For this they throw a parade?

There was a parade while I was at work. The purpose of the parade was to celebrate that the street out front is going to be dug up to re-lay sewer pipes. Yay! We're laying pipes! Let's throw candy out of a truck! Yay!

So they threw a freakin' parade. A two-minute pointless small town parade with one bucket o' candy for the kids. Here's what the parade consisted of: cop car, fire truck, fire truck, flatbed pickup with a "road closed" barricade set up in the back, dump truck, dump truck, dump truck, dump truck with candy being thrown by the passenger, dump truck, dump truck, dump truck, dump truck, cop car. The end.

Hooo boy. Excitement fucking city right there. And there were some people from out of town in the store when the PARADE OF THE CENTURY™ started. Now they think we're all retarded here.

"Mom, why are all the old people lined up on the street watching dump trucks drive by?"
"Shhh, don't make eye contact. Let's just get out of here."

I wanted to yell "OUTSIDERS!" just to watch them flee.

Wednesdays have been my busiest days, class-wise, all term; I've had a quantum mechanics lecture (to attend) at 12:30, followed immediately by first-year physics lab that I'm teaching. I live on campus, so it's a short walk to class; therefore I'm frequently leaving my place at the latest possible time.

Being a grad student, I don't feel the need to shave very much. Rampant stubble seems to be an accurate mark of grad students around the department; the profs have more responsibilities and either have to shave regularly or grow beards, but people expect grads to look scruffy. I prefer to teach clean-shaven, though, so at 12:15 last Wednesday I decided I had time to shave before class. After I'd done all of my right cheek, my trusty electric razor just stopped, dead.

I tried to get it to work some more; I flipped it on and off, cleaned the inside, checked the power outlet, all to no avail. It showed no signs at all of ever having been an animate (albeit mechanical) object. At this point I was a little panicky; I looked silly and didn't feel like facing a class that way. At this point, I remembered that my office-mates had all sorts of crazy stuff around, and that a razor didn't seem terribly out of the question.

So I phoned my office-mate Scott on my cellphone. I'd half asked him about a razor before I remembered: the last time Scott shaved was in January. Needless to say, he had no razor, and neither did anyone else at my office. So I was left with the possibility of running to the little campus drugstore, shaving at the physics building, and being late for class.

It was at this point I realised that the cellphone covered almost the entire shaven region, so I wouldn't look so silly while I was out and about. So I walked down to the drugstore (away from the physics building), inert cellphone to my ear, and bought a package of cheap disposable razors and some shaving cream.

At this point, I was already late for class, and it was a five-minute walk to the physics building. When I got there, I searched around for a washroom with a pluggable sink, since a basin of water is more convenient for rinsing than the silly taps found in the public washrooms of UBC's sixty-year-old physics building. Having concluded that that was not to be found, I came to my next problem; I'd never used an ordinary bladed razor before.

Now it really isn't that hard to learn, but unlike an electric razor it's not too hard to cut yourself. I made it to class 20 minutes late, with a couple bloody spots on my chin and a small constellation of red spots across my neck, but still, ready to teach.

The other day, I decided to try and overcome my natural tendency to be shy. When you’re little and green, people have a habit of asking a lot of questions. You probably wouldn’t believe some of them. (note to self: a node maybe?). Anyway, maybe that’s a good thing and maybe that’s bad. I guess it depends on the type of questions that are being asked.

For a change of pace, I decided to get out of the house and go out to a place I had never been before and have a drink or two. Usually, when I muster up the courage to do something that, I’m peppered with questions and offers like “Hey! Bartender, buy a drink for the Little Green Man!” or “Hey, Little Green Man, why don’t you give us a dance!” and all kinds of other stuff. Sometimes I find it flattering but mostly it’s just embarrassing.

The place I went to seemed nice. It was quiet and empty when I got there but soon it began to fill up. Usually this is when I start to get nervous about what’s going to happen but to my surprise, nothing did. Nobody seemed to notice me at all! In fact, I started to enjoy myself but then I noticed another thing. All of these people just wanted to talk to other people just like them. They had no room in their lives for anybody that might be out of their little circle. In a way, I started to feel sorry for them. I thought of clones.

All of them dressed
in the style of the day
Green is the new pink
Is what I heard them say

So they all wore their greens
And I thought I’d fit in
But my green was different
‘twas the color of my skin

So I sat there alone
By myself at a table
And smiled to myself
I don’t come with a label

This green thing will pass
Of that I’m quite sure
So I picked up my things
And made my way out the door

And on the walk home
I had a quick thought
That styles will change
New things will be bought

But I’ll still stay me
All alone in my skin
With a bounce in my step
And a shit eating grin.

I think E2 could use a discussion forum.

I don't know what people's initial reactions to this are going to be but hear me out. The way I'm reading it, E2 is kind of confused as to where it wants to go at the moment. Of course, I could be reading this wrongly. Again, if there was a forum running this wouldn't all be so hazy. It seems that there are questions which the admins would like to ask the users and right now there's no obvious way for people to respond. The new poll thing is a step towards getting those answers but selecting one of a small quantity of pre-set answers is a bit different from openly voicing your opinion. Originally I thought maybe we could use some sort of response thread to the polls to clarify matters, but then I realised we could use such threads elsewhere.

E2 has had this rule of "No GTKY" for a long time but I think maybe it's time to get to know each other. It's difficult to have a lengthy and in-depth discussion about something through the medium of /msgs because there, discussions can't be threaded - it's like an email conversation with a much stricter word limit. And discussing things in the chatterbox is fine, but if you're not there at that exact time, that's it, it's gone. You can look it up later using ascorbic's archive - if you somehow find out that it ever happened, of course - but you can't easily participate further.

I don't know how this would be implemented. I would expect that the forum would NOT take the form of a separate mini-site at or anything like that... more like a discussion page which would be attached to various nodes, like one for each poll, one for each node heading (maybe not one for each writeup though), one for each usergroup, one for the front page, others elsewhere... Is this a dumb idea?

You know that job I was gunning for at The Strand? I got it. Full time, decent money (beer money, in other words), benefits. I'm so relieved - there's nothing worse than not being able to afford to go out in New York City in spring, it just might've destroyed me.

And the discounts. My god, the discounts. 50% off of ticket price (NOT list) including rare and antiquarian books and 40% off of frontlist titles. Looks like a good portion of my paycheck's gonna end up goin' thataway.

On a related note, it looks like I'm going to be celebrating my first day of work tonight at Satelite 'round 11PM. Anybody wants to buy me a beer (as I'm still broke for another week) let me know. A friend of mine's running an open mike and there's a good time to be had by all.

As I was getting dressed today, I looked in the mirror and realized: I am fat. I have that “pear shape” that the women’s magazines talk about! I'd always thought it was a metaphor, but there it was, in the flesh. I am generally a small person, so I’d never really thought of myself as fat. I just let it creep up on me, one oatmeal raisin cookie at a time. The realization in front of the mirror was sort of a thunderbolt from the clouds: I have rolls of fat around my middle. I have Rubensian thighs. My ass is the size of Toronto. Wow! I am FAT!

This let me to further scrutiny of my reflection. I realized that not only has my rear end begun to rival a zeppelin in size, but my skin is quite bad. I have two pimples on my forehead, and premature wrinkles. Parts of my face are hideously red from allergies (Claritin only does so much). I have a few too many moles. My features are the same as they always were: eyes too small, nose too blunt, overbite, thick ankles. Hair perpetually a mess. Racialized body of problematic symbolic status. Wow! I am UGLY!

I realized I offended my own aesthetic sensibilities. Ew, I said, and turned away from the mirror.

Never really having been in the “pretty” camp, I took my newfound realization of personal ugliness fairly stoically. I might be ugly, but that didn’t excuse me from having to do laundry. Off to the laundromat I went.

It happens that between my apartment and my local laundromat is a preschool. As I walked back from the laundromat, the yard in front of the preschool was full of small children, gamboling as is their wont.

Tearing away from her friends and running as happy as you please was a tiny girl of maybe four years. Her hair was pale blond, and frizzy almost to the point of what one might call nappiness. Her skinny arms were extended as she whirled around to show off what was clearly the source of her joy at that moment: a light blue, frilly dress of filmy synthetic material, a fairy princess sort of outfit.

I couldn’t help smiling at the girl as she whirled and flounced. She noticed me smiling and grinned back, then darted off to twirl some more.

Keep smiling, kid, I thought. Keep being beautiful. There’s plenty of time for being ugly later.

I walked home, laundry in arms, feeling a little prettier myself.

Chicago was never a friend to you,
my friend.
She may look beautiful
in photographs, but
she is

a naked,

with a piece of cardboard
hiding his penis,
hollering about God,
while the sane-seeming
co-spectator to your
begins to preach -

"This is a dark city,
oh Lord!
A dark city of the devil,
oh Jesus!"

She is
Mohammad in Starbucks
with a mathematical explanation
for enlightenment;
a silver lake, and the garbage
gathers and settles




Chicago was never a friend to you,
my friend.
You took some beautiful photos of her,
but that


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