Friday, April 29, 2005


At noon, a hula loop of tulips hooting yahooooooo!

question: did you see them?

mompoet - blissing out on spring

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

more festival (that's all, I promise)

We drove out to Langley again this afternoon for Kiwanis Festival part two. Daughter did her comedy musical theatre piece. She's a private practiser, so I had heard her through a closed door, but not seen the full act. I know I'm her mom, but it was hilarious. I had to restrain myself from guffawing (guffawing is not appropriate at the music festival). She got a silver for her performance.

I had to leave before the ensemble performance. Her group got gold. So that's all for the festival for this year. She wants to go again next year.

The adjudicator, Nancy Hermiston from the UBC School of Music, was terrific. She encouraged every performer and had useful advice for everyone. We learned a lot just listening to her remarks to all of the singers.

I'm glad our daughter did this. I'm grateful that my work schedule is so flexible that I can get away to take her to things like this. I am so relieved not to live in Langley. It's pretty there, but getting to and from work would take so much time. Port Moody is gooooood.

question: Why is Mount Baker so close once you get over the bridge, but invisible from our side unless you are on Burnaby Mountain?

mompoet - long-haul mom for the short term

Music Festival

Our daughter sang "God Help the Outcasts" at the Kiwanis Music Festival yesterday. She's been to other festivals as part of a group. This was her first solo singing. The song is sweet and sad and simple. She sang it beautifully. I could tell she was nervous, but she hit her notes and put herself inside the song very well. The adjudicator complimented her vocal expression, and said that this is a hard thing to learn to do, but she's got it. She received a gold certificate (90-100%). Today she sings "My New Philosophy," a comedy song, and she'll do a number from Annie with 4 other girls.

We are so proud of her. This is something she decided to do herself, and she worked hard to build her ability and confidence to this point. The festival provides recognition and encouragement that mean a lot to her. A bunch of fellow students/performers were there. She was all smiles as they congratulated her and shared stories about how "nerve-wracking" it is (they actually used thosed words).

It's interesting when your kids start doing things you never did, nor probably ever could do. I feel pride and admiration, and also a respect for our daughter's ability to do things that are completely her own. This is a good thing.

question: none today

mompoet - moment of ahhhhh

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Four times in two hours

The summer of the Coaster has begun. I rode it 4 times today. Yup, in two hours. We activated our Playland passes today, then hit the rides for a couple hours. The longest wait we had was for our photo ID. After that we rode and rode and rode. The Corkscrew, Enterprise, Music Express (sentimental favourite), Splash Zone and Hellevator. I think the Hellevator is a near perfect ride, and it all happens before it even begins. That sensation of sitting there waiting to be propelled up the tower is so sickeningly wonderful I can hardly stand it. From the top the view is breathtaking, and zero gravity for a moment during the descent is cool, but sitting sweaty at the bottom, just waiting, is what that ride is really all about.

Of course, the very best is the Coaster. There's just nothing like a wooden roller coaster. I love the clacketa-clacketa and the swoop and jerk. I adore the way it looks like something your kooky neighbour built in his backyard then begged you to try. It's also the first roller coaster I ever rode. I think I was about 15 years old. I must have gone on it at least 100 times since then.
I don't know if I'll make it to my goal of 100 rides in one season by the time the park closes in October, but I'll sure have fun trying. I rode solo for my first 2 times, which is absolutely perfect. When you ride with someone else, you keep looking at that person and sharing the "It's okay to scream, because he's screaming," or "Let's laugh like maniacs TOGETHERRRRR!" But solo you have to do what it is you want to do in response to the ride. And if you scream or laugh like a maniac it is an authentic and wholly self-owned thing. I did both.

Rides I am still thinking about: Hell's Gate (is this the year I give in and try it?) and two new rides promised for June: Break Dance and Gladiator.

Rides I will miss: Tilt'a'Whirl and Octopus, especially the Octopus. That was such a good ride. I laughed until I peed my pants on that ride once. Tilt'a'Whirl will mostly be missed by our daughter. I'm a tiny bit glad it's gone. I found out that even a tame ride can make you want to barf if you ride it 16 times in a row with a daughter who loves it.

Rides I just can't do: Crazy Beach Party (I tried it once. Too swoopy. Almost oooopy.) Wave Swinger (Too loose and too many flying shoes) Mad Mouse (so decrepit and creekity it's like a horror house in broad daylight, and those tiny little cars are just freaky)

Husband and son had a great time too, even when we got drenched on the log ride (we dried off on the Coaster). Daughter will go next time. She had a show. I think we picked the right summer to get passes.

By the way, the Enterprise (by a different name at the time) is the ride that made my bra disassemble itself in the true life poem "Exploding Brassiere." That was a long time ago but I remember it every time I go on that ride. To be safe, I rode solo. I have a more trustworthy bra now, but the same guy (now my husband). The possibility of a repeat is just too risky, and this time I might not be lucky enough to find the amazing and kindly Bra Fairy.

question: is this too silly for a 43 year old mom?

mompoet - who cares!

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Why I am glad I am not the mother of precocious and uninhibited quadruplet girls

At 2:45pm Friday I showed up at the backstage door at the theatre, and picked up the girls. Four little actor girls. First thing they did was trade in one of their friends for another. I should have taken this as a warning.

My job was to chaperone the quartet between their afternoon "schoolbus" performance and their opening night show. Call time for the latter: 6:30.

So I checked in with the traded-off member of the gang, who was actually relieved to be spending the break time with quieter friends and their mom. The new addition fitted the group perfectly because shetalksnon-stopjustlikethemandofteninababy-talkvoiceandshesquealslikeadentistdrillandshecantalkatthesametimeaseveryoneelseanditsokaywithherEEEEEEEEE!

Starting home to Port Moody in early rush hour at 3, dropping of 3 girls, keeping one, then reversing the operation in time to return to Maple Ridge at 6:30 would have been one long slow ride in a sardine can with talk-0-trons, so we stayed in Maple Ridge. They were all "STARVING RIGHT NOW!!" so I took them to White Spot where they demonstrated that this was not an exaggeration. Then we went to the mall. I hate the mall (Say that fast and it sound like "I hate them all" but I don't really.) We went into every store and they talked loudly and squealed and picked up everything and opened everything and knocked everything off shelves and swung their little purses and flounced around and cooed and squealed when they met gaggles of friends from the show also cruising the mall. They actually purchased freezies (for the freezer in the greenroom) They comparison-shopped for freezies for about 25 minutes. I felt like my toenails were being removed. Well, they did get the best deal, saving about .00001 cent per freezie. They also had a spirited argument about the most suitable flavour, then ended up buying four small packages each the same. They also bought m&ms. Then they stopped for an orange julius. Then they went to the dollar store. I sat outside with a coffee. They bought silly string, lip gloss and something else, I can't remember. Then they had their picture taken, all 4 of them in an automated photo booth. Then they stressed and paced for 5 minutes while they waited for the pictures to pop out, then they fought over who got what picture.

I took them back to the theatre at 6:30. There were too many moms signed up to help - they didn't need me, so I bought a ticket and watched the show. It was spectacular. Those kids are so good. I cried for about the last half hour, partly because I'm a mom, so I'm entitled, partly out of exhausted frazzledness from my chaperone shift.

I love those girls. I am glad only one of them is mine. I am grateful that someone else is chaperoning next Friday's gap time.

question: ???

mompoet - blessed with singletons

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Good Things About Today

"hey mom, will you give me a hug?"
dog kiss
husband who drives to Maple Ridge
Wendy K
I missed the Paul Martin speech
Alice in Wonderland
the back deck
did I mention tulips?
raisin bran
the shoe repair guy
leftover hershey's surprise
no bugs at the lake
2 hissing geese
me hissing back

question: what's on your list today?

mompoet - minimalist/maximum list

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Tape or Wake

Beauty and the Beast kids will be on BTV on Thursday morning between 6 and 9am (a couple of times in there, I think). The show is doing a remote broadcast from the ACT Theatre in Maple Ridge. I have to get our daughter to her carpool rendezvous point at 5:15am. I think we'd all better go to bed early. Tune in CityTV if you want a preview of this great show. The real thing opens on Friday night, and runs through May 1. Tomorrow is closing night for the middle school performance of Alice in Wonderland. We'll get to see that show if we can keep our eyes open.

Driving to Maple Ridge centre takes 30 minutes in zero traffic, close to an hour at drive-home time. I'm getting an inkling of how Vancouver people feel about driving to Port Moody. It's not impossible, but think of all the other things I could be doing. Oh well, when the girls are in the car it's very entertaining (also deafening about half the time). When I'm by myself I am really enjoying my cd player.

Wake up early tomorrow, or set your vcr. And watch for the funny little guy with a mustache and high-waisted pants. That's our daughter.

question: what time did they say???!!!

mompoet - coming and going

Tuesday, April 19, 2005


In case you are wondering, I have not started on my "boring" series yet. It has been delayed due to general excitement, intrigue and mostly because I have been waiting to hear from Marnie before I post my Great Big Sea journal. Then I'll do boring.

Any boredom induced by the last few posts has been completely unintentional, random, accidental and not my fault. IT'S YOU YOU YOU YOU YOU YOU YOU - YOUR VERY OWN BORING - NOT MINE! NOT MINE! NOT MINE!



silly dog day

this day
this unreasonably bright and silly day
stupidly happy like a smiling dog wearing a bandana
standing and wagging in a room where people sit and wait
and i
am dumb as a donut on a plate
sitting on a red-checked tablecloth
old fashioned glazed
knowing i will not change the world this day
but when you're a donut
life is sweet
oops the dog just ate me
now she's really smiling

question: donut or bagel? smile or wait? silly silly?

mompoet - sweet

by the skin of my teeth

I'm in the Van Slam Semi-Finals. Last Chance Slam happened at the cafe last night. That's for poets who have not qualified but are still trying. I almost didn't make it to the second round, but one of the poets dropped out. Then I came in second overall. I made it to the semis by good luck and the narrowest margin.

I wanted so much to make it. I was all sweaty and agitated, but I found my focus when it was my turn to perform. I would have been okay if I hadn't qualified, but I'm glad I did. I am lucky.

question: not asking any at this point

mompoet - with so many good poets around, luck counts

Monday, April 18, 2005

the cat

is basking on the carpet in a sunbeam, rolling and writhing in bliss on this morning, almost to bright for words

question: where's your sunbeam?

mompoet - admiring the cat

ps I did not say "almost too brilliant for words" because I am boycotting the word "brilliant" right now.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

If it's not me, who is it?

A good friend just told me she has stopped reading my blog because she doesn't recognize me in the posts I write. She used for example a post about things that bother me, and said "nothing bothers you!" I have been curious and perplexed ever since. It's someone who has known me for a long long time, a person who I tell most everything to, and with whom I've been through a lot of experiences and life changes, but maybe not in precisely the same way that I express them in these posts.

I think it's wonderful that every person has many dimensions. It's more complicated than acting differently in different settings or keeping parts of ourselves for some people and not for others. We show up differently in different lights, and according to what the other person is wanting, needing and thinking. I know for sure that when someone expresses a feeling very strongly, it is more a reflection of him or herself than it is about the person to whom he or she is speaking. Like advice, it's never for the person who is receiving it. It's really the person giving it, talking to himself.

I am delighted when I find out things about other people that are surprises. I hope I can figure out a way to express that to my friend so maybe she will take delight in the things she finds strange or just new about me. I'm still changing. We all are. Maybe right now I am restless and she is contented. Hmmm, but saying that I have to know I'm really talking about myself (according to my theory, anyway). Hmmmm

question - if it isn't me, talking about you, then could it be me talking about me by talking about you?

mompoet - Escher-psyche

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Birds in the Trees

I took the dog for a walk along the inlet trail at Rocky Point this morning. It's really beautiful there right now. Everything is green and wet and you can't see the traffic, just trees and bushes and the tip of the inlet and the estuary and the creek. I rounded a bend and heard a strange noise up high in the treetops, something like the sound it makes when you pull a hatchet out of wood that's still a bit damp, only it repeated in staccato rhythm. It was a really piercing and distinctive sound. I looked up and saw two bald eagles way up high on the top of two tall trees, side by side. The one that was making the noise kept shifting and flouncing around, and that treetop swayed and bounced. The other bird seemed to be listening, then it raised up and flew off to another tree top a dozen meters or more away. The noisy one stayed put and kept cackle-acking and shimmying that treetop.

We have a lot of eagles around here. Sometimes there's one in the morning, in a treetop when I go out to walk the dog. What's best is when they fly. They are enormous, and they hardly flap at all, just glide, glide, glide.

That was my excitement for today. Accc-ackkk-gweek!

Question: have you seen them too?

mompoet - perched a lot lower but still swaying

On with the Shows

Alice in Wonderland opens this week at the middle school. Of 4 performances, our daughter can make only 2 because the others conflict with final rehearsals for Beauty and the Beast which opens later this week at The ACT in Maple Ridge. Because of rehearsal rules (no moms and dads allowed) we have seen nothing of either show. We'll just get to see Alice once, but we'll know Beast off by heart by the time it closes on May 1.

Lindbjerg Academy double-casts its shows, partly so every actor has a double who can take his or her place in case of illness, also so twice as many actors get main parts, and finally so everyone gets a chance to understand the importance of both lead and chorus roles. Our daughter is playing Maurice (that's Belle's dad) on the nights when she has a lead role. On alternating nights she is a silly girl and a fork. She tells me that the chorus members have divided into cliques according to what kind of cutlery they will play in the "Be our Guest" number. She tells me that forks are superior to spoons and plates. I am so glad that she is playing a fork. It would be so disappointing not to have prongs.

In the middle of all this, she will compete in the Kiwanis music festival in two solo vocal classes. She has been in music competitions before, but only in ensemble classes. This will be her first time competing by herself and receiving ranking and adjudication bases solely on her own performance. She's a good singer and a confident performer, so I'm sure she'll be just fine. I'm especially proud that she has resisted singing songs that are too old for her. Her vocal coach has helped with this. Nobody wants a little American Idol wannabee.
There will be a time in her life for torchy, sexy songs....later.

Anyhow, the next couple of weeks will be full of good shows and lots of driving and packing sandwiches to eat on the way and lots of hanging around in the theatre waiting and/or helping.

Then in May it's the really big show - the provincial election. I'm glad that's not happening at exactly the same time, but I know which I'd choose if I had to.

Question: why do good things overlap so much?

mompoet - chauffeur to a star

Friday, April 15, 2005

I love my girl

Her pink is not the pink of an innocent blush
Not pale like proper ballet tights, Cadillacs or Mary Kay
Not sweet like bubblegum or cherry lipgloss
Not nearly so droopy or blue-pink as fuschia
Not salmon-tinged like the horizon pink of dawn or a seashell’s edge
Not chic like Chanel
Not raw like the tender edges of a wound
Not silly pink like fuzzy slippers or a bath mat

Her pink is the pink of cherry trees on opening day
Before the petals fall and soften on the ground like lost babies’ fingers
Her pink is the pink of fresh strawberry ice cream
Her pink is the pink
Of the centre of my heart

Question: none today

mompoet - mother of pink

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Pope Daydream

If I say this, maybe it will go away...

Last week somebody told me that consideration was given to burying the Pope's heart in Poland, and the rest of him in St. Peter's Basilica. Turns out they didn't after all, but the idea has just kept bugging me.

I understand that it's Polish tradition to return the hearts of beloved and famous Poles to their native land for burial. It's just that I never heard of that before. I kept imagining...

Anyway, here's the picture, and the words: Somehow everytime I thought about "Pope's heart," the works morphed into "Pop Tart." Then I imagined the Pope, lying in state, kind of buzzing like an old toaster. Then a Pop Tart popped out of his chest and somebody took it and carried it away to be sent to Poland.

I guess I should try to get more sleep.

Question: Pope Tart?

mompoet - daydream terrarium

Throat full of knives

The school board meeting went just fine last night. We were up first. Our presentation was received with no questions from trustees, but a request from one to the admin staff to report back on costs for our proposals, which is pretty standard. I spoke, and Jennie sat by, ready for questions. After the meeting, one of our PoMo trustees approached me to set up a meeting. I deferrred until mid-May. Things are just too busy now, and he seemed okay with it. I am dreading the possibility of being asked if I will consider running for trustee in the fall. But I know the answer...NO! Because I could not write poetry if I was a school trustee. That will be my answer. I think it's a pretty good one.

The dog's pajamas fit, but she got them off during the night. I'll leave them off her for the day and risk more chewing. Tonight at home I'll put them back on her and keep an eye on her. I don't want her to be half out of them while we are gone, and fall down the stairs or something. I want her rump to get better, but a spinal injury or even a sprained paw is not worth the risk.

My cold is winning again. I feel like I swallowed a bucket of finishing nails and they lodged in my throat. Yes Dad, I am drinking lots of water and taking vitamin C, and no, I am not exercising. It will pass. Meantime it's from the neck up, and the rest of me works okay, so I can keep going to work. I just can't hold anyone's baby. (We met Tina, our next door neighbour, on Sunday. Today River and Roni are bringing baby Ronan to the office for a visit.) I love to cuddle but must admire from afar. No baby wants to feel like this.

Going to a cancer benefit dinner at a pub tonight with Andy. Thank goodness those places are smoke-free these days. Couldn't face it otherwise.

Question: bla bla bla?

mompoet - ouch

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

School Board Budgets and Dog Pajamas

Two things on my mind this morning:

The Coquitlam School Board is receiving community presentations about its 2005-6 operating budget. Consortium43 has prepared a presentation. Tonight my friends Jennie, Gwenda and I will go to the School Board meeting to make our presentation. Info about C43 is available via our email: Our presentation discusses the need for restoring services that have been lost over the past few years due to declining provincial funding. We know that our trustees have to work with what they get, but we go on record each year to say that the funding is inadequate. We will also question the rightness of relying on international students and overseas education as a funding source (our district is currently pulling in about $13 million a year from this). We'll ask for facts about the actual cost of completing seismic upgrades to all our schools (that's a capital cost, but it's on our minds) and we'll challenge the increasing reliance on parent fundraising for education essentials like textbooks and computers, and the inequities that result. Our presentation is written and has been sent to the Board already. We just have to show up, read it and answer any questions. A number of the trustees have read it already because they are members of C43.

The other thing on my mind is our dog and her "hot spot." She's at it again, denuding a growing patch on her rump. It must be itchy or just interesting. She keeps gnawing at it and taking off the fur. The medicine the vet gave us is used up, and there's no sign of any lingering infection. But we need her to stop chewing. So while I was walking her this morning I thought about the problem of keeping her away from her itchy butt. We tried a t shirt tied around her rump, but she figured out how to get it off very quickly. What we need is something more firmly attached to her body. So I have this vision that I'm going to try tonight, after I get home from the School Board meeting. I'm going to get two old tshirts, fit them to her and sew them together in the middle to make dog pajamas. Her front legs will go through the sleeves of one shirt, her rear legs through the arms of the other. Her tail will come out one neck hole, her head out the other. I'll leave the tummy part open so we can get it on and off, but I'll arrange some kind of ties so we can snug it up on her tummy. I think this will work. If we take her back to the vet he'll probably suggest allergy tests or some other expensive and potentially inconclusive approach. We'll try pajamas first.

Question: what else do I have to do in my spare time?

mompoet - vocal citizen and dog couturier

Monday, April 11, 2005

One More Bug

I just thought of one more awful speech mannerism...

It's when a person tells you something by asking him/herself a question, then immediately answering the question:

"Do I think the Liberals will be re-elected in May? Yes, I think they will." Instead of just saying, "I think the Liberals will be re-elected."

It's especially annoying when done in sequence:

"Do I know what's wrong with my car? No, I do not. Do I wish I had taken it for a tuneup last month? Maybe, but I wanted to wait for a coupon. Looking back, do I regret procrastinating? Well, I guess I do." Arrrrggggg!!!

In this mannerism there is an implication that the listener should have been a better listener, maybe asked more questions about whatever the speaker is on about, thus eliminating the need for self-questioning. Mostly it feels like the talker likes the sound of his own voice. Or maybe he thinks he is two people?

Okay, enough about what bugs me. It's a perfect transition into boring, but I want to do a Sound Journal post before I launch into boring. I've been listening to my friend Marnie's selection: Great Big Sea.

Question: am I the only one who notices these things? or maybe the only one bothered by them?

mompoet - off my chest and done now

Sunday, April 10, 2005


I'm still snuffling but also bored, so here I am thinking about things that annoy me. Usually I don't sweat the small stuff. That said, one of my tenderest spots for annoyance is how people say things. My usually open-minded ears pretty near jump off my head in frustration at verbal fads. That's what I call it when people start saying things a certain, irritatingly incorrect way, then more people say it, then more people.

Some of these fads are cyclical and generational. An example of this is "like," or "ya' know," peppering conversation. Teenagers almost all have a "like" or "ya' know" phase. I can live with this. It's kind of endearing, like when a teenage boy's face turns to plasticene for a year or so (Laura Moran reminded me about this in her poem, "Middle School String Ensemble") or when a girl gets breasts or first tries wearing makeup. They're all rites of passage, wholly reassuring in their predictable appearance.

The verbal fads I dislike are the ones adopted by educated, thoughtful grownups who should know better. Here are my current and unfavourite examples:

  • insane - as in "They still don't have jalapenos at SubWay. That makes me insane." Insane is no longer a medical term. Maybe it's a legal one still? It denotes a level of mental illness that renders a person unaccountable for his or her own actions. The computer helpdesk not calling you back, or a lack of jalapenos at your favourite lunch spot is not sufficient cause to claim insanity. Also, you cannot become insane 10-15 times a day for different reasons. Once you are insane, you are insane. For at least a couple of years. At least I think so. PLEASE SUBSTITUTE: "ANNOYED" (They still don't have jalapenos at SubWay. That makes me annoyed.)
  • t=ch This is when people stop pronouncing the letter "t" and substitute "ch." As in "Choronto" (a city in Ontario) and "Chuesday" (the day after Monday). It just sounds awful (but it does NOT drive me insane). It does not sound cool. It sounds stupid. And I mean STTTUPID, not "schtupid." PLEASE SUBSTITUTE: "T" (Toronto, Tuesday, Ta-ra-ra-boom-dee-yay)
  • "I seen" as in "I seen that new movie with John Travolta in it. Have you?" I heard a woman call in to CBC radio this morning. She said "I seen your contest in my local paper..." I wouldn't say anything if I thought this was coming from someone who didn't read books, or wasn't exposed to intelligent conversation. But I'm pretty sure that smart people who know better are picking up this trailer talk just to sound what...worldly? I don't know. I just don't know. PLEASE SUBSTITUTE: "I SAW" (I saw a saw on the sea horse. I don't know what the sea horse saw.)

I've been trying to figure out why this kind of thing bugs me so much. I know I don't speak perfectly, and I probably have my own annoying mannerisms (besides just talking too much in general). But I'm allowed to be annoyed, and even say so once in a while.

I've tried to figure out why people would adopt these mannerisms or verbal fads. Perhaps it's a way of fitting in and distinguishing one's self simultaneously. This is the eternal paradox of fads in general. I want to be cool and different, but only if everyone else is being cool and different just like me.

I guess the best thing to do is ignore them and get over it. The less I think about them, the less I notice them. Maybe I could write a whole bunch into a poem, but probably nobody would get it. Worse, maybe some fad-follower would think something I said was cool, then he or she might emulate it, and I'd add to the problem. Guess I'll leave it alone.

Question: Why be bothered?

mompoet - because I can

Good Video

I nearly missed it and I'm glad I didn't. Last night we watched The Station Agent on DVD. It's exactly the kind of movie I love - unassuming but it grows on you, and with a big heart. It's about a man with dwarfism who inherits and moves into an abandoned railway depot in a small New Jersey town. The story tells about the people he meets and gets to know in the town. I loved the characters and the glimpse into the life of railroad enthusiasts and the love.

This one is worth watching. Wish I'd seen it in the theatre.

Question: Whuuu? (still)

mompoet - laying low

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Thinkle Thinkle Little Star

It's Saturday afternoon, and our own The Svelte Ms Spelt is in Austin Texas, representing the Vancouver Poetry Slam at the International Slam Masters' Meeting. It's two hours later in Austin, where they are on Central Time. So Saturday's proceedings are probably winding up. At lunch today, I think there was an information session about bidding for the right to host the National Poetry Slam and Individual World Poetry Slam.

Vancouver Poetry House is bidding to host the 2007 iWPS in Vancouver. Our bid will be presented by Ms Spelt on Sunday morning. Elections to Executive Council of Poetry Slam Internation will also take place on Sunday morning. Ms Spelt is running for election - possibly to become the first EC member from Canada.

I've already promised to beam white light to Austin throughout the weekend and especially Sunday morning. If you believe in this kind of energy (heck, even if you don't) try to think some positive thoughts and send them to Austin Texas on Sunday morning. I'm guessing target time around 8am-11am Pacific Daylight should do the trick. Share some of the good energy that spills in excess from your heart and mind all the time. Get it to our friend who is representing Vancouver. Make our bid and Spelt's both successful.

question: ever wonder how much we could do if we all focused, even for a moment, on one good thing?

mompoet - mystical and positive at the same time

What's Boring?

I am going to write some boring blogs next week. On purpose. I'm currently interested in the idea of boring, so I'm going to explore it.

So far, I can think of a few boring topics:

  • how much I slept, what I ate, exercising
  • money
  • house cleaning
  • television
  • what somebody said who nobody else knows
  • why I don't do things (ie excuses)
  • how nice people are
  • cute things the pets did
  • everything I did at work today
  • what things cost
If you read this and you have some more ideas for boring topics for next week's posts, please leave a comment or email me. I want to be so boring that nobody can make it through the week reading my stuff without screaming, "This is so boring!!! Why am I reading it????"

question: did you notice that BOING is just "boring" without the r? (only BOING is the opposite of boring)

mompoet - maybe I will find out why so many people continue to watch television every day

Dough Head Snot Brain

The cold won. I'm thick with dumb-headed stupidness and sleepy. My eyes are crunchy. I drip continuously. The best I can do conversationally is, "yeah? whuuuu? mmmph." I want to drink Pepsi (I know it's bad for me, bad for the environment, a bad corporation, so I don't) but I want to. Nothing pleases me. I am dull.

Question: whuuuuu?

mompoet - viral

Friday, April 08, 2005

PoMo Slam

Wednesday night we held the Arts Festival Slam at Charlie's Restaurant in Port Moody. It went pretty well. The audience was a bit smaller than before, and the number of poets decreased again (a trend since our second time out) but the people who came had fun and the poets were spectacular.

Organizing the slam has become pretty routine for me...none of the crazy wild adrenaline that I felt the first couple of times. I'm pretty sure of what to say and do now, and also confident that it will go well. I even used the book bag full of notepads and felt markers that I had from last year, so all I had to find was balloons for the sign outside.

Our feature poet, Fernando Raguero, was wonderful. He debuted his new poem about Wendy's Chili. I loved it. He also had a poem I have not heard, about how he is entering middle age. I just about died laughing at that. His poetry is totally intelligent and rich with insight. I also has lots of sex and swearing, and a guy crapping on people's lawns in the suburbs. I told him I think Port Moody is ready for him. I hope he believed me.

The whole Shoreline crew came out, which made me feel really great. Helmi helped run the show, and counted the scores. Michael subjected himself to the ire of the audience by accepting the thankless task of timekeeper once again. We talked up our group and found 3 potential new members over the course of the evening. This is very good.

A bunch of my friends from the Vancouver Slam came too. It was sure great to have them there. If it wasn't for this Port Moody Slam, I wouldn't even know them or the Vancouver Slam. Three years ago I decided to host the Port Moody slam because someone on the arts festival committee said that they were going to organize a slam (or maybe get the librarians to do it) and we, the Shoreliners, could "pad the audience." Well, I got so indignant about that comment that I insisted we be allowed to run the show, then I had to go find out what a poetry slam was. The Van Slam people were so kind. They welcomed me, taught me how to do it, and came to the first Po Mo slam and every one since. I appreciate this so very much.

The Festival Chairman, Anne Kitching, came and helped run things too. She is a sweetheart and a good sport, a true mobilizer of community power and spirit. (She's not the one who called us chair pads back when.) She always makes us feel that our small event is totally important to the success of the 10-day long festival.

Anyway, I felt competent, successful and surrounded by love and good performance poetry. Still, I want to give the PoMo Slam a rest next year. Partly, I feel that participation and public enthusiasm is starting to slide, and I'd rather end it while it's still relatively successful. Also, I'm not going to it with joy. Maybe after a year or two break I will feel like doing it again. I will find out if anyone else from our group wants to host next year, and I'll help, but I want to give it a rest, personally. The PoMo Slam has brought so much good to my life in many different ways. I hope I'll be able to let it go gracefully.

Question: It's all right, isn't it?

mompoet: setting something down gently

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

I Slammed with Mike McGee

Monday night was the second-to-last regular slam of the season, and what a night it was! There are still at least half a dozen poets determined to qualify for the semi-finals, and almost everyone had great new poems. I have never seen so much new energy and creativity at the slam as I did last night. Feature poet Laura Moran was superb. She has been part of the Poetry Slam in the US since it began, and hosted the 2000 National Poetry Slam in Providence. She performed poems about mythology, literature, society and love. She's a smart and talented performer and a warm, encouraging presence. I was lucky to share a table with her at the cafe for the evening.

Mike McGee is in town recording a CD with Shane Koyczan and CR Avery. Together they make up T.O.F.U. Mike is one of my favourite poets. He is hilariously funny and astonishingly real. He is a champion of champions on the poetry slam scene and a champion in my heart. I've met him a couple times before, but he has always been at the slam as feature. On Monday he competed. I had the combined honour/nightmare of being called up to perform immediately after Mike McGee.

As much as I want to make the semis, I understood the situation. I was surrounded by incredibly talented and determined poets, all performing their very best material. I was up next after the best, kindest, most successful slam poet in the world. All I could do was go up and have fun. It was liberating to just perform my poem the way I always tell myself to: as a gift to myself and audience, a celebration of my voice, dancing naked in the rain. Winning ceases to be important because I have already won, just by being there.

So I performed my new poem called "Stonehenge." The audience liked it, I felt right inside it. I didn't even make the second round, but that's okay. There's one more chance in two weeks. I don't think Mike will slam again, but his being there just helped me get over being fixated on making it to the semi-finals. There will always be lots and lots of good poets. I am one of them. More often that I could ever hope for, I will have the opportunity to perform in the presence of great poets. The best part is not the winning. It's the dance. It's the dance. It's the dance.

Question: ever heard an angel with the voice of Sean Connery?

mompoet - these feet are happy on the ground

Monday, April 04, 2005

Port Moody Poetry Slam Wednesday

It's always seems like forever until the day, then it's the day...

7pm Wednesday April 6
Charlie's Cafe 2414 St. Johns Street Port Moody
$5 (includes $5 voucher for Isabel's good cooking)
Poets sign up at 6:30
Feature Poet: Fernando Raguero

It's the most fun you will have in Port Moody. Better than the handcar races. Absolutely better than tea in the trolley. So much better than cleaning the duvet at the laundromat. OK, on par with a sunrise run at Rocky Point, but you get to sit down and eat tamales at the poetry slam.

I hope you will come.

Question: Is it safe to hoot while you eat tamales?

mompoet - warming up the hosting apparatus

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Door Knocking

I spent the afternoon knocking on doors in my neighbourhood with Karen Rockwell. It's always funny to find out how people will respond when you arrive at their door uninvited. I've knocked for Scout bottle drives, chocolate sales and popcorn sales, Girl Guide cookie sales, canvassing for Cancer Society, Heart and Stroke Foundation and Kinsmen, and a couple of times gathering proxies for strata meetings when we were scheduled to vote on contentious issues. It's remarkable how many people have dogs who I have never met before, even though we live on the same street. Ditto cats. It's remarkable how many people wear their pajamas or bathrobes in the afternoon on the weekend, and answer the door in them very comfortably. It's interesting how uncomfortable people are when you stand on their doorstep, so much so, that there are always a few who peek through the peephole and tiptoe away.

Today most people who were home opened their doors. Karen took one side of the street and I took the other. We visited about 200 homes. She is very good at meeting the public, and struck up conversations at quite a few doorsteps. My job was to say I was out with Karen, hand out a flier and offer to have Karen come over to chat if anyone wanted to meet her. We got lots of indications of support, including many who say they'll vote for Karen, and a few who are willing to have campaign signs up out front. One man told me that he had never voted before and will probably never vote in his life. Wow! I wonder if he meant it or if that's the campaign version of telling the telephone solicitor that the person who she asked for is dead. Only 5 people flat out refused to take the printed information. One said he didn't need it, he was already sure he'd vote for Karen.

It's intriguing to me how all of this works. Karen told me she has been knocking on doors since January. This is how she successfully campaigned for her City Councillor job. Signs are important too, although I can't figure out why so many signs are needed. I get it that neighbours see a sign on another neighbour's lawn and say, "Hey, Martha's voting for Karen. Maybe I'll vote for Karen too." But dozens of signs on the boulevard? How does that do any good? I think it's obnoxious and insults the intelligence of the voter. It implies that if I read Bob's name 14 times, and Harry's name 40 times, I'll vote for Harry. But I guess it must work, because they do it. I'll have to ask one of the campaign organizers if there's any research to support this practice.

Now I'm back inside my nice warm house. My husband is cooking supper. My son has agreed to go out next weekend and help put up signs. I'm learning about things I didn't know about before and enjoying some intriguing people-watching along the way.

Question: how could you not vote ever?

mompoet - knock-knock-knocking

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Campaign Reality Warp

Wherever you go....there you are.

I helped with the official opening of Karen Rockwell's campaign office today. I got there early to help set up and was sent off on errands (find blue and orange plastic tablecloths, a red ribbon for the ribbon cutting ceremony and coffee cups that are not styrofoam). So now I have officially helped in a helpful way. Tomorrow I'm going out with Karen to knock on doors in my neighbourhood. It's interesting to see how the campaign is put together, but even more interesting to find out who's there.

As more volunteers arrived (mostly constituency exec people) I introduced myself to each one. Pretty soon I realised I knew or had at least already met about half the people there. This continued as guests arrived for the opening. There were neighbours, and a friend from church, and my mother-in-law's good friend, and a bunch of city politicians who I have spoken to about school issues and several Consortium 43 friends. Dave Barrett was there too. First time I've met him - he was dynamite! And Jim Sinclair, who's always at the BCTF Conferences. All in all there were about 100 people, and I already knew or had met about 30 of them. So now my comfort level is increasing, especially after I met some intriguing and good new people. There was a man there who must be about 80 years old who ran for the CCF in Manitoba, and was a compatriot of Tommy Douglas when he was elected in Saskatchewan. In fact, there were a few people who knew Tommy and talked about the old days. It wasn't all old-timers though. There were a few young parent aged people with small kids. Still the over 40's predominated. What a wealth of experience and energy and positive intention in one room. Karen was very happy. The speeches were strong and short. There were hot dogs and home made cookies. It was a good party. I signed up to become a member of the BC NDP and told Karen and the campaign manager that I'll help whenever I can, throughout the next 6 weeks until election day.

I have read that if only women voted in BC, we'd have an NDP government. If only men voted, it would be Liberal again. Also, if even a fraction of the 25 yrs and under population could be convinced to vote, we'd have more NDP elected.

Question: How do we get people to vote?

mompoet - pinning on a campaign button

Friday, April 01, 2005

small foolin'

I haven't got to the newspaper yet. CBC radio had a story about the aquabuses in False Creek. The story claimed that aquabus operators will now be armed for security. They will carry rainbow-coloured guns which they will fire across the bow of any vessel that threatens their passengers.

This is a takeoff on the true story about the plan to arm the Skytrain Police.

A bunch of people got all irate and phoned the talk-back line to protest the aquabus plan. One lady gave dire warnings of market-goers caught in the crossfire of harbour shoot-em-ups.

I thought it wasn't such a bad idea. Taken a littler farther yet, we could be safe in every part of our lives:

  • Arm school crossing guards to ensure that motorists really do stop when they're told to.
  • Arm the cashiers at Safeway so they can deal with people who bring more than 15 items into the express lane.
  • Arm the concession stand workers at the movie theatre so we won't take so long to decide whether we want butter or margarine on our popcorn.
  • Arm McDonalds servers. YES! We will have fries with that!
  • Arm the ice cream truck driver. Mom will buy popsicles for everyone, everytime.
  • Arm librarians. No more eating in the carrals, and everyone will remember to bring their library cards and turn off their cell phones, or else.
Question: Why are thing most funny when they are dangerously close to reality?

mompoet - April Fools spectator only

I made money on the deal

The province has cashed my cheque for $5,000 (see previous post March 22 called "Free Money from the Government"). The money for nothing is gone.


For the first time every I got interest on my chequing account. One cent to be precise. So I did end up ahead. Yeeee-hawww.

Question: Should I send the government a cheque for one cent? or keep it as a "storage fee."

mompoet - you can never, ever, just be even