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It's the space between terms -- three weeks long, in my case, of which two are passed -- and I am celebrating by prioritizing and passionately applying myself to things which are not important in any time-dependent way. I've finally finished Final Fantasy 6, reactivated my City of Heroes account, and read several very good novels, one of which was especially long:
Maxine Hong Kingston, The Woman Warrior
Nnedi Okarafor-Mbachu, Zahrah the Windseeker
Neal Stephenson, Anathem
Josephine Tey, The Daughter of Time
John M. Ford, The Dragon Waiting (reread)
And yes, that's year three done. I'll do stats later.

All the other mammals in the house left today on a trip to Saskatchewan, where my sister lives now; I didn't go in part because my school will be back before they are. Since I've never been here on my own for this long (it will be a fortnight), it will be interesting to see whether the solitude gets weird; it hasn't had time to yet, except that I keep turning around expecting the dog to be there.

We Live In The Future Watch: 'antigravity gardens' (that is, vertical ones). I would also accept this as "We live in a Miyazaki movie."
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I read some books:
Vernor Vinge, Rainbows End
Sarah Monette, The Mirador
Laurie J. Marks, Fire Logic
Pamela Dean, The Secret Country (reread)
Pamela Dean, The Hidden Land (reread)
Pamela Dean, The Whim of the Dragon (reread)
Emma Bull, Territory
(Also Samuel R. Delany's The Motion of Light in Water; I can't decide if I think that qualifies as a novel for the purposes of this project.)

Today it snowed all over everything; I didn't have to consider whether school was going to stay open, because it ended yesterday, aside from the five or so term papers I have to write in the next two weeks (also, it's Saturday). I should write one of those papers every day or two so that I can be done all the rest by next Friday, and then spend a week on the relatively enormous Honours essay. I finished the first one today (having properly commenced it yesterday), so maybe it's possible.

I took my dog out briefly, and when we came back in he lay himself down on the rug in the front hallway and carefully licked all of the snowflakes out of his fur.
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Brendan asked me about Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun books and Sean Stewart's Resurrection Man, so becoming the first person to ask about all the books I read in a single month individually. Eventually I answered him.

(It turns out that Sean Stewart is also one of the major people behind I Love Bees. Dude!)

Last night I caught the opening segment of CBC's semi-news show The Hour, which began as is its wont with a skit featuring the special guests -- in this case, the Foo Fighters. The skit concerned the backstage tension between Dave Grohl and one of the stagehands or something; eventually it came out that they had been in a band together in high school, and the other guy felt betrayed because Grohl had left that band to start the Foo Fighters, and they had a tearful reconciliation. There was something about this that I thought was very strange, and maybe you've spotted it, too: can it really be the case that the skit-writers, or for that matter the fans who they expect to be watching, aren't aware that Grohl's pre-Foo project was somewhat higher profile than that?

I had other things I was going to write about, but I forget them.
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I own a fair number of books, but not many at all that I value as individual physical objects rather than as particular instances of valued texts. The chief exception has been an edition of The Poems and Plays of Alfred Lord Tennyson which I bought at one of the VPL's book sales. It's bound in a red material whose precise nature I'm not quite sure of -- I think it's some sort of fabric -- but which feels very authoratative, and the title on the spine and the logo on the front cover (which is a running man with a torch) are gold on black. The pages are very thin and black along the top edge. The copyright page says 1938.

Tonight, while we were watching TV, the gate that usually blocks access to the lower two floors of the house was left open, and my dog went down and into my room and chewed on this book. He tore off about the top fifth of both the front and back covers, and about the top third of the spine, and he chewed on the corners of the pages at the end of the book and the exposed cardboard of the back. Nearly all the text is still legible, but the text is in the public domain and would be no irreplacable loss, and so seems no significant salvage. The thing that I valued about this book has bled to death on my floor.

It would have been easily preventable, the knowledge of which somehow doesn't retroactively prevent it. I told the dog 'no' a bunch and shut him up in his kennel, as punishment, and then after a while I let him out again, all of which was the appropriate thing to do but feels similarly hollow. (He ought to be trained out of chewing up books, but if he was only going to ever chew up one, it was certainly arranged so that he did maximum possible damage.) I'll probably have other books as nice, of the sort that when you hold them and read them it feels almost heady, like holding a sword, but I'll probably never find one of the other copies of this lovely edition of Tennyson. This is the same way that I feel when I lose a lot of computer data, so I know that I'll recover emotional equanimity about it, and it will be just a thing that happened; and this will be a lot sooner than it would have been if I'd lost a friend, for instance, or indeed my dog. Right now, I'm still horribly filled up with the waste of it.

Writing about it has helped some, though.

In movement

Feb. 4th, 2007 11:56 pm
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I noticed that the VPL had information about getting jobs there right on their website this whole time, so I have applied for a job there (as a "Library Assistant"). In the time leading up to doing so I felt excited and daydreamed about working at the library a lot, and now that it's done I've felt my brain make a fairly immediate switch to assuming that I got everything wrong and that I'll never hear back about it. Luckily, that outcome is no longer in a position to be affected by my insecurities.

I've started to get anonymous porn spam in the comments to old entries here. It's only been a couple, so far, and days apart; I hope that it doesn't swell to the point where I'll need to disable anonymous commenting. Very few of my regular commenters don't have accounts to post from (my parents, too infrequent to be 'regular', would be the closest), but I would very much like to remain inclusive on principle.

"What a stereotypical livejournal entry," I thought. "I should mention my dog!" Actually, I haven't mentioned my dog to my weblog in ages. Dear weblog: my dog is still awesome and cute. We just got him a toy which is just a laser pointer and you shine it on the ground and he chases the dot around furiously. I can't tell if he really likes it or is really frustrated by not being able to catch it; possibly some of both? It's strange the ways in which a dog remains dependent and basically uncommunicative. It's not like having a child, who would eventually become autonomous, and well before that was totally achieved would be able to articulate their feelings, open doors, etc. Bandit is capable of a certain amount of personal growth -- we're pretty certain by now that he's no longer liable to wantonly use the house as a bathroom, for instance -- but he's always going to need us to feed him, and to figure out without being able to ask whether he's happy or infuriated about the laser pointer.

(The other weird thing about the laser pointer is that it's totally just a laser pointer. This company apparently subsists entirely on taking ordinary laser pointers (with slightly customized cases) and putting them in packaging that suggests you use them to taunt your pets.)

I have been involved in starting a weekly group watching Babylon 5 at David/Karen/Jeremy's newish apartment and that's going pretty awesome. (The original impetus was that David has an impressively powerful movie projector, but he noticed eventually that that was actually overkill so now he uses something much more humble and with less expensive lightbulbs for this everyday stuff. We're still watching it gigantically projected on their living room wall, though.)

Generally, though in a transitional rather than a stable way, my life is pretty satisfying right now.
garran: (Default)
First, Saturday, the day of my birthday party; )

then, Sunday, a day of misadventure. )

Monday was anticlimax and anticipation. )

Now, it's now; still basically Monday. It's still not actively snowing, and everything is kind of holding its breath. I printed off my English essay, did some kanji homework, wrote this entry, and go back to waiting with the rest.
garran: (I am your baser nature! Engarde!)
Since I've been occasionally asked, here at last are a bunch of photos of my dog.

Older, and elusive. )

The unflinching clarity of today. )

Hopefully the collective hunger is hereby sated. Though I suppose I could take more.

P.S. I can't stop listening to this song!
garran: (Default)
I've never had much trouble doing that thing where one simultaneously pats one's head and rubs one's stomach, but it turns out that it's harder when I try it on my dog.

Today, there was no AD&D; instead I went with Andrew and David to watch Elise (and a bunch of other people whose names are not as important) perform* in the closing ceremonies to the celtic fest, which is one of those big annual Vancouver events that I somehow usually manage to completely ignore. I began the night somewhat antisocial and introspective, but eventually ended up having a lot of fun; all of the acts were pleasant (he says vaguely, lacking the language or the experience to talk about this style of music with much precision), with the sole exception of the final band, who actually made 'The Devil Went Down To Georgia' painful to listen to. There were tiny weapons, sculpted from chocolate coin wrappers, and David and I went out for dinner afterwards, and generally talked more than we had for a long time.

(* When I made my last mix, which was for Elise, I wrote on the disc, in coloured felt pen, like so: '"Hungry Ghosts" mix / for Elise on her Birthday' (her birthday is at the end of the month; I gave it to her early). Sometime after I had done this, but before I had handed it over, I looked at it, thought, 'the fiddler's green!', and collapsed into helpless giggling.)

Things that I do not appreciate, although I would like to because they are hip:

  • Sushi
  • Kilts
  • The music of Broken Social Scene
  • Achewood Actually, I get Achewood now.
garran: (Default)
My dog is so cute!


He is so cute that sometimes I can hardly stand it.

I've been sick: on Friday, Saturday and Sunday with a sore and congested throat, on Sunday and Monday with a debilitating headache, and today with a very runny and irritated nose, which I haven't been complaining much about (I hope) because compared to the previous stages it's really quite benign, and hopefully signifies that this is making its slow and grumbling way to just being a cold. I've been going to school anyway, because there are/were Japanese midterms today and tomorrow and because I was stubborn yesterday.

Metric and Hawksley Workman are each coming to town at the beginning of April, and I fondly hope to attend both their shows. (Is anyone else going?) I know about these concerts because I've been reading Elise's friends list; in recent months, I've learned not only that I am not the only one with my peculiar tactic of habitually keeping up with several people's friends lists, but that at least two others actually utilize mine in this way. I am happy to provide the service.
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I am fairly convinced, by this point, that my dog is not possessed of the tempestuous spirit of a deposed star -- fairly, but not completely. He has the occasional strange and volatile agenda that seems to suggest it.

(Everyone else has decided to call him 'Bandit', which is a little too much a TV dog name for me to feel exactly comfortable with it. I usually just call him 'Dog', like Haplo. High and low allusion!

Andrew thought that we ought to name him 'Bear Cub (small)'.)

I spent last night away from home, on the couch-bed of a friend of Elise's, having dawdled too long watching Evangelion with the two of them to sensibly bus home. (I've now seen all of Eva except for the movies, just in case anyone has been dying to have some conversation with me that is actually a spoiler.) My hostess, whose name is Annalee, lives about a fifteen minute transit from Langara, and approaching from that near, in the surprising sunshine of this morning, made the whole school day seem somehow new and vivid.


Jan. 26th, 2006 02:48 pm
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So, a few days ago, my mother went out and bought a dog; she brought him home last night. It's been more than a decade since we had to give my first dog away; I've often in that time said that I'd like to have one again, but it's been so long since I've had an animal with personality around, and my life has such a different shape now than it had when last I did, that I'm really not sure how he's going to fit in for me yet.

He is a poodle, because they have hair and not fur and so my mother is not allergic to them, and he is small and black and shaggy, and looks a little like a tiny bear. Apparently he'll turn grey as he grows. He doesn't have a name yet, and will probably not be named by me, since, although there's something sort of unformed tugging at me in that direction, I haven't really had any good ideas. Where Casey - our former dog, a lakeland terrier - had a sort of a sad and downtrodden expression, this guy has a look of alarmed excitement, and he likes to run around, and chew on this piece of rope he has, and hop up on my lap and paw at my torso.

We've built him a little fenced-in pen at the edge of the dining room; it includes a kennel, for sleeping, and a strange sort of scented toilet-pad, which I guess is an invention of the last ten years. (This has some effect on how much of a good idea it is for me to have dinner there late at night anymore.) Last night, after we'd put him in there and turned out the lights and started to go away, to encourage him to sleep, my mother warned me, "Now, he's probably going to start crying"; and indeed no sooner had she said this than a sad and plaintive yelping began.

It really made me want to go back and play with him. "Is it always necessary to traumatize one's tiny charges?" I asked my mother.

"Yes," she said.


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Andy H.

February 2013

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