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The Ubyssey Feb 27, 2009

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Array Celebrating 90 years! •
The Ubyssey
February 27,2009 \ www.ubyssey.ca
outside there's hectic action since 1918 | volume xc, number 40
UBC's official student newspaper is published Tuesdays and Fridays
Frederick president, for real this time
Appeals committee overturns original disqualification
"I know that I was disqualified, but
through the process, I still considered myself, and I know the people
who voted for me, still considered
me to be the AMS president."
—Blake Frederick, AMS President
by Justin McElroy
News Editor
For the second time in three weeks,
Blake Frederick has become the
next AMS president—this time, it
looks to be permanent.
In a six-page decision, AMS
supreme court justice Don Mclntyre, one of three members of
the election appeals committee
(EAC), ruled that the elections
committee acted in an unfair
manner—though without "malice, malfeasance or ill intent"—in
disqualifying Frederick. The elections committee quickly agreed
with the decision. Combined with
runner-up presidential candidate
Alex Monegro's decision not to appeal, the presidency was handed
back to Frederick.
"I was relieved and overjoyed,"
he said, upon hearing of the decision. "I was really confident all
throughout the process that if
my appeal was heard properly,
I would be successful in it, and I
was," he said.
Mclntrye's ruling hinged on the
fact that though Frederick was disqualified for engaging in slate-like
behaviour with other candidates,
the committee was unable to adequately define what constituted
appearing to be in a slate with
other candidates throughout the
"The decision of the EAC is
based on the fact that no member of the EAC could determine
what was slating and given the
severity of the punishment, the
candidates should have been notified and been given warnings
as they were stepping within
the grey area of slating," wrote
Mclntyre. In addition, Mclntyre
concluded that the video of Frederick in Totem cafeteria with
losing candidates Tristan Markle
and Ale Coates did not show
them campaigning together.
Rehal also allowed candidates
to make announcements in the
same classes—as Frederick did
with Markle and Coates several
times—two key reasons for Frederick's original disqualification.
Elections administrator Sarina
Rehal, who also sat on the EAC,
said that the elections committee
agreed that their disqualification
of Frederick was based on evidence and rules regarding slates
that weren't clear.
"It was the combination of the
ambiguity of the evidence, which
didn't explicitly show [slate] behaviour, and the ambiguity of the
code [regarding slates], which
made it too difficult for us to make
the ruling we originally made,"
she said, adding, "We chose to respect the Chief Justice's decision
based on his feelings."
While Monegro has the option
to appeal the EAC's decision to
student court, he has said he will
not pursue an appeal to what he
called an "inefficient" student
court, despite his disagreement
with the ruling.
"I would not like to have Blake
to be disqualified two months into
the term and then have to take
over once the executive team has
their goals set for their year....
It would put myself in a position
of failure because I would have
so much catching up to do," he
At the same time, Monegro,
who would have become AMS
Blake Frederick, you're the 100th AMS President.GOH iromoto photo/the ubyssey
president had Frederick remained
disqualified, made clear that he
was not happy with the decision.
"A lot was centred around [over
whether] what Sarina said was allowed was somehow ambiguous,
but I guess it went over their head
that the only candidates to bend
the rules a little bit were [Frederick, Markle, and Coates], and everyone else understood what the
rules were," he said.
In addition, Mclntyre also wrote
that "The EAC recommends that
improved definitions be provided
regarding slating so that similar
events do not occur," a recommendation that Rehal, Monegro, and
Frederick all believed should be
taken up by the incoming council.
"The AMS needs to do something about this, and it's going
to continue to be a problem and
being an area of controversy until
it is clear enough for someone
to make a ruling on that piece of
code," said Rehal.
In addition, the EAC also overturned the $200 fines given to
Markle and Coates, who were also
originally also found guilty by the
elections committee of engaging
in slate-like behaviour.
The decisions of Mclntyre, Monegro, and the elections committee
appear to have turned the page
on this year's elections. Frederick
and the rest of the incoming executive officially took power at the
annual general meeting yesterday
in the Norm Theatre, and while he
admits the lack of transition time
is a concern, he is already looking
at the future.
"The focus really needs to be on
building a really strong and united
executive team, so we can accomplish a lot this year," he said. *2I
From the start of
Blake Frederick's
disqualification to
his reinstatement
A complaint is made to the
elections committee that
presidential candidate Blake
Frederick is engaging in slatelike behaviour.
On election night, Frederick
is announced as the unofficial
winner of the presidential race,
having been preferred by 42
more voters than runner-up
candidate Alex Monegro.
The elections committee
rules that Frederick ran his
campaign as part of a slate,
having "campaigned, postered
and participated in classroom
announcements" with losing
candidates Tristan Markle and
Ale Coates. As slates are banned
in AMS elections, Frederick is
Frederick appeals the decision
of the elections committee to
the elections appeals committee
The EAC hears Frederick's
The EAC overturns the election
committee's disqualification
of Frederick, finding his
punishment to be unfair. The
election committee accepts the
decision, and Monegro rules out
an appeal to student court.
Frederick enters position along
with the rest of the incoming
AMS executive. 2    EVENTS
FEBRUARY 27, 2009
If you have an event, e-mail us at events@ubyssey.ca
The Ubyssey
Action—Camera: Beijing Performance Photography • Examines
the trajectory from the discreet
underground performance art
community centered in Beijing's
"East Village" in the early 1990s,
to a current internationally recognized practice. • January 16, 2009
I O.OOam-Monday April20, 2009
11:00am. For further information
please contact Naomi Sawada at
naomi.sawada@ubc.ca, tel: (604)
822-3640, or fax: (604) 822-6689,
or take a look at belkinartgallery.
tion_Camera »
Quantum of Solace • "There's
something horribly efficient about
you." What is a quantum of solace
anyway? Continuing right after
Casino Royale Bond is on his own
now. And he's still all mixed up
about that chick... • Wednesday,
February 25-Sunday March 1,
2009, 7pm, Norm Theatre, cost
$2 membership, $4 non-member
www. ams. ubc. ca •
Valkyrie • "You can serve
Germany, or the Fuhrer. Not
both!" True story: Hitler narrowly
avoided assassination by a few
of his own generals. Tom Cruise
brings the thetans in this historica
re-creation. • Wednesday, February 25-Sunday, March 1, 2009,
9:30pm, Norm Theatre, cost $2
membership, $4 non-member
www. ams. ubc. ca •
February 2/
Iranian Women's Movement for
Equality and Freedom in 1979 • A
presentation by UBC Students for
Equality and Freedom in Middle
East. Includes a 12 minute documentary film of women's protests
for equal rights in March 1979 in
Tehran. • Friday February 27 at
5:30pm Student Union Building
Room 214*
UBC Engineering Open House: Explore Engineering • Head to the
moon and back with Thunderbird
Robotics student team. Meet Rosie
the Robot! Play with silly putty and
other cool materials! Understand
how your drinking water is clean
Hear from Engineers Without
Borders Students, how to become
a global engineer. Shake it up and
learn about earthquakes! Discover
the societal benefits of Formula
One motor racing. Win great
prizes and enjoy free snacks. Learn
from students, faculty and others
how engineers make a world
of difference! • Friday February
27 and Saturday February 28,
9am-3pm, 2332 Main Mall, Kaiser
Building Atrium, For more details,
visit: www.engineering.ubc.ca •
Mahjong Friday Sessions • Just to
let you guys know, the MAHJONG
CLUB is BACK! • February27,
Please respond to ubcmahjong@
gmail.com if you are going to
attend, because if less than 10
people come, we would host it
at our clubroom, downstairs in
the sub, next to sprouts which is
to the extreme left of the haircut
place. If more than 10 people are
attending, the session will then be
held in the Math building behind
Korener library room 204 •
Microfinance: Theory and Practice • Microfinance has recently
gained prominence as an innovative way to bring people in developing countries out of poverty.
This lecture will examine microfinance from both a theoretical and
a practical perspective. • Friday,
February 27, 2009. 3pm-5pm,
Buch A205. Email for more information: econesa&mterchange.
ubc. ca •
Canada West Final Four • The
men's basketball team will host the
Canada West Final Four and wil
play the Brandon Bobcats in the
semifinal. • February 27 at 7pm,
location: War Memorial Gym •
all of life's problems can be solved
while pantless. A UBC-wide pantless party hosted by the infamous,
the one, the only, Radical Beer
Faction • Friday, February 27.
8pm-12am, SUB Ballroom. 19+
event, $8 advance tickets, $10 at
the door. Email: rbf.ubc@gmail.
com •
March 1
Basketry - Adirondack-Style
• This is a classic splint woven
basket associated with the 19th
century northeast woodlands
Today this basket is versatile for
comfortably carrying and storing
all manner of items. You will be
using flat reed splints to weave
the basket, which measures
12" wide by 8" deep and 14"
high. This sturdy basket is sure
to become a favourite for years
to come. • Saturday February
28 and Sunday March 1 (one
class spanning both days) from
9:30am-4:30pm. UBC Botanical
Garden Pavilian - 6804 South
West Marine Drive. Advanced
registration required. To register
for a course please contact Na-
dine Diner at botg@interchange.
ubc.ca OR (604) 822-3928, $170
Garden member and $180 general public •
UBC Greek Week • The Panhellen-
ic Council and the Inter-Fraternity
Council are putting on a week
long event for Greeks and UBC
students alike. Events include, Delta Gamma Anchor Splash, Greek
Letter Check & Guest Speaker,
Staff Appreciation & Greek
Jepoardy, Greek BBQ Fundraiser,
Greek Olympics, Can-Struction
& Greek Olympic Finals, Awards
Presentation Ceremony will take
place at Pride of Order of Omega
If you've ever wondering what
the Greeks are all about come out
and check out this events. • March
1-7, events all over campus. For
more information check out the
"UBC GREEK WEEK 20091" face-
book group •
AnchorSplash presented by Delta
Gamma Sorority • For those
not familiar, AnchorSplash® is
Delta Gamma's yearly fundraiser
for CNIB (The Canadian Nationa
Institute for the Blind). Survivor
themed this year, teams wil
compete in an array of relay
races from a food challenge, all
the way down to the infamous
synchro routine. So for all of you
not participating, rally together to
watch teams vie for immunity, and
in return, and believe me there wil
be yummy snacks, and drinks for
sale. • March 1, 9pm-12am, UBC
Aquatic Center. For more information email emckenzi&mterchange.
ubc. ca •
March 2
Violin Masterclass with Kyoko
Takezawa • Co-presented with
the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra with the support of the Jemin
Foundation (www.music.ubc.ca).
• March 2, 1:30pm-3:30pm, UBC
Recital Hall, 6361 Memorial Road.
Free. For more information please
email concerts@interchange.ubc.
Imagine Your Arts Major Arts
Advising: How to Choose the Major that's Right for YOU • Learn
what to consider when selecting a
major or minor, including specific
Faculty of Arts requirements to
be considered.* Monday March
2, 2009 5pm-6pm. Register here:
secure, studen ts. ubc. ca/worksh ops/
careers.cfm •
March 3
The Annual TEC Young Entrepreneurs Dinner • This is a networking and informational event where
students, entrepreneurs, investors
and top company executives share
nsights and exchange thoughts
on current and existing ventures. •
Tuesday March 3, 2009, 5:30pm-
9pm, Renaissance Vancouver Hotel
Harbourside, cost $20 (includes a
full meal), Attire: Business Formal,
for more information visit www.
tecubc. com •
March 4
Milk • Check out Sean Penn's
academy-award winning portrayal
of gay rights activist and politician
Harvey Milk. By winning a seat in
the San Franciso Board of Supervisors in 1977 Harvey Milk became
the first openly gay man to be
elected to public office in the USA.
This biopic traces Harvey Milk's
career from his 40th birthday until
his death. • March 4-March 8,
9:30pm-11:00pm, Location: Norm
Theatre, Cost: $4 general admission, $2 members •
Happy-Go-Lucky • This British
comedy film tells the story of
Pauline Cross, a cheerful and
optimistic teacher living and working in North London. Pauline, or
"Poppy" as she is nicknamed,
catches the attention of two different men, a social worker and a
driving instructor, and complications ensue • Wednesday March
4, 6-8, 7pm-9pm. Location: Norm
Theatre. Cost: $4 general admission, $2 members •
March 5
Imagine Your Arts Major: What
Can I Do with My Major? • Wondering what you are going to do
with your BA? Come to this workshop and learn about the career
possibilities open to you and the
nfluence your choice of major has
on your career prospects. Explore
nsider information for different
career choices, from the day-today tasks of a certain job to advice
on getting entry level positions,
and what associations or organizations you should join. • March 5 at
12-lpm, location: Irving KBarber,
Lillooet Room, register online at
secure, studen ts. ubc. ca/worksh ops/
careers.cfm •
Imagine Your Arts Major Go
Global: Taking Your Major Global
• Imagine waking up for class in
Australia or Denmark, or going on
a volunteer placement to Africa
a co-op placement in Singapore
Come to this session to learn
about Go Global opportunities and
how you can participate. March
5, 5pm-6pm. Location: Irving K.
Barber, Lillooet Room, register
online at secure.students.ubc.ca/
workshops/careers.cfm •
Verdi: Falstaff • The UBC School
of Music presents Verdi: Falstaff.
Featuring the UBC Opera Ensemble and the UBC Symphony
Orchestra. In Italian with English
subtitles. • Wed, March 5-Sat,
March 7, 8pm-11pm, Sun,
March8, 3pm-6pm, Location:
Chan Centre. Cost: $15 for
students, $25 for adults. Tickets
available at the Chan Centre and
through Ticketmaster •
February 27", 2009
volume xc, n"40
Print Futures: Professional Writing
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two-year diploma program. Prepare for your career with
professional readiness courses and work experience.
Full-time or part-time options available.
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Call 604-527-5292 or visit douglascollege.ca/pf
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• Personal Tutoring Available
• Thousands of Satisfied Students
We Want You!
Are you a UBC distance student
with a learning disability?
Want to be part of a research
study? Contact PhD candidate
Nancy E. Black to receive an information package:
Free Meditation Workshop!
Aseriesof4weekly classes beginning Tuesday March 10, 7:30pm
Rm. 604 of the Asian Centre:
1871 West Mall UBC
To Register Call #604.732.8997
Interested in learning about international health initiatives? Attend Exploring Global Outreach
- a FREE speakers evening hosted
by Global Outreach Students'Association, March 16th 5-7:30pm
at Room 182 1KB.
Contact ubc.gosa@gmail.com
Editorial Board
Kellan Higgins : coordinating@ubyssey.ca
Stephanie Findlay & Justin McElroy :
Trevor Melanson : culture@ubyssey.ca
Shun Endo : sports@ubyssey.ca
Joe Rayment: features@ubyssey.ca
Goh Iromoto :photos@ubyssey.ca
Paul Bucci:production@ubyssey.ca
Celestian Rince : copy@ubyssey ca
Kalyeena Makortoff: volunteers@ubyssey.ca
Adam Leggett: webmaster@ubyssey ca
Tara Martellaro : 7nulti7nedia@ubyssey.ca
Editorial Office
Room 24, Student Union Building
6138 Student Union Boulevard
Vancouver, BCV6T lZl
tel: 604-822-2301
fax: 604-822-9279
web: www.ubyssey.ca
e-mail: feedback @ubyssey.ca
Business Office
Room 23, Student Union Buildin
advertising: 604-822-1654
business office: 604-822-6681
fax: 604-822-1658
e-mail: advertising@uhyssey.ca
AD TRAFFIC : Sabrina Marchand
AD DESIGN : Gerald Deo
The Ubyssey is the official student newspaper ofthe University of British Columbia. It is published every Tuesday
and Friday by The Ubyssey Publications Society. We are an
autonomous, democratically run student organization, and
all students are encouraged to participate.
Editorials are chosen and written bythe Ubyssey staff.
They are the expressed opinion of the staff, and do not
necessarily reflect the views of The Ubyssey Publications
Society or the University of British Columbia. All editorial
content appearing in The Ubyssey is the property of The
Ubyssey Publications Society. Stories, opinions, photographs and artwork contained herein cannot be reproduced
without the expressed, written permission of The Ubyssey
Publications Society.
The Ubyssey is a founding member of Canadian University Press (CUP) and adherestoCUP's guiding principles.
Letters to the editor must be under 300 words. Please
include your phone number, student number and signature
(not for publication) as well as your year and faculty with
all submissions. ID will be checked when submissions are
dropped off atthe editorial officeofThe Ubyssey; otherwise
verification will be done by phone. "Perspectives" are opinion pieces over 300 words but under 750 words and are run
according to space. "Freestyles" are opinion pieces written
by Ubyssey staff members. Priority will be given to letters
and perspectives over freestyles unless the latter is time
sensitive. Opinion pieces will not be run until the identity of
the writer has been verified. The Ubyssey reserves the right
to edit submissionsfor length and clarity. All letters must be
received by 12 noon the day before intended publication.
Letters received after this point will be published in the
following issue unless there is an urgent time restriction or
other matter deemed relevant bythe Ubyssey staff.
It is agreed by all persons placing display or classified
advertising that if the Ubyssey Publications Society fails to
publish an advertisement or if an error in the ad occurs the
liability ofthe UPS will not begreaterthanthe price paid for
the ad. The UPS shall not be responsible for slight changes
or typographical errors that do not lessen the value or the
impact ofthe ad.
Wake up in the morning and it's quarter to
five? What do you do? You brush your teeth!
Then you check ubyssey.ca.
When Kathy Yan Li left the office for her regular evening
jog, Aaron Tam, Sarah Eden, and Neal Yonson asked if they
might join her. Kathy politely refused and returned fifteen
minutes later, short of breath. Jon Horn and Gavin Fisher
nquired about her jog and what paths she liked to take on
campus. Kathy remained uncharacteristically silent. Kyrstin
Bain and Shun Endo came down from Blue Chip and asked
Kathy if she'd like to gofor a jog. Drew Thompson answered
for her, sharing that she'd just returned from a jog. Kathy,
regaining her voice, piped up to announce that she'd never
been more ready for another jog. "Who knew they're all
such jogging enthusiasts?" inquired Olivia Zauli Fellows as
Goh Iromoto, lingering at the doorway, declared he would
just run to catch up with them. Ten minutes later the joggers returned, coughing once in from the cold. Tara Martellaro, Gerald Deo, and Katarina Gergic's allergies suddenly
flared up-sneezing as Kathy and Shun walked pa st. Kyrstin
clicked by in her bootsand Celestian Rince, Stephanie Findlay, and Trevor Record promptly started couging. Exchanging suspicious glances and raised eyebrows, Justin McElroy,
Trevor Melanson, and Kalyeena Makortoff asked how
Kyrstin managed to jog in boots. Kellan Higgins and Paul
Bucci laughed. Struggling tofind an answer, Kyrstin tripped
over the coffee table and three lighters and a battered pack
of cigarettes flung from her jacket and onto Joe Rayment's
desk. Adam Leggett gasped and Karen Chan proclaimed
that she had known the whole time-"Jogging? Ha I"
V      Canada Post Sales
Number 0040878022
Canadian    printed on^100%
University     'recycledpaper
Press \^\Q FEBRUARY 27, 2009
Student athletic fees actually affordable
BirdCoop, Longboat, intramural fees massively reduced
■ b ■ 1
by Katarina Grgic
--Z ■ r.'
STORM THE WALL: $59 to $40
News Staff
A healthy active lifestyle is now
affordable on campus thanks to
extensive student fee reductions
for intramural and recreation
Reduced athletic fees, effective September 2009, are due to
months of negotiations between
the AMS and the Department of
Kavie Toor, associate director
facilities and business development, said that the university is
happy to support the initiative
and eliminate financial barriers
that keep students from participating in athletics. "The fact that
we're able to do this, especially
in this economic climate, makes
us extra happy."
In a joint press release with
the AMS, Director of Athletics
and Recreation Bob Philip said
that the effort between the AMS
and the athletics department
is being undertaken to make
programs affordable in a time
of economic uncertainty, and
to encourage UBC students to
participate in the wide range
of intramural and recreational
programs available at UBC. Athletics had the financial capacity
to make these cuts after years of
million-dollar surpluses, which
have come in no small part due
to the mandatory $207 athletic
fee all students pay.
With the new fees in place
all intramural leagues, Storm
the Wall, Longboat, and BirdCoop fees will be significantly
decreased. Today's $148 one-
semester Birdcoop pass will be
drastically cut to $25 in September and rates for intramural
teams will be reduced by 50 per
Also, the $5 user fee for drop-in
activities at Thunderbird Arena
will be reduced to $2 in September, with free admission for public skating. User fees for students
using the Aquatic Centre were
already omitted in December.
"Affordability is always a
concern in student life," said
Michael Duncan, former AMS
President. "The AMS is thrilled
that UBC really listened to the
concerns of students. These decreased athletic and recreation
fees mean increased accessibility for our students."
Councillor Andrew Carne
said that the AMS did a fantastic job in making things happen, citing Duncan's work in
particular as key. "I don't think
anyone was expecting so much
change to happen so quickly
and painlessly."
Duncan pointed to the tireless work of grad student Neal
Yonson as a key reason in why
fees were ultimately lowered.
"When I arrived at UBC in 2006
and saw the prices for the BirdCoop I thought: man, why don't
they just go rob a bank?" joked
"On the surface, athletic fees
may seem like a minor issue, but
to me it was very remarkable.
Fees were so far out of line compared to other Canadian universities, it was absurd. Lowering
them significantly would have
an impact on a huge number of
students...! figured that either
I try my best to fix this, or it remains broken. So I tried my best,
and I guess I succeeded."
"We're getting a much better deal than we were before, "
said Carne. "While it might not
be the ideal some people would
like— no fees at all—it's a huge
step forward and an excellent
place for future executives to
build off of.'tJ
I don't think anyone was expecting
so much change to
happen so quickly
and painlessly
—Councillor Andrew Came
New gym for varsity athletes
LONGBOAT: $163 to $100
All fees, with the exception of
the Aqautic Centre, take effect in
by Neal Yonson
News Writer
The Thunderbirds now have
their own workout space. A new
fitness room recently opened
in Thunderbird Arena is for
the exclusive use of UBC's varsity athletes. With approximately
2100 square feet of floor space,
it is larger than the weight room
in the UBC Aquatic Centre and
about one-third the footprint of
the BirdCoop.
Having a separate fitness facility dedicated to varsity athletes
is not uncommon for Canadian
universities, despite this being
the first time for UBC Athletics. A varsity weight room was
set up in War Memorial Gym a
few years ago, but went largely
unused due to its poor quality.
This time around, UBC Athletics spent $77,000 to furnish the
space with new equipment, but
say they are involved with a third
party partner who will be covering a portion of that cost.
"The space in the gym allows
for dynamic exercises, which is
definitely a one up on the BirdCoop," said Alex Babalos, member of the UBC football team.
"When people can surround
themselves with others who
share a common goal and desire,
I personally find it very effective
in getting work done."
The opening ofthe new facility
comes at a time when prospects
for a new public weight room
have been greatly diminished.
Phase one development of Thunderbird Park, which includes
artificial turf fields, a baseball
practice field and a running
track, is very close to completion. However, plans for a Phase
two development, which would
have included two new weight
rooms—one for varsity use and
one for public use—have been
put on hold. Despite this setback,
UBC Athletics went ahead with
the creation of the varsity weight
room, which had been planned
since last October.
Although students and community members will not have
access to the new weight room,
it's hoped there will be indirect
benefits by creating more capacity at other workout spaces on
Teagen Quilichini, a first year
Masters student who exercises
at the BirdCoop, welcomed the
extra space. "I don't think the
BirdCoop is large enough for
the student population and I
know a number of my friends
went and paid the extra money
to go to Gold's Gym. If you have
the option, that's nice. Not all
of us have the option, but a
lot did because this is just too
"I am convinced that because
of the new rates in the BirdCoop the demand is going to go
through the roof. I just think
that we're going to need more
fitness and workout space," said
Bob Philip, director of UBC Athletics and Recreation. "Once the
Olympics are over we've got to
address that."
VANOC's takeover of Thunderbird Arena as a venue for
the 2010 Olympic games means
that the current location is only
temporary. The equipment will
likely be moved to Thunderbird
Stadium during the Olympics,
but a long-term plan has not yet
been developed. Ideas include
expansion of the Aquatic Centre
weight room, or obtaining space
in the current SUB once the new
SUB is built.
Spencer McTavish, UBC's
men's rugby coach, is optimistic
the new facility will help his players concentrate on their training, "Sometimes the BirdCoop
can be fairly distracting as far as
eye candy is concerned." *2I 4 | CULTURE
FEBRUARY 27, 2009
Sick and twisted
Spike and Mike bring the action to Vancouver
by Olivia Zauli Fellows
Culture Writer
As I walked toward the Rio Theatre on Saturday night, I saw a
pick-up truck driving away carrying a full-sized fridge on its back.
On the door of the fridge there
was a flyer that read "Spike and
Mike's Sick and Twisted Animation Festival." People will apparently do anything to get into a
show for free, and this was the
way to do it at this festival, which
started on Friday, February 20
and will run until March 5. After
waiting in line for a while, I got
through the doors of the theatre
and was handed a personalized
barf bag that read "Because
we don't want you to lose your
lunch!" What a hilarious beginning to a fantastic show.
Two screenings go on every
evening at seven and nine, as
well as weekend matinees at
4:30pm. Each screening is a
90-minute compilation of short
animations that make the audience experience an array of
emotions spanning from uncontrollable laughter to an urge to
use that barf bag. The screenings
that took place during the first
two nights of the festival were introduced by Spike himself, one of
the creators of the festival. In his
introduction,  Spike  mentioned
that it was always a pleasure to
come to Vancouver, where the
crowds were always so receptive
and the people so excited about
the show. When someone yelled
out "What about our pot?" Spike
laughed and told him to shut up.
The festival should appeal to
anyone, no matter their familiarity or taste. The shorts are made
Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation
1 -800-45-SPIKE
-  8
from a vast array of media, ranging from basic pencil sketches
on paper to clay figures, from
animation using stop-motion
photography to 3D computer
programs. The only common factor among all short films is that
they expose the creative genius
of the artists that are able to put
wit, humour and sense into a
brief few minutes.
It is also interesting to note
that anyone can send in their
work for consideration. Out of
all films received over the years,
Spike handpicked the ones for
thisyear's festival, which included three from local Vancouver
artists: Odius Lepus, StillwaterS
and Yellow Sticky Notes. Films
also varied in language, as well
as in dates in which they were
made. From thousands of different shorts, the ones picked
for the Vancouver festival were
personalized for us.
After the first intermission, I
was able to talk to Spike for a bit
after he initiated conversation by
complimenting me on my belt. He
said that word about the festival
spreads fast in Vancouver. Flyers
get handed out, websites created,
and people spread the word. I
asked him why he had pointed
out one film as a favourite (Ghost
of Stephen Foster). He replied that
it was because the animation was
so brilliantly coordinated with its
music and fluidity.
The festival is a great opportunity to escape the sameness of
going to the movies and to see
what great talents may be on the
brink of signing the next deal
with Comedy Central or MTV. I
recommend that special attention be kept to 2 in the AM PM
and The Furious Little Cinnamon
Bun (Dr Tran). And in case you
are one of those people willing to
do anything for free (say, a university student), it's also okay to
bring your mini fridge. *2I
Botched SkyTrain dance party attracts corporate interests
by Trevor Record
Culture Staff
The Silent SkyTrain Dance Party
held on February 21 attracted a
fair amount of attention beforehand. The concept had been executed in Toronto the previous
year; individuals were recruited
over the Internet to descend
upon the metro system, enter a
cab, fire up their mp3 players,
don headphones and start dancing to music only they can hear.
Over 5000 people had indicated
on Facebook that they were going to attend the flash mob event
this year in Vancouver. This
theoretical turnout was enough
to gain some mention from
large media outlets. But things
went wrong the night before the
event. A message was sent out
saying that the time of the event
was changed from 3pm to lpm.
A few hours later, the event
was removed from Facebook
I decided to scope out the
scene the next day a little before
three. The flash mob was to
meet outside of the Vancouver
Art Gallery, but I found that an
Indian cultural festival was happening at the same time, which
was just starting to disperse.
Wandering around the area, I
ran in to my friendjen, who had
come out for the same event.
We walked around the back and
found a few other people who
were there for the same thing,
most of whom were fairly confused. We managed to convince
most of them to come out to the
front in search of other people
there for the silent SkyTrain
dance party.
Over 5000 people had shrunk
to a few hundred, but the crowd
was still sizable. The crowd was
SkyTrains were flooded with dancing participants and photographers—less than was anticipated, but enough to confuse riders, courtesy of jen kildare
young, with few beyond their
mid-twenties and a large portion
of high school age. From what
we gathered, most people were
under the impression that the
flash mob had been "cancelled,"
while others had gone at one. On
the periphery of the crowd were
a sizable number of cameramen
from various media outlets.
Soon, the assembled mass began their trek to the Waterfront
SkyTrain. Camera people would
set up at different areas and
encourage the parade of young
people to cheer as they passed.
Four girls with Redbull backpacks went through the group
handing out free cans of their
energy drink. A woman in a red
hat and jacket approached Jen
and me.
"Take your official SkyTrain
dance party badges," she said.
I took one of her pins, and
found it was an advertisement
for Virgin Radio. The woman
was joined by a similarly dressed
co-worker, who continued to
weave through the crowd with
her, attempting to mislead the
group into taking more of their
pins. Although they didn't get
the crowd size they were hoping
for, the advertisers were out in
full force.
The flash mob represents a
wet dream for any marketing
department. The events provide
a free venue to hock their products to a young, bored audience.
If they don't go out of style soon,
I'm sure the corporate presence
will only continue to grow.
Eventually we made it to the
SkyTrain and entered a car. The
idea was that everyone was to sit
down, act inconspicuous, and
after a short while stand up and
start dancing. But almost everyone who got on at Waterfront was
there to dance to begin with, and
those who weren't were carrying
cameras to record the event.
I started to dance shortly after
we left Burrard, and I noticed
that many on the train were
still looking self-conscious. The
dance party did manage to get
off to a start soon enough, with
varying degrees of energy as riders listened to self-selected music. The cars were so packed that
dancing wasn't exactly easy—a
problem worsened by the handful of camera people and photog
raphers on board trying to find
good shots and angles.
After a few stops, most of the
people who were there to dance
seemed to be fairly into their
tunes. At several points during
the ride I forgot that I was on a
train, only to stumble and bump
into someone while the train
was stopping.
The ulterior motive of the
event, to confuse and bewilder
non-participants, was at least
partially successful. The train
was so full that no new passengers were able to board until the
train had passed Commercial,
but most of the potential boarders that we passed by seemed to
be fairly surprised, or at least
amused, by the SkyTrain hosting
the silent dance party. *2I Liter ar
Supplement coordinator: Celestian Rince
February 27,20091 Page S
Welcome to the Literary Supplement,
The Ubyssey's annual celebration of
creative writing. This year, there was no
theme to the stories; the only rule was
that some element of humour be present.
When most people think of humour, they think of slapstick comedy, TV sitcoms, a laugh-a-minute soundtrack. But
humour is so much more than that. Irony, sarcasm, dark or
dry humour—even rage can be amusing. There are as many
shades of humour as in the human heart.
This year boasted a myriad of diverse entries. Adam Sheard
writes about his "Korean Girlfriend in a Nutshell"—apparently
Korean girls are very liberal with the "backhand of love."
Melissa Zaron takes a Swiftian route with "A Modest Proposal for UBC Housing." What does you do if the housing lottery doesn't go your way? Live on campus—in a cardboard box!
And in "The Asymptote," one anonymous fellow wrote in
with a tale many of us can sympathize with: how trying to lose
his virginity and was like an asymptote—always getting closer
but never quite getting there.
The top-judged entrants will receive cash prizes, with the
winners being revealed in the paper next week.
by Taylor Basso
Literary Supplement Writer
They say theatre never came
to Atwater Bluff, but the truth
is that it never came back. It
stayed, briefly, like a dog when
called over by name but quickly
realizes that there's no treat to
be had in the process. And then
it was chased out of town like
Frankenstein's monster, by citizens wielding the pitchforks and
torches of their own shocked indignity. The mayor called it one
of the most disgusting displays
of filth she'd ever seen. The head
of the local PTA decried it as performance art gone too far and
shrilly demanded accountability
from the theatre. The editor of
The Chapel Hill Stargazer broke
the record for most of uses ofthe
word "scruples" in a single editorial. The theatre buckled and
went under and the actors never
worked again. All for something
that was never supposed to be a
part of the show in the first place.
Claudine, the harpist in the
orchestra for the lone performance, wasn't sad to see it go. It
was a tall order to try to impose
culture in a town like the Bluff,
where theatres offering tickets
to The English Patient had been
desolate ghost towns but the
obscure sequel Tango & Cash 2:
Dog Day Woofternoon had sold
out like hotcakes. She didn't
know why she even bothered to
play in the orchestra, but there
were very few career options in
Atwater Bluff for a woman who
expressed her loneliness through
disturbingly meticulous harp
play, and she figured she might
as well make the best of a talent
that had gotten her in so much
trouble with her landlord, who
kept waking up in the middle of
the night mistaking Claudine's
practice for St. Peter's angels
and screaming, "Take me Lord,
take me, and send the painted
ne'er-do-well in 4G to Hades!"
Claudine resented this slur very
much, not because she made
claims to any particular virtue
but because her makeup regimen was staid and demure. It
was neighbours like this that led
her to reply to the want ad in the
Stargazer asking for musicians
for Chapel Hill's first full-length
musical production.
The play in question was
the work of conspicuously misogynist  critical  darling  Hugo
D'Amico, who had evidently
decided that an "unknown little
hole like Atwater Bluff' was the
prime place to showcase his
latest patchwork of misplaced
pretension and woman-hatery,
La boite sinistre.
"The place had a sort of rustic
charm to it, like a greasy spoon
diner or a cemetery full of dead
cousins," D'Amico would sniff to
the press after the whole affair
went sour. "How was I to know
just how rustic the place was?"
The leads were cast (a PYT who
was unabashedly and successfully using D'Amico to springboard her own career, not that
he realised it until he saw her
on page six with then-popular
novelty rapper Sisqo, and a fifty-
something alcoholic who would
accost passersby with tales of
his failed acting career in New
York and had consequently accumulated a pile of citations as
high as a rosebush, respectively),
and all that remained were the
chorus and the orchestra. The
latter consisted of Claudine, a
sea of other faces rounding out
the brass and woodwind section,
and David Barnes on the triangle. Dear, sweet David Barnes on
the triangle.
"I originally applied for the
oboe, thinking I could just pick it
up as I went," David sheepishly
explained to Claudine over a cigarette during one of their breaks.
"I used to be the music tutor, you
know, to the kids at the school
where I used to teach. I figured
if I stayed one lesson ahead of
the students, I'd be set. Unfortunately, they started to pass
me, so I had to do things like
steal their reeds and hide their
bores in the toilet tanks, things
like that. I got fired after I got
caught dragging a student's oboe
off the back of my car around a
cul-de-sac." As David described
in vivid detail the blue sparks
flying off of the instrument's
keys, Claudine could feel the
blue sparks of the chemistry between them crackling in the air.
She had seen David around, to
be sure. He'd be raking leaves in
his garden as she jogged by, he'd
wave hello, and she'd trip over
a fire hydrant. He'd be shooting
hoops at the community basketball court as she walked by with
her groceries, toss her a winning
smile, and she'd trip over a bike
rack. He'd pass her in line at the
DMV, give her a knowing wink,
and she'd trip over a fire hydrant
that had been very imprudently
placed indoors. David Barnes
had been her secret crush for as
long as she could remember, but
because of her shyness, she'd
never been able to so much as
say "hello." And now, he'd sit
next to her in the orchestra pit,
and smile his sweet smile and
ding his triangle, and her heart
would trip over a bike rack of
It was something she'd written out of her head as an impossibility, though, until the day she
realised he was just as smitten
with her. It was something in
the way he watched her fingers
pass over the strings of the harp,
or quickly looked away when she
noticed he was gazing into her
eyes, or tried to peek down her
blouse when he thought he had
the vantage point. As Claudine
asked around, it became apparent to her that behind the kind
eyes and scruffy beard hid a
man just as lonely as she was.
A conversation with Carol, the
incredibly gossipy celesta player,
revealed that beyond his work
at the local daycare centre, he
didn't seem to have a lot else
in his life—besides charity work
and volunteering at the local old
folks' home and wiping the tears
from the eyes of sad orphans.
Claudine's heart melted a little
more, and she vowed to make a
more substantial connection.
The connection in question
was ultimately made on the
night of the premiere, roughly
half an hour before showtime,
and was supposed to extend
as far as an "accidentally"
brushed hand against his cheek
during a bout of playful conversation. Then, she reasoned,
upon seeing the delicate pallor
of her hand and her moral excellence in the quick, ladylike
withdrawal thereof, he would
instantly become smitten with
her and demand to take her to
coffee. Convinced ofthe competence of her plan, she resolved
to set it into motion. She waited
until the rest of the orchestra
retreated for their collective
smoke break—Atwater Bluff
was the carcinogen capital
of the tri-state area, a slogan
much ballyhooed by the signs
on the city limits—and put her
plan into action. She could not
have anticipated the power of
those blue sparks in the air,
however, as her merest touch
set off something considerably
more explicit.
It may have been their mutual
repression, or the promise of an
empty room full of sexual tension and rented musical instruments, or just two stars aligning
at the proper moment. Either
way, as she pinned David against
the large brass gong in the corner of the room and ripped his
collar off with her teeth (a trick
she'd read about in the paperbacks she bought at the grocery
store check-out counter, the ones
she'd hide from the cashier behind a head of lettuce or a pound
of alfalfa), she couldn't help but
be surprised at her own daring,
and at David's. They'd admired
each other from afar for ages,
ships passing in the night, and
now here they were, both having
what they wanted, under their
own terms. Before they progressed to any further level of
intimacy, though, Claudine was
sure to lean over and lock the
door to the orchestra pit. The last
thing she needed, after all, was
an errant cymbalist walking in
and ruining her private, special
moment with David.
Ten minutes later, the entire
town would bear witness to the
permanent downfall of theatre
in Atwater Bluff, because as
the audience funnelled into the
auditorium, it became jarringly
apparent that Claudine and David's private, special moment
wasn't quite as private as Claudine hoped. In a rare show of
industry, the usually lazy tech
team at the theatre had carefully
arranged microphones around
the orchestra pit for maximum
acoustic amplification, and had
chosen that particular moment
to switch them on, allowing the
theatre patrons the full glory of
the symphony that was currently being composed. Mothers
covered their children's ears,
the elderly were titillated and
felt the stirring of a memory
in their collective bosom, and
outraged supporters of the arts
hurled their programs into the
trash as they stormed to the
box office and demanded their
refunds. Theatre in Atwater
Bluff, everyone had said, was a
horrible idea, and it was never
more apparent than when the
whole town perked their ears
to hear exactly the kind of overtures they weren't expecting. % 6 I literary supplement
FEBRUARY 27, 2009
by Arielle Indiana Furneaux
Literary Supplement Writer
It was Stuart's wedding day. But, as
of now, at 3:44:45pm on May 29,
2004, there was still a last-minute
preparation to work out.
Stuart, to his credit, was ready
for his nuptials. His briefcase, leaning against his desk at a reliable
72-degree angle, was stocked with
all necessary materials: a gold ring
in a black velveteen box, a newly
starched bowtje, a miniature bottle
of champagne. His vows, typed in
his signature size 10 Geneva, were
slipped between pages five and six of
a consumer report on toothpaste.
But, there was no bride. Stuart
knew this. Though fixated, he was not
delusional, and when, upon witnessing the time on his desktop clock,
he pronounced, "I have to find her!"
there was a perceptible tremor in his
voice that confessed his darkest fear:
it's too late.
To his credit, again, it was nearly
too late. Circled on the desktop calendar in red Sharpie was May 29,
the day at which he was 27 years,
36 days old: the average American
age at marriage. For a male, that is.
Stuart knew, as well as he knew his
own balding pattern and his distinct,
slightly limping gait, that the average age at marriage for an American
woman was 25 years, 110 days.
And today was May 29. Sighing,
Stuart put on his jacket, grabbed his
briefcase, patted his pocket to feel the
heft of his wallet, and left his cubicle
to get his daily cup of Starbucks coffee. But then, suddenly, overcome
by fear, Stuart tripped over his lame
foot, recovered, and bounded, hobbling, toward the elevators. They
know my sigh was false. To him, a
sigh had seemed like the proper
response after seeing something
discouraging, like the May 29 staring at him, reminding him with a
blaring red circle that today was the
day he would have to get married or
else.. .what? What would happen if he
couldn't find a spouse? He'd have to
kill himself, of course. He shrugged
and nodded to the closing elevator
door. He stopped nodding: but how
would he do it?
No one knew that Stuart's sigh had
been false, one of the many contrivances he adopted to give him the appearance of normality. No one had
even taken notice of the twenty-seven
year, thirty-six day-old redhead who
worked in the consumer-relations department of Johnson & Johnson. Very
few people knew anything about him.
They didn't know that this was his
wedding day. They would never have
guessed he was carrying a miniature
champagne bottle in his briefcase.
They didn't know that since acquiring his limp, he'd overcompensated
for his stigmatizing inadequacy to a
pathological degree. He now based
nearly every controllable aspect of his
life on national averages, from losing
his virginity (age 17) to reading speed
(with intense practice, adjusted to
225 words per minute) to shower
length (10.4 minutes). Nor did they
know how very high the stakes were
in Stuart's game.
"But how would I do it?" he repeated to himself, musingly, in front
ofthe Starbucks till.
"Sir, here's your change." The
barista moved away from the counter to tend to a latte, leaving Stuart
with a pile of nickels and pennies.
Bending over, he started placing
them in his wallet in chronological
order, pennies first. When he got
to the 2004 nickel, the brand-new
coin's brilliant clarity helped his
mind focus: his destiny wore a green
apron and black slacks.
"Yes?" She spun around; some
foam flew off the top of the latte.
"We've known each other for a
long time, Melissa. You've served me
coffee every weekday for a year and
a half. You make it just the way I like
it. My Americanos have just the right
proportion of water to espresso."
"Sir, what is this...?" Her eyes darted left and right in embarrassment.
"Why not marry me? Why not
spend the rest of our days bound in
holy matrimony, you amazing me
with your perfect proportions day
after day after day?" The woman
behind Stuart coughed in irritation.
A businessman at the corner table
peered over his laptop with bespectacled eyes.
"Please, please calm down," Melissa whispered. "This is really embarrassing. I don't even know you."
"But you do! You know that every
other Tuesday I like to get an oatmeal
cookie with my coffee, you know just
the temperature I like. Please, I'm
begging you. This would work!"
"I'm going to get my manager."
Melissa said, running toward the
back room.
Presently, a diminutive man with
a Mohawk emerged from the back
room carrying a bottle of cleaning
"Apparently you've been harassing
my employee."
"I want to marry her."
"Sir, I'm going to have to ask you
to leave." He raised his arm in an emphatic gesture, bringing the cleaning
fluid closer to Stuart's face. Stuart
ducked. Mohawk looked perplexed.
He looked at the bottle in his hand,
then back at Stuart. 'You think I'm
going to shoot you with the Windex?
You think I'm that twisted? Man."
Stuart turned on his heels and left
the store. He never retrieved his coffee from the pick-up table, and for
years would wonder what had happened to it.
His coffee break was nearly at an
end, but something about the looming Johnson & Johnson building
caused Stuart's throat to itch, so he
turned, instead, towards a park. A
flock of sparrows congregated on
the verdant May grass. Stuart sat
on the park bench and crossed his
right leg over the left. He had always
loved birds, perhaps because he felt a
kinship with them. They were fastidious, clean and alert, always sensing
the arrival of a predator seconds in
advance. As he stared at the avian
marvels, a young woman in a jean
skirt and Birkenstocks sat down beside him. From the backpack at her
feet she uncovered a paper bag. She
reached into it delicately. When her
hand emerged again, it was holding
a pile of birdseed. She scattered the
seeds on the grass in front of her, and
that simple gesture, combined with
the expression of bliss on her face,
made Stuart conclude: this is the most
wonderful woman in the world.
"I love birds," she said, keeping
her glorious eyes on the sparrows.
"Mmm." Stuart replied. His eyes
were fixed on her paisley blouse.
"I always begged my mom for a
bird when I was little. And she never
understood it. She'd always say: An-
astasia, why don't you want a cat or a
bunny, something you could actually
care for? She never understood that
someone could actually feel love for
birds. But I guess I always saw them
as such intelligent creatures."
This was almost too much for
Stuart. His love was tangible; it
leapt and bounced within him like a
child's rubber ball. Yes, she was the
one he would marry! He had always
imagined marrying someone like
this paisley-clad bird lover, so wholesome and articulate. And, just as luck
would have it, she looked to Stuart to
be about twenty-five years, one hundred ten days old. An air of delectable
perfection hung on her, flirted with
her. Before he was aware of what he
was doing, Stuart's hand was on her
Anastasia was too lost in the sight
of the birds to notice at first. But
when she did, she jumped, spilled
birdseed over the ground. Her previously blissful comportment gave way
to something guarded and anxious.
She stood up quickly, wrapping her
arms around her frail body.
"What's wrong with you?" she
Stuart just stared at her, unable to
muster any words. Anastasia picked
up her backpack and gave Stuart a
final stare, spiteful and apprehensive
in equal measure.
"Pervert!" she spat and ran off.
Stuart stumbled to his feet. As he
walked haphazardly through the
park, the wedding accoutrements
in his briefcase rattled and slapped,
constantly reminding him of his bad
luck. It had seemed simple enough
at first. To Stuart, there was a city
of lonely romantics waiting for his
offer. But his optimism had been
false. Stuart tried to view himself as
a stranger might, and the resultant
image was disheartening. To anyone
else, he was a slightly limping, slightly balding, slightly peculiar man in a
cubicle. That's what he was: he was a
"slightly!" But dwelling on his slight-
ness wasn't expedient right now.
Stuart had to find a wife. Stuart didn't
want to die. Stuart started to sweat as
he picked up his mobile phone and
called information.
"Sonja Rosenthal," he pronounced,
recalling the curly-haired, metal-
mouthed bookworm who had deflowered him at his senior prom. The
operator put Stuart through.
The phone rang four times. Stuart
adjusted his pace to match the rings,
his body dripping a viscous sweat that
smelled of curry. Midway through
the fifth ring, Sonja picked up.
"Sonja. It's Stuart." A pause.
"Stuart. Oh my gosh, Stuart! How
are things?"
"Things are fine." He took a deep
breath. "Sonja, I've missed you." Was
it a fie? Stuart wasn't sure.
Sonja's voice turned almost weepy.
"I've missed you too. I've thought
about you so many times over the
years. I tried to call you, but you
never picked up. I really wanted to
see you again." Stuart stopped walking. He inhaled deeply as if air were
courage, hope.
"Come see me, Sonja. Let's start
where we left off, the summer before
college. Better yet, why don't we just
get married like we always joked
about? Let's do that now, Sonja.
What's to lose?"
"Stuart." She said, apprehensively.
"Sonja." He countered,
"I'm married."
Stuart nearly lost balance. "How?"
"I got married three months ago.
To a wonderful man I met in grad
school. His name is David."
"Stuart?" she asked, almost sadly.
"You should have returned my
Ten seconds later, Stuart was galloping toward the doors of Johnson
& Johnson. Desperation motivated
him. He had, with Sonja's final
remark, resigned himself to failure. That hopelessness somehow
spurred his adrenaline, maybe
because it was such a foreign feeling for him. Or maybe it was the
time. At 4:23:05, he was already
late for the last leg of his workday,
and didn't want to be any later.
Punctuality had always been es
sential to Stuart, and even now he
could not abandon his need to follow a schedule religiously. Maybe
a schedule was all that could keep
him sane right now. Maybe it was
the only thing that could fend off
images of suicide, singleness, and
birdseed. Although his mind raced,
he checked off the familiar steps
in the journey to his cubicle, as he
always did. Revolving door, elevator,
"Can I help you?" the woman at the
reception desk asked.
Stuart stopped, looked around.
This decorating scheme was foreign.
He hadn't encountered these greys,
this marble, this high-strung fighting
before. The cubicles, too, were in a
strange arrangement. He was on the
wrong floor! In his haste, Stuart had
pressed the wrong button.
"Lord Almighty!" he moaned,
clutching his head in his hands.
"Are you alright?"
Stuart scratched his cheek, stared
to wheeze.
"No! For God's sake, no! You can't
possibly imagine the day I've had.
How I've screwed myself over. I have
a few hours left before I die. And I
don't even know how I'm going to die
yet. I just..Ican't..."
Stuart let his head fall on the
counter in front of him. He banged
it twice against its faux marble,
and then merely allowed himself to
sniffle, succumbing to exhaustion as
a soldier resigns himself to a flesh
wound. Unexpectedly, languorous
warmth came across his face. He felt
chapped lips touching his: a kiss. Stuart jumped.
"What...was that?"
The woman ruffled a hand through
her hair nervously and took a breath.
"I've seen you in the elevator so
many times in the past year. I think
we have the same coffee break,
but you go to Starbucks and I...usually stick to Java Express. Now, don't
think I'm some sort of crazy freak
but..." She looked at Stuart with
strained eyes. "I think I've fallen in
love with you."
Stuart's eyebrows slanted.
"I'm sorry. Jesus, fuck, I don't
know what I'm saying. There's just
something about you. You seem
to understand things the rest of us
don't. You're polite and...beautiful. I
could never ask you to love me back.
I mean, look at me! Almost twenty
pounds overweight, and probably ten
years older than you are, and—"
"What's your name?" Stuart
"That's my favorite font." He spoke
the sentence gaspingly, interrogatively. "Geneva." He smiled, shaking
slightly as he enunciated the name
of the typeface that had dethroned
his trusty Times New Roman seven
years ago. It had been a daring, uncharacteristic move on his part, but
he'd never regretted it; just looking
at the stark angularity of a Genovese
"k" made his lame leg quiver. Geneva
blushed and swept away a stray tendril of hair. Stuart presently felt the
force of the briefcase on his shoulder;
he'd forgotten about it in his fit of
distress, but its full weight was now
reasserting itself.
He remembered what was making
it so heavy, and, as he put the briefcase on the floor, leaning it against
the desk at a reliable 72-degree angle,
the glassy knock of bottle against
plastic served as another reminder.
Stuart had an intuition. He had
never trusted intuitions before,
thinking them scientifically unsound
and potentially catastrophic, but
something told him this one was to
be heeded.
With seven hours, sixteen minutes
and forty-three seconds to spare, Stuart unzipped his briefcase. % FEBRUARY 27, 2009
by Trevor Melanson
Literary Supplement Artist & Writer
Shaun walked—occasionally
hopped—along the bright and
broken sidewalk, dodging the
cracks, trailing behind the tall
parental figures ahead of him.
They were arguing about something, subtly and without words.
Shaun could tell from the way
Mom was power-walking to the
car, always a few steps ahead of
It didn't bother Shaun much;
he was more concerned with his
sidewalk adventure. He imagined
lava creeping out of every concrete crevice, hot enough to boil
his shoes. But with a few awkward
leaps and no small amount of effort, Shaun reached the car alive.
"What do you want me to say?"
said Dad to Mom, breaking the
silence, as Shaun slid into the
"I don't want you to say anything," she said back, slamming
shut the car door.
"I wasn't flirting with her."
"I've heard that before."
"Because you always accuse me
for no goddamn reason!" It had
reached the yelling point. "I was
just being nice. Why can't you actually trust me for once?"
"Why!?" said Mom, loudly and
incredulously. "I can think of four
really good reasons."
"That was years ago!"
"That's what I keep telling
Dad didn't respond immediately, and their conversation quieted
fike the eye of a tornado. The tension was worse than the yelling,
thought Shaun, who wondered—as
he had many times before—about
the infamous four reasons.
"For fuck's sake, Jill," Dad finally responded, sounding desperate.
Shaun didn't like it when his
parents swore. He liked swearing
(it was his favourite extracurricular activity at school), but his
parents didn't—at least not around
their son. This meant they were
angry enough to forget he was
there, which was somewhat of a
mixed blessing.
Shaun's door was still ajar,
his seatbelt still undone—and he
wanted to be anywhere but here.
He manoeuvred out of the backseat, quietly and cautiously, and
then tiptoed away from the car.
Checking over his shoulder compulsively, he followed the sidewalk
back to the park.
The sky was overcast, the
temperature mild, and the park
mostly vacant. Shaun was glad;
he liked privacy and he liked the
deserted playground. With no one
around, it became a malleable
world. Today, it would be a battlefield, and the jungle gym would be
its fortress.
Shaun fell to his stomach, a rifle
held close to his chest. He rolled
behind a tree trunk, bullets whizzing inches from his face, and
then took a deep breath. "Goddamn Communists," he muttered,
having borrowed the phrase from
his grandpa, a grizzly war veteran
who Shaun respected.
Shaun surveyed his imaginary
surroundings, and then swallowed hard and took a run for it.
He shot two dead before taking
cover again, this time behind
a nearby trashcan. His destination was the fortress, he decided,
which housed an atomic bomb.
He reloaded his rifle, exposed
himself, and killed three men this
time. They would have returned
the favour had he not dodged their
bullets like in that movie. "Nice
try!" he taunted them.
Then the barrage of ammunition, flying at him from all directions, became too intense, and
he fell back to the ground, taking
cover in grass that he imagined
was taller. The situation was grim.
He peered upward. Silhouettes of
fighter planes in birdlike formations streaked through the grey
sky, and below them, the nearby
houses transformed into hills that
wore marching battalions, pouring down like ants.
"Crap!" spat Shaun, his teeth
clenched, his dark hair amuck.
There were way too many—he
knew what he had to do. He
pushed himself off the ground
and bolted toward the fortress,
gunning down every bad guy who
crossed his path (with mouth-
made sound effects). He leapt
onto the jungle gym's slide and
climbed it, clinging onto the sides.
Shaun was almost there, almost at
the bomb.
He finally reached the explosive
(which looked unmistakably like
a wooden pillar), flipped open its
control panel, and pressed buttons manically. "Come on, come
on!" Bullets still flew at him, and
then: "Bomb will explode in ten,
nine, eight..."
Shaun jumped back down the
slide and started running, his feet
swishing through the playground
gravel as the bomb continued its
countdown. He knew he wouldn't
make it, and the moment he set foot
on grass again, his fate was sealed.
A tidal wave of fire engulfed everything in sight, including Shaun.
He fell backward, landing on the
grass with his arms outstretched
and his feet together—like Jesus,
he thought. And gradually, the
cloud of fire evaporated, leaving
behind it an ash-coloured world.
His mission was accomplished,
the war was over, but Shaun didn't
feel like getting up. Instead, he
imagined he was a shadow etched
onto the ground. He had seen the
pictures of the shadow people in
Hiroshima, thought they might be
ghosts, and now counted himself
among them. He liked the freedom that came with being a ghost.
He liked knowing that he could
stare upward into the sky's abyss
for as long as he wanted because
no one bothers ghosts—except
maybe other ghosts.
Shaun's mind wandered back
to reality and he thought about
his parents. He recalled last week,
when he had heard Mom say that
she would have left Dad if not for
Shaun. Shaun wondered if he had
done something wrong. He liked
them better when they were apart.
He just wanted everyone to be
happy, and he wanted peace.
Shaun continued lying on the
grass, became a ghost again, and
observed, with great interest, the
movements of a nearby branch-
hopping squirrel. For a while, he
imagined he was the squirrel, but
the daydream was soon interrupted by Mom's face, worry-stricken
and peering down at him.
"Shaun!" She grabbed his wrist
somewhat violently and helped
him to his feet. "Your father and I
have been looking everywhere for
you. Don't worry us like that!"
"Sorry," Shaun replied
Mom sighed relief. "Come on,
let's get back to the car," she said,
sounding sad and apologetic.
"Okay, Mom." %
The Tea
by Alexis McKenzie
Supplement Writer
The floral landscape was quite
marred by boy andgirl in a
GIRL Do you think it's prudent dear,
For you and I to be so near?
BOY Who shall gasp if us they see?
We are just two, having tea.
GIRL I feel I must Sir, ask you why,
You have your hand on my sweet
BOY My dearest, I see nothing ill
In maintaining my grip still.
I merely seek to keep you warm,
And so I hold your lovely form.
GIRL Well, [removes hand] that
might be as you say
But it's quite warm and hot today
I'll thank-you to keep your hand
from me,
I fear that my mother should see.
BOY And if she did, what would she
Only that my love I show.
But ifyou're shy, I'll let you be—
'Tis enough to share your tea.
GIRL Thank-you sir, that sounds
quite fine.
(It seems somehow I'll make him
BOY A tea-cake dear? To fill you up?
Or maybe tea inside your cup?
GIRL No, I wish for us to walk.
Along that path [gestures] we two
shall talk.
BOY A splendid thought, a grand ol'
For walking paths, I'm your man!
[she grabs his arm—they walk the
GIRL My, these bushes are so high,
I feel they reach up to the sky.
BOY My dear I must agree with you,
They quite obscure our view, it's
GIRL What's more is that they block
the sun,
I'm getting cold, this isn't fun.
BOY Why, I may be of help to you!
I know exactly what to do!
Her hat cast off the ground they
The lovers quite swept off their feet.
A strong embrace, a girlish squeal
These nymphs make love sound
quite ideal
Alas, those shrubs were four feet tall
And mummy dearest saw them fall
Like a hare she hopped right over,
But did not stop to eat the clover.
No! She marched up to the path.
Prepared to release rage and wrath
MOTHER My flowers! You have
crushed them all!
You blindly squashed them with
your fall!
The lovers, shocked out of their
Were deeply saddened then to find,
That little posies they had stomped,
Unbeknownst to they that romped.
The girl mom grabbed quite by the
I The boy she smartly kicked his
My flowers! I just planted these,
And now they're dead—and with
such ease!
You two scoundrels, must now
Never shall you have her heart!
The lovers hung their heads in
Regretful of deserved blame.
But in their minds they truly knew,
On other paths they'd surely woo.
I Love is fine, love is grand, fust be
careful of where you stand. %
Secure storage units
Variety of sizes available
Located directly on UBC campus
FEBRUARY 27, 2009
by Nafiza Azad
Literary Supplement Writer
John Mayer is right My body is a
wonderland. And to celebrate its
wonderland-ness, I shall adorn
it with a cashmere dress so soft
that it melts on my skin.
Being a woman is a blessing
and curse. For some reason,
my X chromosome automatically ensures that people see
me as a potential victim.
Poor them.
Add my gender to the fact
that the colour of my skin resembles the sticky sweet syrup
which lusciously coats caramelized apples and you get a poor
oppressed Indian woman.
Sometimes I oil my long black
hair, liberally applying the oil to
my hands and any other skin that
shows through the white sari I wrap
myself in. I give myself a slow, laboured gait; arranging my face into
a beleaguered, bewildered expression. And there you have it! The
quintessential stereotype of an Indian woman. I walk in the park so
displayed, drinking in the varying
glances I entice from other people.
Most are pitying (oppressed, aren't
I), others unknowingly smirk at my
lowliness (the sari and oil label me
in capital neon letters as a fashion
don't) and from other Indians I get
glares of outrage (how dare I be so
bold as to expose my Indian-ness
in such a blatant manner when I
should be hiding it under fine tailored western clothing).
And it was on one of these forays that I saw an extremely good-
looking man sunning himself in
the park. I was particularly proud
that day, I remember, of the way
my well-oiled hair glistened in
the afternoon sun. Good-looking
men are usually dumb. No, well,
yes, I suppose it is a generalization but I prefer to think of it as
a conclusion reached after years
of observation. A conclusion that
is sadly reaffirmed every time
a good looking man opens his
I sat down next to the good-
looking man (GLM) in a rustle of
white sari and a pungent whiff of
oil. I waited to see his reaction.
Being Indian as he was, I didn't
expect him to faint from the aroma, but a girl can always hope.
"Hi, nice day, isn't it?" He said
to me without batting an eyelash.
I gave him the prerequisite
blank look. A good Indian woman doesn't speak to strange
men. He smiled at me, as spicy
as fried potatoes.
I stared back at him solemnly. Then bringing my palms
together I said, "Namaste," in
dulcet tones which would have
curdled the blood of any self-
respecting feminist, so marked
was it in its docility. Then I
stood up, yes sari, oil and all
and sashayed away.
I believe I left him quite
The next day I walked into
work to find the GLM sitting
in the foyer of the business. I
might have chewed my coffee
so surprised I was to see him
again. My P.A. nodded to him
and whispered "journalist" in
much the same way a chicken
would whisper "fox."
He stared at me, his eyebrows
crinkled, trying to remember
where he had seen me before.
"Namaste?"    He     said,     a
pallid mimicry of my own
I raised my eyebrows and
sprinkling my tone with haughty disdain replied, "Good morning." Today I epitomized the
modern woman, with no sign
of the sati savitri.
"Hi, haven't I seen you
"How would I know?"
"Was a beautiful day, Mr...
Karim." I read his nametag.
"Hm. You work here? What
do you do?"
"I breathe."
"Is there something wrong
with that?" I asked him, a moue
of concern illuminating my face.
"No, no! Breathing's good. I
do it myself all the time. Say,
do you know when Ms Aziz will
come in to work?"
"She already has." I looked at
him pointedly.
"Oh sorry. I didn't know you
were her."
"That's quite alright, I suppose. How may I help you?"
"I'm writing an article for my
paper on new innovative businesses and the forerunner for
that, Ms Aziz, is your "Crafts
and Us." If you could grant me
an interview, just ten minutes
of your time?"
"Sure." I glanced at my
watch. '"Go."
"How did you come up with
the idea of collecting crafters
and other artists in one venture? You have people who
make jewelry, weave tapestry,
paint, the smallest craft and all
of them find a home here."
"I make jewelry as well and
so many times in trying to find
a distributor for my wares I
have been disappointed—or
worse cheated—and it occurred
to me, why not make it easier
for myself and after that..."
"You don't have a white sari,
do you?"
"Of course I do. In every
shade of white. And red, pink,
blue, purple saris. Why, were
you wanting to borrow one?"
"Ah, no." He looked abashed.
Trying to catch me, was he?
"Some people say that crafts
are a lesser art than say painting. What do you have to say
about that?"
"Each to his own, Mr Karim."
"Do you often walk in the
"Is there a reason I
I laughed inside. The poor
man looked quite lost.
"Tayba!" My P.A. shrieked.
I looked over to her and she
mouthed, '"Grandfather" while
gesturing to the phone. Sigh.
"Okay Mr Karim-"
"Call me Imran, please."
"Yes, Imran, I apologize.
I have to cut this short; my
grandpa needs the lion's share
of my attention right now. We'll
continue this later, yes?"
"Yes, sure, will you be in the
park today?"
"What? No, I only go on Tuesdays—" Damn.
I looked up to see him grinning merrily. Damn man.
"I'll see you next Tuesday,
then." He winked, smiled and left.
I believe this time he left me
bemused. %
A Modest Proposal for UBC Housing
by Melissa Zaron
Literary Supplement Writer
Step right up folks, win housing, win a two hour commute.
That's right, it's the lottery for
housing at the University of
British Columbia. This is the
kind of lottery that you really
don't want to lose. It isn't the
inconsequential test of luck
that you might occasionally
take part in by kindly donating
a bit of loose change to the BC
Lottery Corporation for a (usually useless) scrap of colourful
paper. This lottery costs more
and has higher stakes.
From the results of this game
of chance, two groups of people
emerge: those who live on campus, or the "residents," and
those who take the daily trek to
get to campus, or the "commuters." Everyone who dares to
entertain their desire to live at
UBC knows that their chances
of achieving this goal are slim.
Even the residents of today
could become the commuters
of tomorrow. The simple fact of
the matter is, the campus that
students come to know and love
when they attend the university
is sorely lacking in accommodations. Consequently, at the
beginning of every new year,
when the results of the housing
lottery are announced, hearts
are broken for throughout the
student body.
Whether you are an Arts, Science, or Commerce student, the
end result is always the same.
A student's way of dealing with
the disappointment may be
different. Some may analyze
the probability of this tragic
event occurring while others
lobby for better solutions to the
housing deficiency. Still others
choose to write about their disheartening experience either
to release their own pent-up
frustration at the situation or
to advise others of possible
solutions to the problem. This
piece falls into a little of both
categories. Complaints have
been made about the system,
now it is time to inform people
as to what they can do about it.
My proposition is simple: if
you absolutely cannot stand the
commute any longer (for those
of you delegated to the commuter group in the past year) or
you dread the prospect of such
a grueling journey each and
every day (for the rest of you
lucky ducks who had the good
fortune to land a place this year
but were not so blessed for the
coming year), you should adopt
the standard procedure recommended by our politicians for
the rest of the homeless living
in the city of Vancouver by living in a cardboard box.
Everyone has seen the news
and, if you haven't lately, perhaps you should turn on the television or pick up a newspaper.
The Ubyssey is a good start. It
has become clear to the people
of this province that the housing
situation for both the homeless,
as well as students at our fine
institutions of higher learning,
is a dismal one. Furthermore,
politicians seem to lump the
two groups of people together
and are doing little, if anything,
for either. Therefore, the situation clearly calls for a solution
that will have to be provided
by the homeless themselves.
Cardboard boxes are abundant
throughout the province, thanks
in part to our depletion of natural resources: namely, trees.
So go forth to your nearest
grocery store or warehouse and
claim your new homes! Find
a nice dry spot close to your
classes and settle in for an unforgettable semester. You may
choose to group your box with
several others, creating a dorm
or residence-like atmosphere.
Or you can take off on your
own if you are more of a solitary type. Whatever you choose
to do, remember the most
important rule of real-estate:
location is everything! Don't
worry too much though. With
such a beautiful campus, you
are bound to find a place somewhere that you will love. If not,
well, it will be only too easy to
move. Cardboard doesn't weigh
an awful lot. Furthermore, try
as they might, local politicians
shouldn't be able to hurt you.
After all, you're simply solving the problem that they have
been too slow to!
Another important tip for
your new home is to decorate.
I think that most people will
agree when I say that you want
your house to be as beautiful on
the inside as it is on the outside.
For this, I suggest newsprint
wallpaper. It is as abundant
and affordable as cardboard, so
it fits right in with a student's
budget. Plus, if you manage to
snag the comics, you will have
the added benefits of colour
and humour to add a light and
cheerful ambience to your new
Now, I'll admit that there
are a few potential problems to
your precarious predicament.
For example, the weather in
Vancouver can be rather unforgiving to the building materials
suggested above. Therefore,
your chief concern will be rain,
with squirrels and other friendly forest creatures coming in a
close second. Those cute, fuzzy
critters that you occasionally
see darting across your path on
the way to class? Soon they will
become your mortal enemies
as you fight them, twenty to
one, for the last scrap of cheese
in your "house." Also, have I
mentioned that rain could become a problem?
Nature will be generally
unforgiving but, hey, you can
handle it. After all, you already
made it into one of the best
universities around. What are
a few feet of water over the
course of a couple of months
and some rabid animals after
that? I mean, you'll finally be
able to say thatyou live on campus, despite your lousy luck
in the lottery and lack of sufficient housing at the university.
Plus, you'll be able to tell your
friends and family thatyou own
your own home. Just so long as
you neglect to mention where
you found it and conveniently
forget to invite them over for
Thanksgiving. Happy house
hunting! %
2 bedroom + 2 bath
4 bedroom + 2 bath
6005 Walter Gage Road  Vancouver, BC FEBRUARY 27, 2009
by Vanessa Woznow
Literary Supplement Writer
I left for St. Petersburg, Russia
on fune 28, 2008. L had won a
scholarship to attend a literary
seminar for two weeks during
the Festival of the White Lights.
This is a selection of excerpts
from my time in this extraordinary city.
It is during my first night out
in St. Petersburg that I learn
that not all Russian vodka is
good Russian vodka.
Most bad Russian vodka is
cheap Russian vodka, and the
Russian apple juice required to
chase the bad, cheap Russian
vodka, is expensive.
Russia makes me both homesick and brave. The first time
I rode the metro, I was by myself. This is no mean feat. Over
two million people take this
form of transit every day. You
can't see where the trains are
coming from, because the station doors (not the train doors)
do not open until the cars come
to a complete stop (in order
to prevent people from killing
themselves on the platforms.)
Also, because Peter the Great
had his city built smack dab in
the middle of a soggy bog land,
the station is almost one hundred meters below ground, and
when I took a photo at the top
of the escalator, I couldn't see
the bottom.
In order to purchase my zheton
I cue up with approximately 200
others. Our bodies are packed
together, and I'm not sure what
line I'm standing in. We are a
sea of scratchy wool and sweaty
feet. I clutch my rubles so tight
that I can't get the smell of the
copper coins out of my skin for
almost two days. Voices buzz
and squawk out of every possible
channel. It discombobulates.
Overhead speakers crackle, cell
phones yammer, children cry,
students gossip. My roommate
Laura told me that she is afraid
to descend this far underground,
for fear of an earthquake. She
doesn't want to meet any of the
40,000 Swedish POW's whose
bones act as cement for St. Petersburg, its metro, its cars and
their tracks.
When I finally make it to the
front of the line, the woman
behind the (what I think has to
be) bulletproof glass looks as
though she has been living in
her cubicle for the past three
days. Boredom is etched in her
face: thin lines crisscross the
width of her forehead and a
sheer glaze coats the contours
of her eyeballs. Stands of hair
spill from her sloppy bun, and
her blouse is done up Samedi-
Dimanche with the top buttons
askew. Her slightly-parted
mouth looks to be stuck permanently in mid-yawn.
"Odna zheton," I tell her,
slipping the money through the
tray. She doesn't even look at
me, as she passes me back one
tiny metal token. I immediately
slip it into the slot of the turnstile to my right. Amazingly I
am granted the right to pass.
Visions of large, moustachioed
men looming out of invisible
corners, interrogation chambers and confessions slips slink
back into my subconscious. It
is only now that I realize how
hard my heart had been beating; with each breath I take, I
can feel it punching again and
again against the fabric of my
When the train comes I walk
into the car and sit down. As it
begins to move, the sensation
of the ride feels the same as
back home. Indeed, everyone
around me looks the same as
back home. Everybody is minding their own business and
pretending that they cannot see
the other passengers, just the
same as back home.
However, I count the number
of stops until I have to get off
because unlike back at home, I
cannot understand the station
announcer. She speaks too fast.
On average, Russian men
live to the age of 59. Experience
has taught me that their wives
on the other hand, live to 300
and get jobs in museums where
they yell at you for everything
and nothing.
The lobby of our "bed and
breakfast" looks as though a
bomb had gone off only minutes prior to our arrival. Plaster crumbles off of the walls
and coats the exposed concrete
floor. Someone has been painting, but it seems that they have
left halfway through the job.
Perhaps to buy more cigarettes,
judging from the healthy number of butts that litter the floor.
They have also left their paint-
splattered socks and a coffee
mug half-full of coagulated
brew. A stench of ammonia
hangs in the air.
Nikolai turns to us as says,
"By the way, don't really expect
breakfast. Bed you can rely on,
but I'm pretty sure that sign is
lost in translation."
Tonight I am wearing the
dress I bought for twelve dollars at the outdoor market two
days ago. I can hear my mother
telling me that I should have
washed it before putting it on,
but I am going to the symphony
and want to look "Russian." It
is dark red, accented by little
white stars and a neckline so ridiculous that I should probably
apologize to my bra for making
it fight such a futile battle. Amy,
another roommate, and I skip
along the pavement, two steps
behind Sasha who has come
along just to ensure that we
are not forced to pay the "international" rate. A man wearing
nothing but ratty boxer shorts
rollerblades by us shouting,
"Debushka! Debushka!" Amy
looks at me puzzled.
"He's calling you his girlfriend," I tell her. She wrinkles
her nose and turns to watch
him disappear into the crowd.
"He doesn't really think I like
him does he?"
I don't bother to respond.
One morning Aimee, a young
teacher from California asks
me if I would like to accompany
her to the banya.
On the walk to the spa, I buy
an apple blini.
The building is old, but neat
looking with a carved wood
banister and great frosted windows. At the front office we purchase our dried birch branches,
cardboard sandals and scratchy
luffa sponges. A young woman
with heavy shadowed eyes tells
us that level 4 is the woman's
area. As we ascend the staircase, we pass numerous elderly
men, sprawled out on small
benches, with minuscule towels clumsily strewn across their
genitals. Though most look
as though they are asleep, we
catch many of them eyeing us
and we pass by.
Once we enter the woman's
only area, we are greeted by a
petite lady, with bleached blond
hair, who sits behind a cluttered
desk painting her nails. She asks
us if we are excited for the sauna
and when we tell her yes, she
expresses delight over the fact
that we have chosen her place
for our first time. She hands us
each a long, white sheet and a
scratchy burlap hat. Supposedly
we are to wear these once inside
the sauna; it is a uniform that
will protect us against the heat of
the room. It doesn't.
Disregard whatever anyone
has ever told you about Russian saunas. Russian saunas
are HOT. Hotter than hot. It is a
hot that screams, and bites and
slaps and stings. It gets into
your mouth, burns down your
legs and punches you in the
face. And it is unrelenting. It is
so hot that you can't just take
off your clothes and walk right
into one. You have to prepare.
This is done by travelling
back and forth between the two
smaller saunas, located in a
different area of the spa. There
is a dry sauna (supposedly
cooler than the 'real' sauna)
and a steam room where you
immerse yourself in a warm
wet fog that vaguely smells of
freshly-picked lavender. The
contrast between the dry and
moist raises your core temperature to such an extent that
you will not immediately expire
once you enter the debilitating
and searing broil that is the
banya. The sheet that I was
given at the front (supposedly
to wrap around my body) soaks
completely within seconds of
my entrance. I give up and take
it off. I also notice that no one
else is wearing the burlap hat
I was given. I was told that it
works well to keep the body's
core temperature low, but I just
feel the Western fool sitting
around in a scratchy Gilligan-
inspired cap.
I hate feeling the Western
FEBRUARY 27, 2009
by Anonymous
Literary Supplement Writer
Hail of laughter surrounding cold,
clinking glasses, cordoned off behind the swinging bar-doors ofthe
public section.
—Never spoke with her again.
—To be expected. I would do the
—Not like I went out of my way
to shun her, I mean, I kind of
Livejournal-stalked her.
-What the fuck?
—As it turns out she was Hogging about some guy named
Owen. Last thing she told me was
that she was feeling "out of sorts."
—That's a depressing ending,
Steve, to a story that had such...
—I told you, Francis, all my
stories about women wind up
—Telling them while you're
wasted makes for an awesome
story though.
Something about telling it, for all
the macabre and pathetic details,
felt right. Made him feel like he was
sitting on a porch somewhere deep
south, intoning an old Blues chant.
Painful catharsis.
—I guess you're right. It feels
Beer sliding down throat, a step
further into inebriation.
—You remember high-school
math? You remember those
graphs they made you draw...
where the curve would never
touch the line?
—An asymptote?
—Yeah, fucking asymptotes. So
far, I'd liken my pursuit of losing
my virginity to an asymptote. My
actions seemed to like...stretch on
forever, never meeting the goal.
—An asymptotal virginity?
A roar of laughter from fames.
Bitter expectation and succulent
anticipation of an intimate moment
where all pain and disgrace could
be taken away.
—It was just that I was 20, man.
When did you lose your virginity
—Honestly, like 17.
—Yeah, lastyear of highschool.
A bar-table covered. A layer of
foamy spilled alcohol. Seemingly
random carved patterns, occasionally forming indecipherable letters.
Small amusing scattered and
various pieces of graffiti. This place
has a hostel above it. A lot of people
must pass through here.
—Anyway, I always get really, really fucking desperate in the summertime. I think it's that you can
Science is Happening
at Queen's this Spring!
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• Organic Chemistry with lab
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or choose from many other Queen's degree-credit
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always see more ofthe pretty girls.
Makes you want to act. Makes you
feel like you need to do something
about it. Touch that beauty somehow. It was summer when I met
Dignity evaporating in the summer heat of 2007.
—Let's hear it.
—I met her while randomly
browsing Facebook.
fames smirked What a cocky
fucking smile. Sock him in the
face—Clint Eastwood-style.
—What a Steve-thing to do.
—So, you were just randomly
surfing Facebook, you found
someone you liked and you just
sent her a message?
—Pretty much. I was randomly
checking profiles of strangers and
said, "Fuck it, she's cute, I'm going
to ask her out."
The desperation of those days
clung to the back of his throat, like
dust, quenched and soothed by the
sharp freshness ofthe booze.
—She seemed smart, pretty,
with a good sense of humor,
but her profile was literally full
of groups for people with self-
destructive shit.
—Honestly, groups with names
like "Cutters Anonymous," or "I
Harm Myself'....She had something called Trichotillomannia or
Trichophobia or something.
—Let's just say it means that she
was pretty hot...with her hair on.
Lrresistible. Francis repeated
what Steve had said, struggling to
breathe through the laughter.
—She was hot with her hair on?
What the fuck dude?
—It's a mental illness that
makes you pull out your hair.
Every hair on her head, even her
—That is the most fucked up
bitch I have ever heard of.
There's that goddamn smile
again, fust want to smack him in
—It's not that funny man, she
was a very, very sad person. When
I spoke with her, I should have
known, there was definitely this
facade...just a deeply sad person
trying to seem a whole lot stronger
than she was.
Her eyes. Deep with mixed emotions. Faux-sexy coyness and an
unknowable grief. She had the eyes
of a hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold
from some movie. Eyes that wrap
around bedpoles, bare legs. But
also the kind of eyes that look at
hips in a mirror, filled with a deep
—I suggested we meet somewhere. She lived in some town
in the Fraser Valley, but she had
her own car. I suggested we go to
Crescent Beach for an afternoon.
We met at a mini-mall, in Surrey—
you know that one where they've
got a Krispy-Kreme Donuts? That's
where I first saw her.
The hard parts are coming up.
Drink more. Take the shot of Fireball whiskey. Swallow it down.
Take a sip of beer. Breathe in the
golden carbonation. Trace the
carved lines in the table. Draw an
asymptotal function in the spilled
—Romantic, eh? I got out and
hugged her—she was far less beautiful in person than in her dozens
of profile pictures. No wig that
day, just a silk scarf covering her
pale bald head.
—I'm sorry I'm such an asshole
Steve, but that's just fucking funny.
Who plucks out their fucking hair?
—I don't know what I was thinking....The two of us awkwardly
hit it off, but I remember at the
beach, her legs...her arms...like
everything that was bare was covered in these deep, pink scars. I've
never seen something so beautiful
and sad, man. Beautiful girl. Scars
up and down her arms and legs,
literally. She looked like she was
wearing a prison outfit, or had
been tortured. Stripes man.
—Better off without her. You
should've run.
—That may be Francis. Anyways, we made out, went out to
dinner. Eventually, told her I was
a virgin. She didn't believe me at
first, but then she told me that it
kind of turned her on. She liked
the idea.
—What a fucking freak.
—We texted each other throughout the week. She got dirty in those
texts man. Sent me pictures of herself naked, updated me when she
touched herself. Sent pictures of
herself doing that. Invited me up
to visit her.
—You dirty bastard.
—I got right into it to too. Lost
myself in the pursuit, and the fact
that it was finally going to happen.
I called a motel, made reservations, told her I would be coming
up for the weekend. I was almost
in a trance man, and I felt so guilty
and embarrassed about it.
—You should be ashamed man,
you should be.
—The night before..! jerked it. i
Over ten times in a twelve-hour
—You are a fucking retard
Steve—you know that?
—Fuck you. I just didn't want |
to cum in the first few seconds.
Wanted to make her happy and
last as long as she could.
—What did you do when you got
up there?
—Two of us went to lunch at
a local, upscale steakhouse. She
had hair...a wig on that afternoon.
Looked gorgeous. Shoulder-length,
red-brown hair and a yellow tank-
top. We quickly went back to the
room. Finally got my big chance.
We took off all our clothes, she
went down on me. That was the
first time that happened.
—How was it?
—As awesome as I thought it
would be. I went down on her too.
Liked that more than I thought I
would. It made you feel powerful. Just the smallest flick of the
tongue made her moan or twist.
Liked making her happy.
—And I assume then., you
fucked her?
—Yep. Pulled a purple condom
over my cock, and put it in her.
Poof. Virginity gone. But then she
told me to take off the condom.
Kept pulling on my dick, telling
me to take it off.
—You weren't that fucking stupid though, were you?
—I was. Pulled out, took it off.
Felt a lot better on my dick, but I
felt a moron. Nothing between us.
—What kind of crazy bitch does
—I remember, gripping her
thighs when I was pumping into
her. I could feel the lines that ran
along her thick legs, damp with
sweat and her wetness. The smell
of sex. Her closed eyes and her
lips wide open. Her hair clung to
her forehead, moving only as we
switch positions again and again.
The asymptote meets its line.
Nothing but a page of empty graph-
paper squares.
—That's when things went bad.
We had been at it for 45 minutes.
I began to realize that I couldn't
fucking cum. I was staying hard
and she seemed to be enjoying
herself. But I couldn't cum. There
was some kind of mental barrier.
—Maybe you shouldn't have
fucking jerked it so many fucking
—I know. I lasted like two and
a half hours, man. She came, but
eventually I just gave up, lay there
breathing and sweating for some
time. Took a shower. She was disappointed. I told her that I didn't
know her well enough and felt
ridiculously awkward.  She was
still just disappointed. The motel
owner winked at me, as the two of
us left. I wondered if he heard us
doing it.
—Personally Steve, I think there
should be an asterisk on your
score-card. Like: 1*, with some
small print at the bottom in italics:
"Did not cum."
—Bastard. We went for a swim
in a nearby lake. Tried to sort of
play with her and be funny and
nice, but she was completely removed and not interested. When I
got back home the next morning, I
went on MSN. She reminded me
that she was bisexual, and she had
told me that before but I hadn't
minded. She told me that I had
humiliated her, by not getting off.
She told me that she thought I was
a pig, who couldn't enjoy women,
that I was a bitch. She told me
she was going to trying fucking
women for some time. She told
me she thought of herself as more
of a lesbian after that day. I kid you
Silence from bar-mates.
—Never spoke with her again. %
The Add/
Drop Form
and the Perils of
Academic Registration
Literary Supplement Writer
#1. Peruse the miscellaneous
form storage section outside Arts
Advising. Through the jungle of
colours, shapes and sizes, finally
locate the correct one. Reach for
it and have the last copy snatched
from under you by someone who
searched for 20 seconds longer
and thus had the one-up.
#2. After much begging, crying
and fighting dirty, finally procure
form. Cajole your irritable professor into signing said form. Convince him you are a good student
and swear that you'll show up to
every class. Yes, with coffee and
bagels for everyone. Pre-reqs? Of
course you've taken them! Um,
what were they again?
#3. Proudly re-read your form
to make sure that everything has
been completed. Do your best to
guess at what things like 'session
code' mean. This is winter session term two, does that mean
put term two? While pondering
this very weighty question, walk
outside and realize too late that it
is raining, and your form is now
soaked. Find a heater to dry it
on, and desperately hope the ink
hasn't run.
#4. Stand in the Epic Line at
Arts Advising. Once having made
it hallway, notice the board that
says, "turn in add/drop forms to
department." Chuckle to yourself
for having the presence of mind to
read the sign, and cockily leave the
line-up. Take three steps out of line
before you realize that the sign is
unclear. Department? Which department? Unfortunately, you can
not ask Arts Advising because you
have now left the Epic Line. Understand that people in the Epic
Line know this too, and that is why
they are now smugly laughing
at you. After a moment or two of
thought, decide that curling into a
ball and beginning to cry won't get
the form signed any faster. Consider the idea that throwing carrot
sticks at the people in line might.
#5. Finally register successfully
for course. Realize that it meets
too early in the bloody morning.
Never go. Fail course. Repeat add/
drop form process... % FEBRUARY 27, 2009
The Ubyssey photographer Aaron Tarn had an opportunity to shoot behind-the-scene photos during the Pacific
Division playoffs. The Birds headed into the playoffs with
a second place standing in Canada against cross town
rival Simon Fraser University. The Birds came out on top
with a two game sweep moving onto Canada West Finals.
For more photos go The Ubyssey site ubyssey.ca.
1 1'      ,~\ J   IP
\ HkZj*>  H
1 ji
Athletes ofthe Weeks
February 16-20
>__&_ j9l,f___\
■jSl' '-W\
_m\ \ *\__rl__\
Claire Hanna, T-Bird Athletic Council
This rookie goalkeeper pulled through for her team in a
big way in Lethbridge against the Pronghorns. From Na-
naimo, Jenna was the Female Athlete ofthe Year lastyear
in her hometown but had her first chance to prove herself
for the T-Birds last weekend while regular goalie Melinda
Choy was away playing for Canada at the FISU Games
in Harbin, China. In her first career start for the 'Birds,
Jenna handled the pressure of the must-win game, making 40 saves for a 6-4 win. Her ability to stay cool during
break-aways and her post-to-post pad saves on the penalty
kill proved her talents in fine style in the most important
game of the year. The Birds are heading to Edmonton to
take on the University of Alberta Pandas March 6 and 7.\a
At the Birds' final indoor competition ofthe season at the
University of Washington, Nigel Hole proved he would be
a true force to be reckoned with for the upcoming outdoor
season. Nigel ran a personal best in the 800m indoors,
clocking a time of 1:53:78. Nigel is also the manager for
the track and field team, captain ofthe men's cross country team and holds Academic All-Canadian status for his
academic achievements in his commerce courses last
year. The Birds will open their outdoor season at the SFU
Open March 28. ^
February 22-27
Photos by Kellan Higgins
Claudia Richard, T-Bird Athletic Council
This fifth-year captain for the UBC swim team helped
out by racking up the points for the men's team to
lead them to a National Championship title this past
weekend at UBC. Ng's great swimming helped him get
a spot on the World University Games FISU team that
will compete in Serbia this upcoming summer. Ng also
broke a CIS record that has been held for decades. This
was also Ng's fifthyear going undefeated in the 100m
backstroke event, w
______   ____
f AH
! mm
The UBC baseball team
was in California for
their annual beginning of
the season tournament.
With an overall 8-1 record, this marks the best
pre-league tournament in Birds history. Jon Syrnyk,
a fourth-year senior, hit for over .500 in the tournament, notching up three homeruns, nine doubles, four
triples and eight stolen bases. In one of the games.
Syrnyk even got two homeruns. Syrnyk now leads the
team in homeruns, doubles and triples. Catch the boys
as the baseball season gets started in early March next
to Thunderbird Stadium. *2I Editorial
If you'd like to submit a letter, please contactfeedback@ubyssey.ca
February 27,2009 \ Page 14
Naughty library printers
If you went to the Koerner Library earlier this week to use the
printer or a computer, it would have been a frustrating day. As is
often the case, the functioning computers were essentially filled
up, and many of the stations had desktops that were extremely
slow or couldn't be used. Then came the printer. Even if you
found an open seat, the printer would have been out of order. If
you have some patience, maybe that would have been bearable.
So, the next choice in this situation would be to hit the basement
floors (in Koerner) for an open computer. But if you looked
around the computer area, you would have found out the same
kind of scene as the floor above. That would tick off any student
who has no access to personal printers. Many students have to
print out assignments, and have no alternatives but to rely on
university facilities.
After all that effort, the natural choice would be to take a short
walk to the Irving K. Library, hoping that they would be able to
solve your problems. This new library that opened lastyear is
equipped with better computers, and you would think mat this
would be the end of your suffering and frustration...but no. The
seats were filled up with students that were either working or
surfing the net. The wait for a computer wouldn't have been that
long, so you could have taken a deep, relaxing breath after you sit
down. After that, you would have conducted the usual procedure
of opening up a window, downloading the document and finally
printing it, only to find that the printer is out of order.
UBC is one of the most renowned universities in the world,
and yet we constantly wonder if the administration could offer a
better environment for the students. With over 40,000 students
regularly visiting campus, it is hard to believe the lack of attention
an issue as obvious as "lack of printers" gets. It is also important
to mention the hours of these libraries. In many of the top institutions in North America, it is standard to have locations open 24
hours, at least during exam season. Irving opens at 10am and
closes at 6pm on Saturday. On Sunday, when many students hope
to get a good start to their week, it's only open from noon-8pm.
On behalf of the students that have similar concerns, we hope
the university would give a little more consideration concerning
academic environment and effective learning spaces. Believe it
or not, we do spend a good chunk of our time studying in quiet
places. It's sort of why we're here, vi
Ubyssey Board Elections
Hello UBC!
Through a series of unfortunate events, we discovered that our
board elections were unconstitutional and so we decided to redo
'em. And we firmly believe that anything that's worth doing is
worth doing right.
For those of you that don't know, The Ubyssey is run by a not-
for-profit society called the Ubyssey Publications Society (UPS).
This is the body that oversees the publication of The Ubyssey and
ensures the paper doesn't run a deficit. They hire a business
manager, and ensure that the financial section ofthe paper is
operating for the benefit for the society. And so they give us, the
editorial side, the tools (and by "tools" we mean mostly "money")
to put out a paper that entertains you on a regular basis twice a
week. Our constitution was set up so that there would be a large
division between the "Business" side and the "Editorial" side
so that anyone who controlled the money could not control the
content (and vice versa). The practical upshot is that we never feel
any pressure over what to write about from the business side and
editors can never feed profits to themselves.
The board itself is weighted to give three separate groups
power to influence decisions. There are three representatives
from students who physically put the paper together: two staff
members who are not editorial board members and the coordinating editor. Then there is a representative from the journalism
community to ensure big picture practicality. The remaining
members are ordinary students at large, which is defined as students who are not staff at the newspaper. Our business manager
acts as the secretary of the board.
The idea of this set up is to give the students an oversight of a
number of at large UBC students over the paper, with 5/9 votes
on the board, without allowing them to run rampant and destroy
it. Our elections for the five at-large positions are coming up, so
here's your chance. Nominations are due in a week, so ifyou're
interested in finding out more, email our deputy returning officer
at invoices@ubyssey.ca or contact our coordinating editor at coor-
As you might have heard, newspapers these days are sort of
dying off faster then former pro wrestlers. And while that won't
happen to us anytime soon thanks to your support each year, to
grow in these times is a tricky business. It requires smart people
with new ideas, decent connections, and some healthybusiness
sense. We're willing to bet at least five of you have it.
in Ubyssey History 11964
Over Ubyssey editorial, AMS
Council passed a motion to censure
The Ubyssey for an editorial which
referred to French Canadians as "frogs."
The editorial, which appeared in the
Thursday, Feb. 20, edition, said, "Frankly,
we're getting a little sick of our whining
and foot-stamping French-Canadian
It later suggested that it is about time
snickers, then censures
someone put the "frogs" (French Candi-
anas) in their place.
Early Monday night, Ubyssey editor
Mike Hunter convulsed council by
carting a 75-pound stone statue of a frog
into the meeting and placing it on a desk
before him. Ken Leitch, co-ordinator of
activities, laughed out, "That's the best-
looking frog we've had here all year."
by Trevor Melanson
I am writing in regards to The
Ubyssey's trial love advice column by Ronald Lee. It always
annoys me when love advice
columns patently ignore anyone
who might not be interested in
the 'opposite sex,' or anyone
who might have problems with
the sexual and gender dichotomy
that Lee sets up. Not once in
his column does Lee mention
people who are attracted to the
same sex. Does this mean that
such people are perceived to not
be looking for advice on how to
get dates? Or that Lee's conception of campus dating does not
include gay people?
Perhaps I am being slightly
ornery to expect the presumably
heterosexual Lee to expand the
scope of his lifestyle coaching
to include people who are not
heterosexual, but I do not think
that it is too much to ask that
The Ubyssey ensure that if they
include love advice in their paper that the advice comes from
someone progressive enough
to understand that on campus
dating is not limited to straight
This oversight is only indicative of the greater problems inherent within Lee's brand of love
advice. The heteronormativity of
such advice is not limited to its
focus on straight people, but also
extends to reinforcing archaic
gender roles. While Lee might
have intended it ironically, his
suggestions for being the campus stud or campus princess are
gendered along traditional lines,
which makes me very wary of
the type of advice he intends to
I think the idea of having a
love advice column is great, but
it would be much better if it came
from a source that acknowledges
that not all people are straight
and that not all women want to
be 'princesses.'
—Amanda Reaume
MA 2
If you wish to to submit a letter
it must be no longer than 350
words. Your identity will be confirmed by phone or by ID from
the office. People may email us at
feedback ©ubyssey. ca
What do you think Sledge Hockey is?
^ F
I'vJitM \
Matthew Lee
Commerce 2
"It sounds
violent...when I
think of 'sledge'
I think of sledge
never heard of
sledge hockey
but if I had to
use my imagination I would
say it was just
as cool as ice
Oana Sadhu
Comp Sci Grad 1
Rishen Kurooparan
Commerce 3
Cassie Macrae
Biology 3
"I've never "It's some kind
heard of it.... of game...similar
You get together to hockey, I
with friends and think, and that's
you find hills, all I guess."
and then you try
rolling down a
snowball. And
whoever catches
it first, and
brings it back to
their respected
corner [wins]."
—Coordinated by Tara Martellaro &
Margot Hartley
Psych 5
"Sledge hockey
is wheelchair
hockey, and I
know because
I work for UBC
not really well
known...it's one
ofthe training
events for the
2010 Olympics."
Alicia Woodside, with photos by Goh Iromoto FEBRUARY 27, 2009
HARD #51
solution, tips and computer                       SU | OO | KU
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Want to see your comic published?
Send them to production@ubyssey.ca and see your name in print!
1. Shish-	
6. Racial insult, e. g.
10. Campus brotherhood
14. Get up
1 5. A river in Yorkshire, England
16. Ireland
17. Rural area
19. Famous Lisa
20. Draw towards
21. Piece of corn
22. Grammar checker
24. Fast section of a river
26. French city along the Rhone
27. A small needle-like appendage
29. Subversive warfare
33. Resin in varnishes and sealing wax
34. Certain nut
36. A king's demand
37. Computer symbol
39. Certain part of a golf course
41. The highest volcano in Europe
42. He of the golden touch
44. Goodbye, in Peru
46. Chickadee's cousin
47. Forever and	
49. A Native American language family
possibly including Haida
51. Wife of a rajah
52. Helicopter's wings
53. An angel of the first order
56. Promise of repayment
57. Pardon?
60. Certain gait
61. Totalness
64. Capital of Norway
65. Canadian politician Louis
66. Lasso
67. British nobleman
68. Television award
69. Zeal
1. American architect Louis
2. Certain Great Lake
3. A two-digit number system
4. The plane of existence
5. Spelling contest
6. Rabbit food
7. Untruth teller
8. Coffee pot
9. Overnight flight
10. Girly
11. Mob gathering
y Kyrsth
1 Bain
"    ■
' !
■ :;
38             ■
40             ■
43             B44
45             ■4h
■ :
12. River running through Florence
13. Rip
18. European cavalry of the 16th and
17th century
23. Nerd
25. Cheeriness
26. A piece type of sash worn rather
than trousers
27. Sludge
28. Form of inexplicable knowledge
29. Tastelessly showy
30. Memo's logo
31. Russian revolutionary Vladimir
32. A bee destined to be queen
35. The 'snookum bear' of Centra
38. The voice of the story
40. Virtue
43. Snatch
45. High school student exam
48. Fix with an essential quality
50. A drag, slang
52. Turbidly
53. Halt
54. Irish
55. Part
56. Thing
58. Regarding
59. Russian emperor
62. Matchstick game
63. Long period of time
H s
aI a
d| m
i r*s
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T H'b
Ubyssey Publications Society
Board of Directors
one of whom is the president of the society.
Members of the Board work with the Ubyssey
business office to ensure ubyssey staff have
financial, physical and capital resources to
produce a quality newspaper. responsibilities
include monthly meetings and both ad-hoc
and  standing  committees,  if  needed.
Nominees must be members in good standing with
the Ubyssey Publications Society (who have not
opted out of paying the ubyssey fee) to be eligible
to run. for more detailed information and full
requirements, please contact isabel ferreras,
Deputy Returning Officer at invoices@ubyssey.ca
Teach English
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• Intensive 60-Hour Program
• Classroom Management Techniques
• Detailed Lesson Planning
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• Thousands of Satisfied Students
604-683-3430/1 800 269 6719
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