Assorted interestingness

2007 Tokyo International Quilt Festival — truly stunning art, and Mennonites don’t have the market cornered on gorgeous quilts. (Though it was cool to see a couple patterns I recognize from the family collections.) (Courtesy of Hรฉlรจne.)

Quinoa is pronounced “KEEN-wah” or “KEE-no-ah”. Why it took me so long to finally look that up, I’ve no idea. Because over-pronouncing words amuses me, however, (German thing?) it will probably still be “kwin-OH-ah” in my head. ๐Ÿ™‚

How to Be a Woman — solid advice. (Courtesy of Violet.)

Hatsuyume — I love when other languages have words for stuff that English doesn’t (which is often). The first one I remember from this year is that I was shopping and trying on jeans (which I did recently). And was surprised to notice I was rawkin’ a kickass six-pack. Why it was buried under a sweater I have no idea, cuz if I had such abs they’d be out all the time. ๐Ÿ™‚ (Courtesy of Violet.)

As an atheist, I truly believe Africa needs God — This led to an excellent discussion between Sherry and myself, through which our personal experiences shone through very clearly, I’m sure. (Courtesy of Sherry.)

Sockmonkeys taken to another level — makes me wish I could really sew.

Emily Oster: What do we really know about the spread of AIDS? — Fascinating holistic view of how part of the world and people tick.

Nicholas Negroponte: Bringing One Laptop per Child to Colombia: TED in the Field — Maybe cuz I’m a web geek, maybe cuz I’m a reading and learning junkie, but this inspired the hell out of me. I will help.

2008 retrospective meme

Since all the cool kids are doin’ it…

1. What did you do in 2008 that youโ€™d never done before?

Took two vacations. Ate frog legs. Cried over an election (not ours).

2. Did you keep your New Yearsโ€™ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I don’t really resolve. Decided some changes were needed this year, and have gotten started on them. Hoping fruition of some degree comes in 2009.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

A few folks, though no one really close to me.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Again, no one really close, but an aunt and my cousin’s fiance.

5. What countries did you visit?

France with Sherry. Visited the Canadian west coast with Andrew for the first time as an adult, too.

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008?

No debt.

7. What date from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory?

A few important things happened, but it will be the events I remember. I suck at attaching dates. Starting the new job, the first evening in Carcassonne, finding out about Dexter, US election night. December 8th and December 22nd are of note, but they carry over from past years.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Finding a job I like.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Managing my finances (as usual). ๐Ÿ™‚

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Nothing major. Apparently my body decided to finally agree with me that I have a lazy thyroid.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Can’t remember if I bought my brother and SIL’s laptop early this year or late last year. If it was last year, then… I dunno, the livestock I got my family for Christmas was pretty cool.

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?

My brother’s. US voters.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?

Canadian non-voters. Canadian politicians. Those who voted in Prop 8. Those who keep launching bombs in Israel.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Life, couple of trips.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

The news about Dexter. My niece starting to hit lots of milestones. Quitting my last job.

16. What song/album will always remind you of 2008?

I Kissed a Girl. (Hey, didn’t say it had to be a good song. That one was just ubiquitous.)

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:

1. happier or sadder? slightly sadder
2. thinner or fatter? slightly heavier
3. richer or poorer? both

18. What do you wish youโ€™d done more of?

Writing, exercise.

19. What do you wish youโ€™d done less of?

Procrastination. Working at a job I didn’t like.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?

Nice, quiet day with the family.

21. Who did you spend the most time on the phone with?

Probably Mom, maybe even Chad. I don’t spend much time on the phone with anyone.

22. Did you fall in love in 2008?

I wish.

23. How many one night stands in this last year?


24. What was your favourite TV programme?

True Blood.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didnโ€™t hate this time last year?

I don’t bother; I just discard as needed.

26. What was the best book(s) you read?

Crikey, umm… Bonk, In Defense of Food, The Graveyard Book, The Southern Vampire Mysteries (the Sookie Stackhouse books — high entertaining trash factor), The Daily Coyote, and many more.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Nothing comes to mind.

28. What did you want and get?

A new job.

29. What did you want and not get?

A beshert. A dog. New jeans (the malls will be safer this weekend). ๐Ÿ™‚

30. What were your favourite films of this year?

Does Dr. Horrible count? ๐Ÿ™‚ Beyond that… The Dark Knight was probably the biggest one. Death Race and Quantum of Solace were probably the two most highly anticipated but not good ones.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 33, and Andrew took me to Toronto for delicious Korean BBQ and braaaaaaains! (I.e. Evil Dead: The Musical.)

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

As Sherry noted: winning the lottery.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008?


34. What kept you sane?

Good books, book wine, snuggly kitty, yoga, friends, work I enjoy, cooking.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

I’ll cop to a bit of an Obama crush. Lafayette on True Blood’s awesome. Daniel Craig’s eyes. Jason Statham when he’s not talking. ๐Ÿ™‚

36. What political issue stirred you the most?

Again, as Sherry noted: Prop 8 in California; the prorogation in Canada.

37. Who did you miss?

My 23-year-old self.

38. Who was the best new person you met?

There were a bunch. Of the in-person meets, Melissa, Havi, and Amrita come to mind.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008.

Something that goes on with you or your body for more than a few days — long enough that you actively notice — is not temporary and random and is indicative of something you might want to get checked out. Also, it’s hard to avoid adapting your lifestyle to those you spend a lot of time with (i.e. eating like and not sleeping like a 20-year-old geek).

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year?

Why’d you sing Hallelujah
If it means nothing to you?

Quite so.

Sherry sent me this link the other day: Cat turns into woman in P/Harcourt – 5 killed as cultists clash, which is a bit mind-boggling, any way you slice it.

However, even better, I think, was a line from the blog post of Neil Gaiman’s where she’d seen it:

It must be very interesting (or, in turn, quite dangerous) to live in a place where myth is still a living thing.

Something Neil could have said himself, really. Though I suspect he knows a great deal more about the subject than many of us.

Utterly fascinating to ponder, in any case. Especially if we remove the arrogance our western level of civilization wraps us in and consider that we’re part of that statement as well.

I mean, really, just look at the Stanley Cup Championships… ๐Ÿ™‚

Life Before Death

Life Before Death

Photos of people diagnosed with terminal cancer before and after they died. Quiet and haunting. Don’t skip the text captions.

I was expecting it to be very… Victorian. But it really wasn’t.

(Link courtesy of Dooce via Sherry.)