13 December 2012

Things That Are True - On Not Chickening Out and Holiday Concerts

My friend Neil over at Citizen of the Month has been doing a blogger holiday concert for years - and last year I really wanted to participate and I totally chickened out. This year I'm doing it - fumble-fingered guitar playing, flat vocal bits and all. The song is "The Christians and the Pagans" by Dar Williams.

Please to enjoy!

05 November 2012

Things That Are True - I Want to Ride My Bicycle, I Want to Ride My Bike

I was sick today - managed to get His Impness to the school bus stop and return home before I revisited the contents of my digestive tract. Word to the wise: smoothie is not so smooth on the way back up.

When I'm sick is the only time I actually miss having a car.

I had, for logistical reasons, the use of HWSNBN's car all last week, and I was surprised at how much I hated it. Navigating traffic, looking for parking, having to always be aware of how much time was left on the meter. Ugh. I used to equate having a car with having freedom, but after almost a year and a half of cycling everywhere, I have to say I don't see myself ever going back. I've grown used to just locking up my bike and walking away, not worrying about it being broken into or getting towed. I've enjoyed the money I don't have to spend on parking. I like being able to take bike lanes or snake my way the through lines of cars waiting at a red light. I like feeling the wind on my face, and hearing what's going on around me. I resented the hell out of the car - despite the rain and miserable weather we had last week, I found myself wishing I was on my bike.

If I had a bell...

And HWSNBN's car has heated seats, so that's saying something.

But when I'm sick? A car seems like a really good idea. Fighting back puking on a bike is just not fun. Fighting back vomit in a car isn't fun either, but at least it feels like no one can see the ridiculous faces you're making.

This morning I made it home on my bike without breaching the confines of my digestive system by sheer force of will. You can call me Iron Jaw.

Hope tomorrow's a better day.

04 November 2012

Things That Are True - Grace in Small Things

After yesterday's bummer of a post I thought I'd do my part today to wage the battle against embitterment.

The Imp's choice of attire for a lunch out yesterday
  1. A slow, lazy day with The Imp and HWSNBN today, with nothing more pressing to do than drop off laundry and hang out in a coffee shop. It's been a while, and it felt good.
  2. Abbott Laundromat. Their inexpensive drop off service is a small luxury that basically saves our marriage every weekend.
  3. The adorable thirteen month old in the coffee shop today, who thought big-kid-Imp was all that.
  4. The Imp rising to the occasion and sharing his book and stickers with the adorable thirteen month old unprompted.
  5. Non shoutiness, and today being much better than yesterday.
Inspired by Schmutzie's Grace in Small Things. That Schmutzie is the conduit of much internety goodness.

03 November 2012

Things That Make Me Ashamed - Shouty Mom

The truth is, I haven't been liking myself very much lately.

I've been letting things slide, I've been missing opportunities, I've been slow to react, and slow to finish things, if they get finished at all. I've ignored this blog, ignored writing altogether for probably the longest stretch of my adult life. I couldn't figure out why I cringed every time I thought about sitting down to put my thoughts in order.

Then I figured some stuff out, and it's not pretty at all.

I have some baggage about being ignored; being made to feel less than.

No four year old is really great at listening. The Imp, energetic and full of questions and entranced with all the shiny things is not good at listening at all in the morning rush before school and work.

He's a great kid. He's thoughtful, and generous, and sweet. Affectionate, whip-smart, and curious. He gets excited about every little thing, and greets each day with a let's go! attitude that I often envy.

But he's not so great at listening.

And I'm not so great at being not listened to.


It happened gradually, but I started shouting at him sometimes, to get his attention. After six times of asking him to do something with no response, I'd increase the volume to let him know I meant business. It was effective for a while, then it faded into the white noise of Imp's life.

So I started shouting to get his attention a lot of the time.

Then instead of just being a question of volume, a note of frustration crept into the shouting. Then the frustration turned to resentment, and soon it felt like I was shouting all the time, angrily barking orders at Imp every time I needed him to just do something.

I became Shouty Mom.

The morning excitement in Imp's eyes was turning to resistance and resignation, and that's when I realized that I didn't like myself very much. That I hadn't liked myself very much for quite some time. I was horrified by the parent I'd become without noticing.

Three days ago I hit critical mass. After a particularly difficult morning, I cracked. I just could not stand the idea of starting one more day fighting with The Imp about all the minutiae of our daily routine; breakfast, getting dressed, picking up his toys, getting his for-the-love-of-all-things-holy shoes on so we could just get out the door.

I could not, as a human being, spend that much time frustrated, angry, and living my life at top volume.

So I stopped.

And it's been hard. Not the stopping shouting, that's the easy part. It's a relief, to turn the volume down, to dial back the anger, to just get really quiet. I've kept my demeanor calm, my tone reasonable, and my voice low. Instead of shouting, I speak quietly enough that Imp has to get close to me to hear what I'm asking him to do.

The hard part?

(I'm ashamed, deeply ashamed, to admit this.)

The Imp's gotten used to the shouting. The Imp doesn't know how to deal with the not shouting.

The shouting is awful, but it's been consistent enough that it's comfortable for him, even if it's all kinds of wrong.

(I've been on the receiving end in an abusive relationship. The echoes of that here are enough to make my fingers shake as I type this.)

Because the dysfunction (temporary, it hasn't been going on that long, and I'm self aware enough to have caught it, for which I am eternally grateful) is what he knows, this sudden change to quiet, even-toned, non-shouting Mommy is discomfiting for The Imp.

He's flailing, striking blindly, lashing out at me to try and provoke the reaction he's accustomed to. It's been awful, seeing him escalate and escalate really bad behaviour because he wants me to shout at him. He's even asked me to shout at him. I've been handling it - we've been handling it - by limiting attention to inappropriate behaviour (make sure he's safe but ignore the outbursts) and lavishing attention on him when he's well behaved. Today there was a lot of progress, and I'm as proud of that as I am ashamed of why it was needed.

I've been crying a lot. A lot.

But I haven't been shouting.

01 November 2012

Things That are Random - Thursday in November Edition

My poor, neglected blog.

Seems fitting somehow that the last time I posted was in New York. Like everyone else, the last two days I've been able to think of little else. Like everyone else, I loved New York. I reveled in the cliche of being enchanted with the city. I made little mental tick marks on the list in my head of New York experiences that I just happened upon. Ride in a yellow cab. Tick. Come around a corner and see the sunlight glinting off the top of the Chrysler building. Tick. Subway trip. Tick tick tick.

The thing about New York is that even if you've never been there, you can't help but feel like you already know it, a little. An ersatz version, surely, but the city figures as a central character in so many books, movies, and tv shows, that we all have a shared experience of the city - even those of us who have never been there. It feels familiar, the landmarks comforting.

A little souvenir of New York I brought home for The Imp

I loved sitting in Bryant Park people watching. I loved walking around Chelsea and the Garment District, Soho, the Village. I loved observing the private moments that happen in public in a city that large - like the woman in midtown changing out of her sensible flats into killer heels on the sidewalk just before squaring her shoulders and stepping through the doors of her office tower, or the business man shrinking away from the vocal shoe shine guy calling him out loudly on the state of his footwear. "No corner office for you!"

I loved it when I finally figured out that what I thought were raindrops beginning to fall were actually dripping air conditioners in windows above me as I walked through the August heat. I loved the casual disregard New Yorkers had for traffic signals. The only people waiting at lights to cross are tourists. After a couple of days, I too sauntered across the street in the face of oncoming traffic just as blase as the next guy, secretly thrilled with the notion that a fellow tourist might mistake me for a New Yorker.

I am an urban traveler. I love getting lost in crowds, I love the encounters with the unexpected. I love the energy; it feeds me. Camping or a cruise would be my worst nightmare. Getting lost in New York? Perfect.

Which is good, since I got lost a lot.

We wandered around, my traveling companions and I. We emerged, blinking, into the sunlight from the subway tunnels and I managed to pick the wrong direction every. single. time. Gwen and Sandi were ridiculously good sports about all the doubling back we had to do. I'm not sure why they kept following me after the 17th or 18th time I went confidently off in the entirely wrong direction, but we stumbled on a couple of great little restaurants that way, so I think they've mostly forgiven me.

Theory: once you've gotten a taste of New York, you get home and start saving money to go back. I know I am.


I don't have anything to add to the common discourse about the devastation in New York. It's not possible to look at photos of destruction and loss and feel nothing. I can't pretend to know the city; I only spent a week wandering its neighbourhoods.

It just feels closer than it once did, is all.

The thing about social media in general, and twitter in particular, is that it vaporizes distance. Geography becomes merely a descriptor when I can chat in real time with a woman hunkered down in her apartment in midtown Manhattan in the middle of the worst storm to hit New York in living memory. I was worried about her situation as I saw more and more shocking photos flitting by in my twitter stream. She was concerned about me as she saw news of earthquakes in British Columbia fly by in hers.


I can't get this song out of my head.

"We are calling for help tonight on a thin phone line
As usual we're having ourselves one hell of a time
And the planes keep flying over our heads
No matter how loud we shout
Hey, hey, hey, hey
And we keep waving and waving our arms in the air but we're all tired out
I heard somebody say today's the day
Big old hurricane she's blowing our way
Knocking over the buildings
Killing all the lights
Open your eyes boy, we made it through the night"

Being on twitter, the night of the storm, felt like we were all sitting together in the dark holding hands.

03 August 2012

Things That Are True - Enjoying the Quiet

It is Friday, and I am in New York.

The view from here

The bright lights of Times Square, a few blocks away through my window on the 43rd floor, wink in my peripheral vision, trying to lure me out of my self-made hotel room cocoon.

I'm tired. I'd be sleeping now but I'm zipped into a dress I can't get out of without help. The biggest party of the whole BlogHer conference is happening forty floors below me, and I am blissfully alone. The hum of the city, punctuated with an occasional and faraway burst of taxi horns and sirens, is familiar, comforting.

I'm finally learning to listen to my body, and tonight it said, "Stay in. Be alone. Enjoy the still. Revel in the quiet." It seems counter-intuitive to seek quiet in the city that never sleeps, but instead of forcing myself to be out, enjoying the bright lights big city, pushing through to the other side by sheer force of will, I'm heeding my body's message.

This conference is big, and joyful, and loud, and as Deb on the Rocks said at the Queerosphere party last night, "BlogHer's a marathon." That it is. An unapologetic, exuberant, boisterous gathering of the tribes. There are moments of true connection; interstitial moments, between sessions, in hallways, in the Serenity Suite, but it's also quick hugs, a smile and a wave in passing, and a whirlwind of learning and lineups and trying not to be left behind.

Tonight I am still, and I am content. For a person whose brain never stops whirring, who spends more nights sleepless than somnolent, who constantly has to clarify and classify all the things, to be still is a minor victory.

And tomorrow is another day.

02 August 2012

Things That Are True - Snapshots from a Thursday

In the elevator, off on my quest to prove that red Chucks go with everything.

I've worked on so many film sets that were dressed to look exactly like this. A bit surreal to be in the real thing.

Washington Square Park on a hot day.

Sidewalk art in the Village.

Modern architecture from the High Line.

A remix (?) of a classic image.

Empire State Building, American flag.

Looking straight up while waiting at the registration desk for BlogHer.

And then this happened. And then I died dead.

Yes, Barack Obama spoke to a room full of bloggers today. We are the media. Booyah.

01 August 2012

Things That Are True - List the Fifth. And BlogHer.

I keep sending iphone photos like this via text message to HWSNBN (who is stuck at home, working) with witty captions like, "Hey, the Chrysler Building! No big deal."

Despite my assertions that I am really only here on his behalf to do some advance scouting for his two-years-away milestone birthday trip to New York, he remains unimpressed. He simply doesn't recognize what a giver I am, taking time out of my busy work and child-rearing schedule to research the best restaurants in New York. For him. It's all for him.

Oh, that little conference I'm going to? The one where I meet new friends and share long hugs and earnest conversations with some of the people I admire most in the world? Pure coincidence. Honest.*

In keeping with my rule of packing light, I brought only a carry-on bag and a laptop/large purse-ish bag, which left not a lot of room for excess stuff. There are a ton of posts out there about what to bring to BlogHer. Here's my list of things I didn't have room for:

1) Cynicism. Despite all my travels and city living, there is always hidden inside a young girl from Watson Lake, Yukon, pop. 1000 on a good day, who is startled and amazed at this incredible life I get to live. Jetting across the continent to spend time with all these gobsmackingly awesome people? And hearing Katie Couric, and Martha Stewart, and (for real, yes, not in person but by live video, uh, wow) Obama speak? Yeah. No room for cynicism in this suitcase.

2) Insecurity about how I measure up. This is a thing that has held me back my whole life. I refuse to carry it around with me anymore.

3) Worries about what to wear. I have clothes. They fit my body. Some of them are even cute. The end.

4) Guilt for leaving my husband and child for a week. There were brief moments of feeling bad, especially when The Imp had a total meltdown as I left, but remarkably it dissipated rather quickly as I enjoyed my surprise-free-upgrade-to-business-class pre-takeoff beverage. Funny how that is.

5) Obligations. So much of my day to day is filled with things I have to do. I have plans, and schedules, and lists, and all the necessities of parenting. This trip is entirely unencumbered. I've carefully not bought tickets to a Broadway show, not made dinner reservations every evening, not made plans at all. Spontaneity is a luxury I am going to enjoy.

6) A desire to shop. New York, I'm doing it wrong. Maybe. I just have a lot of stuff already, you know? Although stopping in at Strand today made me seriously consider just fedexing a box of things home.

7) Time for negativity. I try and make my way through my day inclined to be pleased with things, and I find that for the most part, things live up to my expectations. New York does not disappoint, which is hardly surprising.

Statue, Rockefeller Center

8) My DSLR. A radical act, for me, to travel without my big camera. Last year I brought it with me, lugged it everywhere, and barely used it. This year, I brought my iphone as my camera. So far so good.

9) Fear of not belonging. Of all the places I don't belong, I don't belong here the least.

10) My guitar, which makes me sad. But a week in New York can make up for a lot.

*Fingers crossed means it's ok to lie, right?

27 July 2012

Things That Are Awesome - Whimsy

Forgive me if you've seen this one, but sometimes you need something a little bit ridiculous to end the week. In a fit of whimsy, I embed for your viewing pleasure, a trifecta of geeky awesome: Neil Gaiman, Adam Savage of Mythbusters, and Gollum. Plus a disco classic.


25 July 2012

Things That Are True - Wednesday of few Words

Sick boy, home from daycare, who woke up long enough yesterday morning to wander out to the couch and fall asleep again. Thirty minutes after I took this picture, he threw up all over the couch cushions that cradle his head here.

So that's the kind of week I'm having. You?

07 June 2012

Things I'm Doing - BlogHer Food in Seattle

I got an email a couple of days ago from a concerned reader (okay, it was my aunt) about whether I might have fallen off the edge of the earth. No, not the edge of the earth.

I'm in Seattle!

Hey, no one's more surprised than me. It feels like it snuck up on me, even though this trip's been in the works for ages. My intrepid blogging pal, Karen, set us up to work with Chevrolet Canada again, and here we are, at BlogHer Food.

I talk more about food on twitter than I do here on my blog, although I've posted a few recipes now and then. I'm playing with the idea of creating a dairy-free recipe section here on Wave the Stick, or starting another blog just to keep track of all the non-dairy recipes I attempt, adapt, and concoct.

(Because I need another place to not post to regularly, clearly.)

Karen and I left Vancouver this morning, crossed the border without incident, and made our way to Seattle. We checked into our hotel room at the Fairmont Pacific, where I approvingly noted the presence of fluffy robes, and less happily glanced at the slightly judgmental scale in the bathroom.

Fluffy robes = gooood.

Stop judging me, scale-that-I'm-attributing-human-qualities-to.
At a food blogging conference? That's just cruel.

We parked our stuff and headed out for a walk around the neighbourhood. (It's what we do, Karen and I, when we end up in strange cities together.) I used to come to Seattle frequently, back in my childless husbandless feckless youth. (That would be the 90s, for anyone who's counting on their fingers at home.)

Ah, the 90s. Memories, I have them. My tattered Doc Martens, not so much.

We made our way to Pike Place and the Market, because, duh. Wandered in to DeLaurenti for a sandwich, had a good look at all the things, and carried out a reconnaissance mission to Sur La Table. On our way back to the hotel, we stopped at the Chocolate Box, because, duh.

This seemed a little extreme. I settled for a non-violent salted almond in dark chocolate instead.

Then we wandered into Paper Hammer, where, by the power of Visa, I barely restrained myself from buying everything in the store all at once so lovely omg. I am a sucker for typography and am utterly powerless against the siren call of a blank hand-bound notebook with an exclamation mark on the cover.

Exclamation mark!

Next up: a late dinner at Matt's in the Market. Will report back. After not stepping on the scale.

For play by play commentary on our misadventures, follow #cruze2seattle on twitter.

Full disclosure:
Chevrolet Canada loaned us a Cruze to drive to Seattle, and is reimbursing us for our BlogHer Food tickets, hotel, and fuel expenses. In exchange we've agreed to put their logo on our blogs, write blog posts, and tweet about our trip. I take full responsibility for any inanity/insanity that results from being away from my family for THREE WHOLE DAYS.

06 June 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Star Spangled Handle Edition

And this is how you know you live with a newly-minted four year old who was given glow in the dark stick-on stars for his birthday. They are all over the house.

12 May 2012

Things That Are True - List the Fourth

Ten Things I'd Really Rather Not Say Again Ever But Which Will Probably Escape From My Lips Within Ten Minutes of Writing Them Here:

  • Please use your fork, not your fingers.
  • Stop picking your nose.
  • Too loud!
  • Please don't touch things that don't belong to you.
  • Please don't hit [insert random noun here].
  • What happens when you don't listen?
  • Please don't wave things right in my face.
  • No, you may not have my [insert random food noun here].
  • No finger guns at the table.
  • Chew your food and swallow it, then speak.

You may conclude from the above that breakfast was a little more challenging than usual this morning.

04 May 2012

Things That Are True - List the Third

Ten Photos I Took That I Love So Much I Call Them My Art and I Don't Care if Snooty Art Experts Don't Consider Them Good Enough So There*:

A photo of a photo - a shot of the Woodwards building reflected in Stan Douglas' vast window photograph of his recreation of the 1971 Gastown Riot. Article about his piece here.

Wormhole! Sitting in the front seat of one of the trains on the Canada Line, looking down the tunnel ahead of us. I love the ghostly reflection of the person sitting on the other side of the train.

Sunlight hits one of the statues of Yue Min Jun's A-Maze-Ing Laughter public art installation in my neighbourhood.

The light in Chicago was amazing that day.

The Imp fell fast asleep in a busy cafe. I couldn't resist.

In Paris, even the graffiti is romantic.

If I ever release an album, this will be the cover image.

A bit of whimsy in my own neighbourhood.

So what do you think? Should I open an etsy shop? Sell prints?

[Edited to add: I took all of these with my iPhone, using the Hipstamatic app.]

*File under: If I Created it and I Say It's Art, It's Art. Neener neener.

13 April 2012

Things That Are True - List the Second

Already Friday again, and here I sit, at my computer after 10pm, as usual. Thus, my second of 100 lists:

Ten Songs I Love and Know How to Play on the Guitar Even Though I'm Supposed to Be a Music Snob and Sneer at Some of Them

Wanna come over and jam?

06 April 2012

Things That Are True - List the First

I don't know the first thing about building a readership for this space.

Well, that's not entirely true. I do know a few things. I know I'm supposed to write keyword-rich post titles, I'm supposed to know what my niche is, I'm supposed to post new things here on a regular schedule, I'm supposed to reply to every comment, I'm supposed to strategically hit publish at the right time of day on the right day of the week, and pimp out my posts no more than three times a day on each of my social networks.  I know what I'm supposed to do. And yet, I blunder along, not posting for weeks at a time, not writing post titles that are in any way google-friendly, and not having any idea what my "niche" is. I don't have one. Sometimes I write about food, sometimes about the absurdities of parenting, sometimes about social issues. Mostly I just write.

Actually, mostly I just avoid writing, but I'm working on that.

Hell, I'm still surprised and grateful that there are people who bear no familial relation to me that come to visit these pages from time to time.

I know that writing a new post and hitting publish at ten o'clock on a Friday night is completely useless.

Yet here I am. More often than not, here I am. Since I seem to love the quiet wasteland of the Friday night post, instead of berating myself about my ridiculous writing habits, I'm going to celebrate them. Celeberate! Hey everyone, it's a CELEBERATION! A hybrid of congratulatory self-loathing!

(Cue Kool and the Gang, y'all. There's a party going on, right here.)

For the last few weeks, I've been making lists on index cards (I know. Pens! Paper! How delightfully Neo-Victorian of me!) as a sort of personal project, an exploration of subject matters and aspirations and other things that make no sense to anyone but me. So from now on, I'm going to type out those lists on Friday nights, and publish them after ten pm. To embrace (and also mock, a little) my own eccentricities.

I love arbitrary rules that I set in place for myself - an idea I totally stole, by the way, from Schmutzie. (I mean, she talked about it publicly in a session at Blissdom Canada last year, so it was an idea ripe for annexing is my defense, your honour.)

The arbitrary rules I just made up are simple:
1) 100 lists
2) 10 items each list
3) 1 list published every Friday, after everyone's shut down their computer for the day and will never see it

And here's my first list:

I've Done a Lot of Stuff in My Life But Here Are Ten Things I Want to Do But Never Have*:
  • spontaneously join a street musician/busker and sing harmonies for no reason at all
  • successfully knit somethinganything
  • have read all the books I own
  • take an introductory photography class
  • take fencing lessons
  • post every day for a year at Vancouver Daily Photo
  • get past week 3 of The Artist's Way
  • make ravioli from scratch
  • live in Paris for a year (and yes, even I gag at the cliche of it, but there it is)
  • climb the Grouse Grind in under an hour

Feel free to join me, if arbitrary rules are your thing too. 

*See? That title is not google-friendly. Not even a little bit.

27 March 2012

Things That Are True - Just Write

The Imp comes to me, all fresh from the shower and little boy clean, looking for a hug. I gather him into my arms and lift him onto my lap. He's so gangly now, all legs and elbows and accidentally banging his head into my chin when he comes in for a hug.

I marvel at this child who just keeps growing, which is a ridiculous thing to say, because of course he keeps growing. That's what children do. I know that, intellectually, but I still struggle to understand on a cellular level that this being who once tucked in under one arm to breastfeed now spills out off my lap and onto the floor when he leans into me. Other developments, like language and socialization and his quirky sense of humour have nowhere near as much impact on me as the sheer undeniable size of this boy.

As he walks away from me, the hallway light shines on six inches of bare leg and ankle where once a bath towel dragged on the floor.

This post was written as part of Just Write from Heather of the Extraordinary Ordinary.

26 March 2012

Things I'm Doing - VMNO

Every now and then, I just need to get out of the house. I just need to break up my routine and get out for an evening with some girlfriends, and that is exactly what I'll be doing on Thursday night. About three years ago, a bunch of social media women/moms/entrepreneurs decided, on twitter, to get together for drinks, with no purpose other than a night out. They called it Vancouver Mum's Night Out, and the hashtag #vmno was born. I didn't really know anyone, but had been stalking following people on twitter that I wanted to meet in real life, so I invited myself to the party.

It was a much needed child-free evening among my peers.

Since then every time I've gotten restless and needed a night out, I've gotten together with my friend Tracey and we've planned another VMNO.

Well, we've been restless, Tracey and I. And we found a great venue for a get together, so VMNO, March 2012 edition, is happening on Thursday evening, at 7:00pm at the Lunapads office.

It's a great evening - the anti-networking event. No scheduled speaker, no polite chitchat, no agenda. No swag, no one trying to sell anything, no need to bring business cards. Just a chance for people who don't get to see each other in person very often to mingle in real time. Yummy foodie bits, a little music, and some lovely wine provided by our exclusive wine sponsor, South of France Wines. (We'll also have non-alcoholic slushie drinks for the non-drinkers and designated drivers in the crowd.)

I've been looking forward to this all month.

If you're interested in joining us, more information can be found here.

Now, to decide what shoes to wear...

24 March 2012

Things That Are True - Newton's Laws

"Newton's First Law of Motion states that a body at rest will remain at rest unless an outside force acts on it."

"I'm hiding, Mommy. You don't see me."

"A body in motion at a constant velocity will remain in motion in a straight line unless acted upon by an outside force."

"If a body experiences an acceleration ( or deceleration) or a change in direction of motion, it must have an outside force acting on it. Outside forces are sometimes called net forces or unbalanced forces."

"The Second Law of Motion states that if an unbalanced force acts on a body, that body will experience acceleration ( or deceleration)."

Today was a day of unbalanced, outside forces, if you define outside forces as sunshine, fresh air, and the irresistible appeal of things that need climbing. Which I do.

All that business about Newton's laws was scanged from this NASA page, because yay science!

23 March 2012

Things That Are True - Random Despatches from a Friday Afternoon in March

Sweeps up. Takes out the trash. Vacuums up the spiderwebs.

Oh hi. It was getting a little dusty in here, thought I'd do some tidying up. I didn't expect you, please, come on in.  

Pulls the dust cover off a comfy chair. 

Here, make yourself comfortable. Now, what have I got that I can offer you to drink?


Yeah, it's been a while. I don't know what happened. One day I was writing, then for many days I wasn't. No reason. There I sat, not writing. And the blog sat too, waiting patiently. I interpreted its longing looks as accusations, and kept my distance.

I know it makes no sense.


I went for a walk today. A longish walk; about 5 kilometres. I walked in the sun and the wind, over concrete and asphalt and water, noticing things I wouldn't have seen had I been cycling, or on the bus, thinking only of my destination and how fast I could get there. I looked up, and around, and I saw an eagle making lazy circles over the Granville St bridge. I saw indisputable signs of spring: buds on branches, cherry trees in bloom, unapologetic tiny daffodils spreading cheer in small sidewalk gardens, and the promise of tulips.

I stretched out my senses, so long turned inward away from Vancouver's soul-destroying never-ending winter rain, and I felt grateful for many things.

This has been a gradual awakening, I'm realizing now, over the last several days. Last weekend I picked up the guitar I haven't played in months. This week I dug my camera out of hiding and put it in my everyday bag. I straightened out the mess on my desk. And finally, today, I put fingers to keyboard for more than 140 characters at a time.

I don't know why. Maybe it was the delicious light streaming in through my window this morning.


Eyes the pile of clutter in the corner.

There's still work to be done here, but this feels like a good start.

24 January 2012

Things That Are True - We Went All the Way to Paris and All I Have Are These Awesome Memories

Happy New Year, everyone!

I'm choosing to ignore the fact that the new year arrived three weeks ago. I was out of town, I wasn't blogging, I missed all the resolutions stuff. I am, instead, basing my greetings on the Chinese New Year, which was yesterday. So I'm totally timely with my wishes, and may the Year of the Dragon bring you adventures and peace in whatever combination your heart desires.


Where to start? We had the best trip ever. The Imp walked around the streets of Paris, sing-songing "Bonjour!" and "Bonne année" to random strangers and charming literally everyone who crossed his path. Old ladies rubbed his head, young men smiled at him carrying his "futbol" around, waiters brought us extra treats just for him. The Imp took it all in stride.

It's hard to condense a three week holiday into a single post, and I am not even going to try. I took 880 photos in Paris alone. Yes, eight hundred and eighty.

We had a great time, and The Imp wasn't the only one who cried when it was time to leave.

(Hey, what do you know? I just condensed three weeks into a single sentence.)

Happy New Year, everyone.