26 February 2006

Punctuated equilibrium

I watched X-Men again today. I've seen it many times now (Hugh Jackman is undeniably an extremely gorgeous man) but Patrick Stewart's narrated intro reminded me of the very first time I saw the movie. Instantly, right there in the theatre, his description of mutation in evolution reminded me of the theory of punctuated equilibrium.

I have a good memory, so I was sure the theory existed and that I'd learned it in school. But none of my friends had heard of it, let alone believed me when I told them I thought the movie's particular idea of human mutation was rooted in actual science. It wasn't until I got to chatting with a Biology grad in a pub one day that I found another person who even knew what I was talking about. This was before extensive and automatic use of the Internet (in my life anyway). Today, however, I went straight to Wikipedia.

Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia

24 February 2006

Sick, sick, sick

We all know that all magazine models are 'touched up'. Even I've edited skin, hair and teeth - always by request - before posting some photos on the web in the past.

But you'd think Maxim employed design and layout staff that could work Photoshop well enough to not advertise the upgrades to their ads. But then again, a woman posing for Maxim knows perfectly well she's going to be objectified.

TransparentSmoke.com

21 February 2006

I have a new favourite radio station!

Yay, punk, alternative and heavier stuff in Victoria! There's something about looking out at an overcast sea of skyscrapers punctuated by plumes of pollution that's a bit more satisfying when Alice in Chains, Hole, Green Day and Fall Out Boy are playing in the background.

I don't know how long they've been around. Probably just long enough to make me sound stupid to anyone who overheard me complaining that we didn't have a station like Vancouver's Fox or Seattle's The End.

But now that I've found a station I like, I'm happy. No need to start grafting speakers onto my wee little MP3 player.

The Zone 91.3

15 February 2006

Drop in the bucket, ripple in the pond

Looking out at the city this morning it occurred to me (as it has several times before) that when I realize the dream of publishing a book, it will have almost no effect on the world around me. Like tossing a rock into a lava flow, no person, structure, event or place will really take notice or be changed.

Yet, more than anything - even exotic travel - I would choose this accomplishment and experience over all others. Aside from a few ripples in Canadian literature - if that - the world will be the same. I think this is true for 99.9% of authors. So what motivates us beyond the joy of writing? Why do authors stress and pressure themselves to birth books into the world?

05 February 2006

Monster in the lake

Out the bus window on Craigflower Road last Wednesday morning I saw the Gorge Waterway. For some reason at that moment, the water, the swanky condos, the unseasonably green grass, everything hit me with the sense that I was very lucky to be back in Victoria.

After graduating from UVic in 2001, I moved back to Vernon and attempted to re-enter my old life. With help and support, I moved back to Victoria four years later, having narrowly escaped entrapment in a crappy job market and a high school social life. Like Frodo escaping from the lake monster, I wriggled free from Vernon while my family hacked off tentacles.

I like Vernon and the Okanagan. Nowhere else will ever be my home. But for me, it was an express route to nowhere. I don't regret it because I love my friends, I had a reasonably good job (until it was cut in half) and managed to kickstart a freelance career. However, the hometown vibe got stale relatively quickly in the grand scheme.

The same day, my manager took the marketing department on a field trip to see our new offices. I'm moving from an already comfortable desk in an old 2nd floor law office (I'm not even contemplating whether or not this could be construed as bragging) to my very own office on the 7th floor of a nicer adjacent building. Adding five floors creates a noticeably different viewpoint. It struck me all over again that I was in exactly the right place. I have no interest in critiquing anyone else's life decisions. But I'm particularly glad to feel I've made some good choices of my own so far.