Animals

Fear Not

I feel very comfortable around animals. All animals. I trust that they won’t bit me or kill me. I might be a little too trusting. Most people believe that animals are purely instinctual and will act out against an unfamiliar person. I think that animals can sense danger and because they have so much instinct, they can sense when someone also means them no harm. LIKE ME!

Ultimate dream.

People blame animals a lot for their own missteps. It’s easy to startle them–especially animals that reside in their natural habitat. I think Steve Irwin is a good example of this behavior. He truly had a love of animals and trusted that they wouldn’t hurt him. Most people think he’s stupid, and while I will admit that he looked kind of stupid, he also had a lot of faith that he wouldn’t get hurt. That’s where the surprise factor comes in. I honestly don’t think stingrays sting people for fun, I think that he startled one and it attacked out of instinct. Steve Irwin wouldn’t want anyone to hate stingrays because they killed him. He probably loves them just as much as he did when he was alive. They have stingrays in heaven, right? At least now Bindi has a chance to shine.

Working her way up to stingrays.

Bethany Hamilton is another good example of the same kind of situation. Except she’s alive, but only has one arm because of a shark attack. If there’s one thing we can learn, it’s that sharks are total douches. I’ve never wanted to test my theory of animals loving me on sharks because it’s too much of a risk. Sharks can’t see that well. So they think anything that moves is a seal. Such good logic. I’ve swam with nurse sharks before. You only live once, right? Recently there was a test performed using a bunch of bikini-clad girls that swam with sharks during feeding time. Nothing happened to them. Maybe sharks don’t like sluts? Hah I’m just bitter because I look gross in a bikini. JK I don’t, but I thought that would make all of you feel like I was a little more human.

Bethany still surfs everyday even though she only has one arm. She was on The Biggest Loser a couple weeks ago when they all went to Hawaii (unfair). She taught everyone how to surf and she didn’t even seem that upset about her arm. And I definitely don’t think she hates sharks.

Siegfried and Roy have a similar story. I kind of hate these guys. Apparently the Siberian tigers that they trained were like their bffs. I have trouble believing that because I’m pretty sure that tigers don’t like Germans. Anyway, one day someone took a picture with an extremely bright flash, setting one of the tigers off. The tiger attacked Roy, but didn’t kill him. This shows that animals should not be taken out of their natural habitat. I’m sure they had a relationship with their trainers and trusted them as well, but once that instinct kicks in, there’s really no hope when it’s man vs. beast.

Epitome of sexy.

One of my favorite stories invovles a lion named Christian. This story only proves my theory of wild animals being able to sense the good in people. If you haven’t seen the video, watch it now. I seriously want a lion best friend because of this clip. If you don’t get shivers from this, you clearly have no soul and you’re not allowed to read my blog anymore.

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Animals, Surroundings

Merfolk

I don’t know about you guys, but I like to think that mythical creatures used to and still do exist. My grandma passed down a book to me (or my mom…I don’t really remember. My mom and I are pretty interchangeable anyway) simply titled Faeries. It has every folkloric creature that you could find in nature. Some of the best creatures, in my opinion, are Mermaids.

Every child’s first introduction to mermaids should be through the movie, The Little Mermaid. I’ll be the first to admit that Ariel is kind of retarded. First of all she’s a ginger. And I mean that in the worst possible way. She’s a flaming, fire engine red, ginger. She likes adventure, but she gives her voice away in return for legs. Umm that’s a really bad trade. Although, Ursula’s song is very convincing. “And don’t underestimate the importance of BODY LANGUAGE.” Wtf is Ursula anyway? She’s like half octopus half lesbian? I also love Ariel’s thought process: “If I become human, I’ll never be with my father or sisters again…” cut to her signing the scroll. Wow, you must have really loved your family.

A ginger wearing pink. Really, Disney?

Onto more realistic mermaids. The movie Splash really opened my eyes to what mermaids are really like–They save people from drowning, they can teach themselves English incredibly quickly, and they have the power to give themselves legs whenever they want. Did you know all it takes is a little iodized salt to change them back, too?! The things you learn. Basically everything in The Little Mermaid is a lie.  One of Ariel’s best friends is Sebastian the crab, yet Madison plows into a lobster like it’s her favorite meal. Hmmm. It seems like being naked on the beach is the only consistency between these two gals.

Is there any way you can avoid rolling in all that seaweed?

It wasn’t until later in life that I realized that mermaids aren’t at all like how they’ve been portrayed on the big screen. Some mermaids are indeed helpful and kind to sailors, but many had tempers and would specifically target men traveling across the sea. People often confuse mermaids with Sirens who were also women that would lure sailors from their ships hoping to kill them. Mermaids have been around forever–since 1000 B.C. Some were even recorded to be 2,000 feet long. I feel like ancient record keepers over exaggerated a lot.

At least she’s not using a fork to comb her hair. Or is she?

OMG wait. This just in: “Claimed sightings of dead or living mermaids have come from places as diverse as Java and British Columbia. There are two Canadian reports from the area of Vancouver and Victoria, one from sometime between 1870 and 1890, the other from 1967.” AHHHHH. BRB going mermaid spotting.

Other mermaids have been portrayed in movies like Pirates of the Caribbean 10 (there’s been 10 of those movies, right?). Mermaid tears are needed to open a secret door. Apparently mermaid tears are rare because they’re such biatches.

Skanks and hos.

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Animals, canada, Driving

Canadian News

I’ve come across some updates having to do with my new homeland. Can you have a “new homeland”? It’s getting to the point where I’m used to all of the weirdness around me. The same thing happened to me in England. After a while I was saying things like “might do” instead of “maybe”. It’s all down hill from there. I’ve even been tempted to throw in an “eh” every now and then. I need an electric collar to shock me any time I get too Canadian.

Canada’s population has recently grown quite a bit since the last census in 2006 (31.6 mill). Now the nation has reached 33.5 million. That’s pretty exciting. I mean, I don’t like to bring up the fact that Canada is the 2nd largest country in the world and has a population slightly lower than the state of California. But hey, who’s counting?! Good for you, Canada!

In other news, Canada’s prime minister, Stephen Harper, went to China. He’s decided to get two giant pandas on loan from China for five years. These pandas will be places in the Calgary zoo and the Toronto zoo. Stephen Harper is now my biggest enemy. I can relate to these gentle giants. Pandas want to be in China. They don’t want to come over to Canada. They just wanna chill and eat bamboo. The kicker is, borrowing these pandas for five years costs 10 million dollars. I feel like there are better ways to spend that money. Like on me, for example.

I saw a license plate that changed my life the other day. In Canada, there are about 14 license plates. I personally think all of the United State’s license plates are cool, but I had never seen one like this:

The Northwest Territories plate is shaped like a polar bear! I think Nunavut’s is as well. I mean, it would suck to live up there, so they probably had to do something cool to ease everyone’s pain. I think “spectacular” might be slightly misleading, but whatever. I think you can see the Northern Lights in the NW Territories. That’s the only reason I would venture up there.

And lastly, people are still into curling here.

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Animals

The Bug Zoo

Why did the people at Disney make their ants blue? So unrealistic.

I took the kids I babysit to the Bug Zoo yesterday. I figured we needed an adventure, and since it was rainy outside there wasn’t much else to do. I was debating between the Bug Zoo and the Butterfly Gardens. Why does Victoria have so many insect related habitats? (2 = so many) I chose the Bug Zoo because I didn’t know how to get to the Butterfly Gardens even though I like butterflies more than bugs.

When we got there, the cashier was uber weird. He kept calling the kids “hatchlings” which made me want to throw up in my mouth. And then he asked me if I had ever been to the Bug Zoo before. Does it look like I’ve ever been to the Bug Zoo?

So we went into the “zoo” and it was basically one big room with bugs in glass cases. We followed a tour guide around the room while she opened each case and let us hold the bugs. The kids I babysat didn’t touch anything. Smart move. I touched/held everything. Weird stick bugs, a tarantula, a millipede, etc. When would I ever get the chance to do this again? Never. Because I’m never going back to the Bug Zoo. So I had to make this trip worth while.

In any other circumstance I hate bugs. They creep me out. Mainly because I think of them crawling in my ears, nose or mouth when I’m sleeping. It makes me so uneasy. But for some reason, the big bugs I was fine with. I mean, don’t get me wrong, if I saw a tarantula in my house, I would burst into tears.

There were these two boys there that were like Napoleon Dynamite–moon boots and all. Every time the tour guide said anything, they were always like “Oh we found one of those in our basement” and then their mom would go on and back them up on everything they said. It was so annoying. The tour guide tried to act interested in their stories. So professional. Their voices were like a voice I would use to mimic someone. They were so odd. My favorite part was when one of them pointed to a glass case and said, “Oh I see you have some salamanders” and the tour guide replied, “Umm those are millipedes.” It brought me so much joy.

The Bug Zoo was actually pretty cool. For some reason I was mesmerized by this ant farm that wrapped around the entire room. The tour guide was explaining each of the ant’s jobs and how they just know what to do. They’re so organized! I was impressed. They just do their thing. I don’t appreciate little ants as much as I should.

Weird guy greeted us again in the gift shop. He asked how we liked it and what our favorite part was. I wanted to tell him that my favorite part was when that kid thought the Bug Zoo had salamanders but I didn’t. The kids I babysit paid him no attention. Seriously smart kids. I kind of felt bad for the guy because he was so awkward. So I got into a bug convo with him. I know I say this all the time, but seriously, what is my life?

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Animals

My Furry Friends

If you haven’t noticed, I’ve been slightly branching off of Canadian topics. I will always be Lily In Canada, but I feel like I’m struggling to think of Canadianisms to write about daily. If something particular to Canada begs to be written about, I’ll write about it. But for now, I’m going to focus on whatever I like.

Our apartment in Victoria doesn’t allow pets (or real christmas trees!). They basically don’t allow happiness. Although the woman who lives down the hall from us breaks this rule since she’s half-woman half-beast. I’m almost certain that she’s Sasquatch. I would love to have a companion, but I don’t want to be kicked out of our apartment and living on the street. I always hate when I see homeless people with animals. What makes them think, “Hey, I’m responsible, I should be a pet owner!” ?

I have been wanting a pet for a while now. Someone told me that I was “nesting”. Apparently, wanting to own an animal means that I want to have children. Let me just say, that when you get to the point in your life when people immediately guess that your sickness is pregnancy, it’s depressing. I am never speaking of nausea ever again.

My family’s cat, Cozy, is about 16 years old. She’s gettin’ up there! She used to be so spry and energetic. Now she’s just sleepy and, well, cozy. We got her and another cat, Bopo, on the same day. One for me, and one for my brother. And two for my mom to take care of! We rescued them from a trailer park. They were literally trailer trash. Cozy is going to give me glares for writing this about her. In her youth, she was one of the best hunters around. We had so many rodents as presents from her–birds, squirrels, FLYING squirrels, rabbits, chipmunks, mice–you name it, Cozy got it. Bopo, pronounced bop-o, was the sweetest animal to ever live. We reside on a busy road, and one day Bopo chased an animal into the road. He lived a short life, but a good one. Bopo will be forever missed.

I told Cozy to look cute. She went for the kill-me-now look.

We had another cat, Kendall, who was old and crabby all the time. We had him since I was 2. He died about 2 years ago. Whadda trooper.

The member of our family that has been the most missed is definitely our dog, Truman. He was one of the finest dogs around. I mean, he humped people a lot. He woke the neighbors up with his barking all the time. He ran away once or twice. He growled at me at night. But he was so smart. He knew so many words and all of our names. When we were gone, he would miss us. If I said, “Hey, where’s mom?” he would look for her. Even though he was a silly old dog, he was a great friend.

In his favorite spot.

He also liked to eat. A lot.

Slightly chunky.

 

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Animals

Kitty Catz

"I've been waiting for you, Lily"--scary cat

Sometimes I like to go for walks to the beach. It’s nice because the ocean is only about 10 blocks from my place. The thing is, between me and the ocean are about a hundred cats.

You’ve probably figured out from previous posts that I am an animal lover, but its getting to the point where I am trying to avoid these beasts. One time when I was on my way home, a huge orange cat trotted out into the middle of the sidewalk and stopped me in my path. I went to pet him and he instantly melted to the ground. I pet him for a good 3 minutes before I decided that people were starring so I started walking away. He followed. “Ugh okay one last pet. BYE.” He kept following. I decided to just look straight forward and pretend he wasn’t there. He followed me for 3 blocks and then got bored. I felt like the pied piper of cats. Except that I only had one cat following me and it was scary.

Another time I saw a cat walking around in a fenced in yard. I smiled at him. And then, he sat down and started pooping. HE STARTED POOPING. I had never seen a cat poop before. Most people haven’t. They’re usually such private creatures. In fact, if someone told me, “Oh, cats don’t poop” I would have believed them. Who knew they sit down to poop? I mean, it makes sense, but it was just so weird. I felt like crying. Such a rare occurrence and no one to share it with. I looked around with a is-anyone-else-seeing-this? look. As per usual no one cared.

Lastly I saw a cat sitting at the top of a porch. It kind of looked like he was on a throne. I looked and him and walked away. When I came back, he was on the sidewalk waiting for me. I gave him a nice rub, and right as I was pulling my hand away he reached up, batted my hand, and scratched it. He was basically was a spoiled royal cat who commanded attention and told you when it was okay to stop rubbing (never). I probably have rabies now.

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Animals

Possible Best Headline Ever?

When life was good.

A couple of weeks ago I was skimming through Victoria’s main news source, The Times Colonist. I always want to call it the Times Columnist, which makes a lot more sense to me. Like, why are they putting so much focus on being colonized? It’s kind of embarrassing. And I’m pretty sure a colonial man or woman would not be up to date on all of the latest, breaking news.  BUT OKAY.

I came across an article that was called “Victoria deer debate: ‘No one wants to kill Bambi’s mom’. Apparently the deer population here is around 50,000 and people are getting angry because the deer are doing deer-like things. Nothing gets people more mad than when a deer eats the tops of their flowers. Maybe the deer are trying to be artsy. It looks kind of cool with only the stems poking up from the soil.

Also, there are a lot of complaints of people hitting deer on “roads and highways”. Compared to hitting them on sidewalks? Or in the sky? It’s nice that people are able to complain after hitting a deer. The deer should be the one complaining, after all, he’s the one that’s dead. Does the person that accidentally hits a biker with his car complain, or does he say “ohmigosh what can I do to help?!?!” Why don’t we ever take the deer’s feelings into consideration?

I think the Times Colonist was smart to compare this troublesome issue to a deer that we all know and love. Bambi had a pretty good life, a loving mother, and a harsh father–they had to make it realistic. And we all know that the mean hunter shoots Bambi’s mom. Who would want to be that hunter?! Disney basically conditioned us as kids to never kill deer. So if you end up hitting one with your car, you will automatically be the opposite of all things magical–Satan’s accomplice.

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Animals, living in canada, Stores, victoria b.c.

Fisherman’s Wharf

Part of the 99% I'm assuming.

When my mom visited me a couple months ago I tried to compile a list of cool activities to do with her. The list was slim. One of the places I decided to take her was Fisherman’s Wharf.  It’s a cute dock/harbor with little stores, a fish and chips shop, and an ice cream stand. I remember first visiting this location with Paul and his parents and wondering “Why the hell hasn’t anyone taken me here before?” It’s definitely one of my favorite spots to go. And it makes me wonder how many other cool spots I’m missing out on.

When I took my mom, we were fascinated by the harbor because not only were there shops, there were probably 20 floating houses. What a weird life style. Could you get sea sick in your own home? Where does everything go when you flush the toilet? Do you eat fish every night? What would happen if you sprung a leak?

I remember that there was a family out on their “patio” and they had a bulldog. I wonder if he ever pictured living in a house on the water in his little doggy head. He probs regrets being born. I want a bulldog.

The coolest part about Fisherman’s Wharf though, is that on the corner of the dock, a little speckled seal pokes his head out of the water every day. He’s so cute. My mom and I named him Marble. So creative. There’s a little shop that gives the kids fish to feed Marble. So far, its been the most entertaining part about living here.

Marble's body looks like mine.

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Animals, School

Native Art

Seriously though. SERIOUSLY THOUGH.

I feel like I am one of those people who can really appreciate art. I love museums and galleries and I thoroughly enjoyed my modernism and postmodernism classes in college. I had trouble accepting modern art because really, I COULD DO ANY OF THAT. But its all about coming up with the idea. And some of it doesn’t have to mean anything. Sometimes art just is. What I am really having trouble accepting nowadays is Native American Art.

In the states, everyone refers to them as either Native Americans or Indians (because we’re lazy and don’t care about being politically correct). In Canada, people are overly PC and refer to them as First Nations or First Peoples. Okay, we get it, they were here first. But just because they call them by a better name, doesn’t necessarily mean that they treat them better than we do.

Canadians do, however, celebrate Native American art work to a creepy extent. At first glance, it looks like some kind of children’s drawing. Then, after you stare at it for a minute, it looks kind of okay. But if you stare at it for any longer, it starts to look slightly demonic. But that’s just my opinion. And my opinion happens to be right.

This art is everywhere. On buildings and schools, for sale in shops solely dedicated to native art. Its also on the Vancouver Canuck’s jersey. Shame on them. And don’t even get me started on the totem poles. Too many to count.

They really backed themselves into a corner–all of their art is the same style (it greatly resembles Mayan, Inca, and Aztec art). And while this is a different style, it gets so boring. Mostly because there are a limited amount of objects that are portrayed. Its always masks, orca whales, some sort of bird, bears, fish, or flying fish. Seriously, google native art and you will see tons of examples. It just gets to be the same old thing over and over again. Oh look, there’s that whale that seems to be growling at me…again.

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Animals, Food

Shark fin ban in Toronto

Shark fin soup: making soup 10 times scarier.

Guess what? If you guessed that Toronto is banning the use of shark fin, you’re pretty clever. To me, and people who like sharks, this is great news. Poor little sharks being killed for just their fin? Wrong. I like to use an American Indian method to validate any animal slaughters: If the killer uses the ENTIRE animal, I think that’s more appeasing than taking only what you want. But don’t get me wrong, there is no excuse for animal cruelty and none for hunting or excessive slaughter.

I think its great that Canada wants to have healthy oceans and a strong shark population. It’s also for their benefit–I assume not too many people are ordering the very expensive shark fin soup every night. 1 pound of shark fins costs about $600. So unless you have tons of money at your disposal and have expensive taste buds, I doubt shark fin is in your order.

Apparently Claudia Li, founder of the Shark Truth Campaign is trying to push Vancouver into following Toronto’s lead. I guess Mayor Gregor Robinson is being super annoying about it. He said:

When there was a ban for other types of animal products like [insert: gross parts of animals] what we did see in Vancouver was growth in the black market. We don’t want to see that happen with shark fin.

Okay, first of all Mr. McGregor (can I call you that?), don’t pretend that Vancouver is cool and has a black market. Secondly, more than 300 people attended a meeting in the Chinese community to think of alternative to shark fin soup. So I guess it’s safe to assume that you don’t know what you’re talking aboot.

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