Monday, June 27, 2011

The Dork Diaries

Sometimes I like to try and convince myself I'm not a nerd/dork/geek. I'm just a normal 30 year old with the occasional geek-tendency.

Hey, lots of cool people like BSG!

Although I admit that I would be hard-pressed to call the majority of SG-1 fans cool.

I love both... a lot.

In my defense, BSG had Jamie Bamber and SG-1 had... well... erm... look, it was fun and funny and light-hearted and just a generally enjoyable hour-long escape into a sci-fi world I enjoyed and it had MacGyver Richard Dean Anderson.

But I digress. I like to think I'm cool. I travel, I do the running man, I'm occasionally hilarious mildly funny... I'm cool.

Then, after going for a run in the rain and having a Doctor Who discussion via text message with Darth, I sit down to my facebook and promptly have the following discussion:

Sadly, the only part of that discussion I didn't know off the top of my head was the planet that Armus resided on.

I think it's high time I got my Geek Card laminated.

Also, I should probably start looking for potential future husbands in their parent's basements. Might have better success that way.

GBC Book Review: A Song of Ice and Fire Series

Oh right! I'm supposed to be reviewing the books I'm reading, not just moving on to the next one...

This review is actually for books two, three and four in A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin (book one is reviewed here). The books, in order, A Clash of Kings, A Storm of Swords, and A Feast for Crows. I'm writing them all up as one because honestly can't remember where the divisions in the stories occurred. Plus, they're all part of the same series and I loved them so...

In short: if you have any interest in fantasy as a genre, then you need to read these books. If you're not a fantasy fan but you enjoy historical fictions, then you should also need to read these books.

The books continues the three stories laid out in A Game of Thrones: the struggle for power in the kingdom of Westeros after the death of King Robert (I'm not really giving anything away. It becomes apparent very quickly that Robert needs to die for the story to take off so even if you haven't read book one, I'm not ruining anything), the coming of winter which is bringing Others and white walkers from beyond 'the Wall' in the North, and the 'coming of age' of the youngest Targaryen across the sea in the Free Cities who is determined to win back her father's throne.

The book chapters are broken up into characters so instead of getting one over arching voice through the narrative, you see those events through the eyes of that character. The result is I found myself feeling a lot more sympathy for characters I would have otherwise despised and I wanted to scream at characters I thought should have known better. It also went a long way to helping stop people from being black and white which is one of my biggest issues with the fantasy genre.

I sped through A Clash of Kings and A Storm of Swords, (almost too quickly, I'd like to go back and re-read so I can enjoy the story more) and found myself reading well past my bed time; however, I found A Feast of Crows faltered a bit and it's taken me a bit longer to finish it.

Originally A Feast of Crows was supposed to be one book but it grew too large and got chopped up into two books with the second half (A Dance of Dragons) due out in July (well after the 'year or two', Martin originally promised). I felt as though Martin realised he wouldn't have enough material for two full books and so a couple of unnecessary side stories were introduced in the fourth book. The side stories either could have been skipped or could have been dealt with much quicker than they were.

Still, it was a heck of a lot more enjoyable than some of the crap I've suffered through in the past and I can't wait for book five (to come out in paperback in a year).

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Monty Python Fixes Everything

I came up with this awesome idea for a series of posts I wanted to do. It is educational, it is relevant (to me at least), and it is a topic I love to talk about.

No, not me. History! Although I do enjoy talking about me. 

In my mind, I laid out a tentative idea for a four part series. I was hoping (because I forgot how much time research can take) to have the first part up almost two weeks ago. Then I started researching and writing. I have spent almost 50 hours on this series. I'm not even done part one and it's clocking in at a three page word document.

Part one got too long so I was going to break it up into two parts. Part Three is so much information (which I haven't even gotten to yet), I could easily make it an entire four part series on its own. In short, I bit of way more than I could chew and now I have to do a little re-think.

I'm still doing this multi-part post but it's time to step back for a moment, scratch my head, make a fresh cuppa, and actually think about what I think people actually need to know about this topic. I've also decided that myself imposed deadline of RIGHTNOW! was a little stupid. Perhaps not flip-a-car-set-it-on-fire-stupid, but still stupid. I was stressing myself out about something that's 500 years in the making... it can wait a few more weeks/months to make sure I do a good job.

In the meantime, nothing helps me regroup like a little Monty Python watching break so here it is, my favourite MP scene:
It's all about the "where's the fetus gonna gestate?" line for me. Gets me every time.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day: The Soundtrack

Although my mom also had a great influence on my current music tastes (I can directly trace my love of Gordon Lightfoot to a mother-daughter road trip to Alberta when I was 14 or 15, but don't tell her because I fought her tooth and nail to listen to anything other that GL) it was really my dad who taught me to just love music for music.

I grew up without the idea that I wouldn't listen to something simply because it was uncool but because I had listened to it once and I didn't like it. As a result, while my classmates were hip-hop or rock or country or metal fans, I was just a music fan. I listened to everything as evidenced by a mix-tape (remember those?) I made in grade 10 which had Collective Soul, House of Pain, Nat King Cole, and the Dubliners on it. I was nothing if not eclectic.

For my dad, these are songs currently on my mp3 player because he made me listen to them ;) (I was going to do a little write up about each singer/group but they all ended up sounding the same way "my dad used to put these tapes on continues loops and blast them through the house" so instead, some have comments but most don't.)

Doug and the Slugs:
I chose Who Knows How (to Make Love Stay) simply because of the
'Drunk Musicians Fund' Fundraiser at the end. Their videos always made me laugh.

Leonard Cohen: My very first non-symphony concert was Leonard Cohen's Democracy Tour.
Sunday morning memory: Dad was cooking a fry up in his underwear
while belting out the words to this song.

Billy Joel:

1930's music (specifically, anything from Pennies from Heaven and The Singing Detective):

Irish Folk Music (the whole lot of 'em but that's an entire post by itself):
I really wanted to find the version that is track #1 on the Dublin Millennium Songs
sung by multiple Irish artists but I couldn't so you get the Dubliners instead.

Nat King Cole:

I know I already said Irish Folk Music, but I remember both my dad and my stepdad singing this song when I was young (in particular, I remember my stepdad playing it on the guitar when we were camping):

Happy Father's Day!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

He's Ba-ack!

Carl is back!

Except this time, the noise is coming from the opposite side of my apartment and only when my patio door is open.

This Carl is a real person playing a real ukulele on one of the balconies.

I'm secretly hoping that it's coming from the same apartment I could smell the tea and bacon coming from this morning. Then I secretly hope that I figure out which apartment it is and that we become friends and then they start inviting me over for weekend breakfasts which I will eat while they serenade me on the ukulele.

I wonder if my soon-to-be new found friend will mind if I just call them Carl?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Heros and Ass-Hats: The 2011 Vancouver Riots

Can I just start by saying how much it pains me that I have to specify a year when talking about Vancouver riots now?

My Vancouver story has nothing unique, no fresh perspective on it, that needs to be added. I have no first hand story of being downtown because when it became apparent the Canucks were going to lose, we stayed on the other side of the bridge (I did, however, hug a perfect stranger on my walk home. He was about 21 or 22 and was sitting on the grass outside an apartment building crying, wiping his face with the sleeve of his Canucks jersey. I just felt like he could use a hug.) but given the amount I have mentioned the playoffs leading up to this, I did want to take a moment to acknowledge what happened.

Dear Vancouver Canucks: Thank you for an amazing season. Save the last 50 minutes, I wouldn't change a thing (well, maybe a certain eye injury and a certain spine injury, but you know what I mean). Being allowed to come along for the ride as a fan was an incredible experience and I love you all the more for it. You have been fantastic to watch and have achieved amazing things. I look forward to seeing what next season brings. See you in October!

PS. In a strange way, I have to thank you for losing. I would have been downtown with a 2.5 year old and her mom if you had won. Reports and interviews with some of the people stupid enough to still be down there at 10:00pm made me realise that this probably still would have happened if you had won. So, thank you? For keeping my personal safety in mind? What a kind thing to do. I didn't even know you knew me.

PPS. I have waited 30 years for the Stanley Cup to come to Vancouver, I can wait another 30 if I have to. (But please don't confuse my ability to wait with a desire to wait.)

Dear Boston Bruins: Congratulations on your win. You deserved it. Especially Thomas. Someone give that man a big fat bonus. Like, big enough that he'll want to retire and live out the rest of his life far, far away from the hockey rink. I understand Atlanta is beautiful.

Dear Vancouver Police Deptartment: I saw your tweets about people's kind tweets and that today (Thursday) people had been bringing baked goods, snacks and 'thank you's' to your headquarters. That's because you deserved them. You had a no-win situtation on your hands and I think you did an amazing job. Thank you.

Dear Vancouver Police Department Horses: Neigh, neeee-igh, neigh, brrrrrrrrrrffffff, sugar cube whinneeeeeeeeey. Neigh.

Dear CTV and specifically the field reporters/camerapersons: You kept us informed but I never felt like you sensationalized it. That is a difficult line to walk in a situtation like this. Also, thank you for all the wonderful hours of video evidence of people partaking in illegal activity.

Dear Volunteers who cleaned up Vancouver today: I wish I had had time to join you, but I didn't. You came out in droves and you were awesome! Thank you for cleaning up someone else's mess. Thank you for restoring my faith in humanity.

Ass-Hat, Douche-Canoes, Rioters (or the people who just stood there laughing and taking pictures than claimed "but I didn't do anything" because that totally means you're not guilty of being a douche-canoe): There are no words to describe how angry you made me and how saddened I was by your actions. There were people who came down that night looking to start a riot (one does not normally bring rocks in a backpack to an outdoor family event unless one is going to build an inukshuk to show the children) but they did not do it alone. There were legitimate Canuck fans in that mob. You are a disgrace to the team you support, to the city that so graciously hosted outdoor events for all the games, to the other fans who didn't need to burn things to feel better, to the province you all hail from (as I'm sure most of you were not from Vancouver-proper), and to the country that gave us the awesome sport of hockey.

I saw the people being interviewed saying "I'm not taking part, I just can't get out of downtown". I also saw the people today who all said there were able to get out of downtown within an hour so when you're telling the camera crew at 10:00pm you couldn't get out of downtown, you're full of it. Yes, busses and taxis weren't coming downtown. Yes, apparently there were delays on the Skytrain. But you know what? You have these things at the end of your legs called 'feet'. Feet are amazing things. If you lift up your right leg and move it forward, your right foot will be in a different location. Do the same with your left leg and foot. If you keep alternating, you start doing an activity that's called 'walking'. Amazingly, your body has been doing this very actitivity since you were about 18 months old. Sure, public or private transit might not have been making it into town, but you could easily have walked over one of the bridges (they were only closed going into town) to where public transit was still running.

There are riots occuring all over the world because people are being denied basic human rights and you riot because of a hockey game. Never mind jail, I'd like to round all of you up and send you to Burma, Iran, Libya, or any other oppressed nation for a year. Try to riot there and see how far you get before the police just open fire. I'd give you three minutes tops. By the way, they won't be firing tear gas and rubber bullets.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

"Life is Either a Daring Adventure or Nothing" ~Helen Keller

At about 10:00am yesterday morning, knowing that I wasn't scheduled to work in the office today or tomorrow, I decided to take a last minute whirlwind trip to Vancouver for tonight's game seven.

I'm currently sitting on the ferry between Swartz Bay and Tsawwassen with 5 million other Canucks fans* on our way to a huge party in downtown Vancouver (assuming Vancouver wins. If Boston wins... egads, I'll be booting it out of downtown as quickly as the SkyTrain can carry me).

Technically, I won't be in downtown Vancouver. I'll be across the bridge in Kitsilano (hanging out with THR and Shannon), but it's closer than Victoria and unless you're from Vancouver/the West Coast, it's still Vancouver.

Also, I'm camera-less so I bought a crappy disposable which needs to be sent to a 'photo shop' to be 'developed' so pictures of my daring adventure will not be instantaneous to the blog (and will probably be pretty sketch once they are up).

This is also a preemptive apology for all the Boston slander I may or may not tweet about and/or post on certain Boston-based bloggers' sites (who have done nothing to deserve the slander themselves, but a few beers in and anyone in Boston is fair game.)


*I may be exaggerating. Maybe. Just a little.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Can You Miss an Inanimate Object?

I have buyers remorse and I haven't bought anything.

My friend, Darth (possibly soon-to-be roommate Darth... hmmm, does that make me the Emperor? I like the sound of that. Anyway, back on track...), left for two weeks in Europe yesterday and I agreed to lend him my 'real' camera as he only had his camera phone. I gave it to him at work on Friday.

Everywhere I've looked all weekend, I see something I want to take a picture of. It's as if my world has become one big photo shoot and I'm without my camera.

The light was perfect at my dad's on Saturday and between the uprooted tree, finding a nest of snails (there were five of them, I call that a nest) on the broom* I was attacking**, and a sunny patch on the outdoor tap which took a chunk out of the top of my head (it bled but I'm fine), there were ample photo opportunities.

Yesterday was a walk down Cook St to Cloverpoint and back. Dallas Rd (the part of the walk to Cloverpoint) is a part of Victoria that screams "TAKE A PICTURE!!" (I could be biased but I think all of Victoria screams that, but Dallas Rd looking south to the Olympic Mts. really screams it.) *sigh*

The same walk a year ago.

Darth better take some frakkin' amazing pictures at the Doctor Who museum in Cardiff.

*Snails on the broom? It's the French and Scots banding together to steal an Irishman's land, I tell ya!

**If you ever dare tell me you think broom is beautiful, I will beat you with a branch of it. It is killing the native plants on Vancouver Island and it's next to impossible to truly kill.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Photography That's Out of This World!

(Random Note: I really need a drummer to follow me around just so he can play a *rimshot* any time I make a pun... like the above title.)

I could talk about the Canucks won tonight but there's probably 7,482 bloggers in Vancouver who will talk about that so I'm going to geek out instead because that is just so something I would do.

A few days ago, I came across an awesome picture of the Endeavor docked at the International Space Station (ISS). The following day, Bad Astronomer* posted a link to the European Space Agency's (ESA) gallery of these photos (this link starts a slide show). I took a quick gander through them and then moved onto my next blog meaning to return.

I never did.

At dinner with my mom, I remembered the link and that I had made a mental note to send it to my step-dad as he likes astronomy as well. I returned from dinner, found the link, emailed it, and then really started looking at the photos.

As Bad Astronomer would say: click the photo to spacestationsizenate!

As a race, we're pretty amazing. We came out of the plains of Africa, spread all across this globe, and now we're exploring space. Within a year (according to the current schedule) we will have a fully armed and operational Death Star space station for long term studies. Less than 100 years ago the reality of space travel was still a distant dream, now scientists will be living in it. And I think that's much more impressive than a Maxim Lapierre goal (even if the goal was awesome).

Why should we try for space travel? It cannot be a substance of any kind that can be expected to pay. It can only be something intangible, not involving haulage, which is at the same time more valuable. There is something like that: Knowledge. — Willy Ley
*The Bad Astronomer (aka Phil Plait) writes an awesome blog over at Discover magazine online (well, all their blogs are awesome) and you should go check him out.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Sloppy Dismount,You Only Get a 6.9

After a gloriously sunny weekend and ensuing week, winter decided to poke its head out for one last hurrah today. It was overcast and down right chilly. I had to put on pants and a jacket just to go the coffee shop... in June... I KNOW!! Anyway, the clouds lifted a little this evening so now I'm enjoying a beautiful pink and orange sunset.

The upside to the less-than-stellar-weather is that I took my laptop to the coffee shop (jaunty beret and black skinny jeans not included) and actually did research for something I want to write. I momentarily felt like a student again until I remembered that I would never have spent eight straight hours researching anything in university. Hmm, maybe that was my problem. The research I was doing? Well, you'll soon see it on here.

The Canucks lost last night. I don't want to talk about it. Instead, I watched my sleeping cat roll of the back of her favourite chair and giggled. She jumped back up like she hadn't just displayed the grace and dexterity of a wired chihuahua and promptly returned to sleeping. I tried to sneak up to take some adorable photos but she was having none of that. I did, however, managed to talk her into some glamour shots.

"That's it, baby! Work the camera. Fierce. Give me fierce!"*

"The camera loves you, darling. Don't forget to smize!"*

As for the rest of this evening, I have some crafts I have to do in conjunction with the research I did today. I bet that piqued your interest!

Good night!

*These make a lot more sense if you've ever sat through America's Next Top Model.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A Long Time Ago, A Million Years BC...

Seventeen years ago today, Dennis Potter passed away.

Who? You're probably asking.

The man who taught me that song and dance routines are always appropriate.

I wasn't older than eight (possibly even younger) when I first say Potter's Pennies from Heaven six part series and I thought it was magical. I was too young to understand the dark (depressing) storyline of an affair, the resulting baby, the abortion, the fall into prostitution, and the accusations of rape and murder (in short, I got very little from the storyline beyond Arthur was a married travelling sheet music salesman in 1930's England) but I was drawn to the upbeat and cheerful 1930's dance numbers which punctuated the grim backdrop.

Unlike traditional musicals, the numbers in Pennies from Heaven didn't served to move the plot forward but to give an insight to what the character was thinking at that moment; you could remove every song and you'd still have a complete story (albeit even more depressing). The actors would lip sync to original 1930's recordings while dancing around a set only to end up in the same position they started in, as if the number had never happened. I was enthralled; I could do that in my own life!

I was never captured by Dennis Potter's later works the way I was with Pennies from Heaven (which may be the result of the creepy scarecrow in The Singing Detective which still gives me slight moments of panic 20 years later) but the fun burst out in a song that fits my mood and thoughts is a habit I have taken forward into adulthood. So thank you for that, Mr. Potter. And thank you for teaching me to never trust a travelling sheet music salesman.

And also for teaching me that love is good for anything that ails you.

Monday, June 6, 2011

A Hotel In France

"You are Canadienne?"

I looked up from my breakfast to the heavily accented question. The landlady of the small hotel I had stumbled to the day before stands before me. Her son had checked me in. He had also seemed very interested in the fact that I was from Canada.


"You come for D-Day celebracion?"

"No. I will be on a boat for Ireland." It was June 4th, 1999. I was winding up my backpacking trip through Europe in Bayeux, France. The next day, I would take the train to Cherbourg and board an overnight boat to Rosslare and my family.

I had hoped to see the Normandy Beaches but thanks to a mix up at the Le Mans train station and the resulting unexpected visit to Rennes, I only had Sunday in Bayeux. There were no tours or buses to the beaches on Sundays.

"Too short," the landlady told me. "Too short. You must, ah," she looks around her while her mind searches for the word. "'Ow do you say, uh, not go?"


"Oui, stay. There will be a big celebracion."

I smiled apologetically.

"I have already bought my ferry ticket."

"I not come from Bayeux," she continues as she takes a seat at my table. "My 'usband, 'e was from Bayeux. I come from a small village near they call it Juno beach. You know this beach?"

I nod. I'm a history buff. I'm Canadian. Of course I know Juno beach.

"Canadiens liber, libert, liberty-ed?"


"Merci. Liberated. Lib-er-ated. Liberated." She moves the word around in her mouth like a child discovering its tongue until she's comfortable with it. She continues "liberated my village. The Nazis had my father. Canadiens return 'im to my mom. I was made the night 'e came home. I like Canadiens." She winks at me and smiles.

I smile back.

"And your dad? Did he like Canadians?"

"Ah oui, very much. What will you do today?"

"I don't know. I was supposed to come on Friday so I could see the beaches but I guess I will just go see the tapestry today."

"Non. Non. That will not do. Michel?" She turns away from me and starts to yell in French at various people in the hotel dinning room. "I will come back," and she's up and away before I can say anything else.

I finish my meal in silence and wander up the tiny twisting stairwell to my room. I sort out what I need for the day and head back downstairs to find the landlady waiting for me with an older lady.

"She is my mama. She also likes Canadiens."

"Bonjour. C'est va?" I use the little French I have to greet her. She toddles towards me relying heavily on her cane. She reaches up and pats my cheek before turning back to her daughter and saying something in French.

"Mama thinks you 'ave kind eyes." Mama turns back to me and smiles. "Come. Come," the landlady beckons me towards her. "We are taking you to the beach."

I spend the day with my landlady, her mama, and Michel, the son who had checked me in the day before. We drive to Juno beach. Michel points out what few remnants of the landing there are to see. Then we drive to the village. Mama tells stories in French and my landlady translates. Life before the war, life under the Nazis, when the Canadians came, life after the war, so many stories. I could listen to Mama talk until there were no more stories, she was better than any museum, but she is old and tired and the weather was unseasonably chilly. After two hours we need to get her home.

"You will have dinner with us." It's not a request, it's a statement, but I wouldn't have turned it down anyway. When I show up to the family dinning room, I find a huge feast which they must have been preparing all day and at least a dozen people patiently waiting for me.

Four hours later, I stumble up my winding staircase sated on both food and wine. My head is a jumble of their songs and stories and I find myself laughing at the night's events as my eyelids close.

The next morning, there is a lunch packed for me and my train ride. Mama and Michel walk me to the train station just a block from the hotel. Mama says something in French and kisses both my cheeks.

"Next time you will stay for June 6th," Michel translates. I smile at Mama.

"Oui. Juin sixieme. Je retournerai y je reste a le sixieme." I stumble over the words as they come out and I'm not sure anyone could understand what I said.

Mama smiles again and takes my arm. She remains there until the train comes. The last sight I remember of Bayeux is Mama waving as the train pulls away.

I, sadly, have never returned to Bayeux. Mama, I imagine, is long gone but when June 6th rolls around and I think of D-Day, it's Mama's stories that I remember.

Mama, je me souviens de toi. Merci pour tout.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Date

I was apprehensive about the whole idea but he had been persistent. It's been a while since any guy's advances towards me could have been described as persistent so I decided to throw caution to the wind and say "why not?" Well, here's why not:

We had agreed to meet for an early dinner. I set the alarm on my phone to go off so I could fake a reason to leave if I needed to and then walked to the pub a couple of blocks from my house while my phone remained neatly on my dining table. I had no exit strategy. I finally understood how George W. Bush felt about Iraq.

I arrived at the pub and quickly found him. We made eye contact as I approached and he stood up to greet me. I reached out to shake his hand while he went in for a hug. Midway through this awkward disaster-waiting-to-happen he realised his error and moved to shake my hand instead. Except in his haste to bring his right hand down and across he punched me in the boob. Hard. So hard I winced and grabbed my boob in full view of the entire pub.

This was sign # 1 that I should really just turn around and leave. I didn't. Silly me.

"I didn't sleep well last night because my cats decided to play tag at two in the morning."
"I'm highly allergic to cats."
I have two. This does not bode well for either of us. Not once in the three times in messages that I mentioned my cats did he ever respond about being allergic. So either he didn't really read my messages because he's a douche or he purposely hid this information from me because he's a douche.

After losing his job due to downsizing during the recession, he moved home. Having a brother in the exact same situation, I have no problem with this per sae, my problem is that he is now employed. I asked if he has plans to move out now that he's working. He doesn't. These are my acceptable reasons for not moving out:
  • I incurred debt while unemployed and I want to pay it off before I move out.
  • I've decided to save money so I can put a down payment down on a house instead of renting again.
  • A parent is having some health issues so I'm staying close to home for the time being.
  • After the stress of unemployment and having to be frugal with money, I'm saving up for a really nice five star holiday to relax and treat myself. Once I'm back from that, I'll look to move out.
  • My parents' retirement fund took a hit in the market. I know that paying them rent is going a long way to helping them out with that so I'm going to stay for a bit to keep helping them out.
This is not an acceptable reason to keep living at home in your late 30's: My mom makes me pancake breakfast at least once a week, why would I move out? A girlfriend won't do that. This girl definitely won't do that after that comment.

We ended up on the topic of hockey as most my conversations do these days. He was honest that he's not a sports fan but he hoped the Canucks did well. I give points for being honest about his disinterest in sports instead of lying about it (which is all the rage in BC right now), but after then I told him I'm a Canucks fan and he called me a bandwagon jumper because all girls just are. I kid you not, those where his exact words. In one fell swoop, he lost all the points he had gained by being honest.

In trying to find a shared interest, I bring up comic books. He had mentioned them and it seemed like a topic I could show an interest in. After a 10 minute discussion with himself about DC vs Marvel, he looks up at me like he had completely forgotten I was there and then meekly asks "uh, what do you think?"
"I'm not a big comic book reader myself. I mean, I've read a few over the years but it's like D&D, I've often thought I'd like to get into that but I just don't know where to start. I'd be like Zach from The Big Bang Theory: "where are the Archie comics?" Do you watch TBBT?"
"Oh. You should. It's hilarious. Anyway, I do really like the subculture that goes with comic books. Some of the artwork is amazing. I've read a couple of graphic novels. I'm really starting to get into Steampunk costumes and decorating, that came out of a sub-culture of comics and cosplay, I believe. Sci-Fi obviously overlaps with the comic book culture a lot and I love sci-fi. In fact, my friend and I are talking about going to the ECCC next year."
"Emerald City Comicon. In Seattle."
"A convention?"
"Yeah." I'm starting to get excited. This is something we have in common and we're only halfway through eating, maybe this will take us to the end of the date!
"Don't do it."
"Why not?" I'm a bit shocked at the attitude he's pulled about going to the con.
"People who go to cons are creepy. I mean, they're grown adults who dress up in costumes for Christ's sake!"
First off, I've just told you I want to go to a con and you've told me that makes me creepy. Thanks a lot.
Second, cosplay is awesome. 'Nuff said.
Third, you're a grown ass adult who doesn't want to move out of your parents home because of pancakes. That is creepy.

When the bill finally arrived, my heart did a little jig. My feet may have even tapped a bit under the table. Now, I had every intention of paying my portion of the bill before I arrived at the pub (I mean, I wasn't going to turn him down if he insisted but I by no means expected him to pay even though he did ask me five times to go on a date before I accepted) but I expected the courtesy of "the bill dance". You know the dance: let me get it; no, no, it's okay, I'll pay my portion; are you sure?; yes. That dance: the world-wide dance done on many a first dates.

Instead he grabs up the bill, loudly complains that it hasn't been separated, states his mathematical prowess while figuring out his portion of the bill, then promptly forgets to a) include his portion of the tax and b) tipped a whopping $0.85. I point this out to him and he writes out the math on a napkin while talking like I'm some simpleton. When he doesn't include the tax after I point it out again, I flag down our waitress and ask for separate bills.

As we're leaving the pub, he asks with all sincerity if he could call me again. Without thinking, I laugh. I feel bad about that for a millisecond before remembering that I'm a creepy bandwagon jumper and simply tell him 'no'. No reasons, no excuses, just no.

When I get home, I find my phone where I left it. It's screaming at its loudest volume "TURN ME OFF! TURN ME OFF!" while the screen blinks on and off. I know exactly how it feels.