Not To Be Trusted With Knives

The Internet’s leading authority on radicalized geese

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Blogathon Debrief

So I’m a bit of a perfectionist. And the speed and sleep deprivation that accompanies blogging every half hour for 24 hours straight does not lend itself to perfection. So there are some things from my Blogathon – things I couldn’t remember in the haste of blogathoning – that I feel the need to rectify.

Re: All The Books I Currently Have Out of The Library

  • I’ve finished reading1 Eat that Frog: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by Brian Tracy and The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell and now I’ve gotten Blink, also by Malcolm Gladwell
  • I totally thought I was on the waiting list for Getting Things Done by David Allen as an e-audiobook, but I just went to check where on the waiting list I am and it appears that not only am I not on the waiting list, but the library doesn’t even have this as an e-audiobook.  I’ll have to go to the library to pick up the CD audiobook2.  I’ll chalk this one up to Blogathon delirium!

Re: A List of My Go-To Meals

  • Can’t belive I forgot to mention President’s Choice fake “chicken” breasts with French fries (if I’m feeling industrious, I’ll cut up potatoes, cover in olive oil, rosemary & fresh ground black pepper and oven bake; if I’m feeling lazy, it’s frozen Safeway fries, oven baked) and a veg (maybe steamed asparagus or broccoli or corn-on-the-cob)
  • Also, veggie tacos!!  Yves veggie ground round with onions/green peppers/zucchini/mushrooms & taco seasoning mix in a tortilla with tomatoes, green onions, fresh cilantro, avocado, yogurt and cheese. Or sometimes I’ll use refried beans instead of the ground round mix.

Re: Stuff Cookbooks Have Taught Me

  • The cookbook that Shalu et al got me for my birthday is called Cooking with Kurma.  The other cookbook that Shalu gave me was The Higher Taste: A Guide to Gourmet Vegetarian Cooking and a Karma-Free Diet.
  • The cookbook where the chef says to put herbs and spices in until you are sure it’s too much and then put some more (which I neglected to mention was a gift from my sister), is called Byron’s New Home Cooking: 100 Recipes for Busy Cooks With Demanding Palates.
  • I can’t *believe* I forgot to mention my Linda McCartney cookbook! Linda McCartney’s World of Vegetarian Cooking – a gift I received from my friend Kaede – rocks my world.

Re: Plugins, My Plugins

  • Tod has just introduced me to the best plugin ever! WP-Footnotes automates the whole footnoting process even better than the AddQuicktag that I’d set up.  And you know how much I loves me some footnotes3.  Maybe now I’ll be able to write a blog posting with 101 footnotes in it before my 1001 days are up!
  1. by which I mean “listening to” []
  2. how archaic! []
  3. a lot! []

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#49 – The End!

Hey, remember that time, 48 blog posts ago, when I thought it would be a good idea to blog for 24 hours straight?  That was good times.

Here’s me a fewof hours ago at Workspace, blogging about the important issues of the day:

IMGP0050 by you.

Props to all the bloggers who wrote all day and all night to raise money and awareness for a wide variety of great causes.

Props to all the people who supported us – through guest postings and the bringing of foodstuffs and company and music and commenting!  Me loves the commenting!

And props, of course, to everyone who donated today. It’s why we all did this.

And now I go to sleep!

THE END!

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#48 – My 40th Birthday, Being Planned WAAAAAY In Advance

So, remember how I got a bunch of friends to go surfing with me in Tofino for my 30th birthday?  My *January* birthday.  Well, it was a tonne of fun, but FSM it was cold.  So I decided shortly thereafter that for my 40th birthday, I want to go surfing somewhere warm.  You know, like Australia or Hawaii.  And I started putting away a bit of money each paycheque so that I’ll have the money to do it.

Anyhoodle, the point of this posting is to let y’all know that you should start saving your pennies if you wanna come with.  You have 2727 days (or 7 years, 5 months and 17 days, if you prefer) to raise the coin you need to join me.  Also, bring sunscreen!

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#47 – Cool Words

Words I love:

  • characterological
  • exegesis
  • juxtaposition
  • phagocytosis

Words I hate:

  • problematize
  • hegemony

Words I feel like I should love or hate, but about which I haven’t yet formed an opinion:

  • evaluand
  • expectorate

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#45 – If I Were To Write A Book

So, did I mention I’m a procrastinator?

When I put out the call for donations, I said that anyone who donated to my Blogathon charity woudl earn the right to requeset a topic for one of my blog postings.  Sarah & Dave were the only people who took me up on this offer (which was really more of a help to me than anything, ‘cuz I have to come up with 49 freakin’ topics!)  And they gave me a topic.  And here it is, blog posting #45 and I haven’t yet written it!

But here I am, writing it. Wheee!  OK, so the question they asked as, if I were to write a book, what would it be about.  And I guess I’ve been procrastinating on it because I don’t really know the answer. I have thought that I should write a book on tips for university students, because it’s not so long ago I was one, but I’m also an instructor, so I can give tips, for example, on what instructors want to see in your assignments. Stuff I would want to have known when I was doing my undergraduate.  So, yeah, BO-RING!  Another book I might want to write someday is a cookbook. Except that no one reads cookbooks anymore.  Boo!

Part two of their question was: would it involve a pregnant women being attacked by ninjas?  You see, I once told Dave and Sarah about a scene I envisioned, like for a short film, where a pregnant women is home in her kitchen and then all these ninjas show up to attack her and she has one of those wooden blocks with all the knives in it and she’s grabbing the knives and throwing them into the ninjas and it’s awesome!  But that’s all I’ve got – the image of this scene.  Why is this pregnant women being attacked by ninjas? I don’t know. How did she learn to throw knives so expertly that she can kill all the ninjas?  No idea.  And this is why I don’t write books.

Is it 6 a.m. yet?

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#44 – Word to Your Moms, I Came to Drop Bombs

I’m totally not going to do this title justice.  But it’s the middle of the goddamn night and my brain is fried, so I’ll take what I can get at this point.

Moms.

All out of nowhere, everyone seems to have babies!  I’m currently reading no fewer than THREE blogs written by women with new babies (all of whom I knew pre-baby).  And I have to say – I find them riveting.  It’s quite interesting as a non-mom to get some insight into the world of having a baby.  Plus my sister, as anyone who reads this blog regularly, is a mom.  A supermom!  Also, I have another good friend who is preggers – not sure if it’s common knowledge yet, though, so I shan’t mention her name here for the moment.  In addition – I have a Mom.  She rocks.

OK, so that covers the “Word to Your Moms.”

Now, I came to drop bombs.  I wish I had some huge big news (i.e., a bombshell) to drop here, ‘cuz how awesome would that be. But I don’t. Because I’ve been writing for more than 21 hours, so I’ve pretty much told you ever single thing that is in my brain. And none of it is really a bomb.  So instead, I’ll drop the f-bomb.

FUCK!

Thus concludes, Word to Your Moms, I Came to Drop Bombs.

I’m tired.

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#43 – Guest Posting: 17 Random Things Books Taught Me

ZOMG! I’m such a scatterbrain!  I haven’t even posted Dave’s guest posting yet!  I suck!  Here it is – and, as always with Dave’s writing, it’s freaking hilarious!

Despite this being a theme I suggested, I’ve had a lot of trouble figuring out what to write. I wanted to lock onto one idea—one book—and write about that. Couldn’t do it, though. Instead, I present 17 Random Things Books Taught Me. This started off semi-serious, but it gets dumb and stays dumb from very early on..

If you’re nauseated, you feel sick to your stomach; if you’re nauseous, you make other people sick to their stomach – The Elements of Style

Under certain circumstances, I have found myself rooting for two siblings to have sex with one another –The Hotel New Hampshire

The Weinsteins are brilliant businessmen but complete and utter assholes, and Bob Redford’s a big of a dbag – Down and Dirty Pictures: Miramax, Sundance, and the Rise of Independent Film

Slaughterhouses are awful environments where animals are inhumanely murdered, and where the push for faster and faster production results in even the workers themselves getting mutilated; but all the same, I still likes me a hamburger – Fast Food Nation

To kick heroin, you will need: one room which you will not leave, soothing music, ten tins of tomato soup, eight tins of mushroom soup, one large tub of vanilla ice cream, milk of magnesia, Paracetamol, mouthwash, vitamins, mineral water, Lucozade, pornography, one mattress, three buckets (for urine, feces, vomit), one television set, and Valium. Alternately: never do heroin. – Trainspotting

There are books I have read and hated but will keep and display on my shelf forever just because I love the cover design. – A Polished Hoe

If you have a spiritual philosophy that’s best summarized in nine bullet points, and you stretch it out to a ‘novel’ with no real characters or plot, and the narrator just keeps running into people who vomit information at him for two hundred and fifty pages—there’s a pretty good chance your book will make seventy kajillion dollars – The Celestine Prophecy

Clowns are fucking scary. – IT

Stories of dystopic nightmare futures are made that much more bleak when described in very long sentences with little to no punctuation. – The Road

The big-breasted look might not always be in fashion. – What To Expect When You’re Expecting

If you take a big pile of money that your parents gave you, and you burn it, and then you drift across the States for a while, and then you go out to the middle-of-fucking-nowhere-Alaska alone, armed with nothing but a bag of rice and your questionable wits, and then you die—I’m not really gonna feel that bad for you. – Into the Wild

Moloko is milk, bog is god, glazies are eyes—and I still don’t know what the sloochavvy is. – A Clockwork Orange

Everything I ever needed to know, I learned in kindergarten. – Everything I Ever Needed To Know, I Learned in Kindergarten

Never fake being crazy to stay out of prison. Chances are pretty good that you’ll end up lobotomized, then suffocated with a pillow. On the bright side, the large native man who killed you will then throw an air conditioner through a window and run away to his freedom. – One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

There’s a John Steinbeck book where one of the characters tortures another character by stabbing their genitals with a knitting needle(!?!) – East of Eden

If you’re good son who does all the hard work, minds the farm, lives well, and generally respects your dad, and you have a shithead brother who goes all prodigal, asks for his inheritance early, blows it all on (we can only assume) hookers, then comes back begging when he’s all poor and hungry, your dad will throw him the mother of all parties, which makes him a bit of a dick too. – The Bible

That Gatsby character: not so great, actually. – The Great Gatsby

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#42 – Stuff People Google

So that last post reminded me of blog stats, the wonderful world where you can find what words and phrases people have Googled to end up on your blog.  Here’s a list of some, uh, interesting things people have Googled lately to land here:

  • the leave in the canadian flag [that’s some awesome spelling. you know, the singular of “leaves” being “leave”]
  • and then my head exploded [seriously, someone actually Googled that phrase!]
  • how to find someone to have an affair with [classy, people, really classy]
  • “doctorate” “unemployed” [nuff said.  Also, I like how they put the individual words inside quotation marks. ‘cuz that makes sense]
  • sluts in b.c. hydro [wha??]
  • caffeine makes groin hurt [also, wha??]
  • bananagasm [seriously, that is a made up word. Why is someone googling it?]
  • my job is sucking the life out of me [did you really expect the Internet to help you with this? Just by Googling?]
  • joffrey lupul pregnant [oh yeah, he totally is]

And, my personal fav, “[a person’s name] herpes.”  I’m not going to tell you whose name it is (and it’s not mine)… but all I can say is did you really expect to get an answer to that on the internets?

Also, while checking out my blog stats, I noticed my graph showing, very clearly, today’s activity:

blogathon graph spike by you.

Thanks for reading, everyone!  It does make it easier to keep at it knowing you are out there!

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Read about the charity that I’m supporting, Options for Sexual Health!

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#41 – Plugins, My Plugins

One of the big things that prompted me to switch from a WordPress.com blog to a self-hosted WordPress.org blog was that I kept hearing people talk about all the awesome plugins they used and you could only get those plugins if you were self-hosted.  Plugins that optimize your blog for search engines, plugings that allow people to subscribe to comments from individual posts, plugins that perform open heart surgery for you.

Here I give you the list of all the plugins that I currently have on my blog:

  • AddQuicktag – Allows me to quickly insert code into my blog. I use it to quickly add my many, many1 footnotes and, today, for adding the Blogathon banner, which is linked to my Blogathon donation page2 at the bottom of each blog posting today.
  • Advertising Manager – Although I haven’t actually set it up, I could totally put Google Adsense ads on my blog. Totally.
  • AJAX Comment Preview allows you to preview your comments before you post them. Unforutunately, it does work with the Disqus plugin, but I’ve left it in place ‘cuz I haven’t decided if I like Disqus enough to keep it.  Ditto for Subscribe To Comments, which, as the name suggests, allows you to subscribe to comments.
  • Akismet – an absolute must, this plugin keeps the spam comments at bay.
  • All in One SEO Pack is the one that optimizes your blog for search engines. Because I’d hate it if someone couldn’t find my list of hockey hotties merely because my blog was optimized for their search.
  • Contact Form 7 creates a contact form so peeps can email me.
  • DISQUS Comment System – I installed this one because it allows you to have threaded comments.  But it wants people to join Disqus and login and such. Haven’t decided if I’ll keep this one.
  • Google Analytics for WordPress – because I need to know when someone lands on my blog by Googling “ripped fingers” or “cute aunty body.”  Ditto for WordPress.com Stats – I have both of them because they tend to give you slightly different info.
  • WordPress Database Backup – because if the whole Internet implodes, I need to know that my ingenious writings have been preserved.

1And I do mean “many.”
2Speaking of which, did you donate yet?

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#40 – Guest Post: The Story of Beth & Kalev

This guest posting by Kalev just arrived in my mailbox.  Kalev is trying to make me cry!  So I’ve bumped the posting I was working on until next half hour, ‘cuz I needed to post this one right away!

The funny thing about me and Beth being friends is that we don’t quite remember when we became friends. I mean, we know when we met and under what circumstances, and then we know we kinda bonded when she was in San Francisco for a conference and I was there with a friend for SF Pride and I took her to the best veggie Chinese restaurant in the city and then to a cool gay pride party called “Pink Saturday” that happens every year in the Castro the night before the parade. But after that, there’s this weird gap between San Francisco and when we became good friends, the kind of friends who not only help you kill someone (e.g., [notice the comma] “It,” Drooling Idiot, Captain e-Tool, Lives-and-Breathes, MuffMaster 2000, etc.) but who also help you bury the body and frankly offer to take the blame and provide you an alibi if you get caught.

There are several ways people can tell that Beth is one of my very best friends. The most obvious one is that Beth loves hockey. I loathe hockey. But not only do I still associate with Beth despite her passion for the sport of heinosity (yes, that is a word, because I say it is), I have even attended a birthday dinner in her honour at a bar where the heinous game was being broadcast. And sat through the entire disgraceful affair. (Unsurprisingly, Beth’s darlings, the Canucks, lost. Shocking, I know!)

Another way people can tell Beth is one of my best friends is that I am more than willing to abruptly scuttle plans with lesser friends if it means I can spend time with Beth. Okay, maybe you can’t tell that because it’s not like I go around telling people in my life, “Well sorry, you mean a lot less to me than Beth” but I can assure you that has happened on more than one occasion. (No, I don’t falsely maintain that all my friends are “equal” in stature. Please.)

Yet another way in which you can tell that Beth is one of my best friends is that I stop and think about what she says if what she says is not what I am expecting or does not agree with what I think. That is (aka i.e.), I consider her an equal. Actually, in some ways, I consider her my superior. If you knew me, you would understand the import of this. *grin*

But the way it truly became clear to me that Beth was one of my best friends is when my mum was sick with cancer. She was diagnosed in Fall 2005. At this point I was seeing quite a lot of Beth. After the diagnosis, I told quite a few of my friends what was going on but very few people who weren’t, shall we say, “top tier.” One of the people I did not tell immediately was Beth. Partly that was because she was going through a pretty trying time in her own life (getting divorced after ten years of marriage) but mainly it was because by not telling her, I had someone to hang out with where I was just Kalev, where I could pretend everything was normal, where I could desperately avoid being “Kalev whose mother was dying of cancer.” I had someone close to me where I could be the person I had been before the news that forever altered my life. I had someone with whom I could escape the horror my life had become.

My friendship with Beth became a place of refuge, a place where I could just be me and laugh and rave about the petty injustices of the world, the idiots who were totally meaningless in the context of losing the most important person of my life.

There are a handful of people who saved my sanity and probably my life during that period. But Beth was the only person who didn’t know what solace she was providing, just by being her incredibly amazing self. As far as Beth was concerned, I was a friend and she and I were hanging out and having fun. She didn’t know, she couldn’t have known, how every time I saw her or talked to her or emailed with her, she was doing the impossible: she was helping me through a time that was unendurable, a time that I did not believe would ever end, a time where I was so not myself and so lost and alone… and she made me feel like it might one day be all right. She helped me hold on when I didn’t know anymore who I was or how life worked. She let me know that even in the darkest time of my life, I was loved and respected and valued… and she kept me laughing when in all rights I should never have laughed again. And she didn’t even know how much I needed her; she was just there for me.

It took nine months for me to finally tell Beth what was happening with my mum. I felt so guilty I hadn’t shared the truth with her and I wanted so badly for her to understand that it wasn’t what it seemed like, that it wasn’t because she wasn’t that good a friend that I had neglected to mention the fact that my mum was terminally ill, but it was precisely because she was such an amazing friend that I had needed to keep her in the dark until the last possible moment.

And as long as I live, I don’t think I will ever see someone so effortlessly and so gracefully accept and understand another person’s pain-driven need as when I told her my mum had been sick. I still marvel at that to this day and I will cherish her compassion and her generosity of spirit for as long as I live.

And when my mum was in and out of hospital the rest of the summer of 2006, Beth was always there for me. And when my mother died, Beth was there for me. So well beyond how smart and funny and witty and incisive Beth is, well beyond the fact that we so delightfully share similar worldviews and that the same stupid people make us crazy, well beyond what a thorougly good and loving person Beth is, I know Beth is my friend because when I most needed a friend, when I had nothing left to give, Beth was my friend. Beth loved me and comforted me and she was there for me like very, very few others. And if we are indeed judged on the quality of those who hold us dear in their hearts, I know I have nothing to fear, because I am the friend of Beth Snow… and I can think of no honour or accomplishment that can possibly top that.