What’s it famous for? It’s for a photo assignment. That’s it, now I am asking my blog readers to enable me in my Flickr addiction.

Friday Confessions.

...Oh, hi. I was just over on Flickr. For hours. Days. It’s eating up my time. Seriously, I might have to get E to post my photo-a-day while I cover my eyes and sit in the corner. And then hide my computer so I remember to eat/sleep/bathe.

As a result of my Flickr addiction, I have really been stalling on the revamp of the writing program for work. The boss wants it for February, so I should really pull my thumb out. Just five more minutes on Flickr, though, okay?

I should have visited my father by now. I meant to go over when Bo and Carol were here, but that didn’t exactly work. It’s just as well, though, since I haven’t actually bought his birthday present yet. His birthday is in late December. Oops.

That show ‘Kenny VS Spenny’ where the two roommates do their best to drive each other crazy? I sort of like it. I think Spenny is kind of cute. Oh God. I am becoming one of the bottom-feeders.

Anyone else feeling the need to unburden?

Stop. Humus Time!

Stop. Humus Time!

Originally uploaded by Liz du Canada

This is our lovely new compost bin. Further to my agrarian ambitions, I asked our landlord if we could get one. He leaped at the chance, and everyone in the house is excited about it.

Now I just need to grow some stuff to eat.

Come on, spring time, I’m ready and waiting!

Class Traitor.

So this season, E had a hard conversation with his mom. When asked if I liked the book they sent me, he bit the bullet and explained that it really wasn’t my style of read. I could hear the (beat) pause and then the tone of his mom’s voice as she asked what I did like to read. “She reads a lot about werewolves and vampires,” E offered.

And then I think I heard the echoing crash of her highest hopes plummeting into the abyss.

Now, to be fair, I do read more than gothic horror tales, but I find it highly unlikely that I would choose to read her gift, a book containing the correspondence between Carol Sheilds and another woman, as they were both dying of breast cancer. E’s mom loves her some Can Lit, so that’s how she chose it. And as she sent along in a note, “I always think that people like the same things as I do”.

That sentence says it all, really.

As I am an educated, literate, artistic, middle-class woman with left-but-not-scary-left leanings, she expected that I was going to do what she would do: Force E to get a haircut, a wedding ring, a Toyota, a mortgage, and a ‘real’ job. She hoped I would take the soul of a rocker, and remake it into an accountant, I guess.

He has always been a big puzzle to his parents, no matter how he tries to explain himself. They’re all very musical, but they don’t understand how they raised a rock-and-roll guy. That’s the crux of it: He’s speaking in power chords, but they’re listening in opera.

And so when she heard about my lowbrow tastes, I think E’s mom finally twigged that I am never, ever going to ‘improve’ her son into something she understands. And I sort of hate her for wanting me to.

Friday Confessions.

It’s that post-holiday funk over here. Zero ambition + desire to lie in bed and listen to the rain = lack of productivity. So there’s an overall miasma of faint not-getting-it-done guilt. Also:

I am addicted to Flickr. Who knew I’d like looking at random photos so much?

I totally didn’t read The Red Badge of Courage, although I kind of tried. My students and I all agreed that it was a completely dire book. I made sure that they had all the basic plot points. Then we discussed the situation that started the war, and they took sides as the North, the South, and England, and solved their problems through discussion instead of bloodshed. Poor little England. She eventually sold out for a one-time sale price on cotton.

I cannot stop eating the holiday goodies. Evidently, my baking frenzy went on way too long, because there’s too much delicious baked stuff here. I think I may take what’s left into work and let everyone else have a random free-for-all.

Anyone else?

Giving The Gift Of Crap.

Debt Season is mostly over, and we are facing the credit cards, rather than the music. I’m sorry to keep on harping on about the overconsumption of goods, but—wait. Wait. No, I am not sorry to keep on about this, because I really feel that the massive, mindless purchase of random shit for Christmas (and at other times) has to stop.

At this point, I feel the need to defend myself. I am not an antisocial, friendless radical with doomsday beliefs who reeks of socks and shouts at random passers-by. However, I do consider myself to be an observant and intelligent person, and I saw so many things this ‘festive’ season that I want to change.

I saw people maxing out their credit cards. For no other reason than gifts were expected. Who decided what was expected? How does that make sense? And the recipient’s expectation somehow ranks more important than, say, a good credit rating? Tell me how that makes sense. I dare you.

I saw people buying random gifts just because “Oooh, it’s on sale!” Me, I’m sometimes guilty of this, so I know the ‘reasoning’ behind this one: You have a gift. You saved money. But are you letting your love of ‘on sale’ cloud your judgment of what someone would really love, or needs? Yes. You are. Almost always, because usually, these gifts are going to a person whose needs and wants you have not really considered. They’re there because you budgeted $X for the person, and, look, this is on sale for $X. Your Great Uncle Hubert probably already has ‘Astronomy For Beginners’, since he’s had the hobby for a decade. Even though it was a mere nine bucks in Chapters, that’s no reason to buy it.

I saw people buying gifts to feel loved. This is a tricky one, because there are complex issues involved. But there are people who genuinely believe that if they spend $X on Cousin Whatever, they’ll somehow get $X worth of love from the recipient. We all know it doesn’t work that way. Hell, in some places in this city, I think you can get a twenty-dollar blow job. (I tried to google, but, hoo, that was a nightmare). How does that blow job compare to a couple of candles from Pier 1? I’m not sure. But at least with the blow job, you’re more assured of a return on your investment.

Before you run me down with a pack of reindeer, telling me I’m killing Christmas, let me tell you what I also saw during this ‘Festive Season’.

People sleeping on the street on Christmas Eve. Curled in summer-weight sleeping bags, under cardboard. Shivering.

People begging for change. Begging from yoga-toned Kitsilano matrons and well-heeled businessmen, as well as folks like me, who don’t exactly look like big bucks.

People eating out of garbage cans. Looking for that half-a-bagel or the lukewarm coffee that was going to slow the slide into malnutrition so hard to stave off when you have absolutely no resources.

Why the fuck are people still spending money on unsolicited and unappreciated random piles of stuff? And how can we get people to care more about poor strangers than about ‘traditional’ expectations?

Two Monkeys

Two Monkeys

Originally uploaded by Liz du Canada

Today I wandered downtown to see two of my favourite monkeys. There was monkey conga and monkey lunch.

Just what a MonkeyPants needed.

The usual hustle and bustle of the days that slip by don’t give me the time I want to see the people I want to. There’s always something going on, so it’s nice when I get a chance to just…monkey around.

The Park

The Park
Originally uploaded by Liz du Canada

New Year’s Day. A time for relaxing and reflecting, “Why didn’t I think to go shopping for breakfast supplies?”

We went to the party at Fox Manor last night. It was full of music and food and drinking and dancing and talking. Around 10PM, I let Tom’s girlfriend Sarah give me a makeup lesson, so rang in the New Year as a slightly lopsided Goth, with E on one side of me and his best friend on the other. It was a great night.

Right before I took this picture, I ran into Rachel and her son, and I joked that I was going to try to blog some photos. I’ve joined the Photo A Day group, partly to learn how to use the camera we found at the bus stop. Yes, I can get a manual online, but that doesn’t mean I can understand it, so I’ll be teaching myself through practice. And pushing random buttons.

Welcome to 2008. I hope it’s a great year for all of us.

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