As Olympics near, people in Vancouver are dreading Games, from Sports Illustrated Online by columnist Dave Zirin:

The original cost estimate was $660 million in public money. It’s now at an admitted $6 billion and steadily climbing. An early economic impact statement was that the games could bring in $10 billion. Price Waterhouse Coopers just released their own study showing that the total economic impact will be more like $1 billion. In addition, the Olympic Village came in $100 million over budget and had to be bailed out by the city.

Security was estimated at $175 million and the final cost will exceed $1 billion. These budget overruns are coinciding with drastic cuts to city services. On my first day in town, the cover of the local paper blared cheery news about the Games on the top flap, while a headline announcing the imminent layoff off 800 teachers was much further down the page.

shout out

Mamihlapinatapai (sometimes spelled mamihlapinatapei) is a word from the Yaghan language of Tierra del Fuego, listed in The Guinness Book of World Records as the “most succinct word”, and is considered one of the hardest words to translate. It describes “a look shared by two people with each wishing that the other will initiate something that both desire but which neither one wants to start.”

I have been falling out of touch with my various spaces, posting so infrequently that my on-line identity, my journal especially, has become almost permanently paused, a silent, waiting space, the inhaled breath before a sentence held in rather than flowing as a transitory action. It was not my intention, and I hope to rectify my neglect soon. If I do not write here, how will we stay in contact? I am notorious for rarely using a phone. Without input, without interaction, I do not exist, I am invisible, a voyeur only, and do not have access to our beautiful friendships.

The silence has reason, however. In this drawn out slumber, dreams have been fomenting just off screen. I have been collecting myself, preparing to shift from being unemployed to potentially self employed, spending my time researching my knowledge and resources, collecting materials, and planning how to mix facts and skill and memory until they all blend into a new, hopeful venture. Something, finally, my own. I will have more details soon, as almost every day I finish another step towards the great unveil. Until then, I hope I have your support, as I feel that will be vital as I smack into various snags, and that going out on my own as an artist isn’t going to be something I look back on with regret.

In the meantime, I’ve been doing heavily discounted medical transcription for a Montreal journalist, typing for hours on stem cells, clinical trials, and how overseas clinics have been swindling desperate people with false claims of magic bullet cures. (It’s been interesting, if occasionally deadly depressing. Science Is A Verb Now, and it is The Future and it is Good, but holy cats are there some unethical bastards who firmly wave that flag.)

That, chance, and hard work have miraculously come together to make this month’s rent, but next month is still in the air. To that end, I’m also hoping to successfully apply for EI, something I’ve never done before. The process has been slowed for me due to how many employers it seems I’ve legally never had, but I’m trying to stay positive. If EI doesn’t work out due to some paperwork mess, then I’m feeling alright about lining up for the dole, as apparently they’d be fairly likely to send me to school, which is something I’ve been toying with lately as I have a fair handful of skills, but nothing useful I’m certified for, (my only certification is in stop motion animation), or could do for long periods of time due to my car accident injuries, (cabinet carpentry anyone? furniture refinishing?).

So, with all of that in mind, IT’S TIME FOR THE BIANNUAL SHOUT-OUT!


Please tell me your names, introduce yourself, post a picture! Everyone’s invited – friends, strangers, the lurking anonymous – especially those who are otherwise silent. Like a good house party, it’s always fascinating to see who turns up.

Tell me why you’re here, how you found me, what inspires you. Even if I know you, introduce yourself to others, and tell me what you’ve done lately. I want to see your faces, I want to read what you’d like everyone else to know. Tell us your stimulations, titillations; show us your pretty hidden treasures. Journals have been dying lately, I’d like to see who’s chosen to stick around. Anecdotes are welcome, as are photos, job descriptions, awesome links, and whatever else.


just heard outside

Very drunk man walking by, yelling up to the telephone wire guy up in an elevated bucket: HEY, DID YOU PUT THE SHEEP UP THERE?

Telephone guy in the bucket high above, poking at a little box: Sheep?

Drunk man, shouting louder: SHOES!

Telephone guy, obviously amused: No, do you want a pair?


My neighborhood, folks, where the number of shoes on the telephone wire across my building doubles every six months like a mathematical equation and plastered idiots wander about shouting about sheep at one in the afternoon.

I can see the repair guy from my bedroom window. I don’t think he’s ever been so glad in his life to be so far above the ground. Touch wood that he leaves the shoes alone. They’re very nice shoes, very comforting, high heels and wing tips hang among the more traditional battered sneakers. I’ve never added a pair out of an illogical fear of permanence, even though I’ve lived here five years now, but those are my neighborhood quirk, damn it, and he’d better not take any down.

the glamour of travel

Thank you, thank you, thank you! Named number one in the world at the Tanith and Rabbit Readers’ Awards, I was chosen by readers from among several categories including handmade, destinations, surgeons, airlines and chocolate fluffers. I am so pleased to have won first place! Set on one of the largest reefs of information in North America’s Atomic Atoll, all my teeth enjoy beautiful ocean views and direct access to the latest in impromptu government hand-outs. Nowhere else in my bloodstream is there such exclusive light, flame, and soft, crackling fur. I am home to private villas, with secluded whispering nail beds and overly lush tropical greenery, (installed primarily by only the best fashion designers), and waterfalls set above each eye. I am eco-friendly, and bathe daily in the clear, protected waters of my ergonomic ocular lagoons. The freestanding bamboo arches of my feet, the cocoa butter oiled hinges of my elbows, and the high, airy rafts of my ribs and hands are complemented by spacious ceilings, curved moldings, and various personal breakthroughs, allowing for a variety of personal entertainment and dining options. Among the largest vacation destinations in the world, my emotions are detached, expansive and equally luxurious. For more information, visit your nearest rope bridge and dial my number on your favourite telephonic device. Operators will be waiting soon.

America the Doomed

California Schools Ban Dictionaries for Containing Lewd Information

Dictionaries have been removed from classrooms in southern California schools after a parent complained about a child reading the definition for “oral sex”.

Merriam Webster’s 10th edition, which has been used for the past few years in fourth and fifth grade classrooms in Menifee Union school district, has been pulled from shelves over fears that the “sexually graphic” entry is “just not age appropriate”, according to the area’s local paper.

The dictionary’s online definition of the term is “oral stimulation of the genitals”. “It’s hard to sit and read the dictionary, but we’ll be looking to find other things of a graphic nature,” district spokeswoman Betti Cadmus told the paper.

School Outlaws “Sexual Bending”. Educators issue rules covering grinding, other dance offenses.

While dancing back to front, all dancers must remain upright – no sexual bending is allowed. Examples are, no hands on knees, and no hands on the dance floor with your buttocks touching your dance partner. There will be no touching of the breasts, buttocks or genitals. There will be no straddling of each others’ legs. Both feet must remain on the dance floor at all times. Students will be given wrist bands at the door. One warning results in a teacher cutting off the wrist band. A student dancing inappropriately with no wrist band will be asked to leave the dance. This may result in loss of dance privileges for the year.

The dance will be videotaped to insure the safety of all students attending.