Dream of the Dolphin
Confessions of a Post-Graduate Pity Whore
Random Neverending Story TriviaDuring the great Stellar Magpie Road Trip, we ended up in my parents' basement with Jen and my sibling discussing the Neverending Story and its various flaws (despite its undebated awesomeness). Jen brought up the fact that it used to bother her that Atreyu was played by a white kid (until she learned that he was actually of Native descent), and I pointed out back that if they were being really true to the book, he would have been green.
As it turns out, they tried that, but they just couldn't get it to come out right on film. According to Noah Hathaway, "I looked like fungi".
Other fun trivia:
( 11:01 AM ) Sarah Jane ~
Saturday, January 28, 2006
More Not-PoliticsI was vastly amused, while perusing the web looking for a widescreen version of The Last Unicorn available in North America (there isn't one, and the one commercially available is complete and utter distorted pan-and-scan crap, so I have to make due with my DivX rip of the German transfer a little while longer), to find this review on the Amazon.com page, which leads me to conclude that the reviewer was:
a) a troll, or
b) on crack
Decide for yourself:
I saw "The Last Unicorn" as a child back in the 80's when it first debuted in theatres.
( 1:31 AM ) Sarah Jane ~
Friday, January 27, 2006
Harperwatch #1: Same-sex Marriage and the MilitaryI told you I'd be watching, Stephen.
So, not even a week after the election, you're not even Prime Minister yet, and already the campaign to strip human rights away from people begins:
Harper re-opens same-sex marriage debate
I've heard some rumblings about how this is not a big deal, about how gay couples will still be allowed a form of civic union that's equal to, but different than, marriage, and what's wrong with that? So I propose an exercise. Consider the following:
"Homosexuals will have a union that has the same function, but is different."
Pretty innocuous, isn't it? But let's play a game. Let's take out the word "homosexuals" and replace it with something else.
"Black people will have a union that has the same function, but is different."
Hmm. Doesn't seem quite as fair now, does it? Let's keep going with this game. Let's try replacing the word marriage, too. And we'll keep using substitutes for "homosexuals", just to keep it interesting.
"Aboriginals will have an entrance that has the same function, but is different."
"Africans will have a bus that has the same function, but is different."
"Women will have a paycheque that has the same function, but is different."
See my problem now? It's bigger than marriage. It's the fact that disallowing marriage between gay couples while offering them something else is as humiliating as telling people of non-caucasian origins that they can still get into the building, but they have to use a different entrance. It's a big giant step backward in the face of human rights, and a slope I don't particularly want to be sliding down.
And don't you dare bring out the "but what's next, marrying children?" argument with me. There's a massive difference between pedophilia and two consenting adults capable of understanding and signing a marriage contract, and if anyone says "what if I decide I want to marry this tree?" this time around, I will shove that tree so far up your ass, you'll be spitting out leaves for a week.
Also on my radar now are Harper's military icebreakers in the Arctic -- you may claim to be acting on a mandate from the Canadian people, Stephen, and granted it's easing a few of the "Bush's Bitch" worries, but I for one would be much happier if you left the arctic alone and started doing something to help stop it from melting, not insisting we spend that money elsewhere.
And finally, on the subject of women's rights:
"I think that the child-care program we laid out ... is something that is very popular. I'm always willing to have discussions but I do believe that Canadian parents and families expect us to deliver on this and frankly expect the Parliament as a whole to deliver them that benefit," he said.
Popular? Not with me it isn't. I don't expect I'd be able to give up my career for children, even if I wanted to (which I don't), and $1200 a year won't pay for squat. If you want to do something useful for Canadian parents and families who can't afford to stay at home with the kids, they're going to need $1200 per month, or a funded daycare system. That would be popular. And actually helpful.
Remember, Stephen. More than half of Canada voted for somebody else.
( 9:45 AM ) Sarah Jane ~
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
A Post That's Not About PoliticsI've been rather upset and opinionated lately, so I thought it was time to pull back and talk about something that doesn't involve politics.
I love that I have "weekends" again now, even if my "weekend" falls in the middle of the week. It's just nicer to have two days together than a day here and a day over there. Largely because it's damn near impossible to get anything done on that first day off, especially when you have a tendency to get lost in the Doctor Who wikipedia pages. But hey, I know what the Cloister Bell is now.
Anyway, I'm not completely idle on my days off. I've been very good about sticking with the yoga. I was as skeptical as the next person about its merits at the beginning, but now I've noticed that I have no problem with stairs anymore, my arms are stronger, I don't get tired as much, I'm sure it in no small way contributed to the 34 pounds I've lost, my heart doesn't murmur anymore, my knees don't bother me as much, neither do my feet, and I very rarely get back pain anymore.
I like that it's stationary enough that I can do it in my bedroom without having to move anything but my desk chair, that it's low impact so it doesn't disturb my neighbours and it's easier on my knees, and portable, so I can take the DVD and my mat with me pretty much anywhere.
Of course, the one drawback to doing it in my room is that Pyewacket likes to help. In the most unhelpful way possible.
I swear, that cat has a sixth sense for finding the most inconvenient place she could possibly be, and then delights in going there.
( 1:06 PM ) Sarah Jane ~
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
Okay then. It could have been worse. We're only somewhat fucked, not completely fucked. Though, Canada, I'm very, very disappointed in 36% of you.
But I will say this, Stephen Harper. I'll be watching you. And if you fuck up my country, I'm going to call you on it.
When I really want it to, my voice can carry.
( 1:36 AM ) Sarah Jane ~
Monday, January 23, 2006
V-DayThis is it, Canada. Don't screw up.
Alice said something on the streetcar the other day that struck me as hilariously dead-on-the-mark.
"I hope the Conservatives don't win. I don't want a government in power that will force me to become an activist."
Seriously, Canada, we have better things to do.
( 8:17 AM ) Sarah Jane ~
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Great, Now I Need More Squirrel PuppiesI just the Conservative propaganda e-mail that's making the rounds from a very dear friend of mine (or someone spoofing her e-mail -- I'm not sure which, as it ended up in my bulk mail folder). It contains an extensive list of reasons that I'd be happier with if they came with some documented references, since some seem rather sketch to me (such as the claim that under Martin the economy and the dollar are suffering -- no, I'd disagree there). Some are just wrong -- my own income has increased, not decreased, for example. And the contention that it's damn near time we had a Prime Minister who isn't from Quebec kinda seemed to border on creepy prejudice to me.
I particularly liked:
Stephen Harper says that the Conservative party will:
So what are Trudeau's kids up to these days?
( 4:39 PM ) Sarah Jane ~
Monday, January 16, 2006
And Now...Because writing that last post made me feel yucky and I need some fast counter-cuteness, here's a dog who's raising an orphaned squirrel with her puppies.
Thank you Cute Overload (scrubs at dirty skin with big-eyed fluffy kitten).
( 2:28 PM ) Sarah Jane ~
The Politics PostOkay, I wanted to not say anything, but preliminary polls show that Harper at the moment has the majority. For the record, I don't particularly like any party. I'm not overly fond of the Liberals, and while the NDP is most closely aligned with my personal beliefs and values, I don't think they're capable of running the country. But Harper scares the shit out of me. So here is why I will not be voting Conservative:
If you give the government the message that it's okay to rewrite the Charter to take human rights away from a section of people to which they have already granted, where does it stop? Abortion? Women's voting rights? Slavery? No, I don't really believe it's going to go quite that far, but it's a dangerous precedent to set. I mean, the Germans in the 1930's gave power to a man who was very flexible on the whole human rights thing because they thought he'd do good things for the economy. While I don't actually think we'll be hearing choruses of "Heil Harper!", the current party in power south of us is looking a mite flexible on the whole human rights thing too, and that's not exactly turning out sunshine and roses for them.
I got screamed at over Christmas dinner about how stupid I was, how not voting Conservative was just giving the government permission to rob me. Not that I believe the Conservatives care any more about protecting my finances than the Liberals do (quite the contrary -- I'm poor, so I stand to be fucked over by the Conservative government), but that aside, it comes down to this:
I care more about human rights than I do about my money.
Your priorities may differ.
Is anyone really dumb enough to believe you can put your kids in daycare with $100 a month? What he's actually saying, is "we'll let the wealthy decide". Those with lots of money can afford their own daycare. Those with enough money to support their families on one income get to decide which parent gets to stay home barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen (and I'm betting Harper's not pushing for that to be the man).
Yes, it's great for stay-at-home moms, but the families who can't afford to live off a single income are going to have to pray that they make enough to afford daycare, because $100 a month will pay for maybe three days of it. Too bad we don't have an institutionalized daycare system…. Oh, wait…
Harper proposes to lower the GST. A whole 1%. Woo. Now that is going to make a difference. I can do soooo much with an extra $64 a year [/dripping sarcasm].
One percent won't do a whole hell of a lot. The GST Dance is done with theme and variations every election campaign (see my comments at the beginning about the Liberals), but when it comes down to it, if we're going to get rid of the deficit (oh, wait, Martin did that) and not follow the American economic lead (ditto), the government can't be running around shouting "expensive European silk scarves for all!"
All the GST Dance is is another flashy way to distract people so that they can say, "but we don't need human rights, Harper's going to lower the GST! You know what? I'm sick of the fucking GST Dance. That bastard needed to be buried with the Macarena.
I mean, hell, we could all do with following Iceland's lead, but you know that's never going to happen as long as people in power here or to the south stand to lose money if the oil market is suddenly devalued. "Fuck the planet, we're going to be dead by then. Our great-grandkids are on their own. Wait, what's this strange feeling I have? Could it be guilt? Perhaps it will go away if I take another bath in my money!"
I'm not saying it'll be easy. I realize there are serious economic issues. And I'm not saying I have the answers -- I'm neither an economist nor a Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences. But there are some very smart people out there who are. We can't just ignore the problem because it will be difficult to solve, and backing out of the Kyoto Accord just send the message that it's okay to not give a damn.
I think that the U.S. is a good neighbour (most of the time). I like most of the Americans I have met (though I can take or leave the staff at the Detroit airport). I like a lot of things that come out of the U.S. I like Hollywood movies, Ben & Jerry's, Coldstone Creamery, the Noodle House, New York publishing houses, and Jim Henson. I like visiting the U.S. and attending cons and things there. But I also like being able to come home again. If I wanted to live in the U.S., I'd move there, but I like living in Canada, and there are many reasons why if I had to leave, the U.S. would not be high on my list of places I'd want to end up. I'm not anti-America, but I'm very anti-Canada-becoming-another-state.
Say what you will about Martin -- he's definitely not the Trudeau-esque leader we need right now (in fact, I find he has all the charisma of a damp sponge at times) -- but at least he has demonstrated that he's capable of listening to the people and not letting the U.S. bully him around. Harper, on the other hand, appears perfectly willing to be Bush's Bitch. Okay, okay, perhaps I'm being a bit reactionary, but Harper's ideas for the country are alarmingly close to the United States.
If we put Harper in power, I am very, very worried that he's going to change us into America 2: Bigger, Colder, and Not Quite As Heavily Armed As the Original, But We're Working On That.
I haven't talked about the recent shooting tragedy in Toronto because I don't much want to think about it, but I was there. December 26. At Yonge and Dundas. On my way to Sunrise. 5 minutes after it happened. It was horrible, and frightening, and as bad as it was, I still don't think we need armed soldiers on the streets. Which, you know, may change in the future, since Harper plans on dismantling the gun registry.I've heard the argument recently that Harper won't be so bad, because he's mellowing and his policies aren't as scarily right-wing as they were last election. But I find it very hard to believe that the man who crusaded to axe public health care has seen a complete change of heart. I find it much more likely that he's saying what people want to hear so that he can get elected.
Take Belinda Stronach, for example, a candidate I actually like. She crossed the floor mid-year because although she is a fiscal conservative, she was so radically against Harper's social agenda that she couldn't be in the same room with him without getting into a screaming match. And being a working woman who supports equal rights, that was a problem for her. She has said that she knows him better than most, and she's positive he's got hidden agendas, because no one that set against equal rights is going to just let it go. Being that I've never met the man, and she's worked closely with him, I think her opinion is a bit more informed than Joe-Voter-on-the-Street.
I think her decision took a lot of courage and commitment to moral standards. But the people in her riding (my Christmas-screaming aunt, for one) now hate her because she "betrayed" them -- they wanted a Conservative in office, dammit, not a freakin' fiscally-conservative Liberal.
Now, considering that Newmarket is home to the couple who, while previously giving every indication that they were not homophobic and were supportive of equal rights, threatened to disown their queer offspring if he ever came out of the closet because, and I quote, "we have to live here, and we don't want our friends and neighbours knowing about this" (this is the mother's quote -- the father refused to even acknowledge that his offspring had made an attempt to communicate -- and they actually wonder why their child never tells them how he's feeling anymore), I can't say I'm terribly surprised. Disappointed, yes, but not surprised. Newmarket is, after all, the town that's home to the high school whose principal shot down a LGTBQ and friends of LGTBQ support group because it was "exclusionary", while she happily led the school's Christian prayer group (yes, this is the same high school that put on an all-white production of The Wiz). I'll always be fond of my hometown, but not for its progressive values.
No, the Liberals have not been great. But voting for the Conservatives without understanding their policies, just because they're not Liberal, is just stupid. Keep the Liberals a minority if you must, but do not give this man power. He's great as long as you're not poor, gay, a minority, a working mother, or someone who'd rather live in Canada than the U.S. But if you are, think very hard before you vote. History is supposed to teach us to learn from our mistakes.
I'm not posting this because I want to get into an argument with anyone. I'm not looking for agreement, disagreement, or any comments on these views. I know some people get a kick out of talking politics, but I vehemently despise it; it upsets me so much that it actually, physically, makes me feel sick to my stomach (and I'm going through another round of post-illness postprandial nausea, so I really don't need this right now). I don't want to debate about this. But I had to post this. Because the thought of a Conservative government makes me feel sicker, and I need to just get these awful feelings out of me before I explode.
Harper's Canada is not the one I want to live in.
( 2:18 PM ) Sarah Jane ~
Thursday, January 12, 2006
SniffleRecovering slowly from nasty sinus stuff (the problem with chronic sinusitis is that a small cold turns into nastiness that lingers for weeks). Fortunately, despite a small chest cough, I seem to have avoided the whole "Sarah then gets pneumonia" aspect of things this time ::frantically touching wood::.
I've noticed the 52-book meme going around, though I'm fuzzy on the details (is it a 52-books in a year thing? Do they have to be books you've never read? Are you required to review them?). My reading list thus far this year amuses me -- you can always when I get sick by what I'm reading:
( 10:57 AM ) Sarah Jane ~
Saturday, January 07, 2006
Geek!MixI'm putting together the Geek!Mix, and I need some help. Here's the tracklist so far, to give you an idea of the kind of things that go on the Geek!Mix:
What I'm not looking for: The Super Mario Brothers dance remix, John Williams Scores, any Trek themes (in particular the godawful Enterprise one). But songs that have special resonance for you if you, like me, are a geek.
( 11:38 PM ) Sarah Jane ~
From the First-Aid Log at the MuseumPATIENT: Sarah Elliott (staff)
INJURY: Bitten by shark
Sometimes, even when I get hurt, my job amuses me immensely.
( 11:28 PM ) Sarah Jane ~
Thursday, January 05, 2006
The Year of Good TimesI don't actually have that many resolutions for 2006. Or rather, I do, but they're much the same ones I had for 2005.
We started the year of properly, at least. It was a small gathering, but perfect. Karina and I have perfected the Kickass Mulled Wine Recipe, with which we toasted the exit of 2005 (though we did not, in point of fact, get toasted -- the best thing about the Kickass Mulled Wine Recipe is that you can cut it with tea). Chris, Karina, Leah and I ended 2005 and began 2006 with Doctor Who, including the brand-new Attack of the Graske (England has more fun TV than we do!), which was in the end exactly as it should have been. Good friends, good times, and a handful of satsumas.
Karina and I spent a Lazy Sunday on New Year's Day discussing the directions in which we want Stellar Magpie to go, and decided, long story short, more sparklies in more locations.
My biggest resolution for 2006 is no more 38-day orange-head work weeks. If I have gaps in my work schedule, I will fill them with writing or jewellery (like I did on Monday). I will get the damn book out the door (my goal is by February, though I'm not setting any firm deadlines, because every time I do, the Universe strikes me down with some perverse disaster).
My long-term goals are to be able to quit all jobs but the bookstore and the ROM, and support myself on those, writing, and jewellery. The day I can do that will be so very sweet.
So here's to The Year of Good Times. May it bring you everything you wish for.
( 9:49 AM ) Sarah Jane ~