Showing posts from 2007

It's All Gravy

There is no happiness. There is only moments of happiness
- Portuguese saying (allegedly) For most of my life, the transition to a new year has been hard. Caught up in the hype of endings and beginnings, I’d invariably find fault with my life, usually some variant of waiting for my life to happen, that although I was going to school, working, etc., I wasn’t quite plugged in, that I was coasting, existing, not living. About a month ago, I found myself saying something stunning to a friend. That if you’d shown the me of 5 years ago the me now, 5-years-ago-me would’ve been horrified. I would’ve shuddered at my pain levels, my limitations, how much my life has shrunk, both in terms of ability, social life, geographic mobility (the way my pain levels prevent me from going beyond my immediate neighbourhood). I would’ve believed this life unbearable. And here’s the stunner: I am happier now than I was 5 years ago. Than I have ever been. Here, in my little life, the life that has far les…

Wallowing in Joy

I love Christmas.It’s my favourite holiday and I can’t get enough of it.Which turned out to be a good thing.We always congregate at my mother’s on Christmas Eve, but this year, we got a call from the TinkParents early in the day to tell us that they’d had a case of not Typhoid Mary, but rather Typhoid Liam and that although the children were all bright-eyed and bushytailed after experiencing only a brief period of gastrointestinal distress, the infection had laid waste to aforementioned TinkParents and it was impossible for them to come.So Christmas #1 was a smidge quieter than it otherwise would’ve been, with mor, myself, Ken and Michele doing our level best to eat for 8 (it’s the least we could do), sing with abandon (no noise complaints were received) and in general enjoy ourselves to the max (and although we missed the pestilent a great deal, we did admittedly have a rather terrific time).In honour of the absent, mor placed candles by her photographs of the Tinks and the flickerin…

Glædelig Jul!

I had a plan. I even had a Schedule. Then there's that thing about how doing something twice makes it tradition and in the past two years, I've done a special Christmas post (here and here), so naturally, somewhere in the past three days, I fully intended to write a thoughtful post about the joys of the season and... well. I think it's too late. The nisse is here already

so all I can do is wish you and yours a wonderful holiday. May it be filled with love, good cheer and plenty of really yummy food.

St. James in Snow


Random December

On Monday, at the very top of my list - after blogging, of course - was creating a bit of a schedule.It went something like this:10a.m. - stress out11a.m. - panic
12 noon - tear hair1p.m. - gnash teeth1:30 p.m. - eat lunch.Include chocolate2p.m. – flit from task to task, never spending more than five minutes on any one thing, create mess, be convinced that alphabetical paperclips would solve all my problems (how couldn’t they?I mean, it’s alphabetical paperclips!), lose presents in mess3p.m. - have hysterics3:30 p.m. – napAs you can probably imagine, Monday was highly unproductive.In the evening, I attempted to get a grip by writing a list for Tuesday and printed in capital letters at the top was GET OVERVIEW OF XMAS, because I am that anal-retentive and my lack of perspective so profound that only by the proverbial writing of a list and checking it twice (or 10 times) could I begin to hope for less holiday angst.So I got an overview, not only of Christmas, but also everything else tha…

That Might Explain It

The first order of business today is the result of last Wednesday’s contest.I got a ton of email, which I always enjoy (note to self: have contests more often!).There were answers, guesses and even made-up songs - Willowtree’s “Ain't no trout about it” deserves honourable mention and Cindi’s (who may have a blog, but I’m not sure) suggestion that I was thinking of the theme from Jaws made me giggle every time I thought about it.Most of you were on my wavelength – a fact which you may or may not decide to worry about – and I want to especially thank Jessica for taking the time to type out all the lyrics – now when it’s stuck in my head (over and over and over again), at least I can sing more than a line or two.If you guessed Fish Heads by Barnes & Barnes, you were in the pool.I respectfully requested the participation of Her Royal Catness, but she claimed to be busy digesting, so I put the names in a Tupperware container fancy receptacle, closed my eyes and picked one. And the …

More Questions Than Answers

I was talking to friend about euthanasia the other day - yes, I know, we have such uplifting talks ‘round here.We were in wholehearted agreement about the barbarism that is our ability to, when the end is inevitable and filled with suffering, help an animal to a dignified, painless end, but not do the same for people, should they wish it, because… I dunno, human suffering is noble and useful before death?And then the subject turned to Robert Latimer and things got a little hairy.Fourteen years ago, Latimer killed his severely disabled daughter Tracy and last week, his parole application was denied.And I will come right out and say that I rejoiced when I heard that, because I think what he did was wrong with a capital W, because no one has the right to "help" someone die who isn’t capable of asking for that help.My friend is a parent and believes that although the rules may say that what he did was wrong, it is quite possible that in this particular context, it may have been …

Christmas Contest

Something I saw the other day made me laugh.And prompted thinking about a contest.It’s been a while since we’ve had a contest ‘round here.I briefly considered making A Schedule™ the prize, but am pretty sure it’s too close to the deadline for it to be of any use and then there’s that thing about not all of you out there being knitters.So instead, I offer up an 8x10 print of your choice from the multitude of photographs posted here or on Flickr.Or, should the winner be a knitter and really desirous of A Schedule, we can do that instead.Enough preambling, here it is:What song did I spend the day humming after seeing this

Send answers to landers5ATgmailDOTcom with the title Christmas Contest by Friday midnight EST.I’ll attempt to come up with some interesting (or not) way of randomly selecting a name – involving Her Royal Catness seems appropriate.

Out To Sea

I caught a song in the grocery store the other day.You know how it goes – there you are, somewhere between the pickles and the orange juice and the music you’ve so far largely ignored (due to the abominable selection) changes at first imperceptibly and then somehow, you find yourself humming without quite realizing which song and then you hear it and either continue humming along – maybe even singing along or am I the only one who sings happily off-key in the produce section? - or you shut your mouth, aghast at what’s emerging from your vocal cords.These days, supermarket muzak is a bit of a mixed bag – on the one hand, 80s music has officially become store entertainment and I’m a little worried about admitting just how much of that I can sing along with, on the other, sometimes you get the aural equivalent of a Twinkie.But I digress.As usual.So I caught a song and it stayed with me not just to the cash, as they usually tend to do, dropping off me as I near the exit, but for days.Week…

Shoji Shadows


I Oughta Be Ashamed

Three things have happened this week that have caused behaviour best described as unseemly, quite possibly shameful and which has significantly set back my personal growth.Thing #1: It may be somewhat of an understatement to say that I'm slightly competitive. I try – oh, lord, do I try - to control it, especially when playing games with children, as I believe it may be cruel to wipe the floor with someone who's underage while cackling maniacally as you win.Besides, it's not a fair fight and it is much more fun to win when you're on a level playing field.Which brings me to the Minesweeper story.An innocuous, deceptively quick little game, it has the potential for addiction built right in.Which I discovered to the point of incurring a Minesweeper injury.If that wasn't bad enough, both Ken and Stephanie joined the “fun”, which took things from serious to demented and I didn’t quit until I reached 83 seconds on the expert level (Ken and Steph having had the good sense …

Dancing Fool

I’ve loved to dance for as long as I can remember.When I was little, I’d dance on the Maslagan, disappearing into movement, convinced I was as graceful as the ballerinas I’d watch on TV with my mother and for a while, I alternated future career goals between dancer and fire fighter.That is, until I dropped both in favour of horse trainer in a circus, then later working with Jacques Cousteau and I’m getting off track.I was talking about dancing.And last week's finale of The Best Show on Television has made me think not just of how much I love ballroom dancing, but of my own experience therein.

I was nine, or maybe eight, the year I decided I wanted to take ballroom dancing.This idea had come to me from my best friend AB who'd been doing it for a few years - it was a fairly common thing for children to do in Denmark around the early 70s.So my parents got me lessons at the same dance studio that AB went to, run by a married couple, Mr. and Mrs. G.I don't remember what he looke…

The Tinks Are Two!

When I was little, one of my favourite things to do was mini vacations at mygrandparents’.They still lived in the same small-town, in the same apartment where my mother grew up and more than anything else, this is where I connected to my family history.The relatives on my father's side were more distant, both geographically and emotionally, and besides, my mother's family told stories - stories of themselves and of the people who made up our family in the past and whether living or dead, they were all equally vivid.When I visited my mormor and morfar, my favourite thing to do within this favourite thing was go to the cemetery with my mormor to take care of the graves of the family members who were with us in spirit only.We'd clean up the gravesite, trim the little hedge around it, put water in the vases, neatly arrange the new flowers and through it all, my grandmother would tell me about my family and I loved hearing the stories over and over again.Afterwards, we'd go…

A Note on Calendars

There's a wee calendar over at the shop. Twelve of my favourite photos in a spiralbound wall calendar. Have a peek and feel free to tell me off in the comments for not selecting the ones you would have chosen!

Putting the calendar together was a surprisingly lengthy process, although highly enjoyable. Only minor clumps of hair was torn out. There's something soothing about puttering around with images, fitting them into nifty pages, re-doing several over and over again until they're just right. Almost as much fun as running The Harlot's life, although with less upfront whining and gnashing of teeth and no requirement at all for pretending to let the subject have a modicum of input (for the curious, wrangling of The Schedule has begun - it's way too early to know whether there'll be time for it all, but I suspect Madame has overestimated things. As usual. Next year, we start in October).

One note, though: due to a technical error, a redesign of January was…



Random November

Or rather, November Link-O-Rama. Time to goof off!

But first, its time to yet again make fun of me. After decades on miscellaneous painkillers, NSAIDs and disease modifying agents, my stomach is fucked, so for years, I've supplemented my prescription stomach meds with Gaviscon, which is like putting a blanket on a fire.And now the bastards have changed the formula.Well, the label says 'new look', but they've also added a mysterious "cooling action" and when I tried it, my head exploded from the intense peppermint and I fell the burn all the way down through my esophagus into my stomach.Where it proceeded to burn some more for awhile.Sorta counter-productive, y'know? So I hunted through the neighbourhood stores to find the old formula, as I wasn't in the mood to spend a lot of money experimenting with other antacids.Finally found some at Loblaw's and cleaned them out.Got some cat food while I was there and went to the cashier. You know that thin…

Lighter Fare

Before I start rambling on, a heartfelt thank you go to the Blog/Tech God - a.k.a. Ken - for helping me with my template when I got hopelessly stuck attempting to decipher HTML (which was as easy as interpreting hieroglyphics without the Rosetta Stone) and moreover for having the patience to translate so I could understand and "make blog go" myself (with some heavy handholding). I even started to sort of get the code a little and am highly pleased.

Anyway. To balance the darkness from last few weeks' forays into the Department of Traumatic Dentistry, Chicken Little, Inc. and Recalcitrant Technology, I decided it's time for fluffier fare. To match the snow we got yesterday.

Which turns out to be good timing, because I’ve been so freakin’ busy the past few weeks that my wee brain conked out yesterday at 2:34pm - I know the exact time because that's when I put my keys in the refrigerator - and still has not seen fit to return.I suspect it’s gone on strike until I s…


(attempting changes. Doing HTML. Hold on for dear life and please pardon the rough look in IE)It is too a word.It derives from the noun Techno-Twit.Also a word.I know this because I invented it myself.Hey, if Stephen Colbert can get Truthiness into Mirriam-Webster, I bet with the collective powers of our minds/blogs, we’d be able to do the same for my little word.Who’s with me?!Anyway, this past weekend was dedicated to a number of computer-related activities.To wit:- Finally update to new Blogger template- Select "decent photos", organize and edit same and upload to Flickr
- Create storefront on CaféPressBut before I move on to the likely boring tech stuff – feel free to ignore it if such things make your brain whimper, but if you know anything at all about computers, I would love some advice – I want to talk about the last item.A few people have asked me lately why I don’t do something with my photographs – y’know, to get them Out There (that’d be the Flickr aspect) …

It's Official

I live in a neighbourhood where a certain day of the year, you can be walking down the street, quietly minding your own business, having been to the store to buy cereal and bananas and see this

And this

And if that wasn’t plenty disturbing, there will also be children with alarmingly large and furry ears

It’s a sign.Not that you’re going bonkers – although, you’d be forgiven for jumping to that conclusion – but that someone important is coming.Important enough to get a police escort

And be accompanied with a cheerful, yet oddly stress-inducing, warning

What else but the Santa Claus Parade?My favourite sighting from this year was watching a mother and her teenaged daughter.The daughter, being about 14 years old and at the height of that age where your parents are horribly embarrassing, stood far enough away from her mother to maintain her cool factor.When the sounds of cheering throngs started a bit down the street and the mother lifted up their aging Cocker Spaniel so it, too, could see Sa…

The Whole World in His Hands


Ill-Bred and Lovin' It

I’ve talked about before about how when I was growing up, everyone I knew was raised to have a thorough understanding of etiquette and table manners.That our parents made sure that should we be invited to have dinner with the Queen, we could without embarrassing ourselves (and, by extension, save our entire family from nationwide infamy as the relatives of“that woman who slurped her coffee at the palace”).In our house, that meant not only did we learn the standards – how to use a knife and fork appropriately (fork in left hand, knife in right) the minute we had sufficient motorskills, elbows off the table, don’t eat until everyone’s seated and have food on their plate, keep yer gob closed while chewing, etc. – but also that a meal is a social event, a time for the family to connect.Breakfast and lunch were more casual affairs, but dinner was sacred, with all family members present and expected to contribute to the conversation.Once we’d finished, my sister and I would at times ask to …