Category Archives: Life

Broken record

I know I say this every year, but would the Edmonton weather please give me a break already? Please? Pretty please?

Picture 1

Honestly, this forecast tops ridiculous: -2 and snow on May 19? Seriously? The NINETEENTH of MAY? SNOW?

There, I feel better now. Bitching on the internet can do that to you.



It’s good to be back. I’ve missed yoga even more than running. I used to go do Iyengar Yoga at the university, as they usually have good teachers and fair prices, wait, actually, really low prices. But that was back in the day I was actually at the university a lot. Those days are gone. Erm, for now, that is. Knowing me, they’ll come back, there’s just no telling when I’ll get bored with working at home. The point is yoga, so back to it: it was a complete revelation for me. I never thought I would actually get to know and understand how my own body works and operates and, more importantly, feel what’s going on with my body. Maybe you know what I’m talking about if you’ve ever done yoga: feeling that particular muscle stretch, knowing what to do to stretch it just a little bit more, and knowing what’s too much; knowing exactly when you’re pushing yourself and, more importantly, for how long before you do damage. Yoga has really offered me a knowledge of myself that I didn’t know was possible. Continue reading


Oh, how I despise anecdotes! Where’s a good one when you need it? For example, some of the more readable essays out there always start with a pithy anecdote, one that they run with afterwards and that covers all the points they want to make. Can I just say: I hate you, good essays! I have anecdote envy. Yes, I know, I should do some anger management over that emotion, and who know what deeply buried causes emerge. Oooomph, sometimes it’s good to do some ranting to get things off one’s chest. Continue reading

Labour and fruit… or vegetable

And, in non-dissertation related news, I’m trying to convince myself that it’s warm enough to start thinking about finally putting the garden in… I mean out. In and out. Whatever, I’m new at this stuff, so I don’t know the lingo. Bottom line, even if I’ve extended the growing season by sowing inside in March, unless I put the tomatoes and peppers out soon, there will be no growing, i.e., no fruit, nor vegetable. It’s funny to browse the specialty or specialized big-box stores with one’s garden in mind, and see that droves of like-minded people are carefully inspecting the specs on mulch, topsoil, and compost (I’m telling you: electronics customers have nothing on prospective gardeners when it comes to questioning specs), and sneaking guilty looks in the direction of the brightly-coloured chemical fertilizer bags.

Apparently, we’re also installing a gazebo in the middle of the backyard lawn. Nice, you say? Well, wait until I tell what this all means: landscaping paving stones, sand, installing, levelling, hauling, time, nerves, sweat, did I mention levelling? Like any brave entrepreneurs who haven’t got a clue about what they’re embarking on, we’re reading books… well, I am, and then there’s an uphill battle where I triumphantly communicate my findings to my partner, and he starts questioning them (not only is he a gardener-cum-builder-wannabe, but he’s also an electronics engineer by education): do I really think I know what I’m talking about when I mention raised beds? Who in the world told me about those. Oh, those professional, experienced gardeners have absolutely nothing on his expertise of attempting to help his parents weed the vegetable garden once… when he was SEVEN. By this time, my blood had been boiling for some time, all to the rhythm of the insides of my head throbbing and blasting with unrepeatable pet words. All I wanna do is smash something into his logical calm face of his. WHAT DO YOU THINK I’VE BEEN DOING ALL THIS TIME? Reading books so that I find the best (easiest, least laborious) solution for my garden, so that we won’t have to take out the lawn *and* make paved pathways in-between planted beds etc. (I *do* look like I have a plan, don’t I?) And here you come, ruining my perfect little plan, which I’ve come up with only this morning, after spending a good couple of hours in a bookstore perusing different vegetable gardening books to find one that supplements my only advice giver (good old Lois Hole). True, while I devise my cunning little schemes, I think he perceives that he’s going to be the one bringing it to fruition (hopefully, our plants will get there), what with me having a lame excuse about bending all the time at thirty-two weeks. But, it will get done, I’m telling you, and it has to get done this week.

Wish us luck!

Veronika, where *is* spring?

So, slowly but surely this blog is turning from a draft notebook for my dissertation into a chronicle of my procrastination. Excellent! Aaaa, but there is rigor in my procrastination, there is even consistence: further on the subject of the weather, spring has turned its back on us yet again. In revenge, I have stumbled upon this:

It’s a group called The Comedian Harmonists, which were all the rage in 1930’s Germany. A movie chronicling the group’s climb to fame and demise following Nazi interdiction (three of the six group members were Jewish) was made in 1997. The Comedian Harmonists have a considerable following in Germany and Austria today, with several amateur groups singing their repertoire. I have first heard about them in 1998, when I attended a performance of just such a group, which was unexpectedly entertaining.

So why am I bringing up here, apart from mere procrastination? Well, because it’s snowing outside, for one, and I was growing slightly mad, until I just happened to be taken – through random surfing and clicking – to “Veronika, der Lenz ist da,” which means “Veronika, spring is here.” You’d think such an announcement would just make me more incensed, but I personally can’t listen to the Comedian Harmonists without smiling. So, Veronika seems ironically appropriate right now. To me, at least.

Onward and away to work! Wish me luck…


“It’s been a busy couple of weeks,” says corplit trying to justify absence and lack of posts. Seems like a handy cliché to use, except that it hasn’t been so: the same puttering around, the same longing for warm weather, a somewhat weird turn for the worse in weather (euphemistically, of course; how would you characterize 30 cm of snow over two days in late April?), and a bad one-week cold. And now, it’s time to come back with renewed strength, and not only because the weather seems to be inching towards spring, but because I missed this. Oh, I wanted to come back several times: what I wouldn’t have written about the new majority female Spanish cabinet with a seven-month-pregnant minister of defense; or about the new skinny law in France that prohibits advertisers, the media, and the fashion industry from promoting extreme thinness. Well, those days, together with their hot topics are gone, but new things are still to come. Stay tuned. Or don’t, because it puts pressure on me (of course, if you really wanted to stay tuned, there was nothing I could really do about it).

The good news is that I started my dissertation. I’m not going to bore you with my quantified output, and it doesn’t really matter – what counts is that now I don’t have to stare at a blank – but full of crippling effing potential – document anymore. I can now stare at several pages of it.

I’m off to spend as much of the day as I can outside: there’s a big-shot job talk in the department this afternoon, so I can act as if I have important stuff to do, and I’m not really ignoring my work. Which I’m totally not. Honest.

Déjà vu

I’m in a rut. I decided to stop writing the blog in favour of channelling all my energies toward writing my big paper, my project… my – dare I say it – dissertation. Guess what! It doesn’t work. As a result, I’ve ignored my blog for some time, and I have nothing to show for in that word document either. Moreover, in spite of having received a bunch of crisp new books just last week, I have barely cracked their cover for more than signing my name in them – yeah, I’m one of those people. And *no*, that’s not the only way my name’s going to be on the title page of a book [whoa, somebody’s in a good mood today].

Anyway, I should go back to feeling guilty for not producing stuff towards the D-thingy, rather than procrastinating here, and making others do it with me (or not). Wish me luck.