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Showing posts from August, 2008

Guest Appearance on Oprah Winfrey

subtitle: Caffeine MIGHT Affect Me After All

Last night, I lay awake in bed. Eventually, my train of thoughts took me to the place where I was planning what I would say to Oprah Winfrey if ever given the chance.

Scene: Oprah's Studio, in front of a live TV audience
Characters: me, Oprah

me: blah blah blah blah, something something something about whatever it is that's gotten me a chance to be on Oprah's show (either a harrowing near-death experience, or my debut novel has been chosen for her book club: this may be a compliment or turn out to be the downfall of my career)... And that is why Jesus is so significant to me.

Oprah: (nodding graciously) Yes. I can see how Jesus has made a difference in your life. And that's the beautiful thing about connecting with the Divine. There's just so much hope there. I know that I've found God within myself and I love her very much. (this last sentence is an actual Oprah quote)

me: (head tilted to the side) You know, Oprah, I don&…

12 Years, 11 Months

That's how long it's been since the last family funeral. It's funny, because just last week I was recollecting my Grandpa's visitation. I wrote:
The visitation before my grandpa’s funeral is actually a fond and pleasant recollection. Yes, it was somber. I remember seeing his body, my grandma looking small beside the casket. And then we went upstairs. To the room where family gets to graciously retire. In this case, the room where all the cousins get to play euchre. It was a weird mix of requisite quiet and the inevitable laughter of having all of us together. I remember flipping through a Reader’s Digest from a coffee table, quickly bored and uninterested in staying, knowing we couldn’t really have any fun, yet desperately wanting to avoid the reality of death that was playing itself out downstairs. I guess the pleasantry of this memory is that we were all together, and I was young enough to be content with that, and of all my grandparents, this was the one I knew least…

Dear Charlene Robson,

You don't know me, but I know you.

In the summer of 1998, you went to see Bard on the Beach. You carried Wet'n'Wild lipstick in your purse, along with a small mirror, a Kleenex, and a small booklet. It was entitled Have you made the wonderful discovery of the Spirit-filled life?

I believe you have two brothers. You went to high school in Unionville, but I believe junior high was in Calgary. You went to Trinity Western University. You are now 39 years old, I believe. You liked stenciling and once hand-stamped Christmas cards for friends & family. You traveled in Europe - Germany and Switzerland, I'm guessing. You met the Armerdings, whom I have also met.

(is this creepy?) You might be wondering how I know all this. I know all this because you used to live in my house. And you left your junk here.

Last night we found it. We took some of the more useful stuff: like the $5.35 in change, and a Rubbermaid container, and the Christmas card stamp. Some of the less useful stuff…

Grace is Gone

Grace is Gone is a movie I quite enjoyed. Starring John Cusack. Written by an unknown. Musical score by Clint Eastwood (who would have guessed!?). Child actresses who were adorable and fully believable. A plot about the US and war that didn't make me want to gag or run away.

I loved it. I want to watch it again because I liked the characters and I want to go to Enchanted Gardens with them.

Also, this movie is good to watch if you anticipate getting a difficult phone call. Watch the movie until you have 10 minutes left, then answer the phone and hear sad news. It's guaranteed to help you cry. If you're the sort of person who needs help crying.


Yesterday, the glass came off my watch. I bought it two weeks ago and I am sad.

I am also on a bit of a comedy kick. Specifically Mike Birbiglia, whom I discovered through housemate Dan.

One of my new coworkers is named Amelia. She made me laugh out loud several times yesterday. I think my favourite two lines were, "This just in: breast cancer is not caused by sexual activity!" and "He said, 'This is like kicking baby seals!'"

That second one was her fiance, on learning to skate last winter.

Magnetic Poetry

Originally uploaded by bethaf. For some reason, I still like magnetic poetry. Am I the only person left? I don't know. But I like the challenge of bringing a limited number of words together to form something lovely and meaningful.

I'm a Bit Obsessed

With the Olympics. I'm not sure why. Maybe because as a child, my parents broke the "no-TV-in-the-house" rule every time the Olympics came to town. We would RENT a TV (yes, that is possible to do) and put up the bunny ears and watch the games. And maybe another show or two...and if I recall correctly, the Olympics were the final push that resulted in permanent bunny ears on the "only for movies and video games" TV they purchased sometime after I moved out.

But I digress. Living with Americans, the Olympics are a different experience. Not better, not worse, just different. They are kicking our butts. BUT, as one friend points out, we're doing pretty well when you break it all down.

(as calculated by Katie V.)
Canada's population per medal: 2 307 692
China's population per medal: 15 294 117

Unfortunately, when you compare us to the USA, we're still losing:
(as calculated by me)
USA's population per medal: 752 993

But that's ok, because in Canada, …

Hello, Little Friend

Snail 2
Originally uploaded by bethaf. This guy came for a visit last night. For a snail, he was pretty speedy! I moved him back outside before he made his way off the window sill.

It Wasn't Itsy-Bitsy Teen-Weeny or Yellow-Polka-Dot

But it was a bikini.

Yes, that's right. I wore a bikini top at the beach yesterday.

For some people, this is a near-mortal sin. For others, it's a big fat "So what?" For me, it was both momentous and (I think) sinless.

You see, I have two major fears regarding bikinis:

(Oh, before I go further - these are a lot of girl-type thoughts. Because I'm a girl-type person. Just so you boys don't feel like it all sneaks up on you. It's coming. Now.)

1. I am afraid I will look unattractive.
2. I am afraid I will look attractive.

It's really been a lose-lose situation for me. In scenario one, all my worst fears of body image and beauty are confirmed, and it turns out that stretch-marks are a deal-breaker with my friends, or the boys I'm hanging out with see me as I am, and poof! there goes any possibility of anything.

In scenario two, I look amazing, but I know it. This goes to my head, of course, and before you know it I'm wearing a bikini everywhere. Or at lea…


Night Window

Night Window
Originally uploaded by bethaf. I'm not overly thrilled with this photo, but it is a definite improvement, and I really love the upper window pane/sky/star. So there we go.


...I am not yet a proficient night-time photographer.

Attempts 1 through 3:


I like the word nebulous. I think I went through a phase of overuse, though. Today, a friend emailed me this cartoon because it made her think of me. I'm assuming that is why...

Anyway. It made me laugh. Hopefully you do too.

I Am Not Okay With This

I am not fully comfortable around old people. I realized that today. I often enjoy them and find them amusing...but rarely do I feel relaxed and at ease. I'm not sure what it is, exactly, because I don't think I fear death. Maybe I do. Or maybe I fear not death itself, but death happening after a disappointing or meaningless conversation, so I opt for none at all.

Maybe it's that I don't like feeling sad. For some reason, I can't help but well up with pity and sadness for people whose lives are slowly slipping away from them. They lose more mobility, they can't see anymore, they move into assisted care. They wait for death to come.

Maybe they don't wait. I've never really asked; I just think that I would. Maybe I won't, really. When I'm there, with soft sagging skin and a body that doesn't obey me, maybe I'll still want to hold on. To relish the good life and the things that haven't slipped away from me yet.

I think it's the useless…

A Short Film in One Part

I am on my way out of the building, heading to the bus.
Him - middle-aged, friendly, sharp-looking ultimate player from unknown country
Me - well, me.

Him: (voice comes from behind me) Don't tell me your name is Russell too!!

Me: (confused for a second, before remembering that the back of my shirt reads
RUSSELL Brewing Company) Hunh? Oh...yeah. That's a funny thing...

Him: (now caught up to me, we walk out the door) What?

Me: That's a funny thing about us Canadians - we're all named Russell.

Him: Well, my name's Matt. (he extends his hand)

Me: Hi. I'm Beth. (I shake his hand)

Him: Well, thanks for volunteering!

Me: Not a problem! It's been fun.

Him: So do you play ultimate in a city league?

Me: I've been away for most of the summer, so I haven't been able to. But I'll be playing in the fall, for sure.

Him: So when you were away and you'd call your friends, would they ever say (he starts singing), Beth, I can hear you calling.…


Back in the day, there was a cartoon with a character called Baby Plucky. I didn't often watch Tiny Toons, but I have a crystal clear memory of one snippet...he's in the elevator and he's pushing all the buttons, and...well. It's better just to watch it.

Officially a Grown-Up

See this bed? Beautiful. My back is already feeling more relaxed. I am anticipating a great night's sleep, and I think I'll like the feel of a higher bed (I can't even touch the ground when I sit on the edge! Hurrah for a frame). It'll just be so easy to roll out of in the morning...