november 2003

click here for permalink November 23, 2003

I just watched an amazing total eclipse of the Sun which was filmed, for the first time in human history, from Antarctica — interrupting the continent's 24 hours of summer daylight.

The spectacle was seen around the world thanks to a camera crew of Japanese scientists and my favorite place on cable TV, Discovery Channel Canada.

Here are some more details from their American counterpart and the ubiquitous CNN. Last but not least, here's an astrological take on the eclipse — heh, to keep y'all well-rounded.

It doesn't look like anyone's posted photos yet — for some reason, even though it's only been about 20 minutes since the eclipse, I am completely shocked that I can't find any... If I'm not too crrrazy-busy packing and moving this week, I'll try to remember to post some links to what will surely be a ton of sites with great high definition images.

click here for permalink November 17, 2003

For the last couple of weeks, we've had at least three visits from a neighboring seagull, which is surprisingly uncommon, even though we live right on English Bay, less than 50 yards from the beach.

The first time I noticed him, I was sitting at my desk (much as I am at this very minute) with a clear view of the balcony. The curtains were open in the middle so I could just see about two feet of railing in the center of it, where this giant white seagull was perched — and staring directly in at me.

At first I was annoyed but then he kind of grew on me. He stood there for about ten minutes that time and the next time he stayed for at least twenty minutes and I couldn't resist feeding him a piece of bread and taking some pictures.

Our landlords have repeatedly distributed notices warning people not to feed the birds who come to roost on their balconies but there's a big difference between occasional visits from a big, curious, goofy-looking seagull that looks at you like it's got a purpose and whole families of dirty, ignorant pigeons taking up residence.

I mean, I don't generally like birds but I really can't relate to anyone who would actually encourage pigeons, the homeless drunks of the bird world. It's not like they want to interact or anything — like my seagull seems to — all pigeons do is flap their wings against the glass, make that horrible cooing sound and possibly spread diseases.

Anyway, our visitor got me thinking, so I looked him up on, home of the most detailed descriptions I could find online of Animal Totems and their symbolic meanings. The following is an excerpt from their passage on seagulls:

Their connection to the water represents the emotional side of a persons psyche. Because the Seagull is a messenger its actions should be studied in order to know what it is trying to tell you. Seagulls hold the teachings of fairness and respect... relaxed and easygoing in all of their pursuits seagulls bring us the gift of a carefree attitude. They are casual about how they build their nests and where they live... try to remember that the complementary side of a carefree nature is the proper acceptance of responsibility. It is good to temper a carefree attitude with a responsible nature and to know when each behavior is appropriate.

It seems more than vaguely appropriate, then, that he chose to visit at a time when we are changing nests and striving to be carefree about it, after nearly six years in our current home (which is longer than I've ever lived in one place).

While I meditate on that, here are some photos of our bird buddy, for your entertainment.

click here for permalink November 14, 2003

You know that theory about how socks, over time, mysteriously disappear — until one day you realize that you have only, like, two complete pairs left and sixteen "orphan," mismatched freak-socks?

Well, I have a similar theory about toothbrushes. I swear, I don't know how this happens but in my bathroom drawer, at any given time, there are at least five toothbrushes and, at the very most, only three people inhabit my apartment — usually two, occassionally three (between Mr. Pink's cooking and my instinctive Virgo hospitality, we make really good hosts).

Anyway, at least once every couple of months, I'll scoop up all five or six or more and take them to Mr. Pink and demand to know which he is currently using and I'll throw away all but the one he selects and mine. Then, in no time, there will be five or six in the drawer again. I have no idea how this happens. If my friends are doing this to drive me mad, it's damn clever. And it's working.

To be honest, it's not much of a "theory," since I don't know if this happens anywhere but my bathroom. I haven't been in the habit of opening other people's bathroom drawers and medicine cabinets since I was little. Back then, other people's stuff used to fascinate me. If I was visiting friends for the first time, I would always make a point of taking at least one trip to the bathroom.

I don't know what it says about me that I don't do that anymore (perhaps that I'm an adult?). I hope it's not an indication that my interest in, or curiosity about, other people has severely declined since childhood. Maybe it just means I'm less curious about the hair styling products they use and more curious about other things. That must be it — these days, when I'm at someone else's house, I always end up studying their bookcases and checking out the art and photos on their walls.

I don't know what it says about me that a lot of my friends don't actually have bookcases anymore.

Huh... I guess I'll just have to hope they read online.

click here for permalink November 13, 2003

There was a time when I couldn't stand to let two weeks go by without updating this page, regardless of whether or not I had anything interesting to say. I would publish an update just to see the date change and assuage my own creative guilt...

Nowadays, a couple of months can slide by with the same sorry-ass entry from August up here for the world to see before I feel compelled to do something about it. Granted, I've had a particularly sorry-ass couple of months.

To the repeated inquiries I've received from family and friends, I've offered, by way of apology, the following diagnosis; I think I'm suffering from depression-induced brain-freeze. Don't get me wrong, I'm not suicidally morose or incapacitated, just sort of in a state of shock. Our clever brains are capable of constructing elaborate defense mechanisms, completely without our knowledge, and I'm pretty sure I've been living in one of these buffer-zones for the last few months.

Again, don't get me wrong, I'm not insane; I just haven't been able to think of a way to "spin" all this depressing, boring crap that's been happening lately into good reading material. I haven't been going anywhere, seeing anyone, buying anything or doing anything... aside from looking for work and, now, an apartment.

And, for the life of me, I haven't been able to think of anything nice or interesting to say to anyone — much less write to anyone... much less PUBLISH to my web site — about it.

You know, the funny thing is, there are noteworthy things that have happened... anecdotes that might have been hatched from various milestones of misfortune... but they just aren't the kinds of things that you can laugh about while they're happening, you know? Lately, all of my anecdotes and observations are the from-a-distance, in-hindsight, years-later kind of funny.

A recent horoscope summed it up nicely by saying that lately I've been "off the map... between the worlds... beyond the boundaries... you're pretty much on your own for now." Talk about depressing! It's like the time a fortune cookie advised me to avoid disappointment by lowering my expectations. One week later, the same astrology column rightly described my situation as "been forced to master the art of living on the edge and in between."

Anyway, although the rewards for achieving "mastery" are anything but clear at this point, that's pretty much what I've been up to.