Nov 26, 2009

Sculpture Haiku

Unhappy stone man

Did you eat food too sour?

Or smell something bad?

Sculpture by Franz Xaver Messerschmidt, on display at The Getty Center in LA.
Photo by: Me

Nov 25, 2009

A Long Way Down

I love road trips. I really, surely, do. I like doing them with other people, but my friends aren't as willing as I am to drop everything, quit their jobs, sell their stuff, and hit the road for an indefinite period of time in an unknown direction. They're all Oh, I have to pay rent, and I would, but I have kids to feed. Whatever.

So, more often than not I find myself alone on these pavementy adventures. And this is fun too. Mostly because I can do whatever I want, whenever I want, without worrying about pleasing my travel companion. You drove all this way to knit in a hostel common room? Yes, yes I did. What of it? (Picture © Stuart Gray 2009)

Traveling by car is also great because you can be totally undiscriminating in what you bring. When backpacking you consider every single item because that'll be extra weight on your back and shoulders. Cost/Benefit analysis has a whole new meaning when trying to determine how many pairs of underwear you really need for a 30 day trip.

But with a car, anything goes. Just throw it in there. For example, here are some of the things I've brought on this trip. And keep in mind that at the time of packing I was only planning on spending a week in Portland in a friend's condo.

  • Camping equipment, including tent, 2 chairs, gas stove, sleeping bag, cooler
  • Duvet cover and two favorite pillows
  • Set of sheets for a queen size bed
  • 5 Jackets
  • 3 Mr. Noodles
  • Knitting bag and more wool than I could possible knit in a season.
  • 8 Books, including 1 from the library (now very much overdue)
  • Sewing machine
  • Iron
  • Bag of mason jars
  • Several tarps
  • Rope
  • Bouquet of flowers and two corsages (acquired in Portland, compliments of Bev)
Of all of this I've used the duvet, read two of the books, and made use of the knitting and sewing machine (but only because I would have felt really silly if I'd brought it all this way and didn't use it at least once). I've enjoyed the aesthetic value of the flowers for a few days, and am now enjoying the smell of their rot. Which reminds me, I really need to chuck those at some point.

I don't know why I bothered with the camping stuff. Weather aside, it get's dark at 5pm. How fun is it to set up camp and then sit in the dark for hours. By yourself? Answer - no fun at all.

One good thing about traveling with someone else is that I stop a whole lot more. When solo I tend to just keep driving. And driving. And driving. I took the scenic coastal route from Ashland to Valencia. Around 1500km, and I did that in two days. nine hours on day one, twelve hours on day two. And this included some truly amazing coastal scenery and driving through Napa Valley. Who doesn't stop in Napa Valley?

Me. I don't. I take pictures from through the windshield.

I also show up at my friend's house a few days early at 11:30pm hoping that they're still awake and will in some small way be happy to see me (hi Ted!).

Hmm, maybe when my friends are saying I would, but I have kids to feed, what they really mean is I would totally abandon my family to drive around aimlessly. Just not with you. Because unlike you, I need to pee occasionally. Freak.

Nov 22, 2009

The Manipulative Powers of IGoogle (Why I'm in Southern California)

As mentioned previously, I originally came to the States to visit a friend in Portland. I'd been in Vancouver helping my sister move, and figured a day's drive to Oregon would be fun. I could hang out in a cool city for a week, then head home.

That was my plan. Honest.

I blame Google for what really happened.

See, I have IGoogle set to my homepage, with a handy little weather widget front and centre. Every day I'd look at it and see days and days of rain for Victoria. Nothing surprising there. Pretty much every winter I've ever had on the west coast has been months of rain with periods of more rain and a chance of rain.

Then my mom emails me and is all Look at the weather Ted's (family friend) is having in California. I should have deleted that email and never spoken of it again. But instead I stupidly added Valencia to my IGoogle weather widget. Suddenly, whenever I look at the weather for home, I also see this:

It was getting time to leave my friend. But suddenly I felt like I had two directions I could possibly take. North to rain. South to sun.

It seemed impulsive and maybe a little immature to just take off to California without any real reason other than to avoid rain for a few days. But then, I was already in Oregon. Already 5 hours away from home. It would be a waste to just turn around now. I've always wanted to drive around California. I'd have to come back all this way next time. Might as well keep going now and get it over with.

Decisions, decisions.

In my typical avoid-making-any-commitments-right-now kind of way I thought I'd just go a little further and see how I feel. So a week ago I bid farewell to Portland and took the scenic route to Ashland, in the very south of Oregon. There I found a cute Whistler-esque (but way cooler and with all local shops - none of that chain shopping crap Whistler has become) town in its off season. I had a lovely old hostel practically all to myself and enough bookshops and coffee houses to keep me occupied for days. So for days I stayed, over-caffeinating my system and putting off any decision-making until tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow.

Meanwhile, IGoogle steadily and quietly tormented and tempted me every time I logged on.

Fine! IGoogle, I am no match for your guile. You are the worthier opponent. I bend to your will.

Which explains why I'm almost 2000km from home, lying in the sun drinking beer and eating salad bar take out and playing with my computer. While you're doing...what? Getting ready for work tomorrow? Oh, poor muffin!

Nov 16, 2009

Hostel Weirdos

I'm staying at a hostel in Ashland (officially known as The Ashland Hostel). The town has a pretty famous Shakespeare festival that runs for a good chunk of the year, and apparently the hostel is just swinging when the plays are on. They stopped not too long ago, and now the place is dead. There's just me and Michael staying in this huge old house that can sleep up to 40. With no one else to get in the way I was able to quickly learn how weird Michael is.

It's not because he leaves every 4 seconds to stand across the street and smoke while staring in the front window of the hostel. Or that he ignores me most of the time and then suddenly comes right up to me and calls me Missy. No, it's mostly the odd things he says, totally out of the blue.

I saw Elvis in New York in 1976. Mister heart throb, fancy pants himself!

I met John Lennon! But, really, who hasn't?

While observing (but not helping) a hostel employee try to open a stuck door. - I studied precision mechanics in the military. Ok?! My last wage was $26 an hour!...This has got me beat.

And then when the employee tried to open the door using a credit card - Hold on! I'm a master at that one. If I wanted to be a thief, I could be a billionaire! (It didn't work)

Laughing at these reminded me of a funny conversation I took part in while staying at a hostel in Ecuador. I had written it down, so this is pretty much word for word. Anyone else find this amusing in an awkward sort of way?

These two brothers were sitting at a table behind me playing rummy. At one point they started talking about how much it might cost to fly to the Galapagos. Having just returned from there, I piped up:

Me: Not to eavesdrop, but it's $400 to fly from here.
Guy 1: One way, or round trip?
Me: Round trip. (Pause...I'm looking at some old photos on my computer...)
Guy 1: To move the eavesdropping to you, when were you in Vegas?
Me: Last Christmas. (Pause) And that's not really eavesdropping. It's more just looking over my shoulder.
Guy 1: It's kind of live eavesdropping.
Me: A silent kind. (Pause) It's totally worth going, if you can afford it.
Guy 1: Yeah, I was in Vegas last weekend.
Me: I meant the Galapagos.
Guy 1: Oh.
Me: But Vegas is fun too.
Guy 1: I think I'll skip it this time. If I'm going to the Galapagos I'd like to have a woman and some money.
Me: You can go with friends. That's what I did.
Guy 1: Yeah, but if I'm going to spend all that money, I want to get naked.
Me: Ah.
Guy 1: A lot.
Me: I see.
Guy 1: And if I did that with my brother, it would just be weird.
Me: ...It probably would be...
Guy 1: People would ask me 'How were the Galapagos?' And I'd say 'I don't want to talk about it!'
Me: ....
Guy 2: Stop. Just stop now.

Nov 11, 2009

What Happens In Portland, Stays in Portland

Yesterday in my ramblings on CHICKEN FRIED STEAK I made a small, subtle, hardly noticeable reference to this thing I did that was slightly out of character.

Let's back up a bit. Before Bev and I went into the cafe for our breakfast, we'd been walking around looking for flower shops. In the rain.

Wait, that doesn't quite capture what I want to say. Let me try again.

We'd been walking around, in the RAIN.



Seriously, does Portland ever know how to rain. I thought Vancouver in the winter was bad, but it ain't nothing compared to here. It's just all the time. And hard. And all the time. And what enhances the effect of wetness the rain has on everything are the leaves. There are these beautiful deciduous trees lining every street that are all yellow and red and pretty. The leaves are falling, as they tend to do. They're coating the sidewalks and the streets, making everything slick (Melissa, DO NOT come here. You will die). They are clogging the drains, turning every street corner into a little mucky pond.

Water falls on you from above. Water ambushes you from below. You're not safe. And you're certainly not dry.

To protect myself from this wetness I had my North Face jacket. I bought it six years ago in Shanghai for $26 from a street vendor.  I can't really blame the jacket for it's lack of water proof-ness, being so old and cheap, and probably not really from North Face. This jacket doesn't so much repel water as absorb it quickly and efficiently. Whatever my jacket is made of, they should put in tampons.

Once in the safe and dry cafe I took my jacket off and my blue t-shirt was soaked in the most embarrassing of patterns. Along with sopping shoulders and arms, there were two large wet circles right around my boobs. It looked like I had an uncontrollable lactating problem.

So, this is my context to explain my actions. We're sitting at the counter of this diner, eating the best and most fatty meal possible for breakfast. I'm soaking wet from the monsoon that continues outside, with my shirt that screams unclean breastfeeding mother and puddles actually inside my shoes. I think I would have been drier if I'd swam a few laps wearing a two wool sweaters and sponge pants. I turn to our waitress and say...

wait for it...

"Is there a mall around here?"

There is a sickening thud as Bev's jaw hits the floor. "Did you just ask for a mall?"

It was an honest question on her part. I hate shopping. Loath it. I hate stores, I hate change rooms, I hate mannequins. I hate shoppers. And I really, above all else, hate malls. My friends know this. They have long ago abandoned suggesting shopping as a social activity.

So to hear me ask a stranger for directions to one was probably equivalent to the shock of me suddenly speaking in tongues while convulsing and snakes slithered in and out of my shirt sleeves.

In my defense, I was more thinking of a safe, dry place to buy a new and obviously needed rain jacket. We'd be in and out. No problem.

I blame my fear of the weather as what kept me in that mall for so long. That and Bev with her unhelpful "Oh, this is cute." And "Why don't you try this?" and "I don't mind waiting. Take your time."

I was looking at these really swell waterproof shells in Eddie Bauer, and the sales lady suggested I try it on with a sweater to make sure one would fit underneath. So I grab the closest sweater and it's this really soft fleece...yeah, so I bought both.

And then the Gap was having this really good sale. I mean, 25% off of everything. How can you beat that? Plus the fact that Oregon has no tax. A concept that leaves Canadian heads spinning. 25% PLUS no tax is like 40%, which is damn close to half off, which is practically free. I had to buy EVERYTHING.

My feet stayed soaked all day, which got me thinking maybe a pair of boots were in order. I mentioned to Bev that we could check out one of those outlet malls that line American highways and she looked like she wanted to slap me. Hard. Across the face. Probably to dislodge the shopping demon that had hijacked my body. She stays her hand and instead asks, "Who are you and what have you done with Sarah?"

Hey, if god didn't want us to be in debt, he wouldn't have invented credit. Right?

I probably shouldn't mention that we went shopping the next day and I bought even more clothes.  And I liked it. That's right. I went shopping - twice - and enjoyed every minute of it.

WHO AM I????

Nov 10, 2009

A Homage to Fried Meat

There's this thing I have to do every time I'm in the States. If at all possible, I must go into a greasy diner and order chicken fried steak. CHICKEN. FRIED. STEAK. It's a dish of pure genius. My step-dad, Mike, introduced me to the wonder of CHICKEN FRIED STEAK over a decade ago, and I've never looked back.

Get this. It's beef. How wonderful! It's a beef steak, but they call it chicken. Americans are terrific. They take this piece of beef, and they pound the hell out of it. Then they batter it and fry it, and serve it with eggs and potatoes and toast and sausage gravy. That's another amazing American culinary accomplishment. A thick, white-grey gravy that you can pump onto any meal and immediately take five years off of your life.

A few years ago I was in Oregon with my friend Andrea (hi Andrea!). We were doing our version of camping - tenting it for one or two nights and then retreating to a motel to regroup and watch trashy television while eating Jack-In-The-Box and drinking cheapcheapcheap liquor. It's a tradition the foundation of our friendship is built on. (That and shoulder biting, but that's a story for another day.)

So we're driving around (or I should say I'm driving around and Andrea is pretending to navigate) Oregon and we end up in this tiny little town for lunch. Low and behold, on the menu is CHICKEN FRIED STEAK! I'm so excited, I talk this dish up to be not only a meal but a good friend that you eat and then carry around on your hips lovingly for the rest of your life. Somehow this pitch pursuades Andrea to try it.

I remember the attempt to order our CHICKEN FRIED STEAK like it was yesterday. First of all it took forever to get attention from the waitress, which was weird because we were the only ones in there. Front and centre and looking hungry. Pretty hard to miss, but she did her best. When she did talk to us, she was a little hostile.

Me: I'll have the CHICKEN FRIED STEAK.
Andrea: Me too.
Waitress: You want the half order.
Me: No, I'm pretty hungry.
Andrea: Me too.
Waitress: You want the half order. (Walks away)

The food comes - plates the size of frisbees built for giants with huge slabs of meat hanging off the side, two eggs, enough hashbrowns to fill a severed head and a stack of thick over-buttered toast.

Me: Um...I thought you were giving us the half order?
Waitress: This IS the half order.
Andrea: (Audible Whimper)

I think, to Americans, portion control is considered a form of censorship.

This time in Oregon, Bev and I end up in a great little cafe right downtown. It's one big counter surrounding the waitresses, making it super easy for them to refill coffee on a regular and timely bases. I loved it for that alone. Finding the CHICKEN FRIED STEAK on the menu only upped their street cred.

Once again I waxed poetic, and once again my companion turned aside common sense and ordered this artery-clogging meal of delight instead. We were served the regular sized meal - big by normal standards but still smaller than that back water town's "half" size by a long shot.

Perhaps it was because I was so happy I'd fulfilled my American meal tradition. Perhaps it was the massive clot of meat and grease my body was having to fight to break down, taking valuable resources away from my brain functions. Or perhaps it was the unusual amount of caffeine in my system thanks to the overly attentive serving staff and their handy coffee pots. But shortly after this meal was over I did something that those who know me, really know me, will likely not believe. But it's true. I swear it. I have a witness.

And I'll confess it all.


Nov 7, 2009

Couch Surfing in Portland

Finally, after months of talking about it, and one failed attempt at doing it, I'm finally getting to use my van for more than cruising around town in the fast lane during rush hour. My good friend Bev is in Portland taking a class, and she made the mistake of inviting me down to visit. (Note to friends - if you invite me to your place for any reason, be sure to set a time line or you might end up with an unintentional roommate. It's not like I have anywhere to be or any job to do...)

Road trip!

Before I left I wondered aloud what the chances were of getting stopped at the border because of my van. Pretty good, my sister thought.

She was right. I pull up to the customs officer and he immediately tells me that the computer randomly selected me for a full inspection.

The computer? Random? I call bullshit. That guy pegged me as a peace-loving, drug-totting, hippy jerk from the moment he saw my camperized van of awesomeness roll into view.

So I had to pull off to the side and leave my keys with a lonely looking guard, then go in to a smelly little building and answer a bunch of questions to Officer Joe. Joe, who had the exact same birthday as me, and wanted to know how I had felt about turning 30 this year. Thanks for pointing that out to the crowd, Joe. After going through an extensive list of dangerous goods, Joe asked if I had any other items that could be used as a weapon. I mentioned my knitting needles, and he got very concerned.

You have knitting needles?
...To knit with?
Where are they?
In the van.
I know! Where in the van?
Oh, in my knitting bag-
They're in a bag?
Okay, then.

I didn't understand why the threat of my knitting needles was diffused by being secured in a bag. I didn't ask. He disappeared for a while to search for contraband, and when he told me I was free to go I swear he sounded disappointed.

All I can say about the drive from Vancouver to Portland is that whatever genius thought it was a good idea to have the I-5 go right through downtown Seattle should be shot. Out of a cannon. Into the sun!

Right, so, impressions of Portland. Initial ones revolved around my bed. Bev rented a condo, and it has this couch that must be an Ikea thing. It's uber trendy looking and not very comfortable. The back lowers down in three sections so you can turn it into a bed. Why you would do this in three sections I don't know. It's either a bed or a couch. Why would you want part of it to stay up as a couch back and part of it to be down like a bed? This makes no sense to me.

And what is stupid about this couch is that I dated this real idiot about a year ago, and he had one of these. In red. Most of our dates revolved around this couch. Playing video games or watching movies or reading comics. I didn't like it then and I don't like it now. But what I really don't like is me, for thinking about this douche bag every day when I transform the couch into a bed or back into a couch. Some stupid coincidence - he likes uncomfortable furniture, the owner of this condo likes uncomfortable furniture. And in both situations, I'm stuck using it, and stuck thinking about someone I have no desire to remember. How lame is that?

To those that may feel the need to tell me there are no coincidences - that everything is connected, that coincidences are god/fate/the cosmos/whatever smiling at us - I say this. If there really is some divine power, some master plan, is this really how it chooses to communicate with me? Is this the best it can do? Deliver me unto the same model of bed every 365 days? That's a serious misuse of power, if you ask me.

If I'm a mighty being that can guide people and objects towards a specific time and place, well, let me tell you that I'm using that power to do more than make a single girl feel annoyed towards a former dumb-ass date. Like maybe have said girl trip over a bundle of money in the street that was possibly dropped by said dumb-ass, but she'd never know that and would give half to charity (read: spend half on wine and give the empty bottles to a student doing a bottle drive for school sports) and spend half on soft cozy yarn or movies or parts for her really cool but old Westfalia.

That, or I'd use my power to bring the producers of Survivor to Garbage Island for their next season.

Nov 5, 2009

Autumn Haiku

Why do pretty months

Turn into rain and darkness?

Kiss my ass, winter.

Photo by: Me

Nov 4, 2009

What We Will Sacrifice For Cheap Eggs

You know how everyone has their thing that they're weird about when it comes to food? A close friend of mine revealed her true colours when she saw me using a french press wrong. (Her opinion. I maintain my position that you can't screw it up no matter how hard you try.) I used to work with this girl that would only eat chicken she prepared, and while I never witnessed it I heard it involved disposable gloves and a lot of bleach afterwards.

I know people that refuse to eat leftovers, are consistently outraged at the cost of fruit, believe red wine tastes better cold.

I have a few myself. Pancakes should be made from scratch. It's wrong to buy groceries at Walmart, especially meat and dairy. Wine must be drunk the day it's opened. (Day? I mean evening. The evening it's opened...)

But my big food thing is that breakfast should be cheap. It should be possible to walk into any respectable cafe and order two eggs, pork product, hash browns and toast for a few bucks. When I see this basic fare on the menu for six or seven, or sometimes even over ten dollars, I'm outraged. Silently and politely outraged.

I was thinking about this today while I was loitering in Bon's, being systematically ignored by all the staff. Bon's is a diner in Vancouver that I frequented regularly about eight years ago. It was a funky little place with cool movie posters and a jukebox, It was easily accessible by public transit. But the bestest selling feature was its $2.95 breakfast. Who cared if you had to wait forever to get a table. If their idea of busing was piling all of the dirty dishes on one big table in the center of the room. If you had to hunt down your own menus. And coffee. And waiter. If they lost your order. Got your eggs wrong. It was quirky and fun. My friends were there. And the price certainly fit into my student loans budget.

Bon's was the only place in Vancouver that sort of compared to Halifax, where I'd just moved from. Pardon me if I sound old and preachy, but in my day living in the big H, breakfast could be bought anywhere for no more than four dollars, AND it always included coffee. The places were clean, the service was great, the food hot and fast and delicious. This is how I remember it, and you will never convince me I'm wrong.

It was hard to let all of that go when I landed in Vancouver at the young and delicate age of 22. Bon's helped me get over my Halifax breakfast heartache. I've remembered it fondly over the years, wanting a morning reunion.

Angie and I have been talking about Bon's ever since she and Nathan decided to move to Vancouver. Today, we finally made it. We waited ten minutes for someone to clear one of the many dirty tables before we could sit down. After being ignored for another ten minutes Angie scrounged up some menus. Time ticked by, waiters walked back and forth in front of our table without ever looking down. All this time allowed me to really look around the place. To notice all of the grime on the walls, on the tables, on the napkin holders. The cakey, greasy dust on and around the coffee makers. The general ickyness of the decor and cleaning practices.

Finally our meager and annoying presence was acknowledged and an order was placed. The eggs were snotty, the potatoes bland, the toast over buttered. And no, on this coast the coffee is not included. Or refilled, apparently. We never did see our waiter again. Can't go wrong for $3, Angie said. Really?

This used to be fun. What's changed? Me? And if so, for the better or worse? At the age of 30 should I accept my desire for clean establishments with nice people that can get an egg order right as a sign of emotional maturity? Should I embrace my new self and allow her to grow and flourish and spend more money on breakfast?

Or am I changing into a different, and worse, person? Becoming jaded and critical? Is this my last chance to throw off the nets of pretense and  stuck-upery I'm caught in and resurrect my former, better, cheaper, self?

Do other people think about breakfast this much?

Nov 1, 2009

It's Not A Problem If Everyone Does It. Right?

I'm at this party a while ago. There are only a few of us left. It's very late and there is much wine in my system when it happens. That inevitable, incredibly awkward moment. A boy leans too close and whispers what his eyes have been saying all night. Do you want to play Rock Band?

I smile and lower my gaze demurely, shaking my head. But it's too late. The others have heard, and everyone thinks it's a fantastic idea. All of a sudden fake guitars are being whipped out and someone is attaching a bunch of wires to a drum set that looks like it was designed by Fisher Price. Come on, Sarah, play.

I grew up in a smallish town where typical teen rebellions like cigarettes and drinking and smoking oregano and going too far with guys in their dad's cars were fairly common occurrences. But I have never, ever, experienced the amount of peer pressure to participate in an activity I'm not comfortable with as I did that night. The night of the Rock Band. Come on, just play already. All the cool kids are doing it. What's your problem? Stop being such a drag and just do it already. I felt like I was in a parody of a poorly written after school special. But it was no joke. It was my life.

It's not that I don't like video games. I do like them. A little too much. I'm like the straight laced student that is dragged to the pub for one drink and ends up dancing on the bar with no top and lemon wedges stuck in her hair. I do just fine without it, but if I do indulge in a hit of an electronic game I'm immediately transformed into a full on addict. Just insert central line and feed the graphics, music and avatars directly into my heart.

I remember as a child in the late 80's going over to my aunt's house. I'd pace the living room, sending telepathic messages to my five year old cousin. Invite me to play with your Nintendo. Do it now! I couldn't ask, that would be rude. I was being torn between my mother's teachings of Always-Be-Polite-No-Matter-What, and my primal need to PLAY DUCK HUNT NOW!

And there was the PC version of Balder's Gate my boyfriend had when I was 20. I lost most of a winter to that game. Many evenings he would come home from work to find me in the late stages of rigor mortis, sitting right where he'd left me nine hours earlier - wrapped in a blanket with my hand cramped around the mouse, barely able to flutter my index finger to move my army of warriors from a battle against ogres to a battle against wild dogs to a battle against evil wizards to a - you get the picture. You don't even want to know what happened to my social life and my tendonitis when he brought home a PlayStation.

I couldn't close my eyes without seeing the games. I couldn't close my hand into a fist. My shoulders ached and I was probably close to permanent organ damage due to long term dehydration.

But I reformed. To the wild cries and gnashing of teeth (from both my boyfriend and myself), I deleted all of my games, ordered the PlayStation out of the house, and never looked back.

So when my sister sent me an invitation to play Farm Town on Facebook, I turned it down. I just don't play any type of electronic game anymore. Please, she said. I need you to join, so I can have an extra neighbour. No, I said. Come on, she said. You don't even have to play. 

Yeah, right. Angie, have you even met me?

This game. It's the stupidest game I've ever played. You get this square of land. And you click on little pieces of this land with the mouse. That's pretty much it. You click on the little pieces to plow them. Then you click to plant seeds. Then you wait for a few hours to a few days. Then you click to harvest them. Then you click to plow. And while you're waiting for your virtual crop to grow, you can go to strangers farms, and click on their little pieces of screen. You can then spend the fake money you made buying little cartoon decorations like hammocks and outhouses and bunny rabbits.

That's it. There's no story to get caught up in. No characters, no plot. No battles with ogres. The graphics suck. And I can't stop playing it. Must click repeatedly. Must make crop grow! I feel like the desperate addict that will stoop to disgusting levels to get her high. The drunk chugging mouth wash and vanilla extract. The coke head licking powder of the floor in a bathroom stall.

My name is Sarah Gignac, and I'm addicted to a Facebook application.