Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Anyone can do Anything if He or She Knows ehow

I was doing a web search for summer camp themes and stumbled across the funniest website I've seen in a few days. I just love its ambition and cheery pragmatism. Gosh, there's a 7 bullet answer to any problem. For example:

My dog is having puppies right now. What can I do?

I have a sudden yearning to write a sestina. I wonder how to do that?

My reputation is besmirched. I need a quick and easy way to restore my good name.

I like Robert, but he just ignores me when I try to makes friends. I'll do anything to get him to like me!

The best parts are the chippy little tips at the end of each short instruction list. Guess which tip goes with which problem...

  • If companionship is your goal, consider a dog. They're better company and more reliable than a person whose friendship can be bought.
  • Mention the rumors in a direct but nonconfrontational way: "Burt, I heard that some folks think I am having an affair with Helen in graphics. I'm sure you know there's no truth to the matter."
  • Stage two of labor begins with full dilation of the cervix and ends with full delivery of the first puppy. Stage three begins after delivery of the first puppy and ends with the expulsion of the placenta.
  • Do not be discouraged by peers claiming to be poets. When you hear a poet say how much he or she dislikes writing in form, remember that a great artist sees the opportunities in every canvas, regardless or shape or size. A poor artist sees only the limitations.
No more worrying about life's problems, big or small. Just consult ehow.com

Question: No need, I can ask ehow!

mompoet - stepping toward Stepford

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Sunday Morning

I had planned to sit with coffee and the newspaper and wear pajamas as long as possible. But it was not to be. There I was, reading the New York Times online, when I looked up to see a worried face peering in my kitchen window. Shady the dog was back.

Shady first showed up in our neighbourhood this summer. She escaped from her house several times in June and July. We're not sure where she lives, but one of the neighbourhs had her family's phone number, so we'd call them and they'd get her. After a while we didn't see her again. Her owner said they were building a fence, so I figured the problem was solved.

Shady is a labrador cross. She's so shy she looks like she's black. Somehow she looks smaller and is harder to see than she really is. Really she's a dark brown with soft brown eyes. She wouldn't let me near, backing off each time I came over to her. I knocked on my neighbour Sue's door. Sue is a veterinary technician and has a legendary way with nervous creatures. Sue lured Shady in with some dog treats and lovey talk, and got my dog's leash on her. There we were, two moms in our pajamas with coats over, talking about what to do with this dog. Kirsi, who has her family's phone number, was out of town. I took Shady to my house and called the SPCA and Animal Shelter. I knew Kirsi got her number from one of those places.

SPCA had never heard of her. Shelter knew her, but wouldn't give me her number. Shady wore no license, had no ID tag and had no ear tattoo (in the time she spent here she warmed up enough to accept some cuddles, and allowed me to look inside her ears). Shelter said they'd come for her, and they'd call her family to fetch her.

I set Shady up with some of Soleil's food and a bowl of water, and gave her a blanket for a bed. In no time, Sara from the Shelter was here and took shy Shady away. I felt guilty giving her up, but I know her family never came to look for her before until we called them, so we couldn't keep her here and wait. Sara told me she was a frequent visitor to the Shelter. Thinking about how scared she must feel to get away from home like that and be captured by strangers and taken away in a van, I wanted to keep her and make her our dog. I wish her family would appreciate her enough to build a fence or lock the door, or whatever they need to do. I hope she'll be okay.

Question: Why get a dog if you won't take care of it?

mompoet - suppressing urges to rescue everything that is not perfectly happy

Noises Off Again

My birthday weekend of abundant bliss continued with a performance of Noises Off at the Vancouver Playhouse. It was so funny! I've seen it once before about 20 years ago, but I didn't remember much from the first time. It is lightweight but hilarious. It's on until mid-December and well-worth seeing. I love to laugh. I laugh a lot and loudly. This was one of those rare occasions when I wasn't the laugh-loudly-est person in the joint. That's a treat!

Also, my husband bought me a cd player for my car. Now I don't have to tape cds to listen to them on the cassette deck. My husband likes to have all of the latest electronic gadetry. I resist buying just about anything but the basics because I feel overwhelmed by stuff. But he convinced me I would like this, and I do. Now I have to start my own collection of cds for my car. I listen to a lot of music by default, and enjoy mostly everything. Now I have my own sound in my own space. This will be fun.

Then we went out for supper at Rosa's. Gosh, it was yummy. We had to wait about 45 minutes for a table, but it was worth it. The meal was very good and pretty reasonable and Rosa is a doll. She cooks and serves and runs the place and chats with everyone at their tables. When she found out we frequent Pappagallo's she insisted that her cheesecake is better than her sister-in-law's and brought us a chunk. It was very, very, very good. We will definitely go back.

My friends brought me beautiful presents. Kathy gave me all the fruity soap I could ever need for about a year from the Body Shop and some new pieces for my tacky Christmas pin and earring collection. Michele gave me a soft and lovely pair of lounging pajamas. We three are friends since grade 4 and have been celebrating birthdays together forever. It's tradition for the birthday girls to give presents too, but they have to be unusual. I gave my friends each a silicon spatula. Last year, Michele gave us welding gloves. Once I gave them screwdrivers. We are stuck together by some weird glue, all right.

So now I'm sitting here in my lounging pajamas, skipping church and finishing this entry so I can go read Saturday's paper. I am the luckiest, happiest, noisiest, birthday treatsy-est person you could imagine right now.

Question: How'd I get so lucky?

mompoet - appreciating

Friday, November 26, 2004

Birthday Cake Binary Style

On the cake my mom baked and my dad lit:

six candles in a row
first, second, fourth and sixth candles lit
third and fifth not lit
= 43 without burning down the house

yes, we are weird, but we like it

Question: How old do I have to be to need a 7th candle?
(Don't answer Dad. I know you know.)

mompoet - warmful and sleepy and loved

Thursday, November 25, 2004

What it's like when I'm not here

I took off from work just after lunch to attend parent teacher interviews at the secondary school (all good - yeahh!) then came home by about 2pm. It was interesting to observe what happens in this house on a weekday afternoon. Normally I have the early hours with the kids and pets. I get everyone out the door then head out to exercise then get to work around 9:30 or 10. By the time I get home, everyone is here, supper's on, and likely one or more are heading back out the door soon to whatever happens that evening. I usually work through a couple of nights a week and don't get home until 9 or later. Two to 6pm on a Thursday is very mellow at my house. Husband accepted the cup of tea that I offered, watched a bit of Orange County Chopper (I think that's what it's called) then took the dog out for a long walk. The cat ignored everyone and slept at one corner of the couch. Son retreated to the basement where he alternated between Nintendo and something on TV. Daughter got home and hugged me like finding me here was the best treat she could have had (that was sure nice!) then put on her tap shoes and put a board down and clackety-clacked for half an hour. I washed floors and vacuumed and emptied wastebaskets, then cooked supper. Various people read various newspapers. Everyone took a turn on the internet. It was nice. I could get used to working half days. Hey, I would actually see my husband when he is awake! I could spend time with my kids when they are not shower/breakfast/backpack/wherearemysocks?ing or being herded up to bed around 10. I could cook sit down meals start to finish on other than Saturday/Sunday nights. I could walk the dog in the winter without carrying a flashlight and see the cat wake up. My floors might get vacuumed/washed twice a month rather than once (I do not exaggerate).

I guess there'll be a time for that, but probably when this house is not nearly so busy as it is now. For now, I'll try to sneak home early more often.

Question: what else happens when?

mompoet - craving omniscience

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Good thing...

pomegranates taste better than chocolate
chocolate is actually good for you
you have stuck with this for 3 lines (might as well read to the end)
three yellow lines (with red on them) mean even thinking about passing is illegal
illegal is still what marijuana will be but not criminal
criminals who make it to reality tv are so stupid
stupid people will be eliminated by natural selection because they watch reality tv instead of having sex
sex with the tv on is possible but not recommended
recommending a chinese restaurant to a friend is possible but not always a good idea
a good idea is worth sharing credit for
credit for groceries means you are having serious difficulty
serious difficulty usually occurs when something is not a good idea or really worth doing
doing anything is better than doing nothing
doing nothing is incomprehensible when you see someone doing something reprehensible
reprehensible behaviour is still less acceptable than pointless pondering
pointless pondering is a good way to unload
unloading mental contents promotes sleep
sleep comes when the pillow sings
pillows sing beautiful songs at the end of the day
the end of the pillow is a day long
a long day is the pillow of a night
pillow night night day pillow
tra la la
pil la pil

Question: nzzzt?

mompoe - tired


358/365 = 0.980821917... , but 359/366 = 0.980874316... . 2004 is a leap year and it's after February 29.

That's my dad, who read my last post and offered some help with my math.

Question: Do you think he loves me??

mompoet - supported by strong walls and soft arms

Monday, November 22, 2004


One week until my 43rd birthday. I love my birthday. I have fun. Here's what I know so far...

I will be 43. My husband just turned 47. We are both prime numbers this year. Our ages combined make 90, which is an insignificant but large number. You may know already that I plan to remain 43 until I turn 47. It's not that I don't want to get older. I'm just going to be only prime numbers from now on, or perhaps numbers divisible by pi, but I'll have to take a while to work that second idea out, and even longer to explain the concept to people, so I'll stick with prime numbers for now.

I will eat a lot of good food. Mom's cooking Thai food and baking a cake. Couple of lunch and suppers out. My friend Louise and I celebrate just 5 days apart, and we've lunched at the same restaurant for 18 years. (Oh gosh, now I'm really starting to sound like Rain Man.)

Big yummy supper with my husband and a couple of other couples who I birthday with every year. Kathy turned 43 in May. Michele turned 43 in January. I'm the baby. We've known each other since Grade 4. Lucky for our husbands that they like each other too. We're going to try Rosa's in Port Moody. Rosa is sister to Pat who owns Pappagallo's in Burnaby. Rosa's is in the little house that used to be Johnny's Place, but now it has curtains. If it's not raining, we can walk there from our house.

I'll bake myself a big fat chocolate cake and take it to work. That's our office tradition. If you don't want a fuss you don't get one, because you have to bring your own fuss. I always do.

It will snow before then. It always snows a day or two before my birthday. Not a lot, but enough to run outside and yell and get snow-faced and slip and slide around and watch the dog try to bite the air, and listen to the kids fantasize school closing in the morning.

I will get lots of cards. I always get lots. I love cards.

At least one person will sing to me.

I will remember how lucky I am to still feel goofy like a kid when my birthday comes. I think my soul is very young. I'm grateful for my curiousity, persistence, energy, creativity and enjoyment of absurdity. Fun is fun is fun and there's something fun or funny about most things. My birthday is the most fun.
Question: When's your birthday?

mompoet: counting belly-button growth rings

Sunday, November 21, 2004


Found the pants. Went Friday directly after work. Mission accomplished.

Well, there are shoes and a shirt still to be found, but they are minor objectives. The tricky part is done. No casualties, 75 minutes total mall time. All is well.

Question: pants?

mompoet: born not to

Fine Day

Irene and I went to the Pandora's Collective Poetry Reading at the Culture Crawl on Saturday. It was lovely. Bonnie and Sita have things set up for a gorgeous, intimate experience. The reading/musical lineup is spectacular. It's on all day Sunday, so if you happen to read this posting fresh and early, try to get there.

Pandora's is set up in 1200 Parker Street - a giant industrial building now full of artists' studios. You'll need to go to the third floor, studio 330. It's well worth the adventure through labyrinthine hallways. If you suffer from claustrophobia or paranoia about escaping from a building in a fire, or if you have a wild imagination about lights going out or being trapped in creepy empty places at night, you will be uncomfortable. But sometimes that is fun too.

Irene and I read at 1 on Saturday. We each began with only half a dozen in the audience, but people were drawn to the room by the words floating out into the corridor. That was neat. Irene read a bunch of her "weirds." "Til the Rich Lady Sings" was a particular hit. We were all yelling "AROOOOOOO!" even later in the afternoon during a gorgeous musical set by Melic Thrum. I did a mishmash of stuff and debuted my new "midlife part 2." We saw quite a few friends there, including my Mom and Dad who surprised me by showing up, and Helmi from Shoreline Writers, who wins the prize for travelling for culture. Now I know that she drives into Vancouver from Whonnock for: Friends of Chamber Music, Vancouver Film Festival and East Side Culture Crawl. Don't sell all suburb-dwellers short. We know how to go to the city!

Mom and Dad invited my husband and me out for Szechuan supper after as a belated 20th anniversary treat (ours, not theirs). Yummmmy - us not supper. Well, supper too.

All in all it was fine day. I am blessed to have opportunities like this.

Question: so, are you afraid in big old places?

mompoet: ARRRROOOOOOO!!!!

Friday, November 19, 2004

Psycho Class for Endorphin Addicts

Hi, my name's mompoet. I'm an endorphin addict.
I am admitting today that I have been hooked, once again by the cardio-craving, sweat-savouring, adrenalin-chewing bug. I'm not running or aerobicizing. I'm going to studio cycle classes.

The setting is great for us closet oxygen-gobblers - dark room, loud music, everyone clipped into bikes facing the front of the room. We pedal pedal pedal until we explode. At the front of the class, our endorphin-pusher urges us to go faster, pedal harder, INCREASE THE TENSION!!!!

Actually, it's not as bad as that, but it is weird. Who'da thunk anyone would go into a room full of exercise bikes and pedal hard for an hour, with loud music playing and a leader urging you on to stand up, sit down, hover, sprint, long-hard-uphill? The first 2 or 3 times I tried it I thought it was awful, but everyone else seemed to be doing great so I persisted. Then it clicked. I figured out the body positioning, bike adjustments and how to pace myself, then I was one of them - the manic stationary cyclists. This has to be the hardest workout I have ever done, and it is great. I would never, ever crank the tension on the bike in the weight room and pedal standing up for 5 minutes to simulate climbing Mt. Seymour. I would never sprint like some Tour de France racer. I would never keep it up for an hour. I would never laugh or sing along or shout encouragement to someone across the room who is taking her turn to sprint. But in the class it seems natural and it works. When I finish, I am drenched and energized and I feel like I could do just about anything. I go a couple times a week when I can fit it into my schedule. I'm still walking and weight-lifting throughout the week. It's all at the community centre too - inexpensive and friendly. So I'm feeling better heading into 43 than I was when I was turning 42 or 41 or even 40. Yeah!

Question: what's your weird but good?

mompoet: thighs like tree trunks

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Culture Crawl...not the Mall

My friend Irene and I will perform at the Pandora's Collective Poetry place, part of the East Side Culture Crawl. We'll be at 1000 Parker, 1-2pm on Saturday. I've never been to the Culture Crawl before, so I'm looking forward to it for more than just the poetry. Looks like there will be a lot of very interesting art.

I hope that I will have time to crawl around a bit. Daughter wants me to come straight home after and take her out. She needs new everything for her December shows. Her dress pants and shoes are too small, and she wants to wear the same shirt as her singing partner, so they must go shopping together. I'm sure if I chose matching original hand-painted silk shirts for her and her 12 year-old friend and brought them home from some artist's studio, they'd think I was weird and groan and roll their eyes and stuff. They want me to take them to the mall. Home of The GAP (in judgement) and Old Navy (bean soup). Which I hate. Especially this time of year. They should send people who do bad things to the mall and make them stay there longer, the worse it was what they did. But I love my daughter, and while my husband is still the champion at buying her running shoes, the rest of the clothes shopping is now a mother-daughter experience. Ugggg.

I would never go to the mall unless I absolutely had to.

Question: What place do you avoid?

mompoet: nada shoppa

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Whether Report

I walk the dog every morning, sometime between 6 and 7:30. This morning it was 7. The ground is still wet with heavy dew, but there's frost on the rooftops for the first time since last winter. Car windows aren't yet frozen, but that'll come soon I'm sure.


Hiking boots GOOD
Winter Coat YUP
Snow Tires GOTTA DO THAT!!!
Car Scraper YUP
Work at Home Box START TODAY

Living on a hillside and valuing life and limb over compliance with arbitrary schedules, I pack work home in a box on winter evenings so if it snows overnight, I can work from home the next morning. Transit's good where I live, but most meetings get cancelled on snowy days, and with email and voicemail it's possible to function by remote control for a day or two when necessary.

I know it probably won't snow in earnest until January, but there's always that first sloshy few centimetres sometime before the end of November. And that's the day that everyone goes nuts and slides off the road and predicts doom and gloom. I like to stay home that day and avoid joining the hysteria.

Question: what would it be like if I lived in Ontario?

mompoet: west coast wussing


Why do things always happen in weird clusters? On Thursday I took the kids to see Shark Tale. I didn't know that it was about a vegetarian shark who dresses in dolphin drag until I got there. It was kind of cute, but too much like Shrek underwater to be really exciting.

Now today I read in the paper that PETA has begun a campaign to convince people that fish are as smart as non-human primates, so of course we shouldn't eat them. Check it out.

I'll have to stay tuned and pay attention. Three's the magic number. So if a can of tuna falls on my foot today, I'll know there's a message meant for me.

Question: in a brook or in the pan?

mompoet - who lists sushi as her "desert island" food

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Time for a Movie

I was 13 years old when my Mom took me to see One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. It was restricted, so she had to sign me in. I will never forget it. I had not seen a movie like it before. I was frightened. I laughed. I was shocked. I was sad and angry at the end, but also full of hope as I watched the Chief disappear into the mist. Images from the movie have stuck with me through all of those years. Of course I read the novel immediately afterwards. It was one of those few times that I felt like the film lived up to the book. I still think of it as one of the best movies I have ever seen.

Somehow, a couple of weeks ago, my 11 year-old and I got into a conversation that led us around to One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. I can't remember if she was questioning me about the meaning of some reference to it on Futurama or the Simpsons or if we were talking about mental illness and institutions...Anyway, I decided we should watch this movie together. So I rented it on Friday. It's a 7-day dvd rental now.

On Friday evening my daughter was reluctant to watch it. My husband advised her that it was really an adult movie, so she needed to be ready for some harsh scenes that might be hard to watch. I didn't push it. On Saturday evening I decided to watch it myself, and let her choose. She was right there. For part of the movie she crawled into my arms on the couch, and she asked questions all the way through - about which characters were "committed" and which "voluntary" and who's girlfriend Candy was. She was sorting out a lot of mature ideas and concepts but she kept up pretty well. She noticed that there was no music except for during the credits at the beginning and end, and the music that the nurses played on the ward on that old record player to keep the patients docile. She said, "I've never seen a movie with just the real sounds and quiet when everyone is quiet." It made me realise again how special and different this movie is. I was delighted to see that the story appealed to her quirky sense of humour and to her sturdy sense of justice and intense insistence on qualities of humanity. You know that feeling when someone you love loves something you love and you say "yeah!" That was there.

I loved watching it again. My daughter liked it very much. I'm glad my Mom took me to see it. I'm glad I watched it with my daughter.

Question: 21st Century rite of passage?

mompoet: soaking up the good stuff

Friday, November 12, 2004

Help a Fellow Bean

There's a fundraiser tomorrow, Saturday November 13, noon to 11pm at Myles of Beans Restaurant on Kingsway at Edmonds Street in Burnaby. This is a great little neighbourhood coffee house that has served the community and welcomed artists and community people for years. There's rarely a night when some performance or fundraiser isn't happening at Myles'. It's a warm, friendly stopping place for people who work and live in one of the toughest and sweetest neighbourhoods in Burnaby, a neighbourhood that is now undergoing gentrification with a boom in upscale housing and corporate offices and re-development of the local shopping centre. Starbucks has just opened down the street, and recently Myles was robbed of $1,000. The fundraiser is a chance for all of us who appreciate the place and the people to help keep this business afloat. There will be music and poetry and a raffle. Please come if you can.

Question: What do you know that's worth saving?

Mompoet - dreading the day that the world is owned by Starbucks, Chapters and Microsoft (yeah yeah yeah, I know, the weapons manufacturers too)

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Compensating for Cold

I dreamed that I was walking in shallow, cold water, at the edge of a lake. My friend was swimming, but I didn't want to join her. Closer to the shore the water was more shallow and not so cold on my feet, but there were sharp rocks. Deeper in, my legs were swallowed by chilly water but the bottom of the lake was smooth sand.

I woke up wearing warm red pajamas, snuggled between flannel sheets. The furnace had turned itself on with a timer. I made coffee. Porridge is cooking. Dog waits under the table. She'll let me tuck my slippered feet under her soft furry tummy while I read the paper. Cat rubs my leg. Children have not surfaced from under duvets. There are compensations for the cold.

Question: How much of each is right?

Mompoet: safe and slow starting

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Help for those of us still Mourning the Outcome of the U.S. Election

I sure am, but this helped. You have to scroll down and press play, but it's worth it.

Question: why why why why why why? (ok, it's a rhetorical question)

Mompoet: why

Monday, November 08, 2004

History of the World

The true story of the sphinx (according to Weebl and Bob).

Question: Pbbbllllttt?

mompoet - too tired and sweaty to write anything, but happy to share a joke

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Remembrance Sunday

Church rocks.

Okay, before you think I am some gooney Christian-fundamentalist smiley-faced la la, hear what happened at St. Andrew's United Church in Port Moody today.

It's Remembrance Sunday, so we honoured all of the veterans who are in our congregation and all of the veterans who are loved by the people in our congregation. Best of all, Mary Duncan, our new minister, delivered a totally direct and vivid sermon about war and our part in taking responsibility for peace. She read stories told by soldiers from the second World War and the Gulf War and criticized George W. Bush for professing to be a man of God but acting in a very ungodly manner with respect to peace. The scripture reading included Luke:

This is Jesus talking:

"But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. Do to others as you would have them do to you. "

I thought about this afterwards and realised it means not only to love Iraquis and Al Quaida, but also to love George Bush. I'm still working on the personal responsibility part. What can I do here in my home with my family in Port Moody to really help promote world peace?

For starters we can try to teach our children to value love and peace and to make those values part of their decision-making and problem solving. The best way to teach this is to model it. Also, we can speak out against policies that promote violent solutions to local and world problems. We can also honour those veterans who walk in the parade on Thursday and thank goodness we did not have to see what they saw and do what they did.

I cried in church today. I felt very sad, even shocked by the stories that Mary shared. But I also felt grateful to be part of a religious community that is a leader in Canada's peace movement, and to attend a place of worship where the real events of the world are made part of our worship and our instruction for everyday living.

That's all for now.

Question: When will we ever learn?

mompoet - somber

A Day about Nothing

Thinking about my November resolution, and having nothing terribly pressing on the agenda, I tried to do nothing for a day.

I rose at 7, but stayed in pajamas until 11:30, reading Friday's and Saturday's newspapers, drinking coffee and eating waffles. I did check email, post a journal entry and make waffles, but that was it. At 8:15 I had to hold onto the edge of the table and will myself not to dress and run out the door to a studio cycling class at the rec. centre. But I made it. Phew! The power of an endorphin addiction is really something.

After taking a shower I took the dog for a long, slow walk at noon. Then I cooked lunch and ate with the kids, who were also in slo-mo mood. My husband was still asleep, having worked overtime through Friday night. After lunch I made a list of all of the chores, errands and housecleaning that need to get done. Then I put the list away.

I worked a bit on my two new poems...still picking through recycling bins and junk discarded along the roadway of my psyche, but it's stuck down on paper so I can do something with it when it gels. I made a couple of friendly phone calls and checked email once more. A day that is normally very quick began to slow down. From where did all of this time come?

My daughter had to watch Remember the Titans for a school assignment (watch the movie and write a paragraph on one character explaining why he or she is a good leader). So I made a cup of coffee and sat on the couch and watched the whole darn thing. Husband got up and joined us.

There were balls of dog fur on the floor, a pile of bills waiting to be paid, diminishing stocks of home-made wine running up to Christmas, Halloween decorations still on display in the carport. I did nothing about any of them. At supper time I re-heated pizza and chicken wings from Friday's supper for the kids, then took my husband out for a birthday supper at The Flying Fish Cafe. When we got home I did not make up for my laziness by picking up even one sock off the floor. I stayed in my nice "out for supper" clothes until early bedtime and continued to do nothing.

It was nice. Nobody died. The family really enjoyed seeing me not as a blur. We talked and relaxed. I can do this.

So maybe I will try to have a nothing day once a month for starters. Maybe I can even fit in two for November. There's a long weekend coming up, after all.

Question: If a mom sits stills, does anybody hear her?

mompoet: slightly de-velocitized

Saturday, November 06, 2004

What it's Like

Sometimes, writing a poem is like giving birth or falling in love. It's hard, exciting, wonderful, follows a semi-predictable progression. It's intense and certain to yield results of a particular kind.
Sometimes it's like making waffles. There's a recipe. Skill counts. Practice helps. It's not exciting, and there are few epiphanies, but it works just fine.
Sometimes it's like making a friend, more of a gentle adventure but possibly including fireworks.
Sometimes it's like sleepwalking - hypnogogic visioning or auto-writing. Maybe there's channeling, maybe it's divine inspiration or demonic possession. More likely just engaging pathways that are usually operating only in the background.
Sometimes it's like looking through the dumpster for something that might have been thrown in there by accident. Crap and crud pile up, but you sense it's worth it to keep looking. You're going to need a shower and a uhaul at the end.
Right now I'm working on one like that. It doesn't even feel like an important poem - more comedic that grave. But there must be something there, I think, as I go back to the dumpster.

Question: What's it going to be like today?

mompoet: also making waffles (literally)

Friday, November 05, 2004

New Blue

Well, it's not an extreme makeover (thank goodness), but it is a new look. I hope you like it. Maybe tomorrow I will think of something interesting to say. In the meantime. This it it. TA DAHHH! Really, that's all. We can go now.

Question: which?

mompoet: blank

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Proud Mama

Eleven year-old daughter phoned me at work today to tell me that they did fitness testing at school. Out of all of the Grade 6 girls in the school, she can throw a basketball the farthest. This is doubly delicious for me because I was a giant p.e. avoider and still can't throw anything much or far anywhere. I'm so glad she has not inherited my ineptitude (whether it's genetic or attitudinal).

Then she found out that her reading score is 4th year university level. That's no surprise. She reads stuff that I enjoy. She was tickled to see it officially scored, though.

She is an artist/writer/actor/singer good friend and ambitious envisioner. I'm pretty darn proud of her.

Fourteen year-old boy child came to the office with me on Wednesday. It was national "Bring our Kids to Work Day." He sat perfectly nicely and with quiet enthusiasm through a 2-hour seminar on Korean Culture, then talked with me about it all the way back to the office. After lunch he helped input programs with our automated registration system. His big thrill was helping me proofread my own computer work. He found tons of mistakes and fixed them. Then he asked me, "Will the kids who come to these programs know that I prevented lots of problems and confusion by doing this work today?" I said nope, it's quiet glory we rec. programmers enjoy, working behind the scenes. The guy with the ball and whistle is always the hero. He was okay with that. Actually, he was so helpful I'm considering asking him to bus over to my office a couple of afternoons each month after school to help me. It will do us both good.

Finally, he offered to fix my computer mouse at my office desk, which seemed to have lost its ability. What was inside? one very clean mouse ball plus a giant bread crumb. Ooops, that's what happens when I go to the gym for lunch and eat a sandwich at my desk. Good thing it wasn't sushi or a samosa, huh? Honest. I do not use my snacks as mouse pads.

Amazing husband is 47 years old today. He's had lots of calls and cards, and we're about to eat a yummy supper at home together. I met him when he was 18. He's holding up great! (Don't tell him I said that).

Question: What makes you beam?

mompoet: happy to be me

Good Show

I saw Take a Breath at the Roundhouse last night. It was very good. It's on through Sunday and worth catching (oops bad pun).

I had always thought of community theatre projects as reheated Broadway musicals or awkwardly-rendered one acts, but this is something new. The show was developed by people in the neighbourhood, led by the Roundhouse's artist in residence, Valerie Methot.

The thirty actors in the show are all ages and from many different backgrounds with very different experiences in the theatre and in life. Each one brings a one minute "piece" to the show, and also works to support the others in their presentations. There's song, dance, creative movement, poetry, even a version of the Snow White story. It is immediate, exciting and real.

Tickets are just $10 in advance or $12 at the door. Don't count on the latter though. I bet this will sell out for the rest of the run. It's short too, just about an hour and a quarter. You should go.

Question: How would one minute of your life look/sound/feel on stage?

mompoet: uncurling

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

November Resolutions

It's a good time to start new things in November. September is just too distracting with things that have to start at that time. January is too cliche and inclined to guilt and denial type resolutions. My birthday is at the end of the month, so there's a natural milestone here for me. Last year I began weight-lifting on November 15. Three years ago I was baptized in November. I'm pondering whether I should start something new, or give up something I don't need anymore now that my arbitrary fresh page month has come again.

If I could put my finger on one thing I would like to change in my life right now, it's that I'm so darned busy. I am scheduled up from 6am until 9 or 10 most nights. Most of it is stuff that I love to do, and that I believe does some good in the world. But almost every day I feel like I am neglecting many of my commitments by rushing past and through things without stopping to listen, reflect, savour. The outcome of this is that I look back on yesterday or last week or a few hours ago and wish I'd done something differently. Maybe if I had taken a bit more time to consider and actually be there when it was happening, I would not have so many small regrets.

Maybe also I am addicted to experience. How can I say no to things that will be interesting, challenging, stimulating, beneficial to me and to others? I have this amazing energy and don't often feel tired. When I try to sit down and breathe out, I just bounce up again and start doing something. I have a really good on/off switch, but sometimes a dimmer switch would be mighty useful. You should see my husband and kids, snuggled up watching tv, talking to the cat, reading a book, and I'm writing/charging up and down the stairs/talking on the phone/cooking/cleaning/organizing/repairing. Then I run out the door. They must think I'm nuts, and I know they wish I'd stop and sit down with them more. I am hard to trap. I do sleep very well and instantly every night. Six or 7 hours seems to do me just fine during the week. I grab a couple extra on the weekend, but I get to thinking about things I could be doing, and BOING! I'm up.

And in case you know me very well and you are wondering. I had my thyroid level checked last month and it is perfectly normal. It seems I am definitely well now, and medication-free for one whole year. So it's really and truly me charging around like this - not the disease.

If you have any suggestions about a concrete or introspective step that I could take as my November resolution, drop me a line. I like things pretty much the way they are, but why settle for over-the-moon when over-and-over the moon and stars and Mars is a possibility? Or is that the kind of thinking that got me into this happy mess?

Question: see above

mompoet - always in development