26 February 2007

Second Chance Television...

If you missed HBO's Carnivale when it ran on Movie Central in Canada, you can catch the series when it runs on History Television, starting later this month.

Like many of my favourite television shows in the last decade, Carnivale was cancelled before it had a fair chance. It lasted two seasons, though, and every episode is worth watching. Basically, it's good versus evil, but with a sideshow. No, really, it's a great show. It's set in the Depression Era dustbowl... there's Old Time Religion, strange dreams, fortune tellers, and a mother-daughter peep show. Yeah, it's a little tilted, but so am I.

24 February 2007

Hoarding, Headache, Happenstance, Horror, and Hometown.

Went out shopping this morning -- did the Langford thing: Glenwood Meats (I cannot say enough good things about the service and the high quality of meats here), Costco (big boxes, big portions, big billlz), Market on Millstream/Michaels, and Harveys Burgers in the Home Depot for lunch. Mmmmm

Problem was, even before getting home, I had a headache. It just kept getting worse... and making me grouchy. I tried napping but I wasn't tired -- just miserable.

After dinner, I curled up in bed** and discovered to my amusement that AMC was running the Independent Spirit Awards (yay!). I'm pretty sure some of the winners were wearing sneakers -- one was wearing jeans under a swanky dress -- and where else could you hear Minnie Driver singing "I blew a giant frog to smithereens; I've got his golden key" to the tune of Brand New Key?

After the Spirit Awards wrapped, the next movie happened to be The Exorcist -- which I've never seen but am watching now; on the heels of having watched Child's Play (another iconic horror film not previously seen) last night. I'm watching the Exorcist while at my computer and with all the lights on -- and this is the way I watch most horror movies, otherwise I get sucked into the tension just a bit too easily... and I have to say, the effects at the end of Child's Play were lots of fun... the Exorcist a whole lot more creepy and I'm not even at the halfway mark.

Of course, since they are playing on AMC, there are also frequent (really frequent), repetitive interruptions -- including far too many repititions featuring Andrew W. Marlowe, writer of some serious Box Office crapola -- which lessens the tension greatly.


Later in the week, I am looking forward to taking in the 35th annual Be A Tourist in Your Own Hometown event... I've been to this event many, many times... it's changed a lot over the years and I stopped going at some point but now I have my own kid to take, it is more appealing.

**p.s. A big thanks to hubby for letting me curl up and hide when I needed it.

23 February 2007

Thing One and Thing Two

Two of my favourite kids' books by Dr. Seuss turn fifty this year:

The Cat in the Hat and How the Grinch Stole Christmas were both first published in 1957. Subsequently, both were ruined by feature film "adaptations" -- is that any way to treat your elders? I didn't think so. Here's a "suggestion," in the style of Seuss:

Though it's not my job to shill,
Buy them, buy them if you will.
You should buy them both you see
they come with praise for he from me.

Seriously, no parent should consider their bookshelf complete without these two books.

22 February 2007

Almost Friday....

It's been an... interesting week. Happily, the weekend is near, and today the weather was crisp and beautiful. I caught myself smiling when I saw the blossoms starting to explode on this tree:


Earlier in the day, a coworker called me "kinda indy" which I suppose is as accurate as any description, and provided me another smile.


In other news, things are progressing slowly in the "year of completing projects." I have been gradually adding more stock photos to Lulu; and I have resized some of the photos for the two calendars that will eventually be available. I am learning Drupal and I am using it to rebuild one of my sites. I haven't knit or sewn too much... but I've made some progress there, too.

20 February 2007

Onward, to Victory!

Interesting concept for something I've been doing pretty much ever since I left home: planting and growing my own food. Basically, the concept is that of the Victory Garden,

During World War I and World War II, the United States government asked its citizens to plant gardens in order to support the war effort. Millions of people planted gardens. Emphasis was placed on making gardening a family or community effort - not a drudgery, but a pastime, and a national duty.

...but instead of supporting a political war, the emphasis is now on the environmental "war" on global warming..

Planting a Victory Garden to fight global warming would reduce the amount of pollution your food contibutes to global warming. Instead of traveling many miles from farm to table, your food would travel from your own garden to your table.

Some of my recent food garden ingredients:

gradually_ripening saladgreens fresh_strawberries

Mmmmmm... now I really want to start planning my garden for this year....

19 February 2007

Weirdness in the world around me...

Emotional weirdness. Tonight's episode of Doctor Who (Doomsday) made me cry. That is simply wrong; sci-fi should not make me cry!!

Internet weirdness. Flickr is flaky tonight. From the Flickr blog, "This is no fun. Photo cache flake outs are everywhere. Again we apologize for the downtime. I'll update soon." [This isn't weird, so much as it is annoying, but it's my blog and I make the titles.]

Celebrity weirdness. Britney Spears bald. What-evar.

Weird Al.... and Donny Osmond. I think they would kick ASS in the Whitehouse... don't you?

17 February 2007

Now with Less Hair!

No, really, this is a good thing. I went out and got my hair re-coloured and cut today... it's so much lighter (in weight) and a bit darker (in colour). I'm very happy:


[one day I will find a way to get good lighting on my self portraits... until then, you all get to suffer with me looking pasty under compact fluorescents]

15 February 2007

Stuck in the 80s

Before getting sick, I had two full days in Vancouver with kiddo while hubby was at a conference. Those days, oddly, had one thing in common: big play areas filled with plastic balls.


Funny, but I thought these were a thing of the past.... I mean, just thinking of the germs these could harbour? =shudder= Still, at both Lonsdale Quay (pictured) and at Granville Island, there were ball-filled play areas. Oddly, both Lonsdale Quay and Granville Island felt stuck in the past -- specifically somewhere around 1986.

Talking with hubby, we concluded that maybe Vancouver got its last real burst of public creativity thanks to Expo86... and that the next one could come from the 2010 Olympics. (I'd certainly applaud an update to kids' play areas)


... so far though, all I've seen is the stupid countdown clock (above). We were in town the day it was unveiled, but missed most of the action (I did get to catch a reporter complaining about it off-camera, but by then everyone else was cleaning up.)

UnHappy Valentine...

Ugh. Well, Tuesday night as I was awaiting hubby's return from the conference, I started feeling worse and worse. I thought it was just hunger, but as soon as I actually ate something, I regretted it. I spent the rest of the evening turning my stomach inside out... which meant no one got a proper night's sleep in the hotel... which meant that Valentine's Day was pretty much ruined. We didn't get to go anywhere on our "bonus day" in Vancouver -- just tried to eat some breakfast then headed for the ferries. Oh, and the weather was rough so the ferry ride was bouncy. As soon as we got home, I went to bed and stayed there until 8:00; roughly 24 hours after first feeling sick.

Hubby did get me a very nice necklace (dawww) and I got him a book (hmm, not quite equivalent, I think) but based on the last few years worth of crappy Valentines days, I think this will be the last one we attempt to celebrate.


In other news, my brother and his family are moving back to the West Coast next month which means we'll have a reason to visit Vancouver more often.

12 February 2007

Big Shiny City

Originally uploaded by triviaqueen.
We are in Vancouver for a few days.

Took the 9 am ferry yesterday (nice, not full, foggy, really an ideal ferry ride) then headed for the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre which was kinda cool; definitely aimed at kids though -- even more so than the "Telus World of Science." I got to touch a moon rock (ooooh, ahhhh) which was more exciting to think about than to do. I also risked the "Trip to Mars" simulator ride. I do NOT recommend this if you are prone to motion sickness... it took me about an hour to shake off the wooziness... OTOH, it was kinda cute.

After that we found a nice little Japanese bistro for lunch then checked into our hotel. We're staying in the same chain as usual, but downtown instead of Richmond... so it is a different experience, that's for sure. I have to give the staff here some credit -- they are the most "willing to help" ever; it actually feels American. Our room is on the "executive level" and we have kind of an afterthought of a suite (a hideabed in another room).

Hubby is at a conference for two days so kiddo and I will get to wander and explore. I have promised her SeaBus and SkyTrain but otherwise, our days are pretty much open for random adventures.

Wednesday, all three of us will wander about the city before heading home in the afternoon.

09 February 2007


Originally uploaded by triviaqueen.
Speaking of conspiracies.... I was out taking photos today.... (A lot of photos... I literally walked around Victoria for 5 hours taking photos for the Victoria Grid Project while I waited for the car windshield to be replaced... I took about 450 photos in that timeframe. Astounding really.... but I digress) I took a bunch of photos of the mosaics on the Centennial fountain and when I started to edit them, I realized I knew what the person at the top of this mosaic was holding: the UVic Crest!

The weird thing is, the mosaics were done around the same time UVic opened in the mid 60s.... and I just never noticed this detail. I had a very DaVinci Code moment when I realized it, though; felt just like Tom Hanks.

A dose of surreality

Surreal news. How weird is the news of Anna Nicole Smith's death? I found it stranger still that my initial reaction to the death of one of the biggest tabloid trainwrecks of my generation was a twinge of sadness. It passed, but ... still, odd. My brain makes no sense to me sometimes.

Surreal sight. I have to say that the weirdest thing I saw this week was when I settled into the dentist's chair on Tuesday. There on the tray, in a little plastic jewelery box (you know the ones? clear but with a little blue "velvet" covered cardboard platform in the bottom?), was a gold version of one of my teeth. Not the whole tooth (and nothing but the tooth... ::groan::... sorry) but a crown. So now I have a pimped out molar. It's very odd... but it is way at the back of my mouth, so the only time you can see it is when I am laughing like a mad scientist. And then the gold kinda adds to the effect.

Surreal concept conspiracy. Being somewhat insane, I have decided that the recent spate of nuclear annihalation on television (Jerhico, 24, Heroes) is actually due to pressure from Big Oil. Bear with me a moment... here's the thing, people are starting to talk about alternative energy; scientists are starting to remind people that nuclear energy may be our best "bang" for our buck (e.g. takes up less space than windfarms; generates more energy than solar, etc....); Big Oil does not like this concept and is reminding people that nuclear energy means nuclear accidents and death.

Yeah, I am a nutjob.


06 February 2007

Islands 86

Originally uploaded by triviaqueen.
A little over twenty years ago, I and a handful of other students from Victoria collaborated with Carole Sabiston to create this large fabric mural that has hung in Victoria City Hall since its completion.

I was lucky to have Lily Wallace as an art teacher -- she was (and still is!!) a force to be reckoned with. She allowed my friend and I to take a "directed study" art class during which we did this project, worked on dozens of stained glass panes that still hang in Cedar Hill school, and we worked on a silkscreen to be used in re-creating the original wallpaper in one room of Emily Carr house.

I am very proud of each of these projects and the way they have allowed me to "leave my mark" on my city.

Queen Rantypants (TM)

So I haven't blogged much the last few days, mostly because I have been grumpy, sleep-deprived, and pretty miserable to live with (sorry, family). Just a few points....

Re: Aqua Teen Boston Bullshit. Are you KIDDING me?? I can't believe a city is both that blind and that panicky but I blame the media for blowing it out of proportion. On one hand I think Turner was stupid to pay $2M in restitution ($1M to the City of Boston; $1M to Homeland Security), but OTOH, every television viewer in North America (and many around the world) now know what ATHF is and that there is a movie coming out. Talk about brilliant promotion.

Re: Local news disappearing. We have two local television stations. Last year, A-Channel Vancouver Island (formerly the New VI) abruptly ditched its morning news show. As of last Friday, CH-Victoria (formerly CHEK6) delivered its last noon newscast. So... now the only way to get local news before 5 pm, is to buy the paper (owned by the same people who own CH-Victoria) or listen to C-FAX ("Victoria's News Authority" -- owned by the same people who own A-Channel).

Re: Daily Show Jumping the Shark. Last night we consiously turned off the Daily Show. It pains me to say this, but we saw several punchlines coming from so far away that it was worse than a rerun. I think without Stephen Colbert and Steve Carrell (each doing well in their own endeavours), Jon Stewart is starting to rely on staff writers with... less punch. Jokes are continuously recycled, and I only laugh when I'm so tired that I am almost drifting off to sleep. I'm calling it now, but I'm pretty sure that sometime around the start of September, the Daily Show officially Jumped the Shark.

I did get one BIG laugh this week; on Heroes last night, Christopher Eccleston's invisible man character delivered a line that perfectly summed up my mood:

"People suck, friend.
Every last one of 'em."


03 February 2007

One in, Much out.

This afternoon, hubby dropped me and kiddo at Value Village to poke around. I told kiddo she had $5 to spend. She found this house for $7.99 and really wanted it. I wanted it for her too, so I said I would pay the difference if she sorted her other Barbie toys out and got rid of some of the mismatched stuff and the clothes she no longer wanted.

She agreed, and now not only is this house in her bedroom, but she also made enough space to stow away some of her craft supplies. Yay! Now I have a big box of Barbie and Bratz stuff that I think I will try to sell on Craigslist.

I really like the design of thisnBarbie house, since it folds up to about 4 inches deep, but includes everything from a bed, to a stacking washer/dryer, to a toilet with a seat that lifts up! I can even excuse the product placement in the stickers throughout, because they add a lot of character.

Really though, the best thing about the exercise is impressing on kiddo the "one in, one out" theory -- something I wish I'd learned earlier.

02 February 2007

File under: Who Knew?

I never really thought of onions as nutritious -- just flavourful filler -- but since kiddo is on a "I'll try that" food kick right now, I thought I would check out just what is in a serving of onions. With help from the National Onion Association (of the USA), here's what I found:

Onion Nutrition Facts
1/2 cup (80 g)
Chopped Raw Onion
Percent Daily Values*
Calories 30
Total Fat 0 0%
Cholesterol 0 0%
Sodium 0 0%
Total Carbohydrate 7 g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1 g 6%
Sugars 5 g
Protein 1 g
Vitamin C 5 mg 9%
Vitamin B6 0.1 mg 5%
Calcium 16 mg 2%
Iron 0.2 mg 1%
Folic Acid 15.2 mcg 4%
Potassium 126 mg 4%
Selenium 0.5 mcg 1%
Zinc 0.2 mg 1%

Of course normally the onions we eat are cooked (usually in oil or butter that cancells out the fat-free content) but overall, they're pretty good for ya.

In addition to deciding she likes onions (cooked), she also ate yam tempura, crab (well, imitation crab anyway), and salmon roe (in sushi) quite happily. She recently decided she likes shrimp and fish (batter fried of course), too. So is this light the end of the "really picky eater" tunnel? I sure hope so.

01 February 2007

This New Blogger SUCKS.

OK, I didn't want to have to shout it out, but the new Blogger interface SUCKS.

This morning.... I can get into the back end but I can't see my blogs. Instead I see this:

We're sorry, but we were unable to complete your request.

When reporting this error to Blogger Support or on the Blogger Help Group, please:

  • Describe what you were doing when you got this error.
  • Provide the following error code and additional information.

Additional information

uri: /
host: victorialocal.blogspot.com

This information will help us to track down your specific problem and fix it! We apologize for the inconvenience.

And I am not the only one. The web is suddenly flooded with whiny people like me wondering why we are being denied the chance to read/write our favourite blogs. And, this is not the only problem.. it's been flaky since day one.

GRRR. Google, you are being EVIL. Cease and desist!