Showing posts from March, 2012

Recursion 23

Scintilla Day 9:  Write a list of 23. (23 things to do, 23 people you owe apologies to, 23 books you've lied about reading, 23 things you can see from where you're sitting, 23 ten-word hooks for stories you want to tell....) Notwithstanding the fact that any project that mentions LYING about reading books is momentarily on VERY SHAKY GROUND with me, here is my list of ... lists. I couldn't think of anything to list, and going random just seemed too easy, so I googled list of, and then got caught up in all the lists there are. Which then makes this kind of random, doesn't it? Look, my husband's away and I did dance class AND playoff hockey last night, okay? AND the other team almost tied it up in the last four seconds. My nerves are SHOT.   1. List of colours . Colour swatches from domain-specific naming schemes, and a bunch of other stuff I don't understand, but the names are cool. Android Green. Dark Byzantium. Caput Mortuum (that means 'dead he


Scintilla Day 8: Who was your childhood best friend? Describe them--what brought you together, what made you love them. Are you still friends today? She lived up the street from me. Honestly, I don't exactly remember why we became friends. We were nothing alike. She was gorgeous, developed early, had a lot of male attention at too early an age. Her parents (I only get this now) had married too young, were dissatisfied and inconsistent, ignored her for stretches and then demanded impossible things. She was athletic, a dancer. She wasn't the teacher-pleaser I was and had difficulties in school. But we were inseparable. We rode our bikes around the dusty streets of our little town. We ran around the hills and bushes behind the elementary school. We babysat her younger sisters and played music and danced and she taught me how to move slightly less like a deranged bobble-head. I helped her with her homework. We snuck out her basement bedroom window at night, wandering the d

Blood, Caste, Clan, Class, Division

Scintilla Day 7 prompt:  List the tribes you belong to: cultural, personal, literary, you get the drift. Talk about the experience of being in your element with your tribes. There were times growing up when I felt like my cultural tribe wasn't much to get excited about, and envied those with  seemingly richer and more vibrant traditions and beliefs. My mother's family was Polish, so when we visited (usually once a year or less) there were perogies (yum) and cabbage rolls (blech) and unintelligible speech and the fact that we didn't like Ukrainians much even though they sounded EXACTLY the same. My father's parents were Scottish and English but didn't communicate much of that to us. Even the fact that all of my relatives lived in Saskatchewan gave them that 'western Canadian' tag, and the ones that were farmers had that in common - I spent years joking that whenever they didn't want to go on vacation with us they would just use 'the harvest' a

Faith (not the George Michael song)

Scintilla prompt Day 6:  Talk about an experience with faith, your own or someone else's. Faith. I had this when I was younger. My mother was a devout Catholic - still is, more or less. I went to Church every Sunday, and sang in the choir, and then played the organ for the choir. I went to Communion and Confession. I tried to root out every poisonous tendril of sin from my cracked and grimy soul, and still believed most of the time that I was going to hell. But I had faith. That God was real. That I needed to follow the rules. That believing was more important than knowing. I got a little bit older. I read a lot. I looked around some. I started to feel something else. Doubt. That we should feel superior to other people because we went to church once a week. That the people in my church were following the rules they said they believed in. That 'the road to hell is paved with good intentions' was a kind and Christian thing to say to an anxious eleven-y

Why did the blogger cross the road?

Scintilla prompt Day 5:  Show a part of your nature that you feel you've lost. Can you get it back? Would it be worth it? Truthfully, most of the parts of my nature that I've lost have been ushered out the door with a cheerful good riddance. Not that I've been able to shed these things entirely - anxiety, I mean, and perfectionism, and morbid self-consciousness and self-doubt - but they're around in much less of a big ugly capacity than they used to be. And that kicks major ass. I think I'd rather talk about a part of my nature that I'm happy not to have lost, no matter how the world sometimes seems determined to steamroll it out of me - a certain skewed, some would say screwy, sense of humour. I don't understand humourless people. By this I don't mean that I don't like them (I usually don't, but that's not what I mean in this particular instance) - I mean I literally can not understand them. How do you get through a day in this Ka

How to make a day

Scintilla prompt Day 4:  What does your everyday look like? Describe the scene of your happiest moment of every day. This is from a post I read at Blogging out Loud Ottawa in July of last year: ... I'm nearing the end of my second year of both kids being in school full days, and I still haven't gone back to work. I know - it sounds heavenly. I assumed I would be giddy with freedom. I assumed my house would be spotless and scrupulously organized by the end of the first month, I would be finished my first novel by the end of the sixth, and OBVIOUSLY I would be thirty pounds lighter, because, like my mother said "you can go to the gym five times a week!" From where I'm sitting at the kitchen table right now, I could reach out and lay hands on six novels, three textbooks, a kit for making twinkle tiaras, the Diary of a Wimpy Kid Cheese Touch Game, a sock puppet wearing sunglasses, and a box of ant bait. That should give you a clue about the state of my hous

So there was this song.....KIDDING.

Scintilla Day 3: What's the story of the most difficult challenge you've faced in a relationship? Did you overcome it? What was the outcome? Things I thought about and discarded: 1. My husband going bald 2. My husband liking the Three Stooges 3. That time my boyfriend said he didn't like that I smelled of woodsmoke. 4. The Lost finale. No wait, that was my friend Collette's relationship. Jury's still out on if their marriage will survive. Okay. In all seriousness. We've been lucky. Very, very lucky. We haven't had to deal with terminal or serious illness, serious financial difficulties or horrible in-laws (on either side. My husband adores my parents and I love his mother. His father is a bit of a space cadet, but well-meaning). So I'd have to say that the major challenge to our marriage has been... CHILDREN. Before I had kids I totally bought into that whole "it's more selfish to have kids than not to have them" poppyco

I Just Got a Letter To My Soul

Scintilla, Day two prompt:  No one does it alone. Write a letter to your rescuer or mentor (be it a person, book, film, record, anything). Share the way they lit up your path. I promise after today I won't do any more song posts.  It was September of 1993. I had moved from Hamilton where I did my undergrad to Toronto to do my Master's at U of T. I had been living in a house with four other people; now I was sharing a tiny apartment with my sister, who I hadn't spent a whole lot of time with in the past four years. My boyfriend was still back in Hamilton. I remember sitting on my bed in my bedroom on the 25th floor, looking out the window and feeling...peculiar. I wasn't worried about my courses, exactly, or missing anyone, precisely. It was more that I felt untethered, dislocated, like I didn't really fit in here yet but realized I couldn't go back to where I had come from. The future was completely unreadable, and I was terrified.  It was kind of

Untamed Music

It was my third time, I think, at the Ottawa Folk Festival. I was on the lawn chair side, sitting beside a friend. I love the Folk Festival. I've been to the Blues Festival, and I love the music but it's too big - I feel overwhelmed by the crush of people and it almost always rains on me when I'm there. The Folk Festival, at least at this point, was smaller and more civilized - a neat division between ground-sitters and chair-sitters, no trouble being near enough to the stage. Here I fell in love with Jesse Winchester, who was quiet and unassuming in speech and wove an unbreakable enchantment in music. Here I developed a huge crush on Fred Eaglesmith, who was the very opposite of quiet and unassuming and made me wonder why I had never realized how great songs about cars, freight trains, and big ass garage sales were. Here I began decades-long love affairs with The Wailin' Jennys and David Francey. In the warm August air, under the stars, I heard the Wyrd Sisters sing

Mondays on the Margins: The Juliet Stories by Carrie Snyder

From the publisher: "Juliet Friesen is ten years old when her family moves to Nicaragua. It is 1984, the height of Nicaragua's post-revolutionary war, and the peace-activist Friesens have come to protest American involvement. In the midst of this tumult, Juliet's family lives outside of the boundaries of ordinary life. They've escaped, and the ordinary rules don't apply. Threat is pervasive, danger is real, but the extremity of the situation also produces a kind of euphoria, protecting Juliet's family from its own cracks and conflicts.  When Juliet's younger brother becomes sick with cancer, their adventure ends abruptly. The Friesens return to Canada only to find that their lives beyond Nicaragua have become the war zone. One by one, they drift from each other, and Juliet grows to adulthood, pulled between her desire to live a free life like the one she remembers in Nicaragua, and her desire to build for her own children a life more settled than her pa

Well, it's KIND of funny

I shouldn't have promised a funny story, when really it's funny in a very particular, some might say slightly pathetic, kind of way. So I'm working away at my library technician diploma , one course at a time, right? And a lot of these courses are about stuff that I've had little or no exposure to , and the learning curve can be steep. But I'm fairly intelligent (shut up, I am so) and I work through them and it eventually comes clear and I generally get between 93 and 97 percent on a course because I am and always have been a keen, anxious, overly perfectionist student. A couple of times I've emailed in assignments and felt like I hadn't done terribly well, either because the assignment was, in fact, difficult and I wasn't sure of my answers, or because it seemed too easy and I worried that I'd missed something (I tend to overthink things, in case you hadn't noticed). Every time this happened and I talked about it, I felt sort of embarrassed

Angus reading The Hunger Games

Did anyone else realize that the guy named Peeta was the baker's son and when you say Peeta out loud it sounds like Pita, which is HILARIOUS? Because, like, it's a kind of bread? Yes? Everyone except me? Fine, fuck off then. Angus is about halfway through Mockingjay, the third book in the series. When I'm folding laundry at night on my bed he lies in Matt's spot and reads and sometimes reads lines out loud. The other night he read: "I cleaned my teeth and smoothed my back hair again." Me: what's that now? Him: "Wait.....oh. 'I cleaned my teeth and smoothed my HAIR BACK again.'" I know, this is pitiful. I have a funny story to tell, and I have to review The Juliet Stories , but my overly dramatic airways kept me up most of last night and Matt's away (must be Tuesday), and Eve had dance tonight and we just got home and I wasn't going to blog at all, but then it will be a week, and the thought of the last post in anyone&