Tuesday, December 25, 2012

So it's Christmas, already

I have several options here.

The first is to get sentimental and talk about why christmas is so great and how it's a holiday full of love and happiness and oh god, I feel sick from the feels. Unfortunately I don't care enough about christmas to even capitalize the C so this will not happen.

I could also drone on and on about the fact that there is evidence to suggest that Christ wasn't even born on the 25th of December but rather in late March and that the reason we celebrate christmas in December is to coincide with ancient roman pagan holiday of Saturnalia. But since you probably don't want a mental image of cavorting romans in your minds, I won't talk about this either.

Maybe I could rant about christmas movies and how terrible they are (except for Love, Actually. That is a beautiful, beautiful movie and New Year's Eve and Valentine's Day are cheap rip-offs. Shame on you Hollywood).

No, today is the day to talk about...Um... I don't actually know what to talk about. Hannukkah's over, I don't celebrate Christmas, I don't want to bore you with details of my end of year marks and the great big NOTHINGs I'm doing over winter break so...I think I'll just leave you with this:

Saturnalia was a week long celebration from December 17th to the 23rd, complete with gift-giving, legal gambling, table service for slaves (yippee!) and orgies. Because no ancient festival is complete without orgies. And just remember that venereal diseases ran rampant due to the complete lack of antibiotics. Doctors were less like Dr Cohen at the Jewish General and more like the Dentist in "Little Shop of Horrors" so you were most likely dead if you ever got sick. And with that cheery thought, I leave you.

Merry Christmas everyone. Don't forget to get yourself checked after new year's.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


In response to the new facebook guidelines, I hereby declare that my copyright of the Dictatorship of the Democratic Republic of El-Baba is attached to all my personal details. Touch my shit and die, fuckers!

Anyone reading this CANNOT copy and paste it on their Facebook Wall (TM) because it will be in direct violation of the aforementioned copyright. By the present communique, I hereby notify Facebook
that it is strictly forbidden to disclose, disseminate, discombobulate, defenestrate or take any action against me as I have immunity from such measures. The violation of my privacy is punishable by law 7b of the Geneva Convention, Treaty 4, and the Constitution of the Dictatorship of the Democratic Republic of El-Baba (as well as whatever laws Facebook manages to pull out of its ass).

Facebook is now the enemy. All members wishing to rise up with me should post a notice like this. All citizens of the DDREB are required by law to post a notice like this. Non-compliance with this order will result in your immediate dispatch. IF you do not post a notice like this, you will be allowing facebook to enter your mind and brainwash you as you sleep.

You have been warned...

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Draft Dodgers and Mutated Daleks. And minions. And hats!

No, this is not a Doctor Who reference for once (in terms of me going on and on about the latest episode). In fact, it is due to a study session to which I was witness this morning. I have discovered that watching my friends in Arts and Sciences (one of the more grueling programs one will find in CEGEP) cram for an exam is much more entertaining than my Shakespearean english class where we talk about sex in Romeo and Juliet because, having re-read it after 4 years of deciding that I hated the play, it has been decided that the play is, indeed, about nothing but sex! And also that I still hate it. It is still a long, drawn out, hilarious tragedy that loses its flair about halfway through act three.

Also, I'm writing a history paper about draft dodgers during the Vietnam war who came to Canada. And no, it is not a judgemental piece where I condemn draft-age men for fleeing the draft because that would be silly. I don't really care one way or the other. What I do care about is how they were treated once they made it over the border (makes it sound like some huge ordeal where you have to leap tall buildings and crawl under barbed wire. Though according to The Manual for Draft Age Immigrants it kind of it). The paper will be dealing with how the social regimes of the time (Ontarian liberalism and Quebecois Nationalism) impacted the anti-draft movements in Quebec and Ontario, focusing specifically on Toronto and Montreal.

Isn't that interesting!

Anyways. I recently began knitting and crocheting again after a period of half finished projects. I mean, hell, I'm still surrounding by half started projects with a ton of awesome patterns that I need to finish but you know me. I have to do everything at once! So this is the result:

So. Many. Hats.

I don't understand how I suddenly ended up with so many hats. It's mildly ridiculous.

But yes, I started knitting again and because I have an artistically inclined friend who persuaded me to do a craft swap.

so I got a pair of her custom made Octopus earrings (which I can't find right now but I'm sure they'll turn up soon enough...I hope...I really liked them. They were purple. And adorable. And so damn wearable! She also disappeared off facebook. Her page, not her. Oh well) in exchange for this:

Minion Hat biches. Yes, that is Biches and not Bi***s. I'm teaching myself to swear less. Also Jack Douglass. Awesome.
Oh, and here is a link to her facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AlexcgArtsCrafts?fref=ts . She's kind of awesome.

So yes, that was my first minion hat. It is knitted and it's a basic hat knit on two straight needles (I am slowly becoming a seaming boss) whilst taking inspiration from Despicable Me. In the finished version, there is a band of blue crocheted around the bottom (the hat was a little bit short...) and a black pom pom to look like the minions' scant hair.

Pretty simple pattern: cast on 70 stitches, 4-6 rows K2, P2 in BLUE YARN, then Stockinette stitch (knit one row, purl one row) until hat measure 5 inches from beginning in YELLOW YARN. For those of you with bigger heads out there (i.e ME) you can extend this to 7 inches. Worst comes to worst you just roll up the brim. better to have a bigger hat than one that's too small! But if it doesn't fit it will definitely make other people happy. After you've completed the required number of inches, begin your decrease rows on KNIT ROWS ONLY. I found out what happens when you decrease on a purl row. It's not pretty.

Typical decrease:

*K8, K2tog* to the end of the row
Purl one row
K7, K2tog, to the end of the row
Purl one row

Continue in this way for 6 more rows (knitting one fewer stitch each row) until you reach the K2tog* to the end of row row. There should be 6-14 stitches on your needle depending on how many stitches you cast on. Cut your yarn, thread it through the remaning stitches and pull tight. weave in your ends, mattress stitch your seam and voila! A beautiful minion hat.

I crocheted the eye using basic in-the-round method. Google it. Oh and don't forget to add a black stripe to your hat while knitting to make the goggle band.

This was my second minion hat. As you can see, it turned out much nicer than the first. Also, I actually knit the blue part XD
The next hat I found myself with was a pattern from Interweave Crochet. My sister got me a subscription last year and I kind of love her for it. Though I'm mad that they only publish four issues a year >:(

Here's the "beaver lake hat"
Sorry, I'm not posting the pattern because it's copyrighted and I don't want to get sued. Look it up. I'm sure someone else is more soulless than me

And finally, my personal favorite, my ridiculously comfy turquoise beanie! I was at Espace Tricot with my ridiculously tall friend Ivan (I have a friend named Ivan now. I think my life is complete) and we found this super thick super comfy super everything yarn (bright turquoise. it was gorgeous). Unfortunately it was so high up even he couldn't reach it :S A
So...yeah. Thus ended my mad hat rampage for the moment. I still have two more I need to make but I don't REALLY feel like starting. The first one is a simple black beanie for a friend of mine and the other is a striped hat though I'm not sure what colors he would like yet (Yes Ivan, I am talking about you). Also I'm pretty sure that I need to make another Jayne hat but I really don't feel like it. It's not like the hat took me long to make. I just...don't like knitting -_-

The future will hold a plethora of papers that need writing so I will probably disappear for even longer than before. But, till then:

May the stars guide your journey. 

Also, if Yoda says to Luke "May the force be with you" then the dot product of The Force and Luke is a positive number. 


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Buchstabieren Sie, bitte

Ja, ich studiere Deutsch an meine Schule!

And that, friends, was done entirely without Google Translate! Yup, I am taking a course in German this year (FINALLY!) and I have to say, it is definitely one of the more entaining classes I have ever undertaken. Having spent 5 years singing songs in German and finally being able to understand what they mean is definitely funtimes. Especially since I get to laugh along with everyone when we hear atrociously bad accents! It's the best.

So, German aside,it has been one rather fantastic weekend...aside from the fact that I am sick. Yup, it's official. It's not from a lack of sleep: I am certifiably ill. The perils of playing Ticket to Ride, Munchkin, Chrononauts and Fluxx until 2 in the morning with an ill host...and then not getting enough sleep and eating too much pizza.

I will bet you that you haven't heard of a single one of these games (unless of course you're a friend of mine reading this and I've blabbed about them to you). 

But now that I am better, I am pleased to announce that I fully enjoyed myself at comic con this year! In fact, here's an article that I wrote about it!

Montreal Comic Con 2012

I stood in line with hundreds of other geeks on a Friday afternoon after four hours of non-stop classes earlier in the day. My bag was heavy, my feet hurt, my head was sweating from the hand-knit hat I was wearing as part of my costume and I was so excited I could barely contain myself. It didn’t matter that the line wasn’t moving, didn’t matter that I had homework piling up at home. This was the 6th annual Montreal Comic Con and I wasn’t going to miss it for anything. My experience last year had been one of supreme fandom joy, while my inner geek sang and danced with glee. And this year was no different. Not only were there twice as many people (32 000 from last year’s 15 000) but the exhibition hall itself was a sight to behold. Because of the unexpected turnout at last year’s convention at Place Bonaventure (with a turnout of over 15,000 people) the venue had changed to the main exhibition hall at Palais des Congres with almost every single conference room occupied during the convention’s busy schedule. This was also the first time that the convention ran a whole three days.

When the line finally started moving, we made our way surprisingly quickly to the first set of escalators that would bring us to the main hall. We mounted the stairs, suspense building (unfortunately no Star Wars music this year) but the wait was worth every second.

Not only was the main exhibition hall at Palais des Congres enormous, but it contained everything to appease geeks of all shapes and sizes. You’re a Whovian? Say hello to the dozens of artisans selling prints and jewelry, and exhibitors with models of every single Sonic Screwdriver ever made. Portal fan? They had their own table. With plushie Companion Cubes. You spend all your time on ThinkGeek or Jinx? Everything sold on the Internet could be found at Comic Con, including ALL of the t-shirts. Booths selling posters, every single comic book imaginable and hundreds of accessories bedecked with superhero insignias.

And maybe, just maybe, you happen to be a Trekkie? This year’s guests of honor were Captains James Tiberius Kirk and Jean-Luc Piacard, in the flesh. Present at this year’s Comic Con were William Shatner and Sir Patrick Stewart. It was truly a historic moment in Montreal Geekdom, when “Star Trek: Generations” came to life onstage with Shatner, Stewart and a guest appearance by Malcolm McDowell. While I was unable to attend (the panel required an extra ticket), I managed to catch 20 minutes of William Shatner’s panel…before falling asleep listening to him drone about how difficult it is to navigate the Montreal highways.   

Other speakers included about half the cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation, including Brent Spiner, John De Lancie and Wesley Crusher-turned-internet-sensation Will Wheaton, Eddie McClinktock of Bones and Warehouse 13, Laura Vandervoort, Aaron Ashmore and, the reasons I shlepped all my stuff from school on a Friday afternoon, Adam Baldwin and James Marsters.

Adam Baldwin had established his cult following as the gruff and unwashed Jayne Cobb from Joss Whedon’s one-season wonder Firefly and then more recently starred as Colonel John Casey on Chuck, iconicized by his grunt and arsenal of weaponry. However, despite revealing some of the more ridiculous shenanigans on the set of Firefly and Chuck, he refused to sing “The Ballad of Jayne” (The Hero of Canton) for us.

But as hilarious as Adam Baldwin was, the cherry on the proverbial cake was the concert given by James Marsters at the end of the night. He crooned into the microphone, strumming songs about nothing but love, the weather and sex, finishing up with a piece about Michelle Trachtenberg, one of his co-stars in season 5 of Buffy. “One baby, two, maybe three more years, You’ll be a full hot baby, have all your curves, And here’s a little taste of irony, You’ll be a too-hot baby, too good for me” It was a terrible concert and I loved every minute of it.

Comic Con was more than just a science fiction/fantasy convention. It brought people together in a high energy, yet friendly atmosphere. Nowhere else would you feel comfortable stopping a couple dressed as Link and Zelda and begging for a picture; nowhere else would it be permissible for dozens of men to take photos of a girl dressed as a USO girl circa 1940 Captain America style; and nowhere else would you find such a gathering of geeks, gamers, Trekkies, gleeks, gamers, Steampunkers, artists and artisans.

Except at Comic Con. 

And I found the rest of my crew:

Crew of Serenity, from left to right: Kaylee, Simon, Jayne, Jayne, Captain Mal Reynolds and Inara
Firefly cosplay FTW at Montreal Comic Con 2012
So there you have it! Comic Con was a wonderful experience full of all things nerd! 

And did I tell you about the GIANT version of Settlers of Catan?

Oh yeah ;)

Shakespeare and Pseudonyms

I read this article in The Bear and Bull (McGill's student newspaper) yesterday and found it absolutely brilliant. No, I didn't write it, but it's absolutely brilliant anyway.

Credit to the author at the bottom.

Backstory: we received an anonymous article for our school paper (of which I am editor) about being "stuck in the friend zone". A few of us found it mildly ridiculous and thus decided to write a response from "Juliet" as the anonymous writer wanted to be called "Romeo" (which I found to be pretentious and annoying). So there I was, writing my response when my sister showed me this article. I tried to write mine similarly to this one but then decided, to hell with it, I'll just ask the author if I can re-print it in the Papercut (our college paper).

He and his editor said yes! Booyeah!

so, without further ado, here it is:

Misogyny in the Friend Zone

It’s easy to be a feminist on paper, yet the day-to-day actions of many well-meaning men contradict their feminist principles and point to an underlying misogyny. One of the sources of this unconscious misogyny is the infamous “friend zone” and the reaction it sparks in some men, demeaning women in the process.

The main problem with men in the friend zone is their tendency to act as if they’re the victim of some horrible crime. This belief is encapsulated perfectly in one of the many BroTips—cheesy pieces of advice for men lacking common sense— floating around my News Feed: “Ladies, guys are sick of hearing you ask where all of the ‘nice guys’ are. They’re in the friend zone, where you left them.”
Men who buy into the nice guy-asshole binary usually do so based on an experience where they, as seemingly nice guys, were passed over for an asshole, leading them to believe that all women like assholes.

Upholding this narrative demeans women by looking condescendingly upon their choice of sexual partners simply because they aren’t you. By failing to respect the choices women make in their lives, you belittle their intelligence and freewill. It’s bad enough when you do this to one woman, but when you extend this attitude towards all of the women in your life and beyond, the problem becomes far worse. This type of attitude can foster hate towards women, and in our patriarchal society this is the last thing we need. Yet unfortunately, it seems that a major source of violence against women comes exactly from these types of private day-to-day relationships.

In light of this, I’m going to offer some advice to help men escape the nice guy vs. asshole binary, and the hatred it often brings about. First, stop looking at yourselves as nice guys. If your entire friendship with a girl is based upon potentially sleeping with her, you went into the friendship with ulterior motives and thus aren’t nice at all. This is also why I choose to refer to the “friend zone” as the “no sex zone”; she may look at you as a friend, but you certainly don’t look at her like that. So when she inevitably rejects you and tells you she just wants to be friends, I can promise you won’t be.
Second, stop believing you’re perfect. Too many guys have a hard time recognizing the reason(s) why a girl doesn’t like them. Instead of looking at themselves and wondering why they didn’t get the girl, they just blame it on assholes and the girls who love them. Maybe you and her just didn’t click, maybe you weren’t being the best version of you, or maybe you just said the wrong things. Whatever the reason, something did go wrong, and you should figure out why, instead of blaming the girl or the entire female population.

Finally, be honest with yourself. If you can’t be just friends with her, remove yourself. If you want to sleep with her, don’t try to bullshit being “friends” with her. This will help you develop more authentic friendships and save yourself the bitterness and hate you may experience in the “no sex zone.” Guys, stop complaining and start thinking. The women in your life will appreciate it and you may also find yourself in the “no sex zone” a lot less often.

Written by: Davide Mastracci

As you can tell, that's a much higher level of writing than I will attain in my journalism career but it's okay. Because it's awesome!

I will save my rants about friend-zoning for a later date.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Nerf guns and Ballads

Like I said, two blog posts in one day! This hasn't been seen since last year! Holy moly!

Alright, that's quite enough exclamation points. Down to business:

My latest blog post proclaims that I finally have a job. Unfortunately, I was fired last week. Call it insubordination, call it being friendly with hapless American tourists (I love American tourists. They're funny. French tourists are snobs. I do not like them. It's not 'un p'tit bol' it's UN COUPE EN PLASTIQUE OSTI.)
But yes, I was fired. Still not 100% sure why, but I know it had something to do with the fact that it was very difficult for me to arrive on time... At least my boss was nice about it.


SCHOOL: has started...finally. Despite this being the BEST SUMMER EVER (yes, Anthony you had something to do with that) I had been sitting around (well, standing around behind a counter) counting the days until I made my triumphant return to college. And triumphant it has been! Not only do I have my own office (Editor in chief of our school's newspaper WUUUT) that is always occupied by awesome people, but I'm taking classes that I want to take (wie geht es dir? <---that's supposed to be said like Joey from Friends) but I actually know people now! It's wonderful! I'm also feeling much more motivated (she writes as she realizes that she hasn't done her math homework...oh yeah, math. The only course I am forced to take...) but I think this is going to be a fantastic year.

DOCTOR WHO: season 7 episode 1 premiered last night. Go watch it. It was awesome. I have been successfully Moffucked. Moving right along to the main point of this post:

My very first Jayne Cobb hat!!

As you haven't been aware, a friend of mine got me on a Firefly kick. For those of you who don't know what Firefly is, I shall explain it to you in her words: "A spaghetti western set in space"


Think Clint Eastwood movies but funnier and set in space. The show stars Nathan Fillion of Castle (I know, he's supremely amazing) and other people who's names don't matter right now because I want to talk about Adam Baldwin!!!

You know, Casey from Chuck? Jayne from Firefly? The guy with a lot of guns.

Yeah, him.

The Hero of Canton (they wrote a song about him too. Look it up on youtube).

This is my portrayal of him:

The Hero of Canton, biches
This is half of my comic con costume this year. And guess what? ADAM BALDWIN IS GOING TO BE THERE!!!!

Anways, so I'm going to brag a bit about the fact that I made both of those hats (they are indeed two different hats on two different people). I hate knitting very much, but these hats were surprisingly painless.

Here's the pattern if you want it:

Yarn: Bernat Softee Chunky (red, orange, yellow-orange)
Needle size: size 8 or 5mm

Cast on 70st with Orange.
Row 1: K2, P2 across
Row 2: P2, K2 across
Repeat for rows 3-6

Row 7: Knit across
Row 8: Purl across

Repeate rows 7 and 8 until your hat measures four inches from the beginning. Switch to Yellow yarn. Continue in stockinette stitch until your piece measures 6 inches from the beginning.

Decrease rows:

1. On Knit side ONLY: k8, k2tog, repeat across row.
2. Purl across
3. K7, k2tog, repeat across
4. Purl
5. K6, k2tog, repeat across
6. Purl

Continue in this way until you reach:

K2tog, repeat across. Cut your yarn (DO NOT BIND OFF), leaving a 6 inch tail. Thread through a yarn needle and thread yarn needle through remaining loops, pull off the knitting needle and pull it tight. Weave in ends.

Starting at the bottom of the piece, using YELLOW yarn, mattress stitch the sides together (google it).


Cast on 14 stitches in RED. stockinette stitch until your ear flaps are an inch and a half shorter than you want them. Decrease starting at K4 then continuing with your decrease rows. Decrease until there are 1-3 stitches left on your needle and bind off. sew flaps on either side of hat and wear with pride!

For a tried and true jayne hat, feel free to add tassels to the bottom of the ear flaps and an orange and yellow pompom!

Great, for some reason my spell check is in french so everything is highlighted in red and I don't know if I'm making any spelling errors...Anyways.

So yes, Adam Baldwin is coming to Montreal for comic con this year but unfortunately I will not be there on the day he is coming :'( But there's going to be a double panel with William Shatner and Patrick Stewart that's going to be awesome! But now that I think about it, can reality handle two generations of Star Trek captains in the same room?

Star Trek: Generations.

Obviously it can.

So Firefly is a great show, Jayne tends to shoot and grunt a lot and Joss Whedon is godly. Though I wanted to hate him when I saw the ending to Serenity (the movie based off the TV show when it got cancelled after one season. CURSE YOU FOX!!)

So, now I'm just waiting for my parents to come home...though I have a suspicion that they're not even coming home tonight and I'm waiting for no particular reason.

Hm... Well then.

"We had to go the crappy planet where I'M  a hero!"

Crunch Time and Tourist Traps

This is literally crunch time. Like, crunching things and all that. Yum yum!

I have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about.

It's 11:44 at night over here, I just worked a 9 hour shift at Les Glaceurs (cupcakes and ice cream) and I'm dead tired, futilely awaiting a phone call that probably won't come (given that I told this person to call after work and they are notorious for not answering texts within the alotted time...not the point).

I wanted that paragraph to sound like something out of "The Lizzie Bennett Diaries" but that didn't work so well.

For all of you wondering what I'm talking about, you can watch the full playlist here:


I highly suggest you watch it. It is derived from the Vlogbrother's genius and is utterly wonderful. Not to spoil too much but it's a modern adaptation of Pride and Prejudice told in vlogs and it's quite brilliant. That's a funny looking word...vlogs...hehehe...

Despite the fact that I am currently rambling like an idiot, I do have some news!


Yes, that is right. One month of  summer school, 46 applications, three interviews and 44 NO's later, I am working at Les Glaceurs in the Old Port. I probably need to give you some background information here.

Alright, I live in a wonderful bustling city called Montreal which is in Quebec which is STILL PART OF CANADA. I live in Canada! Yay Canadians! The Old Port is...just that. It's a port. That is still in use today! But it was founded some time in 1611 as a trading post for the french explorateurs and sort of...stayed. 2 km along the old port, come by with your family and enjoy an ice cream or cookie or trapeze swing along the quay!

Yeah, they have trapeze lessons when the circus come to down. Montreal is kind of awesome? But mostly the old port is a huge tourist trap, full of little cafes and biftheques (steak houses. Wow, we really have our own language here...) and touristy souvenir shops and people dressing up as pirates and explorators.


I meant explorers. This is what happens when you work in french! Your french is bad and your english gets worse!

Anyways, Les Glaceurs (The Icers/The Frosters/The Something-ers. It's french. Deal with it) is a little cupcake and ice cream boutique that not only has wonderful cupcakes that I witnessed being made on location but it also sells Bilboquet Ice cream. YAAYYYYYYY! For those of you who have never had bilboquet ice cream, fine yes it's overrated...BUT THE SORBET IS SO GOOD.

Oh, and the reason that I had 44 No's instead of 45 was because I actually was going to be hired at College Pro painters (better use of my time no doubt. Painting houses instead of selling ice cream and cupcakes to people...) and found out on the day that I discovered that I had to go to summer school for failing calculus...(and french, but that's a different story). So 44 no's, two yesses, one job. Awesome.

2) I HAVE A-

Hah, never mind. It's none of your business internet ;)


So, I was on the computer and suddenly realized that a draft of this blog had been sitting around for a while so I'm going to post it now, without further ado. I'm also going to post a new blog post immediately after! yay!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

French Women Make me Nervous

This is both true and the new title to my novel which, until recently, was titled "Cloudy With a Silver Lining".

Yes, I know it's a terrible title which is why my new title is "Silver (or French Women Make me Nervous). I got the idea from this website, which is a Title Generator.

Wonderful things, title generators. You can get great titles at the click of a button rather than wracking your brain and picking something LAME (Yes D.M, the title of your novel is lame and unoriginal...but that rant is for another time. Bashing people on a blog seems cowardly though I secretly actually wrote out a huge rant against her and then deleted it because I felt mean even though she is- okay, enough. I can rise above petty reviews that aren't really reviews at all.)

Oh yikes, now that the rant is gone, this blog post is really short...Pressing forwards!

Here's the title generator.


This particular title generator can be pretty sassy at times. Not only was a sub-title "French women make me nervous" but there was one called "The people Adolf Hitler Meets in Heaven". And there's more than one type of title generator out there. There's the awesome kind like the one I used that gives you pretentiously amusing titles, there's the kind that generates titles from words you feed into it (I'm not sure how it works but it's pretty cool, though it makes silly titles sometimes) and then there's the kind that feeds you Harlequin romance novel titles like "The Widow's Silhouette" or "The Silken Rose" and "The Erect Menagerie".

I don't know where that last one came from but I swear it was on the list.

The one I used was not necessarily the most original, given that it copy/pasted bits and piece of classic titles and famous works but it was definitely the most amusing. Who wouldn't want to read a novel titled "French Women Make me Nervous"?

Okay, the french woman isn't the main plot in my novel and heck, they're not even in France but she is french! And a redhead...a redheaded frenchwoman. A fiery redheaded french woman!

Sacre bleu!

(You can read my whole rant here in case you were interested:  http://www.thoughts.com/fungiportal/rant-that-youre-only-reading-because-you-read-my-google-blog

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Like A Boss

You know those people who always have a sense of false modestly and it makes you so angry because you're all "but fuck, you're really really really really good at this!"

And the conversation goes as such: (Person A is the false-modesty asshole and Person B is the complimenter)

Person A: haha, nahh. I'm okay (fishes for a compliment)

Person B: Are you kidding? This is amazing!

Person A: Nah, it's okay (still fishing for compliments).

Person B: What are you talking about? It's gorgeous!

Person A: Really? (adopts false expression of surprise)

Person B: Yeah, really. It's great! You could sell these you know...

Person A: Haha, nahh...

And so it continues..

As you may or may not have noticed, I am not one of these people. If I suddenly come to the conclusion that I am good at something, I will say this:


I have issues with modesty sometimes. Though in other situations I am incredibly humble. Anyways, the point  of this discussion about modesty is to show you two projects that I ridiculously proud of. Well, three. Although you can't really see one of them because it did not photograph well. 

First Up:

My hippie bag. That is, HIPPIE and not HIPSTER. There is a difference. Hippie is all flowy skirts and laid back attitude and Hipster is drinking bad beer, dressing like a slob and quoting dead american poets. 

I am crazy proud of this bag. Not only is it big enough to hold school books and other crap, it is really really sturdy. The only thing I would have changed is the length of the strap (speaking of which, it's connected to my bag via these really cool round plastic beads that I found at Chaton Beads. They match the bag quite nicely). 

Anyways, I found this pattern in "Stitch n Bitch: The Happy Hooker". I'm sure you can find this book at your library or you can buy it. I think it's around $20.00 CDN...But yes, since this pattern is from a book and not an online tutorial/other user I don't think I should post the pattern, especially given that it was three pages long...

But here's the gist of this bag:

1. Find a pattern for squares that you like (make sure they don't stretch too much)
2. Make 12 of them.
3. Crochet them together
4. Crochet a couple rounds around the rectangle you've just made. Turn it inside out, sew the bottom together and turn it right side out. 
5. Make a strap (any width) started from a solid ring or from the side of the bag, make it as long as you want and attach it to the other side.

Et voila! A useful, awesome bag that'll make your friends ask you for one too. Then you can say "Sure! But it may take a while (even though you made yours in like, 3 days...)

Oh, and make sure you use a sturdy, non-stretchy yarn like cotton. Nothing is worse than making a large bag out of acrylic. And if possible, buy a strap/ribbon/cord for the strap of your bag as the cotton strap stretches a lot, or just make a short strap. And if you do crochet your own strap, double the yarn to make it thicker and sturdier.

So now that you've seen my boss bag, here is something pretty cool too:

This a style of crochet known as "Turkish Crochet". This is not a place where I will be posting a tutorial but if you go on Ravelry and type in "Turkish Crochet" you will undoubtedly find the same tutorial as I did. I made these bracelets for a couple friends of mine for their birthdays (these bracelets make wonderful gifts as you can use any beads your want really-I used seashells, go figure- and they can be as chunky or as delicate as you want. 

So now that you've seen what I am good at, here is the piece de resistance: 

Oh yes. 

These are mini origami crane and water bomb drop earrings. Each earring comes personalized with your choice of figure (crane, water bomb, flower, owl etc...), paper (patterned, plain color...) and matching crystal drops (I have no red crystals so I use white instead, though I will be investing in red crystals as soon as possible!). Each pair is $10 if you would like to order and each is customized according to your specifications and coated in FIMO glaze to ensure stability and protection (and shiny-ness). The figures are about 2 cm in height and width. 

So there you have it. I am feeling incredibly pleased with what I have accomplished over the last two days (origami figures, turkish crochet bracelets--the bag was made a couple months ago--). 

God I'm good sometimes ^_^

Oh, and I forgot about this hat that I made the other day (in case you couldn't tell, I have quite a bit of free time because IT'S SUMMER TIME BIIIITCH!! Ah, the perks of being in CEGEP. You start the same time as high school students but finish a month earlier :)

Yup, that's me. I have huge eyes sometimes. Mostly when people point cameras at me...
But anyways, this hat is made of a mixture of 20% Alpaca/80% Acrylic and doubled with a pink/grey/white/black variegated mohair that is 30% Mohair/70% Other wool. It's really REALLY comfy. And warm. And it has braided straps on the sides. And a big, fat, giant POM POM. This is the first time a pompom has looked good so I'm really excited :)

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Caffeine Induced Euphoria!

Yay, I now have some facebook pages to flog me wares!!

This is for the jewelry I make:

And this one for my items of the crocheted kind:

Do be so kind (whoever reads this blog) as to like my page and order anything you like! Reasonable prices, awesome stuff :)

That should be my motto!

"Reasonable prices...awesome stuff..."

No Gaby, it really shouldn't be.

Well friends, it's 3 o clock in the morning and I have so much caffeine in my system it'll be a miracle if I fall asleep. I wish you well.

Good morning!!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Snowball Effect

There is a well known phenomenon that exists in today's society where information gets transmitted across the globe as fast as a bat outta hell (although one would think that the bat wouldn't want to get out of hell so quickly as they have been deemed rather ghoulish and halloweeny...maybe I should have found a different saying...anyways). This is called the Snowball Effect.

It begins as something of little significance (or maybe very significant but no one knows what it is) and it builds and builds upon itself until, lo and behold! Everyone knows about it.

I'm talking about the Kony 2012 incident.

I'm sorry, I mean The Kony2012 Movement, brought to you by Invisible Children, funded by homophobic churches.


But hey, I'm not here to complain about Invisible Children (even though they are suggesting that we give money and technology to an already corrupt Ugandan army to look for a guy who's half dead in the Congolese jungle and who hasn't been active in about 6 years).

I'm here to complain about the dozens of facebook/blog/twitter/reallol/9gag/tumblr posts about it. It's funny, because people didn't know shit all about Joseph Kony (I'll be honest, I didn't know about him until last year- 2011- when I was representing Uganda at my school's mock UN debate) and then all of a sudden they claim they care about making a guy famous that, frankly, they know nothing about. They don't know that he hasn't been seen in Uganda for more than 5 years, they don't know that he is currently hiding in the Congo and they don't know that he's going to die soon from malnutrition and the elements because he's got nothing left to go on with (aside from about 5 International Criminal Court warrants for his arrest for crimes against humanity).

Yes, Joseph Kony is a monster, yes, it's fantastic that everyone knows about him! I'm not complaining about that. 

What pisses me off is this:

Three weeks ago, the day before the Invisible Children video went viral, I saw two posts for Kony 2012 and an invite to "Cover the Night" which I respectfully declined.

I may be in social sciences, but I am not a political activist.

Two days later, my newsfeed was plastered with photos, memes (yes, there were asshole trollers making jokes about him) and SO MANY LINKS FOR THE VIDEO. And tons of little quotes like

"Help spread the word! By bringing a criminal to justice, we can help make a better tomorrow!"

And exactly how are we going to accomplish this?

So all I saw, all everyone was digest-posting about was Joseph Kony. Friends were going all "THIS IS WHAT WE SHOULD CARE ABOUT" on me while others were simply apathetic.

And the best part?

Two days later, I didn't see a single post about Kony 2012. All of a sudden, my news feed was back to normal with Marianopolis Memes, girls posting pictures of themselves with their heads covered in pasta or out clubbing, guys sharing prog-rock music and people watching kittens barking again.

The next week at school, there wasn't a single rally, no table in the hallway in front of  Wayne's World advocating the capture of Joseph Kony, no donation fund jar, no bracelets for sale.

The snowball effect: something of little significance that builds upon itself until all of a sudden, everyone knows about it and everyone is talking about it.

A quick climax coupled with a swift drop.

How effective.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Blanket Violence Against Women

The Shafia case of a father and wife killing their three daughters and barren first wife due to “shaming the family” was one that I followed very closely in the newspaper. The daughters Zainab, Sahar and Geeti and first wife Rona had been killed by their father/abusive husband before being put in a car and push into a river.

Up until then, the girls had sought refuge from their abusive father and mother going so far as to run away from home. The youngest had confessed to her school guidance counsellor that she was afraid to return home, terrified that her father would kill her. Unfortunately, the bodies of the three girls and their father's infertile first wife were found in a river in Ontario, brutally killed by the very people they had warned their trusted ones about.

The trial termed the brutal murder an “honor killing” (an absurd recently deemed un-islamic idea by the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada) and the father Muhammed, wife Yahya and son Hammed were sentenced for first degree murder: life in prison with a possibility of parole in 25 years.

When Project Liberty had a display at Marianopolis advocating Stop Violence Against Women, lying on the table were photos and stories of a dozen girls, all killed for their right to live and be happy, mostly in various Middle Eastern countries. The crimes committed by their family members (usually a father, brother, husband or mother) ranged from getting acid thrown in their faces, being brutally stabbed and even stoned to death.

But the worst part is that many of these brutal “honor killings” are happening right here in Canada. The Shafia girls were killed in Kingston, and Aqsa Parvez, a 16 year old girl killed to save her family from “embarrassment” was strangled to death in Mississauga by her brother.

Aside from the horrific "honor killings" the number of women being harmed is even greater once you take into account how many are domestically abused or sexually assaulted in the African continent and other third world countries. This is where the issue of awareness comes in.

I am currently taking an Art and Activism class and for our final project we either have to write a paper or create a work of art. With the help of my sister, we came up with a plan to make a quilting project to raise awareness about violence against women worldwide.

Here's how you can help:

Let your friends know about this project. We want to get as many people involved as possible.

Decorate a patch for a quilt (6x8 inches on cloth) with anything you like. Bear in mind these questions while decorating:

-What does it mean to be a woman?
-How do you feel about gender equality?
-What sort of activities do you like to do?

The patch can be decorated any way you wish, as simple as coloring with markers to bedazzling it. You can put anything you want on it such as an activity that you like (a book perhaps, or a keyboard and musical notes) to what you think it means to be a woman (love, family, etc...) Think about everything you are allowed to do and dedicate that to a woman who was denied that right.

Please have the patch ready by the first week of April if you are participating in Blanket Violence Against Women's first quilt. The finished quilt will be on display at Marianopolis College during Arts Fest if you wish to see it.

Thank you!

Please, if you have any questions, feel free to send me an email!


Blanket Violence Against Women is a movement to raise awareness about the atrocities of abuse against women by creating the ultimate source of warmth and protection: a quilt. Every patch donated to this cause is dedicated to those women who cannot experience what we do. Please tell your friends and unite to end violence against women. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

Or as I like to call it, Single's Awareness Day (I did not make that up. My best friend "coined it"- I know she wasn't the first one but she was the first person I ever heard call it that- and so she would have to tell you the story of why she used to call it that. But we'll save that for another day)

First, I want to talk about how long it's been since my last blog post. I have been most busy since the new year, with school...and school...and school....and well...school.

It's been busy busy busy (in case you can't tell, I'm writing this post with an acute case of tired-teenager-syndrome. I've been at school since 8 o'clock this morning and am about to go into my fourth class. most unpleasant). Anyways, so yes, for example, this morning I used by hour and a half long break to study for a psychology midterm that apparently...wasn't actually today.

It's on Thursday. >.<

Anyways, let me tell you about my psych teacher. She's a little insane which is a quality I think makes for good psychology teachers. And she enjoys talking about drugs and other degenerative habits (which makes me think that she either had a really  But she's mostly great. And so is my calculus 2 teacher. His favorite pasttimes are pretending to swear in arabic, singing "Layla" to my friend Leila and swearing in franglais (WHAT DE FUCK THIS TABERNAK DE PROBLEME)

This is all true. And in a typical cal 2 class, all three of these things will happen.

oh, and someone will end up throwing a piece of chalk at the blackboard to get it to land on the edge. So far, two people have succeeded. Apparently it's a lot harder than it looks. I wouldn't know as I've never tried, although I do know that the last time I tried to pass a piece of chalk to the person sitting two rows behind me, I ended hitting the girl right behind me in the chest with the chalk.

So maybe I shouldn't be throwing things.

Anyways, so that's school for the moment. My western civilization teacher has a habit of speaking entirely too quickly so we never get the full picture. Or maybe it's just that we need to get through SIX THOUSAND YEARS OF HISTORY in just under four months. Or just under 15 weeks as for some reason, semesters are counted in weeks. It's strange. And most unlike high school. I hated high school.

Anyhow, with Valentine's day coming up and my inability to send articles in to the school paper on time (we're called "The Papercut": cutting to the chase. yes, we're pretentious. and a little bit awesome. You know you're jealous), my article on Single's Awareness went unpublished, although I suppose it was for the best. Most people seem to like Valentine's day but that's probably because they believe it's all about cherubs and hearts and chocolate.

Well, they didn't have chocolates and roses back in ancient rome where the "holiday" originated.

Let me tell you a little story:

Around the year 268 in Rome, Emperor Claudius II (aptly named Claudius Gothicus) ordered that St Valentine of Rome convert to Roman Paganism. When he refused, he was killed. Not to mention that there were craploads of Valentines at the time and they're not even sure which one was actually named for the holiday. The story that some of you are more familiar with is probably the one where Claudius passed a law forbidding marriage as married men were less likely to want to fight in his wars. So there were a lot of lonely men out there. Valentine (one of them at least) decided to continue marrying people in secret and was caught and killed. The concept of valentine's day as a holiday celebrating loved ones wasn't introduced until the 14th century with Chaucer and his depictions of courtly love.

So let's put this in perspective: St Valentine's day is the day that the valentines of ancient rome got together to worship. It doesn't sound much like a holiday where you buy people candy, roses and heart-shaped breads and plan over the top excursions to Punta Cana and have wild hot monkey sex on the beach only the come home and discover that you're either pregnant or sick with Hepatitis. Or, if you're a teenage/young adult girl, you've spent what's left of your christmas money on lingerie that isn't even that sexy (cuz if your mom ever found any of that, she would kill you) and you set the cliche of sleeping with your boyfriend for the first time on valentine's day in stone. Or you're a lonely cynic like me who hates valentine's day claiming that it's turned into a consumer driven boink fest.

But the truth is, you're just sad that you didn't get a rose and every time you see a girl walking around with a perfect red rose on valentine's day, even if it's from her best friend as a joke, you get a little pang of jealousy.

But hey, as many people I know have said: Valentine's day is THE day to tell someone how much you love them? Fuck that, I do that everyday!

Valentine's day: celebrating loneliness since 207 AD!

Happy Valentine's Day everybody <3