Friday, July 30, 2010

top twenty summer halifax things

amy jones, world's biggest halifax tourist

  1. buying beer and meat at eddy's while everyone else is buying lottery tickets because the jackpot is five million.
  2. swimming in the lake while my sister sits on the dock because she is too wussy to go in.
  3. puppies everywhere, so excited they scratch the shit out of my legs and bite the end of my chin.
  4. tripping over rocks by the bonfire, trying to escape the smoke.
  5. daquiris at freeman's after church, before the casino, and in the middle of pride.
  6. walking through downtown halifax in a red dress and heels right past the black eyed peas and weezer.
  7. weddings dressed up to look like rock night at tribeca.
  8. fog on the waterfront at two in the morning.
  9. feeling totally lost during cab rides to dartmouth.
  10. rainy boat rides followed by fireplace and lobster.
  11. sandwiches and near-death experiences at the freshly painted italian market.
  12. playing stacy london to my sister's hopeless wntw nominee at the mall.
  13. starbucks and conversation and girls in short sundresses at the park by the hydrostone.
  14. watching the bachelorette with my mom and having no idea what is going on.
  15. sushi and philly cheese steak pitas in the basement of spring garden place.
  16. deciding not to have our ice cream hand-paddled.
  17. geese and flowers at the public gardens.
  18. babies and beer and the best old friends at tom's little havana.
  19. finding out mike drinks shirley temples.
  20. coming home to cory waiting for me at the airport.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

top one interview with me of the day

  1. i'm back and, oh, listophelia, i missed you! but i'm not back enough nor did i miss you enough to write a real post yet. luckily, my fave new writer, danila botha, basically did it for me with this interview she did with me for salty ink. i guess if you've read interviews with me before you probably already know what i said, since i tend to be kind of brokenrecordy, but danila did ask some pretty thoughtful questions, so maybe not. whatever. go there. read it. be happy.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

top 1 temp blog post while amy's away

Hello, internet! My apologies for leaving you cold and lonely since Amy's post about robot unicorns. Here is a warm blanket and some tea. What kind of tea is it? The kind of tea I have in the cupboard, okay? You don't like that kind? What do I look like? A Starbucks? Internet, I gotta say, you're being ungrateful.

So Amy's gone to Parts Unknown and I should have gotten to temp posting sooner but I was busy. Loremaster of the Eastern Kingdoms doesn't quest itself...and you know what really doesn't? Loremaster of Kalimdor. Also, Jess was in town.

there are no achievement points because it's a feat of strength, bitches.

Anyway. Amy's back tomorrow, so who knows. Maybe she'll tell you where she was. It's Halifax! Oh, wait. SPOILER ALERT: it's Halifax.

I think I did that wrong. But here's something that will make you feel better.

So, in conclusion, I'll work on getting better tea. Or at least I'll put it on the grocery list. We'll see what happens. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go chase myself in a mirror until it's time to pick Amy up from the airport.

PS. You can keep that blanket until you wash it, Internet. I know where you've been. I remember

Maybe just keep the blanket.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

reasons i know that robot unicorns have feelings

  1. they try to follow their dreams.
  2. they cry oily robot tears when they die.
  3. they like erasure.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

happy birthday, blog!

your friendly neighbourhood bloggers

toronto, 2009: a little dark-haired writer named amy sits alone on a futon in her basement apartment, watching reruns of the office and eating eggo waffles, wondering what she can do to help all those hundreds of thousands of people who, with the release of her first UNIVERSE-WIDE BESTSELLING BOOK that coming fall, would inevitably be flooding search engines across the world looking for something, anything, that would get them closer to her wild, beautiful, unparalleled genius, while at the same time also wondering what to do with the hundreds of thousands of lists she had written while procrastinating from writing said UNIVERSE-WIDE BESTSELLING BOOK. later, during a skype chat with her friend jess in vancouver, she had the following conversation:*

*more or less. i deleted that skype account due to douchebag related reasons that have nothing to do with you, i promise.

amy: so i think i might start a blog.
jess: me too!
amy: okay, i'm going to do it.
jess: me too!

hours later

amy: so i started my blog.
jess: not me. i did something super important and vancouver-y.
amy: haha. so what do you think?
jess: it looks kind of cramped.
amy: okay, i'll change the template.

seconds later (thanks, blogger!)

amy: okay, how about now?
jess: it looks better.
amy: but what about the stuff i wrote?
jess: i like it. but...
amy: what?
jess: well, i mean, are you just going to write about yourself all the time?
amy: yes.
jess: won't you run out of things to say?
amy: probably. i probably won't last more than a week.

and here we are, a year later, and most of these things are no longer true. which to me makes last year a pretty successful year. not that i didn't love living all alone in a basement in toronto or anything
  1. it bears repeating: i no longer live in a toronto basement.
  2. i still have dark hair. but it is longer.
  3. my futon was disassembled and reassembled in a brand new place with a brand new sparkly owner.
  4. i still watch reruns of the office. in fact, i just watched a rerun of the office a minute ago. now i am watching cory learn how to play skate 2, which can i just say is about a billion times better.
  5. nobody eats eggo waffles any more.
  6. my book was not a universe-wide bestseller, obviously. in fact, other than planet earth, it had surprisingly low sales data. but some people liked it.
  7. i no longer use skype. too many bad emoticon-related memories.
  8. jess still lives in vancouver, but she's in halifax right now and soon I WILL BE TOO!
  9. don't worry, i haven't left cory for sidney crosby or anything. it's just for a visit.
  10. oh, and ps, WHERE'S YOUR BLOG, JESS?
  11. i still haven't gotten tired of talking about myself.
  12. in this entire year not one person has asked me, hey, amy, you do realize it should actually be listophilia, right? which is weird, cause i know there are at least one or two grammar nazis reading this on a semi-regular basis. what up, grammar nazis?
  13. the reason is, in case you are wondering: was already taken. plus, i like that it has ophelia in it. and it actually makes it way more googleable. uh, googlable? grammar nazis? little help?
  14. super fans have not, as previously thought, been flooding the internet with requests for sexy pictures of me or anything. in fact, according to analytics, most people come to my blog looking for is this. but for the three of you that do read my blog because you enjoy my witty and urbane look at life and not because you are related to me and/or like naked miranda kerr pictures (actually, scratch the related-to-me part. my mom doesn't read my blog because there are too many swears): you are all my favourites. thank you!
  15. i still don't have a gall bladder. but some days i could swear it's growing back.

Monday, July 19, 2010

good news, everyone!

so you guys, even though today was the crappiest of crap days (following a day that was super awesome then super crappy and then super awesome and then super crappy, with the super awesome winning out in the end cause, well, i was on a roller coaster) i did, however, get a few bits of REALLY GOOD NEWS!
  1. you're not going to believe this, but ALEXANDER MCQUEEN THE FASHION DESIGNER LEFT ME A BUNCH OF MONEY IN HIS WILL! now i know what you are thinking: how did a lowly blogger from thunder bay know such a big time super famous london fashion designer? well i didn't know either, but luckily barr perkins george, his personal attorney, explained it all to me in this email: "being a widely travelled man, he must have been in contact with you in the past or simply you were recommended to him by one of his numerous friends abroad who wished you good and his friend was a gay as well due to the fact that mcqueen was a gay and claimed he realised his sexual orientation when he was six. he told his family when he was 18." NOW I KNOW WHAT YOU ARE THINKING who is this mysterious friend abroad who wishes me good, and why would he wish me good if i'm not a gay? i'm not going to lie, this is where i get a little fuzzy too, but i think i've come up with an answer: alexander macqueen claimed he realised his sexual orientation when he was six AND SO DID I! and even though i don't think i ever told my family, i'm pretty sure they were able to guess before i was eighteen. barr perkins george was also kind enough to include a link to mcqueen's wiki page, just in case i didn't know who he was even though we were obviously bff in a former life. but i didn't even have to click it, you guys. i just KNEW. anyway, clearly alexander macqueen and i are soul mates and his friend totally realized that and so now i am seven million pounds richer and you CAN ALL BASICALLY JUST KISS MY ASS.
  2. just in case there is a teeny tiny chance that this whole seven million pounds thing doesn't work out, it turns out i am not actually fired from my job, as i previously thought when i viewed the latest schedule and discovered i was not on it. according to my boss, the computer just forgot to give me shifts and, you know, i can put a sign up or something asking people if they want to give any shifts away or whatever, and haha, like they would EVER BE SO PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE as to fire someone by just leaving them off the schedule, that's jokes, amy, because we OBVIOUSLY TREAT OUR EMPLOYEES WITH SO MUCH MORE RESPECT THAN THAT oh and by the way your bathroom break is at 3:47 and before you leave can i check your bag to make sure you are not stealing anything from us. anyway: amy=not fired. see, good news abounds!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

top ten fun things about the roller coaster in chippewa park

chippewa park, thunder bay, ontario, canada.

  1. well, for one thing, it's a roller coaster. so that's fun. and also, so obviously i am going to ride it.
  2. it is also, according to the cec, called "roller coaster."
  3. apparently, cory's dad worked at chippewa back in the 70s or whenever, which i kind of imagine must have been like adventureland with tight jeans and deep purple instead of leg warmers and frankie goes to hollywood. oh, and minus kristen stewart, because everything in my head is minus kristen stewart. my point is, i'm pretty sure, like many things in thunder bay, the chippewa park roller coaster was probably already old in the 70s. like, if this was the first ever roller coaster built by edmund van coaster, the inventor of all roller coasters, who was experimenting with roller coaster prototypes and therefore had no idea of the effects his spectacular new invention might have on the body, i would so not even be the least bit surprised.
  4. i was all "let's sit in front!" but cory was like, "no, the back's way better." once i saw the coaster, i understood why: by the time the cars pick up momentum to go down the first drop, the first car is pretty much at the bottom of the hill already.
  5. okay, so it might not be the biggest coaster in the world. it might not have any inversions, corkscrews, or zero-g time. but it does give you something few modern coasters can: broken teeth.
  6. okay, so my teeth didn't break. but cory had to sit sideways in order to fit in the car, and we both were unable to lift our arms on the drops, as we needed to hold onto the bar to keep our body parts from clanging against the front of the car.
  7. there is a bit of padding. so that's a bonus.
  8. it also takes you around the track three times. the first time you're like, hey, this isn't so bad. the second time you're like, okay, maybe i've had enough now. the third time, you're like, holy fuck, just let me off this thing.
  9. there is basically no line for roller coaster. so i have a feeling that kids just ride it over and over again while their parents sit on park benches and complain about the heat. well, maybe not all kids, but definitely the kid who was sitting in front of us and basically facing backward to he could talk to us the whole time.

    his mouth is closed here, but that is just a fluke

    his insights into enjoying the coaster included looking behind us while we were climbing the first hill, which i admit was kind of scary given the state of both car and track. he also really wanted his knees to be hitting the car in front of him the same way that cory's were. what a scamp!
  10. apparently cory's parents could see my hair flying up from the bench they were sitting on. they said we looked like we were having fun. and actually, they were right. see number one.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Friday, July 16, 2010

horizontal trees i have known

  1. the tree that crushed my dad's truck during hurricane juan.
  2. the tree that fell on my mom's house, also during hurricane juan. but don't worry, unlike the truck, this time the house won.
  3. the tree that broke in cory's parents' front yard a couple of months ago and that his uncle took down with his loader (yes, someone in cory's family actually owns a loader), which we (well, by "we," i mean cory and his dad, with me watching) chopped into fire wood to take to camp to burn in the sauna. not a bad end for a tree, if you ask me. oh, also, we (and by "we," this time i actually mean "we") took all the brush to the dump, cause it was free dump week, and it was my first time ever going to any dump, anywhere, and although i was disappointed not to see any bears, i feel this experience really helped me understand what the toys were going through when i saw toy story 3.
  4. this tree:

    which basically now bisects our backyard, and which fell in an apparent gale force wind gust that, in the span of what seems to be about thirty seconds, whooshed down the mountain (yes, that is a technical meteorological term), knocked down, like, every tree on our little stretch of broadway, then peaced out. i came home from work wondering why the power was out and everyone was in their yards doing yard work; later the neighbour (who is apparently called susan, not allison or shannon, as we previously thought) interrupted cory's dinner to talk about the tree in the backyard, and he was like, huh? what tree? yeah, we don't go back there much. but you guys, it's really big! to give you some context, here's me and the tree:

    those are my date night clothes, in case you were wondering, not my go-out-to-the-backyard-to-see-a-tree clothes. if it was just for the tree, i wouldn't have the purse.

    for even further context: although for years i thought i was super tall, it turns out i am not. it turns out that tall people can have conversations over my head that i can't even hear. so there you go. IT'S STILL A BIG TREE!
  5. one time some drunk kids uprooted a tree my mom had planted in the front yard and stole it. i'm pretty sure that tree was also horizontal at some point. and so, probably, were the drunk kids.

    Thursday, July 15, 2010

    this next part is all caps

    So I know this is a crappy tape job. But whatever. The Bloomin' Onion is damn powerful. Magical, even. Mystical. Ridiculous.

    Ha ha! See whut I did thar? That's right.

    PS. Boobs.

    top one sign of the apocalypse of the day

    just when you think it can't get any worse, wait til around 1:30. it gets so. much. worse.

    Saturday, July 10, 2010

    a list of things related to this photograph

    1. this is the most delicious yogurt on the planet.
    2. seriously, it makes all other yogurt taste like glue.
    3. the only drawback to living in thunder bay was that i couldn't find this yogurt anywhere.
    5. side list: here are some things that happened last monday:

      1. i had a bazillion things to do, most of them boring and annoying, and then i had to go to work. which is also boring and annoying.
      2. while i was hanging out clothes at cory's parents', i got locked out of the house with my car keys inside.
      3. i had to tie a leash around riley's neck cause she was outside with me without her collar, and the whole walk home she really wanted to poop but i couldn't let her cause i didn't have a bag and i basically felt like the worst dog owner ever.
      4. i had to walk a lot. and it was hot.
    6. so, yeah, i was in a pretty bad mood.
    7. then i went to a&p and found this yogurt! plus it was on sale!
    8. it was in little containers, which i have never seen before, and in a weird part of the store and not even by the normal, glue-like yogurt. so who knows why it was there and whether or not i will ever see it again. it is not my place to question the ways of a&p.
    9. it's the little things, people.
    10. i let riley poop when we got home, in case you were worried.

    Thursday, July 8, 2010

    the non-finished book review: a list

    so a loooong while back, my friend mark sampson posted a challenge on his blog: to re-read a novel you had loved when you were younger and see if it stood the test of time. this sounded like such a great idea! mostly because when i was a kid i loved novels UNABASHEDLY and in the past little while i've been pretty much meh about them and who knows why. and it is a great idea, if you are someone like mark and chose a normalish kind of book and are actually capable of writing a review that makes sense (and in mark's case, is interesting and thoughtful etc). but alas, you guys, i am not only a bad reviewer, but apparently a quitter, too, and also a bad library patron (i think i owe them about five bucks on this book, which, let's face it, in library world is a small fortune). want to know how this disaster unfolded? let's see, now:
    1. the book i chose was the mists of avalon, which not only one of my favourite books as a kid, but also the shining star of a book i held up as an example of how someone's life can be IRREVOCABLY CHANGED FOREVER IN ALL THE MOST IMPORTANT, SOUL-DEFINING WAYS by a book and how BOOKS JUST AREN'T LIKE THAT ANYMORE, YOU GUYS, or how I WAS ONCE YOUNG AND IMPRESSIONABLE AND NOW I AM JADED AND GRIM or something like that, because when i read tmoa the first time i was in grade eleven and i sat in my basement for hours on end reading that damn book when i could have been wearing babydoll dresses and sitting in coffee shops reading sassy or whatever the hell it was i did back then. so naturally, instead of leaving well enough alone, brilliant me thought oh hey, why not ruin one of my greatest childhood book-related memories by trying to revisit it as a grumpy adult?
    2. they also had the book at the thunder bay public library, which as you all know is one of my all time favourite places in the world (see upcoming blog entry for other all time favourite places in the world, cause, well, i just thought of it now and it seemed like a good idea). so score one for tmoa. and for the tbpl.
    3. the first thing i notice about the book is that it is big. i mean, i knew it was thick, but it's also just plain big (i know, i know, that's what she said). it's too big to fit in my purse, even. so there goes carrying it on planes, subways, and other modes of transportation in which i am able to read (um, i guess that's it, actually. reading in cars makes me vomit). it also makes it kind of hard to read in bed while lying on one's side, which is really the only way i like to read books in bed. instead, i have to prop myself up on, like, five pillows and hold it up against my legs and hope that my knees don't buckle from the sheer fucking weight of this goddamn book. so, you know, strike two against tmoa.
    4. the second thing i notice (and remember from before) is that people's names are spelled all weird: moragine and lancelet and gwynhwyfar etc and i get that this is probably closer to the real spelling or whatever and maybe she's trying to further distance us from the characters we already know, but in my head i don't know how to pronounce them and it just confuses me.
    5. the third thing i notice about the book is there is a typo on, like, page four or something. now, of course, I AM SO OUTRAGED BY THIS TYPO and i probably folded down the corner of the page in righteous indignation and fumed about it for, like, the next fourteen chapters or something, but then when i go back to look for it, of course the page has unfolded itself and the thing i was SO MAD ABOUT for fourteen chapters i now can't even remember what it was. but you guys, it was totally there. and i know it's a terrible reason to not like a book, but ever since i tried to read the time traveler's wife all the while secretly and quietly freaking out about a typo ON THE BACK FUCKING COVER i can't help it, i just have to let me be me.
    6. so i'm reading the book, and like, it's basically fine, except the characters are all super earnest and the writing is totally laboured and stilted and there's a whole bunch of "by the goddess!" and "if it pleases my lord" etc etc, i'm still trying to read it with an open mind, because there was a point in my life where i could read books and look past all these little nit-picky things and just enjoy them for what they were, and by god, i am going to do that again if it kills me.
    7. suddenly, i think it is really going to kill me. like, seriously, lancelot is going to fly right out of the pages and run me through with his sword. oh, wait, sorry, lance. there are these long passages written in italics which are preceded by "morgaine speaks." and obviously they are passages written in first person from morgaine's point of view. OBVIOUSLY. and everyone's hair is either "soft and dark as the wool of a black sheep" or "long and pale and shining through the mist like living gold." and people's voices "sting with ice" and their heads are "bowed in anguish." it's all so exhausting.
    8. i accidentally leave the book in thunder bay when i go back to toronto. yes, ACCIDENTALLY. it was accidentally too heavy to fit in my carry on luggage.
    9. moving, job hunting, etc. at night, i read two pages at a time and inexplicably find myself falling asleep.
    10. the new merlin comes along and his name is kevin, which makes me think of the crazy bird in up and therefore makes it impossible for me to take him seriously. he might as well be called steve.
    11. cory starts asking me "you're still reading that book?" but i am tenacious, like a terrier! it is one of my greatest strengths! at least, this is what i tell people in job interviews. I WILL FINISH THIS BOOK.
    12. oh right, there are some themes and stuff, you know, some controversy: feminism, the christianization of england, free will vs. fate, etc. which i totally did not just copy off of wikipedia or anything. also, apparently this book has been praised for its ability to tell a story "in which there is neither black and white or good and evil, but several truths" (wikipedia, 2010), which kind of was the opposite reaction that i had: it basically seemed as black and white as the character's hair. i also kind of disagree with the "some christian circles" that the book is "thinly-veiled feminist propaganda" (ibid) because its really not thinly veiled at all, and that it portrays christianity as oppressive and misogynistic, because it actually portrays christianity as VERY oppressive and misogynistic. yep. bad guys: men and christians, good guys: women and paganism.
    13. oh, and THREESOMES! definitely didn't remember that part from before.
    14. finally, sometime right after the threesome (because, let's be honest, and future authors, take note! after a threesome scene, there is nowhere for a book to go but down) i return the book to the library.
    15. the librarian starts to process it as a renewal, as he has several thousand times in the last six months. "no," i say sadly, reaching out a pale, lustrous arm to stop him. "no, thunder bay public library librarian, i will not be renewing this book today." silence fills the air. he stares at me, wide-eyed and incredulous, his wiry grey hair framing his face like a cloud of smoke. "o, madam," he says, "you have finished all but one quarter of the book! how can you possibly give up now? your very reputation as a tenacious little terrier of a reader is on the line!" "silence!" i cry. "judge me not, thunder bay public library librarian, LEST YE BE JUDGED!" i turn around and face the room of onlookers. "that goes for all of you, all of you who have started books you were supposed to love, and STOPPED out of sheer boredom, yet still tell people you have read them when they ask you at parties! I KNOW YOU ARE OUT THERE!"
    16. okay, fine, they were all there to use the free computers to check their facebook and play online poker. which makes me feel kind of better, actually: i read three quarters more of a book than anyone else in that room.

    Saturday, July 3, 2010

    top ten ways to track the broadway bear

    1. save meat scraps for entire week, leave out on front porch and wait for sensor light to come on.
    2. set up tent behind garage. sit out in said tent all night with flashlight and a bunch of fish.
    3. watch multiple episodes of legend of the seeker until intimately familiar with all richard's tracking secrets, buy some leather and a sword and hang out in the woods.
    4. hang out with cory's uncle across the street. he is the bear's bff.
    5. take enrique out for walks, hope that bear decides to reclaim one of his own.
    6. dress up in bear outfit. wait for bear to come along and tell me i am being politically incorrect, and that he is a brown bear, not a black bear, can't i tell the difference?
    7. tell him black bears are best kind of bear. fact: bears eat beets. bears, beets, battlestar galactica.
    8. have a picnic. bears like those, apparently.
    9. strew front yard with honey pots.
    10. take riley out for a walk, see bear across the street, run into house in terror.
    *only one of these actually happened. believe it or not.

      what the broadway bear looked like in my head

      what the broadway bear actually looks like

      Friday, July 2, 2010

      top ten signs you've been working retail too long

      1. when you shop in other stores (you know, ones where you don't actually work), people ask you for help. and, of course, you actually help them.
      2. you are armed with an arsenal of little super-important-looking things to do to avoid making eye contact during those thirty seconds while you are waiting for a customer's debit card to be approved.
      3. you end all phone conversations with "have a great day!"
      4. you are able to make "have a great day!" sound only moderately fake.
      5. you say "just shove it in hard in the bottom" so many times a day that you now no longer even crack a smile.
      6. you can keep smiling and nodding when people freak out and call you a moron while in your head you are actually on a beach in mexico being served bacon-wrapped margaritas by a topless ryan reynolds. (yes, bacon-wrapped margaritas. IT'S MY FANTASY.)
      7. you take off your rings to count change.
      8. you see barcodes on the back of your eyelids.
      9. you are able to interpret the various hand signals and completely mastered the lip reading involved in trying to communicate with someone who is also talking on a cell phone.
      10. you can work a ten hour shift in heels (because your arches fell years ago).

      Thursday, July 1, 2010

      top one awesome video of the day

      happy canada day, everyone! i was going to make a "top ten reasons i love canada" post but then i realized that, in a fit of olympic-induced national pride, i totally already did that. then i was totally going to do a "things i hate about canada" post, but that just seemed way too negative for a holiday that is pretty much devoted to beer and barbecuing, and besides, i could only really think of three things (for the record, they were:
      1. rush
      2. stephen harper
      3. molson canadian
      and if anyone want to fight me on those, i think i can totally take you). THEN i thought about making a post on "things that are uniquely canadian," but the lovely georgina already covered that on her super awesome blog. so fuck it, here's a kid i used to babysit for* explaining what a donair is. oh, and wordburglar rapping about poutine and heritage moments (which are so the top one greatest thing about canada).

      *there's a good chance that i used to be the world's best babysitter. just saying.