i heart learning

i heart learning

Thursday, March 31, 2011

forest people

I am super excited about this blog entry.
I have always been semi-obsessed with the sasquatch.
Okay - super obsessed. Even my blog profile says I love to learn about Bigfoot.

When I was young I embroidered a sasquatch and hung it on my bulletin board. I also would cut out and laminate newspaper clippings whenever there were sightings. I still have one. I also watched 'Harry and the Hendersons' on a loop.

I used to want to be a bigfoot hunter. I still want to be a bigfoot hunter. I heard you can join in on expeditions in BC. It is on my bucket list.
Nowadays my obsession reveals itself with youtube-ing every sasquatch clip and PVR-ing any sasquatch shows. (I also do this with anything UFO or alien). I love stuff like this:

Monday I was lucky enough to catch a show called 'Beast Legends' and PVR it. I watched it today.
And I learned something new. And very exciting.
Sasquatches are supposed to only be in North America.
But Vietnam has sasquatches too - only they are called 'Nguoi Rung' or 'forest people.' Americans call this vietnamese sasquatch the 'wild man' and apparently tons of American soldiers had encountered them in the jungle during the war. How come I have never heard of these forest people? Don't you think this could mean further evidence that these creatures exist?

Instead of being the missing link like our NA sasquatch, vietnamese researchers believe forest people are ancient humans - like a homo erectus. It is smaller than a sasquatch, more like an average man's height.
Like our bigfoot, no one has caught any forest people, but footprints and hair have be found.

I have my own theories about sasquatches. I will share only one with you - or else this entry will turn into the length of 20 entries.
Maybe they are just regular humans, with hairy faces. Like all those people that have the condition in Mexico. It seems very likely to me.

Like maybe in times of old, these people were ostricized and forced to move into the forest and band together to make a pact never to be seen. It was never recorded because Mexicans were so ashamed of them.
has anyone considered this? I may have just solved the forest people mystery all by myself.
Dad please comment.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


So we have here two frenchies entries in a row.

If I was playing 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire,' and the question for $1,000,000 was 'What kind of province is Quebec?'

A. Unilingual
B. Bilingual
C. Trilingual
D. Non-lingual

I wouldn't have needed to even phone a friend before choosing B and screaming 'final answer, Meredith!'

Oh, snap! I'm sorry - that is NOT the correct answer!

And just like that, I would have lost $1,000,000.
It has been almost 16 years since I moved to this province. I think that is enough time to have supposed to have known that Quebec is considered a unilingual province - french only! But embarrassingly enough, I did not know this. And not only did I just not know - but I would have sold my first-born imaginary child in a bet that Q was B.

How could I have only learned this today?

It came about when I was expressing my unimpressedness in the AQTIS website at work today, because AQTIS does not have an english page.  Most Quebec websites give you an option,  AQTIS does not.  Jen said ever so non-chalently:

"It's a french province! What do you expect?" 

Of course I argued with her. Because I know everything, even though I just lost $1,000,000.

"uhm helllo! It's bilingual, Jen!"
"Nope. The only real bilingual province in Canada is New Brunswick"

Yes it's true. Becca Arsenault is not worthy of her last name. Or a million big ones.
Time for my New Years Resolution of taking french courses to take effect...I will begin immediately by watching Disney's 'Beauty and the Beast' 'La Belle et la Bete' en francais. Looking forward to Mrs. Potts  as a madame.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

supprimer my shift

Well it has happened.
Tonight I have broken my usual midnight blog curfew and turned into a pumpkin. For the remainder of my editing contract I am afraid it will have to be this way.
As of today (well technically yesterday, but I have not yet slept so it is still today) I have started editing during the night shift. The night shift. night. like 6pm-ish-2am-ish. My biorhythms are conspiring to kill me within the next three weeks.

This is me at 2.34am.
Notice anything special? Besides my hair and fancy neon yellow top?
This is me at 2.34am on a new MACBOOK PRO!
Yes, I bit the bullet and bought one today - with the moral support of Lyndsay - and I learned something new at the cash register!
When I was coughing up the dough for the mac (my coughing up I mean totally charging 100% of it), I had to sign on one of those little digital pads that make your signature look nothing like your signature.

In Quebec we get two choices at this signature point. And they are not bilingual.
Of course I chose ENTRER because i had no idea what SUPPRIMER meant. Then, I realized the golden opportunity of learning something new lay before me.
I asked Lyndsay the meaning- she didn't know. Why she didn't know I don't know. Usually when I have a franco question and I can't find a franco I ask her. But she was answerless.
Usually I don't ask strangers french vocab. Strangers don't like it. Strangers look at me funny and make me sad I am not perfectly biligual. But my stranger seemed nice and english enough, so I asked Yashim my mac service guy stranger and he said 'SUPPRIMER' meant 'DELETE'

It was a great moment - it was the first time I got to respond 'well then, you learn something new every day' to someone since I started the blog.

Then something kind of wonderful happened like 8 hours after the purchase was made. At work some computer programs are only in french. I wrote a bad file in a french program and had to delete it. And guess what? I looked for SUPPRIMER in the menu! Sure enough there it was, begging to be pushed to erase the past.
Maybe I will start seeing and hearing 'supprimer' everywhere now. Like the time I learned the word cacophony from a tv show and then suddenly it started stalking me in my books, magazines and conversations.  My recent Doric column learn has kind of been like this too.

The the challenge is to learn a way to supprimer my biorhythms memory.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

over the shoulder boulder holder

This is an entry for the boys.
In fact, if you have a Y chromosome, you can skip this entry altogether.

***note. Should the Y chromosome decide to continue reading he may experience total bewilderment, puzzlement and utter confusion.

Today I learned how to shop for bras! And it is kind of an art. Sure I have been many times before, but never like this. I was properly measured and given tips on what to look for when choosing the perfect over-the-should-boulder-holder. I have discovered up until now I have been living in total bra darkness.Usually I go for pretty colors and shape. but there is sooo much more to it than bright green and polka dots.

I learned it has to be tightly fitted around your ribs, so I have actually gone done a size to what I typically wear.
I learned as well you are supposed to start wearing it on the loosest clasp on the back, and gradually tighten up as your bra gets stretched and worn out in the wash.
And don't forget to adjust your straps so the back of the bra is at the same height on your ribs as the front! Don't let it ride high on your back.
So much to think about.
Discovering about bras today was just as exciting as the time I discovered I was getting boobs in the first place!

Now if you'll excuse me, I have a date with a my green bra, a match and some gasoline. This is going to be one bra-blaze that is NOT just in the name of feminism.

ps - LADIES! check out this bra! Have you seen this?

Are there even 100 ways to wear a bra? Please don't tell me Victoria's Secret is doing for bras what Borat has done for the mankini....

but alas...it appears VS has truly outdone themselves!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

not sure yet

8.11 pm - no clue what i learned today - lemme go to a party, figure it out and get back to you.....

2.39 am - back from the get together. Would you believe that Linday Lu had a 'facts you don't know' newspaper article cut out on the fridge? It was fate. Me needing to learn something - and that newspaper needing to teach someone. When I asked Lindsay Lu about what sort of facts were on it, she said 'oh yeah haven't read them yet...cut it out a while back and was hoping I'd get to it sometime.'

So Dale did the honors of reading me some new random facts.

1.No word in the english language rhymes with 'month'
Interesting. I like English rhyming. Simple, obvious. Stella rhymes with nutella rhymes with fella. But in Frenchland - 'month' has several rhymes, like ninth, absinth, labyrinth and billionth. Basically anything that has a 'nth' would count as a rhyme. Rhyming has been a source of petty arguments for my man and I going back quite some time. Dumbest everest.

2. Pinocchio means 'pine head' in Italian
So I am surprised I did not know this - even though Gepetto in Disney's version does sing 'My little wooden head...' as he is creating the long nose liar boy. I somehow doubt the film would have been as successful to this day had they called it 'pine head,' then of course pine head 3000. And don't forget Monteal's bar on crescent - Pine head.

Why does everything sound so good in italian?
Here are some true pine heads:

 3. An emu can't walk backwards
Really who cares? But it is fun to know.

 4. Spencer Elden is the name of the naked baby on Nirvana's album. He is now 20.
again - who cares? But it is kind of cool - he was such a grungy icon from days long past. But I do need to point out that his parents were willing to potentially drown their little bundle of joy for 200$ flat fee for the photo. It's fun to get older and then re-examine things with a moral perspective.

There were many other facts, but Dale claimed them to be too boring to read. To read out loud anyway.

Friday, March 25, 2011

nuns, insulin rush and facebook

today I learned that insulin is a new street drug.
today I learned that nuns don't talk when they eat.
today I learned about a facebook page called 'overheard in the edit room'

no time to explain

Thursday, March 24, 2011

all dressed wiithout a top

Nelson and I lived it up Quebec-style tonight. And there is nothing more Quebec than paying a visit to a casse-croute, sitting at the bar and enjoying a great poutine - while glancing behind you at a small tv to watch the hockey game. Ca, c'est la vie!
St. Henri has like 10 casse-croutes. I've been hitting them one by one searching fot the best poutine ever since moving to this village 8 months ago. Tonight we went to a new one (by new I mean new to us) called 'Le Miracle.' I was hopeful the name came from its scrumptious poutine rather than shock that people ate it.
Nelson ordered hamburger steak - and was disappointed when I ordered mine in english:

me: I'll have the cheeseburger trio - all dressed, but no ketchup or mayo, poutine instead of fries and a sprite.

Nelson: I am very very disappointed in you. You didn't practice your french! you always practice french! By the way, all dressed means already no ketchup and no mayo...you don't need to ask them not to put it.

me: are you kidding? So what's all dressed?

Nelson: Like everything but ketchup and mayo - tomatoes, relish, mustard, onions, lettuce, cabbage....

me right now: are they kidding? All dressed doesn't actually mean all dressed? I'm very puzzled. I wouldn't say 'okay, I'm all dressed!' then go outside without a top on. Ketchup is like that top, don't ya see? I'm not complaining, it does feel like they've made this concoction personally for me - but I had no clue that these condiments wasn't part of the all dressed family. I'm especially shocked about ketchup, it's a basic, n'est-ce pas?. Go look in your fridge - I guarantee plastic bottle to be on your door. I, a strong ketchup disliker, even do.

And to think I have been requesting 'tout garni' hot dogs and burgers without ketchup or mayonnasie my entire downtown Montreal life! That's like asking a restaurant for a meatless vegetarian meal! Or for pack of smarties without m&m's inside!

Apparently this version of all dressed is very Quebec - and other non-quebeccors have taken issue with it. Nelson just laughed and said 'Quebec likes to be different - I think it's because ketchup is meant for fries.'

The poutine was great. Grated cheese instead of curds - not for everyone.
'Le Miracle' is now on my list of St. H favs.

SIDENOTE: I held a newborn baby today.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

shedding isn't just for pets

I know zilch about human babies.
I have never held a newborn, they are way too breakable. I have never changed a diaper, they are way too stinky. I have never had a friend wth a baby, my friends are way too into birth control.
MTV's show Teen Mom is about as far as my baby knowledge goes. That, and my cousin Stephanie telling me that her two kids were like pets.

But that is about to change!

I myself have not caught the baby-fever - but a brand new baby has entered my social circle. Congrats and welcome to the world baby Lara! She was born yesterday, the first to my close friends George and Gen. And she is beautiful - I haven't met her yet, but George texted Nelson a photo, and Nelson forwarded it to me. And I gasped out loud when I saw it. She has quite the gorgeous head of hair! She's not even 48 hours old and already has more hair than a Kardashian sister. I on the other hand was born and stayed hairless until I was two years old.

So onto what I learned today:
This doesn't happen to all babies, but many lose the hair they are born with within a couple of months!
Amelia told me this. She knows much about much - and is an auntie two times already. Babies shed because of the hormone changes after birth.
Babies shed...
Pets shed...(why just today Stella gave me a nice fur patch on my black couch)
Me thinks that maybe my cousin's children-as-pets theory isn't so farfetched.
Its seems a sin to compare sweet little newborn babies to animals, but some people make a good living that way: 

And I feel even less guilty when Anne Geddes has babies posing as rats and insects.

I look forward to mothering vicariously through Gen! I'm sure she has much to teach me - and you know I love to learn!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

too sense vrs two cents

English expressions are crazy and non-sensical. Sometimes I must explain them to poor Nelson the francophone with the english name:

Or Lyndsey, the both-o-phones:

And sometimes they must be explained to me - the anglophone with the francophone name.
Today was once such day - and here is the expression in question:

If someone would like to add their opinion, is it two cents? Or too sense? Two sense? They sound the same - so I have always said it properly without odd stares or giggles (like how you can say their, there, or they're and not be wrong until you have to write it in a sentence). And today I needed to write too sense/two cents down when logging the show I am working on.
So which is it? 'Too sense' seems to make more sense because someone may be adding sense to a conversation. Maybe even 'two sense' then! Two people trying to make sense! 'Two cents' makes no sense. Why would someone pay to interject? My bets were on the 'two sense.'

At the risk of humiliating myself, I decided to ask an open room of peeps - and got the answer from someone I don't know very well.

'It's two cents, I'm sure' Kelly said.
Then she googled it to confirm. (ahhh google. This blog would be about questions every day if google did not exist to answer them).
'Yes, two cents. Says here that it comes from betting in poker in the old days - it cost two cents in the ante to join in the game.'
So there I have it. Kelly didn't give me the 'You're a dumbass' look, but maybe she was feeling it inside.

Online it also offers 'penny for your thoughts' as another explanation....like you ask someone for their opinion and you get more than you asked for. Two pennies for their thoughts. Two cents!
Logic is fun.

I also learned online that these expressions that don't make any literal sense are called 'idioms.' And there are tons I have never heard of but exist:
  • A lick and a promise.
  • All cats are grey in the dark
  • Tall enough to hunt geese with a rake
  • flat out like a lizzard drinking
  • salad days
  • jam on your face
  • jam tomorrow (i remember carol channing singing this! It means better things will come tomorrow!)
Some I use frquently but never think about are:

  • happy-go-lucky
  • jump the shark
  • wake up and smell the coffee
  • join the club
  • dumb as a doorknob
  • rolling over in their grave
  • teach an old dog new tricks
How fun to picture them as literal visuals!

Monday, March 21, 2011

License to know-it-all

The days of lounging around the house and waking up at 11 are definitely OVER. Today was day 1 on my new editing contract. And it required that my tired bones exit from a cocoon of warm flannel sheets at 7 am. Life is hard.

Have you ever learned tons of information about a subject you wouldn't normally care to learn about? I have. I learned a lot about drilling on the oil and natural gas rigs in Alberta for the show I started working on today.

I'm not yet an expert, but I already know more than I'd like to. I have no doubt by the time my contract is over I will know everything there is to know about drillin'- except of course the first hand experience of the physical pain these men (and some women!) endure.

This is what happens as an editor, it's a license to know-it-all.. We become experts in whatever we edit.

By the time I finished my pickpocket contract for National Geographic I was certain I could pickpocket with the best of them. Even yesterday at the St. Patty's parade (day 3 of celebration for the non-holiday holiday for me) I actually said it outloud - 'if I were a pp - today would be the day would pick pockets!' I would have made a fortune.

Also - I could have sworn I was a real estate agent during all the seasons of Property Shop - and I still jump in on RE talk when Amelia and Dale discuss it. And like a true know-it-all, I even offer negotiating advice. Thank you for enduring how annoying I can be, you two!

Of course, us editors cannot become experts at everything we edit. After all, I did work on the show BUY ME when I made the worst mistake of my life - BUYing a property. That's embarssing.

I would love to see the big burly men of rigs on License to Drill try to master the craft of editing and cartooning. That's a great show idea - we can study each other's crafts and then compete to see who knows more.

FUN FACT. Everyone on the rigs talks in that funny stereotypical 'Canadian' way, that not many Canadian's actually get to hear. 'Oh boy, gotta get where yur to, eh? Bob's yur uncle, eh? All this time I thought Strange Brew was an exaggeration. Let me tell you, there is some strange brew going on in Alberta.

NEW RULE - ***this learning blog must contain learnings that commit to my long term memory. After License to Drill, the information will be drilled into my brain, never to be forgotten.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Dali meat

America fell in love with Dali in the late 20s.
I fell in love with Dali tonight.
I have always thought he was a beautiful artist. I am especially inspired by his lighting techniques.

But tonight I saw and learned about one of his favorite paintings for the first time.

Dali Meat (not to be confused with deli meat)

This is a portrait of his 2 favorite things - lambchops and his wife. His inspiration was as simple as that - he loved meat. He loved his wife. He loved to have them in the same space.
I would love to explore this further.
At this exact moment in time, these are my favorite things.

If you would like to buy this gorgeous one-of-a-kind artpiece, please contact me and let me know you are interested in 'i love nelson wearing a dali moustache while holding popeyes.' Watch out for my other pieces, 'My PVR taping CASH MAN commercials' or 'Stella wearing yellow diamonds and dancing to Rihanna.'
I also take requests if you must have your favorites all in one place.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

mamun knows his fruit

Less than 5 hours ago I was blogging about my bushy brows. They still look fantastic by the way.
But it is a brand new day, as the clock has struck past midnight, even though I have not yet gone to sleep. This is the first time have learned something so fresh into the day.
You can never celebrate St. Patrick's day too much. So today I wore the same hat I wore last night (technically 2 days ago because it is now the 19th) to Katie's party.
At the party, we got to talking about how tomatoes are a fruit, which everyone knows. BUT what I did not know is that anything that produces a seed is considered a fruit.
This was a very hot debate between Katie's boyfriend Mamun and myself. Surely a green pepper is not a fruit!

 But it is. Only google could convince me of this as truth. So Mamun, I apologize. You win the fruit war. And I have learned my fact for the day.
Other fruits masquerading as vegetables include:

 Don't worry - I am just as shocked as you are.
 Basically the only real vegetables are roots (e.g., carrots), stems (e.g., celery), or leaves (like spinach). I'm freaked out - I feel like my whole life has been a lie.
I will attempt to serve a 'fruit' salad at my next gathering and let you know how it goes over.

Friday, March 18, 2011

bushy brows

This man is gorgeous.

check out how hot my mother was is!
These are my parents.
And my father's moustache is something to talk about.
If you look for it now in 2011 - it no longer resides on his face.
It has reincarnated and placed itself on my upper face.

My eyebrows are bushy, shapeless and uncontrollable. I have never liked them.

 BUT last week at the FAB FEMMES fashion show, a makeup artist showed me how to make my eyebrows beautiful using an eyebrow pencil.
My shade is granite.
Today pencilled my brows and  it s harder than it looks. Don't put the pencil on too thick or you will end up looking like Oscar the Grouch. After some experimentation and Amelia and Jen laughing - I have mastered the art. Now my brows look gorgeous. I have learned the importance of taming those brows with a brush. I recommend it to everyone.

I sure as hec hope I don't have this to look forward to once I'm 60.