Canadian Game Studies Association @ Congress 2011

After a grueling 11 hour bus ride (apologies to my Facebook / Twitter friends for my off the rail rants!), I arrived in Fredericton, my old undergraduate stomping grounds. Was stunned to realize that it has been 17 years since I lived here, yet, little has changed besides the location of the bus station (which, btw is interestingly no longer in the downtown area – strange if you think of the history of bus stations in urban centers….). Anyways, walking down Waterlow Row along the riverfront was like being transported in time – funny how geography (and smell…) can bring back such vivid, almost physical memories.

 As I approached the walking bridge underpass (at least  that’s what I think it is …), the city of Fredericton had  groomed the slope to welcome Congress.

This morning marks day one of the annual  meeting/conference of the Canadian Game Studies  Association. I present today at 1pm – still not ready – but  realize that I don’t think I ever really am anyways – so I decided to not stress too much and just try to be as prepared as I can be. I am nervous since I am presenting the core ideas from my dissertation (that I had hoped to be finished by now!). I am probably even more stressed about the question period, since I am not sure how to address certain issues that I know will be brought up. I guess that’s the point – learning how to address the hard bits effectively (and convincingly…).

I will do my best to blog about the sessions – will probably only be after my 1pm presentation – on that note, I should get dressed and pack up – breakfast in 15!

Eclectic Gardening

Why – I ask – must my flamboyant neighbor from across the alley garden in in underwear? There are no trees – no hedges – no fences to hide his business…..and when he uses that shovel, it’s just a wee bit more than I ever needed to see…. Why….can’t…. I….look…..away???

Crazy in the City

Earlier this year (during the winter months), I blogged about the crazy bunch of art students who took nude pictures lying in garbage in my alley way early in the morning. Sadly, they weren’t the brightest bunch, and left all the garbage they had dragged in from the street in the middle of the alley. It seems they had no problem leaving their mess behind for others to clean up.

The saddest part of this story was not the students’ attempt at photographic irony, or the fact that they had little to no regard for other people’s living space, no – it was the fact that everyone who drove down the alleyway felt that it was better to simply run over the four full large black garbage bags… not one driver had the wits about them (or civic concern) to actually get out of their car and move the garbage aside. Sadly, when my husband came home from work, he stopped the car before pulling into our driveway (the mayhem occurred just next to our place) and cleaned up the mess of broken glass and garbage (I helped him clean it). Needless to say, he was not a happy man. For myself, all I could think of is how crazy people can be. Crazy to strip down to your skivvies for a school art project; crazy to simply drive over garbage instead of picking it up.

After that story, I thought about starting a blog about the crazy shit that I see living in the city. I live just east of downtown, and just west of one of the many areas where gentrification has not tightened it’s grips in yet. Sometimes I just want to shake my head and cry, other times I am tempted to hire a hitman (that is a joke – in case anything bad ever happens….).

I have tons of stories – every day there is someone who thinks a neighbor’s fence is a public urinal, or someone who feels the need to rant and rave at me for “owning” my apartment when they can’t even afford to rent one (this came after he tried to rummage through the garbages and recycling on my balcony while I was sitting there – but without uttering a word to me….). My crazy neighbor lady who has no qualms, at 65+, to come outside in the middle of the summer – in the middle of the night to do some gardening while having a late night cigarette… not the end of the world, except she was only wearing her underwear …. traumatic scene for anyone I tell you.

Or yesterday, this lady – looked to be somewhere in her mid-twenties – who drove a full half a kilometer with her handbrake on going at least 40km an hour – it took her quite some time to realize that the thick blue smoke and harsh squealing noise was coming from HER car! Then with a great big loud CLUNK, the squealing stopped, and I imagine, she realized her handbrake was on and simply took it off (with nary a drop in her speedometer…).

Or today – another creepy neighbor guy who knocked at my back door asking me if my husband was home. When I told him no, that he was at work, he continued to tell me why he needed my husband at the very minute – and could I get him… (seems a neighbor’s car was having some trouble in the alleyway and needed to be jacked). When I told him there was nothing I could do, and that my husband worked until 1am this morning, he asked for my address (wtf!?).

And so, I’ve decided to start a new tag for my blog called crazy in the city – so I can share the insanity with anyone who cares to read. Perhaps, after a while, I won’t feel quite as crazy as I thought I was!

Children’s Books I Wish They Had When My Kids Were Young

As the title blatantly states – there are a few books that have recently come to my attention that I wish were around when my kids were young – but then,  18 yrs ago ti was hard to find a baby bag that was not pastel ….(although my favorite book that my oldest daughter got as a gift for her first birthday in 1992 indeed set a good precedence – Matilda, Who Told Such Dreadful Lies…)

Go the F*ck to Sleep – Adam Mansbach (“I know you’re not thirsty. That’s bullshit. Stop lying. Lie the fuck down, my darling, and sleep.” ) –  How many times I may have thought this – I am happy to say, the words never “actually” came out of my mouth. What gets me with the link I provided, is the comments … the human race never ceases to amaze me…

Baby Mix Me a Drink – Lisa Brown – part of a series of six books, from the December 2006 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine: “Wish-fulfillment for wilting parents: Lisa Brown’s deliciously naughty Baby Be of Use series, helps take the boredom out of board books. Baby Mix Me a Drink, with its playroom-bright martini for Mama (‘And Nanny wants a champagne cocktail’) lifted our spirits; so didBaby Do My Banking (‘Baby, our finances are a mess! You’d better open up a new account…’). Now if we could only find a job for the dog…”

That’s Not Your Mommy Anymore – Matt Mogk & Aja Wells – as zombies have become contemporary culture’s pet fear, this one aims to help explain the warning signs and changes mommy might be going through.

We Interrupt Today’s Writing…

With a little bit of humor. (via one of my favorite websites)

1. Law of Mechanical Repair: After your hands become coated with grease, your nose or butt will begin to itch or you’ll have to pee.

2. Law of the Workshop: Any tool, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible corner.

3. Law of probability: The probability of ‘being watched’ is directly proportional to the stupidity of your act.

4. Law of the Telephone: When you dial a wrong number, you never get a busy signal.

5. Law of the Alibi: If you tell the boss you were late for work because you had a flat tire, the very next morning or soon thereafter, you will have a flat tire.

6. Variation Law: If you change lines (or traffic lanes!!!!), the one you were in will start to move faster than the one you are in now. (Happens every time).

7. Bath Theorem: When the body is fully immersed in water or in the shower, the telephone rings.

8. Law of Close Encounters: The probability of meeting someone you know increases when you are with someone you do not want to be seen with.

9. Law of the Result: When you try to prove to someone that a machine won’t work, it will.

10. Law of Biomechanics: The severity of the itch is inversely proportional to the reach.

11. Theater Rule: At any event, the people whose seats are furthest from the aisle arrive last.

12. Law of Coffee: As soon as you sit down to a cup of hot coffee, your boss will ask you to do something, which will last until the coffee is cold.

13. Murphy’s Law of Lockers: If there are only two people in a locker room, they will have adjacent lockers.

14. Law of Dirty Rugs/Carpets: The chances of an open-faced jelly sandwich of landing face down on a floor covering are directly correlated to the newness, color and cost of the carpet/rug.

15. Law of Location: No matter where you go, there you are.

16. Law of Logical Argument: Anything is possible if you don’t know what you are talking about.

17. Brown’s Law: If the shoe fits, it’s ugly.

18. Oliver’s Law: A closed mouth gathers no feet.

19. Wilson’s Law: As soon as you find a product that you really like, they will stop making it.