The Lifespan of a Fly


We Meet Again… Netflix
October 21, 2011, 1:17 PM
Filed under: Generalizations | Tags: , , , , , , ,

So we finally got ourselves Netflix. Actually, we didn’t. My mom gave me her account and password and insisted that we try it out and see how we like it. After years of deciding which torrents to download, and planning their download time around your regular life. iI’s sort of neat to be able to browse through hundreds of titles, most of which were movies you wanted to see but not badly enough to pay for them of their own accord.

Which has led us to a new dilemma. The Wii remote blinks schizophrenically at us while we’re trying to make a decision. It blinks like that because we’re always out of batteries and are left instead to scrounge them from other remote controls, alarm clocks, smoke detectors and other valuable life-saving necessities. We could go buy more, but it’s probably not going to happen any time soon.

So now it’s October, and October is the month where I watch a year’s worth of horror movies and serial killer flicks in tandem.

So I watch one serial killer movie! One! Now it keeps recommending “Ed’s Top Ten” filled with brutal violence. Which is cool, cause I like brutal violence in movies and all, but it’s my parents’ account! And I don’t live with them!

I can just see it now, Ma and Pa, sitting at home about to watch some sort of culturally shocking, or heartwarming movie. Ma moves in for the cuddle and Pa’s big arm rests on her shoulder as she nestles into him.

AND THEN BLAM! In their face is flashed movies where dudes pop out girls’ eyes, or some mad German (why are they always German?) scientist is sticking three people together to make a fecal-fuelled centipede. Which, by the way, probably wouldn’t work with the whole e-coli thing.

So now poor old Ma and Pa must face the cruel reality of their daughter’s interests. No, no. It wasn’t anything to do with the way you raised me! I swear! No, no. It wasn’t because you sent me to overnight summer camp and I got lice! I… I…. I just like it.

A system had to be created. A system that was unbreakable, and convinced my parents that my emotional hard wiring was A-OK. It’s devious, it’s clever and it’s all mine. My secret to defeating Netflix is simple:

All Dogs Go To Heaven.

Clears up those genius suggestions in no time.

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What We Lost

Doris Anderson

Doris Hilda Anderson, CBC: Life and Times

Last week I handed in an essay on Doris Hilda Anderson. If you’re a Canadian, and a woman, and you don’t know who she is, please do me a favour and quickly Google her. actually, you know what? Just click this and be re-directed to a Wikipedia page, because you really should know who she is and what she did for us. So, now that you’d read a little bit about her, aren’t you embarrassed to not know who she is?

Her autobiography “Rebel Daughter” was absolutely fascinating. It outlined her life growing up in Calgary, Alberta during the Great Depression and her continued fight against the status quo. Pretty much, you’re freaking lucky this lady was around, girls. Women have only really truly had their equal rights in Canada since 1981. Yeah, only thirty years have gone past and yet my own generation is completely in the dark about how it was. But I think we lost something when we gained feminism.

I think we lost an essential skill set: domestication. My own generation of women are, well, sort of useless. Oh sure, we hold down jobs and are good at things, but how many actually know how to cook? How many can cook without a recipe? How many of us bake? How many of us can sew? Yeah, not very many. And why would we have to? Dinner is a phone call away. You can have that pretty dress for the office Christmas party for $120, in all sizes and colours. This is capitalism, and this is feminism.

When we gained the freedom to pursue our own interests, we forgot how to do those things our grandmothers spent a life doing. So ladies, have we really helped ourselves? Or have we traded in our over mitts and sewing machines for computer screens and drive-thru? We have lost what made us the queens and conquerors of our homes. We have lost autonomy from mass-produced, capitalistic, shit.

So ladies, remember the women who lived through the Great Depression, who saw the fight for our freedom, and who watched us forget all about it… do them a favour, Ok? Let’s learn to do those skills that are taken for granted; that are needed, but unappreciated. Let’s learn how to do this stuff because if we don’t, we will never be able to gain back what we’ve lost.

Edit: We’ve already kicked men’s asses in the workforce, so let’s kick their asses at home again. Cool?



Hold Your Questions Please!
September 22, 2011, 1:33 PM
Filed under: Generalizations | Tags: , , , , , , ,

You know what bugs me? Ok, ok a lot of things bug me, but you know what really drives me batshit? Questions. Not questions like “What are you going to make for dinner?” or “Do you want to watch The Shining or Halloween?” but questions that just aren’t anyone’s damned business. For the first six years of our relationship, Mike and I dreaded going to weddings. Short of the booze and bad music, you just knew some distant family member was going to corner you and go “So, when are you two going to tie the knot?” *wink wink* and you’d have to smile and think of some lame excuse like “Oh, it’s not really a priority to us right now”, when what you’re truly thinking are things like “Get lost old bag” or “Who is this person talking to me?”

Well, it gets worse after you get married. People assume that now you’re married you’re just dying to procreate. As if you’ve really been waiting seven years until marriage, because a child out-of-wedlock is a sin…and other bullcrap.

They also assume you want lots and lots and lots of little you’s running around, screaming, eating candy and taking turns crying and pooping. Now, please don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike kids. But to be fair, I don’t like very many kids either. So this whole “kids” thing? Yeah, I’m thinking about it. It seems kind of cool. I’d like my life to have more meaning then the things we want to do, and well, to be honest, kids have cool toys.

So you answer something like, “Yeah, maybe in a few years we’ll have a baby. Just one though”. Well, that starts off this whole new thing. The family member (whose name you can’t remember and relation you’re skeptical of) starts in on the whole “Just one? Oh, wow. If it were me I would have just had oodles of little babies. I just love their little cheeks and the way they smell”.

Look, I’m thinking about it ok? I don’t really want to commit to a whole slew of kids. That’s like saying “You know, you may as well give me all the BMW’s in the lot, since I like luxury vehicles a whole bunch”. I’m ok with just the one. You know? See how it works out and stuff. Then maybe… maybe I’ll have another one.

Besides, babies are like these perfect, clean little people. They’re canvasses for parents to fill with colours and paint in little personalities. And guaranteed us adults are gonna fuck them up. So I wonder to myself, how many little people do I want to screw up? Cause I’m gonna. So if I only screw up one person, does that mean I’ve mitigated the damages?

I don’t know, this is a lot of pressure.

Is there anywhere I can rent a kid for a bit and see how I do?



Mike on The Rise of the Planet of the Apes
August 31, 2011, 7:10 AM
Filed under: Bad Movies For Everyone, Generalizations | Tags: , , , , ,

Hey, did I tell you we finally got married? Just as a side note, best part of being married? Having a team name. That’s right, every time Mike and I leave a party we prepare our friends for our departure by declaring “Arts Roll Out!” Apparently our friends are very un-clever because they seem to ignore the hilarity of the situation.

So, back to the blog post. The big movie fans we are, and the big sci-fi fan I am, there was no way I wasn’t going to see The Rise of the Planet of the Apes. We purchased our tickets and browsed around West Edmonton Mall until our showtime. During this idle browsing period, Mike informed me that he had never actually seen Planet of the Apes. Who hasn’t ever seen Planet of the Apes? Like, seriously? What is wrong with your upbringing? Are you broken? But the tickets were bought, and even though he was now going to wreck the original for himself, I didn’t think we could easily sneak into Fright Night due to the 3D and us not having appropriately stolen 3D glasses in the past and saved them up for last-minute movie-ditching. So we were going.

This isn’t a review blog, so I’m not going to review The Rise of the Planet of the Apes, but I will state that I quite enjoyed it. James Franco is a wonderful actor and since I don’t find him attractive, I must actually believe that. So the credits are rolling and the Artses are rolling out of the theatre when the following occurs:

Mike: That was really good. I like how they left it open for a sequel. They are gonna have a sequel right?
Tannis: Yes, and we can watch it tomorrow if you’d like. It’s called Planet of the Apes.

Totally should have snuck into Fright Night and just squinted a lot. When we have children, you can count of me pumping them full of essential cultural influences. Seriously though, who hasn’t seen Planet of the Apes? Oh the tragedy.



You Have Been Un-Friended
August 30, 2011, 2:42 PM
Filed under: Generalizations | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Normally I’ll do a substantive Facebook clean up where people from elementary school and people you meet at parties and have pictures of you get erased. However, this all-encompassing attitude towards a Facebook cleanse isn’t working out for me. Therefore, I am now setting guidelines which will determine on an individual basis who I will be deleting from Facebook. Since this blog is linked to my profile, I expect that those who read this will either delete me first, or follow my new rules.

1. If you update your status more than 5 times a day, you shall be un-friended. If your life is that interesting I beg you to please start keeping a journal, use Twitter or go on reality TV and get paid for it.

2. If you post pictures of what you’re eating/will eat/have eaten. It looks yummy to you, to me it looks like a 1975 Company’s Coming cookbook. If you’re not inviting me for dinner, stop inviting me to look at what I’m not invited to eat.

3. OMG!!!. If I see this I assume there must be something so goddamn awesome you can’t even finish your sentence involved. If awesomeness isn’t involved, please stop using this to explain how your cat, Mr. Muffins, ate mothballs yesterday.

4. Pictures of your pedicure. Don’t care, they’re toenails and your feet are callused. Yuck

5. Repeated status updates relating to your job. You’re employed, I’m employed, we don’t do it cause it’s fun. Got it. I don’t care. I don’t know how else to explain it, but I can guarantee no one else cares either. Except for maybe your boss, who would be happy to relieve you of your consistent complaining about your job. He calls it “unemployment”.

This is the beginning of the end. Please continue posting pictures of your vacation, so that I can compare its awesomeness to the awesomeness of my own holiday. Please continue misspelling everything so that my snobbish friends and I can mock your idiocy. Please continue updating your relationship status, bad and good, so that I can currently track who is dating out of their league.

Go forth and create Facebook goodness.

*Note: Sure I can block you on my Newsfeed, but if I don’t want to see your shit, I might as well un-friend you.



What Harry Potter and LOST Have Given Me
July 18, 2011, 9:53 AM
Filed under: Generalizations | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Harry Potter. Oh Harry, your books are over, your movies have played, your battle is won and now my heart is void. I had the same feeling when watching the final episode of LOST, a television show Mike and I watched (and will again) with a fervor that borders on zealous. It wasn’t the horribly sad ending (which both had) that brought tears to my eyes. No, what made me bawl and smear my make up was knowing that something I’ve loved, and has been in a part of my life for the last twelve years, is over.

Sure, I’ll still pick up the books, and each time I read them, the story will be like new to me (unlike many people, I can re-read stories hundreds of times and still enjoy every minute of it). But still, it’s over and I’m sad. Harry Potter’s my buddy, just like John Locke and Jack Sheppard were. I knew them intimately and rooted for them even during their most vulnerable moments.

Although I’m sad, the sort of sadness that you get when a good friend moves far away and you know you’ll probably never see them again, I’m also thankful. I’m thankful for books like Harry Potter and shows like LOST because they gave me something, and reminded me that my love for stories is too overwhelming to ignore. I became a writer because of epic tales that span years to tell. If you want to do the story justice that is. They reminded me that there is still magic in this world.

I don’t know how other writers feel, only how I feel, and I truly believe that to write, you must believe in magic. Not just the magic we possess to entrance readers, to pull them into a different world and introduce them to creatures and people of our imaginations, but real magic. I believe in magic. I believe that there are things out there that happen which are so strange, so impossible, so fantastical that magic has to be real.

I believe in magic because without it, we’re just moving around and living in a world which is so clearly laid out for us. We are born, we go to school, we finish school, we go to more school, we finish that one, then we get jobs, get married, have children, all that stuff. I choose to believe that there are places in our world where magic hides, where you can find it if you really listen to your heart and feel it.

I have to believe in magic because without it I’m only telling the same story again and again and again. Once a year, when the new Harry Potter would come out (book, movie, whatever) my belief was renewed, I was reminded of the magic that’s hidden away. Now that it’s done, the onus is on me. I get no more reminders, from now on, I have to find that magic for myself, and bring it to you with words and characters.



An Amicable Conversation with a Drunk and No Pants
June 27, 2011, 7:23 AM
Filed under: Generalizations | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

I still remember the first apartment Mike and I lived in together. It had peeling laminate and windows that could maybe save 1.5 legs if a fire occurred, which they did regularly. That would have to be due to The Gas Pump, a bar from the early seventies located at the bottom of our apartment building. It hasn’t changed since the seventies, including the patrons who have since grown harsher as the years have passed. Every night the shouts and screams of middle-aged drunks in the midst of their mating rituals floated up and into our bedroom, lulling us to sleep. The sounds of sirens would wake us up as yet another fire was started, either by the drunks of by the homeless people who would sleep in our stairwells and light fires to stay warm. Mike and I would look at each other, debate how much we wanted to stand outside in January weather, at 2 a.m., in our pajamas and instead decide to just go back to sleep. Six months later we moved.

That was seven years ago, and finally, the patrons of the Gas Pump have found us. Actually, it was the ghetto that found us. Sure, it’s unlikely you’re going to be pumped full of ammunition in my neighbourhood (although it has happened), but try to cross the street without meeting a gangster (15 years old and pissed off that Mom took his PS3 away), or having your bottles stolen by the multitudes of bottle people.

I have a bat, and it has pointy edges, and I practiced hitting intruders with it. I don’t want to kill someone, just maim them.

So anyhow, we’ve got new neighbours. That’s right, the Crackheads next door moved out (and by moved out I mean trashed the place and abandoned it), but it’s all good because they’ve been replaced by drunks. I sorta miss the Crackheads though. At least they hid out in their condo and smoked crack and I could only hear them yelling and screaming through the vents. The drunks have taken this to a whole new level.

I have to give them some credit though, they are more apt at yard work then the prisoners on day release whose only job it is to cut our lawn, when they come, which is next to never. The drunks are all about keeping a nice and tidy lawn. So much so that they’ve decided that 4 a.m. is a wonderful time to mow their 8’x10′ lawn with one of those push mowers from before electricity became a household item.

Granted it is nice and cool out at 4 a.m., but none the less, we needed to have a chat. I explained to one of the drunks (and I believe I’ll have to explain it to the other 10 that seems to sort of live there) that 4 a.m. isn’t exactly a “neighbourly” time to be shouting and boozing it up. I think our chat went very well, it definitely progressed after I asked him “You are drunk right now, aren’t you?” A question he could not deny, only confirm with a sad nod of his head.

Regardless, I think he and I may have reached an understanding: He shuts up after midnight, we get along wonderfully. He makes noise after midnight, I phone the police, his landlord and the condo board until they eventually remove him and he’s got to move back into his mother’s nursing home.

I think we’ve reached an agreement, but I wasn’t wearing any pants during this heart-to-heart. That may have had something to do with it.