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Showing posts from April, 2013

Every New Beginning Comes From Some Other Beginning's End

(yeah, I went there. Semisonic for the win. Who doesn't secretly love this song!?)

I wasn't sad about wrapping up my job, and I wasn't stressed about moving.

Until twelve hours before each.

And then it hit me, all the feelings.

Of course, it's too late to turn back then, and I didn't want to undo either decision, but there were all these feelings, and mostly I just wanted to sleep.

The last few days at work were great. I have no qualms about my decision to leave, but I did realize again that my boss and I have been in close quarters for three years, and despite the differences between us, and my lack of career interest in her business, she has been a staunch supporter and frequent encourager of me.

I am grateful.

Then my parents brought a van and a bed in the van, and they were troopers and my mom packs like a pro (no seriously, she is a pro), and my dad moves boxes so well, and what kind of movers also take you out for dinner? The best kind.

Today Karen and I clea…

Because The Conversation Needs to Continue

I bring this up in fits and starts, because it is big and unwieldy and I don’t know all the answers. I didn’t want to call myself a feminist, or an egalitarian, for a long time. I didn’t want to rock the boat.

(I don’t like to rock the boat. I am not a strong swimmer, and one time I tipped a canoe and my dad and sister and I floundered in the lake, and we all survived, but my dad lost his boots and his compass and I still feel badly about that and can taste the fear of clinging onto the thankfully buoyant boat. That's a true story, but it's also a metaphor and I'm sure you can figure it out.)

But I’m not done talking about being a woman or wanting to feel safe or how my communities need to change how we talk about women.

Because it is strange to meet your neighbours at midnight, when two girls come knocking on your door to ask if maybe you or someone you know is on the fire escape.

Because you tell them no, and they should phone the police, because two years ago when the…

A Wee Thank You Note

Two thank yous:

1. All y'all who have said kind things since I made my grad school announcement. I have been surprised by the range of people it turns out are reading (or at least read one post) here. And I can't imagine a more encouraging community than you all.

2. Nadine, whose tweets yesterday led to a comment that I can use disqus on my site, which is (hopefully) going to change commenting forever. No more word verification! Let me know if disqus is somehow (inconceivably) worse than those awful captchas. I am certain we'll all be happier now.

And a bonus round picture of the world's most adorable men. Grampie and Sebas hanging out...

I can't stop looking and smiling. I hope when I am 94 I have both the ability and the opportunity to lie on the floor and play with a fat-cheeked baby.

How Am I Gonna Be An Optimist About This?

Over the weekend, I formed a slight addiction to this song by Bastille called "Pompeii."

And the walls kept tumbling down
In the city that we love
Great clouds roll over the hills
Bringing darkness from above

But if you close your eyes,
Does it almost feel like
Nothing changed at all?
And if you close your eyes,
Does it almost feel like
You've been here before?

How am I gonna be an optimist about this?
How am I gonna be an optimist about this?


I was on Twitter yesterday, and clicked through an image mere minutes after the Boston blasts. I don't know what I expected, exactly, but I hadn't been thinking blood. A lot of blood.

My friends were there. They left 20 minutes earlier, so they could beat the airport traffic.

I am training a new girl at work. She is wrapping up her degree from a Boston college and lives two blocks away. On Sunday, she went to take pictures of the finish line, went shopping at Marathon Sports. We saw these places on the TV screen. I teared up as I s…

Going Back to School (3 Years in 1 Post)

This happened last night:

Three years ago, I wrote a big life update on leaving my job & life in Vancouver.
Here is what’s happened since:

May 2010 – I move to Ontario. I don’t have a job or job plan. I know this next phase of my life is about building my identity as me and taking artistic risks. Other than that, I don’t really know what I’m doing.

August 2010 – After applying for over 50 office jobs, I decide to work as a nanny for a year. I take a job caring for two boys, C & G, for 50 hours a week (!).

January 2011 – I throw myself a birthday party that is also an art show. Over 75 people come out to “26 Secrets,” and the cafĂ© asks me to leave my poetry & photography on the walls for an extra week. This project is the most terrifying and affirming undertaking of my life. I begin volunteering with the Philip Aziz Centre.

July 2011 – As I wrap up my nannying job, there is the possibility of working for the mom’s business in the fall. This feels as good a next step as any.


Drafted: Linguistic Ponderings (I Am A Nerd)

drafted August 15/2008

I wonder what it is that makes some people pronounce their "short-e's" as "short-i's." What I am referring to is the tendency to pronounce Men as Min, Wendy as Windy, Ten as Tin and so on. My friends who do this come from different origins, have different social circles, and some don't even know each other.

Still don't have an answer to this. But I know which two friends I was thinking of when I wrote it. Both are male. Do girls do this too? Who knows. I am probably creating a thing, here. 

Related: a few weekends ago I met a couple from Michigan who told me a story about going out for dinner in Washington, and at the end of the meal the wife gestured to her leftovers and said, "Can I get a box?" their waiter looked at her confusedly. She repeated her question, and then he said, "Ma'am, I believe you just asked me for a bax. I have no idea what that is."

I find this story hilarious.

Monday Music: Agape

This song by Bear's Den continues to do a number to my heart.

Not only does it sound fantastic, but the lyrics touch at our (my) deepest fears:
Agape // please don't dissipate...For I'm so scared of losing you
And I don't know what I can do // about itI don't want to know who I am without you
It's the kind of song that makes me want to crank the volume, stand in the middle of an empty field or crowded streetcar, and sing along at the top of my lungs. Possibly while punching the sky and crying.

Instead, when it wakes me up each morning, I feel strangely comforted. I listen while I blink awake, and stretch. I lie there and feel hope for the day, because even in sadness like the singer's, there is so much beauty.

Drafted: Could Be Anyone

drafted May 20th, 2008.

Awhile back, I went for supper with a friend of mine, and over Thai food, we talked about life and creativity. It was good to hear what they are up to, and how they're taking steps away from a "dead-end entry level job" (forgive me if I've overstated my description) towards some opportunities that excite them. These new ventures require more effort and less tangible reward (read: money), but I, at least, feel confident that my friend will not regret these baby steps, and that they will, in the fullness of time, lead to substantial reward, both tangible and intangible.

So why do I tell you this?

Well, we talked about blogging, for one. What the purpose of our blogs are, how to balance the personal with the level of anonymity one seems to expect, and whether or not we should mention friends by name. There's no law against it, of course.

That is all I wrote... re-reading it made me laugh because 
a. I honestly don't know who it was.
b. I am …

Reading in 2013: The Cure for Death By Lightning

They say not to judge a book by its cover, but The Cure for Death By Lightning by Gail Anderson-Dargatz hooked me with two details on the front:

The title! What!?The little stamp that tells me it was nominated for the Giller Prize.

And you know what? I was not disappointed.

Not only is the protagonist a teenage girl named Beth (everyone loves a Beth!), but the story itself is quite riveting as an eclectic and often awkward group of characters navigate farm and family tensions in a village near Kamloops, BC, during WWII.

One of my favourite details is how the author wove recipes and home remedies (including the cure for death by lightning) into the story. In fact, I had planned to write out a few of them before returning the book to the library...but completely forgot. I may go back and flip through just to pick them up!

Don't get the idea that this is a glorified cookbook, somehow. It is an emotionally weighty and somber story that highlights the importance of the kitchen space and…

Music Mix Monday

Snail mail is a thing of beauty. I love sending it, and I love receiving it.
Know what else I love? Music. 
Combine the two, and you can understand why I'm eagerly checking the mail this week...My friend Alasdair and I have been doing a yearly music trade pretty much since we met. It is getting tricky to find bands the other person hasn't heard yet, but the challenge is half the fun. The other half of the fun is receiving a CD from across the ocean with a dozen songs I don't know, but am almost guaranteed to love.
And probably two songs I already love. That is how I know it's a successful trade.
Anyway. The point is that I've compiled the mix I made this year, and since he has now received the hardcopy, you can take a listen to the mix online (many of you Canadians will recognize more of the artists than the average Brit, so I apologize if few of these are new to you).

Any favourites? Any Canadian music-makers I've obviously overlooked?