Monday, January 02, 2006

end of the era

It's a new year and, yes folks, I'm moving on.

As the vast majority of you dear readers are people I know, you likely already know about the Private Blog for goofy family pics, personal updates and Christmas letters. Maintaining multiple blogs has become a hassle, and so ends a thought gone further off track...

Since, every now and then, random people do stop by and, if for some strange reason you do want to relive the past in the archives (but mostly because I'm lazy) this site will remain up for the foreseeable future. I'm not sure that all the links will remain, but we'll see.

Thanks for those who've been reading this and happy blogging!


Sunday, December 11, 2005

a winding down?

Ah, maybe it's the crunch of the season or maybe it's just fall-out from my last post regarding my likely lack of posting, but I've had thoughts of closing up shop here.

I'm spreading myself a little thin in the blogging and would probably be much better off to focus my efforts instead of splitting writings.

That's my theory for today, anyway.

No decisions to be made before the new year and, should a shut down be decided upon, a much more formal announcement will precede any demise...

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

epiphanies: few and far between

It's December. I've simply not much time left for having deep, profound thoughts that can turn themselves into worthy rants.

My time is more consumed, recently, with timely Christmas shopping, shipping and daily schlepping around. Postings may be sparser than usual between now and the New Year, and certainly shorter. There will likely be news of import: little kids singing along to songs they don't know at Christmas concerts, gatherings of people I see only once a year, the microcosm of the Greyhound bus station and semi-postal mall Santas.

But, whether or not I will have time or inclination to digest it past the observation will remain to be seen. If I don't deal with something as, or shortly after, it happens, I'm far more likely to simply let it slide into the recesses. It might reincarnate later as part of something else, but never as the same moment.

In theory, that's why I started carting my old camera around with me in my purse; there were so many shots during my days that I wanted to take and couldn't.

Since I began carrying it, I've yet to take a single photo. Maybe, like posting, more in the New Year?

Sunday, November 27, 2005

I'm dreaming of a...

Hell, no I'm not!

I've lived on the wet west coast for the past 8 years and have become quite comfortable with green Christmases, thank you. We're allowed one snowfall, maybe two, in January, and that's it folks.

So, who decided that it was time to have snow in November?

Granted, it's stuck mainly to the roofs and tips of trees, but still. I mean, really. It's just too strange. There was no hint of this in the forecast. After a week of fog, we were to have a few days of rain and get back to our normal dreary selves.

I have a theory. Since the BC Lions didn't win a spot in today's Grey Cup, that meant the two competing teams are from significantly colder climes. That means their fans are travelling in, en masse, to partake in the event. That means: they brought the damn weather with them. Crazy-ass Albertans and Quebecois. By all means, come visit our lovely city, but do so without bringing the weather here with you! If I were to go visit Montreal or Edmonton, I wouldn't dare consider bringing the rain with me. It's rather rude, you know.

Now, I'm going to be all cold and cranky AND attending a football game that the local team isn't in. God help the painted, beer-soaked idiots sitting behind me in the stands today...

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

sugar high

Oh, is it getting near Christmas??

Must be all the eggnog, gingerbread and pounds upon pounds of chocolate that are distracting me from the true spirit of consumerism. Far too easy, these days, to be lulled into a fat and sugar filled stupor early in the shopping day; one must have their whip-cream topped gingerbread latte and icing-slathered scone to start the day, after all. What then, of stores and shopping? Wandering aimlessly in such a stoned blissfully full and caffeinated state can truly only bring feelings of peace and ambivalence. Far too stressful, is it not, to enter an elbow-to-elbow store for a scented bar of soap? Why, one's coffee might be bumped! And, really, once that level of caffeination has been achieved, only more will do. The only (and I mean ONLY) sensible shop to visit at this point is one filled with chocolate. And doesn't everyone love chocolate for the holidays??

With apologies to the diabetics, the dieting and the allergic: no one's really thinking of you at this point. It's all rather self-serving, for it's only as the shopper arrives home, bags bulging with rich, endorphin-inducing morsels, that they realise the error of their ways.

Another trip to mall must be planned. Real, proper gifts must be purchased. No, one can't really send candy out to everyone [and yet... it still must be eaten...]. The next trip to the mall, of course, must begin early to avoid the certain rabid gathering of other shoppers. It will require foresight, courage and, above all, the energy to take on parking, sales clerks and santas.

It will require beginning the day with a large coffee and sugar-coated scone.

Monday, November 14, 2005

warning: excessive stream of consciousness b.s. below

[as part of a poetry group that I attend, we get a weekly word or line to ponder. this week's line was: all acts of kindness are lights in the war for justice (j. harjo) the following rant was written earlier today to a poorly recalled version of this line. yes, it still counts.]

free write for this week: something about truth shining light on injustices.

I automatically cringe at the thought of having to write on such a grandiose topic - it could go so vague, so righteous, so cheesy, so self-important and all with so little effort.

The only out is to describe, perhaps, a personal event but, really, what injustices have I suffered? I've taken the brunt of a few minor slights but certainly nothing worthy of rehashing at the risk of whining over petty crap from years ago.

A personal event for someone else? The story of the pan-handler on the corner or the street-worker on the drive home? That greatly runs the risk of over-sentimentalizing (is that a word?) but perhaps that's the challenge.

Perhaps a ?subtler commentary - women's access to emergency contraception?

Maybe my problem with this is the inherent assumption that there is an immediately accessible right and wrong, and it seems unlikely to be able to explore any issue fully enough in a poem to justify proclaiming any conclusions of my own. And it seems rather unpoetic to regurgitate a barrage of heavy-handed info - and, even personalized, it's heavy-handed - so that the readers can form their own opinions.

So, where does that leave me? Letting this stew while I wait for the requisite epiphany. It may happen, it may not. I may just be chicken-shit.

That may be the point.

Monday, November 07, 2005

a clear day brings out all the crazies

Yesterday was actually sunny. After several days of rain, it was quite bizarre to see, not only so much sun, but so many people out and about - many with no apparent purpose other than to be out and about. I wasn't one of them. I'm battling the dregs of a cold that left me with little incentive to get off the couch until I had to go out in the afternoon.

There were so many afternoon strollers on our front lane that I was beginning to get a bit paranoid. Driving down past the shops in Kitsilano in the afternoon was treacherous with all the weekend window shoppers.

A beautiful, clear winter day: hard to come by on the pacific coast, yet here it was for the past two days. It is all, of course, over tomorrow. The rain returns and threatens to stay close for the remainder of the week. But even that, we're not allowed to complain about. Rain in the city means snow in the mountains and the ski hills [when are they going to change the name to snowboard hills?] are opening in record time this year. Doesn't matter that I don't ski/snowboard. I'm not allowed to complain.

I just have to hold out for the next clear day to run out and walk around without purpose. Hopefully, I'll be over the cold by then.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

whilst pondering each nuance and tone

Yep, the first poetry studio convenes tomorrow afternoon.


I've been dithering lazy in my editing and waiting only for those phrases that hit me in a profound epiphany, rather than taking the time to tease out succinct bits of wording.

I need a smack up side the head.

Now, to my knowledge, no one at the group tomorrow [though there are a couple of newbies] is of the ilk to literally smack me up side the head, but a little verbiage adjustment will do just as well.

Plus, I get to read other works - something I'm also lazy about on my own. I have a few publications that I check into and a few books that have been dog eared with personal faves but none of it is terribly broadening in the horizons department.

So, yes, I'm looking forward to tomorrow.

And if I'm not able to adequately edit between now and then, I can at least go now and print off a few copies for editing.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

into the pit

The basement is once again rearing it's ugly head... as much as a basement can do, what with being at the bottom of the house.

I've had an overdue note appearing in my email for the last month: phone the contractor. I am so procrastinating.

I'm at an impasse regarding what kind of bookshelves I want him to build. I've found a table that I like [not sure if SigOther likes it, but if he was really terribly concerned, he'd've come shopping with me] and I thought that would clear everything up with respect to the bookshelves. It hasn't.

I'm at the point now where I may just phone our guy up and get him to finish the basement without all the extra cabinetry work. I feel kind of bad about it, because the woodworking is the stuff he likes to do. There is still a little woodworking to be done in the living room and we're definitely going ahead with that, but I fear that if the basement is to ever be finished, it will have to be in stages. I know that's not ideal but my visualizing powers appear to be at an all time low and my motivation is fast racing to join in.

I've now tentatively scheduled the basement clean up for the upcoming long weekend [unbeknownst to SigOther, and in and around getting my hair done and going out to friends' for supper]. After that, we get the contractor back and try and set some dates.

I need deadlines and scheduling; that's the only way to get things done around here. Otherwise, I just simply get used the appearance of the ugly old basement. Kind of like I have for the last five years...

Sunday, October 23, 2005

'tis the season

Hallowe'en fast approaches, but I'm already past that and thinking of Christmas.

Yes, shoot me now.

I've not actually bought any presents yet, but have already figured out a few people's gifts and have been harassing others for ideas. I've even started drafting my annual cheesy-yet-obligatory letter. Now, I just have to buy the cards.

I send out about 50 cards a year to various friends and family (SigOther has a big family) and, for some, that's the only contact I have with them all year.

I figure that's better than a kick in the head.

I could just send out the letter and stop feeding the holiday card giant's pockets, but this year I've decided to try posting the letter online [not here - elsewhere]. I will still need some manner in which to inform the masses of the location of the letter. So, cards it is.

Locating the perfectly inoffensive card isn't easy, as it's mostly me who is easily offended by overt religious sentiments, overt cuteness or overt blandness. If it makes me roll my eyeballs, I don't buy it. I have the same issues with all cards - birthday, mother/father's day, weddings, etc - but since those are for a particular person, I can take their opinions into account and loosen up on some of my own issues. But, when presenting my annual sentiment to a large group of people, icons and phrasing become more critical.

No, it's not brain surgery. And I know that each and every card is likely discarded before the new year. However, for the brief moment that is read and/or displayed, the existence of an obnoxious glittery little cartoon bear vs. a stylized non-denominational snowflake makes a difference.

Every now and then I wonder how, in the age of computers, places like the post office and stationery stores stay in business. And then I remember.... me, at Christmas.