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August, 2009:

“A couple of times he actually popped his head out of the water and kinda stared right at me”

If you were needing a new excuse for, well, anything, this is a good one. People are going to assume you wouldn’t make it up, because if you did say an animal attacked you, surely you would’ve picked something bigger, like a grizzly, or a medium-sized dog.

See, we want to think of otters as being cute loving creatures like this, but instead they’re evil attack monsters that bite you while you’re innocently training for Ironman competitions.

Obviously they are intelligent, devious creatures that lull us into submission and then chomp into our tasty manflesh. Rather like cats when they lie on their backs, daring us to scratch their bellies. It’s a good thing the Vancouver Aquarium has that glass up around the otters; obviously it is to protect humans from their subconscious desire to scritch scritch.

Summertime in K-town, everybody get down

P1020393(The title being from some pop song some local artist produced, which is hilarious and I wish there were a copy online to show you.)

I just thought I’d make a little note here that I’m not sad and lonely like I was a week or two ago. Sometimes big changes coincide with hormonal fluctuations and you’re just kind of predisposed to get weepy. Not that the homesickness wasn’t justified, but the timing made it worse. Stupid ovaries!

I suppose I should consider making friends outside of work, but there are so many people at work that there doesn’t seem to be any point in venturing outside to meet people. I’m at an office with ten times as many employees as my previous jobs, and they all smile at you as they pass you in the hallways. All of them. It was really unnerving at first, and on Monday mornings it’s just plain creepy.

I’ve been spending Friday nights with a bunch of Albertans, two-thirds of which are named Kevin (as is everybody in this town: I think I’ve met six). They think I’m a lush because so far I’ve passed out or left by around 10 pm both nights. I blame it on work, because all the brain usage is exhausting. I may need my friends from Vancouver to act as references that I’m capable of staying up as late as grown-ups.

There’s other stuff I could write about, but it is 10 pm and I am obviously not grown-up yet so it’s time for my cat to tuck me in and purr me a bedtime story. Not that I can hear her over the whir of the AC unit.

Friday Cat Blogging: Tastes like Kelowna

I don’t think I’ve done one of these posts from Kelowna yet. I think I was waiting to see if my cat would survive the move; I swear she didn’t eat the entire week she was homeless (and at Dad’s or a kennel) because when I took her back on the 5th she was all ribcage with fur around it. My cat does not handle stress well. Neither do I, really, but I wouldn’t forget to eat. Shebang seems to be okay now, though, and is enjoying the novelty of morning sunbeams (my last place faced west).

The view is down into the parking lots of this and nearby apartment buildings, which gives her lots to look at, what with all the ghetto action going down. Did I mention there was a drug dealer in my building?

There’s not much more to say about The Bang, who’s currently sitting on my lap, purring and licking my arm because longpig is so tasty. On to the links!

I snorted at an inappropriate place and time this week after a friend sent me a link to this commercial:

A new Simon’s Cat cartoon came out a few weeks ago. Yet again his work imitates my life in such an extreme way I wonder if someone’s webcamming me for ideas.

Also a few weeks ago I saw this news piece going around saying that cats can modify their purrs in such a way as to control their owners’ minds. Something like that. Yes kitty, whatever you say kitty. Like, they might add a little mew in the purr so you feel sorry for them and give them stuff. The scientist to come up with this idea is Dr. Karen McComb and here’s a random article on the subject. I figure she’s probably right; when I think about it, why the hell am I so nice to my cat, when she in turn tap dances on me while I sleep? If it’s not brainwashing or real time mind control, it’s a brain parasite making you dopey.

Happy weekend everyone!

Shebang in the new chair

It has been suggested to me a few times in the last few days that I should give myself a break and cut myself some slack and other weird expressions that mean a similar thing. In any case I’m rather homesick and sad and lonely and for some reason had assumed I wouldn’t be, or that it wouldn’t hurt so much. I’m not really sure what I expected.

It occurred to me this past weekend that I’ve never really succeeded at moving away from Vancouver. In 1990 we moved up to Kitimat because my stepdad got recruited up there. I spent the next 8 months or so praying we’d move back to Vancouver, and the day Mom said we were moving back was my favourite day there.

In 1995 I moved to Victoria to go to UVic, where I lasted two years. I spent most of the second year taking the ferry back to Van every weekend or two, eventually deciding I might as well just move back and save myself the commute.

That’s it. There never seemed any reason to leave since, until recently when I got a glittery job offer for a company here in Kelowna and wanted the life change that a move would bring. Or I thought I did: turns out I really just want to be back in my crap apartment in Marpole and going for coffee with Chrissy and Stu. I miss the familiar.

Kelowna, as it is, is great and there’s really nothing to dislike about the city itself. I’m enjoying the weather more than I thought I would. My workmates are all happy nice people and have been quite welcoming despite the fact they did not receive any of the cookies I’d promised in the interview for two weeks. I think I won out over the other candidates only because of that promise.

It is hard, though. Even with my stuff unpacked this doesn’t feel like home. The streets are new and I don’t know anyone and I’m in a constant state of slight discomfort. Work is looking to be a big challenge, which was what I wanted, but right now it consists of me being confused most of the time. Nor am I used to working in an office after a year of contracting from home and never meeting my clients. All of this was exciting at first but now I’m exhausted.

For years certain people were telling me I should move away and start a new life outside Vancouver (don’t know why, but whatever) but these same people did their own moving with their spouses, so they had someone. I don’t have a someone, I have a somecat but it’s not the same thing. I mean, it’s better than nothing, I’ll take it; I am hopeful, but this is a difficult time.

I’m not meaning to whine here, I’m just putting it out there that this is what I’m dealing with. I guess I just hadn’t prepared myself for how this would feel, and ended up surprised that it’s made me sad. On the plus side I’m going to be in Vancouver for Labour Day long weekend, so if I can hold out until then I will get to rejuvenate myself in preparation for another month from home. Let’s see how long I can last this way.

Trippy packaging

My friend Thompson is in the band Splitting Adam, maybe best known for their song in the EA game “Need for Speed – Undercover”. They’re about to release their first full-length album, and here’s a look at its intense CD packaging:

I find this kind of cool, because in my life CDs have become rather archaic; everything I listen to comes out of a computer or iPod, and I tend to buy mp3s online and probably wouldn’t recognize the newer album covers of most of my favourite artists anymore. I applaud anyone trying to bring CD art back into prominence, especially in such an out-there way.

You can read a bit more about the design and see stills of the packaging here, but the gist of it is about

…a fictitious character named Adam and his internal struggle with an audio triggered bipolar disorder. The cover splits Adam to reveal inside his head, a 3D animated hologram which morphs from a passive lamb into an agressive ape. The CD and insert artwork documents Adam’s mental state along with vital statistics and final prognosis.

That’s deep, yo.

Unfortunately I’ve only heard a song or two of theirs previously so I can’t say much about their sound (will have to wait until I get a copy of the album), but Thompson is an awesome musician and I have fond memories of watching him perform at various UBC beer gardens back when we were in music school. I believe he plays guitar and sings backing vocals with these guys, and would ignore me if I were to scream “play El Scorcho!” (perhaps the early 2000’s cover band’s “Free Bird”) at one of his concerts now. Le sigh.

Obligatory Narcissistic Haircut Entry

Same cat, same knees, different city

New city means new hairstylist. Luckily the place I randomly picked is the unofficial official salon for my new company as the owner is a coworker’s wife. I’m back to being a blonde, it seems. That probably works better with the sunshine.

Inappropriate video embedding

I just realized it’s been well over a week since I saw any of my friends and I’m jonesing for my own personality to come out (unlike the quiet, shy, polite me that New Job is currently seeing). I miss my friends. I like you so much more now that you’re not available.

Here’s a video I discovered a week or two ago, a cover of Talking Heads’ “This Must Be The Place”, but where the music video is an homage to American Psycho. Miles Fisher does have an uncanny resemblance to Christian Bale in this video, though I haven’t seen the movie (I don’t like horror, gore or chick flicks for that matter, not that it is one but it does star Christian Bale) so I can’t make a comparison there.

Yeah, so, like, don’t watch this if you’re at work, or if there are little kids around, or anyone who’s easily disturbed.

This is my favourite Talking Heads song but I consider it so joyful that combining it with images of sex, violence and 1980s narcissism is really incongruous to me. Well, maybe not on the last point, the song is from 1983. In case you feel the same way I do, here’s the unicorn chaser of the live Talking Heads version: