a beavertail make the news.

Now my cat's amusing me by hurling herself off the windowsill, stampeding down the hallway sounding like she's wearing four jacktoe boots, then racing back and catapulting back to the window to start over again. I do believe she's completely recovered from surgery now. ;)

Off to hunt down fic now, and have a lovely Guinness, and rest the brain a bit. Love you all!

Jan. 30th, 2009

51 days!

Finally! The bus strike is over. All it took was Parliament threatening back-to-work legislation and suddenly our bully of a mayor agrees to binding arbitration. (I know, the union wasn't blameless in this mess either -- both sides got more and more entrenched -- but he has been spouting such lies since the start of this mess. Thank goodness his bribery trial is coming up soon. Unless he conveniently gets it postponed again like he did last year. Seriously, the man should be in jail, not running our city!)

Obama's upcoming visit has a lot to do with the resolution too. The traffic jams would apparently be even worse than they are now.

I suggested to the Ex that we go see Obama when he gets to town. His response: "Go see a U.S. president without protesting? What are you supposed to do instead?" Made me giggle.

ETA: President Obama: "You cannot have a strong middle class without a strong labor movement." My respect for this man just skyrocketed!

Dec. 4th, 2008

A beautiful day to overturn the government!

Today I joined 3000 of my fellow Canadians on Parliament Hill today to support the Coalition. For a better explanation of what is happening here than I'm able to give, check out Yarn Harlot's blog. (It's also laid out here on DK.)

The big news today is that Madame Jean did prorogue Parliament. I don't think she had much choice, but I (and everybody at the rally) would have preferred if she'd refused and we'd just moved to a no confidence vote. What this means now (as I understand it, and I'm just learning this so I may be fuzzy) is that they're putting off the no confidence vote until Parliament reconvenes at the end of January. Harper's locked the doors to Parliament, winning what CBC is calling a "political stay of execution", basically saving his job by closing the government.

This means it's going to be a hard slog to keep the Coalition going. The Tories are of course going to frame the Coalition as an undemocratic process (it's not) and an anti-Canadian move (even tho they tried to ally with Bloc Quebecois when it suited them) and, if there's an election, that it's a waste of taxpayer money (which, okay, it is, but there's really no other option). The unthinkable outcome is that the Tories will come back from that with a majority government. This scares the living daylights out of me ... as it should every Canadian who is not white, rich, religious, and straight.

So it's going to be a tough few months here. I do fear the (lack of) organisational skill of the opposition, er, Coalition parties. Granted, it was awesome to pull together 3000 people on the spur of the moment to show up on the Hill. But when the MC (one of the most uncharismatic speakers I've ever heard) kept starting these convoluted chants, long and bilingual and just plain un-rhythmic, and then trying to make us sing, well, it felt a little sad. Is there no "si, se puede" in French? Fortunately there were some grassroots folks in the audience who picked up "hey ho, Steven Harper has to go", and that one took off a few times, and then we had "so so so solidarité". Can't we import some Swimmies from Ireland? Or at least some of Obama's people? Unfortunately those folks all got hefty salaries for their work, and there's nothing like that in Canada. *pouts*

But there was lots of enthusiasm for Jack Layton (the NDP leader) and for Gilles Duseppe (leader of Bloc Quebecois, who's not in the Coalition but supportive of it). Less applause for Stéphane Dion, unfortunately, he's a bit of a mess, as are the Liberals, but what can you do?

What can you do indeed? There are going to be rallies throughout Canada in the next few days, and more in the weeks to come. Go, show your support for the coalition, speak to people about it and help them understand that this is an historic moment in Canada. That this is our chance to put an end to Harper's pit-bull approach and to the intolerant, fear-based policies of his government. Canada is an amazing country and I am so proud to call myself a citizen -- I hate to see it trudging along in Bush's footsteps, and I so hope we can turn it around!

Anyway, for [info]paraka who couldn't make it, here are some pictures (incl a rare pic of me!).

So that's been my morning!

Oct. 6th, 2008

I always wanted you, I only wanted more than I knew

Liz Phair's Exile In Guyville came out 15 years ago. That was a real time of transition for me -- I'd just left a place I loved and moved to a place I despised; where I'd been surrounded by political activists and cultural literates, I was suddenly in a desert, both literally and figuratively. I only lasted four months in Tucson, but I remember three things fondly from that time: Brisco Co. Junior, the beginning of my friendship with the Ex, and the album that I completely wore out by a woman who was so shy she could hardly perform on stage but whose songs perfectly spoke to where I was in those days.

Liz Phair is revisiting the album in some live performances (how I wish I could see one!) and NPR has her October 5th concert that you can stream. I'm listening to it now, and boggling to think it's been 15 years! (And crazy that I remember all the words!)

In much more current news, yesterday I enjoyed an impromptu Ottawa Slashers meeting. It's so much fun to squee over True Blood and bitch about SGA in person! The outing was followed by a little shopping research trip to Venus Envy. I'm quite tempted to get a Hitachi wand in their xmas sale, although a bit disturbed that my mom had one (she kept it in her drawer by her heating pad, and I never, ever asked...)


The NDP asked if I could put up a window sign and I said sure, so for the past week I've had Paul Dewer staring at me. After doing some running around a little while ago I was hot and sweaty so I took off my top. And saw dear old Paul leering. :( I had to move the sign to the kitchen window.

Aug. 24th, 2008

Calling all Ontarians!!

So I just read this and now I'm outraged. I didn't know about PickupPal, but for someone like me without a car, it sounds like a great alternative. And of course, it's illegal! As a matter of fact,

Jun. 11th, 2008

Things to read

Busy, busy, busy today, so I just wanted to share a few links that you might find interesting.
  • Copyright and Comics:You may or may not know about the Tories' attempts to foist U.S. copyright law on Canada. If you're Canadian (or if you're just interested in a really cool medium for political expression), check out this amazing comic book from Appropriation Art.

    BTW, if you live in Canada, please take a second to contact your MP about this. We're getting down to the wire on this bill, it could be introduced in the next few days. And if this passes, I have a feeling it's going to be around a lot longer than Canada's New Government. It's easy -- with this letter generator you can do it in just a few clicks.

  • Short and Sweet: What's Your Story is online, including the $61/word piece that JKR wrote (I haven't had the brain power to decipher her handwriting yet) as well as one from Irvine Walsh that made me chuckle, one from Tom Stoppard that made me chuckle with a groan, and one from Neil Gaiman that made me glee -- that man can sure tell a story. Thanks to [info]roma_fics for the link.

  • Same Sex Couples Shed Light On Marriage: Someone on my flist posted this (sorry I can't remember who!) and it's an interesting read. Common sense, really, that gender inequalities wouldn't be as prevalent in same-sex couples, but hey, if social scientists can make a living studying it, more power to them.

Now. I must stop procrastinating and get back to work. :(

Jan. 5th, 2008

Kicking back

The first weekend of the new year, and as of January 3rd, another busy season is behind me! I always love this time of year, but after this crazy one it's even more welcome.

Of course, that means it's time to start digging into all the projects that I've put off for months. Finishing Architects of Memory's my top priority (2 chapters to go), and then I want to start on my Durmstrang fic. There's also closet organising ([info]aristoboule, I am going to ditch the grad school notes!), lots of knitting, and visiting Dad (who's started to say things like "I'll be here ... I guess I'll be here, at 82 you never know" when I ask when I should come). Guilt aside, I am looking forward to my new projects.

I'm also looking forward to reading, both offline and off. Speaking of reading, I think I might've found my favourite of the Drarry holiday fics: Now The Shining Sun Is Up. I haven't read enough yet to be able to peg this author, but when they're revealed tomorrow I want to read everything else they've written. Draco's perfect here, snarky and determined, and the story tackles the big questions of what it means to be a hero and who the enemy really is. I highly recommend it. ETA: It's tkp at LJ, who hasn't written any other HP, unfortunately. I hope she does, she brings such an intelligence to the HP-verse.

I want to say thanks for some fabulous packages I received this week. [info]sarcastic_jo sent me Heath bars (!!!) since I can't get them up here, a book on knitting shawls, and a gorgeous handmade card. And from [info]noorie I got CDs galore -- lots of Boosh and music -- and a very cool wooden keychain. My brother also sent me framed pictures of my nephew all dressed up in his monkey suit. I feel so loved!

This weekend also benefitted by the long-awaited return of SGA. I quite liked it. Wanna know why? )

In other news, I've been following the copyright debate here in Canada (I read Michael Geist's blog regularly) and found this really interesting article by David Byrne on models for recording artists. It's an interesting read, even for non-musicians like myself -- it's fascinating to see how technology has given music creators a real choice and different modes of control (and explains why the dinosaurs are so eager to hang on to the old ways).

Speaking of artists, check out this rice paddy art (and the harvest photos too). Amazing! I can't even imagine the effort that goes into creating something like that -- but then, I can't even keep my silverware drawer organised!

Finally, I did that Name Meaning meme that's going around (ganked from [info]angela_snape. I first did it with Lilith, my penname, and came out with a description that's nothing like me. I've been using my handle for four years now, and it feels like a second skin now, so I was surprised that when I did the meme with my real name, it was so much more accurate. Meme ahoy! )

And now it's time to put the mutt-lucks on Rudy now (oh, how he hates them!) and take a long walk in the snow.