Saturday, December 17, 2011

See, I told you we needed a zombie plan.*

I said so all the way back in this post. This right here is why.

There I was, minding my own business on a lovely late-October Saturday afternoon, running some errands in The Annex and loaded up with with two cameras, twenty bucks and a pack of gum. I figured I was ready for anything.

And then suddenly, I saw... wait, no way... are those zombies?

I couldn't tell. I needed a closer look. I hopped in my car, circled the block and hauled butt down Bathurst Street, in order to get a better look at them. Just down the road, my suspicions were confirmed:

So, I did what any self-respecting, well-armed citizen would do. I shot them — with my trusty Minolta X-370, conveniently already loaded with film.

The zombie bride spotted me, and blew me a kiss...

...and that's when I noticed her zombie wedding party was on my side of the street!

It was scary there for a minute. They were all, "Blahblah BRAINS blahblah," and I was like, "Hey, no, no, look THERE!! Spicy brains! Yeah, that's it!" In the end, all the zombies needed was a little attention, guidance, appreciation, encouragement, and the promise of spicy brains. They ate it all up.

*No zombies were harmed in the making of this post. In fact, it sounds like a grand time was had by all, living and undead alike. If you know any of the zombies in these pictures personally, please give them my love. They were fantastic and completely made my day.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

For the record... week, I am going to start my lecture off with the following announcement:

"Good evening everyone. If you happen to notice that my fly is open, or that my blouse or dress has come unbuttoned, feel free to raise your hand and tell me RIGHT AWAY. The code phrase is knickerbocker.Thank you."

Well, at least I was wearing my fancy knickers and not some old filthy ones pulled out of the dirty clothes. Or better yet, a pair with something tacky like "aim here" printed on them.

#awesomesauce #thisdaygetsbetterbythehour #fuckmylife

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Suddenly, September

Oh look, it's not summer any more.

I'm not going to lie, I couldn't be happier. Have I mentioned I'm not all that fond of summer? Probably. It bears repeating, though. I turn into a lump of uselessness during the summer. Heat, humidity, too much sunlight, headaches, constant sweatiness. Anywhere you go there are too many people. People trying to cram in all their fun before September, before they have to go "back". I want to hibernate, close my door, lay under a fan and sleep until the cooler evenings come.

Blah. Give me a cool September breeze and the crisp autumn smell of leaves any day. This is the time I love. This is the time of year I come back to life.

How to sum up the last three months?

I was in Boston in mid-June. It was lovely, as much fun as one can have by oneself when they are at a conference.

Entrance to to a T station in Boston, Summer 2011

A perfect day for a carousel, Boston Common Frog Pond, Summer 2011

I visited my parents for a couple days right after the conference, which was great. We drove around and hung out. We needed that.

Dad's Swamp, Pennsylvania, Summer 2011

Childhood memory, Conneaut Lake Park, Pennsylvania, Summer 2011

I taught in July and August. It was not fun, but it was a job, and not as painful as I was expecting for a course I had never taught before. I didn't get to go to Pennsic due to the time constraints, not even for a few days, and that made me exceedingly cranky. Overall, I tried not to die of heat exhaustion. There were a few days when the heat and humidity weren't so oppressive and I was able to get out, walk around, take some pictures, and remember what an amazing city I live in.

Nathan Philips Square, Toronto, Summer 2011

Cathedral Church of St. James, Toronto, Summer 2011

I've needed to pour myself into work a bit these last couple months, while at the same time hide away and restore my soul. We have been officially cat-less since July 6. I haven't really been able to talk about it much yet, let alone write about it. Ford had a great last few months with us. He went out on his own terms, and I was with him. We miss him. That's really all I can muster, even now, over two months later. So, pictures.

Ford in the park, Summer 2011

OHAI, IZ YOU THERE? (Ford meets the IPad camera) Summer 2011

One of the amazing emails I received from my guys while I was in Boston, Summer 2011

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Words and signs, signs and words.

Pretty much sums it up, right there.

How to describe April and May? "Over" is the best I can come up with. My routine goes something like this: Wake up. Stare at screen. Make coffee. Stare at screen. Type a sentence. Make more coffee. Delete sentence you just typed. Stare at screen. You get the idea. Work is happening, slowly, at its own pace. I'm not entirely pleased about that pace, but I take it as a sign that some words aren't ready to come out yet.

There hasn't been much knitting, either. I've hit a bit of a slump on that. Plugging away on a scarf for myself. This picture is from late April, when I'd just started it. It's getting close to done now:

How to waste an hour without really trying: coffee, camera and knitting.

Mixed in with all the boredom and daily grind, though, there are signs of movement:

Fluevog feets are happy feets. You probably can't tell, but those are the infamous 'Angry Pink Bear' socks. His 'H' is not for 'happy.' His 'H' is for HATE.

There are also signs of spring:

How much did this swan care that I was there? Sweet F. A. comes to mind.

Double exposure of Impossibly Red Tulips in Christie Pits park.

And, being Toronto, there are signs of awesomeness:

Words to live by.

Sometimes, words are hard. I'll take what I can get.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

...and miles to go, but I'm sleeping anyhow.

My concrete ivory tower, Robarts Library, University of Toronto, Feb. 18, 2011.

I keep promising myself I will blog more. It's my only non-academic writing outlet.

And then I think to myself: Do you really need another distraction from academic writing right now?

Probably not.

It's entirely possible I'm kidding myself that I'm actually making progress. Today, it feels like I haven't made a bit of progress in months. Realistically, I know that's not the case, but it's overwhelming to even think about how much there still is to do. Frankly, I'm at the point where this dissertation thing just isn't fun.

Lady S, if you're reading this, I'm kidding. Actually, I'm having a blast. I write enthusiastically eight hours a day and every morning I wake up chirpy and energized, ready to sit down and write some more. I am a leaf on the wind. Watch how I soar.*

It appears I don't have a lot to say, really, so here are some more pictures, taken with my very manual camera.

Helpful cat... is not all that helpful, actually. Taken by MrJ. He also put the scarf on the cat, who doesn't seem to mind. Don't ask me, I just work here.

Humber River under the Dundas bridge, Toronto, Feb. 28, 2011. The figure against the pillar on the far bank is graffiti.

My Neighbour's Totoro, a most wonderful snowman near my house. He did have ears, but I hadn't quite mastered how much fits in the frame on this setting yet.

Urban Wisdom

*Spoilers for the movie 'Serenity': The guy who says this quote gets a long wooden spear through the chest and becomes all deadified on the word 'soar'. Take that as you will.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Retreat from technology

It definitely seems that the more stressed I become about deadlines and work, all of it done online, or at least sitting in front of a keyboard, the more reliant I become on activities that do not involve things with power cords.

January was a month of knitting hats and scarves, taking pictures on the very-manual analogue camera, and attempting to convince myself to keep regular work hours. I was very successful at the first of these.

A Scotty Hat for MrJ, modeled on the one worn by Simon Pegg in the recent Trek reboot, because it's Toronto in January.

A scarf for MrJ, because although he loves his Dr. Who Scarf and wears it on the coldest of cold days, a 15.5 ft. scarf is impractical for his crowded subway commute most of the time.

Another Scotty Hat for me, because I keep stealing his when I go out without him.

The re-done hat-which-will-have-kickass-expensive-trim, the one that came out way too large the second third time I did it. Now smaller, and waiting for lining, to help it keep its shape.

Yet another hat for me, this one an Urchin. Because it's Toronto in January, and one cannot have enough of these things.

For some reason, the last three things I've knit for myself have been shades of green. I have no explanation.

I was moderately successful at the second item, taking more pictures on the new analogue camera. The last couple rolls have been B&W 120 film.

How to Climb Without Stairs

As for the last thing, keeping regular work hours, I've been somewhat less successful, but it hasn't been a total wash. Some days I feel like I'm treading water on the Big D, some days I'm moving backwards, and some days I'm clawing my way forward by my flimsy, flaking fingernails. Ford has been doing his part, of course, to make sure I take regular breaks.

Taken by MrJ. I'm the one buried under the cat.

I'll get there. One stitch at a time, one shutter click at a time, one word at a time.

Yeah, and how long with that take to get?