Thursday, December 27, 2007

The making of Christmas Card 2007

Some of you know that Michael and I email our holiday greetings. It's not because we're environmentally minded or lazy. It just happened one year and now it keeps happening. Check out the "cards" from previous years here.

This year's card was inspired by my fondness for Scared of Santa photos and Michael's fondness for vampires. We wanted to stage our own Santa photo, but we weren't willing to sit on a real live Santa's lap to get it. Instead, we scoured the city for a suitable fake Santa. We found him at a furniture store on Johnson Street, and the owners didn't mind us taking photos because, well, that's what he's there for. I'm not sure if they saw us put our vampire teeth in. We roped Sarah H into our schemes when we convinced her to take the photos after coffee a few weeks back. She was a little skittish (so was I), but she captured some great moments. Thanks Sarah!

I tried the vampire teeth on for some of the photos:

But I preferred one vampire and one scaredy cat:

This was the final product:

We didn't get too many comments after Michael and I sent this out from Saskatoon. Maybe people were weirded out by the fangs? I'm ok with that.

If I didn't send the card to you, I hope you had a great holiday too. I just don't have your email address.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A is for Anarchy

I'm happy. I finished my last exam AND I got a great grade on my anarchy essay. While you aren't familiar with my professor, Dr. James Tully, he's sort of a big deal in my political science world, and an A from him means a lot to me. Keep in mind that I view my university degree as one big hoop that I have to jump through, so the fact that I value this grade is significant. Also, it's worth noting that I have been avoiding political theory classes for years because philosophy isn't my thing; I finally took this class because I need it to graduate, and I fully expected my grades to drop.

Here are his comments from my essay:

"This is a very good and ambitious essay on Kropotkin in relation to Kant, Mill and Marx. The main section is very well researched beyond the text of the course. The whole is well organized and the main themes [human progress and its relationship to struggle and cooperation] are clearly set out and argued for in the course of the essay. It is really the central question of 19th Century philosophy."

I understand 19th Century philosophy! It was never a goal of mine, but I'll take it!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Preparing for earthquakes or other unspeakable events that may result in camping for 72 hours in Beacon Hill Park

I was reading one of my entries from last Christmas, and I see that I planned to put together an emergency kit a long time ago. Michael and I finally got our act in gear earlier this month, when our superstitious tendencies got the better of us: we were worried about predictions of a December 4 earthquake and tsunami. We didn't tell our friends about the prediction, which we heard about at a dinner party, because we didn't want them to get as crazy as we were getting. In the end, earthquakes are pretty hard to prepare for; who knows where you'll be when it happens? Chances are you won't be wearing your emergency backpack. Even so, we put something together so we could put our hearts at ease:

If you aren't too mad at me for not telling you about the prediction that didn't come to pass, have a look at this content list, and let me know if you have suggestions:

  • Flash light
  • Matches
  • Lighter
  • Candles
  • Work gloves
  • Warm socks
  • Ear plugs
  • Markers
  • Notebook
  • Playing cards
  • Tissues
  • Toilet paper
  • Water
  • Apple juice
  • Energy bars
  • Granola bars

I know I could look at/buy the emergency backpacks at Mountain Equipment Co-op, but it's more fun this way.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


After making tentative plans to get pedicures in August, Emily and I finally made it happen. Emily is a friend from my political science world, and we like each other because we have similar temperaments. That is, we experience the same kind of school anxiety and it makes us feel better to know there is someone else out there who has school-related panic attacks. Also, we are both CBC Radio nerds. I think we once had a showdown about who was the bigger fan. I may have won that round, because Emily has yet to fight with Rex Murphy on Cross Country Checkup. But that's not important right now. We’re both in the middle of final exams, and we went to Magic Nails and Spa on Yates so we could help ourselves relax and catch up with each other at the same time (we didn’t have any classes together this semester).

I was worried that I had high expectations that couldn't be met, but the experience was perfect. My favourite part was the massaging chairs with the built in foot bath. That's what I want for Christmas. The ladies who worked on our feet were awesome too. It was very relaxed in that they just chatted with each other and their nephew while Emily and I chatted with each other. No awkward conversation. No awkward silences. This is not a she-she spa with hippy music and candles. There are fluorescent lights and nephews. That puts me at ease more than mood lighting somehow.

Those of you from Vancouver are probably wondering what I'm going on about, because these types of Asian nail spas are everywhere in that city. That is not the case in Victoria; Magic Nails just opened in August and I've had my eye on it since I saw the grand opening banner. These types of establishments are especially good because they are affordable.

The final pedicure results are fine, but it's more about the process for me: making time to relax. Emily admitted that she almost bailed because she thought she needed the extra hour for studying, but wow. You should have seen her face when we were through. It really is magic.

I tried taking pictures of my feet this morning, but they won't be showing up on the Internet anytime soon, even though the red nail polish is festive. You'll just have to trust me on this one.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The goose is getting fat

I waited until December 1st to put up Christmas decorations and listen to Sufjan Stevens' songs for Christmas (thanks Sarah H!). Now I'm in full holiday mode. I didn't put up a lot of decorations because Michael and I are going home for Christmas, but I did make some new ornaments for the (fake) tree that I'm particularly proud of:

When I worked at The Sellution, one of the Main Street antique/consignment stores in Vancouver, I nabbed some of the single chandelier ornaments that were kicking around. The store kept a drawer full, and I wanted to make earrings. I did make a few pairs (Lydia, didn't you get some?), but most of them were too heavy on the ear. Last year I decorated my tree with candy canes, but I wanted something shiny this year. When I started digging through my suitcase of craft supplies, I found 12 of the glass beads. I took out the metal hardware and threaded them with colourful embroidery thread. Presto! Heather Armstrong just featured glass bird ornaments on Dooce. We're on the same page, but she didn't make hers.