The Dance Pants Man

Today as I was driving home from work (I got a job by the way but it is super secret and I can’t tell you about it but I promise it’s real) I saw a man walk across the street in front of my car at a red light at the Water/Bernard intersection. I was so entranced by this man and I was very devastated that I was in my car instead of walking on the sidewalk.

He looked like an anime version of Sting who was on his way to figure skating practice. Yeah. I don’t know how else to describe what I saw.

His hair was very blond and stood up in spikes, but not ugly gelled spikes. Nice, natural, full spikes being blown towards the sun with the worlds most magical hair dryer.

hair

He was wearing a beautiful, black, wool coat that was stylish and warm in the cold January air. Its gold buttons shone like Spanish doubloons spilling out of a treasure chest. His hands were in his pockets and the collar was turned up against the wind Sherlock style.

coat

His pants though. Oh lord. His pants. His pants were black and tight all the way down to his ankles. Starting at the bottom and reaching up to his knees were tendrils of red. Some were straight like triangles and others were wavy like fire. It made his legs looked so long. It reminded me of figure skating costumes. Or dance pants. All I wanted to do was watch him break into a dance in the middle of downtown. You can’t wear pants that tight and fiery, or have hair that majestic, and not break into dance or whip out an electric guitar and play music so loudly that all the windows down main street shatter and dogs start howling and everyone runs out to start dancing in the street in 50’s poodle skirts. I was so sad and disappointed when none of those things happened and I had to just drive away.

Batman In The Rain level sad

Batman In The Rain level sad

I wished I had been walking near him and could have said something, or even just made eye contact and smiled. I just wanted to show him that I appreciated his well-dressed presence. But I don’t know what I would have actually done if I had had the chance. I wish I was the brave outgoing kind of person who could walk up to him and say “I love your outfit.” Then he would have said “thanks” and that would have been the beginning of a legendary friendship. I assume. I am not skilled at guessing people’s age, but I think he was between 30 and 35. Maybe a bit older. He was a walking one-man anime convention rock concert. You don’t see that every day, but I wish you did.

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Finale Followup

Alrighty. So I watched the series finale of Avatar: The Last Airbender (Sozin’s Comet: The Final Battle) soon after my last post like I said I was going to. *Spoilers ahead*

Hmm. What can I say about it…? It was good I guess. I was right about a couple of outcomes that I predicted: Aang activating the Avatar State to defeat Ozai, Katara and Aang ending up together, Mai and Zuko ending up together. Although it’s not like those were tough things to guess.

Oh god I can’t keep up this charade. I LOVED IT SO MUCH!!!

kiss

I was so incredibly happy with the entire episode! I think that it had absolutely everything that it needed. The fights were so amazing! It became so adult at some points. For instance Aang’s terrifying battle with Ozai, and especially Azula’s descent into hair-chopping madness. I did not see her craziness coming. During her battle with Zuko and Katara, F and I thought that because she had become such a nut job that she wouldn’t be able to control her lightning and that would be what destroyed her. But it was cooler when Katara tricked her with Waterbending. M thought Katara was going to use Bloodbending against Azula, but that would have been out of character for her, especially in the final good versus evil battle. I was slightly disappointed that Zuko didn’t get to defeat Azula himself, but if he had then there wouldn’t have been anything for Katara to do. And for Zuko to sacrifice himself for Katara was so amazing and brave and sexy and emotional and oh my god.

Katara_and_Zuko_hug

I was on the literal edge of my seat the whole time it was playing. I almost cried as much as Zuko did when his uncle told him he was proud of him and loved him. I wish I had a giant printer to make posters. I would make one of that moment. That moment of complete love and forgiveness and the weight lifting off of Zuko’s sholders. Speaking of Zuko, I really want to know what happened to his mother. That was a good last scene for him, asking Ozai where she was. It showed that Zuko, the king of unfinished business, wasn’t going to stop after being redeemed because even though he was happy for the first time in his life he knew that there was more that he could do, and he would absolutely do it because being on the good side means always fighting and never giving up. I would watch a spinoff about Zuko finding his mother. It wouldn’t have to be long. Just a miniseries. Although since he’s the new Fire Lord maybe he wouldn’t be able to search for her for a long time because of all the shit he must fix. Hmm.

Zuko_and_Iroh_reunite

I couldn’t believe I hadn’t considered that Aang could take away Ozai’s Firebending. Of course that’s what he would do. The message of his whole storyline came down to never letting people change your heart. Never. No matter what. He knew that killing the Fire Lord was wrong, even though previous Avatars encouraged him to do anything necessary to bring peace. In the end he stayed true of heart and chose the right path. I want to be like Aang. I don’t think it’s very likely, but he gives me hope. *Wink*

F told me that in The Legend of Korra you see the gang all grown up. I’m looking forward to that. I hope I like that show even half as much as I did this one. F assured me that I will. Before we get to that though, I think we have to get M familiar with the early episodes that M hasn’t seen yet. Oh well, I guess that means watching it all over again! Mwahahaha!

This was a good moment too.

              This was a good moment too.

Series Finale Jitters

No, I’m not referring to any tv show that is currently airing. I watch very few of those (Agents of SHIELD and Doctor Who are the most important). I am referring to something that my three roommates and I have been binge watching on Netflix for the last couple of weeks. Roommate F had seen the whole series about four or five years ago, and really enjoyed it, and it the spinoff series. Roommate A had seen a few episode here and there when it was airing from 2005 to 2008. I started watching the series on Netflix a couple years ago, but only watched five or six episodes of season 1. Roommate M had never heard of it, and only got hooked a few days ago. Just in time.

Even though the show is considered to be for children or young teenagers, it is still so watchable for all of us (who are in our early twenties, except for A who is 29). The humor is so good. Sometimes it’s quite basic, just a silly look, some slapstick physical stuff or an obvious joke, but it’s for kids so it knows what it’s doing. Other times I laughed so hard that it was lucky I wasn’t eating anything or I might have choked and died. In an episode from last night my favorite joke was “What did the cabbage merchant use to fix his broken cabbages? A CABBAGE PATCH!!!” The characters’ relationships are so wholesome and nice, simple yet again, but with good reason; the characters are young, and it is for young viewers. It has heart and deals with what different people would be like in relationships. F and I are guilty of shipping some characters who do not end up together.The animation is very satisfying. Classic cartoon with a touch of anime and 3D modeling. Have you guessed what show it is yet?

That’s right! It’s Avatar: The Last Airbender. Did the picture give it away?

Oh my god it is so awesome. I would recommend it to anyone, and then anyone who wasn’t enchanted by it I would lose a little bit of respect for. It makes me want to learn Kung Fu. Northern Shaolin Kung Fu to be exact. Because that is the style that Firebenders use. Yes I would choose fire as my bendable element. I could create it out of nothing (unless I was in a cooler at the Boiling Rock) and when I’m high level enough it would be BLUE! Blue fire is my fantasy. I love it. **SPOILERS BEGIN NOW** The first time I saw Azula cast blue fire I was so convinced. Blood bending is appealing, and healing powers, but wearing blue all the time would get old for me. Earth bending ties for second with Water I think. I just like dirt, and Metal bending would be very useful for certain environmental conservation activities that require removing big ugly metal factories (The Painted Lady was such a satisfying eco-terrorism episode). F prefers Air bending for the flying. It does seem that Aang use his native bending element more than any other element and to greater effect. I also like Dragons better than Sky Bisons, Badgermoles, and (just a little bit more than) the Moon.

So (hopefully) tonight is the night that we watch the very last episode, Sozin’s Comet: The Final Battle. I am unbelievably excited. My predictions are that Zuko defeats Azula in a big scary battle and she goes to prison swearing revenge. Or that after getting her ass handed to her, she realizes that maybe she should be a good person and then Zuko will let her kind of rule the Fire Nation with him. Unless Zuko makes Iroh be the new Fire Lord because he doesn’t think that he deserves the power. I’m really looking forward to Zuko and Iroh’s reconciliation. Aang will face Zuko’s father and, because he knows that violence is not the answer, he will try to reason with the Fire Lord. Aang will know that the Firelord will not go down without a fight so the battle will begin! At the crucial moment, perhaps when Aang has seemingly been defeated himself, he will activate the Avatar state and defeat the Fire Lord. Or maybe Katara will be injured and Aang will think she has died so he will go into the Avatar state because he is so angry. Katara will of course not be dead. I predict, and desperately hope, that no good characters will die in the finale.

Oh! That was another awesome joke from last night’s episode: when the gang is watching the play about them and Jet “dies” Katara asks “Did he die?” And Sokka says “It was unclear.” BECAUSE IT WAS UNCLEAR. Did Jet die? Was it an off-screen death? Or will he come back at the end in the moment when they make you remember all the characters that helped them along the way? Signifying that you should always remember important people in your life, even if you haven’t seen them since season 1. They kind of already did that though when the rag tag team of warriors came together for the invasion.

Anyway, back to predictions. I predict that Katara will tell Aang that she loves him, and there will be closure. Wonderful closure. Katara and Sokka will be reunited with their dad for real this time. Suki will go back to the Kyoski warriors and maybe Sokka will go with her. Toph will see her family and stop feeling guilty about leaving. She will open a school where she instructs Earthbending, maybe in Ba Sing Se which will stop being all weird and North Koreaesque. I wonder where Katara and Aang will go? Maybe Katara and her dad will bring Aang back to the Southern Water Tribe for a little while to visit Katara’s people and tell them everything that happened, and then Aang and Katara will go to Aang’s old Air Temple and fix it up.Then they can have Airbending babies! Mai will forgive Zuko and they will live happily ever after too, fixing all the wrongs that Zuko’s father did when he was Fire Lord. I’m very glad the last episode is an hour and a half long because there a lot of things to wrap up.

The two characters that F and I were shipping were Zuko and Katara. If they had had a longer time in that prison together they totally would have ended up together. I tried to imagine what the show would be like if it were more serious and for an older audience and had gone on longer than just three seasons. I think  Katara would have gotten seriously involved with someone besides Aang, and he would have been totally depressed and maybe gone off on his own, or just with Sokka and Toph. Then Katara would settle down for a while with her honey before realizing that she couldn’t live without Aang and traveling the world to be a badass. A lot more people would have died gruesome anime deaths as well if it were for an older audience. Sometimes I had to remind myself that I was not watching Attack On Titan, and that everyone on screen was not about to be massacred.

I love Zuko though. I just want to give him a big hug. The way he says “I’m never happy” is so… so… I don’t know. Cute? In a sad way? I love him. But I also love Sokka. I think Sokka and I would be best friends. We would eat food all the time and have joke battles and he could teach me how to sword fight.

*Sigh* I will miss it when it’s over. When the credits role tonight after a majestic finale I will be sad, but hopefully satisfied with how it ended. I make my predictions based on the formula that I have seen or read in other stories. It doesn’t necessarily mean that I want a show to follow the formula, just aspects of it. I want a story to surprise me, but be happy in the end. I need a happy ending otherwise my view of the entire story blows up and dies. It’s not a good habit to have, but I’m a romantic. Either way, The Legend of Korra has four seasons. That will tied me over for a few weeks at least.

korraWhy my roommates like Avatar: The Last Airbender

M likes Avatar because “it’s not sexist”. A lot of the Asian cartoons that M has watched are good that way, M says. The fact that gender roles are not outwardly discussed in the show is a plus. I hadn’t thought about it too much before but M is right. I did appreciate that Fire Nation military and prison guards were a mix of men and women. It’s a good portrayal of equality that bending is not restricted by gender, and that the avatar can be a man or woman.

F likes Avatar because “it’s a kids program that adults can enjoy”.

A likes Avatar because “it’s colorful”.

Diaries

Have you ever opened up an old journal or diary and really hated what you found? It happens to me quite a bit because the only time when I consistently kept one was when I was with my ex. Every time I open the book it’s a reminder of living a lie. It wasn’t me living the lie, it was the ex. My ex wasn’t happy for the last year that we were together and I didn’t know that until the breakup day. Sad story boo hoo, the point is that I don’t want to be reminded of that time, but every journal that I kept had a really cool looking cover so sometimes I’m like “oh yeah! My sister E gave me this because it has cartoon owls on it and is adorable! I wonder what I wrote inside- oh. Fuck.” So now because of that, I have a fear of starting journals inside cool looking notebooks because one day I might look back and there will be something terrible inside. I guess that means I’m afraid of the future. Or the future after the soon-future. The so far in advance future that when I look back I will say “what was I thinking?” Like I do now with my ex. But what’s the point of starting a really personal journal inside a boring ugly book?

I’ve thought about tearing out the pages that I don’t want to see anymore, and just using the rest of the book. But that seems like living another kind of lie. I don’t want to pretend that the past didn’t happen, it made me what I am. Don’t you hate it when you’re not happy no matter what you choose? I could put the books in storage and just forget about them. Maybe then by the time I look at them again I will be laughing because I can’t even remember what it was like being a teenager. That would probably make the most sense. But then again, E did give them to me in the first place. And I’m very sentimental so I like to keep gifts and things like that around. Maybe I should write all my next journals in pencil instead of pen. Maybe then the writing would just fade away and then in 60 years I can reuse the journal and it will be about happy things. Like places I’ve been to, or friends that I’ve made, or who I’m with, and what my children are like. Thinking of it like that makes me less afraid of the future.

The Photo Behind the Title

The cover image displayed behind my blog title was taken last fall. My parents, sister, brother-in-law, and I were hiking a mountain called Camel’s Hump. It is very close to the house where I grew up and where my parents still live. The hike only took about 4 hours round trip, but arriving to the start point by car took what felt like forever. The road leading to the beginning of the walking trail is a very old decommissioned logging road. No one maintains it (hence being decommissioned) and time has not been kind to it. We chose a day for adventure that was a day or two after some rainfall which created lake sized puddles in the road. To avoid getting our Tracker stuck in the muck we all (except for the driver) got out of the car and tested where the deepest parts of the puddles were. Luckily we never got stuck, but it would have been a very different day if we had.

About 3/4 of the way to the first hump the walking trail becomes quite wide and flat because it connects to a horse riding trail. One of our neighbors owns a guest ranch that caters to European travelers (mostly Swiss). They offer hiking, trail riding, lake trips, atv rides, and English lessons. When I was young I used to spend a lot of time there because I was good friends with the daughters of the owners, one of which was the same age as me and in the same grade at school. We are an example of friends who grew apart and we don’t talk anymore, but there was a day when we bumped into each other at college a couple years ago and it was really nice to see her again.

There are two humps on the Camel’s Hump trail, and none of us had ever gone to the second one. It adds about an hour or less to the trip and is all up and down. My mom did not feel confident enough to do the second part so she stayed at the first hump and waited for us. At certain spots we could see her sitting on a rock and we would call and wave to her, and she would wave back with her walking pole.

IMG_5540

The photograph was taken at the highest point of the second hump. It was a fun, not too difficult accomplishment, and we were all glad that we had gone the whole way. It made me feel good about my physical condition because my job last summer was doing environmental conservation work for (mostly) the South Okanagan, which required a lot of hiking and manual labour. Therefore I was still feeling strong enough to hiking fairly quickly and be first in line at some points (mostly just the beginning when I had the most energy, after that was nothing special).

I enjoy hiking and there’s a small mountain in my current city that I have hiked a couple times with my roommate. Last time we went it was getting close to Christmas so people had decorated some of the trees. At the top of the hike there is a large lookout gazebo type shelter which is perfect to sit and relax in. On our first hike of that mountain we met a firefighter from Boston named Dave. He was hilarious. He was here visiting his daughter. We had a chat with him at the beginning of the hike and he joked that he really hoped one of us knew CPR because he might not make it to the top without injury. We saw him at the top and we shared our lunches with him and he told us about being a firefighter. We saw him again at the bottom and it was like an entire lifetime of knowing someone crammed into the space of a coupe hours. It was neat. The next time we do that hike I want to carve Dave’s name into the wood railing of the lookout next to the initials + initials inside heart shapes and the so and so was here signatures.

The photograph captures Lumby. It’s hard to tell because there’s not much of it. Lumby is a very very small town with a population of only 1,731 people. But it’s a pretty cool one streetlight kind of town. I love this photo because it shows where I come from. I was with my family when it was taken, and I know I will always go back there. And even if things change in my life with where I live or who I’m with or what I know, Lumby will never change. It’s home.

lumby logo

[A Pun About Sewing]

I got a sewing machine for Christmas from my sister. Her father-in-law found it by a dumpster. He knew that my sister and her husband are into antiques and vintage treasures so he brought it home for them. My sister knew that I had been wanting a sewing machine for a while now so after warning me that it might not work and weighed a million pounds, I got a sweet new* crafting machine. When we tried it stuff happened. Although not strictly normal sewing machine stuff. The manual was MIA when the machine was found so it was up to us to troubleshoot the problem. Our mom and us spent a couple hours figuring out that there were several problems to deal with. At first the needle would stitch at full speed without the foot peddle being pressed. The problem was that there are two power cords coming from the machine that plug into a two-headed fixture which ends in a single power cord that plugs into an outlet. The power cords were for the light bulb and the motor and they need to be plugged into the right spot on the two-headed fixture. They weren’t. The motor thought it was a light bulb so it automatically turned on when plugged in. The fixture plugs were labeled “light” and “motor” but the cords were not.

IMG_20150108_223414731The next problems involved tension and the fabric not being automatically moved along while stitching happened. Mom was able to figure out how to deal with that by using her mom’s old sewing machine manual that was from a machine that was probably made within a few years of mine. So that was very lucky. It was impossible to find the exact model information and date about what year mine was from, but our best guess was mid 1960s. I love old things like that. I like imagining what this machine was used to make. The kinds of clothes that a mother made or mended for her family roughly 10 years after the events of Back To The Future involving Marty’s parents as teenagers.

<The time is exactly 11:11pm. Make a wish.>

A very appropriate accompaniment to the aged machine was a sewing guide written by a young woman intent on bringing back the high neckline, collared, heavy fabric, tea cup length, cardigan, up-dos style of the 40s and 50s. It’s a beginner’s guide and I like it. Thrift shopping and reusing/recycling/upcycling is my jam, and this girl is really into that as well. The projects are meant to progress from easy to difficult and I promised myself that I would do every project in order to get the practice that I need, buuuuuuut I might have to break my promise.

The Busy Girl's Guide To Sewing by Carrie Maclennan

The Busy Girl’s Guide To Sewing by Carrie Maclennan

The first project was a pin cushion which is exactly what I needed so that worked out well. I had fun using cotton balls instead of batting because that’s just what was in the house. The second project was a needle book. A stiff fabric cover with felt pages to put your needles in. I was not interested in this project because I only had one needle. A whole book for one needle seemed silly. But I started anyway because I did promise myself. I had to make a few changes right away because the instructions would lead to a 15cm square book but I wanted to be able to fit it inside my sewing tin, so I made it smaller, about 11cm square. Also I did not have fusible interfacing because I do all of my crafts on a budget (of $0). So I used thin cardboard from a microwave popcorn box to make a stiff cover. I like customizing my crafts to point where I just change the instructions. It happens with cooking too. Usually with positive results. Usually. Anyway, so even though I thought this project would be useless I was liking how it was looking by the time I finished. When I did finish I had to explain what it was to my roommate, who had borrowed one of my needles and never returned it. When I reminded my roommate of this fact I got an apology and five new needles! Oh my! So many needles! But where oh where will I put them all? Oh wait. I know exactly where. My now-necessary needle book! So that worked out very nicely.

Closed with a ribbon

Closed with a ribbon

Open

Open

I have some other projects on the go as well: fixing up some old clothes. I don’t really have a guide for those so we’ll see how they go. I’m optimistic. I think I’ll skip the next couple projects in the book too and get right into a fox cushion. Wish me luck 🙂