November 30, 2008

A Potpourri

Random thoughts and musings that have nowhere else to fit:

Dance Dance Party Party was a fantastic success. I love my housemates, I love good music, I love the freedom to dance like an idiot and not care. I am currently in love with the song No Diggity by Blackstreet (feat. Dr. Dre). I don't know why it's so catchy, but it IS. This afternoon, I heard another song that has replaced No Diggity on the mental repeat: Golddigger by Kanye West. Just to warn you, the video's not appropriate. So click on the link and then minimize the window...

I managed to shortcircuit our heating system with a pin. Yes, it's true. I went to turn the heat back on after our party, opened the cover to our thermostat, and hit the poppy sitting on top. The pin went into the thermostat, and bye-bye screen. Turns out, it's bye-bye heat as well. Hopefully we'll get that fixed before too long.

The month of December and the completion of a successful party are ushering in our Christmas season. We have some fake greenery and a handful of decorative ornaments. I'm excited to see what Wendy ends up doing with it. Currently, O Holy Night by Josh Groban is being played.

I am not going home for Christmas this year, due to time and money constraints. However, all is not lost. My parents are coming to me (and Jonathan), and bringing the best gift possible: my Grampie. I am so excited. Except they're staying at my house and I'm a bit nervous about hosting my parents and grandpa for an entire week.

There are three different creative writing projects in my head. I have only begun work on one of them, but if I could quit work and do them full-time, I would. Oh wait, that's called grad school...

December is the only month of the year where I really detest Vancouver. No snow. No sunshine. No family get togethers (I know, this one's not as much of an issue, although I still won't be seeing either of my older siblings). No Christmas lights covered by snow. Just grey fog and rain. Maybe a little sleet. Some sunshine if we're lucky. And 7 hours of daylight.

November 28, 2008

Before and After

Q: What is the difference between a duck?

Last night Aimee made us Thanksgiving Dinner. Hurrah for America and a second turkey!! Andrew made us chocolate pecan pie and it was rich. Also, delicious. The whole evening made me happy and a little bit sad. New Housemate Aimee is almost Old Housemate Aimee - as in Former Housemate Aimee. She is leaving at Christmas and not coming back.

I am really sad about this, as I have told her several times. I am surprised by how quickly she squeezed her way into our lives. I could rant about how wonderful she is, but she reads this and will be awkward-ed out. If she isn't already.

A: One of its legs are both the same. *

I visited my friend Nadine's blog again today just to watch a youtube video of a music video from a movie (how's that for confusing), so I decided to post it here so you could all enjoy it!

*this is one of my favourite jokes, courtesy of my grade 7 teacher. My mom reminded me of it tonight on the phone.

November 27, 2008

Set Yourself Spinning

(the last of the poetry birthed out of my writing class, which ended tonight)

How do you spin
when there's no reason to dance?

How do you climb
with no mountain in sight?

How do you search
for what you cannot find?

How do you stand
if you don't have any feet?

Something compels you.

It's waking up knowing
that you dreamt something sweet.

It's hearing a comment
that's begging to be.

It's an infinite number
of stories untold.

It's a fear of what's missing
as life unfolds.

There's a spot in my side -
maybe next to my liver -
that shakes when it wants,
with restless desire.

It craves what it craves.

It craves to create.

It longs to explain,
to know,
and to name.

A restlessness

that only finds peace,

with paper and pen
and sweet, sweet release.

Limbs & Branches (and Being Subtle)

I realized last week that there is another genre of music that I don't like.

It's right up there with scream-o, which rubs me the wrong way - these bands have sick musical skill, and then they just guttural yell the whole way through... I had a conversation with a new friend about this. He likes the "rawness" and appreciates that we often experience emotions more like that than we do many of the carefully "polished" songs. I agree. But I stand by my dislike.

Anyway. I am a fan of subtlety, which has gotten me into difficulty with the opposite sex, and which I am sure will continue to plague me for years to come. When it comes to conflict, I value carefully chosen words and gentle truth-speaking.

I understand that men are generally direct communicators and that they need directness from others. But isn't music an exception?

I'm pretty much guaranteed to dislike a song that begins:

I hate all your show and pretense
The hypocrisy of your praise
The hypocrisy of your festivals

I agree with the truth of the lyrics - that right living & justice is more important than a show of "worship." But this song is too...obvious. Argumentative. The singer suggests:

Let's argue this out

I reply, "No. Let's not."

When I listened to the song Instead of a Show, I immediately thought of Derek Webb. I was introduced to him through the song Wedding Dress, which sometimes gives me shivers. But then I got an entire album and it was all...justice-driven criticism. I don't know why I dislike it. Maybe, on some level, I am harbouring resentment towards the Social Justice movement that is growing within left-wing Christianity. I'm not sure why.

Either that, or I just wish you could be less obvious with your agenda. I like to have those moments where I go, Ohhhhhh, that's what this is about! Wow, that's really beautiful.

(I must say, this is the only song on the Jon Foreman (lead singer of Switchfoot) acoustic album that I don't enjoy. Everything else is stuck in my head. It's currently my falling-asleep album. I especially love Behind Your Eyes.)

November 24, 2008

Yellow Door

Yellow Door
Originally uploaded by bethaf.
I was gone and now I'm back. I like traveling. Scratch that. I don't like flying, but I like being in a different place. I like change.

I am tempted to sit down and write out, verbatim, all that I remember from this trip. It's the only way I will have a clear picture of it in six months.

Speaking of clear pictures, here is one for you to stare at.

I also like doors.

November 16, 2008

Puppy Love

Last night at a friend's birthday dinner, the conversation somehow came back to the live puppy streaming. Which led me to comment on my thought of buying a puppy next fall instead of a car. Which led someone to suggest that I buy a husband instead, since what I am clearly looking for is love and affection.


Anyway, the conversation continued and somehow we came up with a reality TV show. It is a mix of The Bachelorette and Love It Or List It. Except, instead of deciding whether to stay or move, I would be deciding puppy or man. I revisited this conversation with some other friends after church, at which point we arrived on the name Puppy Love and some of the more detailed structure ideas:

I would have one friend (or group of friends/experts) looking to match me with the perfect puppy. And one group looking to match me with the perfect man.

The season would start with the process of finding a group of candidates for both positions, then follow the elimination & final selection. In my mind, I would have a group of let's say...10 candidates for each spot, and every week I would eliminate one puppy and one man.

The season finale would be me, Puppy #1 and the Best Man. Then I would have to pick. Man or Puppy. I could only take one home.

Personally, I think this is the most brilliant reality TV premise I've ever heard of.

November 15, 2008

Until Next Time, Keep Fit and Have Fun

Last night, my house discussed Body Break, the infamous commercials from the 90s starring Joanne MacLeod and Hal Johnson (aaaaaaaaaaaaand if you're Canadian, that totally rubbed you the wrong way).

"It's Hal Johnson and Joanne MacLeod!"

Here they are.

Then this morning, Aimee introduced me to 8 Min Abs. It's amazing. Try not to stare at the spandex. And don't forget to congratulate your friends when you're done.

PS. If you're wondering, you can book Hal & Joanne on their website for your next corporate event!

November 14, 2008

The Cure for Insomnia

Also a cure for loneliness or heartache.

Look no further.

I want one.

I want one, I want one, I want one.

(thank you, Dan Ray!)

November 13, 2008

There Is No Poetry Where There Are No Mistakes

Poetry comes in stops and starts.

With words and pictures,
faintly held together by a spider's thread.

My mother coughs like the December wind.

A fragment of yesterday,
an umbrella for tears.
Something to hold,
with tight fists and shivering fingers.

Risk and reward is the base.
Everything else is a flight away,
a jump or a leap

into wide open space.

With wing-tipped thoughts and heavy hearts.

We live like poetry -
in stops and starts.

*another writing exercise from my class. Again, not formatted exactly.

November 12, 2008

Trying to Toss & Turn

I didn't sleep well last night. It took me over two hours to fall asleep, and then, two hours later, this happened again. Not the weird presence part, but the sleep paralysis part, where I wake up but am completely unable to move.

To move.

In my dream, my roommate was walking past my bed or to my bed - and I realized it was a dream, but wasn't sure if she was maybe really up, and if so, was she ok? So I woke up, and couldn't even open my eyes.

My eyes.

I know I was awake. I panicked just a little. I can't explain how frightening this is. And what a relief it is when your body finally obeys.

November 11, 2008

A Moment of Silence

We huddle together under a plaid umbrella. Three girls in pea coats - one tall, one petite, and one exotic looking. We all have poppies on our left lapel. You can't show up at an event like this without one. We hold hot drinks, not because we are thirsty, but because we are cold. We have arrived early to claim our space and hope that our view will at least exist. Behind a row of umbrellas, I can't imagine that others can see anything.

It is pouring rain, and the umbrella is our way to both keep dry and claim our space. It separates us from the crowd around us. Yet at the same time, it connects us. I am supremely aware of the inevitable umbrella drip. I know how irritating it can be to make your best effort to stay dry only to have an incessant stream of water falling directly down your neck or on your shoulder. Only five minutes ago, a nearby umbrella caught itself in my hair, which went unnoticed until the offending holder tried to walk away.

"Uh, it's caught in my hair..." as she tugs and looks back.

I am primarily trying to avoid dripping on three people.

In front of us, an older man who walks with a limp and a cane has cut in where he can see the ceremony. He has no umbrella, but is kept somewhat dry by a leather jacket and felt hat. He sings softly with the choir and seems familiar with the military routine of Remembrance Day.

To my right is a middle-aged woman with a pure-Asian teenager. He is holding the umbrella, and she is under the edge. However, she is also under the edge of our umbrella, and if I let it spin too much, the steady stream falls directly on her hands. Although she has ceased complaining and by time-rights, we arrived here first, I still feel aware and ashamed of the discomfort I'm causing.

Behind us, a guy about our age tips the umbrella up as I try adjusting for comfort. I haven't seen him yet, and my friend invites him to stand under the umbrella with us, since it is large and his other option is to be blocked by it. He joins us. Close, but not uncomfortable. During the minute of silence, I hear him sniffle. It takes all my will power not to look over my shoulder and see if he is crying. Out of the corner of my eye, it seems he is wiping his - but maybe it is just the cold?

I concentrate half my attention on the ceremony - the songs, the poems, the silence, the marching commands that I vaguely remember. And I focus on avoiding the drips. I think about these people - this older man, and younger guy, the white woman and her Asian teenager - and I wonder what ties them here? What compels them through rain and cold to fight for a spot at the edge? To crane and watch and videotape on a cell phone?

We each have our own stories and histories. *
We each do our best to stay dry and warm. And together, we make up a crowd of memories and moments.

*this year when I called Grampie, we were saying goodbye when he asked, "Do you have another minute?"
"Of course I do," I answered.
"It's just not the same this year..." he began. Without my grammie, his beloved Althea, nothing is. And it breaks my heart to hear him sad.

November 8, 2008

Things 1,2 & 3

Thing 1: The Friend

It is always good to hang out with a friend whom you haven't seen in awhile. Or at least, had quality time with. It is good to be with people that you have the freedom to both laugh and cry with, to be honest or to say nothing. It is good to visit.

Thing 2: The Dog

I never thought this would happen, because I decided in my late teens that dogs are too smelly and slobbery for me. But I fell in love. With a little dog, no less. A little dog that snuggles and sits and sleeps on your lap. Who doesn't smell or slobber. Delightful company and a good bed-warmer. If I'm going to be single, a dog is starting to make more sense. Seriously. Maybe I'll trade in the $300/month car for a $300/month dog. At least I'd get some affection out of it.

Thing 3: The TV

Arrested Development, 27 Dresses, Friends. How many hours of TV can you watch in a row? A lot. And this is not inherently bad. It can be the perfect way to unwind. Also, it seemed we were on a bit of a wedding-obsessed role. The second (of 3) episodes of Friends was one from just before Ross and Emily's wedding...somehow all three girls end up wearing wedding dresses and throwing bouquets to each other in the traditional "bouquet toss" way. Oh, the insanity of women.

As we laughed about their ridiculousness, we also had to admit that it is funny because it is appealing. Because something in us identifies with something in them that would love to dress up in a wedding dress and pretend that we are on the verge of the "biggest day of our lives."

Something holds us back. Possibly the fact that it's hard to come by a wedding dress for a day. Possibly because we've just never come up with the idea. Possibly because we fear exactly what ends up happening: Rachel, in her wedding dress, opening the door to her new boyfriend who freaks out at the ridiculousness that is woman.

November 6, 2008


Poetry is a tricky thing to share because it's kind of weird. But I am going to share it anyway. It's what came out of a writing exercise in class tonight. I've been both surprised and encouraged by the bits and pieces that I've written within the frameworks we've been given. Tonight we were "reaching past the known into the unknown, the centre of the project." We were not allowed to use adjectives or adverbs.





Talk past talk through





Go to

the past

go through

the past

Talk to

the past

Talk through

the past


the past



the past





*final editorial note: the formatting is not how it's supposed to be...

November 5, 2008

A Day Late

I have nothing to say on the US election.

Instead, I have a song.

Because I love songs.

November 3, 2008

Pinch Me

Yesterday, I discovered that I know nearly every word to this song. As it is both fitting for my weekend and stuck in my head, I thought I would share. Last fun of the night, and then I'm off to bed. (Also, I am still sad about the cocaine thing.)

Barack Rolled

Apparently, Rick-rolling just got better:

November 2, 2008

Shameless Self Promotion

Do you ever have a weekend where the highs are so high and the lows are so low that you don't know if it was AMAZING or THE WORST WEEKEND EVER?

Me too. I really loved this weekend. I really hated this weekend. I think the love is winning out though.

I have made a list (because I am secretly task-oriented) on my other blog about all the good things.

Now you want to go read it, don't you?

November 1, 2008

Am I Allowed to Say This?

I have found myself needing to censor my words in the last few days. Thoughts that wouldn't (or shouldn't) be expressed outwardly. Due to frustration, inappropriateness, and the potential to cause hurt.

So I've been thinking about this. And why it's happening. Either I am:
a) PMSing (sorry boys)
b) a worse person than when I was 17
c) a more honest person than when I was 17

All three are possibilities. I won't expand on #1, except to shrug and to quote Maurice Moss, "Women and their mysterious ways...the moon...Glenn Close...all the other sorts of women..."

The second one is possible. But I don't think it's true. Because I don't think I was all that "good" of a person at 17, even if I "seemed" that way. Also, I love Jesus more now than I did at 17, and if loving Jesus doesn't help make me a "better" person, than I honestly believe that nothing will.

Which is why I end up with option #3. I am more honest. I am willing to admit the "bad things" in my life. The thoughts that "shouldn't" be there. The frustrations I often feel. The line-crossing comments.

In some ways, it is a relief to let my outer actions & words match with who I feel I am on the inside. However, I don't think that I entirely like aspects of my character, and don't want to become comfortable or excusatory with things I don't agree with, even when those things are me.

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Not sure if this makes sense. I hope so. I have written it in lieu of sharing some highly hilarious but potentially inappropriate conversation.