November 16, 2008

The Gunpowder Treason and Plot

This is a kind of shout out to my brother, but he knew this was coming anyway. Pretend, for like 7 seconds (more or less dependent on how fast you read) that it is still November 5th. And I give you this:

Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I can think of no reason
Why the Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.
Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, t'was his intent
To blow up the King and Parli'ment.
Three-score barrels of powder below
To prove old England's overthrow;
By God's providence he was catch'd
With a dark lantern and burning match.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, let the bells ring.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, God save the King!

Ok, so maybe a little longer than 7 seconds on average. To be honest, the only reason I know anything about Guy Fawkes is because of V for Vendetta which, because of its close kinship to the Matrix, I totally love. There's a certain kind of movie/story that I get really excited about, and I would label that type epic (although I don't know if the literature people, who actually know what they're talking about, would argue with me). But not just epic, epic with hard core action and crazy surreal (surreal? I'll run with it) concepts woven deep into the plot. Anyway, if you haven't seen V for Vendetta or the Matrix, then we can't be friends. Call me when you've caught up on your awesome movies from several years ago. Please note that when I say "The Matrix" I'm refering to the "The Matrix" and not necessarily "The Matrix trilogy". The first one is by far the best, and people have varying opinion on Reloaded and Revolutions, but I don't want to get into that today.

Ok, now for a few more seconds, we'll head back to Tuesday, which was Remeberance Day (au champs d'honneur les coquliqots sont parseme de lot en lot -- really bad spelling, I'm sure). I like to wear a poppy to represent for rememberance, but this year I could not find one anywhere. I didn't see any at the cash counter at any stores, I didn't run into any veterans with the boxes of them on the street, I had no access to the little plastic/velveteen flowers. I usually lose them, too, in years past when I have gotten my hands on the poppies, always before Rememberance Day so I look like a terrible ignoramous who has no respect for the sacrifices of previous generations. But its not true! I try, oh how I try. So this year, on November 10th, I drew myself a cute little paper poppy and pinned it to my coat. From far away (like 27 metres or so) you totally can't tell that its just one that I made. I made the middle part green, b/c they all used to have little green centre parts, but then several years ago they changed it to black for some reason. Is it more botanically acurate? I'm not up on my poppies, at least not my non-opium ones. That was a joke. It is appropriate to chuckle/groan at this point.

So today my back really hurts, I'm not entirely sure what I did, but its difficult to get up and down, pick up things off the floor, not wince and slight, normal movements, etc. My dad told me to get some Robaxacet to de-knotify the muscles, so if I can actually make it to the Pharmaprix or the Jean Coutu then I'll try that out. You know the marionettes for Robaxacet? Apparently this is the original commercial, before they sold out and started doing it CG style.

Wow, school keeps me really busy. Well "school", it more like school/my full-time job. When I cross the border they're like "are you coming here for personal or business reasons?" And I'm like "Business." They're all like "What do you do?" And I say "I'm a PhD student in Linguistics, I'm going to present a paper at a conference." So then they're like "So its really for study, not business." And them I'm all "But my school is my business (and besides, the only options provided were 'personal' and 'business', so I didn't have much choice)."
Did I tell you about how I keep on getting chosen for random survey/searches by the American customs? Back when I was in Ottawa and flying to Santa Barbara for a conference, chich at the metal detector asked "Can I do a random search on you?" And its not like you can really say no, because then its suspicious and you end up getting tazered. So I give an enthusiastic "Sure!" Unfortunately, the customs guy is like 3.7 m from security in the American part of the Ottawa airport, so when I get over to him after getting a hand metal detector grazed over my entire body and having to unpack and repack all my luggage he says "They sure were taking an interest in you over there" implying that I was indeed suspicious and dangers to "Homeland security" (I hate that term, its so brainwash-y). I said "Dude-man, I was just a random search." And then it happened again when I went to Minnesota a few weeks ago. Guy comes over and pegs me for a "survey". I'm not sure what the Americans are looking for, but aparently blonde Canadian grad students are a big concern. Me and my carry on of books on linguistics are very suspicious. Survey-man tries to make small talk with me, which I find very awkward b/c I always feel like I have to be so serious and careful when going through customs. And again he asks me what I do, so I have to say linguistics, and people always think they know what linguistics is and then start explaining it to me. As if I didn't now. So I laugh and smile and try shrug off my threatening german milk-maid persona so that he'll let me board my flight. I wonder if they choose me b/c they know it will be easy, and they just need to fill their quota for random searches.

Anyway, I do love Canada, and I love living in Canada, but I think in about 3 or 4 years time I'm going to have to break out of the Canadian bubble and actually live somewhere else. This is part of the transient in me. Sure, I travel and have been different places around the world, but nowhere I've actually lived.
Perhaps I've babbled on long enough. I think I'm going to look up some quasi-relevant pictures and tack them into the post in the hopes of keep you, the readers, interested.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

British grad students too! "What do you do?", "I'm a grad student", "What do you study?", "Ummmm, do you really want me to explain?". I always feel like a criminal going through American security, still, its the necessary price to pay to research in the land of the free!