Friday, June 27, 2008


I like to do a little rotation on the ol' blog. After I post a "thoughtful post", I like to post a little bit of nonsense, just to keep people like Bec happy. That way, I can't be accused by either camp of being too "artsy" or the opposite. (what is the opposite of artsy?)

So here we go:

Some sights that caught my eye this week and made me go "really"?!?

As I walked up to my car in the SFU parking lot, I glanced down at my tire and saw this perfectly outstretched piece of gum. I don't know why, but both Marissa and I had a pretty good little chuckle.
So, is the moral of the story to not spit our gum out in parking lots?
I don't know. It does look pretty cool.

The next day, I stumbled upon this little gem in the Peninsula Village parking lot.
Does this strike anyone else as extremely ironic?
An SUV advocating clean air!
I feel like a bike rider, or a scooter, or even a YARIS could have this plate.
This guy - not so much.
Do you think he is trying to be ironic?
I guess it's possible.
Only in White Rock.

(Side note: As I took the photo, I turned around to see someone walking straight at me. I was SO SURE it was the owner, about to ask me why the hell I was taking a photo of their vehicle, and then I would awkwardly explain. It wasn't the owner. Thank goodness.)

*Update: Brandon Drewlo (Mr. Car Trivia) has told me that this is indeed a hybrid vehicle. But I still hold to my original claim - that is ridicolous. And makes no sense. A Lexus SUV Hybrid. I mean, just the existence of that vehicle is an oxymoron.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Failing by Default....

“You might never fail on the scale I did, but some failure in life is inevitable. It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all - in which case, you fail by default”
–J.K. Rowling
(Commencement address to Harvard Graduates 2008)

This quote has been knocking around in my head all week. At first I couldn't place it. Then tonight, I realized:

Maybe Rowling has identified my biggest current fear.
Now it stands glaring me in the face.

And it just made me wonder: How much do we all fear failure? Rowling concludes that what she feared most in her 20's was not poverty but failure. And I think that's true. I don't really worry that I won't find a job and pay the bills. I am relatively sure I can do that. But what about teaching? And I am talking about actually teaching, like teaching that makes a difference. That seems like such a lofty goal. Seeing as this is a public forum, people will probably feel the need to give random affirmation. That isn't what I am looking for here. Because in the end, you are the only person who actually knows the full weight of your own limitations and possibilities.

What I want to know is this: do you fear failure? or poverty*? or both? Do you ever wonder if you will just not attempt things because fear immobilizes you?

I know, these are very personal thoughts, and this may be a far too public domain to discuss them, but its a question to get you thinking anyway. And hey, if you are feeling brave, post some thoughts. I'd love to hear them.

*Poverty in a very "North American" sense of course. I am sure we can never know real poverty, but to the extent that we could on this continent. Which one might argue, could be very little, and yet we still might fear "financial failure". Perhaps that is more "user friendly" term.

Monday, June 16, 2008


Cold, cold water
Bring me round
Now my feet won't touch the ground
Cold, cold water
What ya say?
It's such…
It's such a perfect day
- Coldplay
"Strawberry Swing"

I am not going to lie. Having Monday off is a little weird, but it's also kind of awesome. So, on what was supposed to be a productive homework day, I took a little break and went down to WR beach with Stef. It was pretty much impossible not to, with the weather so perfect.

Then I came home, and listened to the new Coldplay album "Viva La Vida" which by the way is unreal. Go take a listen. I think they've taken it to a good place.

One thing is for sure. I won't be singing this happy tune in July when everything is due. Then you can all go to the beach, and laugh at me. Deal?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Mr. Harry Potter...

As usual, I am indecisive, and can't figure out if I want to change the blog.

So, on to new things. There gets to be this point with blogging where so many wonderful things have happened, and you have been out "living" your life, and not necessarily writing about it, and then suddenly, you don't know what to post anymore.

In order to get the juices going again, I am going to post on my current reading:

I can hear some scoffing out there, and I am okay with that. I am not going to lie to you. A few brief weeks ago, if someone had said "Harry Potter", I would have had a vague image of Daniel Radcliffe in my mind, and dismissed the thought entirely.

But now...

I have read books 2, 3, 4 & 5 in a matter of two months. It is absolutely ridiculous. I am so lost in the world of Harry, Ron, Hermione, Dumbledore and all the other wonderfully constructed characters. I hate to admit it. But I am a Harry Potter convert. You will now find me on a regular basis pondering such questions as "Is Snape really evil?" and "What is J.K. Rowling's moral framework?". I laugh at Harry Potter jokes. It's like some torrid love affair, being sucked in so fast.

I justify it on this basis. There is a lot going on here, and I want to bring that to life if (and when) my students read these books. There is a yearning for truth, justice, and above all good. I don't know how many books are doing that anymore.

and now for the fans:

.recent favorite passages.

And now Harry, let us step out into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure (credit to LVD on that one)

"But for heaven's're wizards! You can do magic! Surely you can sort out..well...anything!"
Fudge, who really did manage a smile this time as he said kindly:
'The trouble is, the other side can do magic too Prime Minister"

You have not asked me, for instance, what is my favourite flavour of jam, to check that I am indeed professor Dumbledore, and not an impostor"
"I didn’t..." Harry began, not entirely sure if he was being reprimanded or not.
"For future reference, Harry, it is raspberry…although of course, if I were a death eater, I would have been sure to research my own jam preferences before impersonating myself."

(I am not joking when I say, I laughed out loud to myself for a good five minutes at this one)

.a Harry Potter joke.

(bumper sticker found on a car in seattle, saw it, laughed out loud, and made spiro take a picture)

.and for the REAL keeners.
a link to J.K. Rowling's commencement address at Harvard, which is nothing short of magical.

So, if you have made it this far, you are probably a fan.
Some queries:

What is your favorite passage?
What do you love about HP?
Do tell.
Let's have some solidarity about loving this stuff eh?