April 7, 2011 § 1 Comment

Continuing with the theme of ghosts, I’ve been having phantom butterflies lately. You know the feeling I’m talking about, when you revisit the sensation you had during an amazing kiss, or some other delectable physical act. More often than not, it’s something that occurred in the recent past, a memory unfaded by time. I love those sensations, the aftershocks of intimacy.

I can summon those feelings pretty easily after an occurrence, rewinding the tape in my head, and pressing play when I know the butterflies first started fluttering. However, the more time separates me from the occurrence, the more difficult it is to reprise that tingling feeling. It might start with missing snippets, and eventually degrade into a simple memory, a knowledge of such a thing having taken place. That’s usually when another one of those occurrences needs to step in to keep the momentum going.

Sadly, I’ve lost my momentum. Or so it seemed. The phantom butterflies came barging to the forefront of my consciousness despite the last occurrence being far enough in the past that it should have faded. For quite some time, it actually was a faded memory, and then inexplicably, out of nowhere, it reignited into a full-fledged case of phantom butterflies. Tried as I might I couldn’t find anything that might have triggered the last memory. Since that moment, I’ve been feeling one particular spot at the nape of my neck, POISED for an occurrence, a tremor in my hypodermis waiting, just waiting for that next chance to release the tingles down my neck straight to my back.



Six Degrees of Wikipedia

August 27, 2010 § 2 Comments

Wikipedia. I’ve mentioned it a few times in previous posts, but I can’t tell you enough: I love it. True, it’s not always the most accurate of sources, but you can get some basic information about completely random stuff. Haven’t we all read some sort of article online where one word confuses us, and then wikipedia to the rescue? I’m sure we all have. What I like best about this is that Wikipedia becomes like a mall: once you’re in for something specific, you might as well browse around. I’m sure this is somewhere on the internet already, but if it isn’t, I’m here to put it out there officially. The Six Degrees of Wikipedia game.

Go to Wikipedia, and click on your preferred language. On the Welcome to Wikipedia page, there is a plethora of random information just waiting to be picked, and so pick the link that most strikes your fancy. The point of this random time waster is to click to six different subjects and see how far you get from your original search. Allow me to illustrate.

On the Welcome to Wikipedia page, under Today’s Feature Article is a link to Recently Featured articles. The first, in my case, is Allosaurus (the others are Ethan Hawke, and Joy Division). Let me break briefly to say that how often do you see those three subjects juxtaposed? Not often. Ergo, awesome. Back to Allosaurus. As all dinosaur-sounding/related words are awesome, I’m choosing that one. 

Best sentence of the article: “Some paleontologists interpret Allosaurus as having had a cooperative social behavior, and hunting in packs…” Clearly popular animals.

Next I click on Gilmore (Charles), who is a paleontologist who referred to the Allosauridae as Megalosauridae. There isn’t much to see in this entry, so I click on Cretaceous, which I’m sure has something to do with a shell-like substance… like a crustacean maybe? Let’s see.

So apparently someone *pointing to self* has forgotten her geological periods. It’s the period right after the Jurassic period and followed by the Paleogene period – and yes, I’ll admit, I have no idea what the Paleogene period is (but look at this engineer learning about paleontology and geology!). Skimming through the article, I find something related to Mexico (my most recent trip and love) called the Chicxulub crater. And on we go to our fourth degree.

Chicxulub is a crater created by an impact to the earth in the Yucatan Peninsula. The impact of that created the Chicxulub crater went further inland to create sinkholes – otherwise known as cenotes (also known as why I fell in love with Mexico), and therefore the fifth degree.

A cenote is a sinkhole filled with groundwater. In my opinion, a cenote is heaven on earth. There are open cenotes, with vertical walls and the sun shining in, and closed cenotes, where you are in an underground cave system. Ahh the memories. Peaceful, quiet, clear water, bats (um wait, maybe not the awesome bit), heaven.

So what’s the sixth degree of Wikipedia in this case? Cave divers. The people who explore cenotes and other caves.

Allosaurus – Charles Gilmore – Cretaceous – Chicxulub crater – Cenote – Cave Divers. Dinosaurs to scuba enthusiasts. All in a day’s wiki.

Putting a smile on my face

August 11, 2010 § 2 Comments

I just pulled an airhead move and ran across the street while a cyclist was riding past. He calmly said “Watch out sweetheart!” Smiling. I laughed and said sorry. It’s not always you get this kind of calm interaction when you cross cyclists. Nice people rock.

The World Cup Fan Selector

June 30, 2010 § 1 Comment

If you’re like me and occasionally enjoy watching sporting events but don’t have the deep-rooted loyalty of some/most self-proclaimed sports fans, you might be interested in what I like to call the World Cup Fan Selector. It’s fun to get involved in the hoopla of the World Cup, but can be very lonely when you don’t have a team to cheer for. What to do? Consult the World Cup Fan Selector. Some might thumb their nose at our easily swayed ways, trading loyalties on what might seem to be trivial matters. But I say we are fans of THE SPORT, rooting for soccer (which will be referred to as football in this post) as opposed to the team. The World Cup Fan Selector works for self-proclaimed sports fans with deep-rooted loyalties as well. What happens when “your team” gets eliminated? Will you swear off the World Cup until 2014? Will you watch games in a lackluster fashion? The next few weeks will unfold with you being stuck in limbo, not knowing which team to side with, which will lead to certain and total chaos. If this is the case, have no fear, join the rest of us who have no team and consult the World Cup Fan Selector. The hierarchical scheme of the World Cup Fan Selector works wonders once you grasp the concept of its tier-system.

The intricacies of the selection process have been developed entirely by me, with no substantiation for any of the rules. If I had a fancy VISIO tool and if I cared enough to go through the process of drawing it on VISIO, you’d have a fancy flowchart. But since I don’t care about technology that much, here are the rules to selecting which team you will be rooting for, according to the World Cup Fan Selector.

1. I live in Canada. Football is the number one sport in the world, aside from our lovely North America where sports such as hockey, American football, basketball, baseball, and leisure activities such as golf (oh, I went there) reign supreme. I have nothing against any of those sports but firmly believe that the pitch and putt concept should be applied to golf in general and, while it does use some muscles and requires a hefty amount of skill, golf is not a sport, just like yoga isn’t a sport (though I certainly enjoy and regularly practice the latter). You know what would be awesome in golf? If they had a “mixed drinks and putt” or “shots and putt” concept. Tangent aside, since I live in Canada, and we were not cool enough to make the cut this World Cup, I support teams from my side of the world, The Americas. (For the purpose of this post, North and South unite into The Americas, though this is certainly correct according to Wikipedia.) The world is separated into The Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania. Pick one. (Antarctica was excluded purely for its lack of presence in the sport.)

2. Since my ethnicity (though born in Canada, it is not my ethnic background) has no representation in this or any year’s World Cup, I support the continent from which my parents and grandparents hail: Africa. You might say I’d be better off cheering for a Eurasian team, as that is my background (if you will, in a greater sense), but that doesn’t strike my fancy, so overruled you’d be. Plus how many teams do you know from the countries of the Caucasus that are in the World Cup? How many countries do you know that are in the Caucasus? I digress. If this rule is applicable to you, pick the continent from which the generation closest to you hails (provided they hail from a region different from yours).

3. I love traveling. This factors into my third tier of fandom based on how much I enjoyed visiting or want to visit the countries playing. This applies to Australia (loved it, want to go back), Argentina (have wanted to go for the last 4 years, and also fits in under the first tier of fandom), and The Netherlands (loved it, didn’t spend enough time there, want to go back).

4. I like learning new languages. This brings Germany into the fourth tier of fandom, as I took a German class back in the day. Also, how awesome is a team that relies on a psychic octopus named Paul to predict its performance in a game? Pretty damn awesome if you ask me. It also applies to Portugal, and Spain and any Spanish-speaking country (which falls under the first tier of fandom yet again).

5. The final and most important tier of fandom is hotness. Let’s face it, football contains a lot of hotness. When it comes down to the fifth tier, the team with the hottest player(s) wins.

Here is an example of the application of the World Cup Fan Selector.
This afternoon, there is the Portugal vs. Spain game. Neither falls into the first or second tier, so we move onto the third. I’ve never visited either country but have wanted to visit both, so it’s a tie on the third. The fourth tier also results in a draw because I have tried to learn both Portuguese and Spanish. So we’re faced with the fifth tier, in which Portugal comes out victorious. Cristiano Ronaldo is HOT, so that’s who I’ll be rooting for!

A few words to conclude. Even when I am rooting for one team, I want to hug the other team and let them know that I ultimately root for them too, because my trump card, THE UNDERDOG, always equalizes my fandom. Tis pesky. But if you have a psychic octopus on your side, that might tip my scales.

This post was brought to you by sarcasm. However, this is actually the method I am employing to pick the team for which I will cheer.

**This post was written prior to the Portugal vs. Spain game, and the writer would like to stress that though Portugal did not win, this bears no relevance to the validity of the World Cup Fan Selector, as it selects the team you should root for and not the team that will win. That is Paul the psychic octopus’ job.**

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